Christopher Schobert
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Christopher Schobert


“Columbus” might be the quietest drama of 2017. It could also turn out to be one of the best. It’s the type of intimate, contemplative film that is a rarity. Anchored by two stunning performances from John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson, and beautifully directed and written by newcomer Kogonada, “Columbus” is a breath of fresh autumn air after a stale summer. …

If you’ve never seen 2013’s “In a World,” the first film as writer-director from luminescent actress Lake Bell, drop everything and rent it. Yes, the comedy about a struggling voice-over actor living in the shadow of her famous father is that good. If you have seen “In a World,” I’d advise that you watch it again rather than race to Bell’s long-awaited f…

The movies don’t quite know what to do with Aubrey Plaza. That’s a shame, since the former star of “Parks and Recreation” is bearer of one of our finest deadpan expressions, and an ability to wield sarcasm like a deadly weapon. “Ingrid Goes West” is just the latest example, an occasionally clever but mostly sour social media-stalker comedy. For Plaza, the…

One of the most unlikely franchises to develop in recent years is the ongoing “Wet Hot American Summer” saga. Consider that the 1981-set summer camp comedy series started with a barely released feature film in 2001, one famously panned by Roger Ebert; he gave it one star, and ripped it apart in a parody of Allan Sherman’s “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter f…

So here’s the premise: An adult male — seemingly in his late twenties — watches VHS tapes of one show, and one show only. It is called “Brigsby Bear,” and it features a large costumed character that embarks on strange adventures involving his nemesis, the Sun Snatcher. The adult male is named James, and as we soon discover, he has spent his entire life in an u…

What do “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” “Personal Velocity,” “Like Crazy,” and “Quinceañera” have in common? All received the Grand Jury Prize for top film at the Sundance Film Festival, and all came and went from cinemas without much commercial success. The 2017 Grand Jury winner, however, went a different route. “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World …

It took 35 years, several directors, a gaggle of screenwriters, and countless rumored actors for a version of Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” to make it to the big screen. After all these aborted efforts, false starts, and ambitious plans, the result is … this? This hurried, ho-hum wannabe-epic? What a shame. Yes, 2017’s “The Dark Tower” is a jumbled affai…

Horror aficionados have been buzzing for months about a haunted-house film called “Dwelling." Now, the feature from Buffalo writer-director Kyle Mecca can be purchased nationwide as part of a Walmart exclusive DVD release. The movie about a couple that moves into a haunted house in an attempt to contact the other side will then be released on Sept. 26 to retailers inc…

There is one reason to see “The Hero,” and that is star Sam Elliott. In the film, the character played by Elliott is described as standing out for “his unmistakable voice, [and] his iconic mustache.” Yes, that sounds a lot like Elliott. With his lanky frame, piercing eyes and knowing grin, the actor looks like a Western icon even when he’s not playing a Wester…

Head over to Netflix where you'll find the listing for “Okja,” a new Netflix original film. Pictured is the title creature, a large, cuddly animal resembling a cross between a walrus, a hippo and an obese dog. Make no mistake, though, Bong Joon-ho’s “Okja” is not a film for children. Instead it’s a brilliant, harsh, emotionally overwhelming story of corporate g…

MEMOIR “Mustache Shenanigans: Making ‘Super Troopers’ and Other Adventures in Comedy” By Jay Chandrasekhar Dutton 304 pages, $27 “Super Troopers” is the quintessential cult comedy. Like Mike Judge’s “Idiocracy,” Kevin Smith’s “Mallrats,” and David Wain’s “Wet Hot American Summer,” it’s a film that drew little in the way of cri…

Is “Despicable Me 3” the funniest movie of the summer, or another ho-hum 2017 sequel? It depends on who you ask. Ask any kid between the ages of 5 and 10, and you’re almost guaranteed to hear the former. After all, the Steve Carell-voiced former villain-turned secret agent Gru, his three adopted daughters, and his legion of little, yellow minions are downright be…

The novels and stories of Stephen King have a wildly erratic track record on screens large and small. One of the better film adaptations of the last two decades was “The Mist,” Frank Darabont’s somber box-office underperformer. Noted for its wildly downbeat twist ending, the film’s reputation has grown since release. Now, about a decade later, comes a new televisio…

Perhaps it’s only a coincidence that the American release of British director Ken Loach’s “I, Daniel Blake” arrives just a few days after the stunning U.K. general election. But it somehow seems appropriate that this emotionally devastating masterpiece rides the wave of post-Brexit uncertainty and disorder that led to shocking election results. Loach referred to…

There are a number of summer outdoor movie series, but it’s unlikely there is another like the Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant summer film series. The downtown restaurant holds screenings in its lovely back patio area every Wednesday through the end of September. This year’s lineup is predictably diverse, with everything from Woody Allen’s classic “Annie Hall…