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Christopher Schobert


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The 2016 animated hit “The Secret Life of Pets” is a textbook example of a wonderful premise wasted. The concept — what pets do when their owners are away — is certainly clever. But the film took its characters on a series of increasingly silly, and sometimes even scary, diversions. “The Secret Life of Pets 2” is more of the same. This time, the diversions are even sil…

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Are kids today aware of Godzilla? More than that, do they care about Godzilla? Perhaps not. But children over the age of, say, 10, certainly enjoy seeing a giant lizard stomp a city and battle similarly large monsters, so “Godzilla: King of Monsters” is probably on their radar. Even little ones with a lust for carnage will find their patience tested by the aggressively…

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Olivier Assayas’s “Non-Fiction” is breathtakingly intelligent, immaculately shot, wonderfully incisive, and a bit frustrating. In others words, this is usual Assayas territory. Well, it is — and it isn’t. “Non-Fiction” covers lighter ground than most of the prolific French filmmaker’s recent work. His last three films included a stunning ghost story starring Kristen Ste…

Buffalo Magazine: Discover

There’s something truly heartwarming about seeing kids and animals come face-to-face. No, not dogs, cats or bunnies—although those can be cute sights, as well. We’re talking owls, deer and other animals that make their home outdoors. Western New York is lucky to have so many wildlife and nature sanctuaries that offer children and families a unique opportunity to see ani…

Family

This summer checks nearly every box on the kid geek must-list. “Star Wars”? Spider-Man? Japanese animation? Check, check, check. Take a look at some new films, a few annual events and a little baseball. Studio Ghibli Fest May, July, and August at the Regal Elmwood (2001 Elmwood Ave.) and Regal Transit (6707 Transit Road) One of the most delightful cinematic develop…

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Ask “Avengers: Endgame” co-screenwriter Christopher Markus to choose the highlight of the long-awaited superhero epic’s weeks-long media blitz, and the answer may surprise you. No, it’s not the gala, star-packed “purple carpet” premiere in Hollywood. Nor is it the promotional interviews with media outlets from around the world. For Markus, a Buffalo native and St. Josep…

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Let’s just get this out of the way: “Avengers: Endgame” is long. Really, really long. But if you are a parent whose children who love the Marvel Cinematic Universe, play with Marvel Legos, and wear Marvel PJs to bed, you have no choice but to just deal with the three-hour running time. And when the credits finally roll on this absurdly stuffed, tremendously enjoyable, s…

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It is only fitting for “Photographs,” a suspense-thriller shot in Western New York, co-written and co-directed by noted local filmmaker Hernan Caraballo, and starring a local cast, to premiere at a venerable local venue like the Aurora Theatre. It screens at noon April 20 at the theater located at 673 Main St., East Aurora. Caraballo collaborated with writer-director Sa…

Family

Spend any time around Queen City Roller Girls games and it becomes clear that every player is unique, and every participant — coaches, referees, scorekeepers — has a special personality. Here are introductions to four QCRG veterans. Katie Bertel — a.k.a., Librawlian Jammer, Lake Effect Furies Occupation: Librarian Hometown: Black Forest, Colo. On discov…

Family

It’s 6 p.m. on a recent Friday at Buffalo RiverWorks, one hour before the Saucies take on the Alley Kats in the fifth game of the 2019 Queen City Roller Girls season. Things are reasonably quiet — for now. The will-call line is light, the concession queue is nonexistent, the merchandise stand is uncrowded. David Bowie’s “Fame” is barely audible in the background. Playe…

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There is a striking sense of intimacy to the World War II docudrama “The Invisibles,” opening Friday at the Dipson Eastern Hills. This feeling of intense closeness is a direct result of the real-life interviews interspersed throughout this World War II-set story of survival. Like Warren Beatty’s “Reds” or Errol Morris’s “Wormwood,” the film is a mix of interviews and d…

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Not since the Quidditch World Cup has a crowd of witches, wizards and muggles been as raucous as the group watching 2001’s “Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone” at Shea’s Buffalo Theatre on Feb. 21. And if the opening night crowd for this screening — which featured accompaniment from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra — is any indication, the performances on Feb. 22 and 24 s…

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The “How to Train Your Dragon” series has rather quietly and unassumingly become one of the last decade’s most successful kiddie franchises. So quietly, in fact, that somehow my kids and I have never seen any of them. Yes, a part-time film critic with children ages 8 and 4 has somehow never watched these tales of Vikings and adorable dragons. After seeing the third and …

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Is this the most contentious Oscars in recent Academy Awards history? Consider: the Kevin Hart controversy, the quickly reversed decision to not air four awards during the telecast, and nominations for the entertaining but hardly stellar likes of “Green Book” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” — to say nothing of the short-lived Best Popular Film award. (Remember that?) But there …

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A child is abducted and murdered by two 10-year-olds. An elderly woman and her nurse develop a deep friendship. Five anthropomorphic animals meet in a group therapy session. Those are just a few of the diverse — and often dark — stories that make up this year’s list of Oscar-nominated live action and animated shorts. The films, which open as two separate programs on Fe…