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Christopher Schobert


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It was inevitable that the enormously successful “Harry Potter” film series would continue even after Harry, Ron and Hermoine moved on from Hogwarts, and so it did with 2016’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” This prequel, set decades before the events of the first “Potter” entry, was a flawed but intriguing creation scripted by J. K. Rowling. For all its joys…

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If you are a movie-mad muggle, there’s a good chance you’ve seen every entry in the lengthy “Harry Potter” series. However, with eight big-screen adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s literary blockbusters about a young wizard, as well as two prequels, it’s easy to get confused. With “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ” - a sequel to 2016’s financially successful if u…

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One of the indelible moviegoing moments from my childhood came in 1990, when my parents took me to see R-rated Civil War drama “Glory.” I was a 10-year-old with a deep interest in history, and while I certainly was not in the target audience, the film had a profound impact on me. It left me wanting to learn more. This is the power of historical cinema, and “First Man” is a…

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For kids, the buildup to Halloween can feel excruciating. That means lots of stress for parents, grandparents and caregivers – not to mention teachers. However, there is good news. October is saturated with spooky, Halloween-related events for families. Many of them free. The bad news is that your kiddos’ costumes might be in tatters by Oct. 31. That’s the price you pay…

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The power of cinema to inspire conversation is a key element of the riverrun Global Film Series. For its third year, running from Oct. 10-12 at the Burchfield Penney Art Center (1300 Elmwood Ave.), riverrun explores the cinema, culture and history of Mexico. While Mexican filmmakers have taken the world by storm in recent years, riverrun curator Tanya Shilina-Conte sai…

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The 2018 Buffalo International Film Festival (BIFF) is all about options. Consider the numbers: 125 films from 22 countries over the course of five days (Oct. 4-8) at four venues in the city of Buffalo. It all adds up to one of the area’s biggest and boldest film fests, and a diverse mix of genres and styles. While there is no festival theme, exactly, a number of BIFF e…

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There is a fresh wave of innovation and optimism in Buffalo, and the city’s newest entrepreneurs are a big reason why. From the tremendously successful 43North competition to a steady stream of startups impacting Buffalo and beyond, the WNY community has become an unforeseen hub of entrepreneurism. We spoke with the founders and operators of five unique companies, all b…

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The Buffalo cinema scene is thriving. That fact is clear when studying the fall calendar of film screenings and festivals. It isn't just packed with events - it is packed with quality. This was not always the case. In fact, just a few years ago it would have been difficult to call the area's loose collection of one-off film screenings and scattershot series a “scene.” B…

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Pop quiz: Family horror-comedy “The House with a Clock in Its Walls” is A) the worst-titled movie of the year, B) a PG-rated flick that is far too frightening for children under 10, C) a surprisingly enjoyable bit of creepy fun featuring a wonderfully cast Jack Black and Cate Blanchett, or D) all of the above. Your answer is D, and as this indicates, parents should appr…

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What’s in a name for local WNY businesses? Some names are obvious first or last names of individuals or family members. Some involve a Buffalo pun. Some have ties to establishments from the city’s past. And some are, well…different. We sought to find how their names came to be. Big Ditch Brewing Company Since opening its tap room in 2015, Big Ditch has become one …

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“I wanted to take some of the stuffiness out of film screenings,” Thursday Night Terrors host and organizer Peter Vullo told The Buffalo News in 2017. “I wanted it to be something people could have fun with and decompress and laugh, scream and clap.” Vullo’s series has become a huge success since debuting in August 2016, and kicks off its fifth season on Aug. 30 with th…

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The long-running Buffalo Film Seminars series, an open-to-the-public University at Buffalo class hosted by Bruce Jackson and Diane Christian, can always be counted on for a lineup of cinematic heavyweights. The fall 2018 season, kicking off on Aug. 28 with King Vidor’s “The Big Parade,” is no exception. The 1925 silent film, about an American soldier who falls in love d…

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The Noir Essentials series at the Dipson Eastern Hills Cinema has featured the greats of film noir, from Charles Laughton’s stunning “Night of the Hunter” to Stanley Kubrick’s heist classic, “The Killing.” In its newest season, Noir Essentials jumps ahead several decades to present five films from writer-directors Joel and Ethan Coen. Titled “The Coen Brothers Bible of …

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The full name of the establishment located at 1771 Love Road in Grand Island is Say Cheese Pizza Co./The Comic Book Cafe, but it’s the latter moniker that’s remembered. Ask local superhero aficionados about Say Cheese Pizza Co., and you’ll get a shoulder shrug. Ask about the Comic Book Cafe, and you’ll get a high-five. That is not because of the food, although the food …

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Playgrounds might not be as ubiquitous a sight in Western New York as pizza places, but it’s close. That is, if you are looking for them. Parents, grandparents, guardians, and aunts and uncles know how essential it is to find new playgrounds for the little ones. So they are always on the lookout. Listed here are some favorites of my kids, as well as spots recommended by…