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Christopher Schobert


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…

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The long awaited big-screen adaptation of DC’s “Aquaman” has finally arrived, and it is easily stronger than “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Justice League.” Unfortunately, that’s not saying much. For this story of the King of Atlantis is an exhausting piece of cinematic absurdity, an overlong, often incoherent mess. That being said, there are pleasures to be ha…

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The holiday season movie calendar is, in a word, absurd. Studios release blockbuster wannabes, Christmas flicks, Oscar bait, and family fare, all within a matter of days. It’s a rather silly and destructive pattern. And while it means there are options aplenty, it is difficult, if not impossible, to keep track of it all. That’s what happens when the schedule is more cr…

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“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," the seventh big-screen entry for Marvel’s beloved webslinger, is the only animated film this year that can comfortably fit on the Top 10 list for a 10-year-old superhero junkie and a paunchy, late-thirtysomething film critic. It is the finest superhero film in a year that featured some pretty darn good ones — “Black Panther,” “Aven…

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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…