This week we tragically lost one of our own: Cara McCollum, ’15, former editor and writer for the Princeton Buffer. In addition to writing sharp and hilarious reviews, Cara served as our social media guru who, even after graduating last June and becoming a SNJ Today news anchor, continued to share with us her on again/off again romance with film and television. Cara’s final Instagram wished us all a Happy Valentine’s Day. In return, we would like to celebrate our sharp-witted, talented, and generous colleague and friend by inviting everyone to revisit her memorable work for the blog. Click here to learn more about Cara’s rejection of Prince Farming, her seven-year relationship with True Blood, her conviction that even Stephen Hawking deserves a great love story, and her instant infatuation with “everyone’s favorite bongo-banging babe” Matthew McConaughey.
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Hail, Joel Coen! Hail, Ethan Coen! Hail, the Coen brothers! Hail the Coen brothers not because their newest film, Hail, Caesar!, is a masterful work of art that captures the most illusive depths of the human experience. Hail the Coen brothers because they, unlike so many other directors, especially those who receive wide critical and cult acclaim, have the rare ability to change. Hail, Caesar! is not the brothers’ best work, though it is playful, funny, and wonderfully simple; what it offers is something far different from the cynicism of Inside Llewyn Davis or even the comical intensity of The Big Lebowski. This is what makes the Coen brothers great: their generosity. They constantly give us something fresh and new.
For Sale (Cheap): Lovely Manor with Minor Ghost Problem
As much as Crimson Peak loves to tell us exactly what is happening, there is the one instance where the movie doesn’t describe itself accurately. “Beware of Crimson Peak.” Only a few minor scares dot this movie; most of the work director Guillermo del Toro does focuses on the lighting and set itself, which make the movie look complex and beautiful, but unfortunately not very scary.
Continue reading For Sale (Cheap): Lovely Manor with Minor Ghost Problem
Interview with A. O. Scott: Part 1
Recently the Princeton Buffer editors sat down with A. O. Scott, co-chief film critic (along with Manohla Dargis) at The New York Times. We asked him what it’s like at the Times, what a film critic does for fun, and what the future holds for him. Along the way we also discovered why our favorite movie reviewer prefers Spock to Kirk and why he thinks the job of a film critic is to be wrong.
In Part One of our interview, Scott talks about why he left graduate school, why he became a film critic, and why a new generation of film reviewers has given the profession new life. In Part Two Scott shares his personal likes and dislikes, his appreciation of cinema as a window on the world, and his secret to Better Living Through Criticism—the title of his new book coming out in February 2016.
Interview with A.O. Scott: Part 2
In Part 2 of our interview with The New York Times film critic A. O. Scott, he answers some quick “lightening round” questions on his favorite (and not so favorite) characters and movies, before sharing with us his thoughts on the art of criticism. For more of our conversation, see Interview with A. O. Scott: Part 1.
Write for the Buffer!
The Princeton Buffer is taking submissions!
We’re looking for reviews and features on film and television–new releases, new additions to Netflix, maybe just something great you saw recently. Articles should be no more than 600 words, but you can go longer if you have a lot to say.
Submit your writing to Sophie Parker-Rees at email@example.com, and it will be edited by our Board and might get published here on this site!
Merely Moments in the Woods: Rob Marshall Misses the Mark
“Into the woods, then out of the woods, and home before dark!” promises Rob Marshall’s recently released film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s and James Lapine’s 1987 musical, Into the Woods. Unfortunately, Marshall’s film quickly forgets its promise. Despite Sondheim laying a clear path to success with his wickedly delightful and exquisitely powerful music and concept, director Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods quickly strays, stumbles, and becomes horribly lost in a tangled jungle of shadows, grit, and unwieldy CGI. Marshall’s two-hour marathon of low energy monotony and confused direction certainly won’t have you home before dark.
Continue reading Merely Moments in the Woods: Rob Marshall Misses the Mark
I Sacrificed Three Hours So You Don’t Have To
With Dean’s Date rapidly approaching, I gave up an eighth of a day to watch the Golden Globes and even more to report on them here. I did that for you, readers, so I hope you forgive me if we disagree about any of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s decisions. Unlike the ceremony and Michael Keaton’s speech in particular, I’m going to keep it concise. Here, then, are the noteworthy moments from the 72nd Golden Globes!
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Snowpiercer: The Little Engine That Couldn’t
The year is 2031. In a colossally failed attempt to combat global warming, scientists have accidentally launched the world into an inhospitable ice age. All forms of life freeze solid after just minutes of exposure to the murderously bitter cold. Humanity has narrowly escaped total extinction by clambering aboard a glorified choo-choo train. Continue reading Snowpiercer: The Little Engine That Couldn’t