Happy Birthday: Aiden Redmond

Categories: Birthdays
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Published on: October 20, 2014

OFCS member Aiden Redmond celebrates his birthday today, October 20. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Cut the Crap.

Happy Birthday: Sarah Gopaul

Categories: Birthdays
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Published on: October 20, 2014

OFCS member Sarah Gopaul celebrates her birthday today, October 20. Please help us congratulate her and wish her well.

You can visit her website: Digital Journal and Examiner.com.

Happy Birthday: David Ehrlich

Categories: Birthdays
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Published on: October 19, 2014

OFCS member David Ehrlich celebrates his birthday today, October 19. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Film.com and Reverse Shot.

This Week at the Movies, Part 2 (Oct. 17-19, 2014)

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Published on: October 18, 2014

Because of embargoes (those happy little restrictions on when critics can post reviews, good or bad), a lot of our critics aren’t able to share links with you until release day. Here are some last-minute reviews for this weekend’s upcoming films. We’ve kept in all the reviews posted yesterday as well so you can have more help in deciding what to see (if you haven’t already).

Our critics have been hard at work reviewing the latest films. Here is a look at what’s coming out this weekend (in select cities, check your local listings) and what else may be in theaters right now.

Opening: October 17-19, 2014

Wide (United States)

The Best of Me

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Book of Life

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Fury

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Expanding (United States)

Men, Women & Children

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

St. Vincent

[New Reviews Today] For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

Algorithms

Chris Barsanti @ Film Journal International

  • Excerpt: Sight-challenged Indian teenagers push to become championship chess players in this disappointingly slight, surface-dwelling documentary.

Birdman

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Camp X-Ray

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Featuring a dynamic performance from Maadi and thoughtful one from Stewart, the claustrophobic drama only falters when it leans too heavily on obvious metaphors and screenwriting cliches in its final moments.

Kristen Lopez @ Cinema Sentries

  • Excerpt: Sattler deserves a medal for giving us Kristen Stewart’s finest performance to date, and Peyman Moaadi has a star-making turn here.

Dear White People

Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk

Listen Up, Philip

Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

  • Excerpt: an aggravating, arrogant, and entertaining portrait of the toxicity of ill-suited relationships and the narcissistic danger of letting success consume your livelihood.

[New Today] Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies

  • Excerpt: [T]he film’s single-minded depiction of Philip’s poisonous personality is almost as fascinating as the character is unpleasant.

[New Today] Donald Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

[New Today] Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

Watchers of the Sky

[New Today] Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal

  • Excerpt: The documentary, ‘Watchers of the Sky,’ examines the history of genocide and the continued efforts of a few individuals to end the cycle of violence.

Young Ones

Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

  • Excerpt: methodically churning into a stagnant trench of recycled Greek tragedy themes, a familial saga of vengeance, murder, and inheritance never coalescing into a comfortable stride.

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

(There’s still more to this post. Click here to continue reading…)

Happy Birthday: Mike Everleth

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 18, 2014

OFCS member Mike Everleth celebrates his birthday today, October 18. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Underground Film Journal.

Happy Birthday: Mike Bracken

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 18, 2014

OFCS member Mike Bracken celebrates his birthday today, October 18. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Movies.com and E-Pinions.

This Week at the Movies, Part 1 (Oct. 17-19, 2014)

Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 17, 2014

Our critics have been hard at work reviewing the latest films. Here is a look at what’s coming out this weekend (in select cities, check your local listings) and what else may be in theaters right now.

Opening: October 17-19, 2014

Wide (United States)

The Best of Me

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Book of Life

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Fury

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Expanding (United States)

Men, Women & Children

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

St. Vincent

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

Algorithms

Chris Barsanti @ Film Journal International

  • Excerpt: Sight-challenged Indian teenagers push to become championship chess players in this disappointingly slight, surface-dwelling documentary.

Birdman

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Camp X-Ray

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Featuring a dynamic performance from Maadi and thoughtful one from Stewart, the claustrophobic drama only falters when it leans too heavily on obvious metaphors and screenwriting cliches in its final moments.

Kristen Lopez @ Cinema Sentries

  • Excerpt: Sattler deserves a medal for giving us Kristen Stewart’s finest performance to date, and Peyman Moaadi has a star-making turn here.

Dear White People

Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk

Listen Up, Philip

Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

  • Excerpt: an aggravating, arrogant, and entertaining portrait of the toxicity of ill-suited relationships and the narcissistic danger of letting success consume your livelihood.

Young Ones

Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

  • Excerpt: methodically churning into a stagnant trench of recycled Greek tragedy themes, a familial saga of vengeance, murder, and inheritance never coalescing into a comfortable stride.

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

(There’s still more to this post. Click here to continue reading…)

Happy Birthday: Samuel Castro

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 17, 2014

OFCS member Samuel Castro celebrates his birthday today, October 17. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Ochoy Medio.

Reviews: 20,000 Days on Earth (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 16, 2014

20000_days_on_earthReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 9/18/14] | Chris Barsanti @ Film Journal International
    • Excerpt: Goth rocker turned postmodern bluesman Nick Cave turns himself inside-out for this transformative, electrifying documentary about the dark and often mundane wizardry of creativity.
  • [New - 10/9/14] | Joshua Brunsting @ The CriterionCast
  • [New - 8/15/14] | Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix
  • [New - 10/10/14] | Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: One of the most aggressively self-indulgent things you’ll ever come across, and without anything resembling a story it eventually becomes a chore to sit through; memories of Bob Dylan’s infamous Renaldo and Clara occasionally sprang to mind.
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk
    • Excerpt: …an astonishing dissection of why Nick Cave does what he does…his songs have been full of confessions, both clear-eyed and abstract, yet he’s never delved so deep nor shared so much.

Reviews: The Best of Me (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 16, 2014

best_of_meReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 10/16/14] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: The Best of Me isn’t too bad for the majority of its time-crossing story, which means the movie is better than the majority of movies based upon Sparks’ work.
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: After the utter insanity that was the final twist of Safe Haven, I didn’t think Sparks could possibly top himself; he doesn’t (how could anything top that film’s Sixth Sense-like reveal?), but the filmmakers handle the idiotic resolution here with such unblinking sincerity that we can’t help but laugh at what we’re seeing onscreen.
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Every time you go to a new movie based on a book by Nicholas Sparks, you do so believing that it can’t be as bad as the last, but somehow they always manage to exceed one’s lowest expectations.

Reviews: Birdman (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 16, 2014

birdmanReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: The Book of Life (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 16, 2014

book_of_lifeReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 10/17/14] | William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline
    • Excerpt: I don’t know about you and your kids, but after watching The Book of Life, I couldn’t WAIT to die. It certainly looks like a serious improvement on everything I’m doing right now.
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: If only the story, which includes an awkwardly defined character called Candle Maker voiced by Ice Cube(?!), were up to its visuals.
  • [New - 10/17/14] | Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: While not the animation game-changer that THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS may have been, THE BOOK OF LIFE perhaps has even more room to grow into a classic in the coming years. And curiously it has a similar pedigree.
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: Here is a movie of impressive imagination and surprising sympathy that still winds up feeling like the product of less pure intentions.
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Kenji Fujishima @ Slant Magazine
  • [New - 10/17/14] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: n this global and interconnected time, I suppose it is about time a Mexican fairy tale complete with Mexican traditions, culture, and its people find a place on the big screen.
  • [New - 10/17/14] | Brent McKnight @ Paste Magazine
    • Excerpt: Despite revolving around a formulaic love story and a climactic battle with a largely inconsequential villain, The Book of Life carves out a stunning visual niche and a fantastic world full of memorable characters that provides a different perspective than the typical animated feature.

Reviews: Fury (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 16, 2014

furyReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 10/17/14] | William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline
    • Excerpt: It was François Truffaut who once argued that there’s no such thing as an anti-war movie. It’s a statement that may have finally been disproven by David Ayer’s Fury.
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Fury has some strong, visceral moments but the odd, ephemeral characterizations at its core cause the film to vanish in a fog of war.
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: Relentlessly grim, FURY makes a powerful impression, presenting the most hellish vision of World War II in American cinema since SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: http://www.examiner.com/review/fury-heavy-metal-world-war-ii-style
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: Fury is an unforgiving tale of warfare centered on the thesis that battle brings out the worst in men.
  • [New - 10/17/14] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: David Ayer shows us a harsh and violent reality and a reminder that words in a history book will never convey just how hard it is to slog through the mud and then fight a battle.
  • [New - 10/17/14] | Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: No better than good, “Fury” is unnuanced and not as thoughtful as it could have been, but makes up for those losses in tough, brutal intensity.
  • [New - 10/17/14] | Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • [New - 10/17/14] | Benjamin Kramer @ The Voracious Filmgoer
  • [New - 10/17/14] | Marty Mapes @ Movie Habit
    • Excerpt: Pitt, in peak form, leads a tank crew through war and domesticity
  • [New - 10/17/14] | Piers Marchant @ sweet smell of success
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk
    • Excerpt: Writer and director David Ayer avoids the humorous camaraderie of more traditional World War II movie, instead lending real edge to the gallows humor amongst the troops and heaping doses of gore and brutality to the combat sequences. Fury is not for the weak of heart, nor for those looking for cheerleading or glorification of war
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com
    • Excerpt: Writer/director David Ayer’s World War II drama is a gritty European-style coming-of-age picture that reminds us how much war has changed in the past 65 years yet how much it remains the same.
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Its traditional storytelling represents an agreeable throwback to a time when tales of combat managed to be viscerally exciting while also saying something about camaraderie and the effect of the battlefield experience on ordinary soldiers.

Reviews: The Good Lie (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 16, 2014

good_lieReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: Nas: Time Is Illmatic (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 16, 2014

nas_time_is_illmaticReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 10/2/14] | Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk
  • [New - 10/9/14] | Travis Hopson @ Examiner
    • Excerpt: A celebration of the seminal album’s 20th anniversary, but also a dissection of the influences that allowed a street poet like Nas to create such an influential album.
  • [New - 10/10/14] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: “Life’s a Bitch” are apt words to describe Queensbridge, but for some folks out there, it is home.
  • [New - 10/2/14] | Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: An engaging document of how – and, more importantly, why – this particular album had such an impact.
  • [New - 10/2/14] | Aaron Pinkston @ Battleship Pretension
    • Excerpt: Nas: Time Is Illmatic, a look at the influential album twenty years later, doesn’t feel like the complete account that some may want, but it is a sharp and entertainment profile of an important artist.

Reviews: St. Vincent (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 16, 2014

st_vincentReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 10/16/14] | Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: The big tearjerker ending is maudlin and manipulative, which would be a bigger problem if it didn’t totally get me anyway, sniff sniff. In that sequence, and throughout the movie, Murray elevates the material — but the scene itself is a bit worrisome, since it is, in essence, a celebration of Bill Murray, and that kind of pandering isn’t what we like about him, as a personality or an actor.
  • [New - 10/9/14] | Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com
    • Excerpt: Melfi puts in a bit more elbow grease in this tried and true concoction, to make an effective, though utterly formulaic film.
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Luke Bonanno @ DVDizzy.com
    • Excerpt: St. Vincent would not be nearly as endearing with a different actor in the title role.
  • [New - 10/9/14] | Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: A heart-affecting cinematic parable about the saints among us who enable us to come alive in new ways.
  • [New - 10/9/14] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: …we’ve seen all this before (“Bad Santa” being but one example). Still, Murray is Murray and watching his sweetness peek through his outer curmudgeonly crust is worth the price of admission. More surprising is Naomi Watts…
  • [New - 10/10/14] | Billy Donnelly @ This Is Infamous
  • [New - 10/17/14] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: It gives us a character who is completely unlikeable on the surface, and without changing a thing about who the character is, the film dares us not to like him by the end.
  • [New - 10/17/14] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Bill Murray engraves his name with authority on the growing list of movie adults who should be banned from interacting with children. Picture Billy Bob Thornton’s Bad Santa, Adam Sandler’s Big Daddy, and to make sure the charges stick, we must not forget any man who has played Humbert Humbert as he helps ‘guide’ Lolita through those tough adolescent years.
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk
    • Excerpt: riter/director Theodore Melfi’s major-league debut is hard to dislike and certainly will work as a crowd-pleaser for folks looking to warm their hearts. For all the salty language and Vin’s rowdy lifestyle, there is a nice message here and a genuine sense of inclusion.
  • [New - 10/16/14] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Bill Murray’s irascibility, even at the most mawkish moments, is enough to save the picture from drowning in a sea of sentimentality.

Reviews: Whiplash (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 16, 2014

whiplashReviews for this film from our members:

Happy Birthday: William Graham

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 16, 2014

OFCS member William Graham celebrates his birthday today, October 16. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: The Film Stage, Collider, Go See Talk, Twitch Film and Critics Associated.

Happy Birthday: Stacia Kissick Jones

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 15, 2014

OFCS member Stacia Kissick Jones celebrates her birthday today, October 15. Please help us congratulate her and wish her well.

You can visit her website: She Blogged By Night, Next Projection and Classic Flix.

Happy Birthday: John Hanlon

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 15, 2014

OFCS member John Hanlon celebrates his birthday today, October 15. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Breitbart.com and John Hanlon Reviews.

The Grab Bag (Oct. 14, 2014)

Categories: The Grab Bag
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 14, 2014

OFCS members don’t just write film reviews. Here are several articles you might find interesting.

Best of Lists

2014 Film Reviews Rated Five Stars

Blake Howard @ Graffiti With Punctuation

Five Star Films: The Whole Bloody List

Blake Howard @ Graffiti With Punctuation

Interviews

(There’s still more to this post. Click here to continue reading…)

Happy Birthday: Edgar Chaput

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 14, 2014

OFCS member Edgar Chaput celebrates his birthday today, October 14. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Sound on Sight.

Classics and Other Films on DVD (Oct. 13, 2014)

Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 13, 2014

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

  • Excerpt: It’s a very fun romp through the wild and wacky world of witchcraft, so jump on the bed and let’s go!

Bonnie and Clyde

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: Equal parts true-crime exposé, dysfunctional love story, and Depression-era think piece, the picture underscores American police departments’ longstanding proclivity for short cuts to justice, i.e. murder.

Chase a Crooked Shadow

Kristen Lopez @ Awards Circuit

Drive

Blake Howard @ Graffiti With Punctuation

Ghost in the Shell

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: … less exploitative and far more thoughtful than most of its kin… an invigorating animation for the mind and eye.

Hiroshima Mon Amour

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: Fierce in its condemnation of America’s racist military attacks against Hiroshima and Nagasaki that killed a quarter of a million Japanese citizens, “Hiroshima Mon Amour” bridges a gap between death and life via a doomed love affair that helps heal two emotionally damaged people from different races.

Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: Even by modern cinema’s jaded standards, “She Wolf of the SS” remains a powerfully sexy, campy, blood-soaked, and fetishistic tour de force.

Maurice

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

Vertigo

Matthew McKernan @ FilmWhinge

  • Excerpt: Vertigo is a film about passion and love and trying to overcome the past, though all of these themes are problematized – the film is rarely as simple as it looks…

Recent Home Video Releases

(There’s still more to this post. Click here to continue reading…)

Happy Birthday: Glenn Dunks

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 13, 2014

OFCS member Glenn Dunks celebrates his birthday today, October 13. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Blog Quick Flix, Glenn Dunks, The Film Experience, Junkee, Onya Magazine and Stale Popcorn.

Happy Birthday: Phil Hall

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: October 12, 2014

OFCS member Phil Hall celebrates his birthday today, October 12. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Film Threat and Edge Boston.

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