Online Film Critics Society

The World's Oldest Organization of Online Film Critics

Classics & More on DVD (Aug. 3, 2015)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Blu is the New “Black”

Robert Cashill @ Popdose

  • Excerpt: Blu-ray reviews of Criterion titles including The Black Stallion.

A Brighter Summer Day

Marilyn Ferdinand @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: Edward Yang’s first masterpiece differs from the similarly themed West Side Story is in its broad, intricate consideration of entire families of mainland Chinese uprooted by the ascendency of Mao Tse-tung and its examination of the transition from one set of cultural values—respect for authority and one’s elders—to another—Western individualism, emancipated youth, and possession-oriented consumerism.

Cesar and Rosalie

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

The Fabulous Baker Boys

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

The Gay Divorcee

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Max and the Junkmen

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

My Reputation

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Ned Kelly

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud

Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema

Platoon

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Platoon is in the end I think not about Vietnam. It is about morality: in war and within ourselves.

Shall We Dance (1937)

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

The Sting

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: The Sting is a delight from beginning to end.

Swing Time

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Wings

Roderick Heath @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: Looked at as a monument to the craft and dynamism of Hollywood filmmaking at the cusp of that first great, wrenching change in the industry, the transition to sound, Wings is indeed a stirring, even staggering relic.

Recent Home Video Releases

There is still more to read. Click HERE!

This Week, Part 2 (Jul. 31-Aug. 2, 2015)

Because of embargoes, 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: Jul. 31-Aug. 2, 2015

Wide (United States)

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

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

Vacation

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

Limited (United States)

The End of the Tour

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Like an energetic terrier and a cautious great dane sussing each other up, Eisenberg and Segel are an unlikely yet perfect pairing in director James Ponsoldt’s dual character study, one which plays like the road trip version of “My Dinner with Andre.”

A LEGO Brickumentary

[New Today] James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
[New Today] Donald Jay Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion

  • Excerpt: Really nothing more than an extended promotional reel for the Danish company,…but despite being a mite padded, it’s a mostly sprightly tour through the byways of Legoland.

Listen to Me Marlon

Donald Jay Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

2015 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

There is still more to read. Click HERE!

This Week, Part 1 (Jul. 31-Aug. 2, 2015)

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: Jul. 31-Aug. 2, 2015

Wide (United States)

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Vacation

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

The End of the Tour

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Like an energetic terrier and a cautious great dane sussing each other up, Eisenberg and Segel are an unlikely yet perfect pairing in director James Ponsoldt’s dual character study, one which plays like the road trip version of “My Dinner with Andre.”

A LEGO Brickumentary

Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion

  • Excerpt: Really nothing more than an extended promotional reel for the Danish company,…but despite being a mite padded, it’s a mostly sprightly tour through the byways of Legoland.

Listen to Me Marlon

Donald Jay Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

2015 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

There is still more to read. Click HERE!

Reviews: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

mission_impossibleHere are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • [New – 7/31/15] | Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: First-rate popcorn, a meticulously devised and elegantly executed spy movie that manages to thrill with its stunts, jangle with its set pieces, land a laugh or two, and not insult our intelligence. It took them a while to figure out exactly what the hell ‘Mission: Impossible’ was, but with movie numero cinco, it’s become clear: it’s the best spy series this side of Bond.
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: …this film belongs to Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson as undercover British Intelligence agent Ilsa Faust, whose career is sure to get a serious boost after her fearless performance here.
  • [New – 7/31/15] | Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: So rather than stay close to its espionage roots as the more satisfying first and third chapters of the series have, or at least blend the action and intrigue more naturally as the previous GHOST PROTOCOL did, ROGUE NATION goes full-on John Woo and mythologizes Ethan Hunt (and by extension, Tom Cruise) just like in the clunky MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II.
  • [New – 7/31/15] | Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: What’s most impressive, perhaps, is that, somehow and beyond all traditional reasoning, this series doesn’t seem to be running out of steam.
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Thrill-ride fun – the most exciting action-adventure of the summer…
  • [New – 7/30/15] | MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Works for your appreciation with gasp-inducing action sequences and an ethos that has fun with its legacy while moving in a new direction.
  • [New – 7/31/15] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Supplies our spy thriller drug of choice – mind-blowing stunts and action sequences – but they are delicious icing on a more than complacent vanilla cake.
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Oktay Kozak @ Oregon Herald
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Kristen Lopez @ Awards Circuit
  • [New – 7/31/15] | Marty Mapes @ Movie Habit
    • Excerpt: Martial arts and a sense of levity balance the many tense action scenes
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: Is ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ the best action movie of the summer? No, but it’s not far off.
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Ross Miller @ Thoughts On Film
    • Excerpt: Tries to takes things to another level with every fibre of its being. The result is a blockbuster that’s thoroughly entertaining, delivering an inventive mix of action set-pieces to rival the best of ‘em.
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Simon Miraudo @ Student Edge
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: Crackerjack stuff: Rogue Nation is the best film in the franchise since the original Mission back in 1996. Sleek and tight (despite a 132-minute running time), with level-headed, no-nonsense scripting and direction from Christopher McQuarrie, you won’t find a better summer blockbuster this side of Mad Max.
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Kristy Puchko @ Comic Book Resources
    • Excerpt: “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation,” the megastar has finally found a partner who could carry the franchise’s mantle — if he ever dares to retire.
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Nuno Reis @ SciFiWorld Portugal [Portuguese]
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Goes on too long…but is still expertly mounted, enjoyably old-fashioned, action-packed cloak-and-dagger hokum.
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Andrew Wyatt @ St. Louis Magazine
    • Excerpt: Viewers will find that Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation more than lives up to the standards of the franchise, which has become Hollywood’s most reliable font of extravagant cloak-and-dagger adventure.

Reviews: Vacation (2015)

vacationHere are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • [New – 7/31/15] | Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: Wacky hijinks ensue, some of them very funny, some dipping desperately into bad taste, some just falling flat. (Which, it’s worth remembering, was the case with even the best films of this franchise.)
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: The only truly inspired bit of touring comes from Charlie Day as a white water rafting guide with lame banter and suicidal tendencies.
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: [The movie] offers a deep bench of comic actors in bit and cameo roles, as is the tradition with the series. They all are upstaged by an inanimate object.
  • [New – 7/31/15] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Frustratingly un-funny – skip this forgettable trip…
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: A remake in sequel clothing – a cynical and cloying attempt to repackage a beloved franchise for a new generation hoping it will hit so the studio may squeeze out a few more lackluster knock-off sequels.
  • [New – 7/31/15] | Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Vacation accomplishes what it sets out to do as a hijinks-heavy road comedy and stands upright as the even-less-PC sibling to the early-’80s mainstay. Uptight snobs who hate to laugh will be miserable, but it’s their loss.
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • [New – 7/31/15] | Dan Lybarger @ ArkansasOnline.com
    • Excerpt: Should you actually have the time and money to afford a ticket to Vacation, I would recommend leaving immediately after the opening credits. The lion’s share of the laughs occur then.
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Kristy Puchko @ Spinoff Online
    • Excerpt: In a summer where we’ve been given blisteringly subversive and fresh comedies like “Spy” and “Trainwreck,” this caustic “Vacation” is ill-timed. Its gags are outdated and hackneyed. Its heroes are annoying at best and despicable at worst. But most importantly, it’s just not funny.
  • [New – 7/31/15] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: The last sound you hear before the closing credits of ‘Vacation’ is that of a toilet flushing. That’s a fitting end to this unremmitingly crude, frequently repulsive sequel to a fondly-remembered cable perennial.

Reviews: Cartel Land (2015)

cartel_landHere are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • [New – 7/2/15] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: an eye opening look at organized vigilantism.
  • [New – 7/3/15] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: Director Matthew Heineman’s Cartel Land is a brave exercise in and a fascinating piece of journalism.
  • [New – 7/23/15] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Chilling and compelling, ripped from today’s headlines…
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Jordan M. Smith @ IONCINEMA.com
    • Excerpt: Looking like the lost and lamenting Édgar Ramírez as the self styled revolutionary and terrorist at the end of Olivier Assayas’ Carlos, Mireles realizes he’s become just another casualty of Mexico’s deep seated corruption at the hands of a never ending cycle of cartel. As guards are let down and professional clumsiness sets in, Heineman’s characters are revealed to be as complex as the alarmingly multifarious situations unfolding on both sides of the border.
  • [New – 7/16/15] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Vigilantism on both sides of the Mexican-U.S. line is the subject of Mathhew Heineman’s powerful but curiously diffuse documentary.

Reviews: Irrational Man (2015)

irrational_manHere are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • [New – 6/5/15] | Marco Albanese @ Stanze di Cinema [Italian]
    • Excerpt: Woody Allen non ce ne voglia, questo Irrational Man e’ film minore. Lo dimenticheremo presto.
  • [New – 7/31/15] | Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: For whatever reason — increasing age, declining interest, a fuller plate — ‘Magic in the Moonlight’ and now ‘Irrational Man’ play like first cuts of films that were shot from their first drafts. Mixed reactions to earlier pictures were often a result of personal preference or affection for Allen’s style, but these recent efforts aren’t even getting basic screenwriting and filmmaking right.
  • [New – 7/24/15] | Robert Cashill @ Popdose
  • [New – 7/17/15] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: [Allen’s] latest, repetitive in and of itself, finds the director spinning his wheels, rehashing themes in a stilted screenplay which the director fails to enliven via his actors.
  • [New – 7/23/15] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: It’s an experiment in contradictory tones, but it’s not a convincing one.
  • [New – 7/24/15] | James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
  • [New – 6/19/15] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: An intriguing, mischievous morality tale that’s infused with dark humor.
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Brent McKnight @ Cinema Blend
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: After the entirely underwhelming Magic in the Moonlight, Woody Allen has returned with an equally underwhelming effort in Irrational Man.
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Breezy though inconsequential, and…intellectually shallow despite rather show-offish attempts to appearphilosophically sophisticated in dealing with ethical issues.

Reviews: Phoenix (2015)

phoenixHere are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • [New – 6/5/15] | Marco Albanese @ Stanze di Cinema [Italian]
    • Excerpt: Anche qui, come ne La scelta di Barbara, il finale toglie letteralmente il fiato.
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: …not only a cinephile’s treasure trove, a throwback to the film’s of the forties touched with a modern sensibility, but a canny psychological portrait of a defeated country.
  • [New – 5/21/15] | Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: ‘Phoenix’ takes a dual meaning when a woman is reincarnated after a disfiguring incident and finds her estranged husband employed at a nightclub of the same name.
  • [New – 7/30/15] | Carson Lund @ Are The Hills Going to March Off?
    • Excerpt: To watch Phoenix is to be put in the position of an investigator analyzing the psychological import of the most microscopic of gestures. Historical insight and cinematic sophistication, coexisting in a tight bind that puts neither on a platform, rarely synchronize with such tremendous grace.
  • [New – 6/18/15] | Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: Nina Hoss is the bauss. The ever-enigmatic German actress gives a powerhouse performance as Nelly, the fiercely seductive survivor of Christian Petzold’s post-war drama Phoenix.
  • [New – 6/4/15] | Diego Salgado @ Guía del Ocio [Spanish]

From Our Members’ Desks (Jul. 28, 2015)

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

Best of Lists

10 Worst Casting Choices in Film History

Kimberly Gadette @ Doddle

  • Excerpt: Horrors! Clint Eastwood in Paint Your Wagon, warbling “I Talk to the Trees.” Do you feel lucky, Trunk?

Interviews

Kevin Durand

Marina Antunes @ Quiet Earth

Festivals: General Coverage

TIFF 2015 Canadian Film Wish List

Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer

  • Excerpt: The list of anticipated Canadian titles for TIFF include ‘The Girl King’, ‘He Hated Pigeons’, ‘Closet Monster’ and more!

Tributes

There is still more to read. Click HERE!

Happy Birthday: Josh Hurtado

OFCS member Josh Hurtado celebrates his birthday today, July 28. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: TwitchFilm.

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