Online Film Critics Society

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Classics and Other Reviews

OFCS Reviews, Interviews, and More (April 10)

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Films Reviews
Miracles from Heaven – Susan Granger
Bellissima — Paul Peralta
Batman v Superman —  João Pinto (Portugese)
Jodorowsky’s Dune — Dennis Schwartz
Eye in the Sky — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
I Saw the Light — Susan Granger
The Divergent Series: Allegiant — Frank Ochieng
God’s Not Dead 2 — Frank Ochieng
Suburra —  Hugo Gomes
SXSW Review: Jake Gyllenhaal Channels Palahniuk In Dark ‘Demolition’ – Kristy Puchko
Movie Review: ‘THE JUNGLE BOOK’ – Courtney Howard
REVIEW: THE BOSS Isn’t Very Boss – Courtney Howard
Everybody Wants Some!! — Frank Swietek
Hardcore Henry – Frank Swietek
The Invitation — Andry Crump
Demolition – Laura and Robin Clifford
The Boss — Frank Swietek
Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt – Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Everybody Wants Some!! — Brent McKnight
Everybody Wants Some!!: Still Dazed and Confused, Plus Hot and Bothered — Andrew Wyatt
Love & Mercy movie review: strange vibrations — MaryAnn Johanson
Tsai Time: AFTERNOON — Kenji Fujishima
Demolition — Kenji Fujishima
Look at Us Now, Mother! — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Misconduct — Susan Granger
Born to be Blue — Susan Granger
I Saw the Light — Susan Granger

Interviews:
Spotlight Shines on Debbie Reynolds — Betty Jo Tucker

Editorials
A Study in Spielberg: Jaws (1975) – Jerry Roberts
A Study in Spielberg: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) — Jerry Roberts
The Maltese Falcon — Mark Hobin
The Road Trip Within: Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild —  Kenji Fujishima

Festival Reviews:
Indian Film Fest LA 2016 Review: ALIGARH, A Human Tragedy — Josh Hurtado

Lists:
FEATURE: TOP 10 MOVIE JUDGES — Frank Ochieng

Classics & More on DVD (Feb. 29, 2016)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Andrei Rublev

Hugo Gomes @ Cinematograficamente Falando … [Portuguese]

Annie Hall (1977)

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Annie Hall is a good film, a bit dated now perhaps, a trifle too intellectual for some I imagine, but on the whole, not a bad time. Maybe it even Seems Like Old Times…

The Bed Sitting Room

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: This absurd anxiety nightmare about the Bomb could only have come out of the Swinging Sixties; it’s one of the weirder relics of an era when filmmakers felt it was their patriotic duty to laugh in the face of the imminent apocalypse.

Braveheart

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Braveheart is one of these historic films that doesn’t bother itself with historical accuracy if it gets in the way of a good dramatic moment. If however, we focus on Braveheart’s message, then it becomes a rousing spectacle.

Criss Cross

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Dragon Inn

James Marsh @ Twitchfilm.com

  • Excerpt: Considered by many to be the architect of wuxia cinema, King Hu was to martial arts was John Ford was to the western. Beginning with his 1966 Shaw Brothers adventure Come Drink With Me, Hu took a pulp genre associated with little more than cheap entertainment and period adventures, and fashioned from it some of the industry’s most revered and enduring cinematic offerings. Read more: http://twitchfilm.com/2015/12/learning-from-the-masters-of-cinema-king-hus-dragon-inn.html#ixzz41AHib8vu

Farewell, My Lovely

Henry Stewart @ Brooklyn Magazine

Julius Caesar (1970)

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Julius Caesar has some impressive cinematic decisions, and one very bizarre performance. I think time has been kinder to this Julius Caesar and that a major reevaluation should be taken.

Ordinary People

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: After seeing Ordinary People, the story itself is I think (is) predictable and something a bit melodramatic, something you’d find in a Lifetime Movie (at least not one involving a ‘woman in peril’).

The Palm Beach Story

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

  • Excerpt: There is nothing sillier in love than trying to treat romance as a practical thing, yet that is exactly what the young married couple at the center of Preston Sturges’ 1942 screwball rom-com The Palm Beach Story attempt to do.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Emanuel Levy @ www.EmanuelLevy.com

  • Excerpt: Tribute to Harper Lee, author of classic novel made into a classic movie starring Gregory Peck in his Oscar role.

A Touch of Zen

James Marsh @ Twitchfilm.com

  • Excerpt: Heralded as possibly the greatest martial arts film ever made, King Hu’s A Touch Of Zen stands apart from most other films in the wuxia genre. For one thing it runs over three hours long, a rarity among its peers and unheard of at the time of its release. Read more: http://twitchfilm.com/2016/02/learning-from-the-masters-of-cinema-king-hus-a-touch-of-zen-1.html#ixzz41AHrYreX

Unforgiven (1992)

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Unforgiven is a dark, somber film, but one that is brilliant in the exploration of redemption (and lack thereof), of the struggle between justice and revenge, and how what we know of The West is built on myth, a myth perpetuated by those who themselves knew better.

Recent Home Video Releases

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Classics & More on DVD (Feb. 22, 2016)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

About Elly

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: The set-up recalls Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’avventura but this mystery becomes a vehicle for social drama and sharp observations of friendships and marriages under pressure.

Adventureland

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: Adventureland is less outrageously funny than Superbad but more savvy. They may be technically adults, but their social behavior hasn’t matured much beyond high school …

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: … the cinematic answer to an outlaw folk song.

The Babadook

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: The Babadook, one of the best and most original horror films in years, raises goosebumps with old-fashioned scares, relatable characters, and a provocative psychological foundation.

Barbara (2012)

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: …where there’s a rough, stormy beauty to this seaside village, it’s also something of a prison without walls, which is not lost on this inmate.

Batman Begins

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: Nolan gets the character right: Bruce Wayne is the secret identity and Batman is the real persona.

The Big Trail

Roderick Heath @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: As a film, The Big Trail shows its age in places, but its general vigour and expanse is still breathtaking. As a depiction of the travails of early pioneers, it still dwarfs many amongst generations of imitations.

Bird of Paradise

Roderick Heath @ This Island Rod

  • Excerpt: The rhapsody of desire and the illusory promise of complete freedom, the eyes shining in the dark and squirming skin in moonlit water and the glow of the volcano god’s promised wrath burning against the stars – King Vidor’s Bird of Paradise paints in vivid monochrome but evokes fervent colour.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: … the film, shot in high-contrast black-and-white widescreen almost entirely at night, is like an Iranian film noir by way of a crime drama with supernatural edges.

The Good Thief

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: A faithful remake, a spirited updating, and a deft, colorful, thoroughly entertaining heist film swimming in character and atmosphere, Neil Jordan’s The Good Thief (2002), his reworking of Jean-Pierre Melville’s Bob Le Flambeur, may not be his best film, but it is one of his most purely enjoyable.

Gosford Park

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: … Robert Altman brings his gift for big, sprawling dramas knit with a fine weave of characters and a massive cast up to the task of filling them up with lives to the Merchant Ivory idiom of the manners and manors of Britain’s upper crust of yesteryear, 1932 to be specific.

Inside Man

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: It doesn’t seem to play to his strengths yet it’s a perfect crucible for Spike to explore his pet themes of race and class in the lumpy melting pot of New York City and a great set-up for what he does best, tossing characters together and letting cultural opposites clash, argue and vent, not to solve issues but to air them.

Laura

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: Laura (1944) is elegance incarnate in a genre known for its hard edge, the sleekest, silkiest noir of all.

Lost in Translation

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: Sofia Coppola’s sophomore film (following the gently assured The Virgin Suicides) is another exploration of delicate relationships and uncommunicated frustrations, this one in a beautifully composed atmosphere of isolation.

The Mission

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: Johnnie To took over the crown of Hong Kong’s king of crime thrillers after John Woo left for Hollywood and The Mission (1999) is the film that put him on the throne.

Moonrise Kingdom

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: It’s funny, it’s playful, it’s full of nostalgic blasts and period trappings, but most of all it is loving: accepting of the headstrong kids determined to find their place in the world, forgiving of the oblivious adults around them, affectionate in its storybook imagery and narrative playfulness.

Short Term 12

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: hat could be a portrait of instability and institutional failings, however, becomes quite a moving story of the commitment of two counselors (Larson and John Gallagher Jr.) who came through the foster system themselves and take their jobs very seriously.

The Silence of Lambs

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: Silence’ was one of the most influential films in recent memory – you can see its bloody fingerprints on pretty much every serial killer thriller that followed, on film and television. Yet the film’s most interesting innovation was director Jonathon Demme’s groundbreaking use of the subjective camera – in a way that has, oddly, seldom been replicated or even attempted since.

Troubled Water

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: There’s a lot of talk of God (Jan plays the organ with a passion but can’t reconcile a benevolent God with his world) and forgiveness and confession but the film is ultimately about responsibility and accountability, and not just for Jan.

Recent Home Video Releases

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Classics & More on DVD (Feb. 15, 2016)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Black God, White Devil

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: [VIDEO ESSAY] “Black God, White Devil” is a cinematic call for the audience to reject all political and religious doctrine in favor of an individual liberty at one with nature, something you could call sustainable.

Bringing Up Baby

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: Howard Hawks’s “Bringing Up Baby” is the go-to example of screwball comedy that critics and film-lovers reference most as the definitive model of the genre.

Gilda

Donald Jay Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Lemonade Joe

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: Communist propaganda, surreal Czech sensibilities, and an honest appreciation for the entertainment value of early Hollywood films collide to create a homegrown retro-Western musical spoof that could almost have come from the mind of Guy Maddin.

Libeled Lady

Jennie Kermode @ Eye For Film

The Lovers on the Bridge

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: The bravura sequence that everyone remembers shows the lovers drunkenly dancing across the bridge as fireworks burst behind them, with the music changing from a polka to a waltz to a rocker every couple of seconds. It’s the kind of scene a movie can hang its hat on, and a director can make a reputation with.

Man Bites Dog

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: [VIDEO ESSAY] Self-reflexive social satire rarely comes with such a hilarious fury of black humor as it does in this ingenious mockumentary about filming a serial killer’s pursuits.

Panique

Jennie Kermode @ Eye For Film

Reform School Girls

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: [VIDEO ESSAY] Although critically scorned and criminally overlooked, co-writer/director Tom Desimone’s punk rock-inspired indie sexploitation flick has it all.

Spirited Away

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: [VIDEO ESSAY] Animation legend Hayao Miyazaki’s divinely imaginative display of madcap surrealism is virtuosic in this episodic coming of age classic.

The Sword of Doom

Donald Jay Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Jennie Kermode @ Eye For Film

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

Jennie Kermode @ Eye For Film

Recent Home Video Releases

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Classics & More on DVD (Feb. 8, 2016)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Blowup

Roderick Heath @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: Some complained at the time that Antonioni’s tendency to find the same qualities in the countercultural youth and bohemians he studied in Blowup and Zabriskie Point as he did in the tepid bourgeoisie of Rome was wrongheaded and phony. But time eventually proved him right in many ways.

Faust (1926)

Jared Mobarak @ Jared Mobarak Reviews

  • Excerpt: Murnau’s mastery of mood and character shines through each frame and his meticulous style begs us to freeze each composition to discover every last detail. It’s amazing to think it’s ninety years old.

Top Gun

Jennie Kermode @ Eye For Film

Why Worry?

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Recent Home Video Releases

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Classics & More on DVD (Feb. 1, 2016)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

The Adventures of Robin Hood

Jennie Kermode @ Eye For Film

Carnal Knowledge

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Gilda

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

  • Excerpt: Gilda is a bundle of conflicted emotions. It’s a film where the characters all insist that they make their own luck, but then proceed to consistently act against their best interests.

Labyrinth

Hugo Gomes @ Cinematograficamente Falando …

The Last Detail

Clark Provence @ 365 Movie Guy

  • Excerpt: The Last Detail is technically a comedy (and a consistently funny one, at that), but it starts on an angry note and just grows more bitter as it proceeds.

A Man For All Seasons (1966)

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: There have been many films made about noblemen. A Man For All Seasons is, however, a film about a noble man, one who stood by his principles and convictions at the cost of his life.

The Man Who Fell to Earth

Daniel Lackey @ The Nightmare Gallery

  • Excerpt: An important document of what David Bowie represented (and–perhaps inadvertently–who he actually was) during this stage of his career.

Marty (1955)

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Honestly, if by the end of Marty you don’t fall in love with Marty and Clara, there’s flat-out something wrong with you.

Recent Home Video Releases

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Classics & More on DVD (Jan. 25, 2016)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Blu-ray Review: Hiroshima Mon Amour

Ben Nicholson @ CineVue

  • Excerpt: Resnais had a preoccupation with time throughout his career – his next feature Last Year at Marienbad would step outside of it almost almost entirely – and Hiroshima Mon Amour drifts backwards and forwards through it to groundbreaking expressive effect.

Buraikan

Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee, Coffee and more Coffee

Conspirators of Pleasure

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: Svankmajer’s essay on the erotic and ridiculous nature of creativity is funny, fascinating and, at the end, quite disturbing.

Escape from the ‘Liberty’ Cinema

Ben Nicholson @ CineVue

  • Excerpt: Polish director Wojciech Marczewski was no stranger to his country’s censors – giving up film direction altogether after 1981’s Shivers due to the return of martial law and film censorship. He exploited his experiences to the full in his fabulous absurdist comedy, Escape from the ‘Liberty’ Cinema.

Fando y Lis

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: Here, Jodorowsky has found, but not perfected, his unique voice: it’s as if he’s working with individual sentences, rather than complete paragraphs.

Safety Last!

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Speedy

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Titanic

Roderick Heath @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: Titanic hasn’t aged so well, it’s true. Yet it still leaves you with the sense that, for better and worse, you’ve just had the kind of experience for which the movies were invented.

Recent Home Video Releases

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Classics & More on DVD (Jan. 18, 2016)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

All That Heaven Allows

Jared Mobarak @ Jared Mobarak Reviews

  • Excerpt: You laugh that someone could ignore pure love to retain status, but what’s shown onscreen is as serious as can be underneath the soap opera theatrics. There’s no better transition than watching the joyous grins disappear from Kay and Ned’s faces after their mother announces that her fiancé is not the man they think.

Confession (1937)

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

The Freshman

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Jaws

Sarah D Bunting @ Tomato Nation

The Public Enemy

Donald Jay Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Steamboat Bill, Jr.

Jared Mobarak @ Jared Mobarak Reviews

  • Excerpt: This lack of mugging for the camera elevates Keaton’s work for me and makes these movies extremely watchable. Steamboat Bill, Jr. isn’t winning any screenplay awards, but it’s a priceless cinematic gem nonetheless.

Recent Home Video Releases

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Classics & More on DVD (Jan. 11, 2016)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Blind Woman’s Curse

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: …an odd stir-fry of yakuza, samurai and ghost story genres with psychedelic seasoning.

The Complete Lady Snowblood

Thomas Spurlin @ DVDTalk.com

The Graduate

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

Japanese Summer: Double Suicide

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: Ôshima’s surrealistic Sixties satire carves out a unique space somewhere between a Buñuelian joke and an extended zen koan.

The Jazz Singer

Donald Jay Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Recent Home Video Releases

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Classics & More on DVD (Jan. 4, 2016)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

42nd Street: Iconic Musical of Depression Era

Emanuel Levy @ www.EmanuelLevy.com

  • Excerpt: 42nd Street, the 1933 Oscar nominee, may not be the best backstage musical but sure is the most iconic and best known of the early Depression era

Chimes at Midnight

Donald Jay Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Recent Home Video Releases

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