The Grab Bag (Sep. 9, 2014)

Categories: The Grab Bag
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Published on: September 9, 2014

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

Best of Lists

Take 5… Movies Featuring Unexpected Guests

Ross Miller @ Scotcampus

  • Excerpt: In honour of The Guest being released in UK cinemas this week, I take a look at 5 movies featuring unexpected guests.

Interviews

Ira Sachs on “Love Is Strange”

Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion

Maika Monroe

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

  • Excerpt: Interview with Maika Monroe for The Guest

Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

  • Excerpt: Interview with Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard for The Guest

Festivals: Individual Reviews

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Happy Birthday: Sam Fragoso

Categories: Birthdays
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Published on: September 9, 2014

OFCS member Sam Fragoso celebrates his birthday today, September 9. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Movie Mezzanine.

Classics and Other Films on DVD (Sep. 8, 2014)

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Published on: September 8, 2014

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

All That Jazz

Matthew Lucas @ From the Front Row

  • Excerpt: It was, in many ways, a vibrant and visceral assertion of what it meant to be Bob Fosse. More than that, it’s a full throated exclamation of what it means to be an artist.

Armored Attack!

M. Enois Duarte @ High-Def Digest.com

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

Cotton Comes to Harlem

Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk

  • Excerpt: A highpoint of blaxploitation and of 1970s action movies in general, Cotton Comes to Harlem is smart, rollicking crime picture that never takes itself too seriously even while it has very serious things to say.

Cry-Baby

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: As a lightly magical realist comedy, ‘Cry-Baby’ is fairly successful, although of course many Waters fans will miss the nasty grit of the trashpile 1970s movies.

Gigi

Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews

  • Excerpt: The social mores and customs are amusingly dated, but that’s really the point now isn’t it? Let’s just say, they don’t make ‘em like this anymore.

The Party

Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk

  • Excerpt: Built around a short outline by director Blake Edwards, The Party sets Peter Sellers loose to do what he does best: create elaborate situational slapstick. The results are often hilarious, occasionally surprising, and even a little sweet.

Portrait of Jennie

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

  • Excerpt: The majority of the film is rather bland, mired in romantic conventions, but a sharp and death-defying third act saves it.

The Vanquished

M. Enois Duarte @ High-Def Digest.com

Vengeance is Mine

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

Recent Home Video Releases

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Happy Birthday: Christopher Null

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 7, 2014

OFCS member Christopher Null celebrates his birthday today, September 7. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Film Critic.com.

Happy Birthday: Ryan Cracknell

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 7, 2014

OFCS member Ryan Cracknell celebrates his birthday today, September 7. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Movie Reviews.ca.

This Week at the Movies, Part 2 (Sep. 5-7, 2014)

Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 6, 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: September 5-7, 2014

Wide (United States)

The Identical

[New Today] James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture

  • Excerpt: ‘The Identical’ Is A Bad Impersonation Of A Rock And Roll Movie

[New Today] Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie

  • Excerpt: At best, The Identical should be forgotten and only spoken about as a curiosity amongst bad movie aficionados.

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: A shoo-in for a spot on any worst movies of 2014 list, this poorly constructed slice of propaganda, courtesy of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA), is so unintentionally campy you can’t help but laugh.

Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion

  • Excerpt: The basic premise is actually fairly interesting. Unfortunately, it’s been poorly worked out and clumsily executed.

Limited (United States)

But Always

James Marsh @ Twitch

  • Excerpt: Nicholas Tse proves he is better-suited to tough guy roles than romantic leads, but his inert performance here opposite Gao Yuanyuan is far from the only problem with Snow Zou’s shockingly cliched and unaware tragi-romance.

Frontera

[New Today] Andy Crump @ Movie Mezzanine

  • Excerpt: …for all of its political concerns, Frontera should be seen foremost as a movie that serves its actors.

God Help the Girl

Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

  • Excerpt: dull exercise of endless emotional exposition which desperately wants to infuse the musical sensibilities of Jacques Demy into the drab kitchen sink melodrama of teen angst in Glasgow.

Innocence

Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

  • Excerpt: in a modern world where ancient covens still exist, one would wish that the supernatural world would be a bit more progressive—this virgin motif seems incredibly dated, even though Brougher is trying to make this an allegory about modern female adolescence, -

Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion

  • Excerpt: An extremely silly attempt at a young adult thriller that winds up laughable rather than scary.

Rocks in My Pockets

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: A wild and weird animated feature about a Latvian grandmother who passes on her depression to others in the family circle.

Wetlands

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: Challenging and provocative, co-writer/director David Wnendt’s nervy adaptation of Charlotte Roche’s presumably unfilmable popular novel, breaks new cinematic ground.

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

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Happy Birthday: Bill Clark

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 6, 2014

OFCS member Bill Clark celebrates his birthday today, September 6. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: From the Balcony.

This Week at the Movies, Part 1 (Sep. 5-7, 2014)

Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 5, 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: September 5-7, 2014

Wide (United States)

The Identical

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: A shoo-in for a spot on any worst movies of 2014 list, this poorly constructed slice of propaganda, courtesy of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA), is so unintentionally campy you can’t help but laugh.

Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion

  • Excerpt: The basic premise is actually fairly interesting. Unfortunately, it’s been poorly worked out and clumsily executed.

Limited (United States)

But Always

James Marsh @ Twitch

  • Excerpt: Nicholas Tse proves he is better-suited to tough guy roles than romantic leads, but his inert performance here opposite Gao Yuanyuan is far from the only problem with Snow Zou’s shockingly cliched and unaware tragi-romance.

God Help the Girl

Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

  • Excerpt: dull exercise of endless emotional exposition which desperately wants to infuse the musical sensibilities of Jacques Demy into the drab kitchen sink melodrama of teen angst in Glasgow.

Innocence

Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

  • Excerpt: in a modern world where ancient covens still exist, one would wish that the supernatural world would be a bit more progressive—this virgin motif seems incredibly dated, even though Brougher is trying to make this an allegory about modern female adolescence, -

Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion

  • Excerpt: An extremely silly attempt at a young adult thriller that winds up laughable rather than scary.

Rocks in My Pockets

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: A wild and weird animated feature about a Latvian grandmother who passes on her depression to others in the family circle.

Wetlands

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: Challenging and provocative, co-writer/director David Wnendt’s nervy adaptation of Charlotte Roche’s presumably unfilmable popular novel, breaks new cinematic ground.

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

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

Reviews: As Above / So Below (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 4, 2014

as_above_so_belowReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 9/4/14] | Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com
    • Excerpt: Once the film starts developing into an odd mixture of a lost Indiana Jones chapter and Stephen King’s abridged rendition of Satan’s operating powers, it all starts to get rather vacuous.
  • [New - 8/29/14] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: As Above So Below earns its trek into the supernatural realm by creating a sense of dread for the natural one.
  • [New - 8/29/14] | James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
    • Excerpt: ‘As Above/So Below’ Makes Up For Its Contrivances With Some Freaky Scares
  • [New - 9/4/14] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Claustrophobic and frightening, it depends too much on shaky, hand-held camerawork and jump-cut editing to sustain suspense in this all-too-familiar found-footage concept.
  • [New - 9/11/14] | Vadym Grygoriev @ kinoblog.com [Ukrainian]
  • [New - 9/4/14] | Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Will “As Above, So Below” be worshipped for pioneering unseen territory? Hell, no. A decently freaky genre effort shot in the perfect location? Heavens, yes.
  • [New - 8/29/14] | Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
    • Excerpt: As with so many horror movies, the setup is entrancing and it’s the payoff which is hugely anticlimactic.

Reviews: Code Black (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 4, 2014

code_blackReviews for this film from our members:

  • Joshua Brunsting @ The CriterionCast
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: A sobering and idealistic call for more emergency room “mercy medicine” as an alternative to treating only paying patients.
  • [New - 9/4/14] | Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: While some salient points are made that might make you empathize with these particularly gifted doctors, CODE BLACK does not sufficiently convince that the alternative of deregulation would serve patients across the rest of the country—where quality healthcare of the kind found in LA County is less assured—any better.
  • [New - 7/31] | Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk
    • Excerpt: In terms of establishing a narrative, McGarry sees his story as a two-pronged deal: personalities and procedure. One leads to the other, and the filmmaker spends a lot of time interviewing the young doctors he shadows, finding out what motivates them not just at the time of filming, but also the things that initially pushed them toward this type of medicine.
  • [New - 9/4/14] | Andrew Wyatt @ St. Louis Magazine
    • Excerpt: It’s hard to find fault with either McGarry’s earnest views or his skillful evocation of a singular place staffed by extraordinary people.

Reviews: The Grand Seduction (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 4, 2014

grand_seductionReviews for this film from our members:

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: So, why do we need a French Canadian English language remake of a 10 year old French Canadian film which itself was a cute but uninspired take on “Doc Hollywood” by way of “Local Hero?”
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Charming comedy, filled with breezy Irish blarney.
  • Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: Just as good as the original, eh?
  • Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight
    • Excerpt: Breezy, mildly confusing and charmingly off-kilter The Grand Seduction is an English-language Canadian film that tickles the funnybone in its cheeky conviction detailing the desperate economical times of a financially-strapped Newfoundland fishing village.
  • [New - 8/29/14] | Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
    • Excerpt: Has a lot of heart and a certain charm to it which makes for an easy, gratifying experience

Reviews: The Internet’s Own Boy (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 4, 2014

internets_own_boyReviews for this film from our members:

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: The documentary’s release as the net neutrality debate rages will only underscore what we have lost.
  • [New - 7/24/14] | Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: The end result is a one-sided but emotionally compelling view. It will make you angry but it will also make you profoundly sad.
  • Dustin Jansick @ Way Too Indie
    • Excerpt: Despite some shortcomings, it remains a deeply compelling documentary about some of the most important issues of the Information Age.
  • [New - 8/29/14] | MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: An essential — and enraging — documentary about the life, career, and death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz, a danger to corporate hegemony whose work could not be allowed to continue.
  • Ron Wilkinson @ ItsJustMovies.com
    • Excerpt: A cautionary tale about the power of entrenched financial interests in an era of unlimited information access.

Reviews: Life After Beth (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 4, 2014

life_after_bethReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: Starred Up (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 4, 2014

starred_upReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: They Came Together (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 4, 2014

they_came_togetherReviews for this film from our members:

  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: The spoof movie may have risen from the dead, Dracula (or, more appropriately, ‘Dracula: Dead and Loving It’) style, thanks to director David Wain and his co-writer Michael Showalter, whose rom-com send-up ‘They Came Together’ is as funny a film as I’ve seen in a good, long while.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: They Came Together is smart and incisive satire of the scorched-earth variety.
  • Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: ‘They Came Together’ is a clever parody of the romantic comedy featuring Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler as a couple who experience all the typical ups and downs generally prescribed by the genre.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Those weaned on every Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock and Katherine Heigl starrer will surely get a kick out THEY CAME TOGETHER, a spoof of romantic comedies that is just the right kind of so-stupid-it’s-funny and closer to parody than what we’ve been treated to as of late.
  • [New - 9/4/14] | Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
    • Excerpt: Inane, unavailing and ultimately, rather farcical, They Came Together defies the odds and somehow manages to maintain its hilarity, despite fearing the joke will wear thin after a mere matter of moments.
  • [New - 9/4/14] | Francis Rizzo III @ DVDTalk.com
    • Excerpt: Dream comedy cast revives broad spoofs

Happy Birthday: Nuno Reis

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 4, 2014

OFCS member Nuno Reis celebrates his birthday today, September 4. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Sci Fi World and Antestreia.

Happy Birthday: Darren Mooney

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 3, 2014

OFCS member Darren Mooney celebrates his birthday today, September 3. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: The M0vie Blog.

Happy Birthday: James O’Ehley

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 3, 2014

OFCS member James O’Ehley celebrates his birthday today, September 3. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Sci Fi Movie Page and Sci Fi Movie Hype.

The Grab Bag (Sep. 2, 2014)

Categories: The Grab Bag
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 2, 2014

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

Best of Lists

My Eight Future Legends

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: These four men and four women, I believe, have great careers ahead of them.

My Five Best Bollywood/Tollywood Dance Numbers

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

My Five Worst Bollywood/Tollywood Dance Numbers

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

My Ten Best Comic Book Movie Castings

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

Interviews

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Classics and Other Films on DVD (Sep. 1, 2014)

Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 1, 2014

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Another Life

Mathieu Li-Goyette @ Panorama-cinéma [French]

The Birdcage

Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix

Easy Rider

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: he problem with taking a purely skeptical view of Easy Rider — which is easy to do, once you start picking at the picture’s scabs — is that so much of the movie that still has a pulse, still vibrates with such manic energy that you can shut out the rest and understand why it got everyone’s hair up back in ’69.

The Exorcist (Director’s Cut)

Jennie Kermode @ Eye For Film

The Gold Diggers

Donald Levit @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Lawrence of Arabia

Jonathan Richards @ www.jonrichardsplace.com

  • Excerpt: It is safe to say that there has never been a more electrifying career launch in movie history than Peter O’Toole’s in Lawrence of Arabia.

Murder, My Sweet

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

  • Excerpt: It doesn’t boast the star power of The Big Sleep, but it doesn’t need that with a story and acting as good as it gives.

Oldboy (2003)

Daniel Lackey @ The Nightmare Gallery

Somebody Up There Likes Me

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

  • Excerpt: http://journeysinclassicfilm.com/2014/08/19/somebody-up-there-likes-me-1956/

Y Tu Mamá También

Mario Alegre @ Primer Hora [Spanish]
Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: The further we get from ‘Y Tu Mamá,’ the more it feels like a standalone work, a nakedly personal film from a director whose films lean more toward universal experience and spectacle.

Recent Home Video Releases

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Happy Birthday: Kristen Lopez

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 1, 2014

OFCS member Kristen Lopez celebrates her birthday today, September 1. Please help us congratulate her and wish her well.

You can visit her website: Journeys in Classic Film, Enewsi, Awards Circuit, Cinema Sentries and Classic Flix.

Happy Birthday: Josh Ralske

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 1, 2014

OFCS member Josh Ralske celebrates his birthday today, September 1. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Critical Mob and RR.com.

Happy Birthday: Jonathan Richards

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 1, 2014

OFCS member Jonathan Richards celebrates his birthday today, September 1. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Jon Richards’ Place.

Happy Birthday: Frederic Brussat

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 31, 2014

OFCS member Frederic Brussat celebrates his birthday today, August 31. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Spirituality and Practice.

This Week at the Movies, Part 2 (Aug. 29-31, 2014)

Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 30, 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: August 29-31, 2014

Wide (United States)

As Above / So Below

[New Today] Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies

  • Excerpt: As Above So Below earns its trek into the supernatural realm by creating a sense of dread for the natural one.

[New Today] James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture

  • Excerpt: ‘As Above/So Below’ Makes Up For Its Contrivances With Some Freaky Scares

[New Today] Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

  • Excerpt: As with so many horror movies, the setup is entrancing and it’s the payoff which is hugely anticlimactic.

The November Man

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

Limited (United States)

Life of Crime

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

The Notebook

[New Today] Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com

  • Excerpt: A foreboding buzz promises an ever threatening violence, and danger seems to lurk in the corners of the frame at nearly every turn. -

Starred Up

[New Today] Kristy Puchko @ Cinema Blend

  • Excerpt: It’s a supreme work of suspense set alight by fearless and flawless performances.

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

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