Reviews: Love Is Strange (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 21, 2014

love_is_strangeReviews for this film from our members:

  • Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com
    • Excerpt: director Ira Sachs delivers what is perhaps his most heartfelt and warmly observed film thus far.
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: Moving drama about an aging gay couple forced to improvise when their life together in love is put in jeopardy.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Lithgow and especially Molina create a lived-in relationship shared by two very different people, both actors very moving in their separate journeys back into one another’s arms.
  • [New - 9/12/14] | Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: The situations in the movie could only happen to these specific men, but the feelings that arise as a result are ones we can all identify with. It’s this seeming contradiction that makes LOVE IS STRANGE such an ironic title.
  • James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
    • Excerpt: ‘Love is Strange’ Explores The Trials And Tribulations Of Marriage In The 21st Century
  • Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk
  • Kenji Fujishima @ In Review Online
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Review
    • Excerpt: Love is Strange is a well written drama that beautifully handles the observational insights of a family tree and the way a simple crisis affects its many branches.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Sidesteps the politics bubbling just beneath the surface to focus on a couple and their relationship. Lithgow and Molina each deliver memorable and applause-worthy performances.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix
  • Kristy Puchko @ CinemaBlend.com
    • Excerpt: Love Is Strange is kept humming by the fantastic performances of its cast, each imbruing their character with a rich emotional life.
  • Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk
    • Excerpt: Sachs, who co-wrote Love is Strange with Mauricio Zacharias, has crafted an erudite portrait of later life. Older couples, gay or straight, aren’t exactly common in Hollywood movies, but here the filmmaker eschews the usual “old people are funny” routine for an emotional, insightful look at what it means for two aging men to have endured together so long only to be separated by happenstance and bad luck.

Reviews: The One I Love (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 21, 2014

one_i_loveReviews for this film from our members:

  • Chris Barsanti @ Film Racket
    • Excerpt: … [a] willowy and romantic science-fiction two-hander with a Twilight Zone twist about a couple with marriage problems whose sojourn at a therapeutic retreat takes a quirky turn.
  • Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com
    • Excerpt: both exceptional writing and superb performances elevate this film into an irregular realm of its own.
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: A remarkable, creative, and thought-provoking drama about treasuring love and sustaining marriage.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: One stunning location, two main stars, family ties and a script that is a narcissistic science fiction twist on 1945’s Dorothy McGuire and Robert Younger starrer “The Enchanted Cottage” is the means to a clever directorial debut by Charlie McDowell…
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: This is smart filmmaking, not only for the inventiveness of Lader’s central conceit but also for the dexterity from all involved to keep it grounded in reality.
  • Dustin Jansick @ Way Too Indie
    • Excerpt: An innovative way to demonstrate how relationships tend to lose their spark over time.
  • [New - 9/5/14] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: I guarantee you the conversation in the car on the way home will be far more profound than the one you had on the way there.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: The One I Love has an inspired conceit that depends all on the element of surprise and its insight into interpersonal relationships. 
  • Kristy Puchko @ CinemaBlend.com
    • Excerpt: It’s happened to all of us. Everyone is raving about a movie with a “big twist.” You totally mean to see it. And right before you do, some jackass accidentally drops the bomb.
  • Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk
    • Excerpt: An indie with an intriguing premise, The One I Love is a smart and surprising take on the romantic comedy. The script by Joe Lader adds an interesting dimension to the set-up of a troubled couple on a weekend retreat, one that the trailer only hints at and that I’ve seen other venues treat as a spoiler.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Uses what initially seems a slight, even ludicrous conceit to treat of deeper relationship issues in an intelligent, sophisticated way.

Reviews: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
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Published on: August 21, 2014

sin_city_a_dame_to_kill_forReviews for this film from our members:

  • Beth Accomando @ KPBS Cinema Junkie
    • Excerpt: In a sense, the film is much like Ava. I know it’s bad (or at least flawed) and yet I can’t help being seduced by it. The black and white with flashes of color is intoxicating, and now and then the clipped hardboiled dialogue sounds like poetry, but the parts are better than the whole.
  • Mario Alegre @ Primera Hora [Spanish]
  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ is, side by side, pretty much as good and as bad as the original, and it has most of the same problems. It’s all style and no substance, and said style springs from mere quotation of half-heard noir tropes — trafficking in clichés, rather than putting a spin on them.
  • Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com
    • Excerpt: there’s one camp performance in particular that’s powerful enough to warrant the entire tent.
  • William Bibbiani @ CraveOnline
    • Excerpt: The stories are obviously sad but the storytelling is obviously fun, and yet they work at odds with each other instead of striking a meaningful contrast to present a valid point. Unless the point is to say that the audience is just as vile Sin City’s villains and victims for taking pleasure in of all this mayhem, but even then, whose fault is that?
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: more of a pictorial companion piece to a graphic novel than a movie, leading one to wonder why Miller doesn’t just employ Rodriguez as a photographic panel artist – all we’d be missing is Green’s gravelly purr.
  • Andy Crump @ Paste Magazine
  • Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: …a very expertly realized paean to a gritty kind of bygone glamour film blessed with a watershed performance by the talented Eva Green.
  • Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: There is nothing wholesome about “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” but this is a triumph of style over substance that gloriously captures the sick, seductive beauty of the gutter, blood and a whore’s lipstick reflected the same color on rain-slick streets.
  • Billy Donnelly @ This Is Infamous
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: [E]ven though Sin City: A Dame to Kill For isn’t as effective as its predecessor, it is still a worthy trip to a brutal and exciting world.
  • James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Visually stunning but emotionally lifeless…
  • [New - 9/4/14] | Vadym Grygoriev @ kinoblog.com [Ukrainian]
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: So utterly bereft of substance, as to offend the basic requirements of storytelling. It perverts the very idea of entertainment.
  • Travis Hopson @ Examiner
    • Excerpt: Sin City was such a game-changer that it’s disappointing Rodriguez doesn’t try to break new ground with Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: An unnecessary sequel that’s empty and arduous, little more than vignettes on vengeance and cruel parades of sociopathic power performed as gleefully ultraviolent shadowplays.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: The story lines are a notch below the original, but the dialogue is just as ripe.
  • Ben Kendrick @ Screen Rant
    • Excerpt: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is a jumbled but still enjoyable followup that, for most moviegoers, arrives on the scene too late.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Take away the style and what do we really have? Gratuitous female nudity, leaden blows to the head, and so many decapitations that you will lose track, yes, but that’s why the first “Sin City” exists.
  • Piers Marchant @ sweet smell of success
  • Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog
    • Excerpt: It’s a sin…
  • Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
    • Excerpt: Sin City is by no means a place you’d wish to book a family holiday, but 102 minutes immersed in this melancholic world does just the trick.
  • [New - 9/4/14] | Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: Miler and co-director Robert Rodriguez have perfectly captured the style of the comics, but they’ve done so at the cost of the tone: these look exactly like the comics, but they just don’t feel like them.
  • Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema
    • Excerpt: The problem with the sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is that it offers almost nothing new. It repeats the tone and broken narrative of the original without that film’s energy. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the visual trickery but when you try to give a rip about anything else, the movie – at about 2 hours – wears out its welcome around the 45 minute mark. Like the original, this film is a series of stories both in short and long form, but this time they’re hard to care about.
  • Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies
    • Excerpt: …this 2014 followup does such a good job recreating the look and feel of the surprise 2005 hit, right down to renovating the rapidly aging faces of Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis to the point where they’re indistinguishable from their decade-younger selves, that you could edit the stories from ‘A Dame to Kill For’ into the original ‘Sin City’ and never notice the difference.
  • [New - 9/4/14] | Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com
    • Excerpt: Oozing with more hard-boiled wit than a dozen Dashiell Hammett novels and more visually compelling than every comic book movie Hollywood has put out in the past three years combined, “Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is an action-packed feast.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: For this viewer, once around the block was more than enough for Rodriguez’s vacuous explosion of comic-book flamboyance, extremely scantily-dressed females, ludicrously hardboiled dialogue and ultra-pulpish mayhem
  • Andrew Wyatt @ St. Louis Magazine
    • Excerpt: The film cribs slavishly from the aesthetic and compositions of Miller’s comics, but it nonetheless feels gleefully cinematic.

Reviews: The Trip to Italy (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 21, 2014

trip_to_italyReviews for this film from our members:

  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: More very funny impersonations from Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan.
  • Daniel Carlson @ Movie Mezzanine
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: We get more Michael Caine impersonations with garbled “Dark Knight” Christian Bale and Tom Hardy takes…While this sounds like recycling, some of it is side splitting, as is quick-witted punning on such things as a woman’s gait and kumquats(!).
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: In The Trip to Italy, it feels as if they’re simply doing a routine, and it’s the same shtick we’ve already seen.
  • [New - 9/4/14] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Leisurely and sublimely sybaritic, it;s filled with irrepressibly clever repartee.
  • Blake Howard @ Graffiti With Punctuation
    • Excerpt: The Trip to Italy is just an assault of laughs, whether it’s duelling impressions, sketches or bickering. However, it’s in that vulnerable state, when your face is sore from laughter and your ears are reverberating with Michael Caine’s voice that Winterbottom torpedos you with emotional truths. The people you love should keep you grounded, tease you incessantly and dwarf your accomplishments; because they know it makes you better.
  • Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk
    • Excerpt: The transplant to Italy has not made this Trip any less amusing, but Witerbottom takes full advantage of the country’s cinematic history. There are references to several famous films set in Italy, with an emphasis on those with bittersweet and unhappy endings.
  • Andrew Wyatt @ St. Louis Magazine
    • Excerpt: If the prospect of dueling Michael Caine imitations amid picture postcard scenery sounds charming, the film will likely prove to be an unassuming summer diversion.

Reviews: We Are the Best! (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 21, 2014

we_are_the_bestReviews for this film from our members:

The Grab Bag (Aug. 19, 2014)

Categories: The Grab Bag
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 19, 2014

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

Best of Lists

Beast of Burden: Top 10 Human-Animal Combinations in the Movies

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

The Best (and worst) Films of 2014 . . . so far!

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: The trend thus far in the year is that indie films seem to be flourishing while Hollywood continues to tread safe waters of brand names and reliable genres. With four-and-a-half months to go, this list will inevitably change.

Getting on Track: Top 10 Films About Trains

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

Holy Criminal Reincarnation! : Top 10 Underused TV Batman Villains Repackaged in the Movies

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

The Top 10 Trivial Tidbits About Robin Williams (1951-2014)

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

Tributes

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Happy Birthday: MaryAnn Johanson

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 19, 2014

OFCS member MaryAnn Johanson celebrates her birthday today, August 19. Please help us congratulate her and wish her well.

You can visit her website: Flick Filosopher.

Welcome Class of 2014

Categories: Member News
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 18, 2014

The Online Film Critics Society would like to welcome our newest members.

The members of the OFCS Class of 2014 are listed after the break. Included are links to the profile pages here on the site.

Please help us welcome them!

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Classics and Other Films on DVD (Aug. 18, 2014)

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Published on: August 18, 2014

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Recent Home Video Releases

The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad/Fun and Fancy Free

Josh Spiegel @ Movie Mezzanine

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Josh Spiegel @ Movie Mezzanine

Brannigan

Kristen Lopez @ Awards Circuit

Divergent

M. Enois Duarte @ High-Def Digest.com

A Haunted House 2

M. Enois Duarte @ High-Def Digest.com

Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers

Josh Spiegel @ Movie Mezzanine

Mr. Majestyk

Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee Coffee and more Coffee

Need for Speed

Josh Spiegel @ Movie Mezzanine

The Other Woman

M. Enois Duarte @ High-Def Digest.com

We Won’t Grow Old Together

Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee Coffee and more Coffee

Other Reviews from 2012 and earlier

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This Week at the Movies, Part 2 (Aug. 15-17, 2014)

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Published on: August 16, 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: Aug. 15-17, 2014

Wide (United States)

The Expendables 3

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

The Giver

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

Let’s Be Cops

[New Today] Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic

  • Excerpt: Enthusiastically performed at best and exasperatingly unfunny at worst. Watching it in a theater of smart, discerning moviegoers will be like witnessing the sound of a pin drop or crickets chirping.

Expanding (United States)

Boyhood

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Magic in the Moonlight

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

What If

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

Frank

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: a funny, goofy movie with some serious things to say about art and madness, band dynamics, broken dreams and selling out.

Jealousy

[New Today] Kenji Fujishima @ In Review Online

Ragnarok

[New Today] Josh Spiegel @ Movie Mezzanine

The Trip to Italy

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: More very funny impersonations from Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan.

Daniel Carlson @ Movie Mezzanine

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

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Happy Birthday: Matthew Blevins

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

OFCS member Matthew Blevins celebrates his birthday today, August 16. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Next Projection.

Happy Birthday: Jeremy Kibler

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

OFCS member Jeremy Kibler celebrates his birthday today, August 16. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Kibs Reviews, Festival of Films and Diabolique Magazine.

This Week at the Movies, Part 1 (Aug. 15-17, 2014)

Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 15, 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: Aug. 15-17, 2014

Wide (United States)

The Expendables 3

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Giver

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Expanding (United States)

Boyhood

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Magic in the Moonlight

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

What If

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

Frank

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: a funny, goofy movie with some serious things to say about art and madness, band dynamics, broken dreams and selling out.

The Trip to Italy

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: More very funny impersonations from Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan.

Daniel Carlson @ Movie Mezzanine

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

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Happy Birthday: Tom Clift

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

OFCS member Tom Clift celebrates his birthday today, August 15. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Movie Dex.

Reviews: The Expendables 3 (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 14, 2014

expendables_3Reviews for this film from our members:

  • José Arce @ LaButaca.net [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Sylvester y sus carnales siguen a tortas con los enemigos de la libertad en una nueva entrega que sigue entreteniendo como sus predecesoras. Más glorias fílmicas y más autoparodia para una aventura post-añeja.
  • Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
  • Bill Clark @ From The Balcony
  • Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: Where the first EXPENDABLES played like a shaggy, small-scale reprieve from career oblivion for former action stars Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, and Jet Li, this one feels like it’s lining up the burial plots. Where the second and best film in the series raised the stakes by bringing in Jean-Claude Van Damme as its villain and Chuck Norris as comic relief, THE EXPENDABLES 3 overplays its hand amassing a cast of has-beens and future never-will-bes of such an unwieldy size that few get a chance at making any kind of impression.
  • Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: You know they’re going to make “The Expendables 4.” Call, text, write or email Millennium Films and Nu Image, and insist they make it as a silent movie.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: The third movie is more of the same, although it makes some wrongheaded alterations.
  • João Marcos Flores @ Cineviews [Portuguese]
  • Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: For viewers who enjoyed the first two films, the second sequel, ‘The Expendables 3,’ offers much of the same with a fledgling twist.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Tired franchise – filled with punishing chase scenes and repetitive gunfire.
  • Vadym Grygoriev @ kinoblog.com [Ukrainian]
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: There’s just no point in even bothering. In the vast conspiracy of stupidity that has overtaken pop culture, the disparagement of this movie by a film critic becomes an endorsement of a sad, twisted sort.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Reading the cast list should be the sole arbiter on whether or not you will spend money to see the latest iteration of masculine menopause, of former A-list stars reciting B-movie lines and hamming it up for over the top self-parody.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Delivering on the bread and butter of the action genre, “The Expendables 3″ entertains once in a while on a junky, brain-dead level, but the rest of the time, it’s wearisome and you’ll be checking your watch.
  • Oktay Ege Kozak @ Oregon Herald
    • Excerpt: There’s not much here to complain about or praise. If you enjoyed the first two movies, all you’ll be looking forward to is the same product with around 20% more action and a Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson boost.
  • Glenn Lovell @ CinemaDope.com
    • Excerpt: … bigger, slicker, better directed that the other installments … In spots it resembles a ‘Fast & Furious’ adventure.
  • [New - 9/11/14] | James Marsh @ The Society For Film
    • Excerpt: The Expendables 3 accomplishes an almost impossible task, managing to be the most enjoyable entry in the franchise so far, while simultaneously breaking almost every rule of Stallone’s original mission statement in the process. As a result the film is light and breezy viewing, but ultimately a frustrating experience.
  • Ross Miller @ Thoughts On Film
    • Excerpt: No less bombastic than you might expect, but something feels off this time around. It’s neither as bloody as the first one nor as tirelessly self-referential as the second, but rather feels curiously flat and lacking in verve.
  • Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog
    • Excerpt: An Expendable entry, perhaps?
  • Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: It’s slickly-made and better-produced than the first two films in the series, and that’s precisely the problem: while The Expendables 3 is a better film in most technical regards, it’s lost the goofy charm and rough edges that made the first two movies fun.

Reviews: The Giver (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 14, 2014

giverReviews for this film from our members:

  • Danny Baldwin @ Critic Speak
  • Nicholas Bell @ IONCINEMA.com
    • Excerpt: Its greatest triumph? The casting of Katie Holmes as Thwaites’ authoritarian inclined mother—every sequence featuring the actress is granted an additional layer of satirical heft .
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: A cogent morality play about love, memory, and what is needed for a full and rich life.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: feels like a retread of so many films that have come before it, “Divergent” by way of “Pleasantville” topped off with “Citizen Kane’s” talismanic Rosebud.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: The movie appears always on the verge of diving into the workings of this world, but instead, it stands cautiously on the edge.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: The screen adaptation of Lois Lowry’s beloved YA novel is platitudinous and disappointing.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: The Giver was a published novel before the recent trend of teenage-focused dystopias (The Hunger Games and Divergent), but it arrives on film after them and comes across as just another cog in the young adult book to film adaptations.
  • Ben Kendrick @ Screen Rant
    • Excerpt: The Giver movie is a surprisingly generic addition to the young adult film genre – especially for a story that champions individuality and self-expression.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: The Giver might not be as dramatically profound as it wants to be, but it certainly pulls off a tricky feat in portraying a slick, clinical world without the film itself coming off too slick or clinical.
  • Brent McKnight @ Giant Freakin’ Robot
    • Excerpt: ‘The Giver,’ like the world it creates, is bland and flavorless.
  • Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
  • [New - 9/11/14] | Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: The future is an emotionless 1950s nightmare in The Giver, a stark, often beautifully realized adaptation of Lois Lowry’s popular novel that nevertheless lacks the courage of its convictions: too often does the film gloss over the novel’s inherently strong story elements to deliver a more box office-friendly young adult action-adventure.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Far from inspired…devolves into sledgehammer sermonizing punched up with familiar action-movie cliches.
  • Kent Turner @ School Library Journal
    • Excerpt: Long in gestation, the movie version of Lois Lowry’s trendsetting 1993 novel takes a thoughtful, but not a slavishly literal, approach to the multiplex.

Reviews: What If (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 14, 2014

what_ifReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 8/21/14] | Mario Alegre @ Primera Hora [Spanish]
  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: Yes, you have seen movies like ‘What If’ before, and yes, you will see movies like it again. But when it does what it does well, what’s the harm?
  • [New - 8/22/14] | Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: Some fresh insights and new slants on the pesky question: can a man and a woman be friends and not lovers?
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Another shot fired across the bow at Hollywood’s attempt to kill the romantic comedy genre, “What If” may veer uncomfortably close into some too cutesy moments and scatological bad taste, but it always manages to right itself, buoyed by its charming star pairing of Radcliffe and Kazan.
  • [New - 8/21/14] | Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Trifling and tedious , totally predictable rom-com – not even worth placing on your Netfliix queue.
  • [New - 8/22/14] | Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: What If is pleasant enough but the slightness of the story ultimately relegates this affair to little more than passable time filler.
  • Travis Hopson @ Examiner
    • Excerpt: What If has modest ambitions and stars you will never get tired of watching, but you’ll leave thinking it could have been a more lasting relationship rather than just a fling.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Back in 1989 after When Harry Met Sally was released, a studio exec probably said, “What if we make a sequel or another rom/com similar to this one?” His partners told him that was not a good idea; too bad that advice did not filter down to 2014.
  • [New - 8/22/14] | Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: After a rather unctuous start and strained wackiness creeping in on occasion, WHAT IF hinges on the connection between Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, who’s an unfailing delight.
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • [New - 8/21/14] | Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: 5 stars… one of the best comedies Canada has ever produced.
  • [New - 8/21/14] | Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys
    • Excerpt: With little risk taken, here is a film you’ve seen a million times before, and sadly, will see a million times again.

Happy Birthday: Jason Zingale

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

OFCS member Jason Zingale celebrates his birthday today, August 14. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Bullz-Eye.

Happy Birthday: Charlie Juhl

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

OFCS member Charlie Juhl celebrates his birthday today, August 14. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Charlie Juhl and Radio St. Pete.

The Grab Bag (Aug. 12, 2014)

Categories: The Grab Bag
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 12, 2014

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

Interviews

“Sharknado’s” Thunder Levin

Nell Minow @ The Movie Mom

Filmmaker John Alan Simon

Bev Questad @ It’s Just Movies

  • Excerpt: Writer/director John Alan Simon, a Harvard-educated fan of Philip K. Dick’s work, has created the most insightful, thought-provoking, intelligent and faithful rendition of Dick’s work to date.

John Michael McDonagh and Brendan Gleeson of “Calvary”

Nell Minow @ The Movie Mom

Michel Gondry of “Mood Indigo”

Nell Minow @ The Movie Mom

Mike Cahill of “I Origins”

Nell Minow @ The Movie Mom

Festivals: General Coverage

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Classics and Other Films on DVD (Aug. 11, 2014)

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Published on: August 11, 2014

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Cleo From 5 to 7

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: Considered the “mother of the nouvelle vague,” dating back to her first film “La Pointe Courte” (1954), Agnes Varda broke new ground for the movement in 1961 with “Cleo from 5 to 7,” an unprecedented model of cinematic poetry.

A Hard Day’s Night

Beth Accomando @ KPBS Cinema Junkie

  • Excerpt: At a time when Hollywood is finding it more and more difficult to deliver anything fresh, you’re best filmgoing bet is an old classic like “A Hard Day’s Night.” It won’t disappoint you and it might even make fans out of a new generation of filmgoers.

Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews

  • Excerpt: The Beatles come across as likable and witty. It simplifies their personalities and then amplifies them in short easy to digest sound bites.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: Philip Kaufman’s venerable revamping of Don Siegel’s 1956 black-and-white sci-fi horror classic delved deeper into nitty-gritty details of a pod-induced mass transformation of humans into emotionless doppelgangers.

Play It Again – Blue Velvet

Glenn Dunks @ Quickflix

Point Blank

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: … packed with classic style and star power, and has the perfect ratio of arthouse cool to gritty action.

The Searchers

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

True Grit (1969)

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

  • Excerpt: Demy’s style is pronounced, yet never insistent, blossoming here in a kind of controlled explosion. He pulls a deep sorrow out of this fundamentally romantic tale, toying with our emotions, invigorating us with the rush of love and then letting it slowly leaking out, nearly giving in to despair.

The Young Girls of Rochefort

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

  • Excerpt: Jacques Demy’s take on the big American musical, 1967’s The Young Girls of Rochefort, is pure joy. From the first frame to the last, it’s packed with smiles and passion and a giddy sense of its own fun.

Recent Home Video Releases

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Happy Birthday: Phil Villarreal

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 11, 2014

OFCS member Phil Villarreal celebrates his birthday today, August 11. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: OK Magazine.

This Week at the Movies, Part 2 (Aug. 8-10, 2014)

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Published on: August 9, 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: Aug. 8-10, 2014

Wide (United States)

The Hundred-Foot Journey

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

Into the Storm

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

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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

Limited (United States)

About Alex

Daniel Carlson @ Movie Mezzanine

Deepsea Challenge 3D

Kenji Fujishima @ Slant Magazine

The Dog

[New Today] Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: a fascinating look at one of New York City’s most notorious and unlikely personalities.

Kristen Lopez @ Cinema Sentries

  • Excerpt: Wojtowicz’s story is fascinating, but the flaw of a documentary with one predominant voice is bias smothers the filmmakers’ intention of burrowing under the surface.

Fifi Howls from Happiness

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: A documentary about an arrogant and weird Iranian artist living in exile in Rome.

Matthew Lucas @ From the Front Row

  • Excerpt: This an extraordinarily singular work about an extraordinary man, both elegiac and rapturous.

What If

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Another shot fired across the bow at Hollywood’s attempt to kill the romantic comedy genre, “What If” may veer uncomfortably close into some too cutesy moments and scatological bad taste, but it always manages to right itself, buoyed by its charming star pairing of Radcliffe and Kazan.

[New Today] Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie

  • Excerpt: Back in 1989 after When Harry Met Sally was released, a studio exec probably said, “What if we make a sequel or another rom/com similar to this one?” His partners told him that was not a good idea; too bad that advice did not filter down to 2014.

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

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This Week at the Movies, Part 1 (Aug. 8-10, 2014)

Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 8, 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: Aug. 8-10, 2014

Wide (United States)

The Hundred-Foot Journey

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Into the Storm

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

About Alex

Daniel Carlson @ Movie Mezzanine

Deepsea Challenge 3D

Kenji Fujishima @ Slant Magazine

The Dog

Kristen Lopez @ Cinema Sentries

  • Excerpt: Wojtowicz’s story is fascinating, but the flaw of a documentary with one predominant voice is bias smothers the filmmakers’ intention of burrowing under the surface.

Fifi Howls from Happiness

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: A documentary about an arrogant and weird Iranian artist living in exile in Rome.

Matthew Lucas @ From the Front Row

  • Excerpt: This an extraordinarily singular work about an extraordinary man, both elegiac and rapturous.

What If

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Another shot fired across the bow at Hollywood’s attempt to kill the romantic comedy genre, “What If” may veer uncomfortably close into some too cutesy moments and scatological bad taste, but it always manages to right itself, buoyed by its charming star pairing of Radcliffe and Kazan.

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

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Happy Birthday: Edwin Davies

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 8, 2014

OFCS member Edwin Davies celebrates his birthday today, August 8. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: A Mighty Fine Blog, Hope Lies and Box Office Prophets.

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