The Grab Bag (Jul. 1, 2014)

Categories: The Grab Bag
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Published on: July 1, 2014

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

Best of Lists

The Bad Movies Volume 1: 1914-2008

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Now, we close out our Review Retrospective with the bottom of the bottom, those simply dreadful films from yesteryear that I found hideous, evil, I daresay…Satanic.

The Bad Movies Volume 2: 2008-2014

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: The listing of the Worst Movies I have seen since I began writing about films.

The Best Films of 2014 (So Far)

Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix

Get into the Habit: The Top 10 Movie Nuns on the Big Screen

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: Spirituality in cinema has been expressed in various ways where the feel-good aspect of faith-based films are put to great use for emotional manipulation.

She Works Hard for the Money: The Top 10 “Loose” Women in Film

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: One of the most explosive roles for women in motion pictures have been in the titillating realm of prostitution.

The Top 15 Hollywood Movies Shot in Prague

Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz

  • Excerpt: After the fall of communism and the formation of the Czech Republic in 1992, Hollywood studios rushed into the country to take advantage of not only low production costs, but also the high level of talent available throughout the local industry.

Interviews

Bruno Forzani and Hélène Cattet on THE STRANGE COLOUR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS

Anton Bitel @ FlmDivider

Hidden in Plain Sight: Joanna Coates on Hide and Seek

Jennie Kermode @ Eye For Film

Kat Candler on “Hellion”

Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion

Festivals: Individual Reviews

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Classics and Other Films on DVD (Jun. 30, 2014)

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Published on: June 30, 2014

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Batman

Kenji Fujishima @ The House Next Door

China Gate

Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee Coffee and more Coffee

The Last Day of Summer

Marilyn Ferdinand @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: Winner of 1958 Grand Prix at the International Festival of Documentary and Short Feature Films in Venice, The Last Day of Summer has the brevity of most experimental films, and it creates a dreamlike ambiguity that makes an almost too-subtle comment on World War II.

Vertigo

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: Did any movie produced under the Hollywood studio system ever torture its protagonist as mercilessly as ‘Vertigo’ torments Scottie Ferguson?

Recent Home Video Releases

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Happy Birthday: Rich Cline

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 30, 2014

OFCS member Rich Cline celebrates his birthday today, June 30. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Shadows on the Wall and Contact Music.

This Week at the Movies, Part 2 (Jun. 27, 2014)

Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 28, 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: Jun. 27, 2014

Wide (United States)

Transformers: Age of Extinction

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

Limited (United States)

Begin Again

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: A romantic drama that captures and conveys the healing power of music.

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: The documentary’s release as the net neutrality debate rages will only underscore what we have lost.

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.

Ron Wilkinson @ ItsJustMovies.com

  • Excerpt: A cautionary tale about the power of entrenched financial interests in an era of unlimited information access.

Jackpot

[New Today] Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies

  • Excerpt: Here is a mean-spirited movie about bad-hearted people in which the central question seems to be which of these characters is the nastiest of the lot.

Snowpiercer

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

Whitey: United States of America vs. James J. Bulger

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Berlinger’s work has revealed the warped wheels of the American justice system before, garnering a groundswell of support for the West Memphis Three. With “Whitey,” he’s casting an ever wider net.

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

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Reviews: Snowpiercer (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 27, 2014

snowpiercerReviews for this film from our members:

  • José Arce @ LaButaca.net [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Fantástico salto al panorama internacional de Joon-ho Bong, que propone una película tan divertida como demoledora en sus lecturas. El futuro distópico clásico subraya sus diferencias de clase a bordo de un tren que no puedes perder.
  • [New - 7/17/14] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: A playful-yet-serious rumination on sexual gamesmanship presented through a form of theatrical artifice that Polanski embraces while giving it cinematic polish.
  • Patrick Bromley @ F This Movie!
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: A dystopian masterwork illustrating the moral rot of dividing the population into a winning class versus everybody else as poor scum of the earth.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: a masterpiece of action adventure science fiction fueled by a terrific international cast…Joon-ho has more on his mind than startling imagery and violence and his climax is both breathtaking and an emotional gut punch.
  • Billy Donnelly @ This Is Infamous
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: It’s a dumb idea on its surface, and as we get deeper and deeper into the concept, at no point does the screenplay … make us believe it is anything more than that.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Exciting, edge-of-your-seat action thriller – a wild ride that’s one of the best of the year, so far.
  • Roderick Heath @ Ferdy on Films
    • Excerpt: Is it better than a Michael Bay movie? Yes. But not that much better.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: Snowpiercer is a politically provocative ensemble piece of legendary proportions. A parable that manipulates the medium in impressively dynamic ways which captivate the mind while delighting the eye.
  • Travis Hopson @ Examiner
    • Excerpt: the dystopian world he envisions is incredibly immersive and extremely thrilling….but maybe some of those edits should have been kept in.
  • Blake Howard @ Graffiti With Punctuation
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Hauntingly grim, full of appalling ironies and awful truths. This is most definitely not the feel-good movie of the summer.
  • Oktay Ege Kozak @ Oregon Herald
    • Excerpt: Snowpiercer reminds us once again that genre pictures can be smart, sophisticated and even a little bit dangerous to the status quo.
  • Joe Lozito @ Big Picture Big Sound
    • Excerpt: If you can buy the premise of this Bong Joon-ho graphic novel adaptation, you’re in for a good ride.
  • Brent McKnight @ Giant Freakin’ Robot
  • Ross Miller @ Thoughts On Film
    • Excerpt: Deftly explores the themes of everyday society but taken to the extreme and heightened in a restricted setting, punctuating its narrative with bouts of thrilling and expertly choreographed action alongside moments of welcome humour.
  • Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee Coffee and more Coffee
  • Jamie S. Rich @ DVD Talk
    • Excerpt: As Swinton’s Mason and later the man at the train’s helm (Ed Harris) point out, there is an order to things and everyone has their place and that’s what keeps Snowpiercer running. It’s also what keeps Snowpiercer running. Each sequence is connected to the last in a way that brings us ever closer to the end, creating a political allegory and a mind-altering action picture all powered by the same engine of insanity.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: It may not be the brightest movie around, but it’s almost insanely watchable…deliciously different from run-of-the-mill doomsday pictures.

This Week at the Movies, Part 1 (Jun. 27, 2014)

Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 27, 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: Jun. 27, 2014

Wide (United States)

Transformers: Age of Extinction

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

Begin Again

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: A romantic drama that captures and conveys the healing power of music.

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: The documentary’s release as the net neutrality debate rages will only underscore what we have lost.

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.

Ron Wilkinson @ ItsJustMovies.com

  • Excerpt: A cautionary tale about the power of entrenched financial interests in an era of unlimited information access.

Snowpiercer

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: A dystopian masterwork illustrating the moral rot of dividing the population into a winning class versus everybody else as poor scum of the earth.

Ross Miller @ Thoughts On Film

  • Excerpt: Deftly explores the themes of everyday society but taken to the extreme and heightened in a restricted setting, punctuating its narrative with bouts of thrilling and expertly choreographed action alongside moments of welcome humour.

Blake Howard @ Graffiti With Punctuation

Whitey: United States of America vs. James J. Bulger

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Berlinger’s work has revealed the warped wheels of the American justice system before, garnering a groundswell of support for the West Memphis Three. With “Whitey,” he’s casting an ever wider net.

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

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Reviews: Borgman (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 26, 2014

borgmanReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 7/17/14] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: A playful-yet-serious rumination on sexual gamesmanship presented through a form of theatrical artifice that Polanski embraces while giving it cinematic polish.
  • Joshua Brunsting @ The CriterionCast
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Writer/director Alex van Warmerdam’s (“Grimm”) latest parable is dark, tense and often funny, playing like a mashup of “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” and Hanaeke’s “Funny Games,” but just when you think you’ve got a handle on his meaning, events conspire to undermine it.
  • Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: The strange promotional art for ‘Borgman’ is reflective of the peculiar narrative that offers more questions than answers while completely engrossing the viewer in its bizarre story.
  • Mark Harris @ About.com
  • Jeremy Kibler @ Diabolique Magazine
    • Excerpt: It is something when a film makes two of 2014′s arguably best films—Under the Skin and Enemy—seem accessible by comparison, but this horror-tinged whatchamacallit truly is uncompromising, unsettling, cryptic, elegantly shot and, frankly, quite weird.
  • [New - 7/17/14] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: A playful-yet-serious rumination on sexual gamesmanship presented through a form of theatrical artifice that Polanski embraces while giving it cinematic polish.
  • Glenn Lovell @ CinemaDope.com
    • Excerpt: Defies categorization — part satanic thriller, part social satire. Characters glide through narrative as if in Caligari-induced haze.

Reviews: Coherence (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 26, 2014

coherenceReviews for this film from our members:

  • José Arce @ LaButaca.net [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Joya de culto instantánea que marca el interesantísimo debut tras las cámaras de James Ward Byrkit. Una ciencia-ficción maquiavélica e hipnótica, interesante y atrapante a partes iguales. Cuando llega el cometa Miller, llega el terror.
  • Chris Barsanti @ Film Journal International
    • Excerpt: Cracking good “Twilight Zone” riff turns a yuppie dinner party into an inside-out exercise in paranoia and relationship physics after a passing comet knocks out the power, and maybe more besides.
  • Joshua Brunsting @ The CriterionCast
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Strangely subtle, supernatural mindbender….
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Deploys twisty sci-fi concepts to warp the almost-clichéd dinner-party soap opera into a horror story of the human condition in the face of quantum philosophy.
  • Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies
    • Excerpt: It’s exciting both as a chilling peek into the dark shadows of alternate realities, and as an example of how resourceful filmmakers can produce thrilling effects using nothing more expensive than their own brains.
  • [New - 7/17/14] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: A playful-yet-serious rumination on sexual gamesmanship presented through a form of theatrical artifice that Polanski embraces while giving it cinematic polish.
  • Ron Wilkinson @ ItsJustMovies.com
    • Excerpt: Flighty but fun romp in a gravitation field built for eight.

Reviews: Think Like a Man Too (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 26, 2014

think_like_a_man_tooReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 6/26/14] | Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: It has some very funny moments, and a few touching ones as well. Sure, it gets corny at times, but overall, it’s a very entertaining movie that can appeal to a broad audience.
  • [New - 6/26/14] | Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: [T]he sequel isn’t an advertisement. This is a legitimate movie; it is also a legitimately bad one.
  • [New - 6/26/14] | Travis Hopson @ Punch Drunk Critics
  • [New - 6/26/14] | Tom Santilli @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: I didn’t realize it going in, but after conquering Vegas, I somehow feel that I could follow this group anywhere.
  • [New - 6/26/14] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Little more than another recycling of ‘The Hangover’…loud, abrasive, frenetic and singularly unfunny.

Reviews: Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 26, 2014

transformersReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New - 7/17/14] | Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: A playful-yet-serious rumination on sexual gamesmanship presented through a form of theatrical artifice that Polanski embraces while giving it cinematic polish.
  • Patrick Bromley @ F This Movie!
  • Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: You’ll get the beer commercial filmmaking you’ve grown to know and love. What you won’t get is a decent – or even coherent – script, effective charaterization, witty dialogue or a reasonable running time.
  • Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: “Transformers: Age of Extinction” didn’t promise to change your life. It promised giant robots in 3D, and it delivers giant robots in 3D.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: This franchise has become a case of judging bad apples, and Transformers: Age of Extinction is the least rotten of the bunch.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Abysmal! Unless you’re really into techie toys, it’s excruciating to watch – a tortuous endurance test.
  • Vadym Grygoriev @ kinoblog.com [Ukrainian]
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: If you want to save some money, have a few of your friends just scream at each other over the din of the garbage disposal. Now have them do this for the duration of 3 hours and you’ll have the same cinematic experience.
  • Blake Howard @ Graffiti With Punctuation
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Rearranger of space and time Michael Bay has reached a level of aggressive self-actualization that perhaps no other human being has reached before.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: In the fourth installment of director Michael Bay’s sub-woofer-focused, explosions first / plot second Transformers franchise, there are all new humans, some familiar Autobots, and mostly the same elements tweaked just a bit to trick you into thinking you are seeing a new film rather than the same one for the fourth time.
  • Daniel Kelly @ Danland
    • Excerpt: Still, part of me likes the idea of an old-school blockbuster so vast, fantastical and foolish that only the most indiscriminate, imaginative and youthful of viewers can truly tap into its potential. Man, I miss that.
  • Ben Kendrick @ Screen Rant
    • Excerpt: Age of Extinction won’t win over Transformers movie skeptics but Michael Bay succeeds in giving his fans what they are looking for – unmatched CGI spectacle.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Is there really anything else to say? Virginal teenage boys who still love playing with toys will be first in line, so there’s that.
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • James Marsh @ Screen International
    • Excerpt: The fourth instalment of Michael Bay’s big screen robot romp offers few surprises but an abundance of the series’ familiar tropes in another marathon-length, narratively vapid action spectacular. Bay’s trademark visual fireworks are as impressive as ever, while an all-new cast promises a new direction for what may become a second trilogy. Otherwise, it’s business as usual for the Autobots and Decepticons, which based on past performance means a huge box office performance everywhere.
  • Jason Pirodsky @ Expats.cz
    • Excerpt: As the Autobots fight for Hong Kong with the Dinobots – a T-Rex, Pterodactyl, Spinosaurus, Triceratops, and Velociraptor – by their side, against all storytelling sense Age of Extinction finally wore me down and won me over.
  • Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema
    • Excerpt: What’s different this time is that Bay seems to have abandoned the palette by which he created the other three films – that is to say this is the first Transformers movie that isn’t totally an ugly and unhappy experience. That doesn’t make it good, necessarily, what he created previously as dark and grimy has been replaced by a visual look that is aggressive, colorful and seems more childish than off-putting. That’s a nice way of saying he’s traded an ointment for a suppository. It still the stupidest film of the summer, but you don’t feel filthy when the movie is over.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
  • Mel Valentin @ VeryAware.com
    • Excerpt: A mind- and body-numbing sensory assault.

Happy Birthday: Jason Gorber

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 25, 2014

OFCS member Jason Gorber celebrates his birthday today, June 25. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Film Fest and Twitch Film.

Happy Birthday: Tony Dayoub

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 25, 2014

OFCS member Tony Dayoub celebrates his birthday today, June 25. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: Cinema Viewfinder, Slant Magazine and Indiewire.

The Grab Bag (Jun. 24, 2014)

Categories: The Grab Bag
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 24, 2014

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

Best of Lists

“Relative”-ly Speaking: The Top 10 Oscar-winning Family Combinations

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: Who says that movie-making talent cannot run within the same family?

The Healthy Helpers: The Top 10 Movie Nurses

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: Now what would the medical profession be like without the dependable skills of nursing in cinema?

It’s About the Message: The Top 10 Oscar-winning Socially Aware Films

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: In It’s About the Message: The Top 10 Oscar-winning Socially Aware Films we will take a look at Academy Award-winning movies that dared to examine the spirit about being socially aware–through inspiration and insidiousness (or both simultaneously)–and put them under a meaningful microscope for noteworthy consideration of their impacting messaging.

It’s the Music That Makes the Man: Top 10 Movie Themes for Action-Packed Guys in Film

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: Every movie has to have its signature song and that certainly goes for the action-oriented males in film that are fortunate to have these finger-snapping tunes represent them on the big screen.

Sibling Rivalry: The Top 10 Fictional Siblings in Film

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: Whatever the combination–brother and sister, brother and brother, sister and sister–the big screen has always produced some of the most compelling siblings to entertain or shock us as the lights go dim at the local cinemaplex.

Interviews

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Classics and Other Films on DVD (Jun. 23, 2014)

Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 23, 2014

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

The Night of the Hunter

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: Although cinephiles may weep for all the movies Charles Laughton never made, in a way it is appropriate that “Night of the Hunter” is his only directorial effort. It cements this masterpiece’s singularity and highlights its legendary qualities.

Night Train (Pociag)

Marilyn Ferdinand @ Ferdy on Films

  • Excerpt: Newly restored Polish classic examines travelers on an overnight train to a seaside resort. Emotions seethe, but the film does not seem anxious to give up its secrets—like any group of strangers sharing a space by necessity, no one is presented as an open book.

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

The Shining

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

A Woman Under the Influence

Stacia Kissick Jones @ Spectrum Culture Online

Recent Home Video Releases

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This Week at the Movies, Part 2 (Jun. 20-22, 2014)

Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 21, 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: Jun. 20-22, 2014

Wide (United States)

Jersey Boys

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

Think Like a Man Too

[New Today] Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures

  • Excerpt: It has some very funny moments, and a few touching ones as well. Sure, it gets corny at times, but overall, it’s a very entertaining movie that can appeal to a broad audience.

[New Today] Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies

  • Excerpt: [T]he sequel isn’t an advertisement. This is a legitimate movie; it is also a legitimately bad one.

[New Today] Tom Santilli @ Examiner.com

  • Excerpt: I didn’t realize it going in, but after conquering Vegas, I somehow feel that I could follow this group anywhere.

Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion

  • Excerpt: Little more than another recycling of ‘The Hangover’…loud, abrasive, frenetic and singularly unfunny.

Limited (United States)

The Last Sentence

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: The struggle of a Swedish theology student turned crusading journalist to speak truth to Hitler’s power while dealing with his own shadow side.

Third Person

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: Three intimate dramas that test our beliefs and attitudes about trust.

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

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This Week at the Movies, Part 1 (Jun. 20-22, 2014)

Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 20, 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: Jun. 20-22, 2014

Wide (United States)

Jersey Boys

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Think Like a Man Too

Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion

  • Excerpt: Little more than another recycling of ‘The Hangover’…loud, abrasive, frenetic and singularly unfunny.

Limited (United States)

The Last Sentence

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: The struggle of a Swedish theology student turned crusading journalist to speak truth to Hitler’s power while dealing with his own shadow side.

Third Person

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com

  • Excerpt: Three intimate dramas that test our beliefs and attitudes about trust.

2014 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

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

Happy Birthday: Marilyn Ferdinand

Categories: Birthdays
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 20, 2014

OFCS member Marilyn Ferdinand celebrates her birthday today, June 20. Please help us congratulate her and wish her well.

You can visit her website: Ferdy on Films and Fandor.

Reviews: Anna (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 19, 2014

annaReviews for this film from our members:

Reviews: Ida (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 19, 2014

idaReviews for this film from our members:

  • Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: In stripping IDA down to cinema’s simplest genre elements, Pawlikowski trains our eye with a laser focus on Anna/Ida herself, a study of stillness and repression who essentially stands in for the Poland depicted onscreen.
  • Carlos del Río @ El rincón de Carlos del Río [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Ida tiene una historia que no está nada mal, pero está contada de la forma más aburrida posible.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Exquisite and intellectually affecting in its brief, precise 80 minutes.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: A stark environment boldly highlights Ida’s introduction into a world she has never experienced. Through it all we are mesmerized by her face, a quiet 18 year old who has been fairly sheltered thus far in her young existence.
  • Bev Questad @ It’s Just Movies
    • Excerpt: Pawlikowski examines life, the role of religious commitment and choices. What corrupts life? What corrupts people? Are there ways to escape our own corrupt nature?
  • [New - 7/18/14] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Zach Braff had to wait 10 long years to try and recreate Garden State’s magic…and he swings and misses.
  • Norm Schrager @ Film Racket
    • Excerpt: … a nearly flawless work of cinematic art.

Reviews: Jersey Boys (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 19, 2014

jersey_boysReviews for this film from our members:

  • Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ SpiritualityandPractice.com
    • Excerpt: A biopicture about the pop music group worth seeing for the playful and melodic songs.
  • Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: “Jersey Boys” is a stroll through the park with your aging uncle who adores Frankie Valli and makes you listen to records as he recalls the good old days. Sure, there’s a certain warmth to it, but even at the ripe middle age of 42, I found myself antsy and wanting to move on almost as soon as the movie starts.
  • Bob Cashill @ Popdose.com
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: In adapting the Broadway musical to film director Clint Eastwood uses the old neighborhood brotherhood as his base note, layering in the conflicts among the original four members with the play’s pass-the-baton, Rashomon-like, direct address device.
  • Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: …Eastwood stands aside in deference to the material, a by-the-numbers biopic that would be merely serviceable were it not for the group’s memorable music.
  • Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: Too long, not well-focused and a tad too edgy for its own good, this is still an entertaining movie when it counts. “Jersey Boys” may have a messy bridge, but it does hit the high notes.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: One gets the sense that the movie … likes the music of the Four Seasons but doesn’t entirely respect it.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Subdued, nostalgic behind-the-music story of this iconic rock’n’ roll group…
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: What made the original such a joy was the wonderful plethora of hit songs from the Four Seasons, not the generic Behind the Music-style story. Eastwood highlights the weakest aspects of the play while de-emphasizing the music.
  • Travis Hopson @ Punch Drunk Critics
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Director Clint Eastwood’s discomfort with his own material is enormous and obvious. Does he just not get pop music, or is he actively disdainful and suspicious of it?
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: For all the wonderful performances and quirky stories behind the songs you know so well, the film’s sputtering and lurching second half is enough to weigh down the film’s overall feel good vibe.
  • Ben Kendrick @ Screen Rant
    • Excerpt: Jersey Boys is an enjoyable but ultimately straightforward stage-to-screen transfer – over-polished and lacking in the raw energy that made its source material so enchanting.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Jersey Boys should explode and pop off the screen, and it just seems unremarkable and bereft of dramatic interest. Those timelessly catchy doo-wop tunes will surely stick in your head, but the last thing the viewer should feel at the end of the show is neutral.
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • Dan Lybarger @ Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
    • Excerpt: Clint Eastwood’s new film of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys delivers enough moments of wit and candor to nearly escape this sort of reductive criticism.
  • [New - 7/3/14] | Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix
  • Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog
    • Excerpt: Jersey? Sure.
  • Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: Jersey Boys marks the first—and hopefully only—time I have left a movie thinking, “Gee, I wonder what Adam Shankman could have done with that.”
  • Tom Santilli @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: I’d guess you wouldn’t find yourself in the theater if you weren’t already a fan. But if you happen to, it’ll be nearly impossible not to become one.
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: Neither very entertaining nor especially enlightening…an old-fashioned rags-to-riches-to-rags show-biz melodrama punctuated by a few laughs and some musical interludes.

Reviews: Obvious Child (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 19, 2014

obvious_childReviews for this film from our members:

  • David Bax @ Battleship Pretension
    • Excerpt: Robespierre’s camera is not ostentatiously mannered nor is it assertively “realistic,” which usually just means jittery and handheld. In a commendably assured way for someone making a first feature, Robespierre’s filmmaking never calls attention to itself.
  • Patrick Bromley @ F This Movie!
  • Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: “Obvious Child” is so much more than just “The Abortion Movie.” It’s a strong character study of a modern woman in New York City.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: It’s that sense of normalcy that makes the film such a subversive success in terms of addressing a political debate that … it otherwise goes out of its way to avoid having.
  • Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk
  • Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: It’s a rare discovery to find a new concept in the romantic comedy category, but ‘Obvious Child’ is as fresh and funny as it is progressive.
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Edgy and female-centric…for a sophisticated audience, it’s refreshingly revealing.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Free of judgment and preachiness, “Obvious Child” is a breath of fresh air. Don’t let the subject matter or Slate’s opening comic act about vaginas reduce this small indie gem or make it seem like a tough sell. It’s like something Woody Allen might have made had he been born with lady parts.
  • Kristin Dreyer Kramer @ NightsAndWeekends.com
  • [New - 7/10/14] | Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer
    • Excerpt: A winning and relatable rom-com
  • Tom Santilli @ examiner.com
    • Excerpt: While the content of the romantic comedy, Obvious Child (opening today), will most likely keep it from finding any real mainstream success, it acts as a showcase for Jenny Slate not only as a comic, but as an actress. Remember her name.

Reviews: The Rover (2014)

Categories: 2013 Films
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 19, 2014

roverReviews for this film from our members:

  • Chris Barsanti @ Film Racket
    • Excerpt: The Rover is skillfully put together with a jarring score, crisp cinematography, and a clutch of resonant performances. But although the film has a confident Kathryn Bigelow snap, it has a hard time amounting to the sum of its parts.
  • David Bax @ Battleship Pretension
    • Excerpt: Amidst the existentialist malaise, Michôd finds room for the gut-knotting suspense of his previous film, Animal Kingdom, as well as for Pattinson to sing along to Keri Hilson’s “Pretty Girl Rock” (the lyrics of which, “Don’t hate me ‘cause I’m beautiful,” may be a direct appeal to the anti-Twilight sect).
  • Kevin Carr @ 7M Pictures
    • Excerpt: “The Rover” is more than just the darkest timeline version of “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.” It’s an examination of the human condition.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Some may find its ultimate reveal much ado about nothing, a long, violent road leading to a joke. Others will find deeper meaning about what we hold dear and how man’s destructive impulses will find him obliterating the very thing he’s sought.
  • Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: THE ROVER’s pat, sentimental coda notwithstanding, there’s a rich, multi-layered inquiry into machismo, both real-life and movie-related, worth burrowing into here.
  • Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com
    • Excerpt: This movie ends up being a shatteringly simple movie about one man’s quest, and it’s greatest artistic success is that when you find out why he was willing to do anything to achieve his goal, you may have to re-evaluate everything that led up to it.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: [T]he only note Michôd is interested in playing is the nonstop reminders of how terrible this world is … but there’s at least a sort of subtle vibrato to the note.
  • Glenn Dunks @ The Film Experience
  • Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com
    • Excerpt: Somber, sinister, grimly sparce Australian Western, filled with pointless bloodshed and explicit violence.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: Why this stupid car is so important to Eric is a question that will nag at you for the duration of the entire movie. Unfortunately, the answer simply doesn’t justify everything we had to endure.
  • Travis Hopson @ Punch Drunk Critics
  • Blake Howard @ Graffiti With Punctuation
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Much ado about nothing when you get down to it, but it’s fully absorbing in the way it moves at a divisively deliberate but significantly elegiac clip that of a slow burn, punctuated by levels of unbearable tension and abrupt, savagely grim acts of desperate violence.
  • Brent McKnight @ Giant Freakin’ Robot
  • Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix
  • Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com
    • Excerpt: “The Rover” is a minimalist dystopian drama with more plot holes than plot.
  • [New - 7/10/14] | Ron Wilkinson @ ItsJustMovies.com
    • Excerpt: David Michôd ups the ante and hauls in a big one in this Aussie thriller set in the desolate outback 10 years after the collapse.
  • Andrew Wyatt @ St. Louis Magazine
    • Excerpt: Apart from its merits as a thriller, The Rover reveals itself as a raw tale about the hazy borders of obligation and loyalty, and about what sorts of bonds matter when everything else has crumbled to dust.

Happy Birthday: Gregory J. Smalley

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

OFCS member Gregory J. Smalley celebrates his birthday today, June 19. Please help us congratulate him and wish him well.

You can visit his website: 366 Weird Movies.

The Grab Bag (Jun. 17, 2014)

Categories: The Grab Bag
Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 17, 2014

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

Best of Lists

‘Kid Power, Kid Sour’: Top 10 Misguided Youngsters in Film

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: Kid Power, Kid Sour: Top 10 Misguided Youngsters in Film looks to examine some of the young people involved in such disturbing dilemmas within various facets in cinema.

‘Too Cool for School’: Top 10 Random Films Making the Grade

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: Hence, “Too Cool for School: Top 10 Random Films Making the Grade” will briefly examine a selection of higher education ditties that taught us something (or perhaps nothing) during our heyday of cramming for tests.

The Art of Being Shady and Shifty: The Top 10 Movie Weasels

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: Nevertheless, let’s check out the weasel-like wonders that movie audiences have learned to love or despise depending on the frame of mind in celebrating these shifty oddballs.

Been There, Done That: Top 10 Common Movie Cliches

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: So what do you consider a common movie cliche? It is not too difficult to pinpoint a movie cliche because almost anything that you have seen in films during your course of movie-going has the potential to be identified as such.

The Top 10 Iconic Movie Inanimate Objects

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: In The Top 10 Iconic Movie Objects let us take a look at some of the non-breathing items that made an impact in their perspective films and see what meaning these images brought to the table.

Whoops…Did I Do That?: Top 10 Film Bumblers and Stumblers

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: So let us take a look at a selection of klutzy candidates (both in seriousness and silliness) that inspire us to chuckle and root for in the column Whoops…Did I Do That?: Top 10 Film Bumblers and Stumblers

Interviews

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

Classics and Other Films on DVD (Jun. 16, 2014)

Comments: No Comments
Published on: June 16, 2014

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Ghostbusters

Joseph Proimakis @ Popaganda.gr [Greek]

  • Excerpt: The iconic film that ushered visual effects into the realm of comedy turns 30 years old

The Man in the Glass Booth

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

Sergeant York

Tim Brayton @ Antagony & Ecstasy

Recent Home Video Releases

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

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