Reviews: Haunt (2019)

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

Reviews: Downton Abbey (2019)

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

  • [New] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: an enjoyable reunion with a beloved television series for those who followed it faithfully, but it fails to convince a big screen upgrade was necessary.
  • [New] | MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Wherein the working class revels in servitude, and wealth and privilege are deserved. Deeply reactionary and unlikely to please anyone not already enamored of the show. I get Anglophilia, but really?
  • [New] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: You have either put in the work and will be rewarded with a feature-length trip to an era you believe superior to most, or you are a Downton pagan and will be treated like the barbarian you are with minimal clues on who is related to whom, who is dead, who is beloved, and who is loathed.

Reviews: Ad Astra (2019)

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

Classics & More on DVD (Sep. 17, 2019)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Pre-2017 Film Reviews

Agatha

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews (1979)

The Birth of a Nation

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews (2016)

  • Excerpt: Putting aside the controversies that engulfed both Nate Parker and the film, dooming whatever Oscar hopes both had, this The Birth of a Nation would have failed on its own, a poor telling of what should have been a much more compelling story.

Captain Blood

Tynan Yanaga @ 4 Star Films (1935)

The Desperate Hours

Tynan Yanaga @ 4 Star Films (1955)

The Farmer’s Wife

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico (1928) [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: After his daughter weds, a middle-aged widower with a profitable farm decides to remarry, but finds choosing a suitable mate a problematic process.

The King of Comedy

Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews (1983)

  • Excerpt: For a movie about a failed standup comedian, it’s difficult to watch. Rupert’s delusions of success are funny at first, but then grow cringe-worthy — and then dangerous. But there’s a third act pivot that makes this one of my favorite Scorsese movies.

Libido

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico (1965) [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: A young man goes with his wife to a spooky house, an inheritance from his father.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews (2001)

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews (2002)

The Music Room

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews (1958)

The Naked Dawn: An Edgar G. Ulmer Western

Tynan Yanaga @ 4 Star Films (1955)

Rancho Notorious: Chug-a-Lug

Tynan Yanaga @ 4 Star Films (1952)

Singapore Sling

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies (1990)

  • Excerpt: Imagine a cross between ‘Laura’ and ‘Salo,’ as directed by a young Luis Buñuel dabbling in pornography, and you’ll have some idea of what you’re in for—but it’s slightly weirder than that.

From Our Members’ Desks (Sep. 16, 2019)

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

Awards Coverage

The Friday Face-Off Round One #4

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

Poll: Remaking Best Production Design, 2001

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

Video Essays, Video Reviews, Vlogs & More

Hitchcock Breaks the Sound Barrier in Early Films ‘Blackmail’ and ‘Murder!’

Michael Barrett @ PopMatters

Other Types of Articles

Continue reading From Our Members’ Desks (Sep. 16, 2019)

This Week at the Movies (Sep. 13, 2019)

Here are some reviews of films coming out at the theater this week as well as others that may be in theaters or newly on home video.

Opening: Sep. 13, 2019

Wide (United States)

The Goldfinch

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Hustlers

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

Depraved

Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See

  • Excerpt: Legendary horror filmmaker Larry Fessenden gives the ‘Frankenstein’ tale a lo-fi indie horror spin, though it’s more concerned with Brooklyn hipsters dealing with trauma than typical genre trappings.

Desolation Center

Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See

  • Excerpt: If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to go on a punk rock field trip, like pile into school buses with a bunch of like-minded outsiders who are into the same kind of music as you, Stuart Swezey’s new documentary, Desolation Center, has you covered.

Freaks

Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See

  • Excerpt: Nothing in Freaks is as it initially appears.

Monos

Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum

  • Excerpt: A thoughtful, bleak, and exhilirating experience that demands to be seen on the big screen.

Monos

Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See

  • Excerpt: Apocalyptic and oblique, nightmarish and surreal, it’s a dark allegory, one that contains weirdly more Gummi Bear fun facts than expected.

The Sound of Silence

Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice

  • Excerpt: A creative exploration of the interactions between humans and the sounds of the things around them.

2019 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Continue reading This Week at the Movies (Sep. 13, 2019)

Reviews: Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019)

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

Reviews: The Goldfinch (2019)

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

  • [New] | Chris Barsanti @ Slant
    • Excerpt: Its inquisitiveness gives all the melodramatic incidents more of a charge and a purpose for keeping our attention.
  • [New] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: there is much to admire about director John Crowley’s (“Brooklyn”) movie, which despite its stripped down adaptation still projects the book’s themes largely due to many affecting performances in his sprawling ensemble…
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Nicole Kidman’s death-ray stares are just one of the dozen reasons the film is an uncomfortable watch. The Goldfinch will join that list of films which tried to adapt culture-conquering literature, but tripped over its good intentions.
  • [New] | Don Shanahan @ Every Movie Has a Lesson
    • Excerpt: What is already present is bloated, sluggish, and ineffectual. That’s an odd circumstance to say the least.

Reviews: Hustlers (2019)

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

  • [New] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: like the before and after economic realities of 2008, the movie is a lot more fun while things are on the upturn, the women’s manipulation of men feeding on greed something to cheer, their donning of sheep’s clothing to become wolves of Wall St. unsettling.
  • [New] | Karl Delossantos @
    • Excerpt: Hustlers is an incredibly complex movie. Not only is it hilarious and charming, it delivers commentary on complicated themes of female relationships, the power dynamic between men and women, and the struggle of the working class.
  • [New] | Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: A deceptively nuanced crime film that is as thoughtful as it is entertaining. Jennifer Lopez delivers a career best performance.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: GoodFellas, except they’re gals. A cinematic bonbon of delinquent deliciousness that easily wraps us up in charmed complicity. And the exquisite lack of a male gaze means it’s never salacious.
  • [New] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Hustlers will excite many for its behind the scenes look at the exploitation of strip club dancers, the greasy men who slither through the door, and Jennifer Lopez putting on a show, but the pacing drags after the shock and awe wears off and the story is not as audacious and mind-blowing as you’re led to believe.
  • [New] | Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: A fast-paced, immensely entertaining film.
  • [New] | Matt Oakes @ Silver Screen Riot
    • Excerpt: Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria (The Meddler), Hustlers is the kind of movie that one might confuse for a guilty pleasure, were it not also borderline great.

Classics & More on DVD (Sep. 10, 2019)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Pre-2017 Film Reviews

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (2016)

  • Excerpt: Based on the book of the same name, Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi is an intensely engaging combat thriller, focused on the untold humanistic and heroic bravery of the characters.

2 Fast 2 Furious

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (2003)

  • Excerpt: Although lacking the gruff presence of Vin Diesel, 2 Fast 2 Furious makes for a fun and decently entertaining follow-up to the original furiously fast car-themed actioner.

Batman

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (1989)

  • Excerpt: Three decades later, Tim Burton’s Batman remains a visually-arresting adaptation of an iconic comic-book hero and continues to be a dearly beloved classic of the genre with memorable performances by Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson.

Batman Returns

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (1992)

  • Excerpt: Everyone’s favorite masked vigilante is tasked once again to save Gotham City in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, fighting the likes of Danny DeVito’s Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman.

Captain America: Civil War

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (2016)

  • Excerpt: Terrifically entertaining and visually spectacular, Captain America: Civil War is a great follow-up in the MCU saga on the repercussions and aftermath of heroism.

Crank

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (2006)

  • Excerpt: Starring Jason Statham in a memorable performance, Crank is a twisted black comedy that takes joy in its outlandish, humorously dark premise and insanely cartoonish visuals.

Diamonds of the Night

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies (1964)

  • Excerpt: A minimalist mix of almost-documentary realism with disorienting fantasies and flashbacks, there are rewards to be had in digging up the buried narrative gems in ‘Diamonds of the Night.’ But despite its impressive pathos, it’s easy to see why this dour, low-budget sleeper wasn’t one of the enduring international breakout titles of the Czech New Wave.

The Doors: The Final Cut

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (1991)

  • Excerpt: With an unforgettable performance by Val Kilmer, Oliver Stone’s The Doors remains a mesmerizing portrayal and celebration of a music legend and the influential rock band.

Downhill

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico (1927) [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Public schoolboy Roddy Berwick is expelled from school when he takes the blame for a friend’s charge and his life falls apart in a series of misadventures.

Effi Briest

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico (1974) [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: In the nineteenth century, seventeen year old Effi Briest is married to the older Baron von Instetten and moves into a house, that she believes has a ghost, in a small isolated Baltic town….

Fassbinder

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico (2015) [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: A film portrait of the influential Bavarian actor, director and screenwriter who publicly confessed his homosexuality.

Fast & Furious

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (2009)

  • Excerpt: Fast & Furious is the fourth installment that revamps the franchise with the sort of convoluted action and melodramatic plot fans have come to love about the series.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (2006)

  • Excerpt: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift may be the black sheep in the family, but it nonetheless holds its own with some cool racing action and a decent story that essentially kicks the franchise into an awesome film serial.

Fast Five

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (2011)

  • Excerpt: Director Justin Lin returns for Fast Five, a fun heist flick that shifted the franchise into melodramatic action serial uniting Vin Diesel and Paul Walker with Dwayne Johnson.

Fox and his Friends

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico (1975) [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: A young West German working-class man wins the lottery and initiates a relationship with a man above his social standing.

The Garden of Delights

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico (1970) [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: The greedy relatives of an amnesic and paralytic 45 years old millionaire try him to recover his memory by any means.

Hulk

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (2003)

  • Excerpt: Starring Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly, Ang Lee’s Hulk is essentially a superhero melodrama with heavily stylized editing that detracts from the plot’s more weighty intentions.

Iron Man

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (2008)

  • Excerpt: Iron Man kickstarted the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a highly-engaging plot and Robert Downey Jr.’s excellent performance as the arrogant, wisecracking Tony Stark.

Iron Man 2

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (2010)

  • Excerpt: Iron Man 2 is a decently satisfying and entertaining sequel, providing more dramatic depth to Tony Stark and laying the groundwork for future Marvel installments.

Iron Man 3

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (2013)

  • Excerpt: Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 concludes the trilogy with visually spectacular action and a poignant, character-driven plot allowing Robert Downey Jr. to really flex his dramatic chops.

The Last Broadcast

James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture (1998)

Like a Bird on a Wire

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico (1975) [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Staged as a TV show, in a TV studio, set up like Brigitte Mira living room. She recounts her four husbands. Inspired by Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a wire”.

Martha

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico (1974) [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: After the death of her abusive father, the lonely librarian Martha marries an equally vile businessman – Helmut. The cruel and torturous nature of their relationship leads Martha to believe Helmut might be trying to kill her.

Microwave Massacre

James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture (1983)

Moon

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (2009)

  • Excerpt: Starring a memorable Sam Rockwell, Duncan Jones’ Moon is a stimulating and challenging sci-fi gem, prompting intriguing questions about identity and the cost of technological advancements.

The Producers

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico (1967) [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom make money by producing a sure-fire flop.

The Ring

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico (1927) [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Two boxers compete for the love of a woman.

The Scorpion King

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (2002)

  • Excerpt: Responsible for launching Dwayne Johnson’s career as an action star, Chuck Russell’s The Scorpion King is a laughably bad but still surprisingly fun piece of escapism two decades later.

Stand By Me

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (1986)

  • Excerpt: Based on the Stephen King novella, Rob Reiner’s Stand by Me is an engagingly poignant allegory of self-discovery, confronting trauma and a rite of passage into adulthood.

Toy Story

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (1995)

  • Excerpt: Toy Story continues to entertain and dazzle the imagination while exploring fascinating existential questions on life.

Toy Story 2

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (1999)

  • Excerpt: After an accident shelves our cowboy hero, Woody goes through another existential adventure in Toy Story 2 while roaming about the obsessive world of vintage toy collecting.

Toy Story 3

M. Enois Duarte @ High-DefDigest.com (2010)

  • Excerpt: Toy Story 3 follows the gang to a daycare center controlled by an authoritarian dictator while also searching for a new home as Andy goes off to college.

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