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

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

Best of Lists

Favorite Films Of 2019 So Far

Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum

The Marvel Cinematic Universe Ranked!

Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum

Festivals: Individual Reviews

Fantasia Fest 2019: 6 Films We’ve Already Seen

Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See

Awards Coverage

The Friday Face-Off Round Zero – #11

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jul. 5-7, 2019

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

Essays

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

Classics & More on DVD (Jul. 15, 2019)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Pre-2017 Film Reviews

The Blair Witch Project

James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture [1999]

Dead Hooker in a Trunk

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies [2009]

  • Excerpt: Absolutely faithful to the exploitative promise of the title, but still not exactly what you’d expect, ‘Dead Hooker in a Trunk’ is a nihilistic feminist punk black comedy with an absurd script and experimental tendencies.

Dolly Dearest

James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture [1991]

Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout The Ages

Roderick Heath @ Film Freedonia [1916]

  • Excerpt: Aside from passages of the Babylon siege, which becomes interludes of pure spectacle, Intolerance retains its focus on the human level remarkably well; truly, Griffith’s feel for cinematic art seemed to intensify all the more precisely the more he was chasing a direct, near-physical relationship with his audience.

Passengers

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight [2016]

  • Excerpt: There are many problems afoot in Morten Tyldum’s “Passengers,” a sci-fi spectacle starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, but a surfeit of production values is not one of them.

The Tough Ones

Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee, Coffee and more Coffee [1976]

  • Excerpt: I thought of White Heat and Umberto Lenzi’s documented admiration for Raoul Walsh while watching The Tough Ones.

This Week at the Movies (Jul. 12, 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: Jul. 12, 2019

Wide (United States)

Stuber

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

The Art of Self-Defense

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Writer/director Riley Stearns’s pitch black comedy is like a feminist take on “Fight Club” had “Fight Club” been addressing toxic masculinity…Jesse Eisenberg’s best role since “The Social Network…”

The Art of Self-Defense

Frank Ochieng @ Flick Feast

  • Excerpt: Profoundly witty and oddly reflective, The Art of Self-Defense is one of the year’s best uniquely dark comedies to give a karate chop to the inactive funnybone.

The Farewell

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Wang excels with this mixture of levity and heart tugs, personified in Mr. Li, Nai Nai’s dismissively treated live-in boyfriend who shuffles about like a ghost, attending to her needs.

Sword of Trust

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

  • Excerpt: An absurd situation growing more surreal as the minutes tick away because their level of intrigue can’t help outweigh their trepidation in dealing with racist monsters.

Trespassers

Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See

  • Excerpt: Some script and originality issues aside, ‘Trespassers’ is a solid, if familiar, home invasion horror.

Trespassers

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

  • Excerpt: Because [the main quartet] have no real relationship to the [object of their pursuers’ desire], this encounter’s sheer randomness is proven anticlimactic from the start.

2019 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Continue reading This Week at the Movies (Jul. 12, 2019)

Reviews: Transit (2019)

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

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: With his latest, adapted from a 1944 novel, yet set in modern times, Petzold centers on a male refugee on the run assuming the identity of another man, then falling in love with that man’s wife, a “Casablanca” for today.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Capping his “Love in Time of Oppressive Systems” trilogy, Petzold creates a latter day Casablanca roiling with bureaucracy, paranoia, and hints of heroism. Caught in between the land and the sea and even during time periods of the past and present, Transit is a bittersweet tale harboring connections to our own time.
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: There’s a melancholic beauty to [this] reality and Petzold does a wonderful job putting its bittersweet poetry on-screen.
  • Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee, Coffee and more Coffee
    • Excerpt: Those aspects from Seghers novel that make it universal, still read and discussed, may not be lost, yet feel diminished in the film.
  • [New] | Andrew Wyatt @ The Lens

Reviews: Stuber (2019)

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

  • [New] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Goon director Michael Dowse wanted to make a film where the comedy and the action were equally strong but instead they feel disconnected, the brutally realistic violence of the action scenes at odds with comic elements that range from gentle to slapstick to uninspired.
  • [New] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: The Odd Couple is Nanjiani as the seeing eye Uber to Bautista’s blurry-eyed cop. Stuber is even worse than that terrible logline sounds.
  • [New] | Simon Miraudo @ Student Edge
    • Excerpt: Hello, here’s Stuber, the kind of movie where the title comes first and the script comes second, or sometimes not at all.
  • [New] | Frank Ochieng @ Flick Feast
    • Excerpt: Quite frankly, Dowse’s transparent twitchy vehicle has all the cheeky charm of a roadblock during rush hour traffic. Needlessly frantic and foolish…

From Our Members’ Desks (Jul. 9, 2019)

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

Interviews

Jona Trueba talks about La Virgen de Agosto

Paulo Portugal @ Insider [Portuguese]

Festivals: General Coverage

Julian Moore receber Globo de Cristal em Karklovy Vary

Paulo Portugal @ Insider [Portuguese]

Lara é um vibrante retrato psicológico de Jan-Ole Gerster

Paulo Portugal @ Insider [Portuguese]

La Virgen de Agosto mostra o verão e o ato de fé de Jonas Trueba

Paulo Portugal @ Insider [Portuguese]

What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael

Paulo Portugal @ Insider [Portuguese]

Awards Coverage

Continue reading From Our Members’ Desks (Jul. 9, 2019)

Classics & More on DVD (Jul. 8, 2019)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Pre-2017 Film Reviews

Bad Moms

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight [2016]

  • Excerpt: R-rated comedies have come fast and furious the last several years, tapping into a market that clamors for humor of the not-quite-kosher kind. Myriad films have tried, few have succeeded and although “Bad Moms” has a lot of problems, it works a great deal of the time.

The Ballad of Cable Hogue [Portuguese]

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico [1970]

  • Excerpt: If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.

The Cisco Kid [Portuguese]

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico [1931]

  • Excerpt: A “new” Cisco Kid story.

Cry Danger

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews [1951]

  • Excerpt: Cry Danger has all the elements of great noir: revenge, snappy, cynical dialogue and a group of low-class characters scraping out life in the shadows.

The End of the Cancageiros [Portuguese]

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico [1960]

  • Excerpt: 1929. The Brazilian Northeast lives one of its most dramatic moments …

The Flower of My Secret [Portuguese]

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico [1995]

  • Excerpt: Every woman has a secret…

Gladiator

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews [2000]

  • Excerpt: Yes, I was entertained, but not overwhelmed.

Godzilla vs. Hedorah [Portuguese]

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico [1971]

  • Excerpt: A completely different Godzilla.

Hearts in Atlantis [Portuguese]

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico [2001]

  • Excerpt: What if one of the great mysteries of life moved upstairs?

The Hunger [Portuguese]

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico [1983]

  • Excerpt: Who wants to live forever?

King of Jazz

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews [1930]

Lawrence of Arabia

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews [1962]

  • Excerpt: This epic film of one man’s conflicted, complex and contradictory soul will stand the test of time long after all the sands of the desert are carried off by the whirlwinds.

Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road)

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews [1955]

  • Excerpt: A beautiful portrait of humanity, albeit perhaps a bit slow for some, Pather Panchali is a portrait of how we all travel down on our own Little Road.

La Pointe-Courte [Portuguese]

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico [1955]

  • Excerpt: Agnès Varda’s first film.

The Silence of the Lambs

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews [1991]

  • Excerpt: As much as The Silence of the Lambs is seen as a horror film or psychological thriller, after revisiting it I think the film is really a much deeper and richer commentary on women as both victims and heroines.

A Talking Picture [Portuguese]

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico [2003]

  • Excerpt: Manoel de Oliveira reviews Western History.

Tokyo Twilight [Portuguese]

Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico [1957]

  • Excerpt: A moralistic tragedy by Yasujiro Ozu.

Twister

Roderick Heath @ This Island Rod [1996]

  • Excerpt: If 1990s blockbuster cinema stirs any nostalgia today, it could be because most of the decade’s money-spinners were firmly rooted in a presumption of their own inconsequence, happy to be islands of ripe showmanship. Big-budget neo-drive-in movies proliferated in the decade, blithely unconcerned with birthing and protecting self-important and fan-narcotising franchises.

Reviews: Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

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

  • [New] | Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews
    • Excerpt: Spider-Man: Far From Home has the same quirkiness that made Homecoming so successful, but a predictable plot and poor pacing keep it from reaching its predecessor’s heights.
  • [New] | Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: The new Spidey adventure is a vast improvement over the first film, and while there central arc is a bit muddled, it’s still a blast from start to finish.
  • James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
  • [New] | Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: This summertime romp effortlessly entertains with wit and style.
  • [New] | Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Marvel makes a U-turn post Endgame and lightens the mood with a Euro Trip. This most fluffy of installments is skin deep and will make you chuckle more than anything else.
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: Maybe not the most memorable installment of the MCU, Spider-Man: Far from Home offers a fun bit of respite.
  • Nell Minow @ The Movie Mom
    • Excerpt: The settings, fight scenes, and special effects are all top-notch, but it is the cast that really brings this story to life.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Student Edge
    • Excerpt: It’s the twistiest Marvel movie… ever?
  • [New] | Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: Over-arching narrative takes a backseat to pure character building. Sometimes that’s better because we’re not constantly inundated with the severity of what it all MEANS.
  • Eddie Pasa @ Gunaxin
  • Tusshar Sasi @ Filmy Sasi
    • Excerpt: Far cry from his simple yet confident self in the preceding films, Peter Parker seems to have fully retired to his want to become the trite ‘regular teenager’ prototype in Spider-Man: Far From Home. It is a move that doesn’t really work, given how the aftertaste of Avengers: Endgame is yet to recede.
  • Don Shanahan @ Every Movie Has a Lesson
    • Excerpt: All of this is a downright blast and a big screen feast for a summer movie season that has burned more cinematic food on the grill than it has properly served.

Reviews: Midsommar (2019)

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

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Aster’s sophomore film is a bit like the writing on the walls in his first – intriguing and unsettling, begging for further analysis, yet probably offering nothing more than we see on the surface.
  • Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews
    • Excerpt: Though it’s impeccably shot and directed with the same unflinching intensity and confidence of director Ari Aster’s masterpiece directorial debut Hereditary, I left Midsommar feeling disturbed, but empty.
  • [New] | Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: Ari Aster’s new horror film is a wild and weird experience that takes enough big swings to make up for repetitive themes and ideas.
  • James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
  • Candice Frederick @ The Wrap
  • [New] | Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: An effective psychological drama that induces dread in a way I’ve rarely felt.
  • [New] | MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: It’s hard to escape the sense that Ari Aster is getting off on Florence Pugh sobbing and screaming as he fetishizes her terror and torment. And none of it is in the pursuit of any meaning or message.
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: Low trash masquerading as high art, and I’m here for it.
  • [New] | Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: Midsommar’s blueprint is very tidy and yet the pieces within are too messy to hide their artificiality. The imagery born from that messiness is effectively unsettling, but too much of it feels inconsequential to the whole.
  • Kevin Ranson @ MovieCrypt.com
    • Excerpt: … a substance-induced descent into the madness of strangers, viewed in plain sight under a bright sun instead of hidden in shadow… this time providing a unique light at the end of a blood-drenched tunnel.
  • [New] | Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies
    • Excerpt: With just two features under his belt, Ari Aster impresses with his ability to encase deep and painful psychological dramas inside true-to-form horror stories.
  • Andrew Wyatt @ The Lens

This Week at the Movies (Jul. 5, 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: Jul. 5, 2019

Wide (United States)

Midsommar

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Spider-Man: Far from Home

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

2019 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Continue reading This Week at the Movies (Jul. 5, 2019)

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