Reviews: The Lego Movie: The Second Part (2019)

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

  • [New] | Caio Bogoni @ Cine Grandiose [Portuguese]
    • Excerpt: A few good ideas, but an overall underwhelming success compared to the first one.
  • [New] | Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: fails to astound as much as the original with its LEGO brick ocean waves and rapid-fire funny, but its real world parallels pay off splendidly.
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: While it lacks the surprise of the first, it still manages to be a thoughtful, funny, and inventive follow up.
  • Courtney Howard @ FreshFiction.tv
    • Excerpt: Everything clicks in this well-constructed, snappy sequel.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Our expectations are a lot higher now after the unexpectedly wildly inventive first movie… and this sequel delivers, digging with witty subversion into Hollywood’s glorification of its male heroes.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Where The LEGO Movie presented a true adventure tale with more than a spice of existentialism, the sequel trades it in for kitsch and a lower common denominator. *Checks director’s resume – Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo and Shrek Forever After. Oh, I see.
  • [New] | frank ochieng @ SF Crowsnest
    • Excerpt: The latest installment may be starting to show some wear and tear in its kooky conception. Thankfully, there is still some off-kilter playfulness and irreverence left over to convey the nutty-minded relevance of the Lego landscape.
  • Don Shanahan @ Every Movie Has a Lesson
    • Excerpt: Projecting that life’s simplicity through its dazzling style of presentation, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is another sparkling escapade of accepting and approachable entertainment.
  • Andrew Wyatt @ The Lens

Reviews: Cold Pursuit (2019)

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

  • [New] | Courtney Howard @ Variety
    • Excerpt: By pumping up the darkly comedic undertones, augmenting the frigid chill of the original, Moland’s terrific, riveting picture distinguishes itself from other rote remakes.
  • [New] | MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: The latest Liam Neeson revenge fantasy simply makes no sense even before you get to the tedious action, undeveloped characters, and stubborn racism and sexism. A rancid excuse for a thriller.

Reviews: Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

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

  • Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews
    • Excerpt: Velvet Buzzsaw has trouble balancing its satirical and horror elements, which results in an interesting, but unsatisfying Netflix original.
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: I don’t think it entirely works as a cohesive whole, but it’s filled with striking imagery, unexpected choices, and big swing performances.
  • [New] | Candice Frederick @ Harper’s Bazaar
  • Courtney Howard @ FreshFiction.tv
    • Excerpt: It’s a wickedly delicious, satirical take-down that’s about as deep as a puddle, but a wonderfully wild ride nonetheless.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Any creative medium which takes itself too seriously is ripe for satire, but considering the money involved, the contemporary art world is riper than most. It’s about time the artwork gets a say in the matter – and it is not happy.
  • Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews
    • Excerpt: Although not a perfect film, VELVET BUZZSAW offers subtle humor along with exciting thrills and chills, especially when paintings start coming to life.

Reviews: Piercing (2019)

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

  • Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews
    • Excerpt: Piercing is a twisted watch that will completely satisfy genre fans and polarize mainstream audiences — but that’s why it works.
  • [New] | Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: It’s a bold and strange film that allows the two leads to dive into some wild characters, and it shows a range for writer/director, Nicolas Pesce, that I hadn’t expected.
  • [New] | Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: Piercing frustrates because there’s so much potential and technical acumen on display, but it’s more a polished demo reel than a satisfying narrative.
  • Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage
    • Excerpt: It proves impossible to know where things might go next thanks to the physical manifestation of internal turmoil and the hallucinatory blur between life and psychosis.
  • [New] | Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee, Coffee and more Coffee
    • Excerpt: As a filmmaker of body horror, Nicolas Pesce is not as extreme as Takashi Miike, but there is enough going here to make most viewers feel uncomfortable once the two main characters meet.

From Our Members’ Desks (Feb. 4, 2019)

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

Best of Lists

The 10 Best Films of 2018 and their lessons

Don Shanahan @ Every Movie Has a Lesson

  • Excerpt: All ten and a few extra were no-doubt five-star films for me. True to this website’s specialty, each film will be paired with its best life lesson.

The 2019 Cinemayward Oscars

Joel Mayward @ Cinemayward

  • Excerpt: With the Oscar nominees announced, here are the 2019 Cinemayward Oscars, celebrating much of what the Oscars (and other awards) overlooked this year, as well as a few unique categories of my own.

The Best Films of 2018: The Roundtable

Andrew Wyatt @ The Lens

Awards Coverage

3rd Annual CIFCC Award nominations

Don Shanahan @ Every Movie Has a Lesson

  • Excerpt: As one of the founders and directors of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle, I’m honored to be among such fine peers. These are solid picks our group can be proud to support.

Marcello Fonte vence prémio de interpretação masculina nos European Film Awards

Paulo Portugal @ Insider [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt:

Interviews

Continue reading From Our Members’ Desks (Feb. 4, 2019)

This Week at the Movies (Feb. 1, 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: Feb. 1, 2019

Wide (United States)

Limited (United States)

Piercing

Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews

  • Excerpt: Piercing is a twisted watch that will completely satisfy genre fans and polarize mainstream audiences — but that’s why it works.

Piercing

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

  • Excerpt: It proves impossible to know where things might go next thanks to the physical manifestation of internal turmoil and the hallucinatory blur between life and psychosis.

2019 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Continue reading This Week at the Movies (Feb. 1, 2019)

Reviews: Miss Bala (2019)

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

  • [New] | Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: Despite solid performances from the cast, Miss Bala is a lackluster action drama that lacks the punch that the subject matter demands.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Advertising Miss Bala as barrier-breaking and offering audiences a character they can identify with comes off as lip service considering how the filmmakers end up employing her. What better way to unleash the inner action hero than to stuff her into a series of evening gowns to win the beauty pageant?
  • [New] | Frank Ochieng @ SF Crowsnest
    • Excerpt: Bala translated may mean ‘bullet’ in Spanish but Rodriguez’s gun-toting gumption cannot stop ‘Miss Bala‘ from shooting hysterical blanks all over the place.

Reviews: Bushwick (2017)

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

  • Matt Donato @ We Got This Covered
    • Excerpt: Bushwick sets New York City ablaze but never tells us why, leaving viewers with nothing but street violence and an empty hopelessness.
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: Bushwick strives to capitalize on the adrenaline rush aesthetic of a videogame, masking its numerous cuts with distracting close-ups and pans to transport us from one sequence to the next as though we’ve never left. It’s an admirable attempt, but one that doesn’t wholly work as far as adding anything to what’s already a pretty pulse-pounding scenario.
  • Kristy Puchko @ Pajiba.com
    • Excerpt: Who needs heroes when you have pseudo-intellectual hipster bullshit?
  • Nuno Reis @ SciFiWorld Portugal
    • Excerpt: Pode ser muito bonito dar as mãos e enfrentar fantasmas gigantes ou ameaças extraterrestres, mas se aparecer um batalhão de homens treinados e armados, quantos se vão expor para defender a sua pátria, a sua cidade e o seu bairro? Esta é a visão nua e crua do que sucederia e não é bonito de se ver.
  • [New] | Michael Reuben @ Blu-ray.com
    • Excerpt: The heavily armed force that storms into a Brooklyn neighborhood expecting minimal opposition finds the opposite. As Brooklyn becomes Beirut (or Sarajevo or Basra), the film deploys an impressive combination of practical and digital effects to transform a familiar American landscape into a war zone.

Classics & More on DVD (Jan. 29, 2019)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Pre-2017 Film Reviews

Alphaville

Andrew Wyatt @ The Lens

Straight to Hell

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

From Our Members’ Desks (Jan. 28, 2019)

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

Tributes

For Carol Channing

Betty Jo Tucker @ AuthorsDen

  • Excerpt: Carol Channing’s passing motivated me to write this poem.

Essays

The Trip (1967)

Roderick Heath @ This Island Rod

  • Excerpt: Much as Paul’s decision to try acid is based in his desire to understand himself and push the psychic envelope rather than simply enjoy an illicit thrill, so the film serves as in part as a capsule of Corman rummaging through his career, winnowing out key images and concepts.

The World's Oldest Organization of Online Film Critics