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OFCS Reviews, Interviews, and More (April 1)

Click on any title to read OFCS member reviews, interviews, and more.

New Releases:
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
– Susan Granger
Eye in the Sky – Susan Granger
Kill Your Friends – Betty Jo Tucker
Standing Tall – Jose Solis
Martyrs – Rob Daniel
Batmanv v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Rob Daniel
Ki and Ka – Kathy Gibson
Everybody Wants Some!! – Laura Clifford
Sold – Maryann Johanson
Midnight Special – Mark Dujsik
The Island of the Day After – Donald Levit
Born to Be Blue – Mark Dujsik
10 Cloverfield Lane – Jared Mobarak

Repertory:
A Study in Spielberg: The Sugarland Express (1974) – Jerry Roberts
MINI-CRITICAS : BRUNA SURFISTINHA (2011), DREAM HOUSE (2011), WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER? (2011) – Hugo Gomes
A Study in Spielberg: Duel (1971) – Jerry Roberts
The Crying Game – Jared Mobarak

Interviews:
Interview: Director Tom Moore on His Lifelong Love of Trapeze, and the Legacy of ‘Grease’ – Jose Solis
Joe Manganiello Talks Playing Pee-wee’s Perfect Playmate in ‘Pee-wee’s Big Holiday – Kristy Puchko

 

From Our Members' Desks (Mar. 1, 2016)

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

Best of Lists

Son of Saul tops Greek Film Critics’ best-of-year list

Joseph Proimakis @ Cineuropa.org

  • Excerpt: In what was dubbed Year of the Woman, we’ve come down to an Oscar race revolving around a single white male with a bear on his back. How did that happen?

Interviews

Joseph Fiennes on “Risen”

Nell Minow @ The Movie Mom

Niobe Thompson and Darren Fung on ‘The Great Human Odyssey’

Pat Mullen @ POV Magazine

  • Excerpt: The director and composer talk about taking their documentary from the small screen to epic live performance.

Rafi Pitts can’t stand the ignorance surround Green Card Soldiers

Joseph Proimakis @ Popaganda.gr [Greek]

  • Excerpt: A Berlinale regular, the Iranian born director discusses this year’s Competition entry Soy Nero, regarding Green Card Soldiers and the American Dream Act

Soy Nero – Rafi Pitts interview

Joseph Proimakis @ Cineuropa.org

  • Excerpt: Iranian director Rafi Pitts, who has screened his latest film, Soy Nero [+], at the Berlinale, sat down to discuss his return to the German gathering and some of the issues explored in his movie.

Tomasz Wasilweski – United States of Love interview

Joseph Proimakis @ Cineuropa.org

  • Excerpt: First-time Berlinale competitor Tomasz Wasilewski came to Berlin a newbie and left an award winner with United States of Love [+], his story of three women suffering emotional and nervous breakdowns in the aftermath of the Polish communist era, which earned him the Best Script Award.

Festivals: General Coverage

Read More

From Our Members’ Desks (Mar. 1, 2016)

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

Best of Lists

Son of Saul tops Greek Film Critics’ best-of-year list

Joseph Proimakis @ Cineuropa.org

  • Excerpt: In what was dubbed Year of the Woman, we’ve come down to an Oscar race revolving around a single white male with a bear on his back. How did that happen?

Interviews

Joseph Fiennes on “Risen”

Nell Minow @ The Movie Mom

Niobe Thompson and Darren Fung on ‘The Great Human Odyssey’

Pat Mullen @ POV Magazine

  • Excerpt: The director and composer talk about taking their documentary from the small screen to epic live performance.

Rafi Pitts can’t stand the ignorance surround Green Card Soldiers

Joseph Proimakis @ Popaganda.gr [Greek]

  • Excerpt: A Berlinale regular, the Iranian born director discusses this year’s Competition entry Soy Nero, regarding Green Card Soldiers and the American Dream Act

Soy Nero – Rafi Pitts interview

Joseph Proimakis @ Cineuropa.org

  • Excerpt: Iranian director Rafi Pitts, who has screened his latest film, Soy Nero [+], at the Berlinale, sat down to discuss his return to the German gathering and some of the issues explored in his movie.

Tomasz Wasilweski – United States of Love interview

Joseph Proimakis @ Cineuropa.org

  • Excerpt: First-time Berlinale competitor Tomasz Wasilewski came to Berlin a newbie and left an award winner with United States of Love [+], his story of three women suffering emotional and nervous breakdowns in the aftermath of the Polish communist era, which earned him the Best Script Award.

Festivals: General Coverage

Read More

Classics & More on DVD (Feb. 29, 2016)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Andrei Rublev

Hugo Gomes @ Cinematograficamente Falando … [Portuguese]

Annie Hall (1977)

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Annie Hall is a good film, a bit dated now perhaps, a trifle too intellectual for some I imagine, but on the whole, not a bad time. Maybe it even Seems Like Old Times…

The Bed Sitting Room

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: This absurd anxiety nightmare about the Bomb could only have come out of the Swinging Sixties; it’s one of the weirder relics of an era when filmmakers felt it was their patriotic duty to laugh in the face of the imminent apocalypse.

Braveheart

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Braveheart is one of these historic films that doesn’t bother itself with historical accuracy if it gets in the way of a good dramatic moment. If however, we focus on Braveheart’s message, then it becomes a rousing spectacle.

Criss Cross

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Dragon Inn

James Marsh @ Twitchfilm.com

  • Excerpt: Considered by many to be the architect of wuxia cinema, King Hu was to martial arts was John Ford was to the western. Beginning with his 1966 Shaw Brothers adventure Come Drink With Me, Hu took a pulp genre associated with little more than cheap entertainment and period adventures, and fashioned from it some of the industry’s most revered and enduring cinematic offerings. Read more: http://twitchfilm.com/2015/12/learning-from-the-masters-of-cinema-king-hus-dragon-inn.html#ixzz41AHib8vu

Farewell, My Lovely

Henry Stewart @ Brooklyn Magazine

Julius Caesar (1970)

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Julius Caesar has some impressive cinematic decisions, and one very bizarre performance. I think time has been kinder to this Julius Caesar and that a major reevaluation should be taken.

Ordinary People

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: After seeing Ordinary People, the story itself is I think (is) predictable and something a bit melodramatic, something you’d find in a Lifetime Movie (at least not one involving a ‘woman in peril’).

The Palm Beach Story

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

  • Excerpt: There is nothing sillier in love than trying to treat romance as a practical thing, yet that is exactly what the young married couple at the center of Preston Sturges’ 1942 screwball rom-com The Palm Beach Story attempt to do.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Emanuel Levy @ www.EmanuelLevy.com

  • Excerpt: Tribute to Harper Lee, author of classic novel made into a classic movie starring Gregory Peck in his Oscar role.

A Touch of Zen

James Marsh @ Twitchfilm.com

  • Excerpt: Heralded as possibly the greatest martial arts film ever made, King Hu’s A Touch Of Zen stands apart from most other films in the wuxia genre. For one thing it runs over three hours long, a rarity among its peers and unheard of at the time of its release. Read more: http://twitchfilm.com/2016/02/learning-from-the-masters-of-cinema-king-hus-a-touch-of-zen-1.html#ixzz41AHrYreX

Unforgiven (1992)

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Unforgiven is a dark, somber film, but one that is brilliant in the exploration of redemption (and lack thereof), of the struggle between justice and revenge, and how what we know of The West is built on myth, a myth perpetuated by those who themselves knew better.

Recent Home Video Releases

Read More

Classics & More on DVD (Feb. 29, 2016)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Reviews of Classic Films

Andrei Rublev

Hugo Gomes @ Cinematograficamente Falando … [Portuguese]

Annie Hall (1977)

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Annie Hall is a good film, a bit dated now perhaps, a trifle too intellectual for some I imagine, but on the whole, not a bad time. Maybe it even Seems Like Old Times…

The Bed Sitting Room

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: This absurd anxiety nightmare about the Bomb could only have come out of the Swinging Sixties; it’s one of the weirder relics of an era when filmmakers felt it was their patriotic duty to laugh in the face of the imminent apocalypse.

Braveheart

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Braveheart is one of these historic films that doesn’t bother itself with historical accuracy if it gets in the way of a good dramatic moment. If however, we focus on Braveheart’s message, then it becomes a rousing spectacle.

Criss Cross

Kristen Lopez @ Journeys in Classic Film

Dragon Inn

James Marsh @ Twitchfilm.com

  • Excerpt: Considered by many to be the architect of wuxia cinema, King Hu was to martial arts was John Ford was to the western. Beginning with his 1966 Shaw Brothers adventure Come Drink With Me, Hu took a pulp genre associated with little more than cheap entertainment and period adventures, and fashioned from it some of the industry’s most revered and enduring cinematic offerings. Read more: http://twitchfilm.com/2015/12/learning-from-the-masters-of-cinema-king-hus-dragon-inn.html#ixzz41AHib8vu

Farewell, My Lovely

Henry Stewart @ Brooklyn Magazine

Julius Caesar (1970)

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Julius Caesar has some impressive cinematic decisions, and one very bizarre performance. I think time has been kinder to this Julius Caesar and that a major reevaluation should be taken.

Ordinary People

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: After seeing Ordinary People, the story itself is I think (is) predictable and something a bit melodramatic, something you’d find in a Lifetime Movie (at least not one involving a ‘woman in peril’).

The Palm Beach Story

Jamie S. Rich @ Criterion Confessions

  • Excerpt: There is nothing sillier in love than trying to treat romance as a practical thing, yet that is exactly what the young married couple at the center of Preston Sturges’ 1942 screwball rom-com The Palm Beach Story attempt to do.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Emanuel Levy @ www.EmanuelLevy.com

  • Excerpt: Tribute to Harper Lee, author of classic novel made into a classic movie starring Gregory Peck in his Oscar role.

A Touch of Zen

James Marsh @ Twitchfilm.com

  • Excerpt: Heralded as possibly the greatest martial arts film ever made, King Hu’s A Touch Of Zen stands apart from most other films in the wuxia genre. For one thing it runs over three hours long, a rarity among its peers and unheard of at the time of its release. Read more: http://twitchfilm.com/2016/02/learning-from-the-masters-of-cinema-king-hus-a-touch-of-zen-1.html#ixzz41AHrYreX

Unforgiven (1992)

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Unforgiven is a dark, somber film, but one that is brilliant in the exploration of redemption (and lack thereof), of the struggle between justice and revenge, and how what we know of The West is built on myth, a myth perpetuated by those who themselves knew better.

Recent Home Video Releases

Read More

This Week, Part 2 (Feb. 26-28, 2016)

Because of embargoes, 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: Feb. 26-28, 2016

Wide (United States)

Eddie the Eagle

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

Gods of Egypt

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

Triple 9

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

Limited (United States)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny

James Marsh @ Screen International

  • Excerpt: Michelle Yeoh reprises her role as lovelorn warrior Shu Lien this belated sequel to Ang Lee’s worldwide smash hit wuxia drama, directed by Hong Kong action legend Yuen Wo-ping.

The Last Man on the Moon

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice

  • Excerpt: A superb documentary that helps us to imagine what it was like to be an astronaut and to walk on the moon.

Kenji Fujishima @ Paste
Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat

  • Excerpt: Spellbinding! A vital, wondrous piece of history is beautifully preserved.

2015 & 2016 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Read More

This Week, Part 1 (Feb. 26-28, 2016)

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: Feb. 26-28, 2016

Wide (United States)

Eddie the Eagle

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Gods of Egypt

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Triple 9

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny

James Marsh @ Screen International

  • Excerpt: Michelle Yeoh reprises her role as lovelorn warrior Shu Lien this belated sequel to Ang Lee’s worldwide smash hit wuxia drama, directed by Hong Kong action legend Yuen Wo-ping.

The Last Man on the Moon

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice

  • Excerpt: A superb documentary that helps us to imagine what it was like to be an astronaut and to walk on the moon.

Kenji Fujishima @ Paste
Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat

  • Excerpt: Spellbinding! A vital, wondrous piece of history is beautifully preserved.

2015 & 2016 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Read More

The OFCS Covers the Oscars

Every year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) announce their selections for the best achievements of 2015. This Sunday, AMPAS will give out its annual kudos and our members have each put together articles to celebrate the occasion. Below are all the links to our members’ work covering this event from predictions to commentary. Please enjoy!

2016 Oscar Predictions

Dustin Jansick @ Way Too Indie

2016 Oscars Preview

Kenji Fujishima @ Paste

The 2016 Oscar-Nominated Short Films

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: As always, the Oscar nominated short films in both category are a mixture of the brilliant and the bizarre. Let’s take a look.

2016 Oscars: The Predictions

Steve Katz @ The Alpha Primitive

The 88th Academy Award predictions: the only list you’ll need

Jim Dixon @ Examiner.com

88th Oscars: Oscar Guy’s Final Thoughts

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Where I share my final thoughts on this year’s potential Oscar winners (Goes live at 10am Central).

The Armchair Critic’s (fairly accuate) Oscar Predictions

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

The Armchair Critic’s Annual (and confidently accurate) Oscar Predictions

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: I think I have a pretty good track record, plus I’m also fairly confident that this year’s Oscars are so predictable that this won’t be too far off.

Breaking Down Oscar’s Production Design Nominees

David Upton @ The Film Experience

  • Excerpt: A closer look at this year’s Oscar nominees for Production Design.

Catching up with Oscar nominated films at home

Sean Axmaker @ Stream On Demand

  • Excerpt: The Academy Awards will be handed out on Sunday, February 28 in another star-studded, overproduced, self-congratulatory spectacle that we seem unable to resist. Are you caught up on the major nominees?

Checking Out the Oscar-Nominated Documentary Features

Alan Mattli @ Maximum Cinema [German]

  • Excerpt: A look at the strengths and weaknesses of the five Oscar nominees for Best Documentary Feature.

Cole Smithey’s 2016 Oscar Predictions

Cole Smithey @ ColeSmithey.com

  • Excerpt: [VIDEO ESSAY] Cole Smithey’s 2016 Oscar Predictions

Dealpool

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: I knew Ryan Reynolds’ passion for this character, and everyone knows his decade-long struggle to get this movie made after Deadpool’s disastrous cinematic debut in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (there’s more than one reference to it). What I didn’t expect was how much I would come to care about this character and his plight. Deadpool’s dialogue is a ceaseless string of often explosively funny one-liners, though I can’t decide if my favorite is the line about Hugh Jackman, the zamboni, the fourth wall, Jared Fogal, or the derogatory slap at creator Rob Leifeld. Yet, I cared about what happened to him because I cared about the story of the man under the mask.

Favorite Oscar Moments from the Past

Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Final Oscar Predictions: ‘Fasten Your Seatbelts. It’s Going to Be a Bumpy Night’

Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer

  • Excerpt: At the end of one of the toughest, ugliest award seasons ever, a look back at what was a really good year for movies.

Just How Annual Are The Annual Academy Awards?

Kimberly Gadette @ Doddle

  • Excerpt: Mad Max is facing annihilation … again.

Mis predicciones –

Francisco Cangiano @ CineXpress [Spanish]

Mis predicciones – Oscars 2016

Francisco Cangiano @ CineXpress [Spanish]

The Nightmare Gallery vs. The 88th Academy Awards

Daniel Lackey @ The Nightmare Gallery

  • Excerpt: It’s time to get ready for Hollywood’s whitest night—I mean brightest night—with yet another round of Oscar predictions!

No Concessions: My Oscar Ballot, 2016

Robert Cashill @ Popdose.com

  • Excerpt: My Oscar ballot for Sunday’s ceremony.

One Last Look at the Nominees

Dan Lybarger @ Just In Case It Matters

Oscar Nominations: Please Put All Complaints Into the Suggestion Box (So They Can Be Promptly Thrown Into the Garbage)

Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk Online

Oscar Predictions

Susan Granger @ www.susangranger.com

  • Excerpt: A dark cloud hangs over the Oscars this year…

Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 13

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: A look at the winners and losers of Precursor Week 13

Oscars 2016 Final Predictions

Pete Gkaris @ Movies Ltd. [Greek]

Oscars 2016 Preview: Best Foreign Language Film

C.J. Prince @ Way Too Indie

  • Excerpt: An overview of the films nominated for Best Foreign Language Film

Oscars: Where have all the women gone

Joseph Proimakis @ Popaganda.gr [Greek]

  • Excerpt: In what was dubbed Year of the Woman, we’ve come down to an Oscar race revolving around a single white male with a bear on his back. How did that happen?

Picking Winners At The 88th Annual Academy Awards

Jared Mobarak @ BuffaloVibe

  • Excerpt: Here’s hoping Chris Rock does his best Ricky Gervais as far as not caring about political correctness or duty to kissing up to the celebrities all dressed-up nice because having him host the 2016 Oscars ceremony amidst the whole #OscarsSoWhite controversy is an opportunity not to be squandered.

Picks and Predictions for the 88th Annual Academy Awards (aka, the 2016 Oscars)

Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies (blog)

Previsão de Vencedores Dos Óscares – 1ª Parte

João Pinto @ Portal Cinema [Portuguese]

Previsão de Vencedores Dos Óscares – 2ª Parte

João Pinto @ Portal Cinema [Portuguese]

What We Learned from the Berlin Film Festival

C.J. Prince @ Way Too Indie

Will Win / Should Win: Breaking Down Oscar’s Best Feature Documentary Race

Pat Mullen @ POV Magazine

  • Excerpt: This year boast a field of five strong contenders.

Win your Oscar pool by getting to know the nominated Short Films

Tom Santilli @ Examiner.com

Your guide to the 2016 Academy Awards

Tom Santilli @ Examiner.com

Reviews: Green Room (2016)

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

  • [New – 6/5/15] | Marco Albanese @ Stanze di Cinema [Italian]
    • Excerpt: Jeremy Saulnier, che qui aveva presentato il piu’ compatto Blue Ruin, sembra divertirsi a mettere in scena la mattanza. Il suo e’ cinema di genere, senza troppe pretese, sapido e beffardo come l’ultima battuta tra i due protagonisti
  • [New – 9/24/15] | Nicholas Bell @ Ioncinema
  • [New – 10/22/15] | Rob Daniel @ Electric Shadows
    • Excerpt: A first class exercise in teeth-grinding suspense
  • [New – 2/25/16] | Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog
    • Excerpt: Green with envy.
  • [New – 9/17/15] | Nuno Reis @ SciFiWorld Portugal [Portuguese]
    • Excerpt: Saulnier volta a conseguir um filme controverso, sem pontos muitos fortes, mas sem pontos fracos, que fará os amantes do thriiler passarem um bom momento enquanto assistem a uma escalada da violência.
  • [New – 10/22/15] | Rob Wallis @ The Metropolist
    • Excerpt: Green Room has a nihilistic streak to it that may deter those who like a moral to their carnage. We, however, can’t wait to see what’s next on the palette.

From Our Members' Desks (Feb. 23, 2016)

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

Best of Lists

The 10 Best Broad City YouTube Episodes

Kenji Fujishima @ Paste

Top 10 Movie Marriages Gone Bad

Frank Ochieng @ Critical Movie Critics

Awards Coverage

Memo to the Academy: For Your Consideration

Pat Mullen @ Cinemablographer

  • Excerpt: As voting deadlines loom, Oscar voters should consider ‘Spotlight’, ‘Carol’, ‘Youth’ and ‘What Happened, Miss Simone?’

Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 12

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Looking at the winners and losers from Precursor Week 12

Interviews

Read More

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