This Week at the Movies (Jul. 10, 2020)

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. 10, 2020

Limited (United States)

Palm Springs

Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment

  • Excerpt: Here’s a terrific film that manages to subvert a particular sub-genre of film, and deliver on being an ambitious romantic comedy.

We Are Little Zombies

GregoryJ. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: It wrings a surprising amount of depth from its short attention span style, and a surprising amount of empathy from its tale of children whose defining characteristic is that they have no emotions.

2020 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Continue reading This Week at the Movies (Jul. 10, 2020)

Reviews: The King of Staten Island (2020)

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

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: …it runs a bit long (and feels it), but Davidson effortlessly carries his character study nestled within a community portrait. This isn’t a laugh-a-minute comedy, instead a dramedy where tattoos both artful and inelegant draw the biggest guffaws.
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: It is Judd Apatow’s most affecting film in recent memory, and it cements Pete Davidson as a star.
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: A comedy of real substance.
  • [New] | Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment
    • Excerpt: The film takes a long time to get there, but it’s not short on the laughs and the amount of heart required.
  • Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews
    • Excerpt: Although this comedy-drama starring one of our favorite SNL regulars failed to evoke much laughter from my husband and me, we both appreciate the humanity and hope the film offers.

Reviews: Miss Juneteenth (2020)

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

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: …a gem that thrusts Beharie into a well deserved spotlight and announces Peoples as a filmmaker able to project the way circumstance and community have shaped her protagonist onto the screen and make us invested in her welfare.
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: Channing Godfrey Peoples delivers a strong exploration of Black motherhood, anchored by a great lead performance from Nicole Beharie.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: A beautiful cinematic experience, delicately subtle and bursting with a gorgeous sense of place and character. There is wonderful intimate suspense in every moment of Nicole Beharie’s performance.
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: [Despite its] well-worn formula, [the film] still feels fresh thanks to a powerful central performance and authentically lived-in environment.
  • [New] | Beverly Questad @ It’s Just Movies
    • Excerpt: CGP remarked that the theme of Miss Juneteenth was an exploration of what happens “when good things come too late.

Classics & More on DVD (Jul. 7, 2020)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Pre-2018 Film Reviews

Black Holler

Mark Harris @ Black Horror Movies (2017)

Casablanca

Emanuel Levy @ EmanuelLevy.com (1943)

  • Excerpt: Casablanca, the 1943 Best Picture Oscar winner. was not very popular at time of release; it was decades later (in the 1960s) that the feature became a cult movie and Bogart became Bogey the International star

I’m Drunk, I Love You

Bavner Donaldo @ Cinejour (2017) [Indonesian]

Mrs. Miniver

Emanuel Levy @ EmanuelLevy.com (1942)

  • Excerpt: A sentimental piece of WWII propaganda, William Wyler’s Mrs. Miniver swept the 1942 Oscar Awards, include Best Picture and Best Actress to Greer Garson

Paracelsus

Sarah Boslaugh @ TheArtsSTL (1943)

  • Excerpt: Lacking artistic freedom, Pabst may have decided that the best thing he could do would be to smuggle some subversive material into his films, right under the censor’s nose, as some American directors managed to do in the 1950s.

Pat and Mike

Sarah Boslaugh @ TheArtsSTL (1952)

  • Excerpt: The basic premise of Pat and Mike is very simple—does your significant other (or intended significant other) bring out the best in you? Or does that individual expect you to tamp down the best aspects of yourself, in order to fit into his or her already existing world?

Pitch Perfect 3

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight (2017)

Pulse

James Wegg @ JWR (2017)

  • Excerpt: The final solution—most certainly a reversal of fortune—manages to bring the film over the finish line with a final dance and stare from Ollie that offers the hope of a better life ahead.

From Our Members’ Desks (Jul. 6, 2020)

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

Best of Lists

The Best Films of 2020 (So Far)

Candice Frederick @ Harper’s Bazaar

Tributes

Enter Laughing: Carl Reiner (1922-2020)

Nell Minow @ rogerebert.com

  • Excerpt: Carl Reiner has died at age 98 after a warm, inviting comedy career as a writer, director, and actor that stretched from the earliest days of television to political barbs on Twitter. He was a talented and sometimes innovative director with a sketch comedy writer’s gift for affectionate but telling satire.

Awards Coverage

93rd Oscars: Upcoming Precursors – July

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

Academy Invites 819 New Members

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

The Friday Face-Off Round Two #10

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

Poll: Remaking Best Costume Design, 2000

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

Reviews of Short Films

Continue reading From Our Members’ Desks (Jul. 6, 2020)

This Week at the Movies (Jul. 3, 2020)

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. 3, 2020

Limited (United States)

Hamilton

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: You’d be hard pressed to find a better way to enjoy the July 4th holiday.

John Lewis: Good Trouble

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: “Good Trouble” is what Lewis, who proudly recounts having been arrested forty times during the civil rights era and five more during his years in Congress, calls fighting for what’s right. As Porter shows us, it has been the 79 year-old’s defining characteristic.

John Lewis: Good Trouble

Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie

  • Excerpt: The arc of John Lewis’s fight for equality and justice is long and shows no signs of slowing down. Director Dawn Porter shows the methods may have changed from the ’60s, but the results are the same – some enjoy rights callously denied to others.

The Outpost

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Director Rod Lurie (“The Contender”), a West Point graduate and veteran, pays homage to Bravo Troop 3-61, who would be outnumbered by a factor of over four to one in a position best described as ‘fish in a barrel’ in one of the worst battles of the Afghan War.

The Outpost

Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie

  • Excerpt: The Outpost feels like a war movie classic while simultaneously employing innovative ideas. The visceral performances are unique and combined with the absurdity of COP Keating’s situation, it will leave you with a lasting impression.

The Truth

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: We’ve all seen the tale of an aging actress chafing against younger competition, but Kore-eda’s found a new twist using his old tricks.

2020 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Continue reading This Week at the Movies (Jul. 3, 2020)

Reviews: Irresistible (2020)

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

Classics & More on DVD (Jun. 30, 2020)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Pre-2018 Film Reviews

Gone with the Wind

Emanuel Levy @ EmanuelLevy.com (1939)

  • Excerpt: Gone With the Wind swept the 1939 Oscars, becoming one of the most popular movies ever made. Is the movie racist? kitsch? influential? enjoyable?

Gone with the Wind

Josh Taylor @ www.forgetfulfilmcritic.com (1939)

  • Excerpt: The actual production value of the film is its only saving grace. Gone with the Wind is unquestionably a work of art made with considerable talent and quality, but the film is vile and insidious in how it depicts race, the Civil War, and slavery in the Old South.

How Green Was My Valley

Emanuel Levy @ EmanuelLevy.com (1941)

  • Excerpt: Politics, both within and without determined why John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley won the 1941 Best Picture Oscar and why Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane was snubbed

Pitch Perfect 2

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight (2015)

Rebecca

Emanuel Levy @ EmanuelLevy.com (1940)

  • Excerpt: Rebecca, the Best Picture Oscar of 1940 is the only Hitchcock movie to win the top award and only one of few thrillers to achieve that (the genre not prestigious enough among Academy voters)

From Our Members’ Desks (Jun. 29, 2020)

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

Best of Lists

5 Favorites Redux #33: Favorite Films by Black Directors

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

Interviews

A Little Bit of Buffer Room for Surprise: Bryce Dallas Howard on “Dads”

Nell Minow @ rogerebert.com

  • Excerpt: So, leave a little bit of buffer room for surprise, for humanity, for unexpected things to come out. I think that that’s the magic of what is possible with filmmaking.

Miss Juneteenth

Candice Frederick @ New York Times

Think Like a Dog Writer/Director Gil Junger on his Family Friendly Canine Comedy

Nell Minow @ The Credits

  • Excerpt: Gil Junger talked about the pleasures of ignoring the show business adage about never working with children or dogs and how the film is a love letter inspired by his own experience of re-connection to his family.

Training the Pups in Think Like a Dog

Nell Minow @ The Credits

  • Excerpt: It’s really important to me that the dog isn’t just staring at its’ trainer the whole time. I told Gabriel he would have to learn to become a trainer as well.

Festivals: General Coverage

Continue reading From Our Members’ Desks (Jun. 29, 2020)

This Week at the Movies (Jun. 26, 2020)

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: Jun. 26, 2020

Wide (United States)

None

Limited (United States)

Beats

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Brian Welsh’s timely film celebrates civil disobedience through a coming-of-age lens at a time when authoritarianism is on the rise and the youngest generation is at the forefront of the human rights battle… The moving, central heartbeat of “Beats” is how Welsh lets us see Spanner through Johnno’s eyes.

Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See

  • Excerpt: Beats captures the highs and lows, the simultaneous hope and desolation, and, most of all, the wild, anarchic freedom of youth and having no idea what you’re doing, but plowing full speed ahead, consequences be damned.

Irresistible

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Mixing the high stakes, small town politics of “Welcome to Mooseport” with the farmland morals (and sucker punch twist) of …“Promised Land”…“Irresistible” is just too been-there-done-that to have much relevance.

Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie

  • Excerpt: Jon Stewart wraps a critique of America’s divisive and money-saturated electoral system inside a political comedy…but he forgot the comedy.

2020 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Continue reading This Week at the Movies (Jun. 26, 2020)

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