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] | 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.

Reviews: Hustlers (2019)

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

  • [New] | 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.

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.

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

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

Festivals: Individual Reviews

Venice Film Festival: The Long Walk

Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee, Coffee and more Coffee

  • Excerpt: Probably not deliberately, but Do’s film is closer to Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Tropical Malady and Uncle Boonmee than to the kinds of films associated with “Asian Extreme”.

Awards Coverage

The Friday Face-Off Round One #3

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

Poll: Remaking Best Production Design, 2000

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

Essays

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

This Week at the Movies (Sep. 6, 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. 6, 2019

Wide (United States)

It Chapter Two

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

2019 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Continue reading This Week at the Movies (Sep. 6, 2019)

Reviews: The Fanatic (2019)

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

Reviews: Parasite (2019)

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

  • Bavner Donaldo @ Cinejour [Indonesian]
  • Richard Gray @ The Reel Bits
    • Excerpt: Bong Joon-ho draws on his considerable talents to explore the divide between rich and poor. A film you’ll be digesting for a while, before planning to see it again. But you know what they say about plans…
  • Simon Miraudo @ Student Edge
    • Excerpt: It’s a weird but maybe era-appropriate coincidence that the two best films of the year so far—Us and now Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite—are searing black comedies about class, featuring two rival families whose differences in wealth are largely the result of chance.
  • [New] | Luiz Santiago @ Plano Crítico [Portuguese]
    • Excerpt: All unemployed, Ki-taek’s family takes peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks for their livelihood until they get entangled in an unexpected incident.
  • Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]
    • Excerpt: Bong Joon-ho’s biting social satire is darkly funny and wildly entertaining.

Reviews: It Chapter Two (2019)

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

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: At least returning screenwriter Gary Dauberman sets up a running gag about Bill’s inability to end any of his books well, a charge that could be leveled at King…whose source material is, frankly, one of these films’ biggest problems.
  • [New] | Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: The film isn’t as tightly focused and constructed as the first, but it is significantly more fun and adventurous.
  • [New] | Bavner Donaldo @ Cinejour [Indonesian]
  • James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
  • [New] | Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: The drama is so sloppily constructed, ultimately it doesn’t feel like a story but rather a highlight reel for the visual effects teams.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: A bigger misfire than its predecessor, and a waste of a great cast. Unsupportably overlong, with a feel-good self-care denouement that’s almost dangerous. The only terrifying thing here is the tedium.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: The episodic “face your inner demon” scenes needlessly extend the story diluting the horror in the process. Muschietti stills knows how to cinematically murder children, but Pennywise and company lack the spit and vigor from Chapter 1.
  • [New] | Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: Even if it’s nowhere near as overtly scary as the first chapter, what the story gets at thematically is an effective fulfillment of what has already been established.
  • Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment
    • Excerpt: It: Chapter 2 had me floating away with the feeling I’ve spent five hours with this series, with no real thoughts other than seeing a missed opportunity.
  • Eddie Pasa @ Gunaxin
  • [New] | Andrew Wyatt @ The Lens

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