Category Archives: Brought to You by the OFCS

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)

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)

Classics & More on DVD (Jun. 23, 2020)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Pre-2018 Film Reviews

An American in Paris

James Wegg @ JWR (1951)

  • Excerpt: They could have danced all night

Big Man Japan

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies (2007)

  • Excerpt: If you love cinematic strangeness, Japanese-style, then you’ll be hooked from the moment “the Strangling Monster” flips his head to restore the combover that’s slipped out of place as he tosses the top half of a skyscraper into a nearby river.

The Great Ziegfeld

Emanuel Levy @ emanuellevy.com (1936)

  • Excerpt: Lavishly produced, but dramatically dull, The Great Ziegfeld was the second musical to win the Best Picture Oscar, in 1936.

It Happened One Night

Emanuel Levy @ emanuellevy.com (1934)

  • Excerpt: It Happened One Night. the 1934 Best Picture Oscar winner, was the first film to get awards in all five top categories, including Best Actor and Best Actress for Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert

The Life of Emile Zola

Emanuel Levy @ emanuellevy.com (1937)

  • Excerpt: Directed by William Dieterle, the crusading drama The Life of Emile Zola won the 1937 Best Picture Oscar.

Mutiny on the Bounty

Emanuel Levy @ emanuellevy.com (1935)

  • Excerpt: The first of three big screen versions of The Mutiny on the Bounty, th 1935 Best Picture Oscar, is still the most compelling, largely due to the superb acting of Charles Laughton and Clark Gable

Pitch Perfect

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight (2012)

You Can’t Take It With You (1938)

Emanuel Levy @ emanuellevy.com (1938)

  • Excerpt: Frank Capra became the most acclaimed filmmaker of the Depression era, when You Can’t Take It With You won the 1938 Best Picture Oscar and he received his third Best Director Oscar

From Our Members’ Desks (Jun. 22, 2020)

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

Best of Lists

5 Favorites Redux #32: Favorite LGBTQ Films

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

Awards Coverage

Academy Announces New Diversity Measures & Change to Oscar Eligibility

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

The Friday Face-Off Round Two #8

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

New Dates for 93rd Oscars

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

Poll: Remaking Best Costume Design, 1998

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

Essays

The Help Addresses Racism Without Making White People Feel Guilty—And That’s the Problem

Candice Frederick @ Oprah Magazine

Video Essays, Video Reviews, Vlogs & More

Continue reading From Our Members’ Desks (Jun. 22, 2020)

This Week at the Movies (Jun. 19, 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. 19, 2020

Wide (United States)

None.

Limited (United States)

Babyteeth

Chris Barsanti @ Slant

Babyteeth

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: First time feature director Shannon Murphy turns an Australian stage play (adapted by its author Rita Kalnejais) into a dramedy about embracing life with strong subtexts about psychiatry versus art therapy and prescribed versus recreational drug abuse.

Babyteeth

Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com

  • Excerpt: It’s a messy existence that mirrors the unpredictability of life and yet the filmmakers never chastise their characters or moralize their actions.

Followed

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: …like “Paranormal Activity” crossed with Ty West’s “Innkeepers” with writer Todd Klick adding a psychological twist… This one’s claim of having been based on true events is also more valid than most.

2020 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Continue reading This Week at the Movies (Jun. 19, 2020)

Classics & More on DVD (Jun. 16, 2020)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Pre-2018 Film Reviews

13th

MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com (2016)

  • Excerpt: Brutal, necessary watch for all who want to understand why America operates with impunity re its horrendous treatment of Black people. Incisive and shocking, moreso now than when it debuted in 2016.

Cavalcade

Emanuel Levy @ OFCS (1933)

  • Excerpt: Lavishly produced, Frank Lloyd’s screen version of Noel Coward’s sprawling saga won the the 1933 Best Picture Oscar

Cimarron

Emanuel Levy @ OFCS (1931)

  • Excerpt: The first western to win the Best Picture Oscar was Cimarron, based on Edna Ferber’s best-selling novel

Grand Hotel

Emanuel Levy @ OFCS (1932)

  • Excerpt: Grand Hotel, a star-driven melodrama, featuring Garbo, Barrymore, and Crawford, won the 1932 Best Picture Oscar

Shampoo

Bavner Donaldo @ CINEJOUR (1975) [Indonesian]

Showgirls

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Review (1995)

  • Excerpt: Showgirls, in all its figurative and literal naked glory, is tacky, tawdry, sleazy and at times flat-out bonkers. Despite its awfulness, I can see why so many enjoy its almost gleeful brazenness.

A Single Man

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight (2006)

Victor and Victoria

Sarah Boslaugh @ TheArtsSTL (1933)

  • Excerpt: Victor and Victoria is a marvelous comedy which never lets you forget that you are viewing a created object (not the least because much of the dialogue is sung, making this film something of an operetta) and which thus has no need to adhere to the dictates of naturalism.