This Week at the Movies (Apr. 5, 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: Apr. 5, 2019

Wide (United States)

Pet Sematary

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Shazam!

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

Amazing Grace

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: I stopped going to church in my teens, but if church were like this I’d be going every Sunday. The power of Lady Soul’s voice produces more shivers, more goosebumps, in ninety minutes than any thriller.

High Life

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Inspired by thoughts of a lone person on a spaceship where everyone else had died…Denis spun together a story about love and lust, reproduction and survival.

The Public

Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum

  • Excerpt: It’s blunt, clumsy, and leaves little room for interpretation, but Emilio Estevez’s passion for the story and its messaging is undoubtedly sincere.

The Public

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

  • Excerpt: Estevez never forgets the humanity he’s striving to spotlight. That’s what makes The Public a success despite the convenient characters and [parallels].

The Public

Beverly Questad @ It’s Just Movies

  • Excerpt: “The Public” is just plain great film-making. Estevez brings us separate, interesting homeless personalities of courage, despair and humor. He also comments on the crisis of our time through Stuart Goodson, who explains what’s going on over the phone to a newswoman covering the story: “And in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath.”

The Public

Don Shanahan @ Every Movie Has a Lesson

  • Excerpt: The Public makes a worthy stump speech for its checklist of modest societal issues.

The Wind

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: …screenwriter Teresa Sutherland explores the [frontier madness] concept with demonic trappings, director Emma Tammi smartly using time shifts to distract from the tale’s final revelation while masterfully creating a tone of oppressive dread.

The Wind

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

  • Excerpt: Sutherland’s script is working on multiple levels while Tammi’s formal aesthetics reveal an artist in complete control of her vision.

2019 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Continue reading This Week at the Movies (Apr. 5, 2019)

Reviews: Shazam! (2019)

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

  • [New] | Emmanuel Báez @ Cinéfiloz [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Shazam! moves along with great energy.
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: An earnestly joyful experience that keeps things simple and focused on character. The cast is charming and the humor is sharp.
  • Jim Dixon @ jim-dixon.com
    • Excerpt: Comparisons to Big are unavoidable, and SHAZAM! even acknowledges this with a sly wink and its own walk-on keyboard scene. Levi makes this work with a performance that’s knowingly guileless – no mean feat.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: Ultimately Shazam! emphasizes the happiness in comic books. It’s the heart that shines through.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Nothing matters in this literal adolescent-male power fantasy, a cheesy mishmash of nonsense and low stakes. Anyone who needs at least a bit of meat in their superhero tales will be disappointed.
  • [New] | Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Consistently fun to watch and not without a heart, “Shazam!” is the kind of superior, eager-to-please superhero entertainment that puts a good amount of pep in the viewer’s step.
  • [New] | Christian Long @ Glide Magazine
    • Excerpt: In the current spandex-stretched pop culture landscape, the Zachary Levi vehicle doesn’t seem to stand out in an over-saturated market.
  • [New] | Dan Lybarger @ Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
    • Excerpt: With Shazam!, the folks at DC have finally figured out the one major secret to Marvel’s success: While all of their movies have costumed protagonists, they aren’t strictly bound to the genre.
  • [New] | Vince Mancini @ Uproxx
    • Excerpt: One of the most enjoyable comic book movies ever made.
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: Shazam!’ is so saccharine and hollow, the emotion so manufactured and false, and the goofiness wears so thin so fast, it becomes insufferable and leaves a lingering bad taste.
  • Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage
    • Excerpt: Levi will be the one you remember because of his childlike enthusiasm, but Angel grounds those antics to earth so they don’t hijack message for laughter.
  • Jana Monji @ Age Of The Geek
    • Excerpt: Take your kids, take your friends and have fantastic fun laughing at this foible-filled superhero origins story.
  • [New] | Frank Ochieng @ SF Crowsnest
    • Excerpt: [An] engagingly cheeky and robust popcorn pleaser. In any event, ‘Shazam!’ is a heroic hoot for the ages.
  • [New] | Eddie Pasa @ Gunaxin
  • Don Shanahan @ Every Movie Has a Lesson
    • Excerpt: Zachary Levi’s schtick of superpowered shenanigans becomes the epitome of both the adjective and the noun variations of that choice word “zany.”

Reviews: Pet Sematary (2019)

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

Reviews: Hotel Mumbai (2019)

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

  • Andrea Chase @ KillerMovieReviews.com
    • Excerpt: The tension of silence and waiting is unbearable, as each character’s flaws and heroism comes to the fore.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: While any movie about such a horrific event is subject to criticism of exploitation, Maras has given us…one which allows us to understand what it must have been like to endure this horror as well as one which honors truly heroic actions.
  • [New] | Jared Mobarak @ BuffaloVibe
    • Excerpt: Hotel Mumbai tries so hard to separate Indian from Lashkar-e-Taiba that it forgets to separate out Islam too [as things] quickly devolve from docudrama to survival thriller.
  • Jana Monji @ Age of the Geek
    • Excerpt: One should be kind to the help and blessings come in disguise.
  • Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment
    • Excerpt: The film Anthony Maras and his team have assembled shows the sort of understanding of how to capture tension, without drowning the film in unearned emotional turmoil.

Classics & More on DVD (Apr. 2, 2019)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Pre-2017 Film Reviews

Battle in Heaven

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies [2005]

  • Excerpt: One can only imagine the director starting each scene by calling out “lights, camera, inaction!”

Ca Bau Kan

Bavner Donaldo @ Cinejour [2001]

The Last Tycoon [Croatian]

Dragan Antulov @ Draxblog VI [2012]

Score

Roderick Heath @ This Island Rod [1974]

  • Excerpt: Score was unusual for an erotic film of its time aimed at a relatively broad audience with an overtly gay male aspect, a last frontier on the road to liberating the screen, albeit one most exploitation cinema would neglect to breach.

From Our Members’ Desks (Apr. 1, 2019)

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

Best of Lists

Comedic Performances that Deserved Oscar Nominations

Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews

Tributes

Cinema Fearité Pays Tribute To The Late Larry Cohen With ‘It’s Alive’

James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture

Awards Coverage

Continue reading From Our Members’ Desks (Apr. 1, 2019)

This Week at the Movies (Mar. 29, 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: DATE

Wide (United States)

Dumbo

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

Diane

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @ Spirituality & Practice

  • Excerpt: A deeply spiritual movie that provides a slice of a caregiver’s life.

Unplanned

Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat

  • Excerpt: A reasonably engaging (if likely controversial) story about a woman who has a crisis of conscience at her job, anchored by a strong leading performance.

Expanding (United States)

Hotel Mumbai

Andrea Chase @ KillerMovieReviews.com

  • Excerpt: The tension of silence and waiting is unbearable, as each character’s flaws and heroism comes to the fore.

Hotel Mumbai

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: While any movie about such a horrific event is subject to criticism of exploitation, Maras has given us…one which allows us to understand what it must have been like to endure this horror as well as one which honors truly heroic actions.

Hotel Mumbai

Jana Monji @ Age of the Geek

  • Excerpt: One should be kind to the help and blessings come in disguise.

2019 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Continue reading This Week at the Movies (Mar. 29, 2019)

Reviews: Dumbo (2019)

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

Classics & More on DVD (Mar. 26, 2019)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Pre-2017 Film Reviews

The Runaways

Roderick Heath @ Film Freedonia [2010]

  • Excerpt: The lapses of The Runaways are frustrating because it’s a lush, exhilarating, stupendously entertaining movie at its best.

The Tarnished Angels

Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee, Coffee and more Coffee [1957]

  • Excerpt: I have yet to hear a disappointing commentary track from historian Imogen Sara Smith. Aside from adding to the already available information about Sirk, Zugsmith and the cast, Smith also allows for spaces within the commentary to allow the viewer to hear the dialogue of a couple of choice scenes.

From Our Members’ Desks (Mar. 25, 2019)

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

Interviews

Armie Hammer on Terrorism, Spiders, and the Call Me By Your Name Sequel

Pat Mullen @ Sharp

  • Excerpt: Interview with Hotel Mumbai star Armie Hammer.

Danishka’s Dystopia: A Talk with Level 16 Director Danishka Esterhazy

Pat Mullen @ That Shelf

  • Excerpt: Discussing Level 16, feminist dystopia, fandom, and The Handmaid’s Tale with director Danishka Esterhazy

Father Son Holy Gore’s Interview with Larry Fessenden

C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore

  • Excerpt: In Depraved, Fessenden does more of the same again tackling the personal and universal truths that bind us together, and, many times, also tear us apart. Although the seeds of this story began in 2003 when Fessenden originally wrote the screenplay, it’s a relevant piece of writing in 2019, for many reasons.

Festivals: Individual Reviews

Dave Bautista still finds comedy “a challenge”

Christian Long @ Syfy Wire

  • Excerpt: Though he’s a hoot as Drax, Dave Bautista admits he finds comedy challenging to portray

Lupita Nyong’o Learned the Ukulele to Portray a Zombie-Slaying Teacher in Little Monsters

Christian Long @ Syfy Wire

  • Excerpt: Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o learned to play the ukulele for her role as a zombie-slaying Australian pre-school teacher

Pet Sematary’s screenwriter was against changing the story — at first

Christian Long @ Syfy Wire

  • Excerpt: A fundamental change to the story of Pet Sematary ended up giving creative freedom to the project

Us captivates a packed house at SXSW

Christian Long @ Syfy Wire

  • Excerpt: Jordan Peele’s latest horror film does not disappoint

Awards Coverage

Continue reading From Our Members’ Desks (Mar. 25, 2019)

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