This Week at the Movies (Sep. 11, 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: Sep. 11, 2020

Wide (United States)

The Broken Hearts Gallery

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

I Am Woman

Rich Cline @ Shadows on the Wall

  • Excerpt: Energetic and engaging, this biopic about singer Helen Reddy carefully highlights the larger issues that drove her career and inspired her bigger hits, even as it sidelines major elements of her life

Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat

  • Excerpt: A reasonably entertaining film for people who remember Helen Reddy and the way her signature song inspired millions of American woman in their fight for equality.

Rent-A-Pal

Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat

  • Excerpt: A sharp, unsettling portrait of the psychological damage extended periods of loneliness and isolation can inflict on a person.

Eddie Pasa @ DC Filmdom

2020 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Continue reading This Week at the Movies (Sep. 11, 2020)

Reviews: I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)

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

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: His third film finds him adapting Iain Reid’s ‘unfilmable’ award winning debut novel and yet it is unmistakably Kaufman, his themes of identity, depression and doomed relationships now literally shrouded in death.
  • Rich Cline @ Shadows on the Wall
    • Excerpt: As the story meanders along, it becomes a mind-bending exploration of life’s biggest questions, a movie we feel without fully understanding
  • [New] | Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews
    • Excerpt: I’m Thinking of Ending Things combines a darkly comedic tone with a bleak atmosphere to make for a haunting portrait of a relationship on the rocks.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: I thought about “ending” this movie many times while watching it.
  • Alan Mattli @ Maximum Cinema [German]
    • Excerpt: With “I’m Thinking of Ending Things,” Charlie Kaufman further cements himself as an uncategorizable force to be reckoned with – something cinema can never have enough of.
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: Once you accept that you’re never going to understand its rhythms, this Netflix production reveals itself to be incredibly substantive.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Student Edge
    • Excerpt: We’re trying to describe this Charlie Kaufman movie without spoiling it. Pray for us.
  • João Pinto @ Portal Cinema [Portuguese]
  • [New] | Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies
    • Excerpt: Charlie Kaufman‘s latest mind-massager is another intensely subjective and literate tour of the lonely corridors of the mind, where nothing is as it seems. It’s one of his strangest offerings— particularly when it reaches an irrational finale that departs from the source novel—but perhaps what distinguishes it the most is the exceptional ensemble acting…
  • [New] | Josh Taylor @ www.forgetfulfilmcritic.com
    • Excerpt: I’m Thinking of Ending Things will probably become a richer experience with repeated viewings. It is a puzzle box of a movie. With his sardonic dark humor and preoccupation with existential crisis, Kaufman has made one of the most challenging and interesting movies of the year.

Reviews: Mulan (2020)

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

  • Andrea Chase @ KillerMovieReviews.com
    • Excerpt: There are several volumes of sophisticated feminist theory at work, but, trust me, they are wholly in the service of a first-rate action-adventure film that puts characters ahead of spectacle.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Why is it that so many of Disney’s ‘live action’ remakes look so artificial, as if they’ve been mostly animated themselves?
  • Rich Cline @ Shadows on the Wall
    • Excerpt: Director Niki Caro expertly balances the drama, humour, adventure and action, creating a thrilling big-screen epic with potent emotional resonance and lots of female power
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: It’s perfectly watchable, and at times, quite enjoyable, but in moments where it seemed like they had the opportunity to do something new and interesting with the material, they decide not to. Instead, relying too heavily on the animated film that already has the audience’s affection.
  • Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: [It] improves on the story in some ways, but falls short in presenting a masterful, wire-fu epic.
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: Feels more like a meticulously recreated piece of product from the Disney factory and not a stirring legend based on centuries-old folklore.
  • [New] | MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Acceptably inoffensive, if less than wholly engaging. At least Liu’s strong, stately Mulan is a wonderful role model for girls who aren’t much interested in conformity and adhering to expectations.
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: Mulan is the first time I’ve seen one of these remakes and thought it kind of, maybe had a reason to exist.

Reviews: The Broken Hearts Gallery (2020)

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

Classics & More on DVD (Sep. 8, 2020)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Pre-2018 Film Reviews

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Revies (1965)

Anomalisa

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight (2015)

Now, Voyager

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews (1942)

The Nun

Bavner Donaldo @ Cinejour (1966) [Indonesian]

The Sandpiper

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews (1965)

The 39 Steps

Emanuel Levy @ OFCS (1935)

  • Excerpt: One of Hitchcock’s best U.K. thrillers, The 39 Steps, starring Robert Donat, introduces many themes that will recur in the director’s future work

From Our Members’ Desks (Sep. 7, 2020)

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

Best of Lists

5 Favorites Redux #43: Favorite Michael Caine Films

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

Festivals: Individual Reviews

The Block Island Sound

C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore

  • Excerpt: The Block Island Sound explores the horrors of the unknown with a very unique perspective.

The Dark and the Wicked

C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore

  • Excerpt: Bertino’s film depicts a grim vision of evil that offers no hope, not a single glimmer of light at the end of its dark tunnel. Deliciously horrific.

Fantasia 2020 – Short Films: Dibbuk, Laura Hasn’t Slept & Smiley Death Face

C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore

  • Excerpt: In these three short films from Fantasia we get a group of Jewish Ghostbusters, a terrifying therapy session, and the funniest, most dangerous text message conversation you’re ever likely to see.

Fantasia 2020 – Short Films: F for Freaks, Diabla & Narrow

C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore

  • Excerpt: Three short films playing at Fantasia which depict an authoritarian dystopian world, a witch taking revenge for her assault, and a woman doing her best to walk a dangerous narrow path.

Fantasia 2020 – Short Films: Nightingale, Mr. Thisforthat & Milk Teeth

C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore

  • Excerpt: These three terrifying shorts will each shatter some of your most preciously held illusions about life, from our faith in medical professionals to our visions of childhood.

Fantasia 2020 – Short Films: Progeny & Who Goes There?

C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore

  • Excerpt: Men and parasites are a common theme in these two different yet equally terrifying short films.

For the Sake of Vicious

C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore

  • Excerpt: Beneath the film’s ultra-violence are issues of class and justice that emerge with every bloody slice of a knife or crushing blow of a hammer.

Fried Barry

C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore

  • Excerpt: Fried Barry is at once hilarious and serious, using humour to keep things slightly foolish while the chaotic plot simultaneously digs into important issues about addiction in Cape Town.

Kriya

C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore

  • Excerpt: Kriya explores the disturbing horrors of patriarchy via Hinduism

Shakespeare’s Sh*tstorm

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies

  • Excerpt: Something about Shakespeare inspires Kaufman and his Troma team to heights of lunacy even beyond their usual excesses. Sh*tstorm may not be quite as surreal as ‘Tromeo & Juliet,’ but it represents a capstone of their transgressive punk aesthetic.

Unearth

C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore

  • Excerpt: Unearth explores the terrifying consequences of fracking in this desperate ecological warning of a horror film.

You Cannot Kill David Arquette

C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore

  • Excerpt: The resulting film is a powerful tale of redemption, self-acceptance, and the supportive people we all need to occasionally lift us up when we’re too weak to carry ourselves.

Awards Coverage

Continue reading From Our Members’ Desks (Sep. 7, 2020)

This Week at the Movies (Sep. 4, 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: Sep. 4, 2020

Wide (United States)

Tenet

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

2020 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Continue reading This Week at the Movies (Sep. 4, 2020)

Reviews: Boys State (2020)

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

  • Andrea Chase @ KillerMovieReviews.com
    • Excerpt: It finds in this purely ceremonial exercise a stark portrait of a deeply divided country at a crossroads, and in its protagonists’ struggles, a charged journey full of suspense, disappointment, and joy.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: riveting…a microcosm of the state of our divided nation as displayed by seventeen year-old boys, predominantly white and conservative, who are at turns impressive, infuriating, silly, mean-spirited, compassionate and frequently surprising.
  • Glenn Dunks @ The Film Experience
    • Excerpt: I watched the new Apple+ and A24 documentary Boys State and, sorry to break it to you, but America is nuts. Like, really. A lot. I’m allergic to nuts—anaphylactic, send me hospital kind of allergic—and I felt as if I were about to break out in hives watching Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss’ compelling and unsettling new movie.
  • [New] | Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Reviews
    • Excerpt: Like a reality TV show cinema vérité.
  • Josh Taylor @ www.forgetfulfilmcritic.com
    • Excerpt: Boys State is a masterful piece of observational, verité cinema. It’s every bit as engrossing as something like Harlan County, USA – although the stakes of that film, about striking coal miners in Kentucky, are literally life-and-death – and carries on the grand tradition of the direct cinema approach of the Maysles Brothers and Frederick Wiseman.

Reviews: Tenet (2020)

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

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” is a sleek, mysterious clockwork which, like its title, flips in its middle and doubles back on itself, exposing its inner machinations. As The Protagonist, John David Washington imbues the director’s chilly aesthetic with humanizing warmth.
  • Rich Cline @ Shadows on the Wall
    • Excerpt: Christopher Nolan’s latest brain-bender is an entertaining if rather dense spy thriller, mixing the globe-hopping splendour of a Bond movie with Nolan’s puzzle-style plotting, dropping clues into each Imax-scaled scene.
  • Rob Daniel @ Electric Shadows
    • Excerpt: With Tenet, Nolan has made his Bond film. Unfortunately it is Spectre by way of Guy Ritchie’s Revolver.
  • Sarah Gopaul @ Digital Journal
    • Excerpt: Nolan never fails to deliver on the big screen experience and, in spite of some atypical predictability, this is a thrilling watch from beginning to end.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Student Edge
    • Excerpt: Christopher Nolan has too much time on his hands.
  • Matt Oakes @
    • Excerpt: ‘Tenet’ sees director Christopher Nolan completely bend the knee to technical showmanship and entirely ignore the bread and butter of what makes films engaging: character. Though the mostly-practical VFX achievements make you wonder how he did this or that, there is no excuse for how actively not fun Tenet is.
  • [New] | Josh Taylor @ www.forgetfulfilmcritic.com
    • Excerpt: I suspect that Nolan spent a decade-and-a-half or so on the idea for Tenet so he could have a reason to shoot action sequences in reverse. If that’s all you care about, then mission gloriously accomplished.

Classics & More on DVD (Sep. 1, 2020)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Pre-2018 Film Reviews

Blonde Venus

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews

Brainstorm

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews

The Good Dinosaur

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews

Ishtar

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews

  • Excerpt: Ishtar may have been unfairly bashed for elements outside the film itself, but it is still a sad and sorry spectacle to see.

The Last Command

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews

Madame Du Barry

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews

A Man Called Adam

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews

Marie Antoinette

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews

Peyton Place

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews

The World's Oldest Organization of Online Film Critics