Classics & More on DVD (May 27, 2019)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Pre-2017 Film Reviews

Leonard Bernstein: Larger Than Life

Bev Questad @ It’s Just Movies [2016]

  • Excerpt: A pianist, a teacher, a composer, a lover of people and one of the world’s all-time best conductors, Bernstein “had charisma by the bucketload.”

Night Moves

Roderick Heath @ Film Freedonia [1975]

  • Excerpt: Night Moves’ peculiar mystique is generated by the permeating feeling that it isn’t about what it seems to be about. Despite the genre games, it’s also like most of Penn’s films a work of reportage recording the psychic tenor of the moment, contemplating people who find themselves at once exemplifying their times whilst also being trapped outside of them.

Robbery

Peter Nellhaus @ Coffee, Coffee and more Coffee [1967]

  • Excerpt: While the car chase at the beginning of Robbery deserves acclaim, the opening set-up is notable as well.

Village of the Damned

James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture [1960]

This Week at the Movies (May 24, 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: May 24, 2019

Wide (United States)

Aladdin

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Booksmart

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

Halston

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: With “Halston,” Tcheng may have chosen an inelegant framing device, but he’s done an admirable job recounting the life of an artist whose relationship with the business world was both savvy and his undoing.

2019 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Continue reading This Week at the Movies (May 24, 2019)

Reviews: Aladdin (2019)

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

  • Andrea Chase @ KillerMovieReviews.com
    • Excerpt: One ponders why Disney tasked Guy Ritchie, a director known for his innovative way around the gritty action flick, with directing a musical aimed squarely at the kiddie market.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: I have to admit the film is not without entertainment value, most surprisingly within an engaging performance from Will Smith that utilizes a spectrum of talent we haven’t seen from the actor in quite some time.
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: Not a trainwreck, but it is very uninspired. Will Smith and Naomi Scott manage to bring some charm despite thin material.
  • James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: By adhering mainly to the classic story with only minor tweaks, Disney’s reimagining delivers the goods.
  • [New] | Courtney Howard @ FreshFiction.tv
    • Excerpt: This live-action remake doesn’t come close to equaling the splendor of the original, but it certainly offers a fun musical spectacular in the process
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: The romance lacks chemistry, and the villain lacks bite. It seems embarrassed to be a musical, failing to embrace the necessary ineffable daydreaminess. Somehow even more cartoonish as live-action.
  • [New] | Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: It puts a spotlight on the cartoon’s issues, but can’t quite fix them in a satisfactory way. As such, this Aladdin becomes a nice companion piece to the other rather than improvement.
  • Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment
    • Excerpt: [Aladdin] is too long, and some of the musical sequences come up lacking, but the cast is strong, the production feels big, and magic carpets are always cool.
  • Frank Ochieng @ SF Crowsnest
    • Excerpt: …one cannot help but see this recycling of a beloved festive fable as nothing but an opportunistic money grab. Today’s Aladdin should have rubbed its own lamp and wished for the flavored footnotes of its legendary animated counterpart from yesteryear.
  • João Pinto @ Portal Cinema [Portuguese]
    • Excerpt: The new songs are awful, but Aladdin is a lot better then expected.
  • Don Shanahan @ Every Movie Has a Lesson
    • Excerpt: Aladdin reminds us how much of a consummate showman the 50-year-old is and always has been. Will has a style, energy, and stage presence all his own, and he saves this entire movie from sandy ruin.

Reviews: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile (2019)

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

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Berlinger [illustrates] how sociopathic charm can cast strong doubt even in the face of mounting circumstantial evidence. But the filmmakers leave out some of the more disturbing aspects of Kendall’s account, tilting the balance in their favor.
  • Van Connor @ BBC Sounds
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: Elements of it work wonders, especially with the performances, but it lacks the focus and thematic cohesion to work as a whole.
  • C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore
    • Excerpt: Never glorifies its subject, opting to show him as a bland, dishonest, and cruel human being instead, focusing on the wreckage he created that extended beyond his victims and their mourning families.
  • Betty Jo Tucker @ ReelTalk Movie Reviews
    • Excerpt: What in the world has casting done? Ted Bundy played by Zak Efron! A decision like that seems bold. And yet it proves to be true gold.

Reviews: Booksmart (2019)

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

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Booksmart may have anticipated this year’s college admissions scandal…but it derives its humor from the class killjoys’ laser focus on letting their freak flags fly in the last possible moments of their senior year.
  • James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture
  • [New] | Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: A raunchy yet uplifting portrait of teen life. Possibly the most egalitarian high school I’ve ever seen on film.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: A rare treat: a perfect film. Smart, funny, wise, sparkling with wit both visually and in its snappy dialogue. A self-assured directorial debut from Olivia Wilde, confident and effortless. Pure joy.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: They are not out to shed their virginities; perhaps in a film first, these girls are wise enough to recognize sexual conquest and/or a file folder of miscellaneous bedroom experiences do not define their identities. This is why Booksmart rises above its genre peers and represent this year’s seniors very well.
  • [New] | Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: Booksmart is raucous and rowdy, earnest and sincere, heartfelt and heartbreaking. It’s an ode to friends and friendship, and a reminder that people aren’t always exactly what you think or expect.
  • [New] | Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: The first [half] sees Molly and Amy falling into the usual tropes these comedies love exploiting for laughs while the second mines deeper to show the [hidden] poignant truths.
  • Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment
    • Excerpt: Booksmart is funny, fast-paced, well-made, full of heart, and an excellent place to find solid performances, as well as breakout stars.
  • [New] | Frank Ochieng @ ScreenAnarchy
    • Excerpt: Raucous, revealing, riotous and keenly cynical, Wilde’s refreshing take on the growing pressures of liberating femininity and over-achieving high school academia in the age of the Me Too Movement for the supressed female voice is a smart, observational mixture.
  • [New] | Andrew Wyatt @ The Lens

Classics & More on DVD (May 21, 2019)

Here are our latest reviews of films on DVD.

Pre-2017 Film Reviews

Decasia

Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies [2002]

  • Excerpt: A complete taxonomy of film damage is on display here..the experience is marvelous, not depressing.

Laserblast

James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture [1978]

From Our Members’ Desks (May 20, 2019)

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

Best of Lists

The Top Ten American 1960’s SF/Fantasy Pet Companions

Frank Ochieng @ SF Crowsnest

The Top Ten American Sci-Fi TV Doctors.

Frank Ochieng @ SF Crowsnest

The Top Ten American SF/Fantasy TV Show openings.

Frank Ochieng @ SF Crowsnest

Interviews

Continue reading From Our Members’ Desks (May 20, 2019)

This Week at the Movies (May 17, 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: May 17, 2019

Wide (United States)

A Dog’s Journey

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

The Sun Is Also a Star

For member reviews of this film, follow this link

Limited (United States)

Aniara

Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage

  • Excerpt: Kågerman and Lilja bring Martinson’s poem to cinemas with a stark beauty both in its sci-fi production design and emotionally wrought performances.

De De Pyaar De

Tusshar Sasi @ Filmy Sasi

The Souvenir

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: In her first leading role, Swinton Byrne, her only prior experience playing her mother’s daughter in “I Am Love,” is a revelation, her passion outweighing any lack of confidence, her naïveté endearing, her need to believe in her lover heartbreakingly relatable.

Trial by Fire

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

  • Excerpt: Although it’s been goosed with dramatic license which proves unnecessary overkill by “Precious” screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher, director Edward Zwick’s adaptation is the most powerful anti-death penalty film since 1995’s “Dead Man Walking.”

Trial by Fire

James Jay Edwards @ FilmFracture

2019 Films In Theaters Now In Select Areas

Continue reading This Week at the Movies (May 17, 2019)

Reviews: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

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

  • [New] | Dragan Antulov @ Draxblog VI [Croatian]
  • Emmanuel Baez @ Cinéfiloz [Spanish]
    • Excerpt: Holy shit! That was amazing.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: It’s hard to imagine just how franchise director Chad Stahelski and star Reeves are going to top Chapter 3, the most action-packed and outrageously violent of the series to date…That the film is such a treat for the eyes is gilding the lily.
  • Karl Delossantos @ Smash Cut Reviews
    • Excerpt: John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum is another installment of violent, unrelenting, epically-choreography action that has just enough story — and intrigue — to keep you wanting more.
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: It has everything one would want in an action film that manages to not only satisfy as a sequel, but it continues raising the bar for the genre.
  • Blake Howard @ Dark Horizons
  • Courtney Howard @ FreshFiction.tv
    • Excerpt: An eye-popping, jaw-dropping, show-stopping next chapter that extends the world-building beautifully, whilst assigning meaningful resonance to the character-driven action
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Modern noir god Keanu Reeves again stalks a fantasy(ish) world of exhausting, inventive violence. But this time, the curtain is drawn back on the sham of seeming orderliness in its world (and ours).
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Parabellum solidifies our addiction to John Wick. The quirky contemporary/medieval world expands to more exotic locales and offers new supporting characters to keep things fresh…along with dozens of DIY ways to kill bad guys.
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: John Wick: Chapter 3 raises the bar on action sequences.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Student Edge
    • Excerpt: John Wick, the perpetually drenched hitman whose Tinder profile surely reads “Must Love Dogs”, continues his kill-streak in the wild Parabellum.
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: The filmmakers have thus created something more akin to a musical than your generic actioner wherein the choreography and players serve as visual lyrics augmenting the pared down plot punctuated by staccato bursts of detail.
  • Aaron Neuwirth @ We Live Entertainment
    • Excerpt: There’s so much great variety in all the shootouts, fist fights, motorcycle chases, and horse chases that it’s hard not to applaud all the work that went into setting up so many successful set pieces…
  • Eddie Pasa @ Gunaxin
    • Excerpt: John Wick – Chapter 3: Parabellum chucks the rules of the first two out the window to make way for a balls-out game of “Let The Bodies Hit The Floor.”
  • Scott Phillips @ The Movie Isle
  • Don Shanahan @ Every Movie Has a Lesson
    • Excerpt: The finale is not the time to lose your edge. If you reversed the action sequence order of this third film, you would have a movie that peaks instead of sags.
  • Andrew Wyatt @ The Lens

Reviews: The Sun Is Also a Star (2019)

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

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: [Yoon’s] latest novel’s big screen adaptation (by “Girls Trip’s” Tracy Oliver) is also gimmicky and predictable, but it is also nonsensical and devoid of logic, a love story that requires such a huge suspension of disbelief only senseless romantics will be able to bridge it.
  • Courtney Howard @ FreshFiction.tv
    • Excerpt: Director Ry Russo-Young gives audiences a sweet, swoon-worthy romance in which to escape.
  • [New] | Frank Ochieng @ The Critical Movie Critics
    • Excerpt: Unfortunately, this astrology-themed showcase of challenged love between a female cynic and male poetic spirit loses its mushy translation in the cosmos.

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