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Quick Views of Other Film Sites

Here we’ve gathered a quick reference for interesting stuff on other sites, focusing mostly on reviews and upcoming movies. Click on one of the tabs below to see what each site has. For a more complete discussion of film review sites, go here.

The tabs below come from RSS feeds. If you know of an interesting and good film-related RSS feed that we might add, please post a comment below to tell us and we might add it to the list.


more over at Filmwell »»
The Strange Little Cat (Zürcher, 2013)
  The youngest daughter in The Strange Little Cat is the nearest approximation to my seven year old daughter I have seen in cinema. Zürcher catalogs the little adult responsibilities she wants to experience, like pushing plastic bottles into the recycling machine. He pays attention to the thoughts percolating after she hears something very adult about the world, […]…

Day of Wrath (Dreyer, 1943)
    “Day of Wrath, for pity take My sins away from Satan’s grasp And bear my soul to Heaven at last.” – Made in Denmark during World War Two, this film – set four centuries earlier – is heavy with the weight of German occupation, as women are tortured and cajoled into denouncing others […]…

Only Lovers Left Alive (Jarmusch, 2013)
“For rhythm and harmony penetrate deeply into the mind and have a most powerful effect on it, and if education is good, bring balance and fairness, if it is bad, the reverse.” - Plato “It is part of the business of the critic to preserve tradition – where a good tradition exists. It is part […]…

Ikiru (Akira Kurowawa, 1952)
Akira Kurosawa's epic Samurai films are among the greatest movies ever made. But it is a quiet, intimate story about a very different sort of hero, a mid-level bureaucrat confronted with the futility of his own life, that may be the director's masterpiece. Certainly it's one of his most spiritual films.…

Nothing Bad Can Happen (Gebbe, 2013)
    Katrin Gebbe’s first feature, Nothing Bad Can Happen, quite impressively made it all the way to Cannes in 2013. It is a hard enough film to watch that it met with mixed reception. From reviews I have scanned (so, consider this unscientific), most are repelled by the film because it does all kinds […]…

Ida (Pawlikowski, 2013)
Pawlikowski’s Ida is a throwback to an era during which directors took their craft seriously enough to produce worlds with such haunting precision they still seem a bit more important than our own. There is much Bresson, Dreyer, and even a little Bergman in Ida. It is full of solid building blocks of composition; basic thematic […]…

The Immigrant (Gray, 2013)
“The waters of the harbor were translucent and aquamarine; they ran thick with shards of ice and white islands as big as polar bears. Ellis Island lay in the distance, its Byzantine domes and blood-red roofs glowing the morning sunshine … Having passed through already, I knew the power of the Island and feared that […]…

The Power of Blackness: True Detective
 At all events, perhaps no writer has ever wielded this terrific thought with greater terror than this same harmless Hawthorne. Still more: this black conceit pervades him, through and through. You may be witched by his sunlight,–transported by the bright gildings in the skies he builds over you;–but there is the blackness of darkness beyond; […]…

Frances Ha (Baumbach, 2012)
“As individuals, we find that our development depends upon the people whom we meet in the course of our lives.  (These people include the authors whose books we read, and characters in works of fiction and history.)  The benefit of these meetings is due as much to the differences as to the resemblances; to the […]…

Murder on the Orient Express (Sidney Lumet, 1974)
  This is the first in a series of posts chronicling the fortunes of Agatha Christie on film from 1974-1988. I have previously covered some of these movies elsewhere, but the content of these posts is entirely new and oriented in a different direction. Spoilers are not only expected, but required, and I offer them […]…

Updated: 2 Aug 2014, 06:00 UTC

more over at Looking Closer »»
Looking Closer at Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Movie Reviewer so busy! Movie Reviewer scrambling to keep up with interesting movies this summer. Movie Reviewer not have time yet for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. But Movie Reviewer reading lots of interesting reviews from respectable critics… This week, Movie Reviewer gathers perspectives from Kenneth Morefield (1 More Film Blog), David Ehrlich [Read More...]…

Five Years Later: Pixar’s Up Remains an Achievem- … SQUIRREL!
This summer is the fifth anniversary of the theatrical release of Up, and it is standing the test of time as one of Pixar’s greats. If it weren’t for the “dogfighting” at the end, which took things a bit too far for me (talking dogs — okay, I’ll go there, but talking dogs that fly [Read More...]…

The 2014 Looking Closer Beauty Pageant — Contestant 3: Gloria
Just so happens that the first two contestants in the 2014 Looking Closer Beauty pageant were Polish. Now it's time to meet the third contestant. She's from Chile...…

The 2014 Looking Closer Beauty Pageant — Contestant 1: Ida
Welcome to the 2014 Looking Closer Beauty Pageant. So far this year, I've found four compelling contestants who manifest a different definition of beauty than the one embraced by popular culture. And it should come as no surprise that these characters appear in movies that have barely made a blip at the box office.…

Looking Closer at How to Train Your Dragon 2
I'm thinking about seeing "How to Train Your Dragon 2." So I'm consulting the opinons of Steven Greydanus, Scott Renshaw, Tasha Robinson, and Susan Wloszczyna...…

Confessions of an X-Men Ex-Fan [Revised]
I'm not going to try to talk anybody out of liking "Days of Future Past." I can see why it's getting such great reviews. But in the whole film, I found only one sequence particularly memorable...…

Why Moviegoers Everywhere Must Learn to Say “Zvyagintsev”
If you hear film buffs shouting "Zvyagintsev!" in the coming months, do not say "Gesundheit." The proper response is this: "When do I get to see Leviathan?"…

Surely J. J. Abrams Can Do Better: Phantom Menace at 15
I know, I know. Take a deep breath. Let go of your anger, young Jedi.…

Saving Mr. Banks (2013) … or Squandering Mr. Hanks
If you want to hang on to that warm "Mary Poppins" feeling, you may just want to stop reading — because "happiness" is about the opposite of how I felt when I finally sat down to watch "Saving Mr. Banks."…

Forget Twilight: These Are My Favorite Vampires
We’re all vampires. That is to say, we all have particular kinds of “blood” that we seek — sources of sustenance and inspiration that keep our eyes open and our hearts beating in a dark and punishing world. For me, it’s a particular kind of beauty and mystery that I find in art. That art cost the [Read More...]…

Updated: 2 Aug 2014, 06:00 UTC

more over at BrandonFibbs.com »»
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Like the boy that shares its name, the Harry Potter series stumbled from the gate, saddled not entirely unexpectedly with inexperience and immaturity. But then, as with the boy, something truly wonderful—even magical—happened. It grew into something to be immensely, colossally, button-poppingly proud of. Unlike nearly every adaptation Hollywood produces, the Harry Potter films, taken [...]…

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
It is no secret that I disliked the first two Transformers films. In fact, I employ no hyperbole whatsoever in admitting that I, for lack of a more expressive word, utterly loathed them. There are those who claim Transformers: Dark of the Moon is light years better than its predecessors. Do not believe their rancid [...]…

Larry Crowne
Several years ago, one of my dearest friends starred in a national CitiCard commercial in which a woman Feng shuis her house (the ancient Chinese system of aesthetics that teaches that greater spiritual energy can be derived from a proper orientation of your material belongings) but discovers that what she really needed to do was [...]…

Cars 2
It was bound to happen. No one can keep a winning streak like that going forever. A 25-year perfect game isn’t exactly shabby. In fact, it just might be unprecedented. There is no other creative entity in Hollywood with as unblemished and sterling a record as Pixar. This makes the stumble that is Cars 2 [...]…

The Green Lantern
When I was young, I accidentally punched a hole in the side of our garage wall with a wayward snow shovel. Terrified at the implications once my mother returned from work, I did the only thing I could think of: I taped a piece of notebook paper across the sizable gouge and painted over the [...]…

Super 8
Nostalgia is defined as “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.” One thing that is abundantly clear while watching Super 8 is that writer/director J.J. Abrams’ nostalgia for his early teenaged years—an era defined by the films of Steven Spielberg (also a producer [...]…

X-Men: First Class
In a summer unfortunately glutted with superhero movies, every one an origins story, X-Men: First Class not only eclipses its competition, but also each of its franchise predecessors. Psychologically complex, thematically rich and emotionally layered, this is the best, smartest and classiest of the X-Men series by leagues. This is a comic book movie that [...]…

The Tree of Life


Kung Fu Panda 2
Kung Fu Panda 2 is disappointing only because it is not the original Kung Fu Panda, a rare animated action-packed adventure that managed to delight adult filmgoers as well as kids not by injecting sophisticated humor but by making a story of a fat Panda bear incontestably exciting. The second entry in the trilogy (this [...]…

The Hangover: Part II
To dispense with a lengthy plot synopsis for The Hangover: Part II would be a profound waste of the time it would take me to write it and you to read it. The Hangover: Part II is the exact same movie as its predecessor down to nearly every single narrative beat. While there’s certainly something [...]…

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Fan fiction is an awkward literary subset written not by the original creator of a given work, but rather by fans. Nearly always disavowed by the originating artist, fan fiction is both defined by and exists outside the canon of whatever universe is being depicted, especially due to the fact that the quality of work [...]…

Bridesmaids
It is both artistically dishonest and embarrassingly naive to grant the status of “classic” to something only newly born. For a film to be called a classic, it must first stand the tests of longevity, critical reception and…oh what the hell, who am I kidding? Bridesmaids is an instant classic. Annie (Kristen Wiig) has a J.D. [...]…

Priest
Priest is the sort of movie you walk into knowing full well its IQ is significantly less than the bucket of popcorn balanced in your lap. About all you can hope for in this situation is that it will also be fun. And when it turns out to not be any fun at all, you [...]…

Thor
The problem with the current crop of superhero movies is that once you’ve exhausted the A-list (Superman, Spider-Man, Batman), you begin reaching for the second string personalities who may be every bit as worthy, but do not have the same sort of populist street cred. Thor is one such superhero. (The Green Lantern is another.) [...]…

Fast Five
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states roughly that there is a universal tendency for all things to progress from order to disorder. The longer a particular system goes, the greater its tendency toward entropy and decline. If only that principle could explain Fast Five, the fifth entry in the wearying, middling Fast and Furious franchise—clear [...]…

A personal note from Brandon Fibbs:
Recently, while wandering in Frost’s proverbial yellow woods, I came to a fork in the road and decided to take the one less traveled. After a half dozen years as a professional film critic writing about other people’s movies, I have decided it is time to start letting them write about mine. To that end, I [...]…

Hanna
In the Brandon Fibbs Book of Movieisms it is stated: “A bad film is not the worst kind of film. A bad film is simply bad. It does not aspire to be anything better. But a film with potential to be great that squanders its promise by either action or inaction is a far more [...]…

Happythankyoumoreplease
Observant and heartfelt, the gentle comedy Happythankyoumoreplease is certainly not the most polished film you will see this year, but it is a breath of fresh cinematic air all the same. When was the last time you saw a film populated with young people on the cusp of adulthood who traded reflexive cynicism for vulnerable [...]…

Source Code
A version of this review first appeared in The Colorado Springs Gazette. To read this review at its original source, click here. Proving definitively that his remarkable freshman effort, Moon, was anything but luck or chance, director Duncan Jones returns with Source Code, a less meditative and ambitious film than his last outing, but one which [...]…

Sucker Punch
A version of this review first appeared in The Colorado Springs Gazette. To read this review at its original source, click here. An ambitious, epic, operatic action delirium, the dark and intensely violent Sucker Punch is One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest on acid. The film is a glorious disaster, a mind-bogglingly messy, perversely gorgeous piece [...]…

Updated: 15 Aug 2013, 06:00 UTC

more over at Sister Rose Pacette's site »»
‘Gabrielle’ a sweet story of a young woman struggling for acceptance
  Gabrielle (Gabrielle Marion-Rivard) is a 22-year old woman who lives in a group home for cognitively disabled adults in Montreal. She has Williams Syndrome, a genetic disorder whose symptoms include hyper-socialization, heightened musical skills,  and intellectual disability. Gabrielle is very close to her older sister, Sophie (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) who has her own apartment and [Read…

“Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago” interview with filmmaker Lydia B. Smith
  Here is my interview with filmmaker Lydia B. Smith about her revealing and inspiring documentary about the Camino de Santiago de Campostela. Find out why six people (and  more really) from different parts of the world, and different ages, walk this ancient pilgrimage route and why and how Smith, a non-Catholic, made such a [Read More...]…

‘The Fault in Our Stars’ is a love story for our time
Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) is in her 17th year of life and fourth year of thyroid cancer. The chemo has severely damaged her lungs, so she needs constant oxygen. She doesn’t go anywhere without the tank and plastic tether that keeps her going. Her mom, Frannie (Laura Dern), drops a less-than-enthusiastic Hazel off at [Read More...]…

“Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago” has a story for everyone
  When director Emilio Estevez’ feature narrative film “The Way” was released in 2011, audiences across the United States and many countries were introduced for the first time to the ancient pilgrimage route “El Camino de Santiago de Compostela.” I had the opportunity to interview Martin Sheen at that time for NCR and followed it up with [Read More...]…

“Maleficent” – I really liked this movie
  In a time long ago, on the moors of a far away land, all  manner of fairies, pixies, and magical creatures lived happily together led by a young girl named Maleficent  (Isobel Malloy).  One day she meets a human coming through the hedges. It is Stefan (Jackson Bews). The two young people become friends. [Read More...]…

“Amazing Spider-Man 2″
(This is from my column at St. Anthony Messenger, June 2014 issue) It’s graduation day for Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), but Peter is late because, as Spider-Man, he is saving the city from thieves who have stolen plutonium. Gwen is the high school valedictorian, and she speaks movingly about hope. [Read More...]…

“Million Dollar Arm” is a unique people-baseball movie
J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm) is a Los Angeles-based sports agent who has branched out on his own with his business partner, Ash (Aasif Mandvi), but things have not been going well. When they fail to sign a big-name athlete, J.B. is inspired to go to India to look for the next baseball star. He convinces [Read More...]…

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” returns to familiar franchise themes
      Somehow, I think the Transformers franchise started a trend in “look” even to Noah’s prehistoric giants. The violence inherent in all the images is more troublesome.       I have always liked the X-Men film franchise. This most recent installment, again directed by Bryan Singer, revisits themes of predestination and free [Read More...]…

“Moms’ Night Out” held together by wacky character actors
  Right on time for Mother’s Day comes “Moms’ Night Out,” an angst-ridden comedy from Sony’s Affirm Films, a label aimed at evangelical Christians, and Provident Pictures, that has given the faith audience “Fireproof” (2008) and “Courageous” (2011). Allyson (Sarah Drew) is mother to three and married to Sean (Sean Astin), an architect who travels a [Read More...]…

Teens talk “The Fault in Our Stars” book & upcoming movie
  One of my nun-pals sent me this YouTube video about how teens are reacting to the book “The Fault in Our Stars” – and preview of the upcoming film based on the book – by John Green, the author and vlogger (video blogger), and video educator. I had not heard of it before but [Read More...]…

Updated: 2 Aug 2014, 06:00 UTC

more over at Frederica Mathewes-Green's site »»
Magic in the Moonlight
[National Review; July 25, 2014] When they invent a really reliable time machine, I’m going back to the day I graduated from college. I was an English major who took electives like “German Film of the 1930s” and dreamed of being a movie critic for The Village Voice. (How did I end up here instead? It’s a long story.) One thing graduation-day me will ask is “How…

The Fault in Our Stars
It was “beautifully tragic,” my young companion said, and judging from the sobs and sighing all around us, this opinion was widely shared. The film is based on the best-selling Young Adult book by the same title, authored by John Green (best known, with his brother Hank, for the YouTube channel Vlogbrothers). The novel bucked current trends by not being set in a near-future dystopia ruled…

The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Grand Budapest Hotel is surely the most Wes-Andersony of all the Wes Anderson movies, and if you’ve never seen a Wes Anderson movie, well, I don’t know what to tell you. Try this: of all contemporary filmmakers, Anderson is the one most likely to provoke reviewers to use the words “fey” and “twee.” …

Inside Llewyn Davis
There’s much to admire, but not much to enjoy, in Inside Llewyn Davis, the latest film from the Coen brothers. Joel and Ethan Coen, two Minnesota boys, have won great acclaim over 30 years of filmmaking, sharing a dozen Oscar nominations for writing, directing, and best picture. Their films cover an amazing range of genres, from dark and violent, like best-picture winner No Country for Old Men…

Austenland
The elements of Austenland are terrific: It has a clever premise, is based on a successful novel, has Jerusha Hess (of Napoleon Dynamite) in the director’s chair, and stars cute, likeable Keri Russell and funny, dependable Jennifer Coolidge. It’s produced by Stephanie Meyer who, whatever you think of the Twilight novels, should at least know something about marketability. But somehow the…

Monsters University


Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  The movie hadn’t been on very long, but I had the feeling that most of the funny scenes from the trailer had already flown by. I checked my watch: six minutes. Not much later the rest of the trailer galloped past. Then Dodge, the Steve Carrell character, pulled into his rooftop parking place at work. He leaned forward to check an insect bite on his cheek in the rear view mirror. With a…

Brave
As I watched the trailer for Brave I had a sinking feeling. It’s funny, of course, and the images and characters are brightly appealing. But the plot … hmm. A feisty young princess is to learn which of three princes — who range from wimpy to oafish — will be her future husband. They will compete with each other in feats of archery, with the winner to wed the princess. But she…

W.E.
As the last scene of this movie faded away, replaced by a screen reading “Directed by Madonna,” I asked my companion, “If you’d known ahead of time that Madonna was the director, would you have enjoyed this movie as much?” He replied, “Honestly, no.” …

The Adventures of Tintin
I have 11 grandchildren. I see plenty of children’s movies. I have acquired a jaundiced eye. As autumn leaves drift into piles, as souvenir teacups proliferate around a royal wedding, thus do crass, crude, cynical children’s movies pile up around the family DVD player. Until now. The Adventures of Tintin is superb. Grandparents everywhere will babble tearful thanks: it’s so much better…

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
This might be an excellent movie; it certainly looks impressive. But I’m only a little less baffled now, after reading up on the storyline, than I was when I walked out of the theater. Suffice it to say that reviews by people who had already read the novel, or viewed the 7-part BBC series, regard the movie with great appreciation. Those who didn’t already know the storyline range from appreciative-but-puzzled…

Main Street
Playwright Horton Foote (1916-2009) made the comment a few years back, “The people hardest on [my work] always say that not a lot is happening.” Oh, but what delectable nothing it is. Foote won Oscars for Tender Mercies (1983) and To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), and was nominated for The Trip to Bountiful (1985)—all works of great tenderness and insight. (Let me recommend too the little-known…

There Be Dragons
First the bad news, for adolescent viewers, anyway: there don’t be any dragons. Not the leathery-winged kind, at least. The title refers to a medieval map-making custom of inscribing the warning “Hic Sunt Dracones” on unexplored regions. In this case the warning refers to the unexplored regions of the psyche, where destructive emotions may lurk. …

In Time
And that’s the happy ending.   It’s this unintentional resonance that threatens to turn In Time from a nifty thriller into an unintentionally obtuse message-movie, one that seems to say that an international financial disaster would be the best thing that ever happened to the poor. There may have been eras in the last few decades when a saucy statement along those lines might have…

PBS Interview: Higher Ground
[October 8, 2011] Here’s a link to my interview on the PBS show, “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly,” about the movie Higher Ground: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/october-7-2011/higher-ground/9668/   …

Updated: 2 Aug 2014, 06:00 UTC

more over at The Hurst Review »»
Film Break: “John Carter”
My review of the new sci-fi blockbuster, John Carter, is posted at CT. I’ll happily go on record saying that this is a better film than many of its critics would lead you to believe– far from great, but consistently entertaining.…

Ten Favorite Films from 2011
Just in time for Oscar Week. I shan’t bore you with any Academy Award will win/should win talk– though you can make some inferences from my selections here– and I’ll also dispense with commentary about whether I found 2011 year to be a great year or a bum year at the movies. I only know […]…

Film Break: “The Descendants”
My take on Alexander Payne’s quite good new movie, The Descendants, is now up. Between this one, The Muppets, and, I expect, this weekend’s screening of Hugo, I’ve been catching up with a lot of superb films lately. Might be time for another movie round-up at some point next week.…

Film Break: This Year’s Favorites
I have seen fewer movies this year than in any previous year that I can remember. It’s not that I’ve lost interest in film, just that life and work have gotten in the way—plus, in my ever-evolving perception of what this blog is, I’ve tried to put even greater effort into writing thoughtfully and thoroughly […]…

Film Break: “Tower Heist”
Silly, but not at all unpleasant.…

Film Break: “The Three Musketeers”
File this one under Morbid Curiosities, I suppose, but my review of the new Three Musketeers movie is posted at CT. You can pretty much determine how silly (and loosely adapted) this one is just from the trailer, but I will say that it has its moments of fun, despite an overall poor execution.…

Film Break: “The Ides of March”
A rare interlude for film this morning– and a mighty good one, at that. George Clooney’s The Ides of March is riveting, and surprisingly cynical. A very strong recommendation here, but perhaps not for those who who prefer to cling to some sort of political idealism.…

Film Break: “Cars 2″
I reviewed the latest from Team Pixar for CT; you can read my take here. Wish I could say that Cars 2 was yet another addition to Pixar’s rather incredible winning streak, but I’m afraid this is squarely a bottom-tier Pixar offering, down with A Bug’s Life and the first Cars. I did like it […]…

Film Break: “Rejoice and Shout”
Rejoice and Shout is a terrific new documentary– out in limited release today– that functions as a sort of whirlwind tour of the 200-year history of black gospel music. The film’s historical perspective is fascinating, and the vintage performances are outright inspiring. You can read my full review of the film here– but of course, […]…

Film Break: “Hanna”
My review of Joe Wright’s new movie Hanna is posted at CT Movies. I’m afraid the visual stylishness of this one wasn’t enough to compensate for the rather hollow storytelling, at least in my experience.…

Updated: 2 Aug 2014, 06:00 UTC



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