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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 »»
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 […]…

This is Martin Bonner (Hartigan, 2013)
Many images and scenes in This is Martin Bonner are about either vision or payment. Or both: investment. Chad Hartigan’s film begins with a long shot of a prison; partly obstructing the view of Nevada’s mountainous landscape is a watchtower, an image that establishes what might be considered essential to the film’s visual theme: fortified […]…

Black Mirror (Brooker/Channel 4)
“As we contemplate the world converted into a huge machine and managed by engineers, we gradually grow aware of its lack of meaning, and of its emptiness of human value; the soul is stifled in this glorification of mechanical efficiency.  And then we begin to feel the weakness of such a creed when confronted by […]…

Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013)
    On paper, Upstream Color ticks a remarkable number of my boxes: Carruth? ✓ Lengthy sequences sans dialogue? ✓ Auteur struggle vibe? ✓ Economy of image across multiple planes of action? ✓ Responsive PR contact? ✓ Fetching composition? ✓ Alternative distribution? ✓ Arboreal? ✓ Really cosmic stuff going on?  ✓ Pascalian images of the “condition of men”? ✓…

To The Wonder (Malick, 2013)
Curator Magazine posted my review of To The Wonder last week. It was a delight to write for them. But more could have been said about the O’Keefe orchid and succulent shots, the shot focus on the mirror image of the unicorn in one of the medieval “Lady and the Unicorn” tapestries, the Lorica of St. Patrick, […]…

La Pivellina and the Child’s-Eye-View: The Docu-Drama of Tizza Covi & Rainer Frimmel
MORE THAN A FEW filmmakers have plotted a career path or artistic journey from documentary to fictional cinema. For some, it’s a fairly straight path. Krzysztof Kieślowski shot a doc on the Polish court system, where he met a lawyer who became his screenwriter and the rest was less history than art. Other journeys are […]…

Captive Audience: A Response to Holy Motors
Holy Motors touched a nerve. Void of almost any exposition, it seems designed to provoke. We know only what we see: A man named Oscar (Denis Lavant) travels through Paris in a white limo, changing identities and stopping at one place after another to act out in bizarre, sometimes disturbing ways. We don’t know why, […]…

Ten Notes on “Elementary”; or, Why Can’t I Love It?
I So CBS’s Elementary has been running for a while, and I keep meaning to catch up with it and give it a proper review—“this works,” “this doesn’t”—the whole nine yards. And yet, somehow, I can’t manage to keep up. I watched the pilot—sampled an episode or two—and yet, Thursday after Thursday passes and I […]…

Holy Motors (Carax, 2012)
Holy Motors lends itself to conversation about identity and all the slippery little details we cobble together to make sense of ourselves and our relationships. Father, daughter, elder, voyeur, employee, companion, uncle, etc… There is a Confucian arithmetic to the way Lavant’s character travels across so many different relationships in this troubling riot of a film, […]…

Updated: 23 Apr 2014, 14:00 UTC

more over at Looking Closer »»
Brave (2012)
My review of Brave is published at Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine.…

First Position (2011)
My review of First Position is published at Good Letters, the blog hosted by Image.…

1920-2011: Overstreet’s Favorite Film Lists
This is a work in progress: a running list of my favorite films by year. 2012  2011 2010 2009  2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000 1999  1998  1997  1996  1995  1994  1993  1992  1991  1990 1989  1988  1987  1986  1985  1984  1983  1982  1981  1980 1970s  1960s 1950s  1940s  1930s  1920s AN [...]…

2011: Overstreet’s Favorite Films
Here is the current (but occasionally updated) list of my favorite films from 2011. In order to understand the purpose and meaning of this list, please read my introduction to the Looking Closer Favorite Films lists here. • 2011 The Tree of Life (reviews) Pina* (review) A Separation* The Mill and the Cross The Kid [...]…

2010: Overstreet’s Favorite Films
Here is the current (but occasionally updated) list of my favorite films from 2010. In order to understand the purpose and meaning of this list, please read my introduction to the Looking Closer Favorite Films lists here. • 2010 Certified Copy* (review) Toy Story 3 (review) Of Gods and Men* (review) Lucky Life* (review) True [...]…

2009: Overstreet’s Favorite Films
Here is the current (but occasionally updated) list of my favorite films from 2009. In order to understand the purpose and meaning of this list, please read my introduction to the Looking Closer Favorite Films lists here. • 2009 The Secret of Kells* (two-part review: Pt. 1, Pt. 2) Up (review) Where the Wild Things Are (review) [...]…

2008: Overstreet’s Favorite Films
Here is the current (but occasionally updated) list of my favorite films from 2008. In order to understand the color-coding, the purpose, and meaning of this list, please read my introduction to the Looking Closer Favorite Films lists here. Red = Treasures Purple = Favorites Blue = Achievements Gray = Decent/Noteworthy Green = Unseen or Undecided [...]…

2007: Overstreet’s Favorite Films
Here is the current (but occasionally updated) list of my favorite films from 2007. In order to understand the purpose and meaning of this list, please read my introduction to the Looking Closer Favorite Films lists here. • 2007 In the City of Sylvia* There Will Be Blood Shotgun Stories* (review) Munyurangabo* (review) Flight of [...]…

2006: Overstreet’s Favorite Films
Here is the current (but occasionally updated) list of my favorite films from 2006. In order to understand the purpose and meaning of this list, please read my introduction to the Looking Closer Favorite Films lists here. • 2006 Children of Men Pan’s Labyrinth Little Children Paprika Once Syndromes and a Century Army of Shadows* [...]…

2005: Overstreet’s Favorite Films
Here is the current (but occasionally updated) list of my favorite films from 2005. In order to understand the purpose and meaning of this list, please read my introduction to the Looking Closer Favorite Films lists here. • 2005 The New World* (2nd review) Into Great Silence* Junebug L’Enfant* A History of Violence (review) Mirrormask [...]…

Updated: 23 Apr 2014, 14:00 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 »»
“Tasting Menu” falls flat
Of all the possible genres and subgenres of cinema, my favorite is that of “food.” If you ask most authentic food movie aficionados they will head their list of favorite food films with “Babette’s Feast” “Big Night” and for me “Pieces of April” “Mostly Martha” and “Ratatouille.” Now director Roger Gaul is serving up his [Read More...]…

“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
It is never easy to define, much less critique, a Wes Anderson film. They are filled to the brim with quirky characters who march a crooked but adventurous journey to the finish line. The Grand Budapest Hotel is the most bizarre caper of them all. It is 1985, and the once stately hotel in the [Read More...]…

How movies can “save” people
You know, there is something about all these new faith-based movies that bothers me. While they are well intended (and looking to make good box office just like regular Hollywood movies), they aren’t really art. They are created to give, promote, propagate the “Christian message” to people who, for the most part, already believe and [Read More...]…

“Joan of Arcadia” Lenten Film Series #6
In today’s episode of The Lenten Film Series, Joan of Arcadia sits down with God in the form of a master chess player to play an unforgettable game of chess–rules and all. Don’t miss this eye-opening scene! It’s blended with my interview with series creator Barbara Hall who has just completed filming the pilot for her [Read More...]…

‘God’s Not Dead” lacks imagination and mystery
It would be too easy to disparage “God’s Not Dead” from almost any perspective except that it has made almost $25 million since its domestic release on March 21. This is more than respectable for an independent Christian film. It is a mark of success that most filmmakers would die for. But herein lies the [Read More...]…

Sister Rose makes PEOPLE magazine!
At the press screening for NOAH last week at Paramount Studios Sr Jennifer and I sat next to PEOPLE magazine writer Alynda Wheat and her sweet mother (we spent the wait time talking Candy Crush strategy). After we chatted about the film – now look! We have a date to go to the press screening [Read More...]…

“Noah” my on camera review
Here’s my on camera review of NOAH on the INNdustry with Sister Rose. It goes along with my print review that you can read HERE at my blog with a link through to NCROnline.  …

“Cesar Chavez” is a stirring biopic
  “Cesar Chavez: An American Hero,” director Diego Luna’s latest production, is a moving biography of the late civil rights activist, labor organizer and co-founder, with Dolores Huerta, of the United Farm Workers Union. The film opens with Cesar’s (Michael Peña) decision to leave the Community Service Organization (CSO) in Los Angeles, where he had [Read More...]…

The Passion of the Christ to make TV debut on Palm Sunday April 13
The following is taken from the press release I just received from the UP Network. Please note that the issues of negative Jewish representation in the film remain. Click here to read my article “A Decade Later ‘The Passion Still Raises Questions of Anti-Semitism” . Meanwhile if you decide to tune in, remember the intense and [Read More...]…

A Rising Tide of Silence – a gentle doc on Thomas Keating
  “Thomas Keating: a Rising Tide of Silence” gently documents the life of Fr. Thomas Keating, integrating his personal history and spiritual journey in a compelling blend of interviews with him and his Cistercian brothers, footage of Keating’s talks at interreligious gatherings, interaction with people who come on retreat, and in one case, his visits to [Read More...]…

Updated: 23 Apr 2014, 14:00 UTC

more over at Frederica Mathewes-Green's site »»
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/   …

Interview with Vera Farmiga, "Higher Ground" Director
Here’s what happens. You prepare for a phone interview with an actor or director by thinking up a list of questions. Really, you only need one or two good ones, and the conversation takes care of itself.   But the person being interviewed has a different perspective. There are certain points they want to get across, regardless of which questions you ask. They may have been reiterating these…

Higher Ground
When evangelicals hear that there’s a new movie about their brand of Christianity, they get nervous. All too often they are presented as idiots or villains. Stereotypes about narrow-mindedness, intolerance, cultish mind-control, and harsh subjugation of women abound.   Carolyn Briggs’ 2002 memoir, This Dark World: A Memoir of Salvation Found and Lost hit a number of those notes. When…

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the eighth and final film in the Harry Potter series, opens today in a blaze of special effects: castles burning, bridges collapsing, dragon-fire blasting, stone knights clunking stiffly to life, giants whacking smaller figures off the earth like tiny golf balls. This is not the first fantasy-action film to suffer under a Disproportionatus Curse, in which…

Updated: 30 Jan 2014, 23:00 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: 23 Apr 2014, 14:00 UTC



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