BOFCA REVIEW ROUNDUP: 6/28

White House DownWHITE HOUSE DOWN 

“A rare bird. It’s a way, way over-the-top shoot-em-up buddy movie that also wants to be a cathartic wish-fulfillment fantasy for the American Left Wing. It’s nuts, but this is the good kind of silly.” – Bob Chipman, The Escapist

“If OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN was like the book you bring to the beach, this is like a comic book. No, that’s not fair… to comic books. Some graphic novels are well-written and intelligently plotted.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

“There’s a lightness that’s missing from all those other glum summer blockbusters. Tatum and Foxx are two ridiculously charming bastards. Sharply crafted and gloriously silly, it’s the best DIE HARD movie since SPEED.” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

 

The HeatTHE HEAT

“If you want to see just how low American film comedy has fallen, look no further than THE HEAT. We should be ashamed, appalled, and making amends.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

“Feig is a rudimentary director, but he really seems to like his characters. Bullock and McCarthy grow from broad caricatures to specific creations. The comical indifference to plot development allows for delightful asides.” – Sean Burns, The Improper Bostonian

 

Twenty Feet From StardomTWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM

“Just thrilling. This jubilant film festival favorite brings the house down while paying tribute to a lost art. Watching the movie feels like finally giving credit where it’s due.” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

 

BOFCA REPERTORY PODCAST #2

Bring It On

And they’re back! Critics Monica Castillo, Daniel Kimmel, and Steve Head discuss films coming to the Coolidge @fter Midnite series including FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII, BRING IT ON, and TAXI DRIVER. They also look over the Brattle Theatre’s DCP Debut series. The group revisits the Somerville Theatre’s Silents Please! and the Cinema Slumber Party series before calling it a night over at the Harvard Film Archive’s Alfred Hitchcock and Burt Lancaster retrospectives.

This Month’s Episode:

 

BOFCA REVIEW ROUNDUP: 6/21

Much AdoMUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

“Shovels mass quantities of iambic pentameter into the mouths of untrained third-string television actors, most of whom appear to have learned their lines phonetically. Half these folks might as well be speaking Klingon.” – Sean Burns, The Improper Bostonian

“The unfussiness of the production and the speed under which it was made contribute to its freshness. The cast shows respect for the text, and they clearly love tearing into the words. Get thee to a multiplex.” - David Riedel, Santa Fe Reporter

“It’s refreshing to see this familiar group of faces operate on a relatively stripped-down stage when we’re so used to watching them in worlds where they’re accompanied by vampires, spaceships and superheroes.” – Andrew Crump, Go See Talk

“Just about everyone clowns. Perhaps worried that the Shakespearean dialogue would lose much of his audience, Whedon’s packed this performance with more pratfalls than a Benny Hill short. The mugging is shameless.” – Jake Mulligan, Charleston City Paper

“A new classic. Everyone involved in the adaptation is a joy to watch, but certain members of Whedon’s actors feel like they were born to read Shakespeare. Both Whedonites and fans of The Bard should be pleased.” – Evan Crean, Starpulse

“The actors choke on the Shakespearean script and we probably could have used a take or two more, just to make sure we get a clean shot. Kenneth Branagh never would have let this happen.” – Monica Castillo, DigBoston

 

WORLD WAR ZWorld War Z

“Turns out to be the summer’s first truly enjoyable tentpole movie. Its structure is that of an especially grisly hero’s journey; the goal less a tidy resolution than a white-knuckle thrill ride.” – Kilian Melloy, EDGE Boston

“The rambling nature of the film leaves it feeling under-stuffed and small despite its obsession with capturing events on a macro level. It might not be ‘epic’ like the modern summer movie, but it’s just as tepid and dopey.” – Andrew Crump, Go See Talk

“To call WORLD WAR Z an adaptation would be an injustice. The movie masquerades as a big-screen version of the popular Max Brooks book, but underneath that cheap disguise, it is a total stranger.” – Evan Crean, Reel Recon

“It’s a plot better suited to a miniseries than a movie, and interestingly, the best parts come when they disregard any obligation to the source material and start inventing shit.” – Kristofer Jenson, DigBoston

“More like an amusement park ride or video game. One half-expects Samuel L. Jackson to come out and start shouting about all the motherf****** zombies on his motherf****** plane.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

 

THE BLING RINGThe Bling Ring B

“An action photo of America in decline. The knockout punch landed, and Sofia snapped a shot of the body hitting the canvas. We didn’t escape the Era of Narcissism, we settled in comfortably and bought a bigger TV set.” – Jake Mulligan, Rushmore Kite Flying Society

“The result is an introspective movie about people to whom introspection is a foreign concept. There’s no there there, which I think is probably the point. But it gets awfully old. A chilling depiction of emptiness, also tedious.” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

“It is an engaging film. It shows a director who has found her subject matter and is still figuring out what she wants to do with it. It’s a process, and Coppola makes it one that it is worthwhile for us to follow.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

 

MONSTERS UNIVERSITYMonsters University

“When you’re the very best –and Pixar is the very best in contemporary American animated films– you still can’t expect to hit a home run every time. More like reheated leftovers than a new dish.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

“A movie missing a lot of heart, and there’s no way around that. MONSTERS UNIVERSITY can’t touch its predecessor, but it’s a fun distraction all the same. I’ll take this one over another CARS installment.” – Bob Chipman, The Escapist

 

FILL THE VOIDFill The Void

“Rich in color, and although its characters are not in ball gowns and tuxes, there is an elegance to the way Burshtein captures their clothes in the light, moving along sidewalks, or even seated at the dinner table.” – Monica Castillo, Paste Magazine

“Burshtein has made a movie that draws in outsiders—say, the non-Orthodox—and exposes the predicaments of the characters on screen as real as the predicaments we face.” – David Riedel, Santa Fe Reporter

“There’s a question implicitly asked in almost every scene: In such a close-knit faith community, where issues of gender and sexuality are of communal, rather than individual, concern, what’s an individual’s true worth?” – Kilian Melloy, EDGE Boston

 

BOFCA VIDEO UPDATES: 6/17

Colossus 2

A new week brings two new videos to BOFCA’s Official YouTube Channel.

First up: MEET BOFCA continues with an introduction to critic and proud member Evan Crean.

Next: Daniel M. Kimmel gives a classic recommendation to one of the great overlooked 1970′s sci-fi thrillers, COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT.

Hit the jump to check out the full videos, and make sure to subscribe for more exclusive content! Continue reading

BOFCA REVIEW ROUNDUP: 6/14

Man Of SteelMAN OF STEEL

“As a pure visual experience, it comes maddeningly close to being a masterpiece. This film’s canvas is magnificent, it’s scope is beautiful, it’s action is thrilling. But it’s heart is joyless, sullen and grim.” – Bob Chipman, The Escapist

“Visually compelling and stunning to watch. The superb performances by the cast – especially Crowe and Costner – provide numerous moments and images of poignancy, depth and nobility.” – Tim Estiloz, Boston Movie Examiner

“The desaturated palate and fidgety handheld camera are obvious concessions to the modern blockbuster era. But MAN OF STEEL is first and foremost wonderfully sincere, defined by the decency of its main character.” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

“The appearance of flying lizards on Krypton is bizarre and mistaken. As is well-known, there were no such creatures on Krypton. There is a moment late in the film that should cause Superman enthusiasts to gasp.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

MAN OF STEEL has heart, soul, muscles, and craft on its side that raises it head and shoulders above average summer fare. It’s only missing the consistency to carry its throughlines to the very end.” – Andrew Crump, Go See Talk

“At two and a half hours, the film feels excessively long and the action sequences are monotonous because most of the fighting involves people ramming each other through buildings at high speeds.” – Evan Crean, Starpulse

“When the fighting starts, use those many minutes to hit the bathroom or the concession stand. Superman may be faster than a speeding bullet, but his movie is as boring as whale shit.” – David Riedel, Santa Fe Reporter

MAN OF STEEL’s soul resides in its tender origin story. The flashbacks hit just the right note of earnestness without sentimentality and are edited so that you want more, even if another half-minute would be too much.” – Inkoo Kang, Screen Junkies

“You will believe a man can fly. You just won’t connect much with any of the characters because they, like this production, are larger than life, but essentially hollow. This is a big movie, epic in scope, but it’s just no fun.” – Kilian Melloy, EDGE Boston

 

THIS IS THE ENDThis Is The End

“Really just an unrestrained, unstructured lark; a middle-finger aimed directly at everyone who isn’t in on their increasingly esoteric jokes. It’s brazenly offensive, abrasively self-aware, and beyond self-obsessed.” – Jake Mulligan, Charleston City Paper

“What a strange anti-vanity project—a bunch of friends got together and made a movie about how they all deserve to go to hell. Probably the most self-indulgent wank in cinema history, yet on occasion it’s hilarious.” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

“Kind of brilliant. A comedy so well constructed and relentlessly funny that you’re virtually guaranteed to laugh even if the film’s central joke – famous people playing parody versions of themselves – is utterly lost on you.” – Bob Chipman, The Escapist

“Alienating with its abundance of inside jokes. While the concept of celebrities experiencing the apocalypse together makes for a funny YouTube video, it has a hard time sustaining the legs to last a full 107 minutes.” – Evan Crean, Starpulse

“I really enjoyed this film. I laughed at almost PINEAPPLE EXPRESS levels. I might have to rank this as one of my top comedies of the year. I don’t remember in recent memory doubling over this much.” – Monica Castillo, Cinema Fix

“So devoid of good ideas, smarts or laughs that it’s hard to understand just what the purpose is. I can only conclude it’s to get these six friends together and let them riff. And, boy, do they riff.” – David Riedel, Santa Fe Reporter

“One gets a sense that these guys really are friends and they made THIS IS THE END for the same reason Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack made OCEAN’S ELEVEN. They thought it would be fun.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

 

An Oversimplification Of Her BeautyAN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY

“The freeze-frames, backwards motion, flow-charts, flying text and squiggly overlays would be exhausting were they not all synced to such a melancholy groove.” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

 

The EastTHE EAST

“There’s a palpable, invigorating rage in the early imagery. But the film trails off, losing itself in its own mythology. It trades its vigor for something smaller and easier-to-contain: a relationship drama.” – Jake Mulligan, Charleston City Paper