BOFCA REVIEW ROUNDUP: 5/10

THE GREAT GATSBYThe Great Gatsby

“A tacky, cluttered, 3-D muddle in which Leonardo DiCaprio happens to be amazing. Words fly from the typewriter in large blocks of text that sail into the audience because this is a literary adaptation, after all. Might as well have words shooting out of the screen at your head.” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

“Hey, when you’ve created such luscious, CGI-inspired landscapes, why dolly a camera when you can swoop it in from a half-mile away at record speeds? Sometimes, even the purposefully overdone can feel too overdone.” – Norm Schrager, Meet In The Lobby

“I spent a tad more than two and a half hours utterly in love with this movie. The cast brings a powerful human charge here that matches Luhrmann’s technical acrobatics; not even the occasional clunking line of dialogue detracts.” – Kilian Melloy, EDGE Boston

“In 3D. Just like F. Scott Fitzgerald intended, right? The movie is no masterpiece, but it’s not the train wreck it might have been. One wishes Baz Luhrmann had pursued a career as an art director rather than as a filmmaker.” – Daniel M. Kimmel, North Shore Movies

“If you want the Fitzgerald experience, stick to his original words. If you want the experience of being slapped in the face with a leather-bound edition of the book, watch this movie. It’s Cliff Notes-level stuff.” – Andrew Crump, Go See Talk

“Less like an adaptation than the next generation of books-on-tape, where we absorb the story aurally. But hey, it comes with some pretty if utterly redundant illustrations if you want to something to look at.” – Inkoo Kang, Screen Junkies

“If gaudy anachronism was a crime, Baz Luhrmann would be doing serious time for THE GREAT GATSBY. He literally beats you over the head with every metaphor in the film, especially the green light.” – Evan Crean, Starpulse

“It’s silly, and yet another Baz Lurhmann exercise in artifice for the sake of artifice. But whatever else may be wrong with the film, Leonardo DiCaprio is absolutely magnificent in the title role. ” – Bob Chipman, The Escapist

“If Michael Bay had joined the theater club in high school, he would have ended up as Baz Luhrmann. Apparently the only parts of the book that Luhrmann even read were the first twenty pages and the last ten.” – Kristofer Jenson, Dig Boston

 

Something In The AirSOMETHING IN THE AIR

“Assayas’ best pictures are as elusive as they are carnally pleasing, like pop songs you listen to over and over again without ever understanding why. SOMETHING IN THE AIR is one of those films.” – Jake Mulligan, EDGE Boston

“Director Olivier Assayas looks at this tumultuous time with a sense of understanding and empathy. Viewers are supposed to enjoy this ambitious anarchy just as much as the group of friends do.” – Monica Castillo, Paste Magazine

“A film about fading out, about how youthful passions dissolve. The day-to-day business of living so often saps us of our resolve, and even the most ardent convictions wither away over time.” – Sean Burns, The Improper Bostonian

 

THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALISTThe Reluctant Fundamentalist

“Comments on a plethora of national and global issues, from terrorism to economics to business practices to the erosion of traditional culture and lore. The film’s many aspects don’t all work equally well.” – Kilian Melloy, EDGE Boston

The movie is a thriller. Or it’s trying to be, unsuccessfully. In a production this well-mounted, there are distractions from the malaise that sets in when you can see the plotting coming from a mile away.” - David Riedel, Santa Fe Reporter

 

AFTERSHOCKAftershock

“Is it about Americans being menaced in a foreign land, or is it about how much mankind lives at the whim of shifting tectonic plates? Either way, it’s not particularly good, so it probably doesn’t matter.” – Andrew Crump, Go See Talk

 

PEEPLESPeeples

“A far cry from Perry’s punitive churchiness, the film contains no violent tonal shifts, not a single morality lecture, and only one (rather ill-judged) moment in which a man dons women’s clothing. It’s just warm and funny.” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

 

THE SOURCE FAMILYThe Source Family

“Your level of interest in this documentary will be directly related to how much you care about cults and dislike burned-out hippies. Fortunately, there’s great music.” – David Riedel, Sante Fe Reporter