Author Archive

So Bad It’s Good – Labyrinth

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By Amber Maiden

Have you ever tried to explain a movie to someone who has never seen it, and as you do so, you realize that you sound absolutely insane? That was my experience trying to explain the plot of Jim Henson’s 1986 film Labyrinth, starring David Bowie as a tight-pants-wearing, child-kidnapping, Goblin King named Jareth. Along side, a young Jennifer Connelly plays a bratty 16 year-old named Sarah, who just wants to dance in the park in peace, and not babysit her younger brother. The movie devolves into sexual innuendos, creepy Muppet-like goblins, random bursts of song and dance, and a giant, seemingly unsolvable maze.

And You Call Yourself a Film Buff?! – The Graduate

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By Melissa Chen

With classic lines such as “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?” and iconic images such as a young Dustin Hoffman staring at a woman’s silk stocking-ed leg, The Graduate is one of those films that’s been referenced so much in pop culture that I was able to go through my entire 23 years of life pretending that I watched it. Well, those days are over (although, truthfully, they should’ve been over weeks ago, at PFS’s BYO screening).

PFS Review – The Walk

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See it at the Roxy! copyBy Don Malvasi

Originally posted on Cinedork.com

An unnerving, exhilarating, you-are-there capturing of the sensations an aerialist experiences is really all that matters in The Walk. Director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forest Gump, Cast Away) tells the story of Philippe Petit, who walked a high wire strung between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center not long before the irrecoverable monuments opened to the public in 1974. Zemeckis trumpets Petit’s daredevilry and moxy amidst an extravagant if impressive feast of special effects probably not for the fainthearted, nor for the acrophobic.

PFS Review – Mississippi Grind

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By Don Malvasi

Originally posted on Cinedork.com

See it at the Roxy! copyA couple of apparent losers get acquainted during a poker game in some godforsaken Iowa town. One, Gerry (a terrific Ben Mendelsohn), is a fascinating degenerate gambler who probably couldn’t stop if someone told him the world would end tomorrow if he didn’t. The other player, Curtis (an equally good Ryan Reynolds), is like-able although swaggering and outgoing to the point of badgering. He is also hard to figure out. Curtis gambles, too, although more on the people in his life, strangers included, than on actual games.

Pleasantly Plot-light and atmosphere-heavy through most of its 108 minutes, Mississippi Grind turns the tables and indulges in a flurry of dramatic twists in its final quarter. Most of them work but chiefly as exclamation points on an unnerving, intimate character study. As Curtis is quick to point out during the twosome’s road jaunt through St. Louis, Memphis, and New Orleans, it is the journey that counts not the destination.

Film 101 – Slashers

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By Andrea Selitto

With Halloween rapidly approaching, the time has come to bring back a popular fall tradition: the scary movie. Whether you’re the kind of movie-watcher who enjoys a good scare, or one who always hides behind the couch, there’s no doubting that there’s something thrilling about a scary film. While there are a wide variety of horror films to choose from for your Halloween viewing, perhaps some of the most iconic characters are from a particular segment of the horror genre: the slasher. Few other films have inspired so many sequels, remakes, and spin-offs as slashers have. Whether you love them or hate them, no one can deny the impact that slasher films have made on popular culture, especially around this time of year. Here are a handful of films that have made the genre what it is today; if you’re looking for something scary to get you into the Halloween spirit, they’re certainly worth watching… if you dare.

So Bad It’s Good – Grease 2

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By Andrea Selitto

The fact that I lived well into my teen years without knowing that there was an actual sequel to the 1978 movie-musical Grease is either an extraordinary blessing or a horrible tragedy. I prefer to think of it as a tragedy. Director/choreographer Patricia Birch’s Grease 2, released in 1982, is so awful that it doesn’t merely miss the mark for a successful movie sequel, but it actually manages to fly straight past the mark, into the upper atmosphere, eventually escaping the Earth’s gravitational pull and launching itself directly into the Sun; where it ends in a massive, fiery explosion. Put simply, this movie is an abomination. And I love it.

And You Call Yourself a Film Buff?! – Pulp Fiction

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By Kyrie Fisher

Last year, my sister surprised me with a book she knew I had been eyeing up—1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. A varied assortment of films, the works included in this encyclopedia-sized collection were chosen for many reasons; whether for influence on early cinema, groundbreaking cinematic style, or impact on pop culture. A recent reassessment of the boxes I’ve yet to check caused me to notice I have never watched a film by Quentin Tarantino from start to finish. Of the various bits and pieces of his films I have seen, I was unable to stomach the fetishized violence and offensive dialogue long enough to become invested in the plot and see it through. Classmates and friends who are fans of Tarantino’s work have often expounded on the brilliance of his films—but all I saw were brutal displays of blood, violence, and foul language. Still, in my quest to check off all 1001 films of the collection (and, perhaps to also stop hearing, “What do you MEAN, you don’t like Tarantino?!”) I decided to catch up with the rest of the cinematic world and finally watch Pulp Fiction.

PFS Rapid Recommendation – Trainwreck

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By Amber Maiden

What can I say about Judd Apatow’s new film Trainwreck? With comedic leads of Amy Schumer and Bill Hader, along with the hilarious acting by John Cena and Lebron James, this film keeps you laughing from start to finish. It shows the ups and downs of modern dating and the fear of monogamy. With the well-timed jokes and relatable characters, you have to check this movie out before it leaves theaters.

The Essentials 2.0 – Pan’s Labyrinth

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By Andrea Selitto

I sometimes find it difficult to recommend a foreign language film to others; the prospect of reading subtitles has been known to turn potential viewers away from a movie that was filmed in a language other than their own. However, for those willing to overcome this bias, there is (quite literally) a whole world of remarkable films waiting to be discovered. El laberinto del fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth) is one of these movies. This spectacular Spanish-language film has not only more than earned its place amongst my favorite films, but, I would argue, it has also earned a place in the new cannon of essential films.

Film 101 – The Films of Alfonso Cuarón

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By Kyrie Fisher

Modern Hollywood is an industry dominated by auteurs with very specific styles—think Quentin Tarantino’s exaggerated violence, Wes Anderson’s quirky comedy, or Christopher Nolan’s existential mind benders. But Alfonso Cuarón is different. Most known for last year’s box office juggernaut Gravity, Cuarón is perhaps one of the most versatile directors working today. He often explores ideas about the human experience, a theme that spans across all of his work. Three particular films—A Little Princess, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Y Tu Mamá También—would, at first glance, seem incomparably different. But a closer look shows their commonality as stories about crossing the line from childhood innocence into adult experience.

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