PFS Rapid Review – Divergent

divergent poster

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Kim Scott

Divergent exhausts the tale of a teenaged girl with an aptitude for greatness in a post-apocalyptic future. The film is predictable and heavy-handed with its use of young adult novel tropes and a brooding love interest. Though the visuals entertain, the story stumbles on its way to unveiling the much too obvious secrets behind the factions and ‘divergents’. Another film about an oppressive city-state bent on wiping out young, beautiful rebels? Say it isn’t so! 

And You Call Yourself a Film Buff?! – Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy

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By Keegan Handley

Midnight Cowboy is one of the first popular X-rated studio movies. Beyond that, it’s one of the first ‘adult films’ where the term applied to more than pornography. The term ‘adult’ as applied here actually means it dealt with serious adult situations. There’s a good deal of sex in here — specifically themes of homosexuality, sex and religion — but above all this film paints a beautiful character study of two unlikely friends trying to make their way in a mean city with no one to rely on but each other. But you can bet people ignored the movie simply because of the X rating.

I personally only remember one bit of Midnight Cowboy from my blossoming film buff days – “I’m walking here!”

PFS Rapid Review – Jodorowsky’s Dune

Jodorowsky's Dune

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By Davis Rivera

Alejandro Jodorowsky is a man known for many things: Master of the Tarot, Director of El Topo, writer of what Mark Millar called ‘one of the most perfect comics ever conceived’ The Incal.  It is ironic that he is arguably most known for his never-filmed adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 Dune.  Thoroughly researched and wonderfully faithful to the spirit of Jodo, Jodorowsky’s Dune shows us what could have been and serves as a perfect companion piece to Louis Mouchet’s seminal Constellation Jodorowsky.

PFS Rapid Review – Sabotage

Sabotage-2014-Movie-Poster

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By Davis Rivera

After teaming up with the great Kim Jee-woon to bring us 2013′s The Last Stand, Arnold Schwarzenegger fans had reason to celebrate the long-awaited cinematic return of the Austrian Oak.  His most recent film Sabotage cannot quite reach those heights but does do the difficult job of obscuring every reasonable thought you might have to leave the theatre and causes you to instead give in to the charms of David Ayer’s grand spectacle of action and implausibility.

PFS Rapid Review – The Lunchbox

Lunchbox

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By Davis Rivera

Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox is a film that does not rely on special effects or rapid-fire editing to seduce the viewer into being won over by its talents; it succeeds by allowing the virtuosity of lead actor Irrfan Khan and the rich wit of Batra and Rutvik Oza’s screenplay to carry the film.  It is such a delight that even the most embittered cynic will walk away wanting to revisit this delectable ode to everyday people.

PFS Rapid Review – Joe

joe

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

David Gordon Green, one of America’s greatest living filmmakers, has returned a mere seven months after releasing Prince Avalanche to reward the world with yet another gem: the poetic and haunting Joe.  Nicolas Cage is predictably strong as the titular character but it is newcomer Gary Poulter who delivers the film’s strongest performance.  Sadly, he died on the streets of Austin shortly after the film wrapped but his legacy will live on with this film.

PFS Rapid Review – Noah

russell-crowe-noah1

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

After Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan became the surprise $330m hit of 2010, he had enough clout to embark on as ambitious a project as he could dream of.  That dream, his biblical interpretation Noah, turned out to be the closest thing to an ‘event movie’ 2014 has seen yet.  It is one of those rare instances at the cinema where you can’t help but say to yourself: “If this isn’t perfect I don’t know what is.”

So Bad It’s Good – Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

elvira-mistress-of-the-dark

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By Caroline Meuser

When a Saturday Night Live director decides to make a horror film, the finished product is bound to be one-of-a-kind. Now having learned this detail of James Signorelli’s background, I can certainly understand what drove the creation of his ridiculous film Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. How a videotape copy wound up in my living room as a child, however, remains a mystery. I remember forcing my friends to watch it when they came over for slumber parties, and they left the next morning mildly horrified that their friend was a psycho. As I quoted every other line while watching it last weekend, their assumptions were confirmed.

A Night at the Roxy – Filmadelphia // The Backyard Philly Project

March Filmadelphia

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Last month, the PFS Theater at the Roxy hosted Amanda Danziger’s The Backyard Philly Project for it’s monthly Filmadelphia at the Roxy series.

The Backyard Philly Project explores the lives of four teens growing up in the Philadelphia inner-city neighborhood known as Penn Town.  Shot partially by the teens themselves, this documentary give an insightful look at life amidst city housing unites where scenes of violence, poverty, friendship, and inspiration are edited together.  Including a spotlight on the Helping Hands Rescue Mission, the films reveals the necessity of support encouragement, and a positive environment for young people in the city.  The film was inspired by former Kixx player Adam Bruckner, now a Philadelphia resident and after school program director.

During the Q&A session after the film, Danziger told us a bit about the inspiration, the process, and the future of the Backyard Philly Project.

And You Call Yourself a Film Buff?! – The Wild Bunch

The Wild Bunch

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By John Smith

The year is 1913. A small town in Texas is alive with music, children laughing, and a Temperance Union parade. Life is simply happening, but soon death and destruction invades the town and symphony of pain and gunfire erupts. This sudden contrast of mood and the unflinching, unapologetic violence makes for one of the most intense and memorable introductions in film history. It also sets the tone for Sam Peckinpah’s brutal anti-Western, The Wild Bunch.