Interview – LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

BY Alex Gibson

It was 1952 – the closing of the Truman administration – when Eugene Allen first got a job at the White House. Over the next three decades, he would see seven more presidents in office including Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon, and Reagan.

THE-BUTLER-PosterLee Daniels’ The Butler was inspired by Allen’s life. The film tells the story of Cecil Gaines, a longtime White House butler who, like Allen, was gifted one of JFK’s ties by Jackie Kennedy, invited to a state dinner by Nancy Reagan, and witnessed the height of the Civil Rights Movement from the corner of the Oval Office. In the film, Cecil Gaines’ experiences are juxtaposed with those of his son, Louis, who sees the Movement from quite a different perspective.

As Cecil marches, white gloved, through the White House hallways, Louis joins the Civil Right Movement, first staging sit-ins in Southern diners and eventually joining the Black Panther Party. The father and son’s conflicting political views cause immeasurable tension in the family, though they both hope fervently for a better future.

From the acclaimed director of Precious, Lee Daniels’ The Butler opens August 16 and stars Forrest Whittaker, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr., David Oyelowo, Lenny Kravitz, Yaya Alafia, and an ensemble of Hollywood’s most talents actors. Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with some of the creative minds behind the film. At the swanky Rittenhouse Hotel, I spoke with director Lee Daniels and Oscar-Winner Cuba Gooding Jr.

PFS Rapid Reviews – Elysium

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

BY Sam Rossman

In Elysium, director Neill Blomkamp continues to explore social issues similar to his previous film District 9. With eye-catching visuals, a good central performance by Matt Damon, and an even more scene stealing turn by Sharlto CopleyElysium delivers on most fronts. Ultimately though, its message of class struggle becomes too preachy and it never quite reaches the same level of quality as District 9.

So Bad It’s Good – Robocop

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

BY Fletcher Gelber

I know what your thinking, Robocop is an amazing film; how could he even think about putting it under So Bad Its Good? Well before you decide to take me out and execute me like Peter Weller in the opening of Robocop, let me explain. Robocop is one of my favorite movies of all time, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a bad film. This movie is so bad, that it becomes better then most “good” movies.

Robocop is set in a futuristic Detroit, which is filled with crime and violence (So basically Modern Day Detroit). The film follows a new cop named Murphy, played by Peter Weller, who gets brutally killed by a group of gangsters on his first day on the job (Don’t you just hate Mondays). After Murphy is obliterated, an evil corporation, OCP, takes his remains and makes the ultimate crime fighter, Robocop. Part robot, part man- all cop/ crazy gun-wielding robot on a mission of revenge.

And You Call Yourself a Film Buff?! – INDEPENDENCE DAY

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

BY Will Torrence


With the Fourth of July on the horizon, I felt that this was a perfect time to finally see a movie I have heard so much about. To be honest, I am not sure why this movie has escaped me for so long. I remember it growing up, but I guess I never really had the opportunity to watch it. I simply can’t think of a better way to celebrate America’s independence other than watching a movie about earth’s independence — from aliens.

Independence Day follows three characters on their mission to save Earth and civilization from being wiped out by extraterrestrials. The film follows President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman), fighter pilot Captain Steve Hiller (Will Smith), and scientist David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) as they do their part in stopping the invasion. All of these storylines seem independent through the film, but end up connecting in a huge way.

And You Call Yourself a Film Buff?! – The Big Lebowski

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

BY Fletcher Gelber

I have always considered myself as a Dude; I go bowling, eat Cheetos, and have seen every episode of [i]Breaking Bad[/i]-twice. But that title was seriously questioned in the office when it was discovered that I have not seen the holy grail of dude movies, the Dude Bible, The Death Star of Dudeness: The Big Lebowski. With my Dude identity on the line, I finally sat down to watch the film; and my life will never be the same.

Interview: Nick Robinson from Kings of Summer

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs, Uncategorized

BY Ben Silverio

Last month, Philadelphia Film Society members were treated to a sneak peek at the new indie coming of age movie, The Kings of Summer, which was attended by the films three stars Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, and Moises Arias. Then, as part of the Awesome Fest, which really kicks into gear next month, citizens of Philadelphia had yet another chance to see this awesome tale reminiscent of classics such as Stand by Me, The Sandlot, and The Goonies before it was released to the public. But for those of you who missed out on it both times, it’s playing for all to see at the Ritz Five right now.

And You Call Yourself a Film Buff?! – ALIEN

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

Sometimes the Scariest Things Come from Within

Among iconic, memorable film moments, a baby alien bursting from John Hurt’s chest is close to the top of the list. And yet, yesterday morning, I hadn’t seen anything before or after that scene. Why would someone do that to such an acclaimed British actor? I would wonder. Did they put it in his food? Does that make him a father? Mazel tov, John Hurt! Last night, I decided the ignorance had to stop. As a film buff, I had to watch this classic sci-fi that has garnered so many fans and remakes. And as a feminist, I had to see Ellen Ripley in action.

Opening this Weekend – Jason Blum’s THE PURGE

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

In the year 2022, there is 1% unemployment in the United States, almost no crime, and the economy is flourishing. There is no need for people to commit senseless acts of violence over money, nor do people feel the impulse to hurt others out of rage or passion. This is because once a year, all American citizens are allowed to unleash their aggression indiscriminately. For twelve hours, once a year, law enforcement cannot be called, emergency care ceases, and all crime – including murder – becomes legal. This is the premise of The Purge.

So Bad It’s Good – SPICE WORLD

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

SPICE UP YOUR LIFE

The 90s gave the world a lot of amazing things – snap bracelets, butterfly clips, Tamagotchis, Boy Meets World…  One of the 90s’ best contributions to the world was the Spice Girls.  And, in 1997, preteen girls worldwide rejoiced because Spice World came out.  As the Spice Girls will go down as one of the best musical groups of all time, Spice World will be remembered as one of the most horrific, most enjoyable movies ever made.

And You Call Yourself a Film Buff?! – CHINATOWN

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Written by Parinda on . Posted in Uncategorized

BY Alex Gibson

It’s not that I avoided watching Chinatown, as I have with other ‘Film Buff’ fodder like Lawrence of Arabia or Doctor Zhivago. I just never got around to it, but last week, I finally bit the bullet. I didn’t really know what to expect — some people had told me it was awesome; others had said it was good, but disturbing. So, I pressed play apprehensively. As it turns out, that was the perfect attitude, as I remained impressed and nervous for the next 130 minutes.