Posts Tagged ‘Davis Rivera’

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.”

PFS Rapid Review – Nymphomaniac Volume I

charlotte nymphop

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

Nearly three years after being declared persona non grata at Cannes, Lars von Trier has returned with Nymphomaniac Volume I.  Stellan Skarsgård steals every scene he is in as Seligman, the solitary polymath to whom Charlotte Gainsbourg‘s character Joe tells her story.  His endless rebuttals to Joe’s supposed guilt over her joyless compulsion are interesting and usually humorous but, ultimately, one leaves the film wanting to know more about his story rather than Joe’s.

PFS Rapid Review – Tim’s Vermeer

2013-12-06-TimsVermeer3

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

In Tim’s Vermeer, inventor Tim Jenison appears to be a man who realizes that stressing over things is a waste of our emotional reserves and inspires the viewer to rejoice instead.  It is this optimism in a world of nonsense that makes it easy to understand why Penn & Teller would be friends with him.  Their bond also allows Teller to direct in a relatively straightforward way, allowing Tim’s enormously engaging obsession to take center stage.

PFS Rapid Review – About Last Night

About-Last-Night-Poster

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

Perhaps not since Eddie Murphy has there been a stand-up comedian who has proven themselves to be as adept at that most difficult art of making us laugh in person and on the big screen as Kevin Hart.  When Hart speaks, he conquers all listeners and in Steve Pink’s About Last Night… he displays a love and command of language so impressive one can imagine that even David Mamet might stand back in awe.

PFS Rapid Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Grand Budapest Hotel.jpg

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

Reading the works of Stefan Zweig has always left me with the sensation that any lover of both literature and film might feel: Why has there never been a modern adaptation of this author’s work that shows a keen understanding of his prose the way Rossellini and Ophüls did nearly a century ago?  Thankfully, Wes Anderson has made the ultimate tribute to Zweig with his masterful and staggeringly gorgeous new film The Grand Budapest Hotel.

PFS Rapid Review: The Wind Rises

THE WIND RISES

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

If the heart is our most valuable organ then Hayao Miyazaki, with his ability to challenge us and make the viewer feel things we never thought possible, was our most valuable artist working in animation before his retirement.  The Wind Rises, his fictionalized biography of engineer Jiro Horikoshi, is as beautifully told and lushly detailed as his classic tales of a freelance bounty hunter pig or a young Emishi warrior and cannot be missed.

PFS Rapid Review – Like Father, Like Son

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

Hirokazu Koreeda may not be a household name in the United States but, film-by-film, he has made a case for himself being the best Japanese chronicler of everyday life since Ozu.  His newest film Like Father, Like Son further cements his reputation by taking what sounds like a contrived idea for a film and turning it into a tear-inducing family drama as relatable to those with children as it is to those without. If you missed it during PFF22, you can see Like Father, Like Son at the Ritz at the Bourse.

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Davis Rivera is the recipient of the Marguerite & Otis Walter Scholarship for Excellence in Art History, founded the UArts Literary Society, recently completed a book on the last American auteur, and is working on two films to be released this spring.  He lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.

PFS Rapid Review – The Great Beauty

The Great Beauty

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

Oscar Wilde once said, “The greatest men fail, or seem to have failed.”  Paolo Sorrentino‘s film The Great Beauty shows us such a man. In a film so extravagantly shot, the profound sadness buried beneath the haughty exterior of 65-year-old protagonist Jep Gambardella can easily be overlooked.  However, the film itself cannot be and its onslaught of dazzling images, running the gamut from nuns to giraffes to dwarves, begs to be seen in a theatre.

PFS Rapid Review – Ride Along

Ride Along

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

Teaming up one of America’s greatest living comedians with one of America’s greatest living wordsmiths may sound like a good idea on paper but, as seen in Tim Story’s Ride Along, sometimes things get lost in the transition from page to screen.  The film does not carry the emotional weight of a Cube classic like Friday or the laugh-a-second hilarity of Hart’s stand-up specials but does feature performances good enough to hide most of the film’s flaws.

PFS Rapid Review – The Invisible Woman

The Invisible Woman

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

After successfully adapting Shakespeare in his 2011 film Coriolanus, Ralph Fiennes has triumphed once again with his masterful sophomore film The Invisible Woman.  Fiennes’ respect for the complexity of Charles Dickens’ life and work is evident in his direction, his performance, and, especially, his casting of Felicity Jones as Nelly Ternan.  Her portrayal of a woman in an utterly heartbreaking predicament shows us what it means to yearn for love in a time of restraint.