Posts Tagged ‘PFS Rapid Review’

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

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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

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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: 12 Years a Slave

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

In celebration of PFS Oscar Week & PFF22 Alum 12 Years a Slave bringing home the biggest award on Sunday:

12 Years a Slave is potentially one of the most important films ever made. Director Steve McQueen skillfully guides his unflinching camera through some of the worst evils mankind has ever perpetrated against itself. The film is not an easy watch, with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o in particular giving earth-shattering performances. I can guarantee you will not be quite the same once the credits start rolling. 

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 Reviews – The LEGO Movie

The LEGO Movie

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Caroline Meuser

The LEGO Movie offers more than some cool effects and an opportunity for childhood regression. With Will Ferrell as the voice of a maniacal ruler threatening to end utopian Legoland as its plastic population knows it, the audience faces a unique fusion of two facets of modern cinema: the underdog’s mission to save the world and a thought-provoking statement on corporate America. This, plus an underlying sheath of mature comedy, is surely a recipe for a Lego-cy of greatness.

 

By Ian Abell

This film is one of those rare popular hits that seems to do everything right. The story is both simple and reflective, with the support of popping jokes and solid casting. Using the established universe of Lego, the movie reminds us about the importance of play and imagination throughout our lives.

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.