Posts Tagged ‘PFS Rapid Review’

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.

PFS Rapid Review – Nebraska

Nebraska

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Gary Kafer

Winning Best Actor at Cannes and now nominated for several Oscars, Alexander Payne’s offbeat road movie penetrates the oft-neglected landscape of Middle America. But despite its humble narrative, Nebraska’s stunning performances pitched against exquisite black-and-white cinematography wax a subtle melancholia and quiet reverence for an old man who thinks he won a million dollars.

PFS Rapid Review – American Hustle

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Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By John Smith

David. O Russell has a very unique style that he injects into American Hustle. The constantly moving camera and performances that seem to come naturally to the actors, especially Bradley Cooper, made it feel like I was actually watching these events happen before my eyes. American Hustle is real and hilarious.

PFS Rapid Review – Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Ian Abell

Mixing military brotherhood with a true-life survival story, Lone Survivor delivers a jarring cinematic experience. Much like Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan painted Normandy’s brutal beaches, the film makes you feel every sickening scrape, bullet, and slam Mark Wahlberg and others suffer. Beyond its combat focus, Lone Survivor revels in pushing bodily limitations.

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.

PFS Rapid Review – Lenny Cooke

Lenny Cooke

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Davis Rivera

In what was arguably the best year for documentaries in a decade, the one that ended up being my favorite release was also one of the least mentioned.  Josh and Benny Safdie’s Lenny Cooke started out as a decision by filmmaker Adam Shopkorn to follow Lenny Cooke instead of LeBron James before the NBA draft.  This decision may seem foolish in retrospect, but it did provide the groundwork for the most compelling documentary of 2013.