The Grab Bag

OFCS members don’t just write film reviews. Here are several articles you might find interesting.

Best of Lists

David Lynch, Ranked

Carson Lund @ Are the Hills Going to March Off?

  • Excerpt: I’m beginning to believe the power of Lynch’s images and the rhythm of his cinematic world is impossible to shake. He belongs to a coveted handful of directors who have constructed a reality that is totally distinctive and separate from our own.

The top 10 athletes turned actors

Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix

  • Excerpt: In Magic Mike, you might recognise the hirsute male stripper Tarzan not from other flicks, but in fact from his career as a professional wrestler. Yes, Kevin Nash has made the transition from sports to the silver screen, like so many other male and female beefcakes before him. To celebrate this Hollywood rite of passage – as well as the beginning of the 2012 Olympic Games! – we’re sharing our picks for the top 10 athletes turned actors. Apologies to O.J. Simpson, who we left off for obvious reasons. Yikes.

The top 10 Michael Fassbender performances

Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix


Beasts of the Southern (Gone) Wild

Piers Marchant @ Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

  • Excerpt: Wherein I speak with director Benh Zeitlin about the diminutive star of his film and her character’s various superpowers.

Benjamin Walker and Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter)

Simon Miraudo @ Quickflix

  • Excerpt: Quickflix’s Simon Miraudo sat down with Benjamin Walker, the star of ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER, as well as writer Seth Grahame-Smith to discuss their film’s “ridiculous premise,” Grahame-Smith’s long-in-development Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie, and the chances of a bloodsucker popping up in Steven Spielberg’s own Lincoln biopic.


Plaza Classic Film Festival: A Preview

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: The quality and scope of the Plaza Classic Film Festival is incredible.

UCLA Festival of Preservation at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts – On the Bowery

Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews

Oscar Coverage

My Alternate Oscars for 1936

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Oscars

  • Excerpt: Is there ANYONE who thought that The Great Ziegfeld was a better choice than Modern Times?

My Alternate Oscars for 1940

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Oscars

  • Excerpt: Two films about haunted families were frontrunners for Best Picture, but John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath had more resonance then Hitchcock’s Rebecca.

My Alternate Oscars for 1970

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Oscars

  • Excerpt: I’ll take the irreverence of MASH over the academy’s choice of the more straight-arrowed Patton.

My Alternate Oscars for 1989

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Oscars

  • Excerpt: I’ll take Woody Allen’s examination of how to get away with murder over how to get Miss Daisy to market.

My Alternate Oscars for 1994

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Oscars

  • Excerpt: An idiot ran off with the 1994 Oscar for Best Picture, but is was Tarantino that caused a revolution. The academy was dead wrong.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Aug. 3-5, 2012

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Looking at the Oscar chances of “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” “Ruby Sparks” and “Searching for Sugar Man”

Other Articles


Cole Smithey @

  • Excerpt: 1900 (made in 1976) is Bernardo Bertolucci’s crowning achievement of collectivist socio-political cinema.

10 Amazing Unbroken Shots in Film

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

25 Must-See Music Documentaries

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

The Apartment

Cole Smithey @

  • Excerpt: Billy Wilder’s classic Manhattan-based romantic comedy comes with a sly critique regarding 50’s-era corporate culture of rampant misogyny and unbridled ambition.

Criticwatch – The Same Ol’ Fierce, Mesmerizing Tricks

Erik Childress @ eFilmCritic

  • Excerpt: If film criticism is the lowest, most useless profession in the world (as some are too eager to say), if we cannot fix the problems with IT, where lies the hope for something more important?

Devin Ratray on Courting Condi

Betty Jo Tucker @ Movie Addict Headquarters

  • Excerpt: Actor/comedian/musician Devin Ratray talks about his starring role in cinema’s first musical docu-tragi-comedy.

Director Ang Lee Gathers Animals Two by Two in the First Trailer for “Life of Pi”

Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk [English]

  • Excerpt: It looks like Noah’s Ark meets Cast Away.

Emma, Merida, and the Female Bildungsroman

Kenneth Morefield @ 1More Film Blog

  • Excerpt: What is it about Austen’s work, then, that allows some readers to see a truly happy ending despite the novel’s steadfast refusal to unequivocally endorse one side of the social divide? Why does Emma seem to have at least the capacity to make both sides happy whereas Brave just ends up making both sides irritated?

The Emmy Nominations: A Personal Reflection

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: For those without premium cable or satellite, the nominees would be a mystery.

Eye For Books: We look at a new star study of Nicole Kidman.

Jennie Kermode @ Eye For Film

  • Excerpt: What makes a movie star? It’s a fascinating question and Nicole Kidman makes an interesting choice as the second subject of this BFI series (after Elizabeth Taylor; before Brigitte Bardot and Sabu). Her rise to stardom in the late Eighties and early Nineties, at a time of flux for the international film industry, enables author Pam Cook to use her stoy as a hook for exploring shifting mechanisms of commodificaion and celebrity/public interaction.

Film Threat Podcast – Episode 70 – You didn’t really think we were done with “The Amazing Spider-Man,” did you?

Don Lewis @ Film Threat

The Great Directors: D.W. Griffith

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Perhaps not the father of film, but certainly the first original cinema master.

Movie You Need to Know About: Director Ava Duvernay’s “Middle of Nowhere”

Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk [English]

  • Excerpt: Hopefully more people will take a look at her work, since the trailer for Nowhere actually looks pretty decent.

The New “Cloud Atlas” Trailer Excites a Kaleidoscope of Emotions

Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk [English]

  • Excerpt: Hold on to your hats, folks, because here comes another episode of I Don’t Know What’s Going On in This Trailer, But It Sure is Beautiful to Look At.

New Films & DVD Releases

Betty Jo Tucker @ Movie Addict Headquarters

  • Excerpt: Film critics Susan Granger, A.J. Hakari and James Colt Harrison rant and rave about current theatrical releases and DVDs.

That One Role: Seeing a Star Differently…

Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog

  • Excerpt: I saw Magic Mike last week. And I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it. Part of the fun of the film was revelling in a superb performance from Matthew McConaughey as the incredibly sleazy manager Dallas. Watching the film, I found it almost hard to believe that this was the same Matthew McConaughey who had headlined such nightmares as Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Sahara, Failure to Launch, The Wedding Planner, Fool’s Gold and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, to keep the list brief. It’s amazing how one performance can really change your opinion of an actor’s abilities, serving as something of a revelation of talent and ability that maybe you had never really seen before.

That One Time, When Lee Daniels Made Nicole Kidman a Swampy Seductress and Zac Efron a Man

Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk [English]

  • Excerpt: I don’t know when was the last time Kidman could play a trashy southern seductress, but I don’t believe it was recently

Video Essay: 135 Shots That Will Restore Your Faith in Cinema

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

Whatever Will Happen to the Caped Crusader? Thoughts on Batman After Nolan…

Darren Mooney @ the m0vie blog

  • Excerpt: So, what now? Christopher Nolan has rounded out his Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises, tying up and resolving the arc he set up for Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins almost a decade ago. It has been a long and rewarding journey. I certainly think that Nolan’s accomplishments here deserve to be compared to other truly exceptional pop culture trilogies like The Lord of the Rings or even Star Wars. He told a complete story for the character, from the beginning through to the end. So, a week after he released the final part of his trilogy, people are wondering: what now? How do you follow a series of Batman movies like that? What next for the Dark Knight and Warner Brothers? Speaking for myself, I can only hope that it’s something completely different.

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