The Grab Bag (Jan. 27, 2015)

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

Awards Coverage

David Fincher, ‘Strangers on a Train,’ and the Tricky Business of Remaking Hitchcock

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: The fact that so many filmmakers have tried and failed to remake — or even one-up — Hitch speaks equally, I suppose, to the industry’s reliance on existing properties and directorial ego. But to understand why Hitchcock remakes are such a losing proposition, it’s important to remember one key fact about Alfred Hitchcock: he was steadfastly disinterested in plot, which is the single element that’s easiest to reproduce.

Fey, Poehler, Maron, and Apatow Begin Stand-Up’s Overdue Reckoning With Bill Cosby’s Comedy Legacy

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: So when we talk about Bill Cosby the comedian, we’re back in that difficult conversation about his legacy. But it’s a different conversation than the one about The Cosby Show — not because he wasn’t a groundbreaking stand-up (as one of the first black comics to “cross over,” he certainly was), but because of the inherently personal nature of stand-up itself.

How ‘Selma’ Got Screwed

Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire

  • Excerpt: In the many conversations this critic had in the weeks following my first, emotionally devastating viewing of ‘Selma,’ one thought that never crossed my mind was, “Well, it’s a great movie, but it’s not the kind of movie that wins awards.” To the contrary, this is exactly the type of movie that wins awards.

Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 8

Lovell Wesley @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Looking at the winners and losers from the eighth week of Precursor Season

Oscar Scandals: Why Garbo never won a legitimate Oscar

Emanuel Levy @

  • Excerpt: Garbo, arguably one of Hollywood’s greatest actressses, had never won a competitive Oscar due to studio politics

Science Fiction Gold: Hunt for the “Reel” Deal of the Prestigious Golden Guy.

Frank Ochieng @ SF Crowsnest


Alex Garland – Ex Machina

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

J.C. Chandor – A Most Violent Year

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

John Goodman – The Gambler

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

Rupert Wyatt – The Gambler

Stefan Pape @ HeyUGuys

Festivals: General Coverage

Sundance 2015: Sundancing to a Different Tune

Kimberly Gadette @ doddle

  • Excerpt: This year, the comedians aren’t joking … seriously.


Black Mirror: “The Entire History of You” & “Be Right Back”

Daniel Lackey @ The Nightmare Gallery

Black Mirror: “The National Anthem” and “15 Million Merits”

Daniel Lackey @ The Nightmare Gallery

Darknet: Episodes 1 & 2

Daniel Lackey @ The Nightmare Gallery

Darknet: Episodes 3 & 4

Daniel Lackey @ The Nightmare Gallery

Darknet: Episodes 5 & 6

Daniel Lackey @ The Nightmare Gallery

True Blood: The Complete Seventh Season

M. Enois Duarte @ High-Def

Video Essays and Reviews

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: It brings the series to a fitting conclusion. It’s not The Lord of the Rings, but it does what it does very well.

The Imitation Game

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: A story of global triumph and personal tragedy. Benedict Cumberbatch gives the best performance of the year.


Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: It’s a large-sized epic centered by a humble but strong leader. A very good film about a crucial period of recent American history.

Taken 3

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: The only thing Taken that I care about is my eight bucks.


35 Days of Classic That Oscar Forgot [Day 1]: Singin’ in the Rain

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: t’s almost inconceivable now that on Oscar’s 25th birthday, one of the most beloved musicals made a pitiful showing in the major categories.

35 Days of Classic That Oscar Forgot [Day 2]: Harrison Ford in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: It is kind of tragic that for all that Harrison Ford has done for the film industry, the academy has nominated him only once, in 1986 for Witness. This man has created some of the most iconic movies in the history of the medium and yet he remains unrewarded.

35 Days of Classic That Oscar Forgot [Day 3]: Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married”

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: Sometimes, when you least expect it, an actor that you never really thought much about gives a performance that unexpectedly shows what they can really do. Such is the case with Anne Hathaway, who can easily be dismissed as just another pretty face, a veteran of bad Disney pictures who made her way into the mainstream coasting on a string of successful commercial hits.

It’s Time to Disrupt the Norm: An Open Letter to Hollywood, Critics and Cinema Lovers

Candice Frederick @ Reel Talk Online

Reviews of Short Films

The One That I Want

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Chanel Nº5 Short Film Review

Other Articles

2015 Oscar Predictions

Carlos del Río @ El rincón de Carlos del Río [Spanish]

  • Excerpt: Quiniela de los Oscars 2015.

Monday Memo: Cinema Eye, Oscar Anticipation & Sundance Previews

Jordan M. Smith @

Monday Memo: Oscar Noms/Snubs, Sundance Primers and Early Pick-Ups

Jordan M. Smith @

Orson Welles, Part One

Carson Lund @ Harvard Film Archive

  • Excerpt: Critical successes and box-office failures, peerless technical innovation alongside cynical studio slicing-and-dicing, a man both idolized and exiled—the established narrative of American cinema’s most infamous lone wolf is one of mounting contradictions. For every fawning account of Welles the Master Craftsman, there is a horror story of compromise and breakdown somewhere out there as counterpoint.

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