The Grab Bag (Jun. 10, 2014)

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

Best of Lists

2014 So Far: Midterm Top 5

Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder

  • Excerpt: The very best thing about my selections for 2014’s best so far is that most are still running/airing at this time. By all means, seek them out for yourself and see if you find them as superb as I do.

The Near-Disasters Volume II: 2009-2014

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Sadly, we’ve reached a point in our series where we simply have too many bad movies to go over.

The Top Ten Bald Baddies of the Big Screen

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: It is always fun recalling the hair-raising scheming of bald bad guys in cinema. These hairless hooligans make for entertaining film fiends that take being naughty on the big screen to a whole new level of devilish delight.


Interview with John Green, Shailene Woodley and Nat Wolff on “The Fault in Our Stars”

Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion

Interview: Fred Schepisi of “Words and Pictures”

Nell Minow @ The Movie Mom

Interview: John Ottman, Editor and Composer of “X-Men: Days of Future Past”

Nell Minow @ The Movie Mom

Merely making Xenia is a political act says director Panos H Koutras

Joseph Proimakis @ [Greek]

  • Excerpt: UCR contending director discusses film-making in a country of endless traps and hurdles

Zhang Ziyi embarks on the Chinese Titanic

Joseph Proimakis @ [Greek]

  • Excerpt: Based on the true story of the Taiping, the Chinese river boat that sank mid-travel during the 1949 Civil War, The Crossing aims to be a spectacular 3D epic by John Woo

Festivals: General Coverage

The Cannes fest picket holders

Joseph Proimakis @ [Greek]

  • Excerpt: An ode to the fest’s unsung heroes, the evereyday folk that hangs around the Palais all dressed up and no tickets to the show

Crime at Le Petit Majestic

Joseph Proimakis @ [Greek]

  • Excerpt: The busiest bar in town, Le Petit Majestic never slows down; not even whtn police invade its turf

Kylie Minogue swings the Croisette

Joseph Proimakis @ [Greek]

  • Excerpt: The glamorous parties are the quitessential Cannes-myth pyllar, but not all parties were created equal

Michael Jackson moonwalks in Cannes

Joseph Proimakis @ [Greek]

  • Excerpt: The King’s still got it and shows the moves to the Cannes market crews

Winter Sleeps wins Palm d’ Ore

Joseph Proimakis @ [Greek]

  • Excerpt: A favorite for the Palm before the fest even begun, Nuri Bilge Ceylan stroke gold while Jean Luc Goddard also scored his first Cannes award at age 83

Festivals: Individual Reviews

20000 Days on Earth

Blake Howard @ Graffiti With Punctuation

  • Excerpt: In his conversation with Minogue she confesses that she speed read his biography to get up to pace with him prior to their collaboration.. Cave sighs “Oh that old thing, it’s all lies…” That is how you feel exiting 20,000 Days on Earth; it’s autobiographical visual poetry. Candid in its confusion.

Cronenberg and Miller ready to swamp the red carpets

Joseph Proimakis @ [Greek]

  • Excerpt: Maps to the Stars and Foxcatcher will have the Croisette sighing tonight, though due not only to their starstudded casts

Grace of Monaco divides the Cannes crowd

Joseph Proimakis @ [Greek]

  • Excerpt: There’s no good fest without Nicole Kidman said Cannes director Theirry Fremaux, and after the fest’s openning screening pundits are buffled by what a “good fest” might actually be

Ken Loach and Andrej Zvyagintsev take stabs at church structures

Joseph Proimakis @ [Greek]

  • Excerpt: The two competition entries share much more than just there debut dates

The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq

Blake Howard @ Graffiti With Punctuation

  • Excerpt: The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq is as odd as its author. It’s either an unbearably great unparalleled recreation of one of the most ‘stranger than fiction’ kidnappings to ever take place; or it’s just a piece of experimental whimsy to create one of the only abduction comedies. Or both.

Panos H Koutras’ Xenia debuts at the Un Certain Regard

Joseph Proimakis @ [Greek]

  • Excerpt: Koutras most tender and optimistic look at Greek society has its world premiere in Cannes after a more than turbulent production process

Ryan Gosling swoons the Cannes crowd

Joseph Proimakis @ [Greek]

  • Excerpt: The crowds welcome him in rock-star fashion, though the critics don’t agree

Terror Cotta All-Nighter 2014

Anton Bitel @ Grolsch FilmWorks

Awards Coverage

Academia Portuguesa de Cinema anuncia os galardoados com o Sophia Carreira 2014

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Portuguese Film Academy announced it’s carrer honorees

Oscar Preview: Weekend of May 30-Jun. 1, 2014

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Looking at the Oscar chances of “Maleficent”

Tuesdays With Oscar: 1937

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: When you have Garbo, Dunne, and Stanwyck among your nominees, they pick the nominee in yellowface. The Viennese Teardrop Strikes Again!

You & Me

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Spanish Short Film Review


Bates Motel: The Complete Second Season

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: We had murder, we had sex, we had incest, we had drug wars. Pretty hectic for a small town like White Pine Bay.

Destroy All Monsters: Don’t Leave Me Alone In GAME OF THRONES’ World

Matt Brown @ Twitch

Elementary: Art in the Blood

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Last season, the Moriarty/Adler connection was the element in Elementary that divided the Sherlock Holmes fanbase. This year, it has to be the romance between Joan Watson and Mycroft Holmes.

Elementary: The Complete Second Season

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: The dreaded sophomore slump has passed Elementary by, as the second season of the CBS Sherlock Holmes television show continued to thrive with its mix of odd investigations and character development, though not without some major flaws that I hope Season Three will repair.

Elementary: The Grand Experiment

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: The Grand Experiment closes out Elementary’s second season with some solid heartfelt acting, some nods to Canon, and not one but two storylines that appear impossible to overcome, but which promise to have great payoffs if Elementary creator Robert Doherty can pull it off.

Mulheres de Abril

Nuno Reis @ Antestreia [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Não aprendi nada sobre 1974, mas vou rever os três primeiros episódios muito brevemente e a série toda ainda antes do próximo Abril. Está provado que temos no Porto muita gente capaz diante das câmaras.

Sherlock: The Complete Second Season

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Having plunged into the weird and wacky world that is Sherlockian, after six episodes I still cannot comprehend what hold Sherlock has over people. I think it’s in many ways a lousy show.

Sherlock: The Hounds of Baskerville

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: Was Hounds of Baskerville brilliant? No, which must come as a genuine surprise to its writer, Mark Gatiss, who fancies himself a genius in every way. However, The Hounds of Baskerville has some good acting in it, along with some nice visual flares that push it higher.

Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall

Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan

  • Excerpt: The Reichenbach Fall is a story that doesn’t make sense and which not only left me cold, but left me in shaking fury at both how wildly overpraised Sherlock in general is but confounded as to why critics in general and Sherlockians in particular can be in fits of tears over all this.


The Best Batman Movie You’ve (probably) Never Seen

Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema

  • Excerpt: t all comes down to writing. The features were about action and violence while TV’s “Batman: The Animated Series” got down to the serious business of exploring what made the characters tick. The writing team of the show figured out the basic truth about The Caped Crusader, that Batman and his adversaries have never been simply pawns to move around a plot. There is always a method to their madness, some dark and haunted demons that make them do what they do.

The Fly (1986): Man, Monster, Madness/Great Monsters of the Screen

Frank Ochieng @ Sound on Sight

  • Excerpt: The very idea of what constitutes a legitimate movie monster is certainly open to interpretation.

Reviews of Short Films


Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Review for a short film from Andorra

No Tiene Gracia

Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Spanish Short Film Review


Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Spanish Short Film Review


Paulo Peralta @ CinEuphoria [Portuguese]

  • Excerpt: Spanish Short Film Review

Other Articles

The Morning After: Jun. 2, 2014

Wesley Lovell @ Cinema Sight

  • Excerpt: Short reviews of “The Killing Fields”, “The Big Chill”, “The Verdict”, “Witness” and “A Million Ways to Die in the West”

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