Friday, November 21, 2014

In Theaters Now - 11/21/14


(new releases in green)

Fury        Grade: A

Whiplash        Grade: A

Interstellar        Grade: A

Nightcrawler        Grade: A

John Wick        Grade: A

Force Majeure        Grade: A

St. Vincent       Grade: A

Birdman        Grade: A-

The Maze Runner        Grade: A-

The Judge        Grade: B+

Gone Girl        Grade: B+

Foxcatcher        Grade: B+

Beyond the Lights        Grade: B+

Citizenfour        Grade: B+

Rosewater       Grade: B+

The Equalizer        Grade: B

Dumb and Dumber To        Grade: B

The Theory of Everything        Grade: D

The Better Angels        Grade: D



Additional Films Not Reviewed:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Big Hero 6
Dear White People
Dracula Untold
The Homesman
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I
Keep on Keepin' On
Ouija

Friday, November 14, 2014

In Theaters Now - 11/14/14



(new releases in green)

Fury        Grade: A

Whiplash        Grade: A

Interstellar       Grade: A

Nightcrawler        Grade: A

John Wick        Grade: A

Force Majeure       Grade: A

St. Vincent       Grade: A

Birdman        Grade: A-

The Maze Runner        Grade: A-

The Judge        Grade: B+

Gone Girl        Grade: B+

Beyond the Lights      Grade: B+

Citizenfour        Grade: B+

Rosewater         Grade: B+

The Equalizer        Grade: B

Dumb and Dumber To       Grade: B

Revenge of the Green Dragons      Grade: B  (also available on Video on Demand)

The Theory of Everything       Grade: D

Annabelle         Grade: D




Additional Films Not Reviewed:

Addicted
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Awake: The Life of Yogananda
Bad Turn Worse  (also available on Video on Demand)
Big Hero 6
The Book of Life
Dear White People
Dracula Untold
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Low Down
Ouija

Friday, November 7, 2014

In Theaters Now - 11/7/14



(new releases in green)

Fury        Grade: A

Whiplash        Grade: A

Interstellar        Grade: A

Nightcrawler       Grade: A

John Wick        Grade: A

Force Majeure      Grade: A

St. Vincent       Grade: A

Birdman        Grade: A-

The Maze Runner        Grade: A-

The Judge        Grade: B+

This is Where I Leave You        Grade: B+

Gone Girl        Grade: B+

Citizenfour       Grade: B+

Art and Craft       Grade: B+

Laggies      Grade: B+

The Equalizer        Grade: B

Guardians of the Galaxy        Grade: B

The Blue Room      Grade: C-

Before I Go to Sleep        Grade: D+

Jessabelle        Grade: D+  (also available on Video on Demand)

Annabelle        Grade: D




Additional Films Not Reviewed:

Addicted
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Awake: The Life of Yogananda
The Best of Me
Big Hero 6
The Book of Life
The Boxtrolls
Camp X-Ray (also available on Video on Demand)
Dear White People
Dracula Untold
On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter
Ouija
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
The Way He Looks 

Friday, October 31, 2014

In Theaters Now - 10/31/14




(new releases in green)

Saw 10th Anniversary       Grade: A

Fury        Grade: A

Whiplash       Grade: A

The Drop      Grade: A

Nightcrawler      Grade: A

Men, Women & Children        Grade: A

John Wick        Grade: A

St. Vincent        Grade: A

Birdman       Grade: A-

The Maze Runner        Grade: A-

The Judge        Grade: B+

This is Where I Leave You        Grade: B+

Gone Girl        Grade: B+

Citizenfour      Grade: B+

Art and Craft      Grade: B+

The Equalizer        Grade: B

Guardians of the Galaxy        Grade: B

White Bird in a Blizzard        Grade: B  (also available on Video on Demand)

The Guest       Grade: B

Pride        Grade: C

Listen Up Philip       Grade: C  (also available on Video on Demand)

The Blue Room       Grade: C-

Before I Go to Sleep       Grade: D+

Annabelle        Grade: D




Additional Films Not Reviewed:

Addicted
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
The Best of Me
The Book of Life
The Boxtrolls
Camp X-Ray  (also available on Video on Demand)
Dear White People
Dracula Untold
Happy New Year
No Good Deed
Ouija
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya 

Monday, October 27, 2014

23rd Philadelphia Film Festival - Closing Thoughts and Grades



Well, another Philadelphia Film Festival has come and gone (which makes at least 12 in a row for me as an attendee) and once again it's been a lot of fun.  I want to take the opportunity to thank Andy Greenblatt, Pari Patel, Michael Lerman, Mariah Weiler, Alyssa Kaminski, Alex Gibson, Rebecca Cain, Scott Hudson, and anyone else I don't know as well and may be inadvertantly leaving out, for putting on a hell of a festival with an extremely limited staff and budget.  Aside from being one of my personal favorite film festivals based on how much I always enjoy myself, it also remains the best value film festival of any I've attended.  Most tickets are only $12 each and are super easy to acquire compared to other film festivals.  And an all access badge is only $300 - $400, and if you have the energy it allowed you to see up to 54 films with priority admission, attend two parties, and enjoy the VIP Lounge with free snacks and drinks over the entire festival.

Over the last 11 days, I caught 41 films and attended the opening and closing night parties. The vast majority of the movies I saw ranged from good to excellent.  There really were only around three that I regret attending, and that's pretty good for any festival.  Below is a summary of my grades for what I saw at this festival, as well as some films that played here that I had seen earlier this year at other festivals.  As always, this is just one man's opinion and I welcome yours, whether you agree or strongly disagree on any of them.
  1. Gabriel      Grade: A+
  2. It Follows      Grade: A
  3. Wild      Grade: A
  4. Faults      Grade: A
  5. The Imitation Game      Grade: A
  6. Escobar: Paradise Lost      Grade: A
  7. In Order of Disappearance      Grade: A
  8. The Overnighters      Grade: A
  9. Force Majeure      Grade: A
  10. Happy Valley      Grade: A
  11. St. Vincent        Grade: A
  12. The Mule      Grade: A
  13. Human Capital      Grade: A
  14. Birdman      Grade: A-
  15. Life Partners      Grade: A-
  16. '71     Grade: B+
  17. Beyond the Lights      Grade: B+
  18. Hippocrates      Grade: B+
  19. The Good Lie      Grade: B+
  20. Wild Canaries      Grade: B+
  21. Revenge of the Green Dragons      Grade: B+
  22. Art & Craft      Grade: B+
  23. Love and Terror ...      Grade: B+
  24. Laggies      Grade: B+
  25. Kumiko the Treasure Hunter      Grade: B
  26. Breathe      Grade: B
  27. 10,000 Km      Grade: B
  28. A Hard Day      Grade: B
  29. Creep      Grade: B
  30. Two Days, One Night      Grade: B
  31. The Duke of Burgundy      Grade: B-
  32. Clouds of Sils Maria      Grade: B-
  33. Mommy      Grade: B-
  34. The Last Five Years      Grade: B-
  35. This Time Next Year      Grade: B-
  36. The Infinite Man      Grade: C+
  37. Love at First Fight      Grade: C+
  38. Mudbloods      Grade: C+
  39. Listen Up Philip      Grade: C
  40. Housebound      Grade: C
  41. V/H/S Viral        Grade: C
  42. Point and Shoot      Grade: C-
  43. Tomorrow We Disappear      Grade: D
  44. Xenia      Grade: F