Sunday, October 27, 2013
22nd Philadelphia Film Festival - Final Thoughts
Well, it's over and I'm exhausted but also sad. It was another great year of the Philadelphia Film Festival and I've got to give thanks to Andrew Greenblatt, Michael Lerman, Pari Patel, Alyssa Kaminski, Mariah Weiler, Alex Gibson, Rebecca Cain, Kate Miller, Scott Hudson, and all the rest of the folks who did a tremendous job making sure we all had a great time. They put on a hell of a festival with a pretty limited staff and budget!
And now on to the movies. This is tricky. I'd love to post all the films I saw ranked from A+ through F. But because of silly embargoes for critics, I'm not allowed to post reviews prior to release date. Of course many of these films won't ever get distribution unless critics like me help them by posting favorable reviews. So I'm going to post grades for the films that have released already, have no theatrical release date as of now (and probably never will), and/or would likely appreciate the press, and hope that goes over alright:
Coherence A+ (A superb low budget art house science fiction film best described as 'Another Earth' meets 'Primer', and possibly better than both. This one NEEDS distribution people!)
The Short Game A+ (A delightful crowd-pleasing documentary about the best 7 year old golfers.)
The Congress A (An extremely imaginative, original, and thought provoking sci-fi/animated mixed genre mash-up with Robin Wright playing herself.)
12 Years a Slave A (Can't say much that others haven't. It's likely to win the Oscar for Best Picture.)
Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me A (A charming doc on the stage legend and her 60 year career.)
Young & Beautiful A- (A terrific French drama about a 17 year old experimenting with her sexuality.)
We Cause Scenes B+
Blue Ruin B+
Grand Piano B+
Big Bad Wolves B+
Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons B+
The Discoverers B
Mystery Road B-
Tasting Menu B-
A Touch of Sin B-
All is Lost C+
Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction C-
Blue Highway D (I didn't enjoy the film, but it was a real treat meeting director Kyle Smith and actress Kerry Bishe who were both awesome.)
Awful Nice D- (An unfunny bore, though it did justify leaving in the middle to watch the less terrible 'The Counselor'.)
La Maison de la Radio F (A complete mess, though it allowed me a much needed nap.)
And a special Hall of Shame award should go to The Rave or Cinemark or whatever the hell that theater at 40th and Walnut is calling themselves. They consistently disappoint me year round by allowing talking, texting, calling, and who knows what else in the theater while I'm trying to enjoy the movie. And during the last ten days, not once but twice, their crack staff was unable to play the movie I came for (Ragnorak and The Motel Life). And my understanding was there was at least one more instance as well. Way to go Cinemark!
And you should continue to check back here on the following dates for my reviews of the following. (One of them is an A+!)
Last Vegas - 11/1/13
Let the Fire Burn - 11/1/13
About Time - 11/8/13
Nebraska - 11/22/13
Philomena - 11/27/13
The Unknown Known - 12/13/13
Labor Day - 12/25/13
One Chance - Late 2013?
Le Week-End - 3/7/14
The Immigrant - 2014
Alan Partridge - 2014
The Art of the Steal - 2014?
How about you? Do you agree or disagree? What did you see that I missed?