Online Film Critics Society Ballot 2019

Below is my December 26th ballot for the 23rd annual Online Film Critics Society Awards honoring movies released domestically in the United States during the 2019 calendar year. Each category is ordered according to my preferential rankings. Group winners were announced on January 6th, 2020 and are labeled in red.

Read More

REVIEW: Hustlers [2019]

We were like hurricanes. What’s a better hustle than declining the price tag a Hollywood studio offered for your life rights to wait until the film is a hit and then sue the production for defamation? Samantha Barbash pretty much bet on the story—I’m hypothesizing that this was her intent based solely on her characterization in Jessica Pressler‘s New York Magazine article “The Hustlers at Scores” and Lorene Scafaria‘s cinematic adaptation Hustlers—and stands to make something regardless of how often these types of cases are dismissed. She’d usually have to…

Read More

REVIEW: The Wedding Planner [2001]

Dark tower demolished. I shouldn’t be surprised that my nineteen-year old self wasn’t a fan of The Wedding Planner when it came out. Romantic comedies weren’t my genre of choice and I surely didn’t pick it upon going to the theater with friends. So I probably watched with an immovable bias, honed in on its familiarity, and ignored its strength with an agenda to walk out without laughing. Watching it almost twenty years later removed from that teenage boy mentality, however, reveals how strong preconceptions can prove. That’s not to…

Read More

REVIEW: Lila & Eve [2015]

“Talk is meaningless” A movie isn’t necessarily ruined because its so-called twist is easily deciphered, especially when the reveal is less for shock value than depicting the psychological struggle of grief. For Lila Walcott (Viola Davis), the loss of her son Stephon (Aml Ameen) as an innocent bystander to a drive-by shooting has drowned her in exactly that emotion. It’s pushed her to the brink of sanity, acceptance, and quite possibly redemption right into the arms of a like-minded individual languishing in almost identical circumstances. Lila befriends Eve (Jennifer Lopez)…

Read More

REVIEW: Home [2015]

“I’m the interrupting cow! Moo!” While it didn’t need help on its way to a fifty million dollar opening weekend, Home may have benefited from a G-rating. Its journey in search of family taken by Oh the Boov (Jim Parsons) and Tip the Human (Rihanna) skews very young in message and comedic style—unexpectedly so for me. So sweetly cute, it’s hard to think many children of PG-viewing age would find worth considering it’s slightly more juvenile than they’d admit is ‘cool’ in the presence of their peers. Only once they’ve…

Read More

The 84th Oscars recap through tweets …

@jaredmobarak • Shut up Ryan Seacrest … Like the studio isn’t going to reimburse you. Cry about it #Oscars12 And with a little Bisquick, the 84th Annual Academy Awards show began before the camera even entered the Kodak “Chapter 11” Theatre. The is he or isn’t he banned from the show star of The Dictator, Sacha Baron Cohen, did what he does best by getting interviewed in character and causing a scene. Ryan Seacrest appeared to be enjoying the joke of it all and remained quite amiable until the comedian…

Read More

REVIEW: The Town [2010]

“It’ll be just like one of my sunny days” There is just something about Ben Affleck and Boston. Raised in Cambridge, it seems that success and the hometown accent combine as though they are directly related. Good Will Hunting earned him an Oscar for Best Screenplay, his directorial debut Gone Baby Gone was—in my opinion—one of the best films of 2007, and now his sophomore effort The Town shows it wasn’t a fluke. I’m not saying he should quit his day job in front of the lens or anything; you…

Read More

REVIEW: The Back-up Plan [2010]

“It’s stubborn, overly-paranoid, and distrustful of men” Over the years Jennifer Lopez has been involved in some good films. I’m talking Out of Sight, U-Turn, and The Cell—movies that have a dark edge to them and stay far, far away from the romantic comedy genre she so readily takes roles for. So, let’s just say I had zero expectations going into her newest entry and CBS Films’ sophomore effort The Back-up Plan. I’ll admit to wanting to be anywhere else but in that theatre, anticipating a horrible affair that would…

Read More

The 82nd Oscars recap through tweets …

@jaredmobarak • NPH in sequins … i guess that’s something … The 82nd Annual Oscars ceremony begins, yet the hosts are nowhere to be found. Have we gotten to the point now where we need a lead-in for the most assuredly lame/very PC stand-up routine? We need to get the ball rolling for the ball that gets the show rolling? And they wonder why it always goes over its allotted timeslot. So, not only do we have to be introduced to all the lead acting nominees—because anyone watching doesn’t know…

Read More

REVIEW: The Cell [2000]

“Where do you come from?” After being enraptured by its trailer and what looked to be some nightmarishly stunning visuals, it has taken me ten years to finally see Tarsem Singh’s The Cell. Every time I had the desire to rent it, the words of so many around me saying not to waste the effort always killed the idea. But I am the kind of person who can love a movie strictly from its aesthetics, whether the story is coherent or just barely interesting. Having the same feelings after watching…

Read More

REVIEW: Extraordinary Measures [2010]

“I guess we dodged that blessing” It is interesting to see a company such as CBS throw their hat in the ring of motion pictures, especially with the financial climate of the industry so muggy. I guess all that money from “CSI” and its spin-offs have landed enough cash in the coffers to lay the groundwork for what is promising to be a few movies a year with high-end talent. Add to that the marketing dream of having your parent company as a television station ripe for advertising during lucrative…

Read More