Elias Savada

Elias Savada

Agrees with the Tomatometer 80% of the time.

Raised in Harrison NY, Elias Savada joined The American Film Institute immediately after his graduation from Cornell University in 1972, working on their ongoing project to catalog feature length motion pictures produced and released in the United States. In 1977 he began a five year stint as senior researcher at the Law Firm of E. Fulton Brylawski and J. Michael Cleary, a top copyright law firm. He returned to the AFI from 1983 to 1991, where he compiled a massive database of silent films released in the United States prior to 1911. The information he compiled was published in 1995 as the two-volume, 1,800-page, work-in-progress The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Film Beginnings, 1893-1910, listing over 17,000 films. Meanwhile, in 1977 Savada founded the Motion Picture information Service (MPIS), which originally assisted the United States Information Agency with repertory film programming for overseas cultural festivals, particularly the Gulbenkian Foundation and the Cinemateca Portuguesa in Lisbon. In the ensuing years, he has arranged for the transportation of more than 2,000 films to the Cinemateca, the Filmoteca Española in Madrid, the San Sebastian (Spain) Film Festival, the Pordenone (Italy) Silent Film Festival, and other archives and events around the world. In September 2002 he served on the New Directors Jury at the 50th edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival. In the mid-1980s he began to perform copyright research under his MPIS banner and now writes over 600 reports each year covering thousands of movies, television programs, songs, recordings, books, plays, etc., having serviced more than 850 clients, including law firms, motion picture and television production companies, home video firms, and individuals. Using a vast knowledge of cinema history and keen intuitive skills, he has been able to expand on a basic copyright report to include information not available in the Copyright Office files. Since 1991 he has been working out of his residence in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1975 he and co-author David J. Skal had their biography Dark Carnival: The Secret World of Tod Browning, Hollywood's Master of the Macabre published by Doubleday. His interest in the director of Freaks (1932) and Dracula (1931), date from screenings of the films in a "flicks for kicks" course in college. It was nearly a quarter-century later that interviews he recorded in 1972 with associates and friends of Browning would be incorporated into the biography. The book, translated and published in Spain and Japan, has been optioned for feature production. Savada's interest in film mirrors his late father's professional infatuation with 78 rpm records. Morton Savada, who owner of Records Revisited in New York, was an expert in his field of this long-discontinued vinyl record format. Savada's obsession to detail has now been extended to his own family genealogy. For nearly two decades he has been tracking down cousins and has documented nearly 20,000 relatives. He was co-chair of the 23rd IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy held in Washington DC in July 2003.
Top Eleven of 2004:1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind2. Finding Neverland3. The Incredibles4. Hotel Rwanda5. Vera Drake6. Shaun of the Dead7. Napoleon Dynamite8. Ray9. Million Dollar Baby10. Sideways11. Fahrenheit 9/11Worst Films of 2004 (in order suffered):Against the RopesThe Big BounceEurotripStarsky & HutchBroken Lizard's Club DreadTwistedThe Whole Ten YardsEnvyAround the World in 80 DaysSleepoverCatwomanThunderbirdsLittle Black BookExorcist: The BeginningFirst DaughterRaise Your VoiceBirthSurviving ChristmasChristmas with the KranksAlexanderTop Ten of 2003:1 In America2 American Splendor3 The Station Agent4 Lost in Translation5 Finding Nemo6 Blue Car7 Shattered Glass8 Capturing the Friedmans9 Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King10 Kill Bill: Volume 1Worst 10 of 2003:1 In the Cut2 Gigli3 Dumb and Dumberer4 Grind5 Duplex6 Ghosts From the Abyss7 Alex & Emma8 Matchstick Men9 Hollywood Homicide10 Either Matrix sequelTop Ten of 2002:1. Bloody Sunday2. Bowling for Columbine3. About Schmidt4. Adaptation5. The Importance of Being Earnest6. Lord of the Rings, The: The Two Towers7. Chicago8. The Pianist9. Antwone Fisher10. Spirited AwayWorst 20 (alphabetical order) of 2002:Bad CompanyDans Ma PeaufeardotcomFormula 51Full FrontalHalf Past DeadI SpyKung Pow: Enter the FistMaster of DisguiseMr. DeedsNational Lampoon's Van WilderOrange CountyPossessionPumpkinResident EvilRollerballThe Salton SeaThe Time MachineThe Truth About CharlieWelcome to CollinwoodTop Ten of 2001:1. Memento2. The Man Who Wasn't There3. In the Bedroom4. The Deep End5. Shrek6. Hearts in Atlantis7. Amelie8. Monster's Ball9. Series 7: The Contenders10. PanicOther Favorites of 2001:Apocalypse Now ReduxA Beautiful MindBlack Hawk DownDark Blue WorldThe DishDonnie DarkoGhost WorldHedwig and the Angry InchLord of the RingsMoulin RougeMulholland Dr.SongcatcherTop Fifteen of 2000:Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonErin BrockovichBest in ShowFinding ForresterRoom for Romeo BrassTime CodeThe Tao of SteveTrafficNurse BettyChuck & BuckThe Life and Times of Hank GreenbergAlmost FamousTwo Family HouseWonderlandJoe Gould's SecretTop Five Foreign Films of 2000:Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonAimee and JaguarAdrenaline DriveThe Color of ParadiseShowerFavorites of 1999: American Beauty, Being John Malkovich, Election, October Sky, Affliction, Galaxy Quest, Twin Falls IdahoFavorites of 1998: Shakespeare in Love, Truman Show, Waking Ned Devine, Gods and Monsters, The Imposters, Life Is Beautiful, Rush Hour, Zero Effect, Wag the DogTop 25 Overlooked Films (1990-1999)1 Pi2 Cookie's Fortune3 Dick4 Election5 Flirting With Disaster6 October Sky7 Run Lola Run8 Waiting For Guffman9 The Spanish Prisoner10 Waking Ned Devine11 Fly Away Home12 Go13 Citizen Ruth14 Grosse Pointe Blank15 Muriel's Wedding16 The Impostors17 The Secret Garden (1993)18 Smilla's Sense of Snow19 Ulee's Gold20 Cold Comfort Farm21 Drop Dead Gorgeous22 The Iron Giant23 Sneakers24 Twin Falls, Idaho25 The Minus Man
Film Threat , Nitrate Online
Critics' Group:
Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association
Total Reviews:
Total QuickRatings:
Bethesda MD

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

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Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
4/5 —— 3 Mile Limit " Youngsters may not comprehend the crackle heard on old transistor radio sets ..., but they should latch onto the film's anti-establishment bias..." — Film Threat
Posted Mar 23, 2014
3.5/5 —— Finding Neighbors (2013) " Our everyman could have the motto: Truth, passion, and the American way of procrastination. Finding Neighbors is a mournfully honest look at unlikely relationships." — Film Threat
Posted Feb 26, 2014
3/5 —— They Will Outlive Us All " Director Shearer plays the film for sly laughs, whether his camera is hovering over his actors, waiting for them to react to the sludge in their environment. Or he bombards our aural senses with a weird soundtrack of singing cats." — Film Threat
Posted Feb 15, 2014
0/5 13% Winter's Tale (2014) " Some of us may remember Akiva Goldsman for his dual Razzie nominations (1997′s A Time to Kill and 1998′s Batman & Robin). This may be the year he wins." — Film Threat
Posted Feb 14, 2014
2.5/5 70% Love Is In The Air (2014) " By the time the end credits start to roll, you're comfortably satisfied, but never full..." — Film Threat
Posted Feb 3, 2014
4.5/5 100% The Square (2013) " The Square doesn't slack for a minute. Quite a voice. Quite a film..." — Film Threat
Posted Jan 26, 2014
3/5 —— Luna Vieja " The family dynamic gets a serious look-see in Luna Vieja (Old Moon)from Puerto Rican-born, NYU-trained director-writer-(co)producer Raisa Bonnet, who tells a simple story of an innocent child's darkness redeemed by a prudent grandmother." — Film Threat
Posted Jan 23, 2014
2/5 56% Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) " If you're going to resurrect the likes of John McClane or Jack Ryan, it might be wise to put a few more bucks and minutes into developing a decent story...." — Film Threat
Posted Jan 17, 2014
3.5/5 55% The Best Offer (2014) " What a nice way to start 2014, with this intricate, multi-layered tale of mystery, deceit, and delicate anxiety..." — Film Threat
Posted Jan 5, 2014
3.5/5 80% If You Build It (2014) " If You Build It works successfully as a human interest story, albeit one with a bittersweet ending that condemns the stingy, misguided minds running at least one of our country's school boards..." — Film Threat
Posted Dec 27, 2013
1.5/5 75% The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013) " Jackson's latest, too lengthy, excursion to Middle-Earth is a muddle in the middle of an overwrought trilogy derived from J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novel..." — Film Threat
Posted Dec 13, 2013
3.5/5 69% About Time (2013) " In the end, it's a charmer. For those of you who have liked Curtis' previous rom-coms, come along for a lovely joyride..." — Film Threat
Posted Nov 12, 2013
4/5 —— Backwater " It's nice to see a script that dares to elevate beyond the usual platitudes Backwater turns a nice stroll in the woods into a journey into a dark, terror-filled dimension. This is not your daddy's Twilight Zone..." — Film Threat
Posted Nov 12, 2013
2.5/5 49% Carrie (2013) " The recipe in today's reimagining of Carrie calls for the same servings of thrills and shrills, making the new film a serviceable approach to the King classic..." — Film Threat
Posted Oct 29, 2013
3.5/5 53% Haunter (2013) " Haunter isn't an extraordinary ghost tale, but it's got a nice lyrical blend of fear, gloom, and unsettling evil moments... " — Film Threat
Posted Oct 29, 2013
3.5/5 86% Terms And Conditions May Apply (2013) " Your brain will be overflowing with information by the end of this short 79-minute exercise. Taxing? Perhaps. Entertaining. Yes..." — Film Threat
Posted Jul 30, 2013
3.5/5 83% The New Black (2014) " Richen and her crew have fashioned a well-polished and informative piece that hopefully will provide a blueprint for other communities in states that refuse to legalize gay marriage." — Film Threat
Posted Jul 29, 2013
3.5/5 93% The Hunt (2013) " The cornerstone to The Hunt is the mesmerizing performance by Mikkelsen, whose portrayal of a Danish everyman's shattered descent into a horrifying nightmare is one of the most powerful performances I've seen in recent memory." — Film Threat
Posted Jul 29, 2013
3/5 22% Rushlights (2013) " Stutz has crafted a decent thriller, actually. A lesser-man's Body Heat" — Film Threat
Posted Jul 27, 2013
3.5/5 —— We Always Lie to Strangers (2014) " Like the Leap Day tornado that hit the area in 2012, there's a resiliency afoot here. We Always Lie to Strangers won't muster up storm-size crowds (well, it might if they play it in Branson), but it's a nicely observed slice of life..." — Film Threat
Posted Jul 2, 2013
3.5/5 —— Remote Area Medical " While it may not be an exceptional film, it is an exceptional story of an unique, ephemeral event, captured with an unfettered eye and not a single special effect..." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 30, 2013
3.5/5 —— A Will For The Woods " A Will for the Woods will help build awareness of the movement while also telling an immersive (for everyone, including the embedded filmmakers), heartwarming tale of one man's passionate struggle to find both peace on earth and peace in earth..."" — Film Threat
Posted Jun 29, 2013
3.5/4 71% Caucus (2013) " This isn't a pulse-pounding documentary, but a well structured slice of election life." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 25, 2013
4/5 —— I Learn America " The film takes the omnipresent camera approach, following the students and their teachers and social workers as they progress through one day at a time for a year..." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 24, 2013
2/5 10% Molly's Theory Of Relativity (2013) " Jeff Lipsky's world is somewhere between Venus and Mars, and I'm still not sure if that means Earth..." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 20, 2013
4.5/5 93% Mistaken for Strangers (2014) " It's hard to say if Tom Berninger could make another film that clicks like this one, at least one which keeps him out of the frame. Yet, he has made an adorably lumpy movie. Go figure..." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 18, 2013
4/5 64% The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear (2013) " Fitfully depressing and bravely open, Gurchiani's film commiserates on life's fleeting and often harrowing destinies..." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 18, 2013
3.5/5 —— The Age of Aluminum " There's a lot of bad shit in the world. You wouldn't think aluminium would be one of them. The Age of Aluminium puts us on notice." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 7, 2013
3.5/5 100% Masquerade (2012) " Following in the long tradition of lavish Asian epics, this new South Korean entry is a beautiful addition to the genre of period prince-and-the pauper themed films." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
2.5/5 75% Killing Them Softly (2012) " It's a middling gangster film, but belabored with too much Sturm und Drang, particularly in banging over the audience's head the constant reminders of the fiscal cliff." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
3.5/5 96% Brooklyn Castle (2012) " With Brooklyn Castle it's really nice to see so many young, positive minds at play in the world, and to cheer on so many smiling children dreaming of enlightened futures." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
4/5 93% Barbara (2012) " Barbara offers us historically motivated immorality offset by some heartfelt sensitivity, a side order of depression, and finishes off with some ennobling hope. It's definitely one of the best foreign films of the year." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
4/5 29% Struck by Lightning (2013) " There are some nice spins on old high school clichés and enough off-center characters and good, occasionally great, dialogue that should make this one of the year's early hits in the art house market." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
4.5/5 93% Zero Dark Thirty (2013) " Zero Dark Thirty is truly one of the best films of 2012. In my list, it is the best..." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
3/5 65% Mama (2013) " There's a lot of imagination in the film's scare tactics that remind me of the disturbing charm of Val Lewton movies of old." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
2/5 15% Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) " There may be some wit afoot, particularly with director-writer Tommy Wirkola's good-for-a-chuckle rethinking of the missing child notices adorning milk bottles, but the film is still just a one-note, hired guns story-with groupies." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
3/5 —— Zero Killed " Hot topics abound in Zero Killed. A contemplative step above Psych 101, and perhaps a distant cousin to last year's off-putting Compliance, with occasionally blood-soaked, squirm-inducing moments." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
2.5/5 46% Bullet to the Head (2013) " Nothing to write home about, but with some decent fight sequences, good stunts, and amusing banter between Stallone and Kang. No need to rush out to the cineplex, although worthwhile to catch on-demand later this year." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
0.5/5 14% A Good Day To Die Hard (2013) " The score by Marco Beltrami might suggest a mission impossible, but the movie's reality is more like a poor man's Wile E. Coyote-Road Runner cartoon..." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
2.5/5 46% Beautiful Creatures (2013) " Beautiful Creatures is a half-filled glass of teen pablum..." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
4/5 69% Greedy Lying Bastards (2013) " ... thorough in its revelations, and thoroughly depressing on how the world has been thwarted in this important attempt to heal itself. The film is intent on putting on notice all the "guilty" parties that deny the dangers of climate change..." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
3/5 —— Hard Shoulder " It's not brilliant filmmaking, but Hard Shoulders does have its imaginative moments of character-driven craziness... " — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
3.5/5 79% No Place On Earth (2013) " No Place on Earth is a satisfying hybrid that allows another worthwhile glimpse into courage during times of horrible tragedy..." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
3/5 44% Gut (2012) " We're looking at an early David Cronenberg in the making here. Gut is Troma-fan Elias' love letter for his fellow horror buffs..." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
4.5/5 50% Now You See Me (2013) " The brilliant heist caper and the fascinating realm of illusion blend flawlessly in the summer's most intelligent film..." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
3/5 —— Chastity Bites " Fresh from its world premiere at Dances With Films comes the delightfully cheesy horror comedy Chastity Bites, which takes a John Hughes high school world and puts a blackened spin on it..." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
1/5 11% After Earth (2013) " ... the lame video game story line and nauseating narration of After Earth will certainly give you a queasy feeling that will make you grasp for an air sickness bag." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 6, 2013
4/5 87% What Maisie Knew (2013) " Onata Aprile's short career should blossom as people react to her subtle performance here." — Film Threat
Posted Jun 3, 2013
2.5/5 59% Detour (2013) " For every breath he's grasping for, you're holding one in, anticipating what might follow." — Film Threat
Posted Apr 3, 2013
4/5 43% To Rome with Love (2012) " To Rome With Love is a triumphant examination of life and love's many splendors, spilt out on the streets on Rome at their wickedly absurd and poignantly profound moments... " — Film Threat
Posted Sep 28, 2012
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