GrouchoReviews.com http://grouchoreviews.com/ Fri, 27 Mar 2015 05:49:45 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. Wild Tales (2015) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4779 /reviews/4779 Like Tarantino‘s films, Wild Tales will rub some the wrong way by taking glee in the violence that comes from our worst selves, but the catharses have a positive social function...there‘s no doubt Szifron intends cautionary Tales. Sat, 21 Mar 2015 01:50:04 GMT Peter Canavese ‘71 (2015) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4778 /reviews/4778 Lean, mean...Director Yann Demange and screenwriter Gregory Burke (the prominent Scottish playwright of Black Watch) twist the knife by serving Gary with constant reminders of boyish innocence corrupted... Fri, 13 Mar 2015 16:04:49 GMT Peter Canavese Cinderella (2015) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4777 /reviews/4777 A lavish, classy affair...But while long on beauty, Branagh‘s film falls short on whimsy...[and] the film‘s most affecting emotional moments...stand apart from the story‘s central conflict. Fri, 13 Mar 2015 15:52:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: John Boorman…Queen and Country, Hope and Glory, Point Blank, Excalibur…2/26/2015 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/406 /interviews/406 From its very origins, particularly when it was black-and-white filmed, film was so closely connected to dreaming. And it‘s probably why people connected to it so readily... Mon, 09 Mar 2015 05:24:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4775 /reviews/4775 Shows little strain in maintaining its cute factor, thanks to the drily winning personalities of the likes of Smith, Dench, Nighy, and the comic ebullience of Patel. Fri, 06 Mar 2015 16:19:35 GMT Peter Canavese What We Do in the Shadows (2015) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4774 /reviews/4774 Taps a fresh vein of humor to transfuse the horrific and the mundane. Tue, 24 Feb 2015 15:25:00 GMT Peter Canavese McFarland, USA (2015) [**] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4773 /reviews/4773 What could be an inspirational teacher-student, coach-player story keeps playing the race card of simple non-whites not being able to see their own way to prosperity without a guiding white light, who in turn learns from their unsophisticated purity. Mon, 23 Feb 2015 19:18:00 GMT Peter Canavese The DUFF (2015) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4772 /reviews/4772 Will...[strike a chord] with teen girls, if they can get past the casting of the healthy, but hardly plus-sized Whitman, as well as the changes made to sanitize the book... Mon, 23 Feb 2015 17:12:47 GMT Peter Canavese Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) [**] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4771 /reviews/4771 Absolutely ludicrous, dramatically clumsy, fifty shades of wrong, but...If audiences can cool their loins long enough, they may have a productive think about the nature of their desires... Fri, 13 Feb 2015 16:43:09 GMT Peter Canavese Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4770 /reviews/4770 Doubles down on glib ultraviolence while pressing buttons of class-consciousness and teasing out pop-culture allusions and self-aware witticisms. But this time, the postmodernism feels played out. Fri, 13 Feb 2015 16:28:00 GMT Peter Canavese 101 Dalmatians (1961) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4767 /reviews/4767 Then and now, Disney fans of all ages have thrilled to the animation-ambitious sight of the titular pack, and chilled at the villainy of mad diva Cruella De Vil. Tue, 10 Feb 2015 23:48:00 GMT Peter Canavese Jupiter Ascending (2015) [**] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4769 /reviews/4769 To the extent we still demand rich characters and sensible plotting, the Wachowskis‘ latest is a few planets short of a galaxy. Sat, 07 Feb 2015 07:13:00 GMT Peter Canavese The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015) [**] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4768 /reviews/4768 A nominal theme…complete with theme song…of teamwork. But really, Sponge Out of Water is about little more than fast food and ice cream, with the same promise of empty calories. Sat, 07 Feb 2015 07:06:38 GMT Peter Canavese Porco Rosso (2015) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4766 /reviews/4766 Though the story touches on politics and even profundities of the human experience, Miyazaki‘s light touch and overriding sense of fun promise that children of all ages will give themselves over to ninety-four minutes of fantasy that do a heart good. Thu, 05 Feb 2015 20:37:48 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Simon Jones…The Hitchhiker‘s Guide to the Galaxy, Blithe Spirit…1/25/2015 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/405 /interviews/405 Along comes the maid at the end, in the sleepwalking scene. And to my amazement, she’s wearing Arthur Dent’s dressing gown. Not any more, I hasten to say, because it was too big for her. Fri, 30 Jan 2015 20:15:47 GMT Peter Canavese Black or White (2015) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4765 /reviews/4765 Sorting through prejudices and nuances of racial perception occasionally takes Black or White into intriguing territory...[more often] a rather mushily obvious, TV-movie-style courtroom drama built on straw-man arguments. Fri, 30 Jan 2015 17:36:52 GMT Peter Canavese Two Days, One Night (2014) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4764 /reviews/4764 Cotillard‘s heartbreakingly raw work carries the day, as she fleshes out both Sandra‘s suffering and emotional endurance on a journey of discovery that the latter, not the former, defines her. Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:55:57 GMT Peter Canavese Still Alice (2014) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4762 /reviews/4762 Still still hums with humanity in the person of Moore, whose towering performance shows a staggering technical proficiency while never losing a whit of emotional resonance. Fri, 23 Jan 2015 17:11:00 GMT Peter Canavese A Most Violent Year (2014) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4763 /reviews/4763 An unsettling examination of moral drift, over a year in the life of a man and a generation in the life of a country. Fri, 23 Jan 2015 17:10:00 GMT Peter Canavese American Sniper (2015) [**] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4761 /reviews/4761 Iraq warrior biopic American Sniper, about the late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, affords Eastwood another opportunity to wrestle with the way of the gun, but one that gets mired in military hero worship. Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:47:47 GMT Peter Canavese Mr. Turner (2014) [****] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4760 /reviews/4760 Revives an era in astonishing, delicate detail, then moves through the space with a documentarian‘s eye. Leigh takes Turner out of art history and puts him back in the world. Fri, 09 Jan 2015 18:41:00 GMT Peter Canavese Inherent Vice (2015) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4759 /reviews/4759 The plot is a sideshow to Inherent Vice‘s luxuriant atmosphere, cracked sense of humor, and idiosyncratic characterization. Wed, 07 Jan 2015 16:22:04 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: 2014 Top 10 http://grouchoreviews.com/features/254 /features/254 The Year‘s Best Films                   1. Boyhood  The deceptively simple idea behind Richard Linklater‘s magnum opus was to shoot a few days a year for twelve years, and thus capture the growth and development of a middle-class Everyboy (Ellar Coltrane) and his family. Linklater‘s rest... Tue, 23 Dec 2014 23:34:27 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Raphael Bob-Waksberg & Lisa Hanawalt…BoJack Horseman…8/14/2014 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/403 /interviews/403 Staying with some friends in this big house in the Hollywood hills...I just remember looking out over the deck of this house and seeing the city below and feeling like ‘Oh, I’m on top of the world. And I’ve never been more lonely or isolated.‘ Sat, 23 Aug 2014 21:19:31 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Ira Sachs…Love Is Strange…8/11/2014 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/404 /interviews/404 It’s a pretty classic kind of set-up for the love story genre because it’s two people who are in love who have to face an obstacle together. And what we reveal in the story is the depth of their love, through how they do that. Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:11:35 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Chris Mulkey…Last Weekend, Twin Peaks…5/2/2014 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/395 /interviews/395 Malcolm is a totally different kind of role than I‘ve ever played. He‘s a listener. And that‘s a really powerful thing to be able to do...Hank Jennings was a duplicitous guy... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 07:37:46 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: The 57th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 24-May 8, 2012) http://grouchoreviews.com/features/253 /features/253 SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST CAPSULE REVIEWS! No one would say that the San Francisco Film Society has had an easy time of the last few years, but its Filmmaker360 program to support and fund independent film can (and does) boast successes like Beasts of the Southern Wild and Fruitvale Station, and with new Executive Director Noah Cowan in place, st... Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:10:11 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: 2013 Top 10 http://grouchoreviews.com/features/252 /features/252 The Year‘s Best Films             1. Her  The “zeitgeist“-y American movie of the year is a slightly futuristic tale that reflects blindingly on our present. Written and directed by Spike Jonze with elegant, melancholy calm, Her functions as a sincere and most unusual romance…between a human and a f... Tue, 24 Dec 2013 14:40:59 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: Mill Valley Film Festival 36 (October 3-13, 2013) http://grouchoreviews.com/features/251 /features/251 In the fall, a young film‘s fancy heavily turns to thoughts of awards. Long well-positioned as a harbinger of Oscar attention to come, the Mill Valley Film Festival brings out big films and big stars as part of an eclectic slate of studio and indie films, fiction films and documentaries, tributes and panels, a Childrens‘ Film Fest, concerts in the... Thu, 26 Sep 2013 20:18:28 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: 2012 Top 10 http://grouchoreviews.com/features/250 /features/250 The Year‘s Best Films             1. This is Not a Film  This is the rare film that is more: a rebellious yawp over the rooftops of the world, a vital social document, a moral but illegal political statement. World-class filmmaker Jafar Panahi (Crimson Gold) has frequently tangled with the... Fri, 21 Dec 2012 20:26:04 GMT Peter Canavese