GrouchoReviews.com http://production.grouchoreviews.com/ Mon, 23 Nov 2020 22:03:44 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2020) [*** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5199 /reviews/5199 [SPOILER-FREE:] Laugh-out-loud funny...transcends offensiveness by holding a mirror up to the very worst of human impulses, making us laugh at crimes against humanity not because the satirists don‘t care but precisely because they do. Wed, 01 Jan 2020 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: What to Watch at Home: 3/20/2020 http://production.grouchoreviews.com/features/262 /features/262 In tough times, we crave comfort food. Now that staying home is vital to saving lives…to doing our part to stall the spread of COVID-19 before our health-care system becomes completely overwhelmed…home entertainment will taste like chicken soup for the soul at the end of an emotionally exhausting day of telecommuting, teleschooling, o... Wed, 01 Jan 2020 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Onward (2020) [*** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5198 /reviews/5198 A very sweet, very entertaining blend of whimsy and peril. Wed, 01 Jan 2020 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Assistant (2020) [*** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5197 /reviews/5197 Has the benefit of relevance to the current news cycle, but it’s about something much larger even than the famous convicted felon who threw his weight around Hollywood. Wed, 01 Jan 2020 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Will Forte…Extra Ordinary, MacGruber…2/17/2020 http://production.grouchoreviews.com/interviews/479 /interviews/479 I feel like most of the discussion about the character on this one was about hair. (Laughs.) Hair and facial hair....And they told me to take a look at Chris de Burgh videos. Wed, 01 Jan 2020 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Downhill (2020) [** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5196 /reviews/5196 As long as Faxon and Rash...stay in this pitch-black pocket of uncomfortable truth-telling, Downhill retains its power. But since this is an American comedy... Wed, 01 Jan 2020 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020) [***] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5195 /reviews/5195 Practically dares its audience to make the mistake of taking it seriously, and yet it’s a bizarrely uplifting story of credibly tough women...survivors all, supporting each other to vanquish a sneering, preening abuser whose time’s up. Wed, 01 Jan 2020 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Bad Boys for Life (2020) [**] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5194 /reviews/5194 Contemplating any of this action-comedy camp in real-world terms...would be a maddening mistake. Accept Lowrey’s assessment that ‘Violence is what we do,‘ or pick another movie. Wed, 01 Jan 2020 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese 1917 (2019) [** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5193 /reviews/5193 Attempts to thread the needle of a moving anti-war film in that narrow space between...[war as] thrill ride and the filmic wizardry that, when examined too closely, rings as hollow as a war machine rapped with a wrench. Wed, 01 Jan 2020 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: 2019 Top 10 http://production.grouchoreviews.com/features/261 /features/261 The Year‘s Best Films 1. The Lighthouse Robert Eggers’ blinding vision, set in a psychosexual landscape of a mind on the brink, has everything we go to the movies for: meticulously effective sight and sound, confident storytelling, humor and horror, dream and nightmare. One of the all-time two-handers, The Lighthouse pits Willem Dafoe&rsqu... Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Little Women (2019) [*** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5192 /reviews/5192 Aside from Gerwig‘s own comic and dramatic sensibilities (which never intrude on Alcott) and a stellar cast, her Little Women adopts a bold narrative approach to retelling Alcott’s two-volume story. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) [** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5191 /reviews/5191 [SPOILER-FREE REVIEW:] If Abrams has topped himself, it‘s by making a Star Wars film that‘s even more of a multiplex-filling Hollywood widget than his first. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) [***] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5190 /reviews/5190 If The Next Level plays fast and loose, it also makes an effort to prompt viewers to reflect not only on the freedom of fantasy, but on the fraught but essential relationship of mind and body. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Waves (2019) [** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5189 /reviews/5189 If the film’s psychology and dialogue remain frustratingly basic...the viscerally effective audio-visual approach amplif[ies] the story’s emotional intimacy in ways the situations and mostly platitudinous dialogue sometimes fail to do. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Ruth E. Carter…Dolemite Is My Name, Do the Right Thing…11/20/2019 http://production.grouchoreviews.com/interviews/477 /interviews/477 I don‘t want to be on my own island...I‘m here to collaborate, not to just be the Grand Poobah of costume design. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Knives Out (2019) [*** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5188 /reviews/5188 Knives Out cannot help but be fanciful fun, particularly for murder-mystery fans...Johnson adds ballast to what would otherwise be a lightweight tale by suggesting sociopolitical allegory. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Frozen II (2019) [***] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5187 /reviews/5187 Pointedly setting up its own Turkey Day-teasing Truth & Reconciliation Commission about a proud nation’s not-so-proud past...Frozen II arrives just in time for Thanksgiving as an entertainment parents and kids can be thankful for. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Good Liar (2019) [** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5186 /reviews/5186 The Nicholas Searle novel Hatcher adapts features a shopworn story with easily anticipated plot twists, resulting in a soggy and largely pointless exercise that gets by on its consummate cast and some witty dialogue. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Scott Z. Burns & Daniel Jones…The Report…10/11/2019 http://production.grouchoreviews.com/interviews/476 /interviews/476 [Burns:] ‘The only thing more powerful than telling someone a story they don‘t know is telling someone a story that they thought they knew‘...Whenever I could I used the language and the facts that are in the report to tell the story of the program. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Ira Sachs…Frankie…10/7/2019 http://production.grouchoreviews.com/interviews/475 /interviews/475 I‘m interested in a democratic narrative...Anyone who is on the screen is interesting. Right? Everyone has their own story. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Doctor Sleep (2019) [***] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5184 /reviews/5184 In some ways, Doctor Sleep has to feel like a pop cultural footnote, but that‘s not fair to what‘s a ripping yarn in its own right.  Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Parasite (2019) [*** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5185 /reviews/5185 Wild-ride entertainment that’s by turns funny, squirmy, horrifying, and poignant, all in service of a zeitgeist-y story of working-class frustration...boiling over in ways the blithely wealthy can no longer ignore. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) [* 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5183 /reviews/5183 Audiences can’t be blamed for turning off their brains and focusing on the aesthetic trappings...in this film featuring a flying protagonist, nothing really lands. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Pain and Glory (2019) [*** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5182 /reviews/5182 The filmmaker contemplating his own creation as a man and an artist...plays as a poetic remembrance of things past, a reconciliation of self, powerfully capturing the emotional essence of keenly formative experiences and deep loves. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Joker (2019) [** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5181 /reviews/5181 Joker isn’t the film to seriously tackle the issue[s]--it‘s more concerned with flair than genuine inquiry--but Phoenix’s pained, raw-nerve performance is one for the ages. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) [***] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5180 /reviews/5180 A primer...proves most valuable by gathering a number of Miles’ friends, lovers, musical collaborators, admirers, and musicologists...to share their recollections and perspectives on Davis, his musicality, and his personality. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Alfonso Cuarón…Roma…1/4/2019 http://production.grouchoreviews.com/interviews/471 /interviews/471 I was very lucky to be raised by two strong and very generous women...[Cleo] embodies, in one hand, those scars that I share with my family, but in the other hand, those scars that I share with a whole society. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: 2018 Top 10 http://production.grouchoreviews.com/features/260 /features/260 The Year‘s Best Films 1. The Other Side of the Wind A long-coveted Holy Grail for cineastes, Orson Welles’ The Other Side of the Wind finally dropped in 2018, 33 years after its maker’s death. Wind in many ways serves as a sort of semi-autobiographical bookend to Citizen Kane in ruthlessly dissecting a deeply flawed but high-pow... Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: 2017 Top 10 http://production.grouchoreviews.com/features/259 /features/259 The Year‘s Best Films               1. The Florida Project Sean Baker’s follow-up to the stylish, street-level Tangerine is the sort of film that sticks with you, whether you like it or not. In part a tribute to The Little Rascals, The Florida Project works on that level alone, with a low... Sun, 01 Jan 2017 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: 2016 Top 10 http://production.grouchoreviews.com/features/258 /features/258 The Year‘s Best Films               1. Moonlight  In skillfully adapting Tarell Alvin McCraney’s unproduced play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, writer-director Barry Jenkins shows a deep curiosity about one person’s development and inner life. We see this person grow from boy to teen... Fri, 01 Jan 2016 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese