GrouchoReviews.com http://grouchoreviews.com/ Fri, 25 Apr 2014 02:14:42 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. 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 Star Trek: Enterprise…Season Four (2001) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4669 /reviews/4669 If not everything works in Enterprise‘s Season Four, it‘s certainly the most consistently entertaining and well-written season of the show, a bitter irony for a show that was doomed to cancellation. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:29:00 GMT Peter Canavese Transcendence (2014) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4668 /reviews/4668 A throwback to the fear-mongering science fiction of the past...the lab-bound likes of The Andromeda Strain and Demon Seed, circa the paranoid ‘70s. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:36:08 GMT Peter Canavese Rio 2 (2014) [**] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4667 /reviews/4667 Rio was pretty generic to begin with, and the follow-up doesn‘t fly far from the nest...[it‘s the] vocally virtuosic amorous aria, ‘Poisonous Love,‘ that is the picture‘s hands-down highlight. Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:22:00 GMT Peter Canavese Draft Day (2014) [**] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4666 /reviews/4666 This combo of ‘inside football‘ and Capra-corn fable of being one‘s own man in the face of total opposition...amounts to a corporate training film full of Trump-card koans... Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:17:49 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Nick Frost…Cuban Fury…4/11/2014 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/390 /interviews/390 When you watch the last ten minutes of the film, and all that is me, you think, ‘That’s why I did that.‘ But when you’re in it, it’s like...‘when’s this going to end?‘ Fri, 11 Apr 2014 13:52:00 GMT Peter Canavese Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4665 /reviews/4665 Though Captain America: The Winter Soldier never strays far from preposterousness, the picture‘s real-world implications give its high-flying action at least a tug of gravity. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 12:12:33 GMT Peter Canavese August: Osage County (2014) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4634 /reviews/4634 Absent the electricity of live-wire live performance, the play‘s paucity of depth becomes more obvious. What‘s left to carry the day are a nasty streak of black comedy and the redoubtable acting ensemble. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 20:53:00 GMT Peter Canavese Bad Words (2014) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4664 /reviews/4664 Doesn‘t seem to know what to do with itself once it gets where it‘s going...And yet, it‘s hard to throw on the trash heap, because Jason Bateman. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 01:51:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Hidden Fortress (1958) [****] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4660 /reviews/4660 The play of light and dark elements in what‘s arguably Akira Kurosawa‘s most broadly appealing and entertaining picture...explores a dichotomy of the idiocy of greed and the rewards of sacrifice. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 00:19:35 GMT Peter Canavese Philomena (2013) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4621 /reviews/4621 Though Coogan‘s the avowed funnyman, twinkly-eyed Dench makes beautiful comic music with him...and though Dame Judi‘s the classically trained tragedian, Coogan holds his own when matters get serious. Tue, 25 Mar 2014 20:10:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Great Beauty (La grande bellezza) (2013) [** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4624 /reviews/4624 Plays at times like a more conventional, less daring version of 1972’s Roma...On its own merits, Sorrentino’s film ain’t half-bad, but it’s no Fellini picture. Tue, 25 Mar 2014 18:13:00 GMT Peter Canavese Ma vie en rose (1997) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4659 /reviews/4659 About the unimaginative struggle to maintain conventional respectability, and the transgender child who is having none of it... Fri, 21 Mar 2014 05:29:00 GMT Peter Canavese Muppets Most Wanted (2014) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4658 /reviews/4658 The state of the Muppet union remains strong...self-reference sits comfortably along hip pop-cultural references for the ‘rents: stylish parodies and retro musical numbers along with vintage Muppet gags... Fri, 21 Mar 2014 05:18:19 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: David Frankel…One Chance, The Devil Wears Prada…10/5/2013 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/389 /interviews/389 It’s an incredible thing to sit as far as I’m sitting from you, and have this incredible noise come at you. And that human beings can make these sounds is remarkable. Fri, 21 Mar 2014 05:07:38 GMT Peter Canavese The Lunchbox (2014) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4657 /reviews/4657 The picture belongs to world-class actor Khan. I‘ll wager right now that there won‘t be a better performance all year, though it‘s not the type to win awards. Sat, 15 Mar 2014 08:02:00 GMT Peter Canavese Need for Speed (2014) [* 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4656 /reviews/4656 Like throwing a pile of car parts at the wall to see what‘ll stick. Spoiler: nothing. Sat, 15 Mar 2014 07:57:45 GMT Peter Canavese 300: Rise of an Empire (2014) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4655 /reviews/4655 Both blood-bathetic and deliriously entertaining high camp...will appeal mainly to meatheads, but those with a tolerance for over-the-top violence may appreciate it on other levels. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 18:33:01 GMT Peter Canavese Tim‘s Vermeer (2013) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4654 /reviews/4654 Earns its keep by being informative and briskly entertaining. It helps that the likeably wry Jenison is such an interesting character in his own right, a true Renaissance man... Wed, 05 Mar 2014 18:13:25 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Rob Minkoff & Tiffany Ward…Mr. Peabody & Sherman…2/21/2014 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/388 /interviews/388 Looking at it from the perspective of today, you can’t help but look at them then and say they’re the original Modern Family. It’s an alternative family, and what’s wrong with that? Tue, 04 Mar 2014 16:07:47 GMT Peter Canavese Gloria (2013) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4653 /reviews/4653 To look into García‘s face is to see the movie, a loving character study, in miniature at any moment: Gloria refuses to be your stereotype or a writer‘s stock character. She‘s complicated, like you... Thu, 27 Feb 2014 14:55:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Wind Rises (2013) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4652 /reviews/4652 As much as it deeply understands the artistic mindset of a driven creator, it also acknowledges the darker implications of a genius‘ tunnel vision. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 15:08:19 GMT Peter Canavese Pompeii (2014) [* 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4651 /reviews/4651 A bit like its own villain, Mount Vesuvius: massive, full of hot air, and brainless. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 16:54:24 GMT Peter Canavese King of the Hill (1993) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4645 /reviews/4645 To revisit King of the Hill…or to discover it…is to realize how seldom American cinema deems it worthwhile to tell a child‘s story with anything approaching serious psychological intent. Wed, 19 Feb 2014 17:26:00 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 Interview: Adam McKay…Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues…12/2/2013 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/387 /interviews/387 It’s very funny when you tell...the studio...‘We have a second movie.‘ They can’t comprehend it...they were like, ‘Ha ha! Must feel like that, right?‘...‘No, we literally have a second movie. We‘ve cut it, if you want to watch it.‘ Thu, 19 Dec 2013 23:36:27 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Richard M. Sherman…Mary Poppins, The Boys: The Sherman Brothers‘ Story…4/24/09 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/282 /interviews/282 [Walt Disney] pulled the car off to the side, and stopped the car, and he says, ‘You‘re not going to give your royalties on this song away! It‘s going to put your kids through college!‘ Tue, 10 Dec 2013 06:28:00 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 Feature: The 17th San Francisco Silent Film Festival (July 12-15, 2012) http://grouchoreviews.com/features/249 /features/249 In the last few years, leaps and bounds have taken The San Francisco Silent Film Festival to new heights of ambition and stature. The 17th San Francisco Silent Film Festival running July 12-15, 2012 at the Castro Theatre bears that out in what has been the institution‘s banner year thus far. The Fest topped itself with its historic presentation, ea... Sat, 07 Jul 2012 06:32:00 GMT Peter Canavese