GrouchoReviews.com: Reviews http://www.grouchoreviews.com/ Wed, 13 Feb 2019 19:59:23 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. Arctic (2019) [** 1/2] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5147 /reviews/5147 While Penna shoots and edits the material well enough, its familiar paces probably wouldn’t be tolerable were it not for Mikkelsen, whose grim visage crucially gives the film a racing mind and a beating heart. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) [***] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5146 /reviews/5146 While adults will probably find somewhat diminishing returns in The Second Part, its cheeky variations on all the constructions that worked so well the first time also work pretty darn well, and to a good end. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Stan & Ollie (2018) [***] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5145 /reviews/5145 Labors a bit to create drama from what’s essentially a gentle, wistful story of two artists together eking out a last hurrah, but there’s a refreshing warmth to a family-friendly show business tale, one not about backbiting but about love... Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Cold War (2018) [*** 1/2] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5144 /reviews/5144 A sweet romance this isn’t, but Pawlikowski (Ida) balances the flatfooted realities of maddeningly thwarted love with swoony moments: smoky jazz clubs and songbird reveries. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese At Eternity‘s Gate (2018) [****] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5143 /reviews/5143 Memorable moments come from its series of penetrating philosophical conversations... Dafoe expertly plays the keenness of Van Gogh‘s intellect and creativity against his searing drive, his raw emotions, and the haunting that was his depression. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) [****] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5142 /reviews/5142 In Jenkins’ sure hands, Baldwin’s novel becomes an exquisite, impeccable, indelible piece of cinema of the ages. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Vice (2018) [*** 1/2] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5141 /reviews/5141 As strikingly original in form as Oliver Stone’s JFK...infotaining Hollywood history that’s equal parts funny and horrifying in its high-stakes political gamesmanship... Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Ben is Back (2018) [** 1/2] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5140 /reviews/5140 Roberts’ role as an intense mama bear cleverly corrupts her famous smile to an “everything’s okay” mask. Ultimately, Ben is Back is about the lies addicts tell their loved ones, and those their loved ones tell th Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) [*** 1/2] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5139 /reviews/5139 McCarthy clearly feels a connection to Israel’s outsider artistry, her utter commitment to become someone else for a few stolen moments, and her pride in a job well done... Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Green Book (2018) [** 1/2] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5138 /reviews/5138 Though breezily entertaining, this cinematic vehicle also lurches into and out of the usual racial potholes, making its song of the South--and North--catch in the throat. Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) [***] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5137 /reviews/5137 Productively acknowledges real-life dangers, with stellar animation and designs shoring up the storytelling of Johnston and Pamela Ribon‘s witty script...a useful all-ages fable for our time. Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Instant Family (2018) [*] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5136 /reviews/5136 Humor is subjective, of course, but the film offers this litmus test: do you laugh when a sane adult finally slaps Ellie (‘You listen to me, you crazy woman!‘) and when another slaps cuffs on Pete? Or do you cheer? Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Boy Erased (2018) [** 1/2] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5135 /reviews/5135 On the side of truth, social justice, and human dignity...despite all that, Boy Erased never quite coalesces into the deeply moving and insightful film its pedigree seems to promise. Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Wildlife (2018) [***] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5134 /reviews/5134 First-time director Dano, who co-scripted with partner Zoe Kazan, has a knack for capturing quotidian daily struggles as well as moments of discovery that hearten or, more often, horrify. Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Beautiful Boy (2018) [***] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5133 /reviews/5133 Makes a good case for itself as the addiction movie America needs right now...[offers] a primal ‘you are not alone‘ catharsis for sufferers under the powerful grip of addiction or with a front-row seat to it. Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Fail State (2018) [*** 1/2] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5092 /reviews/5092 Takes a cogent look at the issues, making comprehensible the complex history of American higher education, the government‘s shifting role in supporting it, and the increasingly corporate exploitation of the American-Dreaming underclass. Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Halloween (2018) [***] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5132 /reviews/5132 Because Green loves the material enough to have some good, old-fashioned fun in this playground, he’s able to bring the audience along with him. Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese First Man (2018) [*** 1/2] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5131 /reviews/5131 By focusing on Armstrong’s human perspective, First Man gives us a new window into the costs and benefits of taking ‘one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.‘ Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese A Star is Born (2018) [** 1/2] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5130 /reviews/5130 Unabashed melodrama...the film’s strongest moments are acoustic, not plugged-in...intimate, truth-telling exchanges between lovers who want the best for each other.  Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Smallfoot (2018) [**] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5129 /reviews/5129 Bland... something of a thinker, even a subversive one, but it’s dubious that kids will pick up on the provocation between the pratfalls and the pop songs. Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese