GrouchoReviews.com: Reviews http://www.grouchoreviews.com/ Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:48:37 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. Transcendence (2014) [** 1/2] http://www.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://www.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://www.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 Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) [** 1/2] http://www.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://www.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://www.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://www.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://www.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://www.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://www.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://www.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 The Lunchbox (2014) [***] http://www.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://www.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://www.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://www.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 Gloria (2013) [***] http://www.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://www.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://www.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://www.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 Foreign Correspondent (1940) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://www.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4644 /reviews/4644 A fitfully crackerjack picture with astonishing mise-en-scène...some memorable set pieces to take advantage of same, and flashes of Hitchockian wit... Wed, 19 Feb 2014 03:39:00 GMT Peter Canavese