GrouchoReviews.com: Reviews http://production.grouchoreviews.com/ Wed, 11 Dec 2019 17:09:24 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. 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 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 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 Downton Abbey (2019) [**] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5177 /reviews/5177 Forgive me for suggesting that Conservative peer Fellowes…or, as he’s sometimes known, Julian Alexander Kitchener-Fellowes, Baron Fellowes of West Stafford DL…might consider Downton the cake he’s letting us eat. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) [*** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5179 /reviews/5179 A deeply moving story of a remarkable woman, its only real fault an arguable virtue: adhering to the old showbiz adage of leaving the audience wanting more. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Official Secrets (2019) [** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5178 /reviews/5178 It’s a story worth shining a light on, Gun a hero deserving of a movie-star moment. And yet this docudrama struggles to give feature-length narrative shape to the story in a way that brings it to vibrant dramatic life.  Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Ready or Not (2019) [**] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5176 /reviews/5176 Thin characters...thinner satire...maybe best to think of Ready or Not not as trolling us but as gifting us a mosh pit for primal-scream therapy. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Where‘d You Go, Bernadette (2019) [** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5175 /reviews/5175 The film’s darkest-before-the-dawn middle passage honors the complexity of mental-health struggles for the sufferer and those who, unsure at every step, try to steer their troubled loved one down a path to healing. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Luce (2019) [*** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5174 /reviews/5174 Luce primarily concerns itself with African-American identity, plagued by withering lowdown stereotypes and polar-opposite pressures...In some ways, the film’s subtle political satire proves even more distressing. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Kitchen (2019) [** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5173 /reviews/5173 Because of its hurried pacing, the film doesn’t quite make us feel the potentially Shakespearean sweep of this arc, and the leading performances feel similarly hemmed in by the script’s limitations.  Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Farewell (2019) [*** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5172 /reviews/5172 The setup makes for genuinely amusing light farce, but in their patient observation, Wang and cinematographer Anna Franquesa Solano conjure a heartfelt intimacy with the family...[and] the actors always offer up finely etched emotional truths... Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood (2019) [*** 1/2] http://production.grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5171 /reviews/5171 Content finally joined by the movie gods to form…for at last, the moving-picture magpie has lighted on Hollywood as his setting and, in no small part, his subject. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese