Latest DVD Reviews
The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)
For a movie about magical beasts,
The Spiderwick Chronicles
does an awfully good job of pegging childhood emotional realities, particularly in a context of divorce.
The Boondocks—The Complete Second Season (2008)
Like his wee alter ego, ten-year-old Huey Freeman, McGruder sees himself as hopefully out of step with society—radical, in fact—self-confident, and determined to effect change by any means necessary.
Men In Black (1997)
Among the best of the summer movie blockbusters,
Men in Black
comes on like gangbusters and never lets up.
Fool's Gold (2008)
Harmless but seriously wit-deficient.
The delirious idiosyncracies of the '60s
are all on display...a pleasant-enough romp that's just a little too-distracted with its new toys.
too often feels like a special-effects demo reel in search of a story, at least the eye candy is pretty darn sweet.
Veteran director Stuart Gordon guts us with dark satire and twists the knife...[this] horror fable is enough to make weary gorehounds sit up at attention.
By crafting a serious-minded character study, the filmmakers bring us closer to understanding the enigmatic artist's inspiration and desperation: a life that spun out of control.
Joy Division (2007)
The ad copy for Grant Gee's 2007
calls it "the definitive documentary on Joy Division," and given the roster of participants, it seems a reasonable claim.
There Will Be Blood (2007)
Anderson's most mature and ambitious film yet...[though his] growth as a filmmaker remains hindered by an obsession with effect and a disinterest in depth.
A bio-epic on the order of
Lawrence of Arabia
is a smart, fully realized historical film.
The Sand Pebbles (1966)
A fine old-school picture...elevated further by its progressive themes.
The Longest Day (1962)
Though the film makes a few egregious historical changes for dramatic effect,
The Longest Day
pretty much lives and dies by its scale.
A Bridge Too Far (1977)
Attenborough consistently reinforces the horrors of war by depicting not only the disasterous military engagements and their toll on heroes, but also the witless political decisions that led to needless, excessive loss of life.
Battle of Britain (1969)
Succeeds in giving the general impression of a pivotal historical moment, and excels in crafting some of the most astonishing aerial-warfare sequences ever put on film.
Cassandra's Dream (2008)
Two years after
, Allen delivers another London-set murder melodrama, with diminishing returns.
Harold Prince's original staging remains the gold standard, but John Doyle offers an intriguing alternative on Sondheim's ode to commitment anxiety.
Rescue Me—The Complete Fourth Season (2008)
The visions, the menagerie of women and the horrid behavior of Tommy Gavin suggest a lewd FDNY variation on
, and one that's still going plenty strong after four thirteen-episode seasons.
, a cousin of
, but most of all, a well-modulated, dread-laden, faith-based mystery.
The Three Stooges Collection: Volume Two (1937-1939) (1937)
Every time you see a comedic eye-gouging or an errant board swinging around and catching someone in the face, it's a passed torch that was held for decades by the Three Stooges.
The Recruit (2003)
Watchable only for its star power and scarce caffeine kicks...awfully predictable.
The mysteriously titled project might just as well have been called "9/11: The Thrill Ride," so thoroughly does it trade on our emotions of that disaster.
An audacious comic-book movie on steroids...cinematic junk food, but even a dieter deserves to cheat once in a while.
Bee Movie (2008)
Seinfeld's pleasingly idiosyncratic comic voice comes through in the haphazard, slaphappy storyline.
This is your action movie on drugs—any questions?
Anger Management (2003)
Full-blown 'Jack'—his face a spectacular special effect of full-blown energy—remains an irresistible act.
It may not be fashionable to like
, but darn if it isn't an entertaining electro-shock of action cinema.
Get Smart (1995)
The time is right to reappraise the revamp: yes, it's a shadow of the original series, but it has its high points.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
Though Adamson lacks Lewis' storytelling confidence...
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
still comes across as a quirkily diverting children's entertainment.
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (a.k.a. The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones) (1992)
Approached with an open mind,
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
offers an intriguing angle on one of the greatest characters in modern cinema.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
The eventual arrival of towering screen presence Sean Connery as Dr. Henry Jones, Sr. alongside Harrison Ford as Dr. Henry Jones, Jr. allows for what may be adventure cinema's most potent pairing.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
If it was a sign of the times for Indiana Jones to take on more of a comic-book aspect, the film's accomodation of darker themes and explicit imagery came as something of a shock to many.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
The postmodern heir to
North By Northwest...
like any deathless classic,
is a perfect marriage of star and material.
A Raisin in the Sun (2008)
A quintessentially American play, revisited...this one has towering performances from Rashad and McDonald.
El Orfanato (The Orphanage) (2007)
A series of serviceable creep-outs and jolts...the pretzel-shaped resolution feels like too little too late.
Dou fo sin (Flash Point) (2008)
Martial arts junkies won't want to miss Flash Point, a sequel to director Wilson Yip and star and action director Donnie Yen's S.P.L. (a.k.a. Sha Po Lang or, for us Americans, Kill Zone). With its em...
The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964)
Ask anyone who knows about The Fall of the Roman Empire, and their response is sure to include the word "sumptuous." From back in the day when epic meant upwards of 10,000 extras, gargantuan sets, an...
First Knight (1995)
First Knight—a brave attempt at a fresh cinematic angle on Arthurian legend—has a few interesting ideas, but is ultimately brought down by a squishy script, a director (Jerry Zucker) lack...
A Passage to India (1984)
After a fourteen year absence from the silver screen, David Lean vigorously attacked the challenge of adapting E.M. Forster's novel A Passage to India. What would be Lean's final film has much to rec...
The Savages (2007)
Tamara Jenkins' dark comedy The Savages applies bracing wit to the problem of immature adults forced to grow up and take on roles of parental responsibility for rapidly infantilized parents. It's no...
All site content © 2000-2016 Peter Canavese.
Page generated at 12/07/2016 08:47:47PM.