Latest Home Video Reviews
The Makioka Sisters (1983)
Well acted by a strong ensemble,
The Makioka Sisters
quietly, steadily (and almost imperceptibly as it happens) endears us to these women, investing us in their varied fates.
Cedar Rapids (2011)
Detailed and consistently funny observation of small-town sincerity muddling through a dog-eat-dog world.
The Boondock Saints (1999)
It's one thing to make a film that's violent and profane; it's another to make one that's a moral black hole, and to do it because black looks cool.
Being Human: Season Three (2011)
Turner's character of Mitchell, a century-old vampire, gets a go-for-broke story arc that sends him off in a satisfying way.
The Misfits (1961)
Deconstructs Hollywood's cowboy myth with a mythic Hollywood cast: Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Montgomery Clift.
Death at a Funeral (2007)
Proves you can spell funeral without 'fun.'
A not-bad thriller starring Liam Neeson. If that sounds like faint praise, it is, but at least this overgrown 'B'-movie tickles the brain just a tad...
Battle: Los Angeles (2011)
Neuron-rotting brain candy: an empty action exercise made up of empty calories. That'd be fine, if only it were sweet.
Throbs with a simple truthfulness...Loach shows his complimentary interest in documentary-influenced social realism and the improvisational search for the authentic.
It's all here: the famous Bill Conti fanfare, the 'Gonna Fly Now' training montage, the inevitable 'David and Goliath' climax.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
The preeminent comedy of anima...effervescent and breezily paced, from the car-chase opening to the big finish capped with one of the all-time-great punchlines.
Dead Man Walking (1995)
Has the distinction of including not one, but two of the greatest screen performances of all time...undeniably one of the most gut-churning emotional experiences of 1990s cinema...
Breaking Bad: The Complete Third Season (2011)
This most unusual dramedy of errors is one of the most riveting hours on television...
continues to shock and delight.
Remains an intriguing blend of the political and the personal, with Stone turning his memories and his opinions about Vietnam into potent drama.
The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
Kipling's exhilarating and disconcerting tale of high adventure...
The Hustler (1961)
Compelling from start to finish...with heartfelt speeches and dialogues that disturb hidden depths and allow the truth to rise to the surface.
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011)
The cosmic equivalent of hearing a Homeric epic in ancient times: we thrill to the battles, we wait with bated breath for the appearance of our favorite characters, and we root for noble, righteous warriors.
Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
And thus the old joke has finally been fulfilled of someone pitching
Romeo and Juliet
to Hollywood and hearing in response, 'Couldn't they live at the end? I mean, it's kind of a downer.'
The Usual Suspects (1995)
While it's fair to call
The Usual Suspects
a gimmick in search of a movie, one could say something similar of, say, an Agatha Christie mystery.
I Am Number Four (2011)
No creative inspiration gets in the way of the beautiful people running and jumping and kissing while things go boom in the forgettable teen sci-fi actioner
I Am Number Four
The Company Men (2010)
The TV-bred Wells...has written and directed
The Company Men
without ever coloring outside the lines: it’s all a bit too neat and obvious and predictable.
Just Go with It (2011)
Adam Sandler movies are for everyone! Unless you’re ugly, uncool, old, fat, gay, non-white or, heaven help you, all of the above.
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
Though the story is pat...there's pleasure to be had in the memorable one-liners, the irreverent humor...and the Western action against the backdrop of frontier scenery.
Gods and Generals: Director's Cut (2002)
Succumbs to turgidity. And...intentionally or not...conveys the impression that the film uncritically celebrates the Confederacy.
Gettysburg: Director's Cut (1993)
wins the day by giving a detailed account of the three-day battle (for the first time in a feature film), shot on the actual locations where the events took place.
Grand Prix (1966)
Yes, the driving scenes dazzle, but Frankenheimer also embeds his 1966 Cinerama epic with some interesting commentary about risk-taking professions in general and the Formula One driver in particular.
Carion's film admirably resists overselling the material: it's an adult espionage film, with no comic-book theatrics.
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
Functions better as an emotional drama than a history lesson...remains an important and, at times, profounding moving film.
Mao's Last Dancer (2010)
Like its defector hero,
Mao’s Last Dancer
is neither here nor there...determinedly dull, even in the flatly filmed ballet sequences.
The Terminator (1984)
A cyberpunk picture that flirts with emotional resonance but mostly focuses on the gut...testosterone-fueled, estrogen-boosted action melodrama.
Unfortunately, the film's postmodern staginess assists in keeping Porter endlessly at arm's length.
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
Branagh's highly entertaining and accessible take on one of the Bard's zestiest comedies.
Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Sweet, sad and funny...an entertaining fable about the phenomenon of socially crippled singles.
Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
As a musical look at family, generational and cultural conflict, and faith,
Fiddler on the Roof
makes a virtue of its quaintness.
Benny & Joon (1993)
Any film that features Johnny Depp performing salutes to the great silent comedians (and, in particular, Buster Keaton) deserves a little slack...
Blue Valentine (2010)
A postmodern tragedy of two people at odds who are both right and both wrong in their argument, sharing responsibility for the birth and death of love.
Mystic Pizza (1988)
Though the film's heart is in the right place, somehow it all winds up about as flat as one of the celebrated pies at Mystic Pizza.
Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003)
A pointless, tired, sugary, pink and teal affront to Reese Witherspoon, Bob Newhart, any important political cause...
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
, and—oh, let's just say it—humanity.
Tron: Legacy/Tron (2010)
A touchstone in the development of CGI as a storytelling tool, and almost thirty years later...the basis for a surprising franchise revival, beginning with the big-budget theatrical sequel
The Incredibles (2004)
An epic battle between conformity and exceptionality...which will be catnip for superhero buffs and a great time at the movies for everyone else.
All site content © 2000-2015 Peter Canavese.
Page generated at 08/03/2015 02:11:12PM.