Latest Film Reviews
Cinematic poetry...As that greatest of screen rarities—a potentially mainstream experimental film—the writer-director earns a bit of slack in gratitude for the strange and wonderful gift
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Too measured to be lively, too skittish to be provocative, too dramatically slack to be more than a ploddingly literal book-on-film.
The Infiltrator (2016)
A sturdy but uninspired crime docudrama that’s neither convincingly colloquial nor thrillingly stylish.
The Girl on the Train (2016)
A mental-health exploitation picture.
The Birth of a Nation (2016)
Unsettlingly, Parker’s historical film depicts a tragic uncivil war that bears comparison to our modern racial struggles, and while it’s history not to be forgotten, it’s also not to be mischaracterized.
The main draw remains Serling, whose story seems every bit as relevant—indeed, more so—today. There is efficiency but also music in his theatrical language...
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)
The fact that
Mike and Dave
will inevitably turn into a rom com blunts its potential as a black comedy of comeuppance for the titular jerks.
Queen of Katwe (2016)
A co-production of Disney and ESPN Films,
Queen of Katwe
unsurprisingly has a calculated quality to it...What’s thrilling is the story’s girl power, with Phiona described as an aggressive player of 'astonishing power.'
Blood Simple (1984)
Simpleness and crime have consistently fascinated the pair, who may as well be praying at the temple of Atë...the Coens preach a healthy respect for the randomness and chaos that ensues from our desires.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
As far as 'Classic Disney,'
Beauty and the Beast
pretty much has it all. Y'know, for kids (of all ages).
Samberg’s jittery-nerdy energy comes through, and Stoller applies a level of taste and restraint to the film’s use of source music and amusingly awkward pauses.
The Dressmaker (2015)
Part slow-burn mother-daughter drama, part slow-burn suspense thriller, and part slow-burn romance, with a few twists for good measure as the town begins to come apart at the seams.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
A direct sequel to
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
...a crazy-cool superhero team-up/smackdown movie to make
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
look like a tea party, and a franchise-launching introduction to the new Spider-Man...
Bridget Jones's Baby (2016)
As artless as it can be—and as thuddingly predictable about the baby’s parentage and whom Bridget will end up with—even grumps will admit to scattered amusing bits...and the likeability of Zellweger and Firth.
A Bigger Splash (2015)
The significant visual appeal and magnetic turns by the leading players make this four-hander a diverting dip into human nature: specifically, jealousy and the folly of opting for interiority over communication.
Why is Marguerite so funny to us, and why is her public humiliation allowed to continue for so long? The answers plumb both the best and worst instincts of human nature, and give Giannoli’s film a strong heartbeat.
The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939)
The story, the effective acting, and the period-specific recreations of Kabuki would be enough for most films, but this one has Mizoguchi behind the camera, applying his rigorous formalism.
The so-called 'untold story' is essentially nonsense...The struggle is real for screenwriter Todd Komarnicki...
Night Train to Munich (1940)
Double-crosses and disguises, captures and escapes make up the momentum of Reed's nicely pacy adventure.
The Night Manager (2016)
A story that succeeds in the telling: in the work of Hiddleston, Laurie, and Colman and the steady hand of their director: notable feature-film helmer Susanne Bier.
Now You See Me 2 (2016)
Not only can the center not hold, but there is no center to begin with...The story mostly speeds along at an obnoxious rate and pitch, the better to misdirect from the next dumb abracadabra plot twist, but good luck hanging in for over two hours of it.
The Immortal Story (1968)
A dreamy fable of just-so proportion and asethetics...this literate and richly strange film has layers of meaning available to the viewer.
Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Two (2015)
An abundance of fun, with high-spirited action (including dazzling space battles and impressive lightsaber duels), dry wit, and dramatic contributions to the
The Jungle Book (2016)
Favreau and Marks have obviously put some thought into the film’s visual approach and the messages...: the animal kingdom’s unexpected threats and opportunities...the work Mowgli puts in to come of age...his casual kindheartedness...
Too closely resembles the narcotic world it depicts. Without ever doing anything conspicuously wrong,
plays like one big miscalculation...
Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon (1970)
I'll say this for
Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon
. It's a film that takes a big roll of the dice. Is it wrenching? Is it wacky? Well, it's definitely weird.
Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete First Season (2015)
It's difficult to imagine how
Ash vs Evil Dead
could be any more fan-pleasing than it is...packed with all sorts of looney fun that conjures back up the "splatstick" style Raimi and friends popularized.
Hell or High Water (2016)
Old-school bank robbery meets the new economy—and the New West—in
Hell or High Water
, a lean tale of cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, and customers and bankers.
War Dogs (2016)
Captures something of runaway modern greed, played out as a bro movie from bro stars and a bro filmmaker...[but] might have been a fresh classic of political satire instead of a crime comedy that plays as sub-Scorsesean riff.
A Taste of Honey (1962)
Pushed the culture-shock of kitchen-sink drama further with its female protagonist and depictions and discussions of interracial coupling, teen pregnancy, the possibility of abortion, and homosexuality.
Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words (Jag är Ingrid) (2015)
Bergman's effortlessly poetic diary and letters provide more evidence, though patently unnecessary, of her artistic temperament, her lyrical view of experience.
Once Upon a Time: The Complete Fifth Season (2011)
It's comforting to know
Once Upon a Time
is there as an entertainment families can rally around, and one that will challenge them thematically as much as it panders by playing in the Disney sandbox.
tends to the sober and dour, it also breaks into the brutal, the intense, and the emotionally devastating, all the right 'moves' for a war story of moral heft compromised by Pyrrhic victory.
Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)
A legitimately fascinating central character...Not surprisingly, Streep expertly shades every eccentricity, embodying Jenkins in her musical waywardness...
The Blacklist: The Complete Third Season (2013)
Season Three of
upped the show's game with slightly more adventurous writing that made the show a more consistent bet from week to week.
Mother's Day (2016)
A movie so far up its own posterior that it includes the threatening exchange 'They made a womb float for Mother’s Day?' 'I can’t wait to see what they do for Father’s Day!' Well, I can.
Suicide Squad (2016)
A novel but muddled supervillain action movie...Some comic-book fans will lap it up, but
is all sauce and no meat.
When this thriller has to turn the screws of its climax, its fundamental stupidity surfaces.
Jason Bourne (2016)
Terrified to do anything different (which, believe it or not, would be entirely possible)...it only takes a moment of awareness to step outside the movie and see how poorly written, insultingly recycled, and anti-creative
Star Trek Beyond (2016)
What works (marginally) in this instantly forgettable entry: a few diverting character moments...fan-serving fairy dust...action, action, action.
All site content © 2000-2017 Peter Canavese.
Page generated at 03/27/2017 12:51:32PM.