Latest Film Reviews
For his follow-up to Forrest Gump, director Robert Zemeckis selected the epic story of humankind's first contact with alien life, based on Carl Sagan's novel. The result is an uneven and often pedant...
40 Days and 40 Nights (2002)
Michael Lehmann has one of the most tumescent careers among mainstream directors. Beginning with his breakthrough film Heathers through the underappreciated absurdist action comedy Hudson Hawk, D.O.A...
The deeply personal and highly ambitious Bulworth provides a great vehicle for Warren Beatty in the waning phase of his stardom. Beatty, along with a handful of his contemporaries, has etched out an...
The Fluffer (2002)
Imagine your surprise, returning home with your rental copy of Citizen Kane to discover that you've accidentally been supplied with Citizen Cum, a gay porno. For L.A. newcomer (no pun intended) Sean...
Death to Smoochy (2002)
Though eluding the unofficial Hollywood policy against pitch black comedy, Danny DeVito's twisted vision of Death to Smoochy succumbs to a much worse pitfall: an underdeveloped script. Adam Resnick'...
Kissing Jessica Stein (2002)
The latest New Yawk Jew relationship comedy, Kissing Jessica Stein, plays a little like a ripoff of Rob Reiner's ripoff of Woody Allen's Annie Hall, but with lesbian chic. Despite the faint praise, t...
Mean Machine (2002)
Being rushed into U.S. release for no apparent reason (perhaps for some arcane tax purposes), Mean Machine lacks the benefit of a big promotional push. Presumably its audience--of die-hard Vinnie Jon...
Monster's Ball (2001)
In a year rife with tales of obsession and trauma in the wake of death (like The Pledge and In the Bedroom), the achievement of Marc Forster's Monster's Ball stands in impressive relief. Like most 2...
The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)
Among this year's Oscar Bait options, consider the latest Coen Brothers "art project": The Man Who Wasn't There. Like TV's The Simpsons, the Coen Brothers seem well past their prime, and yet their mat...
Black Hawk Down (2001)
With the advent of digital effects and digital sound, war on film has entered a new frontier of realism. The filmmaker's impulse with these new toys seems to be to expand the carnage to punishing len...
Snow Dogs (2002)
In one intense scene from the Disney "family" movie Snow Dogs, Oscar-winning actor James Coburn yells at Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., "You've got something wrong in your head!" to which Goo...
Big Eden (2001)
Summer is the season of idealization, depicting worlds that tend to be just a bit too good to be true. For escapists, Big Eden offers gentle, charming romantic "dramedy". First-time writer-director T...
Director Philip Kaufman has almost become synonymous with button-pushing films. Kaufman has been put in the position of defending his films more than once, but usually when they cross into sexually c...
Men With Guns (1997)
A Latin American doctor disappears into the forbidding wilderness of his country, in search of his former students and, perhaps, absolution. In John Sayles' Men With Guns, Dr. Humberto Fuentes journe...
Love! Valour! Compassion! (1997)
Based on the hit Broadway play by Terrence McNally, Love! Valour! Compassion! is a graceful, sharp-witted, and poignant gay film. It is also, like Jeffrey before it, a fairly conventional genre tale...
A Knight's Tale (2001)
If your summer ideals run to the "knight in shining armor" or "fair damsel" types, get a load of Brian Helgeland's A Knight's Tale. This Hollywood action-romance extravaganza is loud, obnoxious, ove...
Kenneth Branagh is known for bringing Shakespeare to the masses with his successful adaptations of Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing. Branagh favors international star power in casting his Shakespea...
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Eyes Wide Shut. The title names several states— the lucid dreaming of contemporary manners, the shadow world of our dreams and nightmares, and perhaps the most powerful state of all: a consciou...
The Believers (1987)
The merit of The Believers can be found in the tension between Hollywood convention and a more subversive form. Hollywood wins, unfortunately, but among '80s thrillers, you can do a lot worse. The...
All site content © 2000-2014 Peter Canavese.
Page generated at 10/24/2014 01:29:43PM.