Fri, 09 Oct 2015 02:47:20 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. The Martian (2015) [***] /reviews/4840 Perhaps the purest ode to science mainstream cinema has ever produced, a love letter to NASA and STEM education. Fri, 02 Oct 2015 12:54:00 GMT Peter Canavese Sleeping with Other People (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4839 Effectively has it both ways, with its dark neuroses and naughty humor giving way to a sweet consideration of the rarity of unconditional love. Tue, 29 Sep 2015 18:26:00 GMT Peter Canavese Cinderella (2015) [** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/4777 A lavish, classy affair...But while long on beauty, Branagh‘s film falls short on whimsy...[and] the film‘s most affecting emotional moments...stand apart from the story‘s central conflict. Wed, 23 Sep 2015 15:52:00 GMT Peter Canavese Pawn Sacrifice (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4838 Maguire isn’t obvious casting, but he convincingly owns the role...The actor pairs an oft-fevered, disheveled aspect with the fierce impatience and unwillingness to suffer fools that attend genius. Wed, 23 Sep 2015 15:37:45 GMT Peter Canavese The Intern (2015) [**] /reviews/4837 A popular entertainment with two movie stars in likeable mode, a sunny Hollywood sheen, and a novel premise. And yet there’s something vaguely unsettling about how Myers’ mildly amusing comedy gets tangled up in political (in)correctness. Tue, 22 Sep 2015 17:44:00 GMT Peter Canavese Moonrise Kingdom (2012) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/4346 Moonrise Kingdom’s heartfelt search and rescue of a feel-good result provides a perfect, even musical counterpoint to its regimented summer camp. Fri, 18 Sep 2015 23:42:00 GMT Peter Canavese Black Mass (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4836 Stars Depp in a performance generating awards talk, makes a complicated story coherent without dumbing it down (much), lets a bunch of strong actors do their things, and yet inspires little more than adjectives like ‘efficient‘ and ‘workmanlike.‘ Wed, 16 Sep 2015 18:18:47 GMT Peter Canavese Love & Mercy (2015) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/4802 Honorable...deeply moving...takes a considered approach to Wilson, sound in dramatic and editorial construction and insightful in its psychological subtexts. Tue, 15 Sep 2015 20:14:00 GMT Peter Canavese Time Out of Mind (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4835 Though it’s hit and miss for audiences trying to forget Gere’s screen history, Moverman ably serves a slice of homeless life, dramatizing a problem we’ve contended with further back than we can remember. Tue, 08 Sep 2015 21:11:11 GMT Peter Canavese Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4834 For those who don’t yet know of Jobs’ dark side, Gibney’s documentary will be a useful eye-opener, but those looking to understand what made Jobs great in almost equal proportion to his nastiness will remain in the dark. Tue, 08 Sep 2015 20:52:59 GMT Peter Canavese Two Days, One Night (2014) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/4764 Cotillard‘s heartbreakingly raw work carries the day, as she fleshes out both Sandra‘s suffering and emotional endurance on a journey of discovery that the latter, not the former, defines her. Tue, 08 Sep 2015 15:55:00 GMT Peter Canavese Gotham: The Complete First Season (2014) [** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/4833 At times suffers from dull, dunderheaded, or dead-end plotlines [but]...There‘s enough here to keep hope alive that Gotham could grow into more of a weekly treat than a fanboy obligation. Fri, 04 Sep 2015 23:41:00 GMT Peter Canavese A Walk in the Woods (2015) [**] /reviews/4832 A broad comic tone...The few funny bits and sharp lines amount to fool’s gold scattered around a claim that never satisfactorily pays off. Tue, 01 Sep 2015 20:50:17 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Lily Tomlin & Paul Weitz…Grandma, Admission…8/22/2015 /interviews/422 [Tomlin:] I like to do it want to get as much information, as much input as you can...I like to learn something that I can do in the scene... Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:10:33 GMT Peter Canavese Grandma (2015) [***] /reviews/4831 Tailor-made for the great Lily Tomlin...Yeah, the circumstances are contrived, but easy enough to accept as long as they’re forcing interesting dynamics into seriocomic confrontation. Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:11:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Sir Ben Kingsley…Learning to Drive, Gandhi, Sexy Beast…8/25/2015 & 3/05/2005 /interviews/72 I was taught to deeply respect the written word...the role is on the page, the character is in me, and I suppose I bring my intuition and my wisdom and my love of language to that page, and that‘s how it comes to life. Wed, 26 Aug 2015 07:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese We Are Your Friends (2015) [*] /reviews/4830 Does not miss its chance to blow...Every bit a screenwriter’s idea of what it takes to make it...while accidentally cultivating the pervading sense that real DJs would laugh their asses off at this movie and its endless dopey brodowns. Tue, 25 Aug 2015 14:32:00 GMT Peter Canavese American Ultra (2015) [**] /reviews/4829 At times pokes fun at the genre‘s cliché in amusingly productive ways...More often than not, though, this conspiracy isn‘t the real deal, but rather an elaborate distraction. Thu, 20 Aug 2015 23:45:37 GMT Peter Canavese The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4828 [Not] played for cynical misanthropic laughs or as miserable tragedy, but...[in] an honest treatment devoid of the usual rush to judgment. Thu, 20 Aug 2015 23:21:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Blacklist: The Complete Second Season (2013) [**] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/4827 A week-in, weak-out study in same-y procedural storytelling and mythology stalling that‘s powered by the usual salacious crime exploitation and the unusual lead performance of James Spader. Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:50:44 GMT Peter Canavese Mistress America (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4826 Like Brooke, the film flies a strange and arresting course: if not quite a screwball, then certainly a change-up pitch. Mon, 17 Aug 2015 19:49:40 GMT Peter Canavese Citizenfour (2014) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/4736 A film every single American and, indeed, every world citizen should see and contemplate. Fri, 14 Aug 2015 19:22:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Jason Segel & James Ponsoldt…The End of the Tour…5/2/2015 /interviews/421 [Segel:] I really did relate to this feeling of extreme caution that, uh, even something I say off-handedly could now be printed out-of-context, anywhere, for the rest of my life. Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:10:55 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Kyle Patrick Alvarez & Dr. Philip Zimbardo…The Stanford Prison Experiment…7/23/2015 /interviews/420 [Alvarez:] I wanted it to be a collaborative environment. I didn‘t want to pit the actors against themselves. The characters are pitted against each other. So the actors didn‘t have to be. Sat, 25 Jul 2015 03:03:58 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Theodore Bikel…My Fair Lady, Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholem Aleichem…08/01/2014 /interviews/419 I‘m a communicator. I reach an audience by whichever means are possible, and my voice is one of them. The other is the ability to clearly enunciate what it is that I want to say...And to treat everything as a story to be told. Wed, 22 Jul 2015 06:48:32 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: The 58th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 23-May 7, 2015) /features/255 SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST CAPSULE REVIEWS! By my count, this year‘s San Francisco International Film Festival (April 23-May 7, 2015) features 58 narrative features, one for every year in the fest‘s history. That‘s on top of 34 documentary features, 6 shorts programs, and a panoply of awards presentations/tributes, live performance events, lectu... Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:59:01 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: 2014 Top 10 /features/254 The Year‘s Best Films                   1. Boyhood  The deceptively simple idea behind Richard Linklater‘s magnum opus was to shoot a few days a year for twelve years, and thus capture the growth and development of a middle-class Everyboy (Ellar Coltrane) and his family. Linklater‘s rest... Tue, 23 Dec 2014 23:34:27 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: The 57th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 24-May 8, 2014) /features/253 SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST CAPSULE REVIEWS! No one would say that the San Francisco Film Society has had an easy time of the last few years, but its Filmmaker360 program to support and fund independent film can (and does) boast successes like Beasts of the Southern Wild and Fruitvale Station, and with new Executive Director Noah Cowan in place, st... Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:10:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: 2013 Top 10 /features/252 The Year‘s Best Films             1. Her  The “zeitgeist“-y American movie of the year is a slightly futuristic tale that reflects blindingly on our present. Written and directed by Spike Jonze with elegant, melancholy calm, Her functions as a sincere and most unusual romance…between a human and a f... Tue, 24 Dec 2013 14:40:59 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: Mill Valley Film Festival 36 (October 3-13, 2013) /features/251 In the fall, a young film‘s fancy heavily turns to thoughts of awards. Long well-positioned as a harbinger of Oscar attention to come, the Mill Valley Film Festival brings out big films and big stars as part of an eclectic slate of studio and indie films, fiction films and documentaries, tributes and panels, a Childrens‘ Film Fest, concerts in the... Thu, 26 Sep 2013 20:18:28 GMT Peter Canavese