GrouchoReviews.com http://grouchoreviews.com/ Wed, 27 May 2015 23:33:54 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2015) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4795 /reviews/4795 Our American addiction...bloodsucking from humanity in order to maintain the lifestyle to which we are accustomed. By the time Hess wearily muses, “I‘m tired of this existence,“ it‘s more or less clear he means a spiritually empty capitalist existence... Wed, 27 May 2015 22:50:00 GMT Peter Canavese Aloft (2015) [*] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4796 /reviews/4796 At times one feels there‘s an interesting film here struggling to break free (free as a bird!)...but what‘s made it to screen sends eyes aloft in its symbolism and its character dynamics. Tue, 26 May 2015 19:46:43 GMT Peter Canavese Tomorrowland (2015) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4794 /reviews/4794 Curiously vacant characters and curiously pulse-less whimsy...lumbers, middlebrow and tiresome, when it should be daytripping the light fantastic... Wed, 20 May 2015 15:29:00 GMT Peter Canavese Leviathan (2014) [****] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4793 /reviews/4793 Zvyagintsev literally and allegorically depicts modern Russia‘s runaway corruption but also captures universal fears about the shaky ground on which we construct our lives. Fri, 15 May 2015 21:48:27 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Gaspard Ulliel…Saint Laurent, Hannibal Rising…4/26/2015 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/410 /interviews/410 It‘s a prison movie when you think about it....you know, his being watched, infantilized. And yeah we‘re talking about this specific period of his life and his career where it‘s a dialectic between work and life, and enjoyment and freedom... Fri, 15 May 2015 16:18:57 GMT Peter Canavese Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4792 /reviews/4792 Though the thrill of invention is gone, there‘s enough comic fertility and accumulated goodwill to sustain Pitch Perfect 2 through to its splashy and socially optimistic finale... Fri, 15 May 2015 14:38:03 GMT Peter Canavese Masters of Sex: Season Two (2013) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4791 /reviews/4791 Showrunner Michelle Ashford has played slow and loose with the facts, but in ways that achieve thematic resonance in a speculative, provocative dialogue with history. Mon, 11 May 2015 19:48:24 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Jason Schwartzman & Bob Byington…7 Chinese Brothers…5/2/2015 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/409 /interviews/409 [Schwartman:] This kind of guy is in a fog type of alcoholism...you can have a period in your life...where you look back and you go ‘Gosh. I was in a stasis then. I didn‘t do anything.‘ There‘s no movement. And I think Larry‘s in that zone. Fri, 08 May 2015 22:43:00 GMT Peter Canavese Clouds of Sils Maria (2015) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4790 /reviews/4790 Assayas implies that what transpires between the characters of Clouds of Sils Maria, between artists and art, and between art and audiences contains its own beautiful mystery that‘s nourishing, maddening, and essential. Wed, 06 May 2015 14:06:25 GMT Peter Canavese Mr. Turner (2014) [****] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4760 /reviews/4760 Revives an era in astonishing, delicate detail, then moves through the space with a documentarian‘s eye. Leigh takes Turner out of art history and puts him back in the world. Mon, 04 May 2015 17:41:00 GMT Peter Canavese Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4789 /reviews/4789 Pure, uncut comic-book fantasy...Whedon tames the beast into something spectacularly epic, if a bit exhausting: bursting with destructive mayhem but grounded by interesting character beats, rife with dark implications but seasoned with good humor. Tue, 28 Apr 2015 14:35:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: The 58th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 23-May 7, 2015) http://grouchoreviews.com/features/255 /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 Interview: Michiel Huisman…The Age of Adaline, Game of Thrones…4/13/2015 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/407 /interviews/407 There‘s parts of me that can be very confident...I guess in real life I don‘t really dare to do that, yeah, because I don‘t think it‘s smart to do, and I‘m not confident enough. But to do it in a role, it‘s fantastic. Wed, 22 Apr 2015 02:38:02 GMT Peter Canavese The Grief of Others (2015) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4788 /reviews/4788 While the subject matter...amounts to standard fare, audiences can all the more appreciate the thoughtful rigor applied by a team of artists working from page to screen. Fri, 17 Apr 2015 17:07:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (2015) [* 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4787 /reviews/4787 Has a smattering of effective moments and a creepy cinematographic look to it, but the sequel‘s redundancy to its predecessor and pulseless feints at tapping into human emotion leech the suspense out of the picture. Fri, 17 Apr 2015 05:53:12 GMT Peter Canavese True Story (2015) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4786 /reviews/4786 Does a lot of its work with its tongue-in-cheek title, a meta commentary on the not-so-broad spectrum of liar, actor, fiction writer, filmmaker and journalist. Fri, 17 Apr 2015 03:30:05 GMT Peter Canavese Monkey Kingdom (2015) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4785 /reviews/4785 Assess to what extent we‘re witnessing man-ufactured monkey life...[or] just pay no attention to the men and women behind the curtain and simply enjoy the underwater photography of monkeys swimming. Fri, 17 Apr 2015 03:21:30 GMT Peter Canavese Big Eyes (2014) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4753 /reviews/4753 Burton pokes fun at Keane‘s art, but he kids because he loves, and Big Eyes productively asks the question of whether the paintings are art or kitsch (probable answer: both). Tue, 14 Apr 2015 17:43:00 GMT Peter Canavese While We‘re Young (2015) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4784 /reviews/4784 The obvious shots at hipster scenes...eventually sour into a complex critique of modern ambition in a changing cultural landscape. Sat, 11 Apr 2015 01:39:32 GMT Peter Canavese The Longest Ride (2015) [*] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4783 /reviews/4783 A Nicholas Sparks movie is like cinematic Jello. It sells well, the number one ingredient is sugar, and there‘s always room for it. Sat, 11 Apr 2015 01:32:19 GMT Peter Canavese Woman in Gold (2015) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4782 /reviews/4782 Corny, commercial, predictably platitudinous, and tear-jerkingly weepy...also an inevitably thought-provoking dramatization of facing the “ghosts“ of the past on an individual level and a national one. Sat, 11 Apr 2015 01:27:38 GMT Peter Canavese Wild (2014) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4747 /reviews/4747 A satisfying excursion, a secular but spiritual journey of self-discovery. Mon, 06 Apr 2015 20:49:00 GMT Peter Canavese Serena (2015) [* 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4781 /reviews/4781 Winds up sawing logs...instead of locating hard truths of the human condition, Serena lumbers through the motions. Fri, 27 Mar 2015 21:54:02 GMT Peter Canavese Home (2015) [**] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4780 /reviews/4780 Another conspicuously packaged product seemingly designed to wear down an audience more than entertain it. While wee ones won‘t notice, they probably won‘t remember Home by the time the car ride gets them back to the real thing. Fri, 27 Mar 2015 21:48:54 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: John Boorman…Queen and Country, Hope and Glory, Point Blank, Excalibur…2/26/2015 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/406 /interviews/406 From its very origins, particularly when it was black-and-white filmed, film was so closely connected to dreaming. And it‘s probably why people connected to it so readily... Mon, 09 Mar 2015 05:24:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Simon Jones…The Hitchhiker‘s Guide to the Galaxy, Blithe Spirit…1/25/2015 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/405 /interviews/405 Along comes the maid at the end, in the sleepwalking scene. And to my amazement, she’s wearing Arthur Dent’s dressing gown. Not any more, I hasten to say, because it was too big for her. Fri, 30 Jan 2015 20:15:47 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: 2014 Top 10 http://grouchoreviews.com/features/254 /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) http://grouchoreviews.com/features/253 /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 http://grouchoreviews.com/features/252 /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) http://grouchoreviews.com/features/251 /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