Wed, 25 Nov 2015 12:55:06 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. The Good Dinosaur (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4857 Sweet in that canned-with-heavy-syrup way: kids will dig it, but it’s not exactly a delicacy. Tue, 24 Nov 2015 16:24:23 GMT Peter Canavese Creed (2015) [***] /reviews/4856 Questionable as a film (sparring with formula), good as a movie, and brilliant as a franchise-extender. It’s shameless, near-surgically effective cross-generational corn for guys. Mon, 23 Nov 2015 15:52:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Hunger Games: Mockingjay…Part 2 (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4855 If the franchise continues to feel a bit dull…heavy on the drama and light on the excitement, with pageantry long in the rear-view…there’s a respectable purity in the films’ political cynicism and populist fervor. Wed, 18 Nov 2015 16:21:00 GMT Peter Canavese Brooklyn (2015) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4854 Even if you don’t like the film…though it’s a fair bet you will…it will prime you for a spirited discussion about the choices of its hero...who strives to sort out her best judgement from her impulses, her hope from her naivete... Tue, 17 Nov 2015 15:54:00 GMT Peter Canavese In Cold Blood (1967) [****] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/3342 One of the most creditable true-crime films ever made. Tue, 17 Nov 2015 09:13:00 GMT Peter Canavese The 33 (2015) [**] /reviews/4853 There’s too much stilted acting here and too little psychological insight to render an interesting, or even credibly true, story of humanity in crisis. Wed, 11 Nov 2015 16:12:47 GMT Peter Canavese Spotlight (2015) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4852 Smart and stinging, Spotlight excels not only in depicting the stonewalling around the scandal but also the double-talk conversations from within and without the Globe that don’t say…but don’t not say…‘Don’t go there Tue, 10 Nov 2015 15:10:00 GMT Peter Canavese Spectre (2015) [***] /reviews/4851 The Craig Bonds...continue...questioning the dark and destructive psychology of this masculine icon, this preternaturally skilled but insanely reckless secret agent…his greatest secrets being his own hurt and loss and loneliness. Thu, 05 Nov 2015 14:40:00 GMT Peter Canavese Mr. Holmes (2015) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/4814 McKellen dazzles...Mr. Holmes spins a tale about the falsely drawn lines between stories and our perceptions of real life, between celebrity image and genuine persona, and between upper and lower classes. Wed, 04 Nov 2015 15:53:00 GMT Peter Canavese Inside Out (2015) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/4803 Like a cross between Wreck-It Ralph and Mr. Rogers‘ Neighborhood, Inside Out dazzles while taking care to send positive messages about the roles of feelings and the value of recognizing and embracing them... Wed, 04 Nov 2015 02:37:00 GMT Peter Canavese The End of the Tour (2015) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/4823 Its prismatic philosophical and cultural observation...offers plenty of angles on the true value of the subjective fictions and supposedly objective non-fictions some create and others consume. Tue, 03 Nov 2015 21:02:00 GMT Peter Canavese Suffragette (2015) [***] /reviews/4850 Revives history we could all stand to know better, and proves most useful in clarifying both what was at stake and the rules of the game... Tue, 03 Nov 2015 15:27:50 GMT Peter Canavese The Play (2015) [***] /reviews/4849 “The play”…since commemorated in merch aplenty, a Super Bowl ad, countless sports-TV retrospectives, and its own Wikipedia page…still makes great drama. Tue, 03 Nov 2015 02:38:01 GMT Peter Canavese That ‘70s Show: The Complete Series (1998) [** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/4848 Depicts the teenage slacker ethic of avoiding responsibility whenever possible and clinging to youthful good times while they last. The show did the same, taking eight years (and 200 episodes) to depict [three]. Tue, 03 Nov 2015 01:46:00 GMT Peter Canavese Mulholland Dr. (2001) [****] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/496 Begin by imagining that a single story is being told in multiple ways throughout the film: a story of naive hopes, heartbreak, jealousy...Erotic, fear-ridden, and beautiful, Lynch‘s primal imagery has the abhorrent and alluring pull of death itself. Wed, 28 Oct 2015 19:16:00 GMT Peter Canavese My Fair Lady (1964) [****] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/4847 The well-nigh-irresistible 1964 film version of My Fair Lady...comedically softens Shaw‘s ending but nevertheless nearly single-handedly transcends the material‘s sexist leaning through the sheer humanism of Hepburn‘s deeply felt performance. Tue, 27 Oct 2015 07:57:00 GMT Peter Canavese Truth (2015) [***] /reviews/4846 Though the [film]...cannot pretend to be free of its own leanings, Vanderbilt allows a reading of Mapes’ tragic errors amidst its melancholy diagnosing of TV-news’ slow, painful death march from the public trust into modern corporate product. Mon, 26 Oct 2015 21:04:00 GMT Peter Canavese Room (2015) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4845 For two hours, Larson and Tremblay make their struggles our struggles, Ma and Jack’s perceptions challenging our own...the most potent pairing on screen this year. Mon, 26 Oct 2015 19:24:40 GMT Peter Canavese Pixels (2015) [* 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/4817 Resembles its own remarks about predictable patterns in the circuitry of arcade games: here is a series of crass caricatures, obvious setups and payoffs (not to mention a woman problem...), further suffocated by overweening commercialism... Mon, 26 Oct 2015 01:30:00 GMT Peter Canavese Aladdin (1992) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/4843 The film‘s conspicuously irreverent style suggests that, blithe offenses aside, writer-directors Ron Clements and John Musker...have their heart in the right place: firmly situated in the anarchic comic tradition of Warner Brothers‘ Looney Tunes. Sun, 25 Oct 2015 22:26:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Abi Morgan & Sarah Gavron…Suffragette…10/16/2015 /interviews/424 [Morgan:] Part of our desire was to give voice to the voiceless...these extraordinary working-class women. Mon, 19 Oct 2015 04:15:11 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Cary Joji Fukunaga & Abraham Attah…Beasts of No Nation, True Detective…10/15/2015 /interviews/425 [Fukunaga:] I‘m not sure where I‘m headed...I still look at all these movies as an experience to learn from. Fri, 16 Oct 2015 04:34:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Hou Hsiao-Hsien…The Assassin…10/12/2015 /interviews/426 Everybody understands when we make a conventional technique…it‘s very direct. But I feel that‘s reducing the human power of observation... Mon, 12 Oct 2015 17:16:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: James Vanderbilt…Truth, Zodiac, The Amazing Spider-Man…10/2/2015 /interviews/427 It‘s a tricky‘re going to get different accounts of different instances from different people. Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:26:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Lino Capolicchio…The Garden of the Finzi-Continis…9/25/2015 /interviews/428 [De Sica was] Like a general...he said to me, ‘I want to see in your eyes all the psychological passages of your emotion.‘ Fri, 25 Sep 2015 17:58:00 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