GrouchoReviews.com http://grouchoreviews.com/ Thu, 05 May 2016 13:58:00 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. Captain America: Civil War (2016) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4911 /reviews/4911 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... Thu, 12 May 2016 06:33:00 GMT Peter Canavese Where to Invade Next (2015) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4882 /reviews/4882 Moore finds a galvanizing climax by rallying around the notion that idealism trumps, if you’ll pardon the word, defeatism. Tue, 10 May 2016 13:58:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Rebecca Miller…Maggie‘s Plan…4/24/2016 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/441 /interviews/441 She‘s almost, in a strange way, like a saint. Even though she keeps making wrong decisions, she‘s very ethically motivated... Mon, 02 May 2016 14:33:05 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Susan Sarandon & Lorene Scafaria…The Meddler, Thelma & Louise…4/11/2016 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/439 /interviews/439 [Sarandon:] I think everybody can act, really. Surviving in this profession is something you can brag about. Mon, 02 May 2016 14:25:23 GMT Peter Canavese The Meddler (2015) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4910 /reviews/4910 A delightfully humane comedy...doesn’t insist upon the meddling as a ‘premise‘ but as an important part of the film’s psychological reality. Mon, 02 May 2016 14:04:00 GMT Peter Canavese Mother‘s Day (2016) [ 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4909 /reviews/4909 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. Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:16:08 GMT Peter Canavese Son of Saul (2015) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4869 /reviews/4869 One man’s last grasp at humanity amidst the dehumanizing horrors of Auschwitz...dramatizes those extraordinary circumstances under which even the meanings of life and death become foreign and in desperate need of rediscovery. Tue, 26 Apr 2016 16:02:00 GMT Peter Canavese Dough (2015) [* 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4908 /reviews/4908 Tastes awfully stale...those with a high tolerance for ‘nice‘ movies will happily roll with this Dough. But know that it is proudly unsophisticated in its storytelling. Tue, 26 Apr 2016 14:48:00 GMT Peter Canavese Elvis & Nixon (2016) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4907 /reviews/4907 A story of great power and great delusion, of the absurdities of politics and the strange effects and arguably undue reach of celebrity. These potentially heady themes are really beside the point of a movie that’s a hoot and knows it. Tue, 19 Apr 2016 16:12:34 GMT Peter Canavese The Lady in the Van (2015) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4872 /reviews/4872 Though at times precious, Bennett’s sly script masks that deeply sentimental core with comic edge and a writer’s willful, mercenary remove. Sat, 16 Apr 2016 14:48:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Jungle Book (2016) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4906 /reviews/4906 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... Wed, 13 Apr 2016 07:58:47 GMT Peter Canavese Miles Ahead (2015) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4905 /reviews/4905 Not everyone will agree with how Cheadle answers the key questions, but only a fool would say his take lacks creativity, heart, energy, and a gutsy willingness to take risks (as Davis says in the film, ‘Be wrong strong‘). Tue, 12 Apr 2016 14:45:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Anton Yelchin & Jeremy Saulnier…Green Room, Star Trek Beyond…4/11/2016 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/440 /interviews/440 [Yelchin:] I think there‘s a selfishness to acting, but it‘s a selfishness that I can‘t be thinking about anything else. Mon, 11 Apr 2016 14:29:00 GMT Peter Canavese Demolition (2015) [ 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4904 /reviews/4904 The hero of the new dramedy Demolition at one point muses, ‘For some reason, everything’s becoming a metaphor.‘ Boy, you can say that again. Wed, 06 Apr 2016 07:46:00 GMT Peter Canavese Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4903 /reviews/4903 An arthouse Animal House. Tue, 05 Apr 2016 17:20:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Tom Hiddleston & Marc Abraham…I Saw the Light…4/1/2016 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/434 /interviews/434 [Hiddleston:] I sort of represent Hank Williams‘ experience for the world: his truth. His joy, his pain, his struggles. Dressing like him, sounding like him, speaking like him, and singing like him. Mon, 04 Apr 2016 20:13:55 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Jeff Nichols…Midnight Special…3/21/2016 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/437 /interviews/437 How inclined we are as parents to project ourselves on our kids: what we want them to be, what we think they should be. We can‘t help ourselves....But the essence of being a parent...is just giving up. Giving up that control. Sat, 02 Apr 2016 20:10:10 GMT Peter Canavese I Saw the Light (2015) [* 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4901 /reviews/4901 It’s all so dully realized that we grow starving for idiosyncratic detail, desperately latching on to Williams’ love of ketchup or his drunkenly being tickled pink by his new garage-door opener. Sat, 02 Apr 2016 17:57:25 GMT Peter Canavese The Hateful Eight (2015) [** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4866 /reviews/4866 [A] general absence of something to say...Recycles the filmmaker’s own work: the leaner if no meaner dog-eat-dog plotting of Reservoir Dogs...and a roster of no-longer-shocking offenses... Wed, 30 Mar 2016 06:57:00 GMT Peter Canavese Marguerite (2015) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4902 /reviews/4902 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. Tue, 29 Mar 2016 17:57:14 GMT Peter Canavese Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series (1999) [****] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4898 /reviews/4898 Had a lot going for it: a strong creative vision from authorial forces who would go on to take Hollywood, a talented cast that would essentially do the same, and that premise. Thu, 24 Mar 2016 14:52:00 GMT Peter Canavese Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4900 /reviews/4900 [SPOILER-FREE REVIEW:] This is not a drill, comic-book geeks. Wed, 23 Mar 2016 06:58:00 GMT Peter Canavese Fear the Walking Dead: The Complete First Season (Special Edition) (2015) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4899 /reviews/4899 There‘s nothing to take this show over the top, and in a crowded marketplace of quality TV storytelling, that‘s a troubing knock, but the show does a good job of wedding weekly genre thrills to creeping plot and character developments. Tue, 22 Mar 2016 22:57:00 GMT Peter Canavese My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016) [* 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4897 /reviews/4897 For Zeus‘s sake...as warm and fuzzy and comforting (or not) as a Disney Channel show marketed more to parents than to their kids. Tue, 22 Mar 2016 17:57:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Hunger Games: Mockingjay…Part 2 (2015) [** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4855 /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. Mon, 21 Mar 2016 15:21:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2016 http://grouchoreviews.com/features/257 /features/257 Thanks to prime mover Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, San Jose now has its own “Comic-Con“: the Silicon Valley Comic Con. San Jose has been home to many science-fiction/film and TV/comic-themed toy shows or conventions over the years (many of us still have fond memories of TimeCon at the old San Jose Convention Center), some of them pretty rink... Sat, 19 Mar 2016 14:56:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: 2015 Top 10 http://grouchoreviews.com/features/256 /features/256 The Year‘s Best Films                     1. Chi-Raq  The right film at the right time, Spike Lee’s latest is his most creatively fertile and socially immediate narrative feature in years. A grabber from its opening sequence, a lyric video for Nick Cannon’s gut-punching... Mon, 28 Dec 2015 21:03:00 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 16:59:00 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