GrouchoReviews.com http://grouchoreviews.com/ Sat, 29 Aug 2015 16:29:54 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. Interview: Sir Ben Kingsley…Learning to Drive, Gandhi, Sexy Beast…8/25/2015 & 3/05/2005 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/72 /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) [*] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4830 /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) [**] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4829 /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] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4828 /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] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4827 /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] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4826 /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] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4736 /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 A Midsummer Night‘s Sex Comedy (1982) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4825 /reviews/4825 Pure mid-period Allen, a muscle-stretching ensemble comedy with dramatic undertones and playful philosophical musings...Allen‘s characters ponder the permeable divide between lust and love, and the meanings of sexual intercourse... Fri, 14 Aug 2015 00:09:06 GMT Peter Canavese Justice League: Gods and Monsters (2015) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4824 /reviews/4824 Another solid entry in the DCU line, Justice League: Gods and Monsters works best as an entrée into what should be a fascinating and highly entertaining series of its own. Wed, 12 Aug 2015 23:57:52 GMT Peter Canavese The End of the Tour (2015) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4823 /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, 11 Aug 2015 20:02:13 GMT Peter Canavese The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4822 /reviews/4822 Honors the original characters just fine, but the leads are lukewarm...the [action] mostly unmemorable ...and the split-the-difference jokey-serious tone errs...on the side of fashion-conscious and smug. Tue, 11 Aug 2015 16:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese True Story (2015) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] 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, 07 Aug 2015 03:30:00 GMT Peter Canavese Ricki and the Flash (2015) [**] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4821 /reviews/4821 That special brand of La Streep mugging…here applied to the character of a hot-mess bar-band deadbeat mom…will wear you into submission until nothing else seems to matter. Except that it should. Wed, 05 Aug 2015 15:22:18 GMT Peter Canavese Best of Enemies (2015) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4820 /reviews/4820 Like the debates it concerns, Best of Enemies entertains to a degree, enlightens to another, and asks us to ponder the relative merits of polar political ideologies and two complicated men who very publicly represented them. Wed, 05 Aug 2015 15:08:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Jason Segel & James Ponsoldt…The End of the Tour…5/2/2015 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/421 /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 Mission: Impossible…Rogue Nation (2015) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4819 /reviews/4819 McQuarrie doesn‘t make it easy to invest in the characters here, but paradoxically he does know how to make us grip our armrests as they face danger, and thus the mission is accomplished once more. Tue, 28 Jul 2015 15:49:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Kyle Patrick Alvarez & Dr. Philip Zimbardo…The Stanford Prison Experiment…7/23/2015 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/420 /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 The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4818 /reviews/4818 Zimbardo insists he’s ‘trying to understand how an institution affects an individual’s behavior.‘ Alvarez’s own dark study, empowered by potent acting, allows the audience to contemplate the many variations on that psychological dynamic. Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:17:41 GMT Peter Canavese Pixels (2015) [* 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4817 /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... Thu, 23 Jul 2015 01:30:30 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Theodore Bikel…My Fair Lady, Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholem Aleichem…08/01/2014 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/419 /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 Interview: Parker Posey…Irrational Man…July 10, 2015 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/418 /interviews/418 When I got to set, [Woody Allen] kind of showed me what the temperature of the movie was. I didn‘t know if I was in a comedy. I didn‘t know the tone. I thought a lot about jazz when I was working on this. Sat, 18 Jul 2015 03:08:20 GMT Peter Canavese Mr. Holmes (2015) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4814 /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. Fri, 17 Jul 2015 14:53:09 GMT Peter Canavese House of Cards: Volume Three (2013) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4816 /reviews/4816 ‘Do what you have to do.‘...Netflix‘s flagship series addresses this dictum to many characters grappling with tough choices, but the core subject of [Season Three]...is the marriage of Frank and Claire Underwood. Thu, 16 Jul 2015 01:22:04 GMT Peter Canavese Ant-Man (2015) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4815 /reviews/4815 With its playful use of scale, Ant-Man drops a dollop of Lewis Carroll whimsy on the usual clashes of good and evil. Wed, 15 Jul 2015 16:16:34 GMT Peter Canavese The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015) [** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4775 /reviews/4775 Shows little strain in maintaining its cute factor, thanks to the drily winning personalities of the likes of Smith, Dench, Nighy, and the comic ebullience of Patel. Tue, 14 Jul 2015 15:19:00 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 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