Sat, 31 Jan 2015 06:28:45 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. Interview: Simon Jones…The Hitchhiker‘s Guide to the Galaxy, Blithe Spirit…1/25/2015 /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 Black or White (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4765 Sorting through prejudices and nuances of racial perception occasionally takes Black or White into intriguing territory...[more often] a rather mushily obvious, TV-movie-style courtroom drama built on straw-man arguments. Fri, 30 Jan 2015 17:36:52 GMT Peter Canavese Two Days, One Night (2014) [*** 1/2] /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. Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:55:57 GMT Peter Canavese Still Alice (2014) [** 1/2] /reviews/4762 Still still hums with humanity in the person of Moore, whose towering performance shows a staggering technical proficiency while never losing a whit of emotional resonance. Fri, 23 Jan 2015 17:11:00 GMT Peter Canavese A Most Violent Year (2014) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4763 An unsettling examination of moral drift, over a year in the life of a man and a generation in the life of a country. Fri, 23 Jan 2015 17:10:00 GMT Peter Canavese American Sniper (2015) [**] /reviews/4761 Iraq warrior biopic American Sniper, about the late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, affords Eastwood another opportunity to wrestle with the way of the gun, but one that gets mired in military hero worship. Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:47:47 GMT Peter Canavese Mr. Turner (2014) [****] /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. Fri, 09 Jan 2015 18:41:00 GMT Peter Canavese Inherent Vice (2015) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4759 The plot is a sideshow to Inherent Vice‘s luxuriant atmosphere, cracked sense of humor, and idiosyncratic characterization. Wed, 07 Jan 2015 16:22:04 GMT Peter Canavese Selma (2015) [***] /reviews/4758 Selma is wet paint Americans (especially young ones) had probably best watch dry, as we remember the past and contemplate where the country goes from here. Wed, 07 Jan 2015 16:13:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Interview (2014) [** 1/2] /reviews/4756 Determinedly silly...[but the] undisciplined frat-bro comedy‘s accumulation of innuendos, boner jokes, gay jokes, and gags that tread through racist and misogynist territory works out to less than the sum of the juvenile parts. Tue, 30 Dec 2014 19:55:00 GMT Peter Canavese Into the Woods (2014) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4755 Mutlilayered...Though any film adaptation of a classic musical is bound to be a mixed bag, Sondheim fans have dodged another bullet here with this impressive transplant, one that retains the play‘s complicated moral character along with most of its music. Wed, 24 Dec 2014 18:56:00 GMT Peter Canavese Unbroken (2014) [** 1/2] /reviews/4754 Ultimately the lesson of Unbroken seems to be this: Louis Zamperini suffered horribly for America, so the least you can do is watch this movie about it. Wed, 24 Dec 2014 18:50:00 GMT Peter Canavese Big Eyes (2014) [***] /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). Wed, 24 Dec 2014 18:43:05 GMT Peter Canavese The Gambler (2014) [***] /reviews/4752 The extent to which The Gambler may intentionally or unintentionally glamorize or romanticize gambling does raise concerns, but...[the film] remains a study in the self-destructive personality. Wed, 24 Dec 2014 18:25:00 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 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) [** 1/2] /reviews/4751 Narratively bereft...thematically redundant...[but] fans of the series and fanboy grumblers may have to agree that The Battle of the Five Armies is often entertaining. Tue, 16 Dec 2014 19:10:51 GMT Peter Canavese The Imitation Game (2014) [***] /reviews/4750 Serviceably dramatizes an important historical story while giving rising star Cumberbatch suitably juicy material. Tue, 16 Dec 2014 18:58:27 GMT Peter Canavese Top Five (2014) [** 1/2] /reviews/4749 Were Top Five more deeply felt and less by-the-numbers, Rock might have avoided the impression of a long-winded, self-massaging fantasy about reclaiming authenticity... Sat, 13 Dec 2014 04:04:13 GMT Peter Canavese Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) [** 1/2] /reviews/4748 A biblical epic in 2014 is a strange beast indeed, walking a fine line in the hopes of pleasing both the faithful...and those audiences more accustomed to secular myths. Tue, 09 Dec 2014 20:44:00 GMT Peter Canavese Wild (2014) [***] /reviews/4747 A satisfying excursion, a secular but spiritual journey of self-discovery. Mon, 08 Dec 2014 21:49:17 GMT Peter Canavese Foxcatcher (2014) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4746 Quietly but firmly interprets the disturbing story of millionaire John du Pont through bifocal lenses of American dreaming and the sexual fantasies made accessible by wealth. Mon, 08 Dec 2014 21:44:00 GMT Peter Canavese Penguins of Madagascar (2014) [**] /reviews/4745 Will probably divert kids with ease, given its manic exertion and pace...[but] we find out the hard way that these waddlers are better in small doses. Mon, 08 Dec 2014 21:38:32 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Raphael Bob-Waksberg & Lisa Hanawalt…BoJack Horseman…8/14/2014 /interviews/403 Staying with some friends in this big house in the Hollywood hills...I just remember looking out over the deck of this house and seeing the city below and feeling like ‘Oh, I’m on top of the world. And I’ve never been more lonely or isolated.‘ Sat, 23 Aug 2014 21:19:31 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Ira Sachs…Love Is Strange…8/11/2014 /interviews/404 It’s a pretty classic kind of set-up for the love story genre because it’s two people who are in love who have to face an obstacle together. And what we reveal in the story is the depth of their love, through how they do that. Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:11:35 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Chris Mulkey…Last Weekend, Twin Peaks…5/2/2014 /interviews/395 Malcolm is a totally different kind of role than I‘ve ever played. He‘s a listener. And that‘s a really powerful thing to be able to do...Hank Jennings was a duplicitous guy... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 07:37:46 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Richard Linklater…Boyhood…7/17/2014 /interviews/402 At the end of the shoot, I would talk to the actors, like ‘Okay, next year, here‘s what‘s coming.‘ And then I had the year to think about it, and so did they. Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:13:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: The 57th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 24-May 8, 2012) /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 19:10:11 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 Feature: 2012 Top 10 /features/250 The Year‘s Best Films             1. This is Not a Film  This is the rare film that is more: a rebellious yawp over the rooftops of the world, a vital social document, a moral but illegal political statement. World-class filmmaker Jafar Panahi (Crimson Gold) has frequently tangled with the... Fri, 21 Dec 2012 20:26:04 GMT Peter Canavese