Reviews Tue, 03 Mar 2015 19:05:13 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. What We Do in the Shadows (2015) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4774 Taps a fresh vein of humor to transfuse the horrific and the mundane. Tue, 24 Feb 2015 15:25:00 GMT Peter Canavese McFarland, USA (2015) [**] /reviews/4773 What could be an inspirational teacher-student, coach-player story keeps playing the race card of simple non-whites not being able to see their own way to prosperity without a guiding white light, who in turn learns from their unsophisticated purity. Mon, 23 Feb 2015 19:18:00 GMT Peter Canavese The DUFF (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4772 Will...[strike a chord] with teen girls, if they can get past the casting of the healthy, but hardly plus-sized Whitman, as well as the changes made to sanitize the book... Mon, 23 Feb 2015 17:12:47 GMT Peter Canavese Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) [**] /reviews/4771 Absolutely ludicrous, dramatically clumsy, fifty shades of wrong, but...If audiences can cool their loins long enough, they may have a productive think about the nature of their desires... Fri, 13 Feb 2015 16:43:09 GMT Peter Canavese Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4770 Doubles down on glib ultraviolence while pressing buttons of class-consciousness and teasing out pop-culture allusions and self-aware witticisms. But this time, the postmodernism feels played out. Fri, 13 Feb 2015 16:28:00 GMT Peter Canavese 101 Dalmatians (1961) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/4767 Then and now, Disney fans of all ages have thrilled to the animation-ambitious sight of the titular pack, and chilled at the villainy of mad diva Cruella De Vil. Tue, 10 Feb 2015 23:48:00 GMT Peter Canavese Jupiter Ascending (2015) [**] /reviews/4769 To the extent we still demand rich characters and sensible plotting, the Wachowskis‘ latest is a few planets short of a galaxy. Sat, 07 Feb 2015 07:13:00 GMT Peter Canavese The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015) [**] /reviews/4768 A nominal theme…complete with theme song…of teamwork. But really, Sponge Out of Water is about little more than fast food and ice cream, with the same promise of empty calories. Sat, 07 Feb 2015 07:06:38 GMT Peter Canavese Porco Rosso (2015) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] /reviews/4766 Though the story touches on politics and even profundities of the human experience, Miyazaki‘s light touch and overriding sense of fun promise that children of all ages will give themselves over to ninety-four minutes of fantasy that do a heart good. Thu, 05 Feb 2015 20:37:48 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