Theatrical Reviews Sat, 18 Apr 2015 06:51:54 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. The Grief of Others (2015) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4788 While the subject matter...amounts to standard fare, audiences can all the more appreciate the thoughtful rigor applied by a team of artists working from page to screen. Fri, 17 Apr 2015 17:07:00 GMT Peter Canavese True Story (2015) [***] /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, 17 Apr 2015 03:30:05 GMT Peter Canavese Monkey Kingdom (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4785 Assess to what extent we‘re witnessing man-ufactured monkey life...[or] just pay no attention to the men and women behind the curtain and simply enjoy the underwater photography of monkeys swimming. Fri, 17 Apr 2015 03:21:30 GMT Peter Canavese While We‘re Young (2015) [***] /reviews/4784 The obvious shots at hipster scenes...eventually sour into a complex critique of modern ambition in a changing cultural landscape. Sat, 11 Apr 2015 01:39:32 GMT Peter Canavese The Longest Ride (2015) [*] /reviews/4783 A Nicholas Sparks movie is like cinematic Jello. It sells well, the number one ingredient is sugar, and there‘s always room for it. Sat, 11 Apr 2015 01:32:19 GMT Peter Canavese Woman in Gold (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4782 Corny, commercial, predictably platitudinous, and tear-jerkingly weepy...also an inevitably thought-provoking dramatization of facing the “ghosts“ of the past on an individual level and a national one. Sat, 11 Apr 2015 01:27:38 GMT Peter Canavese Serena (2015) [* 1/2] /reviews/4781 Winds up sawing logs...instead of locating hard truths of the human condition, Serena lumbers through the motions. Fri, 27 Mar 2015 21:54:02 GMT Peter Canavese Home (2015) [**] /reviews/4780 Another conspicuously packaged product seemingly designed to wear down an audience more than entertain it. While wee ones won‘t notice, they probably won‘t remember Home by the time the car ride gets them back to the real thing. Fri, 27 Mar 2015 21:48:54 GMT Peter Canavese Wild Tales (2015) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4779 Like Tarantino‘s films, Wild Tales will rub some the wrong way by taking glee in the violence that comes from our worst selves, but the catharses have a positive social function...there‘s no doubt Szifron intends cautionary Tales. Sat, 21 Mar 2015 01:50:04 GMT Peter Canavese ‘71 (2015) [***] /reviews/4778 Lean, mean...Director Yann Demange and screenwriter Gregory Burke (the prominent Scottish playwright of Black Watch) twist the knife by serving Gary with constant reminders of boyish innocence corrupted... Fri, 13 Mar 2015 16:04:49 GMT Peter Canavese Cinderella (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4777 A lavish, classy affair...But while long on beauty, Branagh‘s film falls short on whimsy...[and] the film‘s most affecting emotional moments...stand apart from the story‘s central conflict. Fri, 13 Mar 2015 15:52:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015) [** 1/2] /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. Fri, 06 Mar 2015 16:19:35 GMT Peter Canavese 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 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 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