Theatrical Reviews Sat, 19 Apr 2014 03:50:41 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. Transcendence (2014) [** 1/2] /reviews/4668 A throwback to the fear-mongering science fiction of the past...the lab-bound likes of The Andromeda Strain and Demon Seed, circa the paranoid ‘70s. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:36:08 GMT Peter Canavese Rio 2 (2014) [**] /reviews/4667 Rio was pretty generic to begin with, and the follow-up doesn‘t fly far from the nest...[it‘s the] vocally virtuosic amorous aria, “Poisonous Love,“ that is the picture‘s hands-down highlight. Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:22:00 GMT Peter Canavese Draft Day (2014) [**] /reviews/4666 This combo of ‘inside football‘ and Capra-corn fable of being one‘s own man in the face of total opposition...amounts to a corporate training film full of Trump-card koans... Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:17:49 GMT Peter Canavese Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) [** 1/2] /reviews/4665 Though Captain America: The Winter Soldier never strays far from preposterousness, the picture‘s real-world implications give its high-flying action at least a tug of gravity. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 12:12:33 GMT Peter Canavese Bad Words (2014) [** 1/2] /reviews/4664 Doesn‘t seem to know what to do with itself once it gets where it‘s going...And yet, it‘s hard to throw on the trash heap, because Jason Bateman. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 01:51:00 GMT Peter Canavese Ma vie en rose (1997) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4659 About the unimaginative struggle to maintain conventional respectability, and the transgender child who is having none of it... Fri, 21 Mar 2014 05:29:00 GMT Peter Canavese Muppets Most Wanted (2014) [***] /reviews/4658 The state of the Muppet union remains strong...self-reference sits comfortably along hip pop-cultural references for the ‘rents: stylish parodies and retro musical numbers along with vintage Muppet gags... Fri, 21 Mar 2014 05:18:19 GMT Peter Canavese The Lunchbox (2014) [***] /reviews/4657 The picture belongs to world-class actor Khan. I‘ll wager right now that there won‘t be a better performance all year, though it‘s not the type to win awards. Sat, 15 Mar 2014 08:02:00 GMT Peter Canavese Need for Speed (2014) [* 1/2] /reviews/4656 Like throwing a pile of car parts at the wall to see what‘ll stick. Spoiler: nothing. Sat, 15 Mar 2014 07:57:45 GMT Peter Canavese 300: Rise of an Empire (2014) [** 1/2] /reviews/4655 Both blood-bathetic and deliriously entertaining high camp...will appeal mainly to meatheads, but those with a tolerance for over-the-top violence may appreciate it on other levels. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 18:33:01 GMT Peter Canavese Tim‘s Vermeer (2013) [***] /reviews/4654 Earns its keep by being informative and briskly entertaining. It helps that the likeably wry Jenison is such an interesting character in his own right, a true Renaissance man... Wed, 05 Mar 2014 18:13:25 GMT Peter Canavese Gloria (2013) [***] /reviews/4653 To look into García‘s face is to see the movie, a loving character study, in miniature at any moment: Gloria refuses to be your stereotype or a writer‘s stock character. She‘s complicated, like you... Thu, 27 Feb 2014 14:55:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Wind Rises (2013) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4652 As much as it deeply understands the artistic mindset of a driven creator, it also acknowledges the darker implications of a genius‘ tunnel vision. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 15:08:19 GMT Peter Canavese Pompeii (2014) [* 1/2] /reviews/4651 A bit like its own villain, Mount Vesuvius: massive, full of hot air, and brainless. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 16:54:24 GMT Peter Canavese Winter‘s Tale (2014) [*] /reviews/4646 Runs on Judeo-Christian good-versus-evil mythology and the firm belief that love conquers all, especially if you have a magic flying horse. I know that sounds pretty awesome, but... Thu, 13 Feb 2014 15:13:02 GMT Peter Canavese RoboCop (2014) [**] /reviews/4643 [Has] a soupçon of military-industrial complexity...Judged on its own merits, this RoboCop pump-fakes in some interesting directions without getting to fully explore any of them. Wed, 12 Feb 2014 16:31:54 GMT Peter Canavese The Monuments Men (2014) [**] /reviews/4642 It all feels a bit like an overearnest deleted subplot from someone else‘s war epic, rather than a confident Clooney picture. Thu, 06 Feb 2014 17:10:33 GMT Peter Canavese The Lego Movie (2014) [***] /reviews/4641 Zany episodes...provide a clothesline on which to hang social satire and an overriding message that an individual‘s imagination can trump social and cultural oppression. Throw out the instructions, and make what you want of the world. Plus butt jokes. Wed, 05 Feb 2014 15:09:10 GMT Peter Canavese Labor Day (2013) [* 1/2] /reviews/4640 A laughably precise, even parodic, archetype of a fantasy male...[and an] offensive stereotype of a female basket case who, more than anything, needs a strong man, preferably a bad-boy hunk with an easy touch for her and a slow hand for a Swiffer. Thu, 30 Jan 2014 14:00:25 GMT Peter Canavese The Invisible Woman (2013) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4639 Crucially, we stay at the side of the conflicted Nelly, and Jones proves as powerful in nuanced moments of quiet emotional availability as in Nelly‘s few, stirring allowances to speak truth to male privilege... Fri, 24 Jan 2014 15:21:03 GMT Peter Canavese