Theatrical Reviews Mon, 08 Feb 2016 19:00:50 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. The Oscar® Nominated Short Films…Live Action and Animated (2015) [***] /reviews/4879 The 88th Academy Awards® ceremony airs on Sunday, February 28, 2016…now you have another way to get ready. Tue, 02 Feb 2016 23:06:18 GMT Peter Canavese 45 Years (2015) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4877 Implications, about the long odds for romance, the deeper psychology of mating, and the devastating possibility that love isn’t an absolute but a willful, occasionally mutual, delusion. Tue, 02 Feb 2016 15:22:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Finest Hours (2016) [** 1/2] /reviews/4874 One can easily understand why this story swiftly became Coast Guard legend...but its dim wall-of-grey visuals and narrative longueurs make much of the two hours a challenge to the attention span for viewers of any age. Wed, 27 Jan 2016 15:39:07 GMT Peter Canavese The Lady in the Van (2015) [***] /reviews/4872 Though at times precious, Bennett’s sly script masks that deeply sentimental core with comic edge and a writer’s willful, mercenary remove. Tue, 26 Jan 2016 15:48:27 GMT Peter Canavese Son of Saul (2015) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4869 One man’s last grasp at humanity amidst the dehumanizing horrors of Auschwitz...dramatizes those extraordinary circumstances under which even the meanings of life and death become foreign and in desperate need of rediscovery. Tue, 19 Jan 2016 17:02:50 GMT Peter Canavese Ride Along 2 (2016) [ 1/2] /reviews/4868 All the blithe sexism and tin-eared comedy of a Michael Bay movie and none of the budget new meaning to ‘lazy.‘ Thu, 14 Jan 2016 18:20:00 GMT Peter Canavese Anomalisa (2015) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4867 Yet another midlife-crisis white guy on the big screen...but it’s undeniably an artful rendering of the post-millennial man adrift, in search of any port than the one he’s made for himself. Tue, 12 Jan 2016 19:20:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Hateful Eight (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4866 [A] general absence of something to say...Recycles the filmmaker’s own work: the leaner if no meaner dog-eat-dog plotting of Reservoir Dogs...and a roster of no-longer-shocking offenses... Wed, 06 Jan 2016 07:57:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Revenant (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4865 A certain breed of film geeks will snap fingers in approval, but most viewers…having been pummeled into acknowledging the film‘s muscular ‘greatness‘…will feel little more than dazed, and ready more for a nap than a conversation. Tue, 05 Jan 2016 15:37:23 GMT Peter Canavese Joy (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4864 Though everything around this resilient central figure is wan sitcom, ‘Joy the Doer‘ provides a rooting interest potent enough to justify the film. Thu, 17 Dec 2015 18:40:08 GMT Peter Canavese The Big Short (2015) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4863 Elucidate[s] the fiscal rigamarole leading up to the bursting of the housing and credit bubble circa 2008, while also whipping up a palatable froth of cynicism and absurdity. Thu, 17 Dec 2015 18:34:34 GMT Peter Canavese Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) [***] /reviews/4862 [SPOILER-FREE] Can be dimwittedly obvious and self-plagiarizing, with little of real-world consequence and less that’s new to say [but it‘s still] a fun-filled adventure at the movies... Wed, 16 Dec 2015 08:01:00 GMT Peter Canavese Youth (2015) [* 1/2] /reviews/4861 For a long two hours, Sorrentino flatters old white men, devalues women, and annoys with his lush coffee-table-book photography as he plays his own ‘Simple Songs‘ of frustrated old age and tantalizing youth... Tue, 15 Dec 2015 14:09:00 GMT Peter Canavese Legend (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4860 Helgeland revels in the violence and depravity, setting a dubious tone that, in that final act, has as much of a struggle as Reggie in going straight. Wed, 09 Dec 2015 18:16:00 GMT Peter Canavese In the Heart of the Sea (2015) [***] /reviews/4859 Depict[s] a writer’s process of scavenging and soul-stealing...[as well as] being “in the oil business” to the exclusion of morality and ethics, and with implications for the ecosystem. Mon, 07 Dec 2015 17:29:00 GMT Peter Canavese Trumbo (2015) [***] /reviews/4858 Plays not as straight hagiography but rather as a portrait of a flawed hero...Cranston gives a floridly theatrical leading performance in keeping with Trumbo’s wit... Tue, 01 Dec 2015 22:03:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Good Dinosaur (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4857 Sweet in that canned-with-heavy-syrup way: kids will dig it, but it’s not exactly a delicacy. Tue, 24 Nov 2015 16:24:00 GMT Peter Canavese Creed (2015) [***] /reviews/4856 Questionable as a film (sparring with formula), good as a movie, and brilliant as a franchise-extender. It’s shameless, near-surgically effective cross-generational corn for guys. Mon, 23 Nov 2015 15:52:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Hunger Games: Mockingjay…Part 2 (2015) [** 1/2] /reviews/4855 If the franchise continues to feel a bit dull…heavy on the drama and light on the excitement, with pageantry long in the rear-view…there’s a respectable purity in the films’ political cynicism and populist fervor. Wed, 18 Nov 2015 16:21:00 GMT Peter Canavese Brooklyn (2015) [*** 1/2] /reviews/4854 Even if you don’t like the film…though it’s a fair bet you will…it will prime you for a spirited discussion about the choices of its hero...who strives to sort out her best judgement from her impulses, her hope from her naivete... Tue, 17 Nov 2015 15:54:00 GMT Peter Canavese