Latest DVD Reviews
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
Though the story is pat...there's pleasure to be had in the memorable one-liners, the irreverent humor...and the Western action against the backdrop of frontier scenery.
Gods and Generals: Director's Cut (2002)
Succumbs to turgidity. And...intentionally or not...conveys the impression that the film uncritically celebrates the Confederacy.
Gettysburg: Director's Cut (1993)
wins the day by giving a detailed account of the three-day battle (for the first time in a feature film), shot on the actual locations where the events took place.
Grand Prix (1966)
Yes, the driving scenes dazzle, but Frankenheimer also embeds his 1966 Cinerama epic with some interesting commentary about risk-taking professions in general and the Formula One driver in particular.
Carion's film admirably resists overselling the material: it's an adult espionage film, with no comic-book theatrics.
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
Functions better as an emotional drama than a history lesson...remains an important and, at times, profounding moving film.
Mao's Last Dancer (2010)
Like its defector hero,
Mao’s Last Dancer
is neither here nor there...determinedly dull, even in the flatly filmed ballet sequences.
The Terminator (1984)
A cyberpunk picture that flirts with emotional resonance but mostly focuses on the gut...testosterone-fueled, estrogen-boosted action melodrama.
Unfortunately, the film's postmodern staginess assists in keeping Porter endlessly at arm's length.
Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
Branagh's highly entertaining and accessible take on one of the Bard's zestiest comedies.
Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Sweet, sad and funny...an entertaining fable about the phenomenon of socially crippled singles.
Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
As a musical look at family, generational and cultural conflict, and faith,
Fiddler on the Roof
makes a virtue of its quaintness.
Benny & Joon (1993)
Any film that features Johnny Depp performing salutes to the great silent comedians (and, in particular, Buster Keaton) deserves a little slack...
Blue Valentine (2010)
A postmodern tragedy of two people at odds who are both right and both wrong in their argument, sharing responsibility for the birth and death of love.
Mystic Pizza (1988)
Though the film's heart is in the right place, somehow it all winds up about as flat as one of the celebrated pies at Mystic Pizza.
Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003)
A pointless, tired, sugary, pink and teal affront to Reese Witherspoon, Bob Newhart, any important political cause...
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
, and—oh, let's just say it—humanity.
Tron: Legacy/Tron (2010)
A touchstone in the development of CGI as a storytelling tool, and almost thirty years later...the basis for a surprising franchise revival, beginning with the big-budget theatrical sequel
The Incredibles (2004)
An epic battle between conformity and exceptionality...which will be catnip for superhero buffs and a great time at the movies for everyone else.
Black Swan (2010)
most succeeds is in Aronofsky’s high-flying style, his approach to the story as a fever dream blurring the fine line between a performer playing a role and a psychotic succumbing to delusion.
Casino Jack (2010)
A mixture of light satire, light tragedy, political thriller, and domestic drama: a
of all trades, master of none.
Every Day (2011)
There's something oddly remote about
, which plays like a double-wide version of a perfectly acceptable Showtime pilot.
The Fighter (2010)
Doggedly obvious melodrama...But what makes the clichés palatable is a communal commitment to getting the story right.
Rain Man (1988)
There's something indelible about
, and not only to those of us who lived through the time when it was a zeitgeist movie.
Last Tango in Paris (1972)
Took the world by storm with its strategy of sexual frankness and a towering performance by Marlon Brando.
Wears its off-balance as a badge of pride.
The Man From Nowhere (2010)
Seen in a forgiving light, it's a perfectly acceptable way to scratch your action-movie itch, but anyone feeling such a tingle will also have to concede that
The Man From Nowhere
never met a cliché it didn't embrace.
Colin & Brad: Two Man Group (2011)
Mochrie's skill at mime is nearly matched by his encyclopedic, happily groan-inducing punnery, while Sherwood has a penchant for zingers and a well-honed sense of the absurd.
Four Lions (2010)
Audacious...As much in the Ealing tradition as the
posits terrorists on a spectrum of dimwitted to moronic when it comes to the understanding of their cause and its effect.
It would be easy to be cynical about
, the Walt Disney-produced film that launched a thousand anthropomorphic animal movies. But its pre-ironic simplicity has, in many ways, only improved with age.
127 Hours (2010)
Like Ralston, Boyle is an adrenaline junkie, and the film's opening moments establish the searching energy of filmmaker and subject.
Au revoir, les enfants (1987)
As ever, Malle's sensitivity is supreme and his delicate style evocative.
Made in Dagenham (2010)
While the story of these striking seat-cover seamstresses is well worth telling (and sadly still relevant, given the need for last year’s Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act), screenwriter William Ivory and director Nigel Cole...do not tell it well.
The Tourist (2010)
Venice is pretty alright, but like its namesake (or, for that matter, like a kidney stone),
is just passing through.
The promise of extraordinary brain power isn't fulfilled.
The Tillman Story (2010)
It's no mistake that the film's (anti-)resolving image is a statue of Tillman, frozen in time as a heroic but Sphynx-like riddle.
Writer Paddy Chayevsky's prescient 1976 satire of lies, injustice and the American way...has lost none of its sting.
Still Walking (2009)
Taking place over little more than a day in the life of a family, Kore-eda's film locates the profound in the mundane.
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010)
Allen has here an interesting idea-that placebos may 'work better' than medicine-to noodle over and ultimately reject; it's just a shame he doesn't entertain us more in the process.
Nolan built a better mousetrap of a neo-noir, using the tricky gimmick of a complex, purposefully disorienting narrative.
All About Eve (1950)
Mankiewicz's inside knowledge of show business and its particular personality types gives the film an authenticity and allows for its famously devastating acid wit.
All site content © 2000-2015 Peter Canavese.
Page generated at 03/30/2015 10:19:50PM.