Latest Home Video Reviews
Blood Work (2002)
This vehicle—the cinematic equivalent of a supermarket paperback—plays like the best-ever episode of
rather than a truly distinguished feature film.
Stands out as one of Wayne's best-remembered features, a smooth Western co-produced by Wayne and shot at the tail end of the '50s 3-D craze.
John Carter (2012)
An undeniable disaster...of marketing. Join me on a tour of media headaches, and why they don't necessarily reflect the quality of the movie itself.
Certified Copy (2011)
Considers what’s real between two people, and if it should bother us when reality becomes replaced with a copy.
Hell on Wheels: The Complete First Season (2012)
. Still, AMC's drama series about the people surrounding the 1865 building of the transcontinental railroad proves surprisingly compelling on its own terms...
This Means War (2012)
Their spy-prying...and displays of lunkheaded brawn...aren't endearing; they're horrifying, in ways there's no coming back from.
Sherlock: Season Two (2012)
Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss can claim the classiest post-millennial take on Arthur Conan Doyle's enduring hero...The series' good-natured irreverence excuses those occasional liberties that may send eyeballs rolling.
Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)
Fun for the whole family, and—instead of the 2008 3-D version's Brendan Fraser—offers James freakin' Mason, who can pull off urbane and befuddled at the same time.
The Big Heat (1953)
For those who take their film black...Moral rot gets full play in Lang's 1953 police drama.
Now the film can be more fully appreciated for what it is: an influential inspiration to Latino filmmakers and a powerful, non-politicized depiction of the wages of American immigration policy.
A Hollis Frampton Odyssey (2012)
The work presses its consumer to share the struggle with the artist, to make the mysteries of time, human connection, life and death cohere.
Understands postpubescent psychology and even lightly traffics in philosophy...Here are newly born man and superman, both unprepared for the consequences of their sudden inheritance of the earth.
Father of the Bride/Father of the Bride, Part II (1991)
The strengths of these films are not so much laughs as sincerity and heart.
Its goal is humble: to walk the line between bubblegum pop that indulges trends, and a halfhearted critique of shallowness. I don't think this is what feminists mean by 'having it all'...
The War (2007)
at times leaves one yearning for more intellectually curious analysis, it remains a potent emotional montage...
The Secret World of Arriety (2012)
That relaxed pace allows the story to breathe—forget the franticness of most American animation—and along with the gorgeously detailed art, lush color, and swoony music...the film is all but guaranteed to entrance children.
Bringing Down the House (2003)
You'll empathize with Plowright's appropriation from Dorothy Parker: 'What fresh hell is this?'
Operation Condor 2: The Armour of God (1999)
Plenty fun: as per the Jackie Chan standard, it's total nonsense, but unpretentiously entertaining and occasionally ingenious.
A mood piece, as abstract and engrossing as the many Bach piano selections laid on the soundtrack.
Bell, Book and Candle (1958)
The airy Novak makes a strong impression, Stewart's comic chops remain in fine fettle, and the distinctive supporting cast can't be beat...
This story framed as a historical account of the only woman to stand up to Napoleon doesn't quite conquer our interest, though it is itself an intriguing piece of Hollywood history due to the presence of Brando in an iconic role.
Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
Those who identify as fans of the Halloween films will want to see Halloween: Resurrection, the eighth in the series; those who don't care about Halloween won't. That said, Halloween: Resurrection co...
Torchwood: Miracle Day (2011)
A reasonably entertaining miniseries...made with obvious attention to (if not always success in) pleasing genre fans.
War Horse (2011)
'How Green Was My Valley, How Smart Was My Horse.'
We Bought a Zoo (2011)
Let me begin by saying something nice about Cameron Crowe’s
We Bought a Zoo
: kids will probably like it. Okay, that’s all I’ve got.
That '70s Show: Season One (1998)
Though the jokes are strictly standard setup-punchline stuff, the cast brings a freshness to the material.
My Week with Marilyn (2011)
Williams is better than the picture, but within the screenplay's constraints, she nails every possible nuance of physical and emotional expression. It's dazzling work, and reason alone to spend ninety-nine minutes 'with Marilyn.'
Happy Feet Two (2011)
'It brings out my happy.' For kids facing a potentially rough adulthood, it's probably a message worth hearing, maybe more than once.
J. Edgar (2012)
Despite the odd sharp observation, somehow
comes off like the Max Fischer Players' production of
Take Shelter (2011)
A Rod Serling-esque social allegory for these days of economic collapse, environmental sea change, and increasing talk of 'end times.'
Malcolm X (1992)
Spike Lee called 1992's
'the picture I was born to make,' and star Denzel Washington referred to the titular civil-rights leader as 'the role of a lifetime.' They're both right...
The Big Year (2011)
If the mere mention of the blue-footed booby sends you into paroxysms,
The Big Year
is the film for you.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Intensely juvenile, casually sexist, and blatantly stupid in ways that few if any over the age of 'T for Teen' or bereft of a Y chromosome could enjoy.
The Moment of Truth (a.k.a. Il momento della verita) (1965)
This fable of the disposable performer rising above his class transcends ordinary fiction to be an expressive visual record of the art of bullfighting: primal, brutal, repellent and magnetic in equal measure.
A stylish genre exercise...one might just as well say the L.A. story unfolds at the corner of Michael Mann and David Lynch.
plays cleverly with the arcane mysteries of game theory, and if it's only a game, happily, it's one worthy of exhibition.
The Whistleblower (2011)
Condurache and Weisz’s 'small corrections' make a big difference in steering the movie right, enough to make
a decent entry in the genre of political passion plays.
What's Your Number? (2011)
[Faris] and Evans deserve better than a string of rom-com clichés, including the surprise date in a closed sports arena. Unless you’re Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez, it couldn’t happen to you.
isn’t interested in defeatism, except as one inevitable way station of the film’s appealing emotional ramble.
Sid and Nancy (1986)
Oldman's mid-film music-video performance of 'My Way' before a neon staircase compares favorably—as a revelation of character through performance—to Robert De Niro's framing monologues in
All site content © 2000-2015 Peter Canavese.
Page generated at 01/24/2015 02:14:32AM.