Latest Film Reviews
Eat Pray Love (2010)
Julia Roberts and voluptuous production value contribute mightily to this ultimate of wish-fulfillment tales.
The Joneses (2010)
The premise begs for wicked bite, but winds up poking along amiably. That’s the problem with these Joneses: it’s all too easy to keep up with them.
Date Night (2010)
Much as I would prefer to see the subtler Carell of
Dan in Real Life
comically negotiate a struggling marriage to Fey, we’re in a land of gunfire and super-computers.
Bull Durham (1988)
Deserves its status among sports films, but its ongoing appeal reflects that it's something more: an old-fashioned romantic comedy that succeeds in establishing and deepening memorable characters through memorably flavorful dialogue.
Escape From New York (1981)
New York is the ghost town and Van Cleef the corrupt sheriff in
Escape from New York
's thinly disguised postmodern Western, with ex-soldier Russell as the anti-establishment hero who won't cotton to anyone's code but his own.
Being Human: Season One (2010)
So a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost walk into a bar...
What's Up Doc? (1972)
No one is going to match Grant and Hepburn, but Ryan O'Neal and Barbra Streisand give it the ol' college try in the criminally entertaining
What's Up, Doc?
The Ghost Writer (2010)
The director’s shrewd and witty approach to the material demonstrates his finely tuned sense of the absurd.
National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
Though lacking in narrative and comic sophistication,
National Lampoon's Vacation
has something arguably more important: built-in, instant audience identification.
Get Low (2010)
A welcome late-career showcase for Robert Duvall...fits snugly into the traditions of Southern literature, particularly the tensions between gentility and eccentricity, the community and the individual, and man and God.
Middle Men (2010)
Gallo's self-consciously overstated direction feeds the impression that he's trying to remake
can we all agree by now that the use of 'Sympathy for the Devil' in crime pictures ought to be outlawed?
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)
Stylish...sitcomedic...plays it pretty safe.
Road to Perdition (2002)
The top-billed actors deliver: Hanks with his resonant reserve and Newman in conveying Rooney's failed attempt to live up to his self-image as the ultimate just and loving patriarch.
James and the Giant Peach (1996)
Doesn't quite click on all levels, and the story and character development feels truncated, but there's still plenty to enjoy about its weird occurrences.
National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985)
I see London, I see France, I see Chevy do a dumb dance.
Black Orpheus (1959)
Seductive blend of mythology and travelogue...there's still sensual pleasure in the urban scenery, colorful visions, and music and dance, most of it defined by joyful abandon.
Dinner for Schmucks (2010)
A fairly typical Hollywood bromantic comedy in that one suspects that the improvisatory chops of its likeable star duo made them real-time script doctors.
Charlie St. Cloud (2010)
Nicholas Sparks-meets-Bruce Joel Rubin...The movie’s God talk (most of it coming from…Ray Liotta?) and blatant expression of theme through platitudes make this romantic melodrama as drippy as the St. Cloud boys’ eyes.
A Prophet (2010)
Malik’s boxed-in circumstances certainly press ethical questions for the viewer, but in Rahim’s psychologically acute performance, Malik is never less than understandable—more often than not, he’s disturbingly sympathetic.
Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
The invitation to introspection about empty American lives is a good idea, but who are we kidding?
Hot Tub Time Machine
is built for gross gags...and wan '80s nostalgia...
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Lee brought a distinct elegance to the wuxia genre of mythic, lyrical martial arts pictures...a breathtaking visual and emotional experience for the viewer...
's success partly owes to Bong's twisty mystery script, but the South Korean film wouldn't fly without the achingly intense performance of Kim Hye-ja.
On the page and on the screen,
riffs on the wish-fulfillment afforded by tales of derring-do and the ill-advisedness of taking on the task in real life.
Batman: Under the Red Hood (V) (2010)
With its colorful, exciting action and well-defined emotional underpinnings,
Batman: Under the Red Hood
is the best yet in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line.
Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
The extended rescue climax provides the heights of
Steamboat Bill, Jr
.'s ingenious choreography, but Keaton's brilliance as a performer shines just as brightly (if not more) in the simpler moments...
White Collar: The Complete First Season (2010)
It's a fine premise to meet with USA's 'Characters Welcome' formula...Creator Jeff Eastin keeps it light, focusing on the odd couple of straight-laced Burke and swingin' Caffrey...
Cop Out (2010)
Once you've boogied out to Harold Faltermeyer's self-parodic "Axel F"-style music, it's all downhill from there.
The Losers (2010)
This comic-book knockoff of
is a lot easier to enjoy than Fox's sanctioned remake of
. Perhaps that's because Sylvain White's
is self-aware of its schlock value...
Clash of the Titans (2010)
Leading man Sam Worthington exacerbates the film’s downbeat tone: as Perseus, Worthington remains a credible but basically charisma-free actor.
The Secret of the Grain (2008)
When the film, as it must, comes to an end after two and a half hours, you won't be ready; the bond made to this family makes its sudden absence feel downright brutal.
The Red Shoes (1948)
A sublime melodrama...[with a] still astonishing expressionistic dance sequence.
Perhaps its best that
keeps its ambitions humble, but a dearth of inspiration makes this fifth
film dangerously close to a rehash of the first.
Despicable Me (2010)
Weds a Charles Addams drollness to Looney Tunes one-upmanship.
The Girl Who Played with Fire (2010)
Lacking the psychological intimacy afforded by the page, Daniel Alfredson’s film won’t inspire better than a shrug from audiences.
A Single Man (2009)
A patient and never less than gripping character study that serves as a reminder of the emotional intimacy achievable on film.
She's Out of My League (2010)
Tends to be off-putting, which is a shame, because it's on to something about the dynamic between put-together women and the legions of nervous men who shoot themselves in the feet while longing for them.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)
An enjoyable PG-rated family adventure in its own right, but Columbus' film can't live up to the Potter gold standard, and it strays enough from Riordan's source material to make its tween readership blow a gasket every few minutes.
The White Ribbon (2009)
Haneke's noodlings on the nature of evil...reach a sort of culmination in
The White Ribbon
, 2009 Palme d'Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival.
Hung: The Complete First Season (2009)
The timing is right for HBO's half-hour dramedy
...a darkly tinged recessionary comedy of (self-)destruction and erection.
A dumber version of the
franchise, but this initial picture works anyway, as an atmospheric exercise in pure, primal action with a science-fiction-y twist.
All site content © 2000-2014 Peter Canavese.
Page generated at 09/13/2014 04:39:46AM.