Latest Film Reviews
Chasing Ice (2012)
While more detailed scientific analysis and greater discussion of impacts would have been welcome, the film's visual rhetoric is solid.
Supernatural: The Complete Eighth Season (2005)
The stars still deliver, the supporting cast (especially Collins and Mark A. Sheppard as demon Crowley) remains prized, and the writers keep coming up with witty variations on the show's
The X Files
Sons of Anarchy: Season Five (2008)
Sutter knows how to conceive inconceivable violence, and while it's fair to question whether or not such disgusting ideas are just cultural poison, one can't argue that he ignores the consequences of each act.
As violent, macho fantasies go, this one is surprisingly engaging, a throwback to '80s sci-fi actioners like
in its striking visual approach...its juicy pulp dialogue...and its unabashed hard-'R' gusto.
With a man-against-the-elements adventure like this one, the emphasis is, and should be, largely on spectacular depiction of the environment, and [the] directors...make use of the biggest budget yet afforded to a Norwegian film...
To Be or Not to Be (2013)
To Be or Not to Be
has all the hallmarks of a Lubitsch comedy: a solidly constructed plot, good comic pacing, a light touch, and strong performances from top to bottom.
The Iceman (2013)
The main selling point here—and it's a considerable one—is Shannon, who shows new shadings in the role of Kuklinski...
The Grandmaster (2013)
More than anything, perhaps,
is a feminist tragedy that, at least in this cut, seems to lose interest in Ip Man and pass the torch to the considerably more fascinating Gong Er...
does inspire escapism, as its title implies, but not in the way the filmmakers had in mind: rather, you’ll be looking for the exits.
Haneke has hit upon the most accessible, most universally understood experiential vehicle to explore his career-defining obsession with nihilism, or he has made his most emotionally sensitive film yet, a true love story.
Star Trek: Enterprise—Season Two (2001)
Season Two of
put a lot of fans to sleep in 2002, but out of that context of 'franchise fatigue,' these twenty-six episodes...are entertaining, well-executed
Closed Circuit (2013)
Despite breathless proclamations about 'the biggest, most high profile murder case in British history' and timely trappings of closely held government secrets threatening to come to light, it all turns out to be rather boilerplate.
The World's End (2013)
You can go home again. But it's going to involve a lot of drinking.
As a tart analogy for our escapism into literature and romantic comedies,
is, itself, enaging, if not particularly sharp.
Once Upon a Time: The Complete Second Season (2012)
Disney's latest grand experiment in televised synergy has old-fashioned, corny charm—just newfangled with girl power and CGI.
Killing Season (2013)
Comes full up with heavy-handed signifiers, from Ben's choice of reading (Hemingway...) to a hammered motif of lapsed Christianity (the climax takes place in a rotting church) that underlines the theme of living with the sins of the past.
Regular Show: The Complete First & Second Seasons (2010)
There are sometimes twisted lessons to be learned from their misbehavior, but it's more about the silliness, punctuated regularly by frat-boy gesticulation and verbal high-fives.
From Up on Poppy Hill (2013)
Sunny days, blue skies, and rippling blue waters lined with greenery...Plain nice, and there's nothing wrong with that.
The Spectacular Now (2013)
A mature film about immature people, tenderly performed by its young leads and skillfully adapted, by
(500) Days of Summer
screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, from Tim Tharp's YA novel.
Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
Give this to
: it's never boring...Even so,
has lost most of its transgressive charge along with its element of surprise and its heroes' disturbingly unwavering conviction.
Faced with almost three decades of complicated history,
does a fair job of telling the story of Apple and conveying something of what made its co-founder unique.
Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013)
Despite admirable work from Whitaker and Winfrey,
Lee Daniels' The Butler
is nearly crushed by its own symbolic weight and its contrivance of a central character arc from keeping one's head down to learning to stand up.
Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space (1970)
In many ways,
Spearhead from Space
is terribly clunky...[but it] remains an historically important adventure and one with recognizable influences on stories to come...
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
For all its apocalyptic fate-of-the-world theatrics, this...[adaptation of] the 2011 graphic novel
by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert...has an emotional core to give purpose to its crazy amounts of mayhem.
A highly personal tale of undergrown men and overgrown boys experiencing the growing pains of love turned unrequited, and the realization that nothing—not freedom, not security, not innocence, not love—lasts forever.
It's hard not to see
today as a corny contraption...
The Devil's Backbone (2000)
Pure, uncut del Toro. The filmmaker accomplishes riveting scenes of suspense and scares he honestly come by, sticking the landing of every effect he attempts.
Lord of the Flies (1963)
While showing great fidelity to his source, Brook succeeded in delivering a version of
Lord of the Flies
that could best be described as psychological horror...
Wild Bill (2013)
With a concept and influences consciously in mind; fine performances by Creed-Miles, Poulter, and Williams; and approving cameos...Fletcher is able to put his best foot forward in this creditable debut.
The Driver (1978)
Hill has remained a steadily stylish presence in the idiom of action cinema. His genres of concern tend to be the Western and the urban crime drama, and the twain meet in neo-noir
In the Family (2011)
In the Family
is an 'issue movie'...But in practice, it's a made-to-scale love story and a thoughtful family drama. In other words, it's a true rarity of contemporary cinema.
There's a tough-mindedness there that's admirable, even if it's preaching to a mall-multiplex choir. But one wishes Blomkamp were less concerned with his
-style run-and-gunning and more interested in the subtler repercussions...
We're the Millers (2013)
Mean-spirited to squishy does not a convincing trajectory make...That wouldn't be so much of an issue if
We're the Millers
weren't such a dismally unfunny endurance test, but there you are.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013)
Yes, Percy faces his Charybdis, but...
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
not surprisingly feels more dutiful than creatively energized.
Star Trek: The Next Generation—Season Four (1987)
Under the leadership of head writer Michael Piller...the series broke the mold with the outstanding character piece 'Family.' That episode title would also serve as a pithy summation of the fourth season's primary theme.
Star Trek: The Next Generation—Redemption (1991)
Perhaps the most commonly applied adjective when it comes to the Klingon homeworld episodes of
...is 'Shakespearean'...[given] a certain unity of voice, as well as compelling throne-room drama and civil-war intrigue.
Doctor Who: The Snowmen (2012)
In the show's grand tradition of family entertainment, with scary creatures, exciting chases, chaste romance (with a buxom companion), and more than a few choice laughs on the off chance anyone might start taking the show too seriously.
2 Guns (2013)
While we've seen plenty of R-rated action buddy comedies before, the stream of amusing banter here comes with plotting that has a few good tricks in reserve.
Blue Jasmine (2013)
Blanchett's edgy comic brio, in Jasmine's blithely imperious manner, magically complements her tragic mental fragility and self-defeating desperation.
The Wolverine (2013)
Handsome but flatfooted,
comes tantalizingly close to working, which makes it all the more disappointing that Mangold comes up short.
All site content © 2000-2013 Peter Canavese.
Page generated at 12/06/2013 11:46:39AM.