Latest Film Reviews
Simon and the Oaks (2011)
Foreign-film comfort food...at its best in exploring the psychology of the adopted.
is deep, after all, with Weyland Corporation standing in for 20th Century Fox in an allegory for Scott's artistic aspirations: funding and undermining his ambitions at the same time.
Seven Psychopaths (2012)
Smart enough to work on multiple levels: as a witty salute to masculine '70s cinema...as a deconstruction of same...and as an existential consideration of the role of self-expression in ascribing meaning to life...
Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
Entirely larky...for Beatlefans, what's not to like?
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012)
'Eat Gray Love'...the whole enterprise [is] too platitudinous, but with powerhouse actors like Dench, Nighy and Wilkinson, even a critic can agree it's better to be plucky than a sour stick-in-the-mud.
Taken 2 (2012)
The ludicrous plot devices that allow Mills to go from point A to point Z insult the intelligence of the character and the audience.
American Horror Story: The Complete First Season (2011)
Murphy and Falchuk don't go after anything deep...they just want the reflected glow of America's collective nightmares as they peddle their own ambitious, at times affecting, but generally klutzy serialized/recurring bad dream.
The French Connection (1971)
With its deathless car chase, Friedkin's film became an instant American classic...
General Education (2012)
What have I learned? High school movies can be duller—and more sour—than previously thought possible...The least generic element of
is its openly hostile attitude toward gay people.
Where Do We Go Now? (2011)
Part religiopolitical satire, part smalltown sitcom, with a hint of romance,
Where Do We Go Now?
is pleasingly populated with 'characters' and light farce that occasionally breaks out into a movie musical.
Modern Family: The Complete Third Season (2009)
While fully embracing the single-camera and mockumentary trends that have all but taken over modern sitcoms, the show hearkens back to...snugly-fitted farcical plotting and traditional sitcom writing...
End of Watch (2012)
End of Watch
introduces as 'Once upon a time in South Central' may feel a bit old hat...
Damsels in Distress (2012)
Since the halfwitty
Damsels in Distress
wants to have it both ways, its satire is about as cutting as a plastic knife through a porterhouse.
Playing a character that's almost entirely unsympathetic, Gere demonstrates the outward charm that's allowed Miller to accumulate his wealth and status, as well as the abyss-staring soul his showmanship conceals.
This psychodrama of ill-advised behavior may well leave you feeling dirty...for what you've watched helplessly and perhaps for what you've countenanced as an American citizen.
The Words (2012)
A fairly straightforward yarn with bluntly articulated themes of Regret, Guilt, Misplaced Trust, and the Vagaries of Fate.
An anti-musical...based on The Who's 1973 "rock opera" concept album...all the more brilliant for this seemingly counter-intuitive approach.
Sons of Anarchy: Season Four (2011)
It's good that
Sons of Anarchy
has pointed itself more clearly in the direction of an end game, as narrative wheel-spinning doesn't serve the show well.
Sleepwalk with Me (2012)
Film demonstrably isn't the best medium for this story...but [it] remains resonant, with its hidden-in-plain-sight metaphor of drifting unconsciously through life.
Tough-minded...In recounting 'the Great Franklin County Moonshine Conspiracy,'
does not lack for local color and local legend.
Homeland: The Complete First Season (2011)
The Manchurian Candidate
as a television series, and you have a pretty good idea of what you're in for with Showtime's paranoid thriller
, adapted from the Israeli drama
Prisoners of War
Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season (2011)
The reach for epic status sets
Once Upon a Time
apart; one hopes that reach will result in more grasp during the upcoming sophomore season.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)
Eighty-eight minutes of sublime silliness...should appeal in equal measure to adults as to children.
Monsieur Lazhar (2012)
A sensitive and fairly subtle work, with the deceptive simplicity of a well-honed short story.
A Separation (2012)
Above all, Farhadi’s parable teaches that a rush to judgment inevitably turns back on the judge.
The Rescuers/The Rescuers Down Under (1977)
It's easy to root for Bernard and Bianca...The sequel also tweaks the formula with a brisker pace, and development of the leading characters...
Robot & Frank (2012)
Cold-staring with a black, reflective visor, a robot helps a fading old man to see life, and himself, more clearly.
Hit and Run (2012)
Yee-haw, and so forth.
Decide for yourself if the narration is a necessary concession for kids: it's a take-it-or-leave-it proposition that doesn't make but also doesn't quite break
Pocahontas/Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1995)
It's hard to excuse the reconception of the eleven or twelve-year-old Pocahontas...as a statuesque supermodel, especially as kids don't need their stories to be hung on romance to deem them, err, shapely.
The Hunger Games (2012)
The Hunger Games
on screen doesn't exactly catch fire (as does its hero Katniss Everdeen), its savvy pop culture mash-up and the charge of teens in life-and-death peril remain intact.
The Dictator (2012)
Cohen's act wears thin...still,
has several memorable moments...
The Aristocats (1970)
Proves that even the studio's halfhearted larks still have life in them, thanks to golden-age animators...tunesmiths...and vocal talent.
Glee: The Complete Third Season (2011)
In its third season,
tenaciously held its ground as one of TV's most ambitious shows, in terms of production value and the sheer size of the ensemble it sets out to serve.
Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012)
A kinder, gentler divorce comedy...Jones' commitment to portraying Celeste at least as much for her flaws as her strengths winds up making the character more likeable.
Despite the dirty jokes hidden in plain sight ('Never underestimate the power of the Schwartz!'),
is a PG-rated comedy that makes silliness sublime.
Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
Anyone allergic to high-fructose corn syrup might do well to stay away, but the winking humor and musical gusto of this pop-artful camp standard-bearer still carry the day.
Dexter: The Sixth Season (2006)
The show has meandered back over too-familiar ground in its fifth and sixth seasons, stalling for time when it should be daringly advancing its storyline.
High Time (1960)
Plays dated these days, though what now seems like a pitch straight down the middle probably seemed more like a screwball fifty-two years ago.
Killer Joe (2011)
Friedkin’s pretty shrewd himself, in how he teases out the humor without indulging Letts’ immature glibness, and how he sidesteps Bible Belt baptism to waterboard us in the sewer of selfish human nature.
All site content © 2000-2014 Peter Canavese.
Page generated at 09/26/2014 09:38:41AM.