GrouchoReviews.com http://grouchoreviews.com/ Fri, 13 Dec 2019 22:04:57 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5190 /reviews/5190 If The Next Level plays fast and loose, it also makes an effort to prompt viewers to reflect not only on the freedom of fantasy, but on the fraught but essential relationship of mind and body. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Waves (2019) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5189 /reviews/5189 If the film’s psychology and dialogue remain frustratingly basic...the viscerally effective audio-visual approach amplif[ies] the story’s emotional intimacy in ways the situations and mostly platitudinous dialogue sometimes fail to do. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Ruth E. Carter…Dolemite Is My Name, Do the Right Thing…11/20/2019 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/477 /interviews/477 I don‘t want to be on my own island...I‘m here to collaborate, not to just be the Grand Poobah of costume design. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Knives Out (2019) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5188 /reviews/5188 Knives Out cannot help but be fanciful fun, particularly for murder-mystery fans...Johnson adds ballast to what would otherwise be a lightweight tale by suggesting sociopolitical allegory. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Frozen II (2019) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5187 /reviews/5187 Pointedly setting up its own Turkey Day-teasing Truth & Reconciliation Commission about a proud nation’s not-so-proud past...Frozen II arrives just in time for Thanksgiving as an entertainment parents and kids can be thankful for. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Good Liar (2019) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5186 /reviews/5186 The Nicholas Searle novel Hatcher adapts features a shopworn story with easily anticipated plot twists, resulting in a soggy and largely pointless exercise that gets by on its consummate cast and some witty dialogue. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Scott Z. Burns & Daniel Jones…The Report…10/11/2019 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/476 /interviews/476 [Burns:] ‘The only thing more powerful than telling someone a story they don‘t know is telling someone a story that they thought they knew‘...Whenever I could I used the language and the facts that are in the report to tell the story of the program. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Ira Sachs…Frankie…10/7/2019 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/475 /interviews/475 I‘m interested in a democratic narrative...Anyone who is on the screen is interesting. Right? Everyone has their own story. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Doctor Sleep (2019) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5184 /reviews/5184 In some ways, Doctor Sleep has to feel like a pop cultural footnote, but that‘s not fair to what‘s a ripping yarn in its own right.  Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Parasite (2019) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5185 /reviews/5185 Wild-ride entertainment that’s by turns funny, squirmy, horrifying, and poignant, all in service of a zeitgeist-y story of working-class frustration...boiling over in ways the blithely wealthy can no longer ignore. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019) [* 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5183 /reviews/5183 Audiences can’t be blamed for turning off their brains and focusing on the aesthetic trappings...in this film featuring a flying protagonist, nothing really lands. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Pain and Glory (2019) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5182 /reviews/5182 The filmmaker contemplating his own creation as a man and an artist...plays as a poetic remembrance of things past, a reconciliation of self, powerfully capturing the emotional essence of keenly formative experiences and deep loves. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Joker (2019) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5181 /reviews/5181 Joker isn’t the film to seriously tackle the issue[s]--it‘s more concerned with flair than genuine inquiry--but Phoenix’s pained, raw-nerve performance is one for the ages. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5180 /reviews/5180 A primer...proves most valuable by gathering a number of Miles’ friends, lovers, musical collaborators, admirers, and musicologists...to share their recollections and perspectives on Davis, his musicality, and his personality. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Downton Abbey (2019) [**] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5177 /reviews/5177 Forgive me for suggesting that Conservative peer Fellowes…or, as he’s sometimes known, Julian Alexander Kitchener-Fellowes, Baron Fellowes of West Stafford DL…might consider Downton the cake he’s letting us eat. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5179 /reviews/5179 A deeply moving story of a remarkable woman, its only real fault an arguable virtue: adhering to the old showbiz adage of leaving the audience wanting more. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Official Secrets (2019) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5178 /reviews/5178 It’s a story worth shining a light on, Gun a hero deserving of a movie-star moment. And yet this docudrama struggles to give feature-length narrative shape to the story in a way that brings it to vibrant dramatic life.  Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Ready or Not (2019) [**] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5176 /reviews/5176 Thin characters...thinner satire...maybe best to think of Ready or Not not as trolling us but as gifting us a mosh pit for primal-scream therapy. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Where‘d You Go, Bernadette (2019) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5175 /reviews/5175 The film’s darkest-before-the-dawn middle passage honors the complexity of mental-health struggles for the sufferer and those who, unsure at every step, try to steer their troubled loved one down a path to healing. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Luce (2019) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5174 /reviews/5174 Luce primarily concerns itself with African-American identity, plagued by withering lowdown stereotypes and polar-opposite pressures...In some ways, the film’s subtle political satire proves even more distressing. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Kitchen (2019) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5173 /reviews/5173 Because of its hurried pacing, the film doesn’t quite make us feel the potentially Shakespearean sweep of this arc, and the leading performances feel similarly hemmed in by the script’s limitations.  Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Farewell (2019) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5172 /reviews/5172 The setup makes for genuinely amusing light farce, but in their patient observation, Wang and cinematographer Anna Franquesa Solano conjure a heartfelt intimacy with the family...[and] the actors always offer up finely etched emotional truths... Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood (2019) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/5171 /reviews/5171 Content finally joined by the movie gods to form…for at last, the moving-picture magpie has lighted on Hollywood as his setting and, in no small part, his subject. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Alfonso Cuarón…Roma…1/4/2019 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/471 /interviews/471 I was very lucky to be raised by two strong and very generous women...[Cleo] embodies, in one hand, those scars that I share with my family, but in the other hand, those scars that I share with a whole society. Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Pawel Pawlikowski…Cold War, Ida…10/5/2018 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/473 /interviews/473 The more you think about [your parents], the more contradictory they get...A lot of people find themselves in this film. You‘d expect it‘s such an unusual, eccentric story, but... Tue, 01 Jan 2019 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: 2018 Top 10 http://grouchoreviews.com/features/260 /features/260 The Year‘s Best Films 1. The Other Side of the Wind A long-coveted Holy Grail for cineastes, Orson Welles’ The Other Side of the Wind finally dropped in 2018, 33 years after its maker’s death. Wind in many ways serves as a sort of semi-autobiographical bookend to Citizen Kane in ruthlessly dissecting a deeply flawed but high-pow... Mon, 01 Jan 2018 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: 2017 Top 10 http://grouchoreviews.com/features/259 /features/259 The Year‘s Best Films               1. The Florida Project Sean Baker’s follow-up to the stylish, street-level Tangerine is the sort of film that sticks with you, whether you like it or not. In part a tribute to The Little Rascals, The Florida Project works on that level alone, with a low... Sun, 01 Jan 2017 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: 2016 Top 10 http://grouchoreviews.com/features/258 /features/258 The Year‘s Best Films               1. Moonlight  In skillfully adapting Tarell Alvin McCraney’s unproduced play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, writer-director Barry Jenkins shows a deep curiosity about one person’s development and inner life. We see this person grow from boy to teen... Fri, 01 Jan 2016 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2016 http://grouchoreviews.com/features/257 /features/257 Thanks to prime mover Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, San Jose now has its own “Comic-Con“: the Silicon Valley Comic Con. San Jose has been home to many science-fiction/film and TV/comic-themed toy shows or conventions over the years (many of us still have fond memories of TimeCon at the old San Jose Convention Center), some of them pretty rink... Fri, 01 Jan 2016 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: 2015 Top 10 http://grouchoreviews.com/features/256 /features/256 The Year‘s Best Films                     1. Chi-Raq  The right film at the right time, Spike Lee’s latest is his most creatively fertile and socially immediate narrative feature in years. A grabber from its opening sequence, a lyric video for Nick Cannon’s gut-punching... Thu, 01 Jan 2015 08:00:00 GMT Peter Canavese