GrouchoReviews.com http://grouchoreviews.com/ Sat, 28 May 2016 22:25:57 GMT Film/DVD reviews, interviews and features. Triple 9 (2016) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4887 /reviews/4887 A dark crime drama the rough-and-tumble Samuel Fuller no doubt would have loved. Wed, 01 Jun 2016 01:29:00 GMT Peter Canavese X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4912 /reviews/4912 For all its failings, including the crime of not being exhilarating, X-Men: Apocalypse remains a competent sci-fi actioner. Fri, 27 May 2016 23:17:00 GMT Peter Canavese Maggie‘s Plan (2015) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4920 /reviews/4920 A not-unpleasant 98 minutes that’s nevertheless understocked with comic zest and thematic incisiveness. Thu, 26 May 2016 18:28:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Witch (2015) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4914 /reviews/4914 Enjoy The Witch for what it is: a refreshingly baroque respite from the jump-scares that typify today‘s horror. Wed, 25 May 2016 18:41:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Lobster (2015) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4917 /reviews/4917 Investigates the nature of our need for a partner (who else will apply that pain-relief cream to the small of your back?), how we cling to superficial similarities to justify our matches, and our denial, at our peril, of our animal nature. Tue, 24 May 2016 15:23:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Finest Hours (2016) [** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4874 /reviews/4874 One can easily understand why this story swiftly became Coast Guard legend...but its dim wall-of-grey visuals and narrative longueurs make much of the two hours a challenge to the attention span for viewers of any age. Tue, 24 May 2016 14:39:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Angry Birds Movie (2016) [** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4916 /reviews/4916 Even though ‘Anger is not always the answer,‘ sometimes it has to be, or there’s no movie, and here’s where The Angry Birds Movie will divide audiences. Fri, 20 May 2016 02:09:00 GMT Peter Canavese Dark Horse (2015) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4915 /reviews/4915 Osmond doesn‘t belabor style in any way, opting to shape the story simply and directly through the new interviews, available archive materials, and efficient montage. Fri, 20 May 2016 02:01:51 GMT Peter Canavese Captain America: Civil War (2016) [*** 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4911 /reviews/4911 A direct sequel to Captain America: The Winter Soldier...a crazy-cool superhero team-up/smackdown movie to make Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice look like a tea party, and a franchise-launching introduction to the new Spider-Man... Thu, 12 May 2016 06:33:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Man Who Knew Infinity (2016) [**] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4913 /reviews/4913 Can repeat its formula by rote, but develops no breakthrough theory of its own. Wed, 11 May 2016 04:28:49 GMT Peter Canavese Where to Invade Next (2015) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4882 /reviews/4882 Moore finds a galvanizing climax by rallying around the notion that idealism trumps, if you’ll pardon the word, defeatism. Tue, 10 May 2016 13:58:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Rebecca Miller…Maggie‘s Plan…4/24/2016 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/441 /interviews/441 She‘s almost, in a strange way, like a saint. Even though she keeps making wrong decisions, she‘s very ethically motivated... Mon, 02 May 2016 14:33:05 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Susan Sarandon & Lorene Scafaria…The Meddler, Thelma & Louise…4/11/2016 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/439 /interviews/439 [Sarandon:] I think everybody can act, really. Surviving in this profession is something you can brag about. Mon, 02 May 2016 14:25:23 GMT Peter Canavese The Meddler (2015) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4910 /reviews/4910 A delightfully humane comedy...doesn’t insist upon the meddling as a ‘premise‘ but as an important part of the film’s psychological reality. Mon, 02 May 2016 14:04:00 GMT Peter Canavese Mother‘s Day (2016) [ 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4909 /reviews/4909 A movie so far up its own posterior that it includes the threatening exchange ‘They made a womb float for Mother’s Day?‘ ‘I can’t wait to see what they do for Father’s Day!‘ Well, I can. Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:16:08 GMT Peter Canavese Son of Saul (2015) [*** 1/2] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4869 /reviews/4869 One man’s last grasp at humanity amidst the dehumanizing horrors of Auschwitz...dramatizes those extraordinary circumstances under which even the meanings of life and death become foreign and in desperate need of rediscovery. Tue, 26 Apr 2016 16:02:00 GMT Peter Canavese Dough (2015) [* 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4908 /reviews/4908 Tastes awfully stale...those with a high tolerance for ‘nice‘ movies will happily roll with this Dough. But know that it is proudly unsophisticated in its storytelling. Tue, 26 Apr 2016 14:48:00 GMT Peter Canavese Elvis & Nixon (2016) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4907 /reviews/4907 A story of great power and great delusion, of the absurdities of politics and the strange effects and arguably undue reach of celebrity. These potentially heady themes are really beside the point of a movie that’s a hoot and knows it. Tue, 19 Apr 2016 16:12:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Lady in the Van (2015) [***] [Blu-Ray] [DVD] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4872 /reviews/4872 Though at times precious, Bennett’s sly script masks that deeply sentimental core with comic edge and a writer’s willful, mercenary remove. Sat, 16 Apr 2016 14:48:00 GMT Peter Canavese The Jungle Book (2016) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4906 /reviews/4906 Favreau and Marks have obviously put some thought into the film’s visual approach and the messages...: the animal kingdom’s unexpected threats and opportunities...the work Mowgli puts in to come of age...his casual kindheartedness... Wed, 13 Apr 2016 07:58:47 GMT Peter Canavese Miles Ahead (2015) [***] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4905 /reviews/4905 Not everyone will agree with how Cheadle answers the key questions, but only a fool would say his take lacks creativity, heart, energy, and a gutsy willingness to take risks (as Davis says in the film, ‘Be wrong strong‘). Tue, 12 Apr 2016 14:45:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Anton Yelchin & Jeremy Saulnier…Green Room, Star Trek Beyond…4/11/2016 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/440 /interviews/440 [Yelchin:] I think there‘s a selfishness to acting, but it‘s a selfishness that I can‘t be thinking about anything else. Mon, 11 Apr 2016 14:29:00 GMT Peter Canavese Demolition (2015) [ 1/2] http://grouchoreviews.com/reviews/4904 /reviews/4904 The hero of the new dramedy Demolition at one point muses, ‘For some reason, everything’s becoming a metaphor.‘ Boy, you can say that again. Wed, 06 Apr 2016 07:46:00 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Tom Hiddleston & Marc Abraham…I Saw the Light…4/1/2016 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/434 /interviews/434 [Hiddleston:] I sort of represent Hank Williams‘ experience for the world: his truth. His joy, his pain, his struggles. Dressing like him, sounding like him, speaking like him, and singing like him. Mon, 04 Apr 2016 20:13:55 GMT Peter Canavese Interview: Jeff Nichols…Midnight Special…3/21/2016 http://grouchoreviews.com/interviews/437 /interviews/437 How inclined we are as parents to project ourselves on our kids: what we want them to be, what we think they should be. We can‘t help ourselves....But the essence of being a parent...is just giving up. Giving up that control. Sat, 02 Apr 2016 20:10:10 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... Sat, 19 Mar 2016 14:56:00 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... Mon, 28 Dec 2015 21:03:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: The 58th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 23-May 7, 2015) http://grouchoreviews.com/features/255 /features/255 SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST CAPSULE REVIEWS! By my count, this year‘s San Francisco International Film Festival (April 23-May 7, 2015) features 58 narrative features, one for every year in the fest‘s history. That‘s on top of 34 documentary features, 6 shorts programs, and a panoply of awards presentations/tributes, live performance events, lectu... Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:59:00 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: 2014 Top 10 http://grouchoreviews.com/features/254 /features/254 The Year‘s Best Films                   1. Boyhood  The deceptively simple idea behind Richard Linklater‘s magnum opus was to shoot a few days a year for twelve years, and thus capture the growth and development of a middle-class Everyboy (Ellar Coltrane) and his family. Linklater‘s rest... Tue, 23 Dec 2014 23:34:27 GMT Peter Canavese Feature: The 57th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 24-May 8, 2014) http://grouchoreviews.com/features/253 /features/253 SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST CAPSULE REVIEWS! No one would say that the San Francisco Film Society has had an easy time of the last few years, but its Filmmaker360 program to support and fund independent film can (and does) boast successes like Beasts of the Southern Wild and Fruitvale Station, and with new Executive Director Noah Cowan in place, st... Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:10:00 GMT Peter Canavese