Peter Canavese

Peter Canavese
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Since 1987, Peter "Groucho" Canavese has been writing film reviews and articles in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he is a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle. Peter authors and maintains an exhaustive website called <i>GrouchoReviews</i> and is the chief film critic for monthly <i>ON Magazine</i> (since 1995), and <i>Celluloid Dreams</i>, a weekly radio show devoted to film (<i>Celluloid Dreams</i> runs on KSJS?90.5 FM?every Monday at 5pm). Since 2009, he has regularly contributed film reviews to <I>Palo Alto Weekly</I>. His reviews have also appeared in <i>the San Jose Mercury News</i> (1991-1994), in Bay Area weekly <I>Alternate101</I> (2007-2008), and on Portland's 1190 KEX drive-time show <I>Mark & Dave</I> (2008).
Favorites:
Citizen Kane, Brazil, Duck Soup, Ikiru, North by Northwest, 8 1/2
Location: San Jose, CA
Official Websites: grouchoreviews.com

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
2/4 57% 12 Mighty Orphans (2021) Good direction, a sturdy script with some old-fashioned movie classicism and incredible production design barely compensate for what is essentially a cornball narrative. Strictly for football fans and tween and teen boys. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 23, 2021
3/4 98% Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It (2021) Honest, candid and revealing look at the life and seventy-year career of a remarkable talent. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 23, 2021
3.5/4 96% In the Heights (2021) A revolutionary onscreen breakthrough for Latino actors. Fun and exuberant with pulse-of-the-city energy and Olga Merediz's solo number which is a brilliant cinematic model of stage-to-screen adaptation. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2021
3/4 92% Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation (2021) A well-constructed documentary which presents in parallel two fascinating characters whilst doing a pretty good job of plumbing their psychology and hitting their career high points. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 18, 2021
3/4 87% Censor (2021) Psychological horror with a few bursts of real gore, but this is also serious film making, artistically done. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2021
2/4 56% The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) The third mothership movie in the franchise. Pretty boilerplate, rote and basic exorcism theatrics -- and not much more. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2021
3/4 100% Changing the Game (2019) Timely, personally-themed and emotionally appealing documentary about three transgender teen athletes which smartly focuses on an empathetic point-of-view. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2021
3/4 98% Anything for Jackson (2020) A tongue-in-cheek, fun, sick and twisted psychological horror film anchored by its two two actors. Delivers on the creepiness and scares; lots of humor slathered with supernatural Satanism. (Blu-ray review). - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2021
2/4 57% Flashback (2020) A trippy science fiction thriller reminiscent of Mike Cahill's 'Bliss'. Reasonably compelling but its pay-off feels anemic. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2021
2.5/4 88% Undine (2020) Literal and modern but also lead-footed with barely a wisp of magic. By its end you don't quite know what to think. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2021
3.5/4 92% All Light, Everywhere (2021) Artsy, heady, meta-documentary with poetic and piercingly philosophic narration (think Werner Herzog) that looks at all of the ways that reality is distorted through our ways of seeing. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2021
3/4 44% Spirit Untamed (2021) Wins you over pretty quickly. It's a likable movie. The backgrounds are gorgeous, the storyboarding dynamic and the animation is energetic. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2021
2.5/4 96% Plan B (2021) Like 'Booksmart' it's front and center to teenage girls; good, largely funny and pacey with lots of heart. There's five good jokes in the credit sequence alone. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 11, 2021
4/4 95% My Fair Lady (1964) There are not enough superlatives for this new, 50th Anniversary digital transfer. As good as it gets for home video--and the reference disc so far for the 4K format. (4K Blu-ray Paramount 2021 blu-ray review). - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2021
3/4 91% A Quiet Place Part II (2021) Top-notch film making; moves faster than its predecessor--a genre film so there's not a lot of meat on the bone, but the barbecue sauce is tangy. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2021
3/4 66% Mission: Impossible (1996) A crazy, knowingly over-the-top, but entertaining action movie (25TH ANNIVERSARY Blu-ray review). - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2021
2.5/4 67% P!NK: All I Know So Far (2021) Exactly what you'd expect...sort of interesting to see this mega-star family balancing act, but strictly for Pink fans. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2021
3/4 74% Cruella (2021) Clearly another brand extension product from Disney--the real draw here are the two leads. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2021
2.5/4 67% Army Of The Dead (2021) A dumb, post-apocalyptic Las Vegas zombie heist genre movie that's tackled with verve. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2021
3/4 88% Supernova (2021) A believable, convincingly acted and moving account of a same-sex relationship which deals in a mature manner with the heartbreak of dementia. (Blu-ray review). - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2021
2/4 54% The Fast and the Furious (2001) This 4K HD 25th Anniversary blu-ray steel box re-issue is more about the packaging than anything of an overblown, not-very-interesting movie. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2021
3/4 81% Justice Society: World War II (2021) A wild, all-over-the-place, Nazi-punching adventure story that's great fun. (4K HD Blu-ray review). - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2021
3/4 89% Dream Horse (2021) Has the feel of an old Ealing comedy (or in the modern age 'The Full Monty')--small town stories with quirky characters banding together, but this is one of the better ones in that genre largely because of its cast. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2021
2.5/4 90% The Dry (2021) Reasonably compelling and interesting enough, and does about as good a job as it can given this particular story with its multitude of plot threads and characters. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2021
3/4 92% Final Account (2021) A solid documentary which benefits from its timing as a film which asks questions about how fascism is allowed to rise. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 26, 2021
2/4 63% Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021) There are moments in the movie where you go 'oh this is interesting' but then five minutes later the movie's forgotten about that and uninterested in pursuing that thing about it that you found interesting. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2021
3/4 92% The Killing of Two Lovers (2021) Successful, laser-focused domestic drama with a sustained tension and a nicely understated script and aesthetic. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2021
3/4 98% Drunk Bus (2021) A great metaphorical premise in a charming comedy about a very specific moment in life. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2021
3.5/4 100% Nightmare Alley (1947) One of the most striking films of the Noir Era in a great Special Edition Criterion Collection blu-ray release. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2021
3.5/4 100% Merrily We Go to Hell (1932) Can you love an alcoholic who's tangling with this insidious disease? Typically substantial extras on this well-worth-checking-out blu-ray disc from The Criterion Collection. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2021
3.5/4 94% Riders of Justice (2021) An examination of psychology, philosophy and a chaotic universe in a novelistic, cleverly constructed plot (that moves) with complicated and interesting characters...a tragicomedy that is equal parts entertaining and disturbing. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2021
3.5/4 87% The Djinn (2021) A mostly real-time supernatural thriller with good scares, a good set-up and good narrative construction that works like gangbusters. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2021
2.5/4 61% Profile (2021) Unusually informative for a thriller and there are interesting details here about ISIS recruitment, but subject matter is exploited for the sake of drama. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 18, 2021
3.5/4 88% Shrek (2001) Classic fairy tale fantasy. (In some ways this 20th Anniversary Special Edition 4K HD blu-ray release sharpens the relatively early [2001] CGI animation highlighting the processes flaws). - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2021
2.5/4 97% Shithouse (2020) Shaggy, college-set, coming-of-age comedy/drama starring an interesting, unconventional lead. (Blu-ray highlight: Cooper Raiff's hour-long short film 'Madeline and Cooper'). - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2021
2/4 38% The Marksman (2021) A very Clint Eastwood sort of movie starring an excellent Liam Neeson who makes the whole thing watchable. (Universal blu-ray review). - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2021
2.5/4 75% The Boy from Medellín (2021) A bit of a mixed bag but on balance worth seeing. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2021
3/4 80% Undergods (2021) Extremely distinctive, adventurous, moody, bleak, very dark and worth-all-the-effort dystopian tale that feels like a movie of the moment. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2021
3.5/4 96% The Human Factor (2020) An interesting, wonky, thriller-style documentary about 30 years of U.S. foreign policy, specifically in the Middle East peace effort. Highly recommended for its global view and anecdotes from the U.S. negotiators and mediators who were in the room. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 8, 2021
1/4 46% Here Today (2021) A big portion of 'Here Today' is sitcomedic which then whiplashes in to these overwrought, shout-y, weepy, mawkish passages of inept drama (and the stale and tired humor is not very funny either). - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2021
3/4 94% About Endlessness (Om det Oändliga) (2020) Roy Andersson's specific aesthetic on full display--an overcast blue-gray world of personal horrors, disappointing inanity and compromised beauty reminiscent of philosophical, art-cinema sketch comedy. Works better in context with his other movies. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 1, 2021
2.5/4 51% Four Good Days (2021) Glenn Close and Mila Kunis are the reasons to see this almost good, not quite-all-the-way-there, overly familiar domestic drug addiction drama. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 1, 2021
3.5/4 64% Eat Wheaties! (2021) A very unusual, out-of-left-field, quirky comedy with a great cast. A hidden gem. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 1, 2021
3/4 84% Tiny Tim: King for a Day (2021) A celebratory documentary of an original artist who made this space for weirdness in popular culture. A wild ride, a shock and a gift that this movie exists. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 1, 2021
2/4 55% Mortal Kombat (2021) While it does deliver what people expect of a 'Mortal Kombat' movie, this is just a darker, uglier variation on the 'super hero' movie or the 'super spy' movie except for its bizarro-world politics. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted May 1, 2021
3/4 77% Shadow in the Cloud (2021) A fierce, feminist action movie -- a grind house, science fiction, horror, World War II movie hybrid -- and a wild ride. (Blu-ray Review) - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2021
2/4 50% Another Gay Movie (2006) A day-glow, campy, subversive, gross-out sex comedy patterned on 'American Pie' where most of the humor falls flat. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2021
3/4 91% Together Together (2021) An interesting enough hang-out movie with good dialogue, great work by the lead actors and a likable script. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2021
2/4 49% Monday (2021) The appeal of this uneventful, wheel-spinning drama is to watch these actors who keep the film's life-like rhythms interesting enough in what is otherwise an essentially forgettable movie. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2021
2.5/4 89% Reefa (2021) A solid social drama based on a true story about the problem with policing reminiscent of "Fruitvale Station'. - Celluloid Dreams EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2021