Author Archive for Peter

I'm a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film...but don't tell anyone.

Bill Nye Fights Climate "Skeptics" And Creationists
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Bill Nye Fights Climate “Skeptics” And Creationists

A relatively light week of openings is counterbalanced by the films’ overall thematic heaviness. This week viewers can see everything from Bill Nye crossing swords with creationist Ken Ham to remembering the 1992 Los Angeles riots solely through period footage. Don’t forget to make time for Frances Mc Dormand’s new film, where she’s outstanding as […]

Steve Carell And Buddies Deal With Vietnam And Iraq
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Steve Carell And Buddies Deal With Vietnam And Iraq

Steve Carell leads an all-star cast in the new Richard Linklater film. It’s an unofficial sequel to the Jack Nicholson film The Last Detail. But frankly, Steve Carell does not star in the best films opening this week. One honor goes to Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, a seriocomic semi-autobiographical tale of Gerwig’s adolescence. The other […]

Takashi Miike Really Brings On The Fantasy Samurai Action
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Takashi Miike Really Brings On The Fantasy Samurai Action

The new Takashi Miike film headlines a mostly quiet week of openings. Imagine Wolverine as an unkillable samurai. But the Takashi Miike difference is that his film’s setpieces seem insane…particularly a finale requiring 300 people. For those who want something as wild as a Takashi Miike film but from real life, try a documentary about […]

New George Clooney Film Gets Wide Release, Bad Reviews
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New George Clooney Film Gets Wide Release, Bad Reviews

The new film directed by George Clooney has several things going for it. There’s a great cast and a Coen Brothers script. But despite wide release, this George Clooney project is pretty much DOA. For those who want a worthwhile film even if it lacks the George Clooney imprimatur, there are plenty of alternatives. Agnes […]

Tom Of Finland, The Cavendishes, Other Real Life Heroes
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Tom Of Finland, The Cavendishes, Other Real Life Heroes

Tom Of Finland is just one of the real-life heroes featured in this week’s openings. Other subjects of new dramas or documentaries include a couple who found a way to live with polio and a trio of activists fighting medical organizations letting people die. On the under-the-radar front, a woman getting in touch with her […]

The Father And Mothers Of Wonder Woman
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The Father And Mothers Of Wonder Woman

The story of how Wonder Woman came to be is probably the most widely released of this week’s openings. Key to that tale is the growing relationship between the two women who would provide the models for the Wonder Woman character. For book lovers, Frederick Wiseman’s documentary portrait of the New York Public Library will […]

Will Harry Dean Stanton Find Enlightenment In The Desert?
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Will Harry Dean Stanton Find Enlightenment In The Desert?

The late actor Harry Dean Stanton leads one of the week’s best pictures. It’s a tale of a man reaching enlightenment after outliving his contemporaries. Viewers used to seeing Harry Dean Stanton in supporting roles will be warmly amused by this film. The other must-see film of the week doesn’t star Harry Dean Stanton. Instead, […]

Agnes Varda Goes To The Country & Other 40th MVFF Highlights
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Agnes Varda Goes To The Country & Other 40th MVFF Highlights

The 40th Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) is upon us. From October 5 to 15 at various venues such as the Smith Rafael Film Center, the film programmers are bringing viewers treasures from such artists as Agnes Varda, Todd Haynes, Hong Sang-soo, and Guillermo del Toro. film lovers in the know are already looking forward […]

Armistead Maupin Tells The Story Of His Life
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Armistead Maupin Tells The Story Of His Life

Beloved San Francisco institution Armistead Maupin tells stories of his life in one of the week’s best documentaries. Hear Armistead Maupin tell tales of his early days working for Jesse Helms(!) and coming out to a friend. See Laura Linney and Neil Gaiman sing the praises of Armistead Maupin! The higher profile openings of the […]

Jennifer Lawrence & The OPD Will Piss You Off
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Jennifer Lawrence & The OPD Will Piss You Off

Jennifer Lawrence plays the title character in the new Darren Aronofsky film. But audience members expecting yet another safe or pre-packaged Jennifer Lawrence film product will be in for a shock. A new film about the Oakland Police Department (OPD) will piss off viewers in a different way than the new Jennifer Lawrence film. This […]