Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Crisp Criticism - "The Mountain Between Us", "Marjorie Prime", "Nocturama", "The Only Living Boy in New York"

Julien Faddoul

The Mountain Between Us

Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow-covered mountain.
Pathetic, sappy melodrama that proves risible at every turn. The two leads crumble under their need to cash some cheques.

d – Hany Abu-Assad
w – Chris Weitz, J. Mills Goodloe   (Based on the Novel by Charles Martin)
ph – Mandy Walker
pd – Patrice Vermette
m – Ramin Djawadi
ed – Lee Percy
cos – Renee Ehrlich Kalfus

p – Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, David Ready, Jenno Topping

Cast: Idris Elba Kate Winslet Dermot Mulroney Beau Bridges

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Blade Runner 2049", "Battle of the Sexes", "Flatliners", "Our Souls at Night"

Julien Faddoul

Blade Runner 2049 **

A young blade runner's discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down the first film’s former blade runner, who's been missing for thirty years.
Completely improves on its predecessor conceptually, delving far deeper in philosophy than one would expect of such a film, with questions of existence, religion and the myth of true human intuition. In addition to overlength, the compulsory self-seriousness of modern blockbusters and the typical unmodulated dour tone of its director, this is eventually a rather fat and logy sci-fi outing. The beauty is in the details, from scenic design to performance ticks to the incredible images of Mr Deakins.

d – Denis Villeneuve
w – Hampton Fancher, Michael Green   (Based on the Characters by Philip K. Dick)
ph – Roger Deakins
pd – Dennis Gassner
m – Hans Zimmer, Benjamin Wallfisch
ed – Joe Walker
cos – Renee April

p – Broderick Johnson, Andrew A. Kosove, Bud Yorkin, Cynthia Sikes Yorkin

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Dave Bautista, Carla Juri, Barkhad Abdi, Lennie James, Hiam Abbass

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie", "The Emoji Movie", "Victoria and Abdul", "Kingsman: The Golden Circle", "The LEGO Ninjago Movie"

Julien Faddoul

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie **

Two mischievous kids hypnotize their mean elementary school principal and turn him into their comic book creation, the kind-hearted and elastic-banded Captain Underpants.
A fascinating, and mostly successful attempt by DreamWorks to reverse-engineer their initiative due to the corporate restructure by remitting a bauble, with stylised animation done on a fraction of the usual budget. The story is sweet, the jokes are droll, the pace is quick and the animation is typical high-calibre DreamWorks.

d – David Soren
w – Nicholas Stoller   (Based on the Comic Book by Dav Pilkey)
pd – Nate Wragg
m – Theodore Shapiro
ed – Matthew Landon

p – Mireille Soria, Mark Swift

Cast: Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Thomas Middleditch, Kristen Schaal, Jordan Peele

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Mother!", "It", "Patti Cake$"

Julien Faddoul

Mother! *

A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.
Roman Polanski + Luis Bunuel ÷ The Bible. Aronofsky’s allegories and metaphors (which I won’t spoil) are of constant interest, but the metaphor and the surface clamour never really gel, with too much nonsensical behaviour and too many references to other artists’ work. Therefore, all one is left with is his audaciousness at going for broke (typical) with coercive symbolism, which, for me, is not enough.

wd – Darren Aronofsky
ph – Matthew Libatique
pd – Philip Messina
ed – Andrew Weisblum
cos – Danny Glicker

p – Scott Franklin, Ari Handel

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Harris, Domhnall Gleeson

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Crisp Criticism - "American Made", "The Hitman's Bodyguard", "Girls Trip"

Julien Faddoul

American Made *

The true story of pilot Barry Seal, who transported contraband for the CIA and the Medellin cartel in the 1980s.
A film with a lot of interesting stuff going on that unfortunately is presented in a manner so commonplace as to prove destitute. The Scorsesesque erratic conation of all things “American Dream” that has become ever so fashionable obligates toward lengthy exposition and awkward moralizing, and it remains a mystery why so many modern crime dramas based on true stories don this approach. At least this one’s funny.

d – Doug Liman
w – Gary Spinelli
ph – Cesar Charlone
pd – Dan Weil
m – Christophe Beck
ed – Dylan Tichenor
cos – Jenny Gering

p – Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Brian Oliver, Tyler Thompson, Doug Davison, Kim Roth

Cast: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Jayma Mays, Lola Kirke, Jesse Plemons, Caleb Landry Jones

Monday, 28 August 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Logan Lucky", "Wind River", "Una"

Julien Faddoul

Logan Lucky **

Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina.
Perfectly enjoyable Soderbergh romp with all his expected touches including long takes, breezy performances, a heist plot and caricatured humour on simple-minded America. Certain story vistas seem frivolous, but the whole is a joy.

d – Steven Soderbergh
w – Rebecca Blunt
ph – Peter Andrews
pd – Howard Cummings
m – David Holmes
ed – Mary Ann Bernard
cos – Ellen Mirojnick

p – Reid Carolin, Dan Fellman, Gregory Jacobs

Cast: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Seth MacFarlane, Riley Keough, Katie Holmes, Katherine Waterston, Hilary Swank, Dwight Yoakam, Sebastian Stan, Farrah Mackenzie, Brian Gleeson, Jack Quaid

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Atomic Blonde", "The Big Sick", "Person to Person", "The Dark Tower"

Julien Faddoul

Atomic Blonde **

An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.
Exquisite fight sequences – one in particular staged in the stairwell of an apartment building that brilliantly conveys the gravitas involved when such actions take place – help invigorate a fairly risible script with some absurd twists-and-turns. A cascade of style without an ounce of subtlety.

d – David Leitch
w – Kurt Johnstad   (Based on the Graphic Novels by Antony Johnston, Sam Hart)
ph – Jonathan Sela
pd – David Scheunemann
m – Tyler Bates
ed – Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir
cos – Cindy Evans

p – A.J. Dix, Eric Gitter, Beth Kono, Kelly McCormick, Peter Schwerin, Charlize Theron

Cast: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, Sofia Boutella, John Goodman, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Bill Skarsgård, James Faulkner, Roland Møller, Sam Hargrave, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Til Schweiger, Lili Gesler

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Crisp Criticism - "War for the Planet of the Apes", "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets", "A Ghost Story"

Julien Faddoul

War for the Planet of the Apes **

After the apes suffer horrible losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.
Certainly, the best of the three prequels in this franchise: Solemn, soulful war film – more specifically prison-camp war film – that consistently interests with its low-key philosophical excursions and provides another example of exquisite performance capture/animation. Its greatest sin is overlength.

d – Matt Reeves
w – Mark Bomback, Matt Reeves   (Based on the Characters Created by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver)
ph – Michael Seresin
pd – James Chinlund
m – Michael Giacchino
ed – William Hoy, Stan Salfas
cos – Melissa Bruning

p – Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark

Cast: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval, Terry Notary, Ty Olsson, Judy Greer, Max Lloyd-Jones, Devyn Dalton, Sara Canning, Michael Adamthwaite

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Dunkirk", "A Quiet Passion", "The Bad Batch"

Julien Faddoul

Dunkirk **

Miraculous evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, Britain, Canada, and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, France, between May 26- June 04, 1940, during Battle of France in World War II.
Bombastic, but deft and earnest terror-suffused WWII film assembled in its director’s typical entangling structure – encompassing three separate timelines – and shot in fierce 65mm. But also typical with Nolan, the emotion is frustratingly self-conscious. There is a valuable relinquishing of dialogue but an over-emphasis on sound and music. Altogether, it contains both his mastery of cinematic momentum and his disappointing self-aggrandization.

wd – Christopher Nolan
ph – Hoyte van Hoytema
pd – Nathan Crowley
m – Hans Zimmer
ed – Lee Smith
cos – Jeffrey Kurland

p – Emma Thomas

Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, James D'Arcy, Aneurin Barnard, Barry Keoghan, Tom Glynn-Carney, Bobby Lockwood

Monday, 17 July 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Spider-Man: Homecoming", "The Lost City of Z", "Baby Driver", "The Beguiled"

Julien Faddoul

Spider-Man: Homecoming *

Several months after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens, New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man as a new threat, the Vulture, emerges.
The third incarnation of this story in 15 years. For this reason, and the usual Marvel movie flaws of tired beats, terrible action and the moronically dogged adherence to fan-service, no amount of nimbleness and charm – not that there is a great deal – can starve off the inborn monotony. Early sequences involving high school antics work the best.

d – Jon Watts
w – Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers   (Based on the Characters by Stan Lee, Steve Ditko)
ph – Salvatore Totino
pd – Oliver Scholl
m – Michael Giacchino
ed – Debbie Berman, Dan Lebental
cos – Lousie Frogley

p – Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal

Cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Bokeem Woodbine, Tyne Daly, Abraham Attah, Hannibal Buress, Kenneth Choi, Selenis Leyva, Angourie Rice, Martin Starr, Garcelle Beauvais, Michael Chernus