Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Going in Style", "Colossal", "Table 19"

Julien Faddoul

Going in Style

Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, three lifelong pals risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.
A lazy pile of garbage: A remake of the 70s comedy with lethargic performances, preposterous situations and unfunny jokes, all directed by one of the least talented people in showbusiness.

d – Zach Braff
w – Theodore Melfi   (Based on the Story by Edward Cannon)
ph – Rodney Charters
pd – Anne Ross
m – Rob Simonsen
ed – Myron I. Kerstein
cos – Gary Jones

p – Donald De Line

Cast: Morgan Freeman Michael Caine Alan Arkin Joey King Matt Dillon Ann-Margret Maria Dizzia Christopher Lloyd Siobhan Fallon John Ortiz Peter Serafinowicz Kenan Thompson Josh Pais

Monday, 24 April 2017

Crisp Criticism - "The Fate of the Furious", "CHIPS", "Their Finest", "Personal Shopper"

Julien Faddoul

The Fate of the Furious

When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of crime and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.
The worst of the series so far, falling deeper into the hole of systematic influence by the Hollywood cinema surrounding it. The characters and their relationships to one another now make no sense, and the car stunts never rise above the ordinary.

d – F. Gary Gray
w – Chris Morgan   (Based on the Characters by Gary Scott Thompson)
ph – Stephen F. Windon
pd – Bill Brzeski
m – Brian Tyler
ed – Paul Rubell, Christian Wagner
cos – Sanja Milkovic Hays

p – Vin Diesel, Neal H. Moritz, Michael Fottrell, Chris Morgan

Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Charlize Theron, Kurt Russell, Scott Eastwood, Helen Mirren, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kristofer Hivju, Elsa Pataky

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Crisp Criticism - "The Lego Batman Movie", "Ghost in the Shell", "Life", "The Space Between Us"

Julien Faddoul

The Lego Batman Movie **

A cooler-than-ever Bruce Wayne must deal with the usual suspects as they plan to rule Gotham City, while discovering that he has accidentally adopted a teenage orphan who wishes to become his sidekick.
In many ways superior to the original because it bypasses that film’s saccharine message for a treatment that is less labored, with a ferocious outpouring of gags, some of which are quite funny. But this is Ironic with a capital “I” and, like the original, the humour can get exhausting.

d – Chris McKay
w – Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Whittington   (Based on the Character Created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger)
pd – Grant Freckelton
m – Lorne Balfe
ed – David Burrows, John Venzon, Matt Villa

p – Dan Lin, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Roy Lee

Cast: Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Jenny Slate

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Beauty and the Beast", "The Boss Baby", "Power Rangers"

Julien Faddoul

Beauty and the Beast

A remake of an animated film made and released by The Walt Disney Company in 1991.
A critic-proof film through and through. To those who follow my writing, what is there left for me to say about a concoction such as this? Would it affect you for me to say that transposing an animated masterpiece to another medium and recreating it, at times shot-for-shot, is utterly pointless? Maybe. Would it do the world any good for me to point out how unethical that is for the hundreds of artists who spent years generating said masterpiece frame-by-frame whose work has been plagiarized? Perhaps. Would it sway you for me to state that the filmmakers behind this version have justified such behavior by adding another 40 minutes to the runtime with additional songs and plot elements that are all uniformly bad? It might. Would you find any point in my impression that in a full-scale musical containing some of the best songs ever written, no actual singing is ever heard outside of the audio processing provided by Auto-tune? Possibly. But judging from the box-office receipts that have collected after only a month, it is clear that you, dear readers, have already decided whether to participate in such solecism or not (as well as the rest of Disney’s plan involving the live-action appropriation of their own animated classics). All I can do is provide my perspective of the experience in question. For me, this film is disgusting, cynical, anti-audience and anti-art, and it saddened me deeply.

d – Bill Condon
w – Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos
ph – Tobias A. Schliessler
pd – Sarah Greenwood
m – Alan Menken
ed – Virginia Katz
cos – Jacqueline Durran

p – David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman

Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Vans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Hattie Morahan, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Nathan Mack, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The Films of 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Kong: Skull Island", "Alone in Berlin", "Before I Fall", "A Cure for Wellness"

Julien Faddoul

Kong: Skull Island *

A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.
Some stunning visual effects and a lively performance or two can’t compensate for another big-budget remake on autopilot, following the same beats and falling into the same cynical trappings as others of its ilk.

d – Jordan Vogt-Roberts
w – Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly, John Gatins
ph – Larry Fong
pd – Stefan Dechant
m – Henry Jackman
ed – Richard Pearson
cos – Mary E. Vogt

p – Alex Garcia, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent

Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John C. Reilly, Terry Notary, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, John Goodman, Thomas Mann, Shea Whigham, John Ortiz

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Logan", "Miss Sloane", "Wiener-Dog", "Three", "Silence"

Julien Faddoul

Logan **

In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.
Psychotically violent, and altogether emphatically R-rated conclusion of the Wolverine franchise, exploring themes of retirement and withdrawal. Much of the action is dynamically staged (with a clear inspiration being the critical success of Mad Max: Fury Road). Jackman cements his creation as probably the most extensively weighty of the modern-day superhero portrayals.

d – James Mangold
w – Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green
ph – John Mathieson
pd РFran̤ois Audouy
m – Marco Beltrami
ed – Michael McCusker
cos – Daniel Orlandi

p – Hutch Parker, Lauren Shuler Donner, Simon Kinberg

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Richard E. Grant, Doris Morgado, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Eriq La Salle, Elise Neal

Monday, 27 February 2017

The Top 20 Scenes of the Year

Julien Faddoul

This list is presented alphabetically until the top 3.

First Contact

Hunstville, Alabama

Finding Dory

Hail, Caesar!
Would That it Were So Simple

Dean Caudwell's Office

Kubo and the Two Strings
Compassion and Forgiveness

La La Land
A Lovely Night

The Lobster
The Wrath of the Heartless Woman

Manchester by the Sea
Patrick’s Panic Attack

You’re Welcome

The Heart of Tafiti

A Blunt at the Beach

Star Trek Beyond
Abandon the Enterprise

Cactus 1549

20th Century Women

Borough Park Bakery

The Witch
Caleb Possessed

American Honey
We Found Love


OJ: Made in America
Bill Hodgman Describes What Most Likely Happened in Brentwood at 12:10am on June 13, 1994

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The Top 5 Openings of 2015

Julien Faddoul

5. 10 Cloverfield Lane
Leaving New Orleans

4. 20th Century Women
Santa Barbara, 1979

3. Weiner
A Documentary on My Scandal

2. Pete’s Dragon
An Adventure

1. Kubo and the Two Strings
If You Must Blink, Do it Now

Runner Up: Hell or High Water

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The Top 5 Endings of 2015

Julien Faddoul

5. La La Land
Welcome to Seb’s

4. Cemetery of Splendour
Jen Dreams

3. Kubo and the Two Strings
The End

2. Green Room
Shut the Fuck Up

1. Pete’s Dragon

Runner Up: Moana

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