Monday, 18 November 2013

Crisp Criticism - "Ender's Game", "Enough Said", "The Fifth Estate", "Stranger By the Lake"

Julien Faddoul

Ender’s Game

A boy genius is recruited by the International Military to lead the fight against an alien race that nearly annihilated the human race in a previous invasion.
Solemn, joyless plunge into the depths of pomposity, with no affirmation given for the serious matters that the characters are discussing. It insults and belittles its audience at every opportunity.

wd – Gavin Hood   (Based on the Novel by Orson Scott Card)
ph – Donald McAlpine
pd – Sean Haworth, Ben Procter
m – Steve Jablonsky
ed – Lee Smith, Zach Staenberg
cos – Christine Bieselin Clark

p – Orson Scott Card, Robert Chartoff, Lynn Hendee, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Linda McDonough, Gigi Pritzker, Ed Ulbrich

Cast: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Aramis Knight, Suraj Parthasarathy

Enough Said **

A divorced woman who decides to pursue the man she's interested in learns he's her new friend's ex-husband.
At once affecting and funny, this romantic comedy gains immeasurably from its lead actress. It is also one of its director’s tighter, more mature films.

wd – Nicole Holofcener
ph – Xavier Perez Grobet
pd – Keith P. Cunningham
m – Marcelo Zarvos
ed – Robert Frazen
cos – Leah Katznelson

p – Stefanie Azpiazu, Anthony Bregman

Cast: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, Toby Huss, Michaela Watkins, Eve Hewson

The Fifth Estate *

The quest to expose the corruptions of power by an Internet upstart.
Smartly systemised but incredibly tame procedural containing puppets rather than characters, who are initiated in such an antiseptic fashion that the film can’t advance to anywhere past the scholastic.

d – Bill Condon
w – Josh Singer   (Based on the Books by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, David Leigh, Luke Harding)
ph – Tobias S. Schliessler
pd – Mark Tildesley
m – Carter Burwell
ed – Virginia Katz
cos – Shay Cunliffe

p – Steve Golin, Michael Sugar

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl, Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Moritz Bleibtreu, Alicia Vikander, Stanley Tucci, Laura Linney, Carice van Houten, Peter Capaldi, Alexander Siddig, Dan Stevens

Stranger By the Lake *

A man who spends his afternoons at a lake known as a cruising spot for gay men, witnesses a murder and keeps it secret.
Elusive, daring film in terms of its frankness, with much of the film’s running-time devoted to un-simulated sexual encounters. It creates a colorable sense of unease but it remains ambiguous as an end rather than a means.

wd – Alain Guiraudie  
ph – Claire Mathon  
ad – Roy Genty, François-Renaud Labarthe, Laurent Lunetta
ed – Jean-Christophe Hym 

p – Sylvie Pialat

Cast: Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou, Patrick d'Assumçao, Jérôme Chappatte

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