Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Crisp Criticism - "Noah", "Captain America: The Winter Soldier", "Bad Words", "Cheap Thrills"

by
Julien Faddoul











Noah

The tale of the flood from the Book of Genesis.
An utter though curious failure: bombastic, pretentious and dull from the first frame on, with performances that nauseate. In an attempt to do an origin story on the world's first superhero, Aronofsky has created something that's more like Ridley Scott meshed with warmed-over Tom Hooper. But it certainly is singular.

d – Darren Aronofsky
w – Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel
ph – Matthew Libatique
pd – Mark Friedberg
m – Clint Mansell
ed – Andrew Weisblum
cos – Michael Wilkinson

p – Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin, Arnon Milchan, Mary Parent

Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth













Captain America: The Winter Soldier *

After the cataclysmic events of The Avengers, Steve Rogers, who is living a peaceful life in Washington D.C., is threatened by presence of a new enemy.
A fairly tame effort in the Marvel canon with a great deal of winking at the camera. There are a number of dynamic set-pieces but the metronomic flatness that emits from all the Marvel films outside The Avengers is becoming destructive.

d – Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
w – Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Ed Brubaker   (Based on the Comic Book by Joe Simon, Jack Kirby)
ph – Trent Opaloch
pd – Peter Wenham
m – Henry Jackman
ed – Jeffrey Ford
cos – Judianna Makovsky

p – Kevin Feige

Cast: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson, Toby Jones, Garry Shandling, Maximiliano Hernández











Bad Words

A spelling bee loser sets out to exact revenge by finding a loophole and attempting to win as an adult.
A foolish attempt by its director/star to do a Zwigoff-like antihero. The problem is that logic doesn’t seem to apply here in any regard. If that’s the case, then why provoke anything?

d – Jason Bateman
w – Andrew Dodge
ph – Ken Seng
pd – Shepherd Frankel
m – Rolfe Kent
ed – Tatiana S. Riegel
cos – April Napier

p – Jason Bateman, Jeff Culotta, Ted Hamm, Sean McKittrick, Mason Novick

Cast: Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Amanda Anka, Rohan Chand, Philip Baker Hall, Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, Steve Witting, Beth Grant











Cheap Thrills *

Recently fired and facing eviction, a new dad meets a wealthy couple who offer a path to financial security through performing dangerous stunts.
A well-performed satire with an intention to shock that never goes beyond the childish.

d – E.L. Katz
w – David Chirchirillo
ph – Andrew Wheeler, Sebastian Wintero
pd – Melisa Jusufi
m – Mads Heldtberg
ed – Brody Gusar
cos – Kelsey Stengle

p – Gabriel Cowan, Travis Stevens, John Suits

Cast: Pat Healy, Ethan Embry, Sara Paxton, David Koechner, Amanda Fuller













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