Monday, 29 December 2014

Crisp Criticism - "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies", "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb", "The Water Diviner", "The Book of Life"

Julien Faddoul

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The story concludes, beginning mere seconds after the previous film.
Shorter than the previous two films but even more laborious, with battle after battle with no incentives. Good effects.

d – Peter Jackson
w – Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro   (Based on the Novel by J.R.R. Tolkien)
ph – Andrew Lesnie
pd – Dan Hennah
m – Howard Shore
ed – Jabez Olssen
cos – Richard Taylor, Bob Buck, Ann Maskrey

p – Carolynne Cunningham, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Zane Weiner

Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Stephen Fry, Graham McTavish, Ken Stott, Aidan Turner, Dean O'Gorman, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Cate Blanchett, Mikael Persbrandt

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

Chaos reigns at the natural history museum when the night watchman accidentally stirs up an ancient curse.
Tepid film that tries to balance zany antics with painfully earnest messages of fathers and sons.

d – Shawn Levy
w – David Guion, Michael Handelman, Mark Friedman   (Based on the Characters Created by Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant)
ph – Guillermo Navarro
pd – Martin Whist
m – Alan Silvestri
ed – Dean Zimmerman

p – Chris Columbus, Shawn Levy

Cast: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais, Dan Stevens, Rebel Wilson, Skyler Gisondo

The Water Diviner

An Australian man travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli to try and locate his three missing sons.
Well-intentioned but hopelessly clumsy film that alternates between binding sentimentality and queasy racism.

d – Russell Crowe
w – Andrew Knight, Andrew Anastasios
ph – Andrew Lesnie
pd – Chris Kennedy
m – David Hirschfelder
ed – Matt Villa
cos – Tess Schofield

p – Troy Lum, Andrew Mason, Keith Rodger

Cast: Russell Crowe, Jai Courtney, Olga Kurylenko, Isabel Lucas, Yilmaz Erdogan, Cem Yilmaz, Megan Gale

The Book of Life **

Supernatural lovers/archenemies La Muerte, Ruler of the Land of the Remembered, and Xibalba, Ruler of the Land of the Forgotten, bet on the outcome of a love triangle between a trio of friends in Mexico on the Day of the Dead.
Charming, joyful, intensely designed animated film with an aspiration to educate people of the Mexican culture. It suffers whenever that aspiration is shelved in favour of being hip and jokey.

d – Jorge R. Gutierrez
w – Jorge R. Gutierrez, Doug Langdale
pd – Paul Sullivan
m – Gustavo Santaolalla
ed – Ahren Shaw

p – Guillermo Del Toro, Aaron Berger, Brad Booker, Carina Schulze

Cast: Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Ron Perlman, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Hector Elizondo, Kate del Castillo

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