Thursday, 8 January 2015

Crisp Criticism - "Taken 3", "Penguins of Madagascar", "Still Alice", "Rosewater"

Julien Faddoul

Taken 3

Ex-government operative Bryan Mills finds his life is shattered when he's falsely accused of a murder that hits close to home.
Dead in the water, with a recycled plot and unintelligible cutting.

d – Olivier Megaton
w – Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
ph – Eric Kress
pd – Sébastien Inizan
m – Nathaniel Mechaly
ed – Audrey Simonaud, Nicolas Trembasiewicz
cos – Olivier Bériot

p – Luc Besson

Cast: Liam Neeson, Forest Whitaker, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace, Dougray Scott, Sam Spruell, Leland Orser

Penguins of Madagascar **

Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private join forces with undercover organization The North Wind to stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world as we know it.
Slight but assiduously well-executed spin-off of the successful series of comedic animated films. This one takes a smaller-scale approach that allows for a more thorough use of characterization.

d – Eric Darnell, Simon J. Smith
w – Alan J. Schoolcraft, Brent Simons, Michael Colton, John Aboud, Brandon Swayer
pd – Shannon Jeffries
m – Lorne Balfe
ed – Nick Kenway

p – Lara Braey, Mark Swift

Cast: Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Conrad Vernon, Christopher Knights, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong, Werner Herzog, Peter Stormare, Annet Mahendru

Still Alice **

A renowned linguistics professor, and happily married mother of three, is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.
A candid and unambiguous portrayal of a familiar subject with a guileless, devastating performance from its star.

wd – Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland   (Based on the Novel by Lisa Genova)
ph – Denis Lenoir
pd – Tommaso Ortino
m – Ilan Eshkeri
ed – Nicolas Chaudeurge
cos – Stacey Battat

p – James Brown, Pamela Koffler, Lex Lutzus

Cast: Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, Hunter Parrish, Shane McRae

Rosewater *

A journalist is detained in Iran for more than 100 days and brutally interrogated in prison.
Undoubtedly tame translation of a true story that was quite personal to its writer/director. It feels in the end like an honorable if totally uninteresting endeavor.

wd – Jon Stewart   (Based on the Book by Maziar Bahari, Aimee Molloy)
ph – Bobby Bukowski
pd – Gerald Sullivan
m – Howard Shore
ed – Kay Rabinowitz
cos – Phaendra Dahdaleh

p – Gig Pritzker, Scott Rudin, Jon Stewart

Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal, Kim Bodnia, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Dimitri Leonidas, Haluk Bilginer, Arian Moayed, Amir El-Masry, Jason Jones

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