Sunday, 6 December 2015

Crisp Criticism - "In the Heart of the Sea", "The Night Before", "Truth"

by
Julien Faddoul













In the Heart of the Sea *

Based on the 1820 event, a whaling ship is preyed upon by a sperm whale, stranding its crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home.
Old-fashioned ocean drama that confusingly assembles a large amount of spectacle with a blaring lack of luster. All attempts at generating some kind of human element fall flat.

d – Ron Howard
w – Charles Leavitt, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver   (Based on the Novel by Nathaniel Philbrick)
ph – Anthony Dod Mantle
pd – Mark Tildesley
m – Roque Baños
ed – Mike Hill, Dan Hanley
cos – Julian Day

p – Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Joe Roth, Will Ward, Paula Weinstein

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Benjamin Walker, Ben Whishaw, Tom Holland, Brendan Gleeson, Donald Sumpter, Frank Dillane, Joseph Mawle














The Night Before *

In New York City for their annual tradition of Christmas Eve debauchery, three lifelong friends set out to find the Holy Grail of Christmas parties since their yearly reunion might be coming to an end.
Adequately humorous but nothing new. It is a credit to its star/producer that his same schtick still remains comical.

d – Jonathan Levine
w – Jonathan Levine, Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Evan Goldberg
ph – Brandon Trost
pd – Annie Spitz
m – Marco Beltrami, Miles Hankins
ed – Zene Baker
cos – Melissa Toth

p – James Weaver, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

Cast: Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Mackie, Lizzy Caplan, Jillian Bell, Mindy Kaling, Kanye West, Lorraine Toussaint, Aaron Hill, Natalie Knepp, Heléne Yorke, Theodora Woolley, Aly Mang, Nicola Fiore, Marija Skangale, Baron Davis, Michael Shannon, James Franco, Tracy Morgan, Miley Cyrus













Truth *

Newsroom drama detailing the 2004 CBS 60 Minutes report investigating then-President George W. Bush's military service, and the subsequent firestorm of criticism that cost anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes their careers.
A misguided film telling a rather complicated story of journalistic compromise. It is so wrapped up in wishful thinking that, despite a committed performance from Blanchett, it is ultimately as mushy as hell.

wd – James Vanderbilt   (Based on the Book by Mary Mapes)
ph – Mandy Walker
pd – Fiona Crombie
m – Brian Tyler
ed – Richard Francis-Bruce
cos – Amanda Neale

p – Brad Fischer, Doug Mankoff, Brett Ratner, William Sherak, Andrew Spaulding, James Vanderbilt

Cast: Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Elisabeth Moss, Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid, Bruce Greenwood, David Lyons, John Benjamin Hickey, Andrew McFarlane




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