Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Crisp Criticism - "Allied", "13th", "Mascots"

by
Julien Faddoul











Allied *

In 1942, an intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war.
Glossy, old-fashioned WWII thriller that is cordial and elegant enough but too often coats itself in marshmallow and is, therefore, dramatically inert.

d – Robert Zemeckis
w – Steven Knight
ph – Don Burgess
pd – Gary Freeman
m – Alan Silvestri
ed – Mick Audsley, Jeremiah O'Driscoll
cos – Joanna Johnston

p – Graham King, Steve Starkey, Robert Zemeckis

Cast: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Lizzy Caplan, Matthew Goode, Jared Harris, Anton Lesser, August Diehl, Marion Bailey












13th **

An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality.
Absorbing, unabashedly liberal talking-head documentary that doesn’t really offer any information that isn’t already common knowledge to the educated adult. DuVernay compensates for this with fussy over-direction. Her interview subjects do most of the heavy lifting, providing plenty of compelling observations.

d – Ava DuVernay
w – Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick
ph – Hans Charles, Kira Kelly
m – Jason Mann
ed – Spencer Averick

p – Howard Barish, Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick

Cast: Jelani Cobb, Angela Davis, Henry Louis Gates Jr, Marie Gottschalk, John Hagan, Michael Hough, David Keene, James Kilgore, Bryan Stevenson, Nicholas Turner, Van Jones











Mascots **

Eager contestants don big heads and furry suits to vie for the title of World's Best Mascot.
The first film in ten years by its director and his troupe. More sedate than any of the previous films, most of it is hardly funny at all, with certain detours being completely dispensable. But no one else has ever come close to duplicating this kind of melancholic tone – the merging of a jocular respect for the setting, characters and the art of improvisation – despite the endless array of imitations that have flooded both cinema and television in the last 15 years.

d – Christopher Guest
w – Christopher Guest, Jim Piddock
ph – Kris Kachikis
ad – Chase Carter
m – Jeffery C.J. Vanston
ed – Andrew Dickler
cos – Christine Wada

p – Karen Murphy, Ted Sarandos

Cast: Jane Lynch, Ed Begley Jr, Zach Woods, Sarah Baker, Parker Posey, Susan Yeagley, Christopher Moynihan, Tom Bennett, Kerry Godliman, Jim Piddock, Chris O'Dowd, Michael Hitchcock, Don Lake, Fred Willard, John Michael Higgins, Maria Blasucci, Bob Balaban, Jennifer Coolidge, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, Wayne Wilderson, Suanne Spoke, Steven M. Porter, Scott Williamson




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