Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Rough Night", "The Promise", "All Eyez on Me", "The Book of Henry"

by
Julien Faddoul













Rough Night

Five best friends from college reunite 10 years later for a wild bachelorette weekend in Miami. Then they accidentally kill a male stripper.
Lazy and unfunny with a lot of screaming and no composed humor. A typical Hollywood comedy for today. It being centered around the female gender makes zero difference.

d – Lucia Aniello
w – Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs
ph – Sean Porter
pd – Ryan Heck
m – Dominic Lewis
ed – Craig Alpert
cos – Leah Katznelson

p – Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, Dave Becky, Matthew Tolmach

Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Zoë Kravitz, Kate McKinnon, Ilana Glazer, Jillian Bell, Paul W. Downs, Demi Moore, Ty Burrell, Dean Winters

Monday, 19 June 2017

Crisp Criticism - "The Mummy", "Cars 3", "The Hero", "My Cousin Rachel"

by
Julien Faddoul













The Mummy

Though safely entombed in a crypt deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient queen whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day.
Such an abashedly corporate attempt to start (or reboot) a film franchise that there’s hardly room for a movie to exist. The result is sad and pathetic, as one watches everyone involved beg with all their might to be part of the cool kid’s table, most of all its miscast star.

d – Alex Kurtzman
w – David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, Dylan Kussman, Jon Spaihts, Alex Kurtzman, Jenny Lumet
ph – Ben Seresin
pd – Jon Hutman, Dominic Watkins
m – Brian Tyler
ed – Gina Hirsch, Paul Hirsch, Andrew Mondshein

p – Sarah Bradshaw, Sean Daniel, Alex Kurtzman, Chris Morgan

Cast: Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Marwan Kenzari, Russell Crowe

Friday, 2 June 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Wonder Woman", "Graduation", "The Last Face", "War Machine"

by
Julien Faddoul













Wonder Woman *

An Amazon princess comes to the world of Man to become the greatest of the female superheroes.
Unremarkable and overlong DC Comic Book movie which, once again, is merely another origin story following the same plot and tonal beats as the surrounding Hollywood cinema, both the comic ones and the melodramatic. The first half contains energy, at least.

d – Patty Jenkins
w – Zack Snyder, Allan Heinberg, Jason Fuchs   (Based on the Characters Created by William Moulton Marston)
ph – Matthew Jensen
pd – Aline Bonetto
m – Rupert Gregson-Williams
ed – Martin Walsh
cos – Lindy Hemming

p – Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Richard Suckle

Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya, Lucy Davis, Ewen Bremner, Saïd Taghmaoui, Florence Kasumba

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales", "John Wick: Chapter 2", "Baywatch", "It’s Only the End of the World"

by
Julien Faddoul













Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon.
An already utterly boring series of films has reached here an even lower level of dullness. Not only does it contain zero originality, but nadir fun and excitement. The most concerning aspect here is Depp, who now delivers his lines and expressions with so little energy and dignity that it’s laughable.

d – Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
w – Jeff Nathanson, Terry Rossio   (Based on the Characters Created by Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie, Jay Wolpert)
ph – Paul Cameron
pd – Nigel Phelps
m – Geoff Zanelli
ed – Roger Barton, Leigh Folsom Boyd
cos – Penny Rose

p – Jerry Bruckheimer

Cast: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Geoffrey Rush, Kevin McNally, Stephen Graham, Golshifteh Farahani, David Wenham, Orlando Bloom, Martin Klebba

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Alien: Covenant", "Snatched", "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword"

by
Julien Faddoul













Alien: Covenant *

The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.
In many ways, a tighter film than Prometheus (2012) with more focus on scares. But, like all of Scott’s films, it ultimately buckles under the weight of the solemn anthology he thrusts upon it and becomes another unsatisfactory franchise film on autopilot.

d – Ridley Scott
w – Dante Harper, Michael Green, John Logan, Jack Paglen   (Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett)
ph – Dariusz Wolski
pd – Chris Seagers
m – Jed Kurzel
ed – Pietro Scalia
cos – Janty Yates

p – David Giler, Walter Hill, Mark Huffam, Michael Schaefer, Ridley Scott

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Alexander England, James Franco, Noomi Rapace, Guy Pearce, Uli Latukefu, Goran D. Kleut, Tess Haubrich, Javier Botet, Lorelei King

Monday, 1 May 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2", "Free Fire", "Get Out", "The Zookeeper's Wife"

by
Julien Faddoul













Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 *

The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage.
Energetically staged Marvel entry with some stunning visual effects. But we are still stuck in a pit of stagnation here with these movies, which cannot disguise any of the flaws that are intrinsic to their mere existence. The jokes are bad, the plot is flimsy and the performers seem bored.

wd – James Gunn   (Based on the Characters Created by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Steve Englehart, Steve Gan, Jim Starlin, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby, Bill Mantlo, Keith Giffen)
ph – Henry Braham
pd – Scott Chambliss
m – Tyler Bates
ed – Fred Raskin, Craig Wood
cos – Judianna Makovsky

p – Kevin Feige

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, Pom Klementieff, Kurt Russell, Sylvester Stallone, Sean Gunn, Elizabeth Debicki, Tommy Flanagan, Michael Rosenbaum

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Going in Style", "Colossal", "Table 19"

by
Julien Faddoul













Going in Style

Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, three lifelong pals risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.
A lazy pile of garbage: A remake of the 70s comedy with lethargic performances, preposterous situations and unfunny jokes, all directed by one of the least talented people in showbusiness.

d – Zach Braff
w – Theodore Melfi   (Based on the Story by Edward Cannon)
ph – Rodney Charters
pd – Anne Ross
m – Rob Simonsen
ed – Myron I. Kerstein
cos – Gary Jones

p – Donald De Line

Cast: Morgan Freeman Michael Caine Alan Arkin Joey King Matt Dillon Ann-Margret Maria Dizzia Christopher Lloyd Siobhan Fallon John Ortiz Peter Serafinowicz Kenan Thompson Josh Pais

Monday, 24 April 2017

Crisp Criticism - "The Fate of the Furious", "CHIPS", "Their Finest", "Personal Shopper"

by
Julien Faddoul













The Fate of the Furious

When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of crime and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.
The worst of the series so far, falling deeper into the hole of systematic influence by the Hollywood cinema surrounding it. The characters and their relationships to one another now make no sense, and the car stunts never rise above the ordinary.

d – F. Gary Gray
w – Chris Morgan   (Based on the Characters by Gary Scott Thompson)
ph – Stephen F. Windon
pd – Bill Brzeski
m – Brian Tyler
ed – Paul Rubell, Christian Wagner
cos – Sanja Milkovic Hays

p – Vin Diesel, Neal H. Moritz, Michael Fottrell, Chris Morgan

Cast: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Charlize Theron, Kurt Russell, Scott Eastwood, Helen Mirren, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Kristofer Hivju, Elsa Pataky

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Crisp Criticism - "The Lego Batman Movie", "Ghost in the Shell", "Life", "The Space Between Us"

by
Julien Faddoul













The Lego Batman Movie **

A cooler-than-ever Bruce Wayne must deal with the usual suspects as they plan to rule Gotham City, while discovering that he has accidentally adopted a teenage orphan who wishes to become his sidekick.
In many ways superior to the original because it bypasses that film’s saccharine message for a treatment that is less labored, with a ferocious outpouring of gags, some of which are quite funny. But this is Ironic with a capital “I” and, like the original, the humour can get exhausting.

d – Chris McKay
w – Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Whittington   (Based on the Character Created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger)
pd – Grant Freckelton
m – Lorne Balfe
ed – David Burrows, John Venzon, Matt Villa

p – Dan Lin, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Roy Lee

Cast: Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Jenny Slate

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Beauty and the Beast", "The Boss Baby", "Power Rangers"

by
Julien Faddoul













Beauty and the Beast

A remake of an animated film made and released by The Walt Disney Company in 1991.
A critic-proof film through and through. To those who follow my writing, what is there left for me to say about a concoction such as this? Would it affect you for me to say that transposing an animated masterpiece to another medium and recreating it, at times shot-for-shot, is utterly pointless? Maybe. Would it do the world any good for me to point out how unethical that is for the hundreds of artists who spent years generating said masterpiece frame-by-frame whose work has been plagiarized? Perhaps. Would it sway you for me to state that the filmmakers behind this version have justified such behavior by adding another 40 minutes to the runtime with additional songs and plot elements that are all uniformly bad? It might. Would you find any point in my impression that in a full-scale musical containing some of the best songs ever written, no actual singing is ever heard outside of the audio processing provided by Auto-tune? Possibly. But judging from the box-office receipts that have collected after only a month, it is clear that you, dear readers, have already decided whether to participate in such solecism or not (as well as the rest of Disney’s plan involving the live-action appropriation of their own animated classics). All I can do is provide my perspective of the experience in question. For me, this film is disgusting, cynical, anti-audience and anti-art, and it saddened me deeply.

d – Bill Condon
w – Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos
ph – Tobias A. Schliessler
pd – Sarah Greenwood
m – Alan Menken
ed – Virginia Katz
cos – Jacqueline Durran

p – David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman

Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Vans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Hattie Morahan, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Nathan Mack, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The Films of 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Kong: Skull Island", "Alone in Berlin", "Before I Fall", "A Cure for Wellness"

by
Julien Faddoul













Kong: Skull Island *

A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.
Some stunning visual effects and a lively performance or two can’t compensate for another big-budget remake on autopilot, following the same beats and falling into the same cynical trappings as others of its ilk.

d – Jordan Vogt-Roberts
w – Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly, John Gatins
ph – Larry Fong
pd – Stefan Dechant
m – Henry Jackman
ed – Richard Pearson
cos – Mary E. Vogt

p – Alex Garcia, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent

Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John C. Reilly, Terry Notary, Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, John Goodman, Thomas Mann, Shea Whigham, John Ortiz

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Logan", "Miss Sloane", "Wiener-Dog", "Three", "Silence"

by
Julien Faddoul













Logan **

In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.
Psychotically violent, and altogether emphatically R-rated conclusion of the Wolverine franchise, exploring themes of retirement and withdrawal. Much of the action is dynamically staged (with a clear inspiration being the critical success of Mad Max: Fury Road). Jackman cements his creation as probably the most extensively weighty of the modern-day superhero portrayals.

d – James Mangold
w – Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green
ph – John Mathieson
pd – François Audouy
m – Marco Beltrami
ed – Michael McCusker
cos – Daniel Orlandi

p – Hutch Parker, Lauren Shuler Donner, Simon Kinberg

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Richard E. Grant, Doris Morgado, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Eriq La Salle, Elise Neal

Monday, 27 February 2017

The Top 20 Scenes of the Year

by
Julien Faddoul

This list is presented alphabetically until the top 3.








Arrival
First Contact






Cameraperson
Hunstville, Alabama





Finding Dory
Shells







Hail, Caesar!
Would That it Were So Simple






Indignation
Dean Caudwell's Office







Kubo and the Two Strings
Compassion and Forgiveness







La La Land
A Lovely Night







The Lobster
The Wrath of the Heartless Woman







Manchester by the Sea
Patrick’s Panic Attack







Moana
You’re Welcome







Moana
The Heart of Tafiti







Moonlight
A Blunt at the Beach







Star Trek Beyond
Abandon the Enterprise







Sully
Cactus 1549







20th Century Women
Menstruation







Weiner
Borough Park Bakery







The Witch
Caleb Possessed







American Honey
We Found Love







Jackie
Camelot







OJ: Made in America
Bill Hodgman Describes What Most Likely Happened in Brentwood at 12:10am on June 13, 1994





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