Saturday, 19 May 2012

Crisp Criticism - "Dark Shadows", "What to Expect When You’re Expecting", "The Dictator"

Dark Shadows (US)

An imprisoned vampire is set free and returns to his ancestral home, where his dysfunctional descendants are now living.
Inane, meandering fantasy based on a 60’s soap opera, which offers yet another travelogue of stylised indulgence from its director and star. It implies that Burton is a filmmaker who has lost his nerve.

d – Tim Burton
w – Seth Grahame-Smith, John August   (Based on the TV Series by Dan Curtis)
ph – Bruno Delbonnel
pd – Rick Heinrichs
m – Danny Elfman
ed – Chris Lebenzon
cos – Colleen Atwood

p – Richard D. Zanuck, Christi Dembrowski, Johnny Depp, David Kennedy, Graham King

Cast: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Johnny Lee Miller, Chloe Grace Moretz, Helena Bonham Carter, Bella Heathcote, Gulliver McGrath

What to Expect When You’re Expecting (US)

Interconnected couples experience the ups and downs of having babies.
A thin piece of pastry spread over a thinner cracker. Instead of one effectual story, we get six or seven transparent ones.

d – Kirk Jones
w – Shauna Cross, Heather Hach   (Based on the Book by Heidi Murkoff)
ph – Xavier Perez Grobet
pd – Andrew Laws
m – Mark Mothersbaugh
ed – Michael Berenbaum
cos – Karen Patch

p – Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, David Thwaites

Cast: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Chace Crawford, Brooklyn Decker, Ben Falcone, Anna Kendrick, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock, Rodrigo Santoro, Joe Manganiello, Rob Huebel, Thomas Lennon

The Dictator (US)

Under pressure from the international community to allow open elections and stop murdering his own citizens, an anti-western dictator plans a visit to the United Nations, but when he gets to New York, he is kidnapped, replaced with a body double, and left to be a just a homeless nutcase in Manhattan. 
Another attempt at incredulous satire from its star who, here, abandoning with his previous documentary-style approach, creates a fiction-feature sketch show more akin to parody than satire, with far too few laughs.

d – Larry Charles
w – Sacha Baron Cohen, Alec Berg, David Mandel, Jeff Schaffer
ph – Lawrence Sher
pd – Victor Kempster
m – Erran Baron Cohen
ed – Greg Hayden, Eric Kissack
cos – Jeffrey Kurland

p – Scott Rudin, Sacha Baron Cohen

Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Jason Mantzoukas, Anna Faris, J. B. Smoove, John C. Reilly, B. J. Novak, Chris Elliott

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