Monday, 27 August 2012

Crisp Criticism - "Damsels in Distress", "Celeste and Jesse Forever", "Bernie", "The Pirates! Band of Misfits"

Julien Faddoul

Damsels in Distress (2012/US)   **

A trio of girls set out to change the male-dominated environment of a college campus, and to rescue their fellow students from depression, grunge and low standards of every kind.

Another one of Stillman’s uber-dry delineations of twenty-something intelligence and the arrogance that comes with it. This one works best when it isn’t being too judgmental. 

wd – Whit Stillman
ph – Doug Emmett
pd – Elizabeth J. Jones
m – Mark Suozzo
ed – Andrew Hafitz
cos – Ciera Wells

p – Whit Stillman

Cast: Greta Gerwig, Adam Brody, Analeigh Tipton, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Carrie MacLemore, Hugo Becker, Ryan Metcalf

Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012/US)

A divorcing couple tries to maintain their friendship while they both pursue other people.

An inorganic indie slog with faux-idealistic writing and a cast that thinks every gesture they make and every emotion they propel is gold. 

d – Lee Toland Krieger
w – Rashida Jones, Will McCormack
ph – David Lanzenberg
pd – Ian Phillips
m – Zach Crowie, Sunny Levine
ed – Yana Gorskaya
cos – Julia Caston

p – Lee Nelson, Jennifer Todd, Suzanne Todd

Cast: Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Elijah Wood, Emma Roberts, Eric Christian Olsen, Ari Graynor, Chris Messina, Rich Sommer, Rafi Gavron, Matthew Del Negro

Bernie (2012/US)   **

In small-town Texas, the local, sweet-natured mortician strikes up a friendship with a wealthy widow and then kills her.
Dark comedy based on a true story, filled with Linklater humour; enjoyable before it seeps into redundancy. 

d – Richard Linklater
w – Richard Linklater, Skip Hollandsworth   (Based on the Article by Skip Hollandsworth)
ph – Dick Pope
pd – Bruce Curtis
m – Graham Reynolds
ed – Sandra Adair
cos – Kari Perkins

p – Richard Linklater, Liz Glotzer, David McFadzean, Dete Meserve, Judd Payne, Celine Rattray, Martin Shafer, Ginger Sledge, Matt Williams

Cast: Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, Shirley MacLaine, Rick Dial, Sonny Carl Davis, Brandon Smith

The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012/UK)   *

A pirate captain sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals for the Pirate of the year Award.
Fun and often funny Aardman feature, their second with Sony Pictures Animation, but the wit and charm of their earlier films with Dreamworks Animation is lost.

d – Peter Lord
co-d – Jeff Newitt
w – Gideon Defoe   (Based on the Book by Gideon Defoe)
ph – Frank Passingham
pd – Norman Garwood
m – Theodore Shapiro
ed – Justin Krish

p – Peter Lord, David Sproxton, Julie Lockhart

Cast: Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, David Tennant, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Lenny Henry, Brian Blessed, Russell Tovey, Brendan Gleeson, Ashley Jensen

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