Sunday, 7 July 2013

Crisp Criticism - "Monsters University", "Epic", "Man of Steel", "The Purge", "World War Z", "Violet & Daisy"

Julien Faddoul

Monsters University **

Before they were employed by Monsters Inc, Mike Wazowski and James Sullivan met at university.
A film with a host of problems: it takes at least 40 minutes to get going and ends up in a place the studio has been to many times before; opportunities are disregarded, characters are bungled, the animation is too busy and the story is too monopolized. Despite all of this, there is coquettish fun to the proceedings that keeps one invested. It works in spite of itself.

d – Dan Scanlon
w – Dan Scanlon, Daniel Gerson, Robert L. Baird
pd – Ricky Nierva
m – Randy Newman
ed – Greg Snyder

p – Kori Rae

Cast: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Joel Murray, Sean Hayes, Dave Foley, Peter Sohn, Charlie Day, Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina, Nathan Fillion, Aubrey Plaza, Tyler Labine, John Krasinski, Bonnie Hunt, John Ratzenberger

Epic *

A teenager finds herself transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil is taking place.
Miyazaki-esque animated feature that is meticulous in its utter indifference. Wedge relies mostly on 21st century cinematic idioms (the good and the bad) instead of the grown-up charm that he introduced himself with.

d – Chris Wedge
w – James V. Hart, William Joyce, Daniel Shere, Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember, Chris Wedge   (Based on the Book by William Joyce)
ph – Renato Falcao
pd – Greg Couch, William Joyce
m – Danny Elfman
ed – Andy Keir

p – Jerry Davis, Lori Forte

Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O'Dowd, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler, Beyoncé Knowles

Man of Steel

A young itinerant worker is forced to confront his secret extra-terrestrial heritage when Earth is invaded by members of his race.
Agonisingly stupid; full of boneheaded choices that only $250 million can muster.

d – Zack Snyder
w – David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan   (Based on the Comic Book by Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster)
ph – Amir Mokri
pd – Alex McDowell
m – Hans Zimmer
ed – David Brenner
cos – James Acheson, Michael Wilkinson

p – Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Emma Thomas

Cast: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Russell Crowe, Antje Traue, Harry Lennix, Richard Schiff, Christopher Meloni, Laurence Fishburne, Ayelet Zurer

The Purge

During the Purge, a 12-hour period in which any and all crime is legalized, a family is held hostage for harbouring the target of a murderous syndicate.
Absurd psychological thriller/horror/shocker with far too much expertise expended upon it than the premise deserves.

wd – James DeMonaco
ph – Jacques Jouffret
pd – Melanie Jones
m – Nathan Whitehead
ed – Peter Gvozdas
cos – Lisa Norcia

p – Michael Bay, Jason Blum, Andrew Form, Bradley Fuller, Sebastien Lemercier

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Edwin Hodge

World War Z

A United Nations employee traverses the world to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.
Episodic, dull and totally incomprehensible: In comparison to the book, only the title remains and Forster does everything in his power to remove anything scary or interesting about zombies. The 3D is ruinous and physically painful.

d – Marc Forster
w – Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, Damon Lindelof, J. Michael Straczynski   (Based on the Novel by Max Brooks)
ph – Ben Seresin
pd – Nigel Phelps
m – Marco Beltrami
ed – Roger Barton, Matt Chesse
cos – Mayes C. Rubeo

p – Ian Bryce, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Brad Pitt

Cast: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Ludi Boeken, Matthew Fox, Fana Mokoena, David Morse, Elyes Gabel

Violet & Daisy

Two teenage assassins accept what they think will be a quick-and-easy job, until an unexpected target throws them off their plan.
Arty, hollow and god-awful; constantly confuses sour with bitter. It will probably dissolve back into the cloud of obscurity from whence it came.

wd – Geoffrey Fletcher
ph – Vanja Cernjul
pd – Patrizia von Brandenstein
ed – Joe Klotz
cos – Jenny Gering

p – Geoffrey Fletcher, John Penotti, Bonnie Timmermann

Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Alexis Bledel, Danny Trejo, James Gandolfini, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Cody Horn

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