Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Crisp Criticism - "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug", "Saving Mr Banks", "All is Lost", "Philomena", "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"

Julien Faddoul

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug *

The Hobbit, the dwarves and the wizard all continue their journey to get their gold back from Smaug the dragon.
Superior to the first film only in detail and window-dressing. Otherwise, it remains, like its predecessor, a padded mess. What’s so frustrating is how easily fixable Jackson’s problem is.

d – Peter Jackson
w – Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro   (Based on the Novel by J.R.R. Tolkien)
ph – Andrew Lesnie
pd – Dan Hennah
m – Howard Shore
ed – Jabez Olssen
cos – Richard Taylor, Bob Buck, Ann Maskrey

p – Carolynne Cunningham, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Zane Weiner

Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Stephen Fry, Graham McTavish, Ken Stott, Aidan Turner, Dean O'Gorman, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Cate Blanchett, Mikael Persbrandt

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Crisp Criticism - "Frozen", "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", "Out of the Furnace", "Don Jon", "20 Feet from Stardom"

Julien Faddoul

Frozen **

An ice salesman and a Norwegian princess journey through snowy mountains to find her sister who has frozen their entire kingdom.
A seductively indirect representation of imposed heterosexuality surrounds this gorgeous Disney adaptation of the Anderson tale (of which very little is actually used). It suffers from its otherwise conventional plot and weak songs.

d – Chris Buck, Jennier Lee
w – Jennifer Lee   (Based on the Story by Hans Christian Anderson)
ad – Michael Giaimo
m – Christophe Beck
m/ly – Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
ed – Jeff Draheim

p – Peter Del Vecho

Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk, Ciarán Hinds, Chris Williams

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blue is the Warmest Color (2013/France/Belgium/Spain)

Julien Faddoul

** (2 stars – above average viewing)

d – Abdellatif Kechiche
w – Abdellatif Kechiche, Ghalia Lacroix   (Based on the Comic Book by Julie Maroh)
ph – Sofian El Fani
ad – Julia Lemaire
ed – Sophie Brunet, Ghalia Lacroix, Albertine Lastera, Jean-Marie Lengelle, Camille Toubkis

p – Abdellatif Kechiche, Brahim Chioua, Vincent Maraval

Cast: Adele Exarchopoulos, Lea Seydoux, Salim Kechiouche, Aurélien Recoing, Catherine Salee, Anne Loiret, Benoît Pilot

Mainstream society is currently at the point with homosexuality where, after all the arguments and politics and bylaws and moralizing, we have surmised what was always the inevitable: that it is just as limiting as heterosexuality. Therefore, a relationship drama involving two women would need to be about something more than just that, especially one that is 179 minutes long.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

American Hustle (2013/US)

Julien Faddoul

* (1 star - Average viewing)

d – David O. Russell
w – Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell
ph – Linus Sandgren
pd – Judy Becker
m – Danny Elfman
ed – Alan Baumgarten, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers
cos – Michael Wilkinson

p – Megan Ellison, Jonathan Gordon, Charles Roven, Richard Suckle

Cast: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C.K., Jack Huston, Michael Pena, Shea Wingham, Alessandro Nivola, Elisabeth Rohm

Years ago, while helping her search for a photo frame, my grandmother showed me a photograph of an uncle of mine whom I had never seen. After briefly scanning the photo, I somewhat nonchalantly said: “I have his eyes”. Without missing a beat or even turning her head, my grandmother said: “I know”. People often surmise that the heart is filled with significance that the mind can’t fully understand, but really it is the other way around. There is so much disarray, both hidden and bare, in every single adult’s life that it’s shocking when the mind can construct a thought that is even remotely sound. Sometimes we even shock ourselves with how much we know.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Crisp Criticism - "Oldboy", "Kill Your Darlings", "This is Martin Bonner", "Faust", "Laurence Anyways"

Julien Faddoul


A former advertiser vows revenge after being kidnapped and unjustly imprisoned for 20 years.
A complete piece of mediocrity: an American remake of a stylish Korean thriller with its director butchering every opportunity. Not only does the plot now seem completely indiscriminate but also, in English, it’s puerile with no tone whatsoever.

d – Spike Lee
w – Mark Protosevich   (Based on the Manga by Garon Tsuchiya, Nobuaki Minegishi)
ph – Sean Bobbitt
pd – Sharon Seymour
m – Roque Banos
ed – Barry Alexander Brown
cos – Ruth E. Carter

p – Doug Davison, Roy Lee, Spike Lee

Cast: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Imperioli, Pom Klementieff, James Ransone, Max Casella, Linda Emond