Sunday, 29 December 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

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

A nervous magazine photo editor who suffers from constant daydreams embarks on an adventure when a negative goes missing.
Old-fashioned and rather bad film; inept in most departments with the occasional show-stopping moment. Stiller’s heart is evident but shorthanded.

d – Ben Stiller
w – Steve Conrad   (Based on the Short Story by James Thurber)
ph – Stuart Dryburgh
pd – Jeff Mann
m – Theodore Shaprio
ed – Greg Hayden
cos – Sarah Edwards

p – Ben Stiller, Stuart Cornfeld, Samuel Goldwyn Jr, John Goldwyn

Cast: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Jon Daly, Kathrtyn Hahn, Terence Bernie Hines, Adam Scott, Shirley Maclaine, Paul Fitzgerald, Grace Rex

Out of the Furnace *

An impoverished man takes the law into his own hands when his brother mysteriously disappears.
Bland and flaccid melodrama made interesting only for its frequent dips into grim and misery. It buckles under its own weight almost instantly.

d – Scott Cooper
w – Scott Cooper, Brad Ingelsby
ph – Masanobu Takayanagi
pd – Therese DePrez
m – Dickon Hinchliffe
ed – David Rosenbloom
cos – Kurt and Bart

p – Michael Costigan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Kavanaugh, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Ridley Scott, Tony Scott

Cast: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker. Willem Dafoe, Sam Shepard

Don Jon *

A New Jersey brute dedicated to his family, friends, and church, works through his pornography addiction.
Funny, well played but slight macho-comedy that can’t help but wear every thematic device it unleashes on its sleeve.

wd – Joseph Gordon-Levitt
ph – Thomas Kloss
pd – Meghan C. Rogers
m – Nathan Johnson
ed – Lauren Zuckerman
cos – Leah Katznelson

p – Ram Bergman

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Rob Brown, Glenne Headley, Brie Larson, Tony Danza

20 Feet from Stardom **

Documentary on the careers of some of America’s most prolific backup singers.
Irresistible subject matter and colorful examinees carry most of this documentary through its cinematic indifference.

d – Morgan Neville
ph – Nicola Marsh, Graham Willoughby
ed – Douglas Blush, Kevin Klauber, Jason Zeldes

p – Morgan Neville, Gil Friesen, Caitrin Rogers

Cast: Darlene Love, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Táta Vega, Jo Lawry, Stevvi Alexander, Lou Adler, Patti Austin, Chris Botti, Sheryl Crow, Mick Jagger, Gloria Jones, David Lasley, Claudia Lennear, Lynn Mabry, Bette Midler, Janice Pendarvis, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Stevie Wonder

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