Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Crisp Criticism - "300: Rise of an Empire", "The Monuments Men", "Non-Stop", "3 Days to Kill", "Tracks"

Julien Faddoul

300: Rise of an Empire

Greek general Themistokles leads the charge against invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.
A sequel no one wanted that is even dumber that its predecessor, with stylized violence that is so kitsch it induces lethargy.

d – Noam Murro
w – Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad   (Based on the Graphic Novel by Frank Miller)
ph – Simon Duggan
pd – Patrick Tatopoulos
m – Junkie XL
ed – David Brenner, Wyatt Smith
cos – Alexandra Byrne

p – Marc Canton, Bernie Goldmann, Gianni Nunnari, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Thomas Tull

Cast: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, Callan Mulvey, David Wenham, Rodrigo Santoro, Jack O’Connell

The Monuments Men

An unlikely WWII platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.
Atrocious: Smug, shallow and rather artless in its stand on covering an aspect of culture that was the Holocaust’s “real” victim, a cinematic trend that needs to stop.

d – George Clooney
w – George Clooney, Grant Heslov   (Based on the Book by Robert M. Edsel, Bret Witter)
ph – Phedon Papamichael
pd – James D. Bissell
m – Alexandre Desplat
ed – Stephen Mirrione
cos – Louise Frogley

p – George Clooney, Grant Heslov

Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban, Dimitri Leonidas

Non-Stop *

An Air-Marshal receives a mysterious message claiming that if the government doesn’t transfer $150,000,000 into a secret account, a passenger on his flight will die every 20 minutes.
Pulpy action-thriller that is highly enjoyable in assemblage. It unfortunately suffers from a bone-headed desire to rely and even revel in conventionality, both in plot and detail with a terribly unconvincing plane crash. It is yet another illustrated example of the genre that Neeson’s has made relatively his own.

d – Jaume Collet-Serra
w – John W. Richardson, Christopher Roach, Ryan Engle
ph – Flavio Martinez Labiano
pd – Alec Hammond
m – John Ottman
ed – Jim May
cos – Catherine Marie Thomas

p – Alex Heineman, Andrew Rona, Joel Silver 

Cast: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy, Michelle Dockery, Nate Parker, Corey Stoll, Lupita Nyong’o, Omar Metwally, Jason Butler Harner, Linus Roache, Shea Whigham, Anson Mount

3 Days to Kill

A government hit man with a terminal disease is offered an experimental, life-saving drug in exchange for one last deadly mission.
A foolish undertaking from two men: it’s star, who is clearly trying to emulate Liam Neeson, and it’s director, who at this point should be forbidden from going anywhere near a camera.

d – McG
w – Adi Hasak, Luc Besson
ph – Thierry Arbogast
pd – Jeremy Cassells, Sebastien Inizan
m – Guillaume Roussel
ed – Audrey Simonaud
cos – Olivier Beriot

p – Luc Besson, Adi Hasak, Ryan Kavanaugh, Marc Libert, Virginie Silla

Cast: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen, Thomas Lemarquis, Richard Sammel

Tracks *

A young woman goes on a 1700-mile trek across the deserts of West Australia with her four camels and faithful dog.
Roegesque mood-piece that too often confuses aridity for austerity, despite some affecting moments drawn mostly from its cast.

d – John Curran
w – Marion Nelson   (Based on the Book by Robyn Davidson)
ph – Mandy Walker
pd – Melinda Doring
m – Garth Stevenson
ed – Alexandre de Franceschi
cos – Marriott Kerr

p – Iain Canning, Emile Sherman

Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver

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