Monday, June 30, 2014

Crisp Criticism - "Jersey Boys", "Begin Again", "Frank"

Julien Faddoul

Jersey Boys

A musical biography on Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
Miserable, dreary adaptation of the Broadway hit peppered with its director’s characteristic glibness. What was jaunty and clever on the stage is here, on film, quite the opposite.

d – Clint Eastwood
w – Marshall Brickman, Rick Ellice   (Based on the Musical by Marshall Brickman, Rick Ellice)
ph – Tom Stern
pd – James J. Murakami
ed – Joel Cox, Gary D. Roach
cos – Deborah Hopper

p – Clint Eastwood, Tim Headington, Graham King, Robert Lorenz

Cast: John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza, Christopher Walken, Mike Doyle

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Crisp Criticism - "Transformers: Age of Extinction", "Snowpiercer", "22 Jump Street", "Yves Saint Laurent"

Julien Faddoul

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Optimus Prime calls for all Autobots while hiding in repair within the garage of a Texas inventor.
It is astounding how, in the last 20 years of making movies, Bay has not gained a single ounce of intelligence. This time, he seems to be working in the vain of a denunciation of Republicans, surrounded by his usual dreadful tropes including haphazard fight scenes, unintelligible and/or risible dialogue, demeaning female imagery and illogical plot details (like the casting of Wahlberg as a Texan inventor). At least this time we are spared from Shia Labeouf’s screeching.

d – Michael Bay
w – Ehren Kruger
ph – Amir Mokri
pd – Jeffrey Beecroft
m – Steve Jablonsky
ed – Roger Barton, William Goldenberg, Paul Rubell

p – Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Ian Bryce, Tom DeSanto, Don Murphy

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Titus Welliver, Sophia Myles, Bingbing Li, T.J. Miller, James Bachman, Peter Cullen, Frank Walker, John Goodman, Ken Watanabe, Robert Foxworth, John DiMaggio, Mark Ryan, Reno Wilson

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Crisp Criticism - "The Two Faces of January", "Ilo Ilo", "Borgman", "Mistaken for Strangers"

Julien Faddoul

The Two Faces of January *

A rich conman and his wife are assisted by an American tour guide to flee from Greece after a murder is committed.
Tame adaptation of Highsmith’s novel that is elegant enough but sluggishly handled and, by the end, comatose.

wd – Houssein Amini   (Based on the Novel by Patricia Highsmith)
ph – Marcel Zyskind
pd – Michael Carlin
m – Alberto Iglesias
ed – Nicolas Chaudeurge
cos – Steven Noble

p – Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Robyn Slovo, Tom Sternberg

Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac, Daisy Bevan

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Crisp Criticism - "The Rover", "Enemy", "Tim's Vermeer"

Julien Faddoul

The Rover

Years after a horrific global collapse, an Australian drifter and a wounded American pursue a sadistic band of thieves in the lawless wasteland of Australia.
Howlingly ridiculous mood-piece that is stultifying with its ideas, tone and performances. It is another in the long list of post-modern Australian films that feels the country can’t progress past its criminal origins.

d – David Michod
w – David Michod, Joel Edgerton
ph – Natasha Braier
pd – Josephine Ford
m – Antony Partos
ed – Peter Sciberras
cos – Cappi Ireland

p – David Michod, David Linde, Liz Watts

Cast: Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scott McNairy, Gillian Jones, David Field, Tawanda Manyimo, Anthony Hayes

Monday, June 9, 2014

Crisp Criticism: "How to Train Your Dragon 2", "The Fault in Our Stars", "The Trip to Italy"

Julien Faddoul

How to Train Your Dragon 2 ***

5 years after the events of the first film, the Riders of Berk must deal with a new threat to the dragon race and in the process discover more phenomenal things about them.
Radiant, ravishing animated-film that pleasantly feels independent from its predecessor. It substitutes that film’s soulfulness and humour for serene wisdom. Visually, it is a true beauty to behold. Who could ask for anything more?

wd – Dean DeBlois   (Based on the Book by Cressida Cowell)
pd – Pierre-Olivier Vincent
m – John Powell
ed – John K. Carr

p – Bonnie Arnold

Cast: Jay Burachel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrara, Kit Harington, Djimon Hounsou, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, TJ Miller, Kristin Wiig

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow (2014/US)

Julien Faddoul

*** (3 stars)

d – Doug Liman
w – Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth   (Based on the Novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka)
ph – Dion Beebe
m – Christophe Beck
pd – Oliver Scholl
ed – James Herbert   
cos – Kate Hawley

p – Jason Hoffs, Gregory Jacobs, Tom Lassally, Jeffrey Silver, Erwin Stoff

Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Jonas Armstrong, Tony Way, Kick Gurry, Franz Drameh

To master skill, we repeat. Being forced to do things over and over again may well give us an education, but more importantly it gives us an understanding. It is the understanding that prompts us to keep repeating the repetition. It isn’t that “practice makes perfect”, it’s that practice reduces the imperfection.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Crisp Criticism - "Grace of Monaco", "Under the Skin", "Ida"

Julien Faddoul

Grace of Monaco

Biopic on Grace Kelly during her years as Princess of Monaco.
Cloying and assaulting biopic that reeks of grandiose pomposity from the first frame on. Both the political and Hollywood endeavors are slackly handled.

d – Olivier Dahan  
w – Arash Amel
ph – Eric Gautier
pd – Dan Weil
ed – Olivier Gajan
cos – Gigi Lepage

p – Arash Amel, Pierre-Ange Le Pogam

Cast: Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth, Paz Vega, Milo Ventimiglia, Parker Posey, Derek Jacobi, Frank Langella, Olivier Rabourdin, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Geraldine Somerville, Robert Lindsay, Nicholas Farrell, Jeanne Balibar