Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Crisp Criticism - "Palo Alto", "Draft Day", "Coherence", "The One I Love"

Julien Faddoul

Palo Alto **

Stories of lust and boredom that take place in a Palo Alto high school.
Encompassing, nomadic drama of Californian High School life that is not altogether unfamiliar given the last name of the director. Ironically, it falters not from being too nebulous, but from being too conspicuous.

wd – Gia Coppola   (Based on the Short Stories by James Franco)
ph – Autumn Durald
pd – Sara Beckum Jamieson  
ed – Leo Scott  
cos – Courtney Hoffman

p – Vince Jolivette, Miles Levy, Sebastian Pardo, Adriana Rotaru

Cast: Emma Roberts, Jack Kilmer, Nat Wolff, James Franco, Zoe Levin, Val Kilmer, Keegan Allen, Margaret Qualley, Chris Messina

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Crisp Criticism - "The Hundred-Foot Journey", "A Most Wanted Man", "And So It Goes", "The Expendables 3", "The Maid's Room"

Julien Faddoul

The Hundred-Foot Journey

An Indian family clashes with a proprietress of a celebrated French restaurant after they open their own nearby eatery.
Another piece of manipulative creamy soup from Hallstrom with characters that are more stale than usual.

d – Lasse Hallstrom
w – Steven Knight   (Based on the Book by Richard C. Morais)
ph – Linus Sandgren
pd – David Gropman
m – A.R. Rahman
ed – Andrew Mondshein
cos – Pierre-Yves Gayraud

p – Juliet Blake, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey

Cast: Helen Mirran, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon, Amit Shah, Farzana Dua Elahe

Monday, August 11, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014/US)

Julien Faddoul

** (2 stars)

d – James Gunn
w – James Gunn, Nicole Perlman   (Based on the Comic Book by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning)
ph – Ben Davis
pd – Charles Wood
m – Tyler Bates
ed – Fred Raskin, Hughes Winborne, Craig Wood
cos – Alexandra Byrne

p – Kevin Feige

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldahna, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Laura Haddock, Sean Gunn, Peter Serafinowicz

With the exception of The Avengers, I have found every film from Marvel Studios to be a toiling experience. A sweaty one, thrown into the pressure of knowing all the answers and acquiring every allusion or feeling bad if I don’t. Devotees either can’t believe anyone wouldn’t consider these the pinnacle of cinematic paragons or gripe with what isn’t there instead of griping with what is.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Lucy (2014/US/France)

Julien Faddoul

** (2 Stars)

wd – Luc Besson
m – Eric Serra
ph – Thierry Arbogast
pd – Hugues Tissandier
cos – Olivier Bériot

p – Virginie Silla-Besson

Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi, Amr Waked, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Pilou Asbæk, Analeigh Tipton, Nicolas Phongpheth

Lucy is not the kind of movie that should be examined lightly. Even if it has a premise as ludicrous and over-calculated as this one. By which I mean, one can detect the pulpiness of the material and organize their mind accordingly. I would accept the response of anyone who disliked the film on those grounds alone, but there's something quite brilliant about Luc Besson’s latest film that paradoxically can only exist adjacent to the silliness.