Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Crisp Criticism - "Furious 7", "Get Hard", "Cinderella"

Julien Faddoul

Furious 7 *

Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for the death of his brother.
A once singular series of films have in their recent installments becomes frustratingly systematized by the Hollywood cinema that surrounds them. Its 7th episode remains intermittently thrilling when not dealing with cheap proverbial character-turns or its rather poor villain.

d – James Wan
w – Chris Morgan
ph – Marc Spicer, Stephen F. Windon
pd – Bill Brzeski
m – Brian Tyler
ed – Leigh Folsom Boyd, Dylan Highsmith, Kirk M. Morri, Christian Wagner
cos – Sanja Milkovic Hays

p – Vin Diesel, Michael Fottrell, Neal H. Moritz

Cast: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Paul Walker, Lucas Black, Michelle Rodriguez, Kurt Russell, Elsa Pataky, Jordana Brewster, Ronda Rousey, Djimon Hounsou, Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuel, Iggy Azalea, Tony Jaa, Shad Moss, Ludacris

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Crisp Criticism - "Home", "The Divergent Series: Insurgent", "Run All Night"

Julien Faddoul

Home **

A fugitive Boov (an alien race that has taken over the Earth) and a young American girl put their prejudices aside to find the girl’s mother.
An admirable if unsuccessful film: Queerly plotted, it gingerly explores notions of asylum and national security while providing characters and situations that never rise above the derivative. As per usual with DreamWorks, the animation is exquisite.

d – Tim Johnson
w – Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember   (Based on the Book by Adam Rex)
pd – Kathy Altieri
m – Lorne Balfe, Stargate
ed – Nick Fletcher

p – Mireille Soria, Suzanne Buirgy, Christopher Jenkins

Cast: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez

The Divergent Series: Insurgent

The Divergent girl must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance that threatens to tear her society apart.
Endless, shapeless film with no aesthetic singularity to make any of its mythology appealing. Once again, we have to deal with a central character whose deemed exceptional yet spends the film constantly sulking about that fact.

d – Robert Schwentke
w – Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman, Mark Bomback   (Based on the Novel by Veronica Roth)
ph – Florian Ballhaus
pd – Alec Hammond
m – Joseph Trapanese
ed – Stuart Levy, Nancy Richardson
cos – Louise Mingenbach

p – Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher, Pouya Shahbazian

Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, Naomi Watts, Maggie Q, Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Zoë Kravitz, Ray Stevenson, Octavia Spencer, Suki Waterhouse, Rosa Salazar, Daniel Dae Kim, Mekhi Phifer, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Tony Goldwyn, Ashley Judd, Keiynan Lonsdale, Emjay Anthony

Run All Night *

A mobster and hit man has one night to figure out where his loyalties lie involving his estranged son and his best friend who blames him for the death of his own son.
Slick, engaging action film with a frustrating plot that makes no sense.

d – Jaume Collet-Serra
w – Brad Ingelsby
ph – Martin Ruhe
pd – Sharon Seymour
m – Junkie XL
ed – Dirk Westervelt
cos – Catherine Marie Thomas

p – Roy Lee, Michael Tadross, Brooklyn Weaver

Cast: Liam Neeson, Joel Kinnaman, Génesis Rodríguez, Ed Harris, Vincent D'Onofrio, Common, Boyd Holbrook, Holt McCallany, James Martinez, John Cenatiempo, Beau Knapp, Bruce McGill, Malcolm Goodwin


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Crisp Criticism - "Chappie", "Focus", "Unfinished Business", "Jupiter Ascending"

Julien Faddoul


In the near future, crime is patrolled by a mechanized police force. When one police droid is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself.
Irritating, ridiculous sci-fi drama that seems to be investigating the influence of parenthood while stuffing itself with incompetent action, moronic characters and bad acting.

d – Neill Blomkamp
w – Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
ph – Trent Opaloch
pd – Jules Cook
m – Hans Zimmer
ed – Julian Clarke, Mark Goldblatt
cos – Diana Cilliers

p – Simon Kinberg

Cast: Sharlto Copley, Ninja, Yolandi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver, Hugh Jackman


A veteran grifter takes a young, attractive woman under his wing, but things get complicated when they become romantically involved.
Slack grifting film that brings nothing new. Pretty dull.

wd – Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
ph – Xavier Grobet
pd – Beth Mickle
m – Nick Urata
ed – Jan Kovac
cos – Dayna Pink

p – Denise Di Novi

Cast: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro, Robert Taylor, Gerald McRaney

Unfinished Business

A hard working small business owner and his two associates travel to Europe to close the most important deal of their lives.
Unfunny comedy; beyond embarrassing.

d – Ken Scott
w – Steve Conrad
ph – Oliver Stapleton
pd – Luca Tranchino
m – Alex Wurman
ed – Jon Poll, Michael Tronick
cos – David C. Robinson

p – Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Anthony Katagas, Arnon Milchan, Steve Tisch

Cast: Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco, Sienna Miller, June Diane Raphael

Jupiter Ascending

A young woman discovers her destiny as an heiress of intergalactic nobility and must fight to protect the inhabitants of Earth from an ancient and destructive industry.
An incredibly annoying film: Ugly and soulless from a directing team who love to profess originality and whimsy. In reality, every idea or situation the film offers is stolen from something else.

wd – The Wachowskis
ph – John Toll
pd – Hugh Bateup
m – Michael Giacchino
ed – Alexander Berner
cos – Kym Barrett

p – Grant Hill, Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski

Cast: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton, Nikki Amuka-Bird