Thursday, April 30, 2015

Crisp Criticism - "The Last Five Years", "Phoenix", "Actress"

Julien Faddoul

The Last Five Years

A struggling actress and her novelist lover each illustrate the struggle and deconstruction of their love affair.
An abysmal, clumsily filmed version of the stage musical that does nothing but heighten the source material’s flaws.

wd – Richard LaGravenese   (Based on the Musical by Jason Robert Brown)
ph – Steven Meizler
pd – Michael Fitzgerald
m – Jason Robert Brown
ed – Sabine Hoffmann
cos – Ciera Wells

p – Janet Brenner, Kurt Deutsch, Richard LaGravenese, Lauren Versel

Cast: Anna Kendrick, Jeremy Jordan, Meg Hudson, Natalie Knepp, Cat Lynch

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Crisp Criticism - "The Age of Adaline", "Unfriended", "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2", "The Duke of Burgundy"

Julien Faddoul

The Age of Adaline *

After a 29-year-old woman recovers from a nearly lethal accident, she inexplicably stops growing older.
Despite engrossing moments, this romantic fantasy is clearly solely designed to show off its star, whose abilities rarely rise above the competent.

d – Lee Toland Krieger
w – J. Mills Goodloe, Salvador Paskowitz
ph – David Lanzenberg
pd – Claude Pare
m – Rob Simonsen
ed – Melissa Kent
cos – Angus Strathie

p – Sidney Kimmel, Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg

Cast: Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Harrison Ford, Ellen Burstyn, Kathy Baker, Amanda Crew, Lynda Boyd, Hugh Ross, Richard Harmon, Fulvio Cecere, Anjali Jay, Hiro Kanagawa, Peter J. Gray, Izabel Pearce, Cate Richardson, Jane Craven

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015/US)

Julien Faddoul

** (2 stars)

wd – Joss Whedon   (Based on the Comic Book by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby)
ph – Ben Davies
pd – Charles Wood
m – Brian Tyler, Danny Elfman
ed – Jeffrey Ford, Lisa Lassek
cos – Alexandra Byrne

p – Kevin Feige

Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, Samuel L. Jackson, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron-Taylor Johnson, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Don Cheadle, Thomas Krestchmann, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Anthony Mackie, Stellan Skarsgard, Claudia Kim, Julie Delpy, Linda Cardellini, Andy Serkis

It’s difficult to subject Avengers: Age of Ultron to any kind of criticism without viewing it within the cinematic quicksand of superhero films that have swallowed Hollywood ideation. All Hollywood movies are now about superheroes whether it is explicitly stated or not. Many sequences in this particular film feel burden-laden. But is this a reaction to the film in question or to the culture that surrounds it?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Crisp Criticism - "The Longest Ride", "The Gunman", "Hot Tub Time Machine 2", "Last Knights"

Julien Faddoul

The Longest Ride

The lives of a young couple intertwine with a much older man as he reflects back on a lost love while he's trapped in an automobile crash.
Typical Nicholas Sparks hogwash, this time involving Bull Riding and implausible love letters. Lifeless beyond belief.

d – George Tillman Jr
w – Craig Bolotin   (Based on the Novella by Nicholas Sparks)
ph – David Tattersall
pd – Mark Garner
m – Mark Isham
ed – Jason Ballantine
cos – Marry Claire Hannan

p – Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, Theresa Park, Nicholas Sparks

Cast: Britt Robertson, Scott Eastwood, Alan Alda, Jack Huston, Oona Chaplin, Lolita Davidovich