Thursday, May 21, 2015

Crisp Criticism - "Spy", "Poltergeist", "When Marnie Was There"

Julien Faddoul

Spy *

A desk-bound CIA analyst volunteers to go undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent diabolical global disaster.
Sarcastic, choppy one-joke comedy that, despite some clever ideas, remains as slackly handled as its director’s previous films.

wd – Paul Feig
ph – Robert D. Yeoman
pd – Jefferson Sage
m – Theodore Shapiro
ed – Melissa Bretherton, Brent White
cos – Christine Bieselin Clark

p – Paul Feig, Peter Chernin, Jessie Henderson, Jenno Topping

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Allison Janney, Bobby Cannavale, Jude Law, Nia Long, 50 Cent, Morena Baccarin, Peter Serafinowicz

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015/US/Australia)

Julien Faddoul

*** (3 stars)

d – George Miller
w – George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris
ph – John Seale
pd – Colin Gibson
m – Junkie XL
ed – Margaret Sixel
cos – Jenny Beaven

p – George Miller, Doug Mitchell, P.J. Voeten

Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, ZoĆ« Kravitz, Riley Keough, Nathan Jones, Adelaide Clemens, Richard Norton, Courtney Eaton, Abbey Lee

"What a day! What a lovely day"! To call Mad Max: Fury Road a miracle is a pretty miserable statement. When a rugged action film that costs $150 million, a sequel made 30 years after it’s previous installment, and is released during the summer isn’t altogether embarrassing or inept, is, in the current cinema, a miracle…well…count your blessings. What’s so illuminating about George Miller’s film is that it isn’t magic at all, but a meticulously constructed piece of cinema made by a group of (intelligent) people, a fact that, when rooted in the film’s presence, seems inconceivable.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Crisp Criticism - "Ex Machina", "Pitch Perfect 2", "Woman in Gold"

Julien Faddoul

Ex Machina *

A young programmer is selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a female robot.
Outrageously overrated science exploration on artificial intelligence and the power/allure of women that, despite establishing its world deftly, offers nothing particularly new and is consistently and frustratingly undercut by arbitrariness throughout.

wd – Alex Garland
ph – Rob Hardy
pd – Mark Digby
m – Geoff Barrow, Ben Salisbury
ed – Mark Day
cos – Sammy Sheldon Differ

p – Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich

Cast: Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac, Sonoya Mizuno

Monday, May 4, 2015

Crisp Criticism - "It Follows", "Tokyo Tribe", "Kumiko the Treasure Hunter"

Julien Faddoul

It Follows ***

A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after getting involved in a sexual encounter.
Although absurd in detail, this is a stressful, ingeniously constructed horror film, creating a palpable sense of unimaginable dread with very little. It also typifies as a brilliant examination of the fear and confusion of adolescent sex.

wd – David Robert Mitchell
ph – Mike Gioulakis
pd – Michael Perry
m – Disasterpeace
ed – Julio Perez
cos – Kimberly Leitz-McCauley

p – Rebecca Green, David Kaplan, Erik Rommesmo, Laura D. Smith

Cast: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe, Bailey Spry, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary