Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Crisp Criticism - "Sicario", "The Intern", "London Road"

Julien Faddoul

Sicario **

A young female FBI agent joins a secret CIA operation to take down a Mexican cartel boss.
Disturbing, at times exemplary thriller with a myriad of anxiety and some chilling understated performances. Its politics will irk some, for its outlook is bleak and its narrative too thin to carry the weight of its argumentation.

d – Denis Villeneuve
w – Taylor Sheridan
ph – Roger Deakins
pd – Patrice Vermette
m – Johann Johannsson
ed – Joe Walker
cos – Renee April

p – Basil Iwanyk, Thad Luckinbill, Trent Luckinbill, Edward McDonnell, Molly Smith

Cast: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Daniel Kaluuya, Jon Bernthal, Maximiliano Hernández, Raoul Trujillo, Lora Martinez-Cunningham, Jeffrey Donovan, Victor Garber, Dylan Kenin, Sarah Minnich, Matthew Page, Kaelee Vigil

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Crisp Criticism - "Pan", "Everest", "The Visit"

Julien Faddoul


The story of an orphan boy who is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland.
Campy, shrill, stolid and claustrophobic origin story to the J.M. Barrie character, with its director once again exhibiting his aesthetic fetishism with little cinematic instinct.

d – Joe Wright
w – Jason Fuchs   (Based on the Character by J.M. Barrie)
ph – John Mathieson, Seamus McGarvey
pd – Aline Bonetto
m – John Powell
ed – William Hoy, Paul Tothill
cos – Jacqueline Durran

p – Paul Webster, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter

Cast: Levi Miller, Rooney Mara, Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Garrett Hedlund, Nonso Anozie, Kathy Burke, Cara Delevingne, Paul Kaye, Emerald Fennell

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Crisp Criticism - "American Ultra", "Pixels", "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials", "Jauja"

Julien Faddoul

American Ultra ***

A stoner and his girlfriend's sleepy, small-town existence is disrupted when a government operation sets to wipe him out.
A film with a lot to dislike: Murkily shot, absurdly plotted, blaringly shrill and thoroughly violent; as an action thriller it’s hardly cogent, stealing what it can from other films and unraveling twists in a frustrating manner. But as a romance, it's one of the most audacious, compassionate films of recent times, startlingly conveying the solitary love between a man and a woman and all its imperatives with two superb, perfectly cast leads. Despite its grotesquery, it penetrates one’s energy with a vivacity that seems timeless and will likely not be appreciated until many years from now. Make of it what you will.

d – Nima Nourizadeh
w – Max Landis
ph – Michael Bonvillain
pd – Richard Bridgland
m – Marcelo Zarvos
ed – Andrew Marcus, Bill Pankow
cos – David C. Robinson

p – David Alpert, Anthony Bregman, Kevin Scott Frakes, Britton Rizzio, Raj Brinder Singh

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Topher Grace, Tony Hale, John Leguizamo, Walton Goggins, Connie Britton, Bill Pullman, Michael Papajohn, Monique Ganderton

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015/US)

Julien Faddoul

*** (3 stars)

d – Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
w – Jesse Andrews   (Based on the Novel by Jesse Andrews)
ph – Chung-hoon Chung
pd – Gerald Sullivan
m – Brian Eno, Nico Muhly
ed – David Trachtenberg
cos – Jennifer Eve

p – Dan Fogelman, Jeremy Dawson, Steven M. Rales

Cast: Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Connie Britton, Nick Offerman, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal, Katherine C. Hughes

It is apparently very difficult to deal with a movie that indulges in its characters’ fallibilities. Was it always this way? Negative. But it seems nowadays that movies – including everything from Zero Dark Thirty (2012) to The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) to The Wind Rises (2013) to American Sniper (2014) – are required to answer for things they shouldn’t have to answer for; fulfill desires that they shouldn’t be forced to fulfill. Every time a filmmaker is in any way overt regarding its characters’ perspectives, weird and grotesque discussions occur about the future of social civilization and political progression and other things that have nothing to do with the movie itself, or movies, or the future of the cinema.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Crisp Criticism - "Straight Outta Compton", "A Walk in the Woods", "We Are Your Friends", "Ricki and the Flash", "Heaven Knows What"

Julien Faddoul

Straight Outta Compton

The group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and develops Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.
Overlong, obviously sanitized hagiography with an abundance of sleekness in its first act and cinematic ineptitude by its third. The film ends up relying so heavily on cheesiness and clichés that taking it seriously becomes unfeasible.

d – F. Gary Gray
w – Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus
ph – Matthew Libatique
pd – Shane Valentino
m – Joseph Trapanese
ed – Billy Fox, Michael Tronick
cos – Kelli Jones

p – Matt Alvarez, Scott Bernstein, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, David Engel, F. Gary Gray, Tomica Woods-Wright, Bill Straus

Cast: O'Shea Jackson Jr, Corey Hawkins, Aldis Hodge, Neil Brown Jr, Jason Mitchell, Paul Giamatti