Monday, December 28, 2015

Crisp Criticism - "Steve Jobs", "The End of the Tour", "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip", "Youth", "Listen to Me Marlon"

Julien Faddoul

Steve Jobs ***

Set backstage at three iconic product launches in 1984, 1988 and 1998, Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs finds himself involved an endless stream of unpleasant conversations with people who hate him.
A film with a final 15 minutes that is so horrendously misguided it threatens to ruin what came before. What comes before is a dynamically mounted (albeit very stagey), well-acted piece of razzmatazz. The adverse and inflexible aesthetics of the writer and director is at times jarring, but ultimately this paints a fascinating portrait, however inaccurate, of an admirable monster in a monstrous culture.

d – Danny Boyle
w – Aaron Sorkin   (Based on the Book by Walter Isaacson)
ph – Alwin H. Küchler
pd – Guy Hendrix Dyas
m – Daniel Pemberton
ed – Elliot Graham
cos – Suttirat Anne Larlarb

p – Scott Rudin, Danny Boyle, Guymon Casady, Christian Colson, Mark Gordon

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg, Katherine Waterston, Makenzie Moss, Sarah Snook, Adam Shapiro, John Ortiz, Perla Haney-Jardine

The End of the Tour *

The five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace's groundbreaking novel INFINITE JEST.
More or less an excuse for its two leads to show off, providing intermittent pleasures through scholarly conversation.

d – James Ponsoldt
w – Donald Margulies   (Based on the Book by David Lipsky)
ph – Jakob Ihre
pd – Gerald Sullivan
m – Danny Elfman
ed – Darrin Navarro
cos – Emma Potter

p – James Dahl, Matt DeRoss, David Kanter, Mark C. Manuel, Ted O’Neal

Cast: Jason Segel, Jesse Eisenberg, Anna Chlumsky, Mamie Gummer, Joan Cusack, Ron Livingston, Mickey Sumner

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

Through a series of misunderstandings, Alvin, Simon and Theodore come to believe that Dave is going to propose to his new girlfriend in New York City - and dump them. They have three days to get to him and stop the proposal.
As unappealing as you’d expect. Even the most insubordinate of children deserve lighter punishment than this.

d – Walt Becker
w – Randi Mayem Singer, Adam Sztykiel   (Based on the Characters by Ross Bagdasarian, Janice Karman)
pd – Richard Holland
m – Mark Mothersbaugh
ed – Ryan Folsey
cos – Mary Claire Hannan

p – Ross Bagdasarian, Janice Karman

Cast: Jason Lee, Justin Long, Bella Thorne, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Kaley Cuoco, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Anna Faris, Christina Applegate, Laura Marano, Tony Hale, Jesica Ahlberg, Dennise Renae Larson, Leticia Jimenez, Kevin Wayne, Joshua Mikel, Josh Green

Youth *

A retired orchestra conductor is on holiday with his daughter and his film director best friend in the Alps when he receives an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to perform for Prince Philip's birthday.
Haphazard mix of anecdotal footnotes and Felliniesque segues that carry little weight outside of general visual splendor.

wd – Paolo Sorrentino
ph – Luca Bigazzi
pd – Ludovica Ferrario
m – David Lang
ed – Cristiano Travaglioli
cos – Carlo Poggioli

p – Carlotta Calori, Francesca Cima, Nicola Giuliano

Cast: Michael Caine, Rachel Weisz, Harvey Keitel, Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Mădălina Diana Ghenea, Poppy Corby-Tuech

Listen to Me Marlon **

With exclusive access to his unseen and unheard personal archive including hundreds of hours of audio recorded over the course of his life, Marlon Brando chronicles his own story in his own voice.
Though less innovative than one might originally suspect, this is quite an engrossing piece of film editing, especially to anyone invested in the man himself or the craft of acting.

wd – Steven Riley
w – Steven Riley, Peter Ettedgui
ed – Steven Riley

p – John Battsek, George Chignell, RJ. Cutler

Cast: Marlon Brando

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