Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Crisp Criticism - "The Danish Girl", "Dirty Grandpa", "Rock the Kasbah", "Chi-Raq"

Julien Faddoul

The Danish Girl

The story of Danish painter Einar Wegener, one of the first recipients of gender reassignment surgery.
Overly calculated, badly acted wallow in banal “dignified” contours with virtually nothing about its director’s aesthetic being well suited to the material.

d – Tom Hooper
w – Lucinda Coxon   (Based on the Novel by David Ebershoff)
ph – Danny Cohen
pd – Eve Stewart
m – Alexandre Desplat
ed – Melanie Oliver
cos – Paco Delgado

p – Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Anne Harrison, Tom Hooper, Gail Mutrux

Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Amber Heard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ben Whishaw, Emerald Fennell, Sebastian Koch, Adrian Schiller

Dirty Grandpa

Right before his wedding, an uptight guy is tricked into driving his grandfather, a perverted former Army general, to Florida for spring break.
Purposefully crass comedy with no jokes containing any actual humor.

d – Dan Mazer
w – John Phillips
ph – Eric Alan Edwards
pd – William Arnold
m – Michael Andrews
ed – Anne McCabe
cos – Christie Wittenborn

p – Jason Barrett, Bill Block, Barry Josephson, Michael Simkin

Cast: Zac Efron, Robert De Niro, Julianne Hough, Aubrey Plaza, Dermot Mulroney, Zoey Deutch, Adam Pally, Jason Mantzoukas, Mo Collins, Henry Zebrowski

Rock the Kasbah

A washed-up music producer finds one last shot at redemption with a golden-voiced young girl in Afghanistan.
Misfiring political comedy in desperate need of cinematic invention; the tone veers between slapstick and sentimentality.

d – Barry Levinson
w – Mitch Glazer
ph – Sean Bobbitt
pd – Niels Sejer
m – Marcelo Zarvos
ed – Aaron Yanes
cos – Amine Benkhayi, Deborah Lynn Scott 

p – Steve Bing, Bill Block, Mitch Glazer, Jacob Pechenik, Ethan Smith

Cast: Bill Murray, Zooey Deschanel, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Taylor Kinney, Danny McBride, Scott Caan

Chi-Raq **

A modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes set against the backdrop of gang violence in Chicago.
Formerly, a wonder to behold: the loopy, chaotic yet commanding way Lee mixes his convictions with his cinematic vigor is at times astounding. Of course, the entire thing is unabashed sermonizing (the dialogue is in verse) through political prescience and, at 127 minutes, is a bit sententious. But it never feels anything less than essential. Make of it what you will.

d – Spike Lee
w – Spike Lee, Kevin Willmott   (Based on “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes)
ph – Matthew Libatique
pd – Alex DiGerlando
m – Terrence Blanchard
ed – Ryan Denmark, Hye Mee Na
cos – Ruth E. Carter

p – Spike Lee

Cast: Nick Cannon, Samuel L. Jackson, Teyonah Parris, John Cusack, Jennifer Hudson, Anya Engel-Adams, Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett, Michelle Mitchenor, Ebony Joy, Felicia Pearson, La La Anthony, Val Warner, David Patrick Kelly, Sarunas J. Jackson, Corey Hendrix, Harry Lennix, D. B. Sweeney, Steve Harris, William Gines, Quincy Griffin, Chantley Lorraine Ward, M.J. Carey, Samuel Robinson, Anthony Fitzpatrick, Jackie Taylor, Gina Breedlove, Anthony Chisholm, Darren Jones, George Willborn, Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Lamar Greer, Wade Forrest Wilson, Erica Watson, Latisha Hyman, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Victor Mensah, Natasha Forouzannia, Duane Sharp, Sammy Joe Temple, Emily Boakye Agyemang, Lena Owens, Eric Wilkins, T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh, Erin Allen Kane, Yaneisha Franklin, Tiffany Laos, Dusan Sanford, Al Palagonia, Willie Middleton, Dave Chappelle, Ilfenesh Hadera, Rinska Carrasco

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