Thursday, April 28, 2016

Crisp Criticism - "The Boss", "Mother's Day", "The Divergent Series: Allegiant: Part 1", "Eddie the Eagle"

Julien Faddoul

The Boss

A titan of industry is sent to prison after she's caught insider trading. When she emerges, she attempts to rebrand herself as America's latest sweetheart.
Dim, illogical comedy that devotes all its time to jokes that are either inconsistent or contradictory. Another failure by its star to combine the temperaments of sadness and slapstick.

d – Ben Falcone
w – Ben Falcone, Steve Mallory, Melissa McCarthy
ph – Julio Macat
pd – Rusty Smith
m – Christopher Lennertz
ed – Craig Alpert
cos – Wendy Chuck

p – Will Ferrell, Adam McKay

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Peter Dinklage, Kristen Bell, Kathy Bates, Kristen Schaal, Cecily Strong, Margo Martindale, Tyler Labine, Parker Young

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Jungle Book (2016/US)

Julien Faddoul

** (2 stars)

d – Jon Favreau
w – Justin Marks   (Based on the Book by Rudyard Kipling)
ph – Bill Pope
pd – Christopher Glass, Abhijeet Mazumder 
m – John Debney
ed – Mark Livolsi
cos – Laura Jean Shannon

p – Brigham Taylor, Jon Favreau

Cast: Neel Sethi, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken, Bill Murray, Giancarlo Esposito, Garry Shandling

Someone close to me recently was relaying how devastated he felt at the beginning of Tarzan (1999) when Kala the Gorilla’s baby was eaten to death by the leopard Sabor. He said “You feel so bad that this woman lost her child”, at which point I corrected him and said “You mean gorilla, right?” The art of animated anthropomorphization is, when done well, utterly astounding and although my friend may have just made a mental slip, it is, I think, a rather telling one.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Crisp Criticism - "Kung Fu Panda 3", "The Huntsman: Winter’s War", "Eye in the Sky"

Julien Faddoul

Kung Fu Panda 3 **

Continuing his Kung Fu journey, Po must face two threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to his home.
Clearly the weakest of the series so far: Its adherence to mainstream comedy over intricate mythology disappoints after the elegance of the first two films. This is no doubt the result of the studio's recent corporate restructure. And the plot's awkward movement is also frustrating coming from this specific crew. But the action scenes are just too fun and the animation (much of which is hand-drawn) is just too gorgeous.

d – Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Alessandro Carloni
w – Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger
pd – Raymond Zibach
m – Hans Zimmer
ed – Clare Knight

p – Melissa Cobb

Cast: Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Seth Rogen, David Cross, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan, Bryan Cranston, JK Simmons, James Hong, Kate Hudson, Randall Duk Kim