Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Crisp Criticism - "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising", "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot", "Midnight Special", "The Man Who Knew Infinity"

Julien Faddoul

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

A sorority moves in next door to the home of a couple that have a young child. They enlist their former nemeses from the fraternity to help battle the raucous sisters.
Another mean-spirited comedy that thinks it has something to say on feminism. The fact that mainstream Hollywood comedies have become this nauseatingly sanctimonious says more about our state of current cultural modification than the battle of the sexes ever will.

d – Nicholas Stoller   
w –  Andrew J. Cohen, Brendan O'Brien, Nicholas Stoller, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
ph – Brandon Trost
pd – Theresa Guleserian
m – Michael Andrews
ed – Zene Baker, Peck Prior, Michael A. Webber   
cos – Leesa Evans

p – James Weaver, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

Cast: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Kiersey Clemons, Beanie Feldstein, Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz, Lisa Kudrow, Carla Gallo, Billy Eichner, Selena Gomez, Jordanne Calvin, Dennise Renae Larson, Taryn Jones, Tara Bowles, Cameron Dallas

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot *

A journalist recounts her wartime coverage in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Amusing comedy that skates over the surface of the political and military shenanigans it attempts to satirize without cutting quite deep enough.

d – Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
w – Robert Carlock   (Based on the Book by Kim Barker)
ph – Xavier Grobet
pd – Beth Mickle
m – Nick Urata
ed – Jan Kovac
cos – Lisa Lovaas

p – Lorne Michaels, Tina Fey, Ian Bryce

Cast: Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Josh Charles, Alfred Molina, Christopher Abbott, Nicholas Braun, Sheila Vand

Midnight Special **

A father and son go on the run, pursued by the government and a cult drawn to the child's special powers.
Its director’s most mature film to date: Tense, Spielbergian sci-fi/road movie that does a striptease with information that remains, for the most part, gripping. What it lacks in novelty, it redresses with vigor and excellent performances.

wd – Jeff Nichols
ph – Adam Stone
pd – Chad Keith
m – David Wingo
ed – Julie Monroe
cos – Erin Benach

p – Sarah Green, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones

Cast: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Jaeden Lieberher, Sam Shepard, Bill Camp

The Man Who Knew Infinity

Growing up poor in Madras, India, Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar earns admittance to Cambridge University during WWI, where he becomes a pioneer in mathematical theories with the guidance of his professor, G.H. Hardy.
Wholly unsatisfactory retelling of its subject’s life with most details manifesting simply out of biographical obligation. Dull and stilted from beginning to end.

wd – Matthew Brown   (Based on the Book by Robert Kanigel)
ph – Larry Smith
pd – Luciana Arrighi, Rajeevan Nambiar
ed – JC Bond
cos – Ann Maskrey

p – Edward R. Pressman, Jim Young, Joe Thomas

Cast: Jeremy Irons, Dev Patel, Toby Jones, Stephen Fry, Jeremy Northam, Kevin McNally, Enzo Cilenti, Shazad Latif, Pádraic Delaney