Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Crisp Criticism - "X-Men: Apocalypse", "Nina", "Criminal", "Hardcore Henry"

Julien Faddoul

X-Men: Apocalypse

With the emergence of the world's first mutant, Apocalypse, the X-Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan.
Another bland episode in this frustratingly pompous series of films. All the vigor the film offers comes from special effects, rather than character or staging.

d – Bryan Singer
w – Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg, Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris
ph – Newton Thomas Sigel
pd – Grant Major
m – John Ottman
ed – Michael Louis Hill, John Ottman
cos – Louise Mingenbach

p – Lauren Shuler Donner, Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg

Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Rose Byrne, Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Olivia Munn, Lucas Till, Evan Peters, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Hardy


The story of jazz musician and classical pianist Nina Simone including her rise to fame and relationship with her manager.
A foolish endeavor on every level, using the biopic cinematic structure merely as a dumpster to throw in insipid scenes of celebrity discomfort and clichés on hope. One could slot almost any other figure into its architecture and the result would be the same.

wd – Cynthia Mort
ph – Mihai Malaimare Jr
pd – Missy Stewart
m – Ruy Folguera
ed – Mark Helfrich, Susan Littenberg, Josh Rifkin
cos – Magali Guidasci

p – Beth Latham-Jones, Barnaby Thompson

Cast: Zoe Saldana, David Oyelowo, Mike Epps, Ella Thomas, Ronald Guttman, Ella Joyce, Mary Pat Gleason, Siena Goines

Criminal *

The memories & skills of a deceased CIA agent are implanted into an unpredictable and dangerous convict.
Ridiculous psychological thriller that is not without some amusement. Trying to gather reason behind its characters’ motivations is not advisable.

d – Ariel Vromen
w – Douglas Cook, David Weisberg
ph – Dana Gonzales
pd – Jon Henson
m – Brian Tyler
ed – Danny Rafic
cos – Jill Taylor

p – Chris Bender, Christa Campbell, Boaz Davidson, Mark Gill, Lati Grobman, Matthew O'Toole, Trevor Short, JC Spink, John Thompson

Cast: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Alice Eve, Gal Gadot, Michael Pitt, Jordi Mollà, Antje Traue

Hardcore Henry

Henry is resurrected from death with no memory, and he must save his wife from a telekinetic warlord with a plan to bio-engineer soldiers.
A dreadful ordeal and a rather cynical one: Filmed entirely in first-person perspective, so that we feel we are its main character, it attempts to recreate the experience of a first-person-shooter game, and succeeds. Though what that is meant to accomplish remains unclear, other than the presupposition that modern audiences are so lazy and apathetic that even the freedom of individual interpretation is no longer sought after.

wd – Ilya Naishuller
ph – Chris W. Johnson, Pasha Kapinos, Vsevolod Kaptur, Fedor Lyass
m – Darya Charusha
ed – Steve Mirkovich
cos – Anna Kudevich

p – Ilya Naishuller, Timur Bekmambetov

Cast: Sharlto Copley, Haley Bennett, Danila Kozlovskiy, Cyrus Arnold, Ilya Naishuller, Darya Charusha, Will Stewart, Tim Roth