Sunday, August 28, 2016

Crisp Criticism - "War Dogs", "Indignation", "Ben-Hur"

Julien Faddoul

War Dogs

Based on the true story of two young men who won a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm America's allies in Afghanistan.
A grab-bag of Scorsesesque tricks by Phillips that never convince. Most of it is crass without any conductivity. Hill at least gives it some amusement.

d – Todd Phillips
w – Todd Phillips, Stephen Chin, Jason Smilovic   (Based on the Article by Guy Lawson)
ph – Lawrence Sher
pd – Bill Brzeski
m – Cliff Martinez
ed – Jeff Groth
cos – Michael Kaplan

p – Mark Gordon, Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper

Cast: Miles Teller, Jonah Hill, Ana de Armas, Bradley Cooper, Barry Livingston, Brenda Koo, Jeff Pierre, Shaun Toub

Monday, August 22, 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016/US)

Julien Faddoul

*** (3 stars)

d – Travis Knight
w – Marc Haimes, Chris Butler, Shannon Tindle
ph – Frank Passingham
pd – Nelson Lowry
m – Dario Marianelli
ed – Christopher Murrie
cos – Deborah Cook

p – Travis Knight, Arianne Sutner

Cast: Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Rooney Mara, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes, Brenda Vaccaro, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, George Takei

Stories, like any art form, are a way for people to express their inner most feelings with one another. Therefore, their importance is irrefutable. It’s their fragility that can sometimes be cause for concern. Stories, depending on who is telling them, can inspire both love and hate; truth and lies; illusion and insight.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Crisp Criticism - "Sausage Party", "Nerve", "The Little Prince"

Julien Faddoul

Sausage Party

A sausage strives to discover the truth about his existence.
The philosophical convulsions of having religious faith is the basis of this low-budget, crude and uniquely filthy computer-animated feature that tragically offers no existential insight, no social or political satire, no evident plot and no wit. It is content merely to demand with unwavering insistence that jokes about sexual innuendo and the uncommon sight of a mainstream computer animated character cursing are automatically hilarious.

d – Conrad Vernon, Greg Tiernan
w – Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Jonah Hill, Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir
pd – Kyle McQueen
m – Alan Menken, Christopher Lennertz
ed – Kevin Pavlovic

p – Conrad Vernon, Megan Ellison, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

Cast: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton, Salma Hayek

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Crisp Criticism - "Bad Moms", "Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping", "Weiner"

Julien Faddoul

Bad Moms

When three under-appreciated moms are pushed beyond their limits, they ditch their conventional responsibilities.
Loud comedy about characters that never seem to be as bad as they claim. Fairly incessant.

wd – Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
ph – Jim Denault
pd – Marcia Hinds
m – Christopher Lennertz
ed – Emma E. Hickox, James Thomas
cos – Julia Caston

p – Bill Block, Suzanne Todd

Cast: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Annie Mumolo, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith, Oona Laurence

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Suicide Squad (2016/US)

Julien Faddoul

(0 stars)

wd – David Ayer
ph – Roman Vasyanov
pd – Oliver Scholl
m – Steven Price
ed – John Gilroy
cos – Kate Hawley

p – Charles Roven, Richard Suckle

Cast: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, Adam Beach

Suicide Squad is a terrible movie; it announces itself as such from frame one. It is a movie so dumb and wasteful that I found it to be an affront to the art form of which it was made. But not in the same way I feel about most bad movies.

Most bad movies fill one with anger to the point of despondency. Suicide Squad isn’t like that. Suicide Squad is more like a drunk at a pool hall who bothers everyone by yelling obscenities and hostilely declaring his superior punching skills. He will eventually stumble over something and pass out before the night’s end and one can’t help but feel sorry for him. Suicide Squad is a movie I feel sorry for.