Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Crisp Criticism - "The Magnificent Seven", "The Red Turtle", "The Sea of Trees"

Julien Faddoul

The Magnificent Seven

Seven gunmen in the old west gradually come together to help a poor village against savage thieves.
Big-budget remake of the 1960 John Sturges film, which itself is a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, which completely lacks the integrity of either. It makes no attempt to deal with the moral obligations that can plague a community (which Sturges explores thoroughly and Kurosawa practically invented). The cast here is a mixed bag of fun and irritating and the action scenes all exhibit the incompetence of the modern era of cinematic incomprehensiveness.

d – Antoine Fuqua
w – Nic Pizzolatto, Richard Wenk   (Based on the Screenplay by Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni)
ph – Mauro Fiore
pd – Derek R. Hill
m – Simon Franglen, James Horner
ed – John Refoua
cos – Sharen Davis

p – Roger Birnbaum, Todd Black

Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Matt Bomer, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Peter Sarsgaard, Haley Bennett

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Crisp Criticism - "Pete's Dragon", "Snowden", "Yoga Hosers"

Julien Faddoul

Pete’s Dragon ***

The adventures of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon.
Wistful, moving and utterly unpretentious family film/remake from Disney with a refreshing sense of bluntness and respect toward its target audience. It is less like the typical film from its studio (it resembles its previous incarnation very little) and owes much more to the films of Hayao Miyazaki.

d – David Lowry
w – David Lowry, Toby Halbrooks   (Based on the Screenplay by Malcolm Marmorstein)
ph – Bojan Bazelli
pd – Jade Healy
m – Daniel Hart
ed – Lisa Zeno Churgin
cos – Amanda Neale

p – James Whitaker

Cast: Oakes Fegley, Bryce Dallas Howard, Karl Urban, Robert Redford, Wes Bentley, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Oona Laurence

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Crisp Criticism - "Blair Witch", "Bridget Jones’ Baby", "Captain Fantastic", "The Confirmation"

Julien Faddoul

Blair Witch

Students on a camping trip discover something sinister is lurking beyond the trees.
Weak sequel to the treasured and influential 1999 horror film that updates the technology involved but little else. It is more aggressively frightening than its predecessor which, ironically, and perhaps unsurprisingly, makes it far less effective.

d – Adam Wingard  
w – Simon Barrett
ph – Robby Baumgartner
pd – Thomas S. Hammock
m – Adam Wingard  
ed – Louis Cioffi
cos – Katia Stano

p – Jess Calder, Keith Calder, Roy Lee, Steven Schneider

Cast: Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson, Valorie Curry, James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Crisp Criticism - "Sully", "The Secret Life of Pets", "The Club", "Disorder"

Julien Faddoul

Sully ***

The Miracle on the Hudson: January 15th 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 makes an emergency landing on the Hudson River. Led by Cap. Chesley Sullenberger, all 155 passengers and crew miraculously survive unharmed.
Riveting, tight, quiet procedural of a real event that works more like an alienating meditation on duty and strategy. It is made with its director’s typical classicist treatment, proving here that he (when he pulls it off) is singular is his construction of dramatic panache and making it seem effortless. It is a superb example of plainspoken cinema, assembled by a master craftsman.

d – Clint Eastwood
w – Todd Komarnicki   (Based on the Book by Chesley Sullenberger, Jeffrey Zaslow)
ph – Tom Stern
pd – James J. Murakami
m – Christian Jacob, Tierney Sutton Band, Clint Eastwood
ed – Blu Murray
cos – Deborah Hopper

p – Clint Eastwood, Frank Marshall, Allyn Stewart, Tim Moore

Cast: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Anna Gunn, Autumn Reeser, Holt McCallany, Mike O’Malley, Jamey Sheridan, Jerry Ferrara, Molly Hagan, Max Adler, Sam Huntington, Wayne Bastrup, Valeria Mahaffey, Jeff Kober

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Crisp Criticism - "Free State of Jones", "The Infiltrator", "Blood Father", "Don't Breathe"

Julien Faddoul

Free State of Jones *

A white Southerner falls for a slave and consequently rebels against the Confederacy.
Despite some effectively tense sequences, this falls into biographical tedium fairly quickly; content to provide almost all its thematic power through endless onscreen speeches.

wd – Gary Ross
ph – Benoit Delhomme
pd – Philip Messina
m – Nicholas Britell
ed – Pamela Martin, Juliette Welfling
cos – Louise Frogley

p – Jon Kilik, Gary Ross, Scott Stuber

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali, Keri Russell, Jacob Lofland, Sean Bridgers, Brad Carter