Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Crisp Criticism - "The Founder", "Bad Santa 2", "Your Name"

Julien Faddoul

The Founder

The story of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc.
Completely stolid biopic with a script so thin it could’ve been written in crayon. There is no evidence here that the story behind McDonalds restaurants was worth telling.

d – John Lee Hancock
w – Robert D. Siegel
ph – John Schwartzman
pd – Michael Corenblith
m – Carter Burwell
ed – Robert Frazen
cos – Daniel Orlandi

p – Don Handfield, Jeremy Renner, Aaron Ryder

Cast: Michael Keaton, Laura Dern, Wilbur Fitzgerald, Linda Cardellini, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Patrick Wilson, B.J. Novak, Kabby Borders, Valeri Rogers

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Crisp Criticism- "Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk", "Nocturnal Animals", "Cemetery of Splendour"

Julien Faddoul

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk **

A 19-year-old specialist soldier is brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle that was caught on tape.
A film that many may find a tough sit, not due to its content but rather its technique, which utilises a method of high-frame-rate photography that creates a jarring sense of tactility to the image and in its inhabitants (its director’s preference is for audiences to view it in 120fps 3D). The result is more akin to gazing out a window than viewing a cinema screen. It is certainly fascinating but seldom successful, particularly when married to the rather conventional story Lee wants to tell.

d – Ang Lee
w – Jean-Christophe Castelli   (Based on the Novel by Ben Fountain)
ph – John Toll
pd – Mark Friedberg
m – Mychael Danna, Jeff Danna
ed – Tim Squyres
cos – Joseph G. Aulisi

p – Ang Lee, Marc Platt, Stephen Cornwell, Rhodri Thomas

Cast: Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund, Vin Diesel, Steve Martin, Tim Blake Nelson, Makenzie Leigh

Monday, November 21, 2016

Crisp Criticism - "Fantastic Beasts and where to Find Them", "Trolls", "Morgan", "Almost Christmas"

Julien Faddoul

Fantastic Beasts and where to Find Them

The adventures of a writer in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter.
Interminable spin-off of Rowling’s Harry Potter series with a great deal of infantile claptrap going on, none of it particularly interesting or “fantastic.” It is a shame that an adolescent entertainment on magicians should be this counterfeit.

d – David Yates
w – JK Rowling
ph – Philippe Rousselot
pd – Stuart Craig, James Hambidge
m – James Newton Howard
ed – Mark Day
cos – Colleen Atwood

p – David Heyman, JK Rowling, Lionel Wigram, Steve Kloves

Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Carmen Ejogo, Jon Voight, Ron Perlman, Josh Cowdery, Ronan Raftery, Faith Wood-Blagrove, Jenn Murray

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Arrival (2016/US)

Julien Faddoul

* (1 star)

d – Denis Villeneuve
w – Eric Heisserer   (Based on the Short Story by Ted Chaing)
ph – Bradford Young
pd – Patrice Vermette
m – Jóhann Jóhannsson
ed – Joe Walker
cos – Renée April

p – Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder, David Linde

Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tzi Ma, Mark O'Brien, Russell Yuen

Writing a review for Arrival is a bothersome task, at least for me. This is a teasing, gripping science fiction drama that keeps its thematic animus a secret until the film’s climax, which, in my case, completely destroyed all that had come before in a blaze of frustration, ineptness and utter stupidity. So how, dear reader, do I write a comprehensive encapsulation of my experience for you to capitalize on without revealing the film’s secret – since that is really the fulcrum of said experience? Let me try.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Crisp Criticism - "Hacksaw Ridge", "The Light Between Oceans", "American Honey"

Julien Faddoul

Hacksaw Ridge *

WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people and becomes the first Conscientious Objector in American history to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Clumsy, by-the-numbers war film based on fact that administers almost every piece of WWII didacticism one can imagine. Only in its second half does it obtain any energy, in which its director flaunts the kind of blood and guts that he adores so much.

d – Mel Gibson
w – Andrew Knight, Robert Schenkkan
ph – Simon Duggan
pd – Barry Robinson
m – Rupert Gregson-Williams
ed – John Gilbert
cos – Lizzy Gardiner

p – Terry Benedict, Paul Currie, Bruce Davey, William D. Johnson, Bill Mechanic, Brian Oliver, David Permut, Tyler Thompson

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Teresa Palmer, Sam Worthington, Rachel Griffiths, Matthew Nable Luke Bracey Hugo Weaving Richard Roxburgh Nathaniel Buzolic Ryan Corr Goran D. Kleut Firass Dirani

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Crisp Criticism - "The Accountant", "Hell or High Water", "Elle"

Julien Faddoul

The Accountant *

As a math savant works the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.
An intriguing premise sustains this action/thriller for about half its runtime until it succumbs to ridiculousness, with an endless array of red herrings. Good cast.

d – Gavin O’Connor
w – Bill Dubuque
ph – Seamus McGarvey
pd – Keith P. Cunningham
m – Mark Isham
ed – Richard Pearson
cos – Nancy Steiner

p – Lynette Howell Taylor, Mark Williams

Cast: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, JK Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow, Jean Smart