Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Moonlight", "Live by Night", "Split", "Monster Trucks"

Julien Faddoul

Moonlight ***

Triptych story of a young black homosexual – from childhood to adulthood – as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.
Beautiful, gripping, penetrating drama with an almost electric delicacy. It presents such a wide viewpoint of empathy that is rarely seen on screen, despite its affected air of broken-hearted yearning. The performances are uniformly remarkable.

wd – Barry Jenkins   (Based on the Play by Tarell Alvin McCraney)
ph – James Laxton
pd – Hannah Beachler
m – Nicholas Britell
ed – Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders
cos – Caroline Eselin-Schaefer

p – Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adele Romanski

Cast: Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monae, Ashton Sanders, Jharrel Jerome, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali, Alex Hibbert, Jaden Piner, Patrick Decile

Live by Night

A story set in the Prohibition Era and centered on a group of individuals and their dealings in the world of organized crime.
Fairly embarrassing gangster film with a colossal identity crisis, plodding from scene to scene with no discernible point. It not only lacks the courage of its convictions, it lacks conviction.

wd – Ben Affleck   (Based on the Novel by Dennis Lehane)
ph – Robert Richardson
pd – Jess Gonchor
m – Harry Gregson-Williams
ed – William Goldenberg
cos – Jacqueline West

p – Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Jennifer Todd

Cast: Ben Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, Sienna Miller, Brendan Gleeson, Anthony Michael Hall, Titus Welliver, Chris Messina, Derek Mears, Chris Cooper, Max Casella


Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, and must try and escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.
With all the technique that Shyamalan is capable of with his camera, it remains nevertheless consistently mystifying why his scripts do nothing but insult his audience’s intelligence at every instant. This might be his most obnoxious film yet, using very serious concerns like abduction and mental illness in order to give an ersatz gravitas to an infantile horror piece. Much of it seems suspiciously cavalier, until a final twist ending which, from a cineaste’s perspective, is both utterly infuriating and pathetic.

wd – M. Night Shyamalan
ph – Michael Gioulakis
pd – Mara LePere-Schloop
m – West Dylan Thordson
ed – Luke Ciarrocchi
cos – Paco Delgado

p – Marc Bienstock, Jason Blum, M. Night Shyamalan

Cast: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sula, Betty Buckley, Brad William Henke, Sebastian Arcelus, Neal Huff, Kim Director, Lyne Renee

Monster Trucks

A high school senior builds a Monster Truck from bits and pieces of scrapped cars and then hits an oil-drilling site.
Manic nothing of a movie; forget it exists and move on with your life.

d – Chris Wedge
w – Derek Connolly, Matthew Robinson, Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger
ph – Don Burgess
pd – Andrew Menzies
m – David Sardy
ed – Conrad Buff
cos – Tish Monaghan

p – Mary Parent, Denis L. Stewart

Cast: Jane Levy, Lucas Till, Frank Whaley, Danny Glover, Amy Ryan, Holt McCallany, Rob Lowe, Thomas Lennon, Barry Pepper, Aliyah O'Brien, Tucker Albrizzi

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