Thursday, 30 March 2017

Crisp Criticism - "The Lego Batman Movie", "Ghost in the Shell", "Life", "The Space Between Us"

Julien Faddoul

The Lego Batman Movie **

A cooler-than-ever Bruce Wayne must deal with the usual suspects as they plan to rule Gotham City, while discovering that he has accidentally adopted a teenage orphan who wishes to become his sidekick.
In many ways superior to the original because it bypasses that film’s saccharine message for a treatment that is less labored, with a ferocious outpouring of gags, some of which are quite funny. But this is Ironic with a capital “I” and, like the original, the humour can get exhausting.

d – Chris McKay
w – Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Whittington   (Based on the Character Created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger)
pd – Grant Freckelton
m – Lorne Balfe
ed – David Burrows, John Venzon, Matt Villa

p – Dan Lin, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Roy Lee

Cast: Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Jenny Slate

Ghost in the Shell

In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world's most dangerous criminals.
A production plagued with bad press, first due to its lengthy time in development and then for its racial miscasting of its star, but the result is mostly tone-deaf inside and out. A remake of a successful but not particularly interesting Japanese Anime, the visuals here are sleek and aggressive. Everything else is dull.

d – Rupert Sanders
w – Jamie Moss, William Wheeler   (Based on the Manga by Masamune Shirow)
ph – Jess Hall
pd – Jan Roelfs
m – Lorne Balfe, Clint Mansell
ed – Billy Rich, Neil Smith
cos – Kurt and Bart

p – Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Michael Pitt, Takeshi Kitano, Rila Fukushima, Juliette Binoche, Chin Han, Lasarus Ratuere, Tawanda Manyimo, Yutaka Izumihara

Cast: Avi Arad, Michael Costigan, Steven Paul

Life *

A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form, that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.
A sci-fi thriller with intermittent moments of excitement but its plotting just isn’t slick enough to dignify either the hysterics on screen nor its clear lack of a budget.

d – Daniel Espinosa
w – Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
ph – Seamus McGarvey
pd – Nigel Phelps
m – Jon Ekstrand
ed – Mary Jo Markey, Frances Parker
cos – Jenny Beaven

p – Bonnie Curtis, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Julie Lynn

Cast: Rebecca Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, Olga Dihovichnaya, Camiel Warren-Taylor, Naoko Mori, Alexandre Nguyen, Hiu Woong-Sin

The Space Between Us

A young man raised by scientists on Mars returns to Earth to find his father.
A movie so torturously stupid that it even forgets its own red herrings. The filmmakers here seem to have plighted in constructing images and sounds that somewhat resemble a “movie”, but pragmatically it belies such characterization. Much like its main character, this is a movie from Mars.

d – Peter Chelsom
w – Allan Loeb
ph – Barry Peterson
pd – Kirk M. Petruccelli
m – Andrew Lockington
ed – David Moritz
cos – Christopher Lawrence

p – Richard Barton Lewis

Cast: Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Carla Gugino, BD Wong, Gary Oldman, Janet Montgomery

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