Monday, 1 May 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2", "Free Fire", "Get Out", "The Zookeeper's Wife"

Julien Faddoul

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 *

The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage.
Energetically staged Marvel entry with some stunning visual effects. But we are still stuck in a pit of stagnation here with these movies, which cannot disguise any of the flaws that are intrinsic to their mere existence. The jokes are bad, the plot is flimsy and the performers seem bored.

wd – James Gunn   (Based on the Characters Created by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Steve Englehart, Steve Gan, Jim Starlin, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby, Bill Mantlo, Keith Giffen)
ph – Henry Braham
pd – Scott Chambliss
m – Tyler Bates
ed – Fred Raskin, Craig Wood
cos – Judianna Makovsky

p – Kevin Feige

Cast: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Michael Rooker, Pom Klementieff, Kurt Russell, Sylvester Stallone, Sean Gunn, Elizabeth Debicki, Tommy Flanagan, Michael Rosenbaum

Free Fire *

A crime drama set in 1970s Boston, about a gun sale which goes wrong.
A 90-minute shoot-out with nothing particularly interesting transpiring in-between the gunplay. It comes across as an exercise for its director, who, for me, has still not been able to construct a film that totally works.

d – Ben Wheatley
w – Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump
ph – Laurie Rose
pd – Paki Smith
m – Geoff Barrow, Ben Salisbury
ed – Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump
cos – Emma Fryer

p – Andrew Starke

Cast: Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, Jack Reynor, Babou Ceesay, Enzo Cilenti, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley, Noah Taylor, Patrick Bergin, Tom Davis, Mark Monero, Sara Dee

Get Out **

A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend's mysterious family estate.
A comedy-horror piece with a civics purport and an overblown sense of itself. Due to its prescience and accuracy, the racial discussions hit their target with total precision. The social satire works much better than the film’s arch plot and staging, which lack the calculated themes required given the circumstances involved.

wd – Jordan Peele
ph – Toby Oliver
pd – Rusty Smith
m – Michael Abels
ed – Gregory Plotkin
cos – Nadine Haders

p – Edward H. Hamm Jr, Sean McKittrick, Jordan Peele, Jason Blum

Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root, Keith Stanfield, LilRel Howery

The Zookeeper’s Wife

Keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, who helped save hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion
Fairly artificial WWII drama that stands-out from others only due to the presence of animals.

d – Niki Caro
w – Angela Workman   (Based on the Book by Diane Ackerman)
ph – Andrij Parekh
pd – Suzie Davies
m – Harry Gregson-Williams
ed – David Coulson
cos – Bina Daigeler

p – Jamie Patricof, Jeff Abberley, Kim Zubick, Diane Miller Levin

Cast: Jessica Chastain, Daniel Brühl, Johan Heldenbergh, Efrat Dor, Iddo Goldberg, Shira Haas, Michael McElhatton, Anna Rust, Goran Kostić, Val Maloku, Martha Issová, Frederick Preston

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