Friday, 2 June 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Wonder Woman", "Graduation", "The Last Face", "War Machine"

Julien Faddoul

Wonder Woman *

An Amazon princess comes to the world of Man to become the greatest of the female superheroes.
Unremarkable and overlong DC Comic Book movie which, once again, is merely another origin story following the same plot and tonal beats as the surrounding Hollywood cinema, both the comic ones and the melodramatic. The first half contains energy, at least.

d – Patty Jenkins
w – Zack Snyder, Allan Heinberg, Jason Fuchs   (Based on the Characters Created by William Moulton Marston)
ph – Matthew Jensen
pd – Aline Bonetto
m – Rupert Gregson-Williams
ed – Martin Walsh
cos – Lindy Hemming

p – Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Richard Suckle

Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya, Lucy Davis, Ewen Bremner, Saïd Taghmaoui, Florence Kasumba

Graduation **

A physician living in a small town in Transylvania goes to great and capricious lengths to make sure his daughter earns a scholarship to study in London after her chances are jeopardized when she is raped the day before her exam.
Certainly Mungiu’s least surprising film to date – the measured ritualism of the Romanian New Wave has at this point constituted a template. But, with the bluntness of such an elementary social studies drama, he remains impeccable at imparting a quiet hell that is far too real for comfort.

wd – Cristian Mungiu
ph – Tudor Vladimir Panduru
pd – Simona Paduretu
ed – Mircea Olteanu
cos – Brandusa Ioan

p – Cristian Mungiu

Cast: Adrian Titieni, Maria Dragus, Lia Bugnar, Malina Manovici, Vlad Ivanov, Gelu Colceag, Rares Andrici

The Last Face

A director of an international aid agency in Africa meets a relief aid doctor amidst a political/social revolution, and together face tough choices.
An incredibly stupid, fragile little movie about the kind of activism that its director is known for, here finding its way into his art. The sentiment here contains all the poise of a 3rd grader’s valentine card. It alternates with being hilariously pathetic and outright grating.

d – Sean Penn
w – Erin Dignam
ph – Barry Ackroyd
pd – Andrew Laws
m – Hans Zimmer
ed – Jay Cassidy
cos – Diana Cilliers

p – Bill Gerber, Matt Palmieri, Bill Pohlad

Cast: Charlize Theron, Javier Bardem, Jean Reno, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Jared Harris, Hopper Jack Penn, Denise Newman

War Machine

A rock star general bent on winning the “impossible” war in Afghanistan takes us inside the complex machinery of modern war.
A smug war satire that doesn’t work in the slightest, with an overly parodic performance from Pitt and an onslaught of incidental star cameos that both distract from any attempt at depicting ironic political savagery.

wd – David Michod   (Based on the Book by Michael Hastings)
ph – Dariusz Wolski
pd – Josephine Ford
m – Nick Cave, Warren Ellis
ed – Peter Sciberras
cos – Jane Petrie

p – Ian Bryce, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Brad Pitt

Cast: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hayes, John Magaro, Anthony Michael Hall, Emory Cohen, Topher Grace, Daniel Betts, Aymen Hamdouchi, RJ Cyler, Alan Ruck, Nicholas Jones, Will Poulter, Keith Stanfield, Ben Kingsley, Meg Tilly, Griffin Dunne, Josh Stewart, Kola Bokinni, Derek Siow, Hopper Jack Penn, Pico Alexander, Scoot McNairy, Justin Rosniak, Paolo Gasparini, Simon Werner, Sian Thomas, Reggie Brown, Chris Lew, Kum Hoi, Hassani Shapi, Jean-Pierre Lorit, Gillian Jones, Tilda Swinton, Russell Crowe

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