Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Crisp Criticism - "Atomic Blonde", "The Big Sick", "Person to Person", "The Dark Tower"

Julien Faddoul

Atomic Blonde **

An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.
Exquisite fight sequences – one in particular staged in the stairwell of an apartment building that brilliantly conveys the gravitas involved when such actions take place – help invigorate a fairly risible script with some absurd twists-and-turns. A cascade of style without an ounce of subtlety.

d – David Leitch
w – Kurt Johnstad   (Based on the Graphic Novels by Antony Johnston, Sam Hart)
ph – Jonathan Sela
pd – David Scheunemann
m – Tyler Bates
ed – Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir
cos – Cindy Evans

p – A.J. Dix, Eric Gitter, Beth Kono, Kelly McCormick, Peter Schwerin, Charlize Theron

Cast: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, Sofia Boutella, John Goodman, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Bill Skarsgård, James Faulkner, Roland Møller, Sam Hargrave, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Til Schweiger, Lili Gesler

The Big Sick ***

Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gordon fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family's expectations, and his true feelings.
Conventional, typically flabby 21st century romantic comedy that miraculously pulls it all off with some superb writing and acting and an acute attention to social/societal details. It remains utterly convincing right up until the very end.

d – Michael Showalter
w – Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani
ph – Brian Burgoyne
pd – Brandon Tonner-Connolly
m – Michael Andrews
ed – Robert Nassau
cos – Sarah Mae Burton

p – Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel

Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Adeel Akhtar, Anupam Kher, Zenobia Shroff, Bo Burnham, Aidy Bryant, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Kurt Braunohler, Shenaz Treasurywala, David Alan Grier, Vella Lovell, Celeste Arias, Linda Emond, Shana Solomon

Person to Person **

A variety of New York characters as they navigate personal relationships and unexpected problems over the course of one day.
Organic, delightful New York indie of a familiar kind that nonetheless finds a little piece of authenticity with every beat it hits. It is shaggy, without much of a thesis, but its voice comes through loud and clear.

wd – Dustin Guy Defa
ph – Ashley Connor
pd – Katie Hickman
ed – Dustin Guy Defa
cos – Annell Brodeur

p – James M. Johnston, Toby Halbrooks, Sara Murphy

Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Michael Cera, Philip Baker Hall, Bene Coopersmith, Tavi Gevinson, George Sample III, Michaela Watkins, Olivia Luccardi, Ben Rosenfield, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Buddy Duress, Maxwell Apple, Eléonore Hendricks, Frank Mosley

The Dark Tower

The fate of the world all depends on a bunch of boring idiots bla bla bla.
Utter rubbish: Ridiculous themes, incompetent action, bad acting and an incomprehensible plot, peppered with self-referential nods to the author of the source material. Stay away.

d – Nikolaj Arcel 
w – Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, Anders Thomas Jensen, Nikolaj Arcel   (Based on the Novels by Stephen King)
ph – Rasmus Videbæk
pd – Christopher Glass
m – Junkie XL
ed – Alan Edward Bell, Dan Zimmerman
cos – Trish Summerville

p – Stephen King, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Akiva Goldsman

Cast: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Abbey Lee, Katheryn Winnick, Jackie Earle Haley, Tom Taylor, Dennis Haysbert, Alex McGregor, Nicholas Hamilton

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