Monday, November 26, 2018

Crisp Criticism - "Green Book", "Ralph Breaks the Internet", "The Front Runner", "Creed II", "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"

Julien Faddoul

Green Book *

A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.
Pleasant and old-fashioned road-movie, with the two leads providing most of the charm. Intellectually, it’s unsurprisingly dishonest about both the racial and sexual attitudes of the time, despite being “inspired” by a true story.

d – Peter Farrelly

w – Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly
ph – Sean Porter
pd – Tim Galvin
m – Kris Bowers
ed – Patrick J. Don Vito
cos – Betsy Heimann

p – Jim Burke, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Charles B. Wessler

Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Don Stark, Sebastian Maniscalco, Tom Virtue, Brian Stepanek, Joe Cortese, David Kallaway, Paul Sloan, PJ Byrne

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Crisp Criticism - "Widows", "Outlaw King", "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs", "Life and Nothing More"

Julien Faddoul

Widows ***

Four Chicago women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities, take fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.
Although he’s utilizing all the familiar pulpy elements, it is no surprise that McQueen’s interpretation of a twisty (however ludicrous) heist film would be this acidic. Both the sociopolitical commentary and the character-drama are consistently engrossing, despite the two often having trouble congealing. The concerns are grim but the outlook is hopeful and astute, and the cast is an absolute dream.

d – Steve McQueen
w – Gillian Flynn, Steve McQueen   (Based on the TV Series Created by Lynda La Plante)
ph – Sean Bobbitt
pd – Adam Stockhausen
m – Hans Zimmer
ed – Joe Walker
cos – Jenny Eagan

p – Iain Canning, Steve McQueen, Arnon Milchan, Emile Sherman

Cast: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver, Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall, Liam Neeson, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Jon Bernthal, Garret Dillahunt, Michael Harney, Lukas Haas, Matt Walsh, Adepero Oduye, Ann Mitchell, Kevin J. O'Connor, Molly Kunz

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Crisp Criticism - "The Grinch", "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald", "Overlord", "Boy Erased", "A Private War"

Julien Faddoul

The Grinch

Animated adaptation of the Dr. Seuss tale.
Another dreadfully bland and ugly CG animated film from Illumination Entertainment, their second Dr. Seuss adaptation. Aimed at the lowest common denominator.

d – Yarrow Cheney, Scott Mosier
w – Michael LeSieur, Tommy Swerdlow   (Based on the Book by Dr. Seuss)
pd – Colin Stimpson
m – Danny Elfman
ed – Chris Cartagena

p – Christopher Meledandri, Jeant Healy

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Seely, Pharrell Williams, Rashida Jones, Angela Lansbury, Kenan Thompson, Scott Mosier, Tristan O'Hare, Sam Lavagnino

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Crisp Criticism - "Suspiria", "Beautiful Boy", "Hunter Killer", "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms", "The Girl in the Spider’s Web"

Julien Faddoul

Suspiria **

A young ballet dancer travels to a prestigious dance academy in Berlin, only to discover it is a front for something far more sinister and supernatural amidst a series of increasingly grisly murders.
It’s unfortunate that Guadagnino felt the need to draw connections between Argento’s beloved 1977 spookfest – about a German dance academy run by witches – with both the crimes committed by The Red Army Faction around the same time and the crimes committed by The Third Reich many years earlier, which renders a good 20 minutes of this two and a half hour remake rather perfunctory. But as a stylish exercise in cinematic circuitousness, it’s visually stimulating, creepy and frequently fascinating.

d – Luca Guadagnino
w – David Kajganich   (Based on the Screenplay by Dario Argento, Daria Nicolodi)
ph – Sayombhu Mukdeeprom
pd – Inbal Weinberg
m – Thom Yorke
ed – Walter Fasano
cos – Giulia Piersanti

p – Brad Fischer, Luca Guadagnino, David Kajganich, Francesco Melzi d'Eril, Marco Morabito, Gabriele Moratti, William Sherak, Silvia Venturini Fendi

Cast: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Angela Winkler, Ingrid Caven, Sylvie Testud, Jessica Harper, Chloë Grace Moretz, Renée Soutendijk, Małgorzata Bela, Vanda Capriolo, Fabrizia Sacchi, Elena Fokina, Olivia Ancona, Toby Ashraf, Christine Leboutte, Paolo Vanoli, Alek Wek