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

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The second installment of the "Fantastic Beasts" series set in JK Rowling's Wizarding World featuring the adventures of magizoologist Newt Scamander.
Massively boring, lame and incomprehensible; the 2000s-era Harry Potter films were hardly enthralling works of cinema but these soul-sucking money-grubbing attempts by Rowling to try and stay as relevant as she can were to them what the Star Wars prequels were to Star Wars (1977).

d – David Yates
w – JK Rowling
ph – Philippe Rousselot
pd – Stuart Craig
m – James Newton Howard
ed – Mark Day
cos – Colleen Atwood

p – JK Rowling, David Heyman, Lionel Wigram, Steve Kloves

Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Johnny Depp, Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, Carmen Ejogo, Jessica Williams

Overlord *

A small group of American soldiers find horrifying creatures behind enemy lines on the eve of D-Day.
Gory nonsense pulled-off with verve from its director and cast. The longueurs involving Holocaust history are puzzling.

d – Julius Avery
w – Billy Ray, Mark L. Smith
ph – Laurie Rose, Fabian Wagner
pd – Jon Henson
m – Jed Kurzel
ed – Matt Evans
cos – Anna B. Sheppard

p – JJ Abrams, Lindsey Weber

Cast: Pilou Asbæk, Wyatt Russell, Jacob Anderson, Bokeem Woodbine, John Magaro, Iain De Caestecker, Jovan Adepo, Michael Epp, Marc Rissmann

Boy Erased *

The son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town is outed to his parents at age 19 and is required to attend a gay conversion therapy program.
Far more dogged than moving, exploring more conventional themes such as family and faith than repressed sexuality. Like his previous feature, Edgerton seems insecure as a director, relying on a prevailing atmosphere of hesitant pessimism.

wd – Joel Edgerton   (Based on the Memoir by Garrard Conley)
ph – Eduard Grau
pd – Chad Keith
m – Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans
ed – Jay Rabinowitz
cos – Trish Summerville

p – Steve Golin, Joel Edgerton, Kerry Kohansky-Roberts

Cast: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Joel Edgerton, Xavier Dolan Troye Sivan, Jesse LaTourette, Britton Sear, Cherry Jones, Joe Alwyn, Théodore Pellerin, Flea

A Private War **

The final 11 years of celebrated war correspondent Marie Colvin before her murder from an improvised explosive device while covering the siege of Homs in Syria.
Sophisticated, sporadically absorbing but ultimately fairly typical biopic on an incredible journalistic figure. It gains immeasurably from Pike’s magnificent performance as a woman whose fearlessness is the kind everyday people take for granted.

d – Matthew Heinemann
w – Arash Amel   (Based on the Article by Marie Brenner)
ph – Robert Richardson
pd – Sophie Becher
m – H. Scott Salinas
ed – Nick Fenton
cos – Michael O'Connor

p – Matthew George, Matthew Heineman, Basil Iwanyk, Marissa McMahon, Charlize Theron

Cast: Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Tom Hollander, Stanley Tucci, Alexandra Moen, Corey Johnson, Raad Rawi

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