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

Beautiful Boy

After he and his first wife separate, a journalist struggles to help their teenage son, who goes from experimenting with drugs to becoming devastatingly addicted to methamphetamine.
A film of platitudes conveying various dishevelled emotions of the kind that are all-too-familiar, with zero original insight and bad performances.

d – Felix van Groeningen
w – Felix van Groeningen, Luke Davies   (Based on the Books by David Sheff and Nic Sheff)
ph – Ruben Impens
pd – Ethan Tobman
ed – Nico Leunen
cos – Emma Potter

p – Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Brad Pitt

Cast: Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan, Christian Convery, Oakley Bull, Kaitlyn Dever, Stefanie Scott, Julian Works, Jack Dylan Grazer, Zachary Rifkin

Hunter Killer

An untested American submarine captain teams with U.S. Navy Seals to rescue the Russian president, who has been kidnapped by a rogue general.
Standard submarine drama that is no better and far less effective than the kind made in the 40s and 50s. Tedious and bothersome.

d – Donovan Marsh
w – Arne L. Schmidt, Jamie Moss   (Based on the Novel by George Wallace, Don Keith)
ph – Tom Marais
pd – Jon Henson, James H. Spencer
m – Trevor Morris
ed – Michael J. Duthie
cos – Caroline Harris

p – Gerard Butler, Mark Gill, Toby Jaffe, Neal H. Moritz, Matthew O'Toole, Alan Siegel,  John Thompson, Tucker Tooley, Les Weldon

Cast: Gerard Butler, Common, Michael Nyqvist, Mikhail Gorevoy, Gary Oldman, Toby Stephens, Zane Holtz, Linda Cardellini, Ryan McPartlin, Michael Trucco, Caroline Goodall

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

A young girl is transported into a magical world of gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice.
Like many of these modern-day CG colour-spasms aimed at young girls, this is an ugly and utterly baffling venture, both in plot and intention. What will children get out of this? The biggest lesson I guess is that Disney will acquire and demolish any property it sees fit, even the tales of Hoffmann.

d – Lasse Hallstrom, Joe Johnston
w – Ashleigh Powell   (Suggested by the Short Story by E.T.A. Hoffmann)
ph – Linus Sandgren
pd – Guy Hendrix Dyas
m – James Newton Howard
ed – Stuart Levy
cos – Jenny Beaven

p – Larry Franco, Mark Gordon

Cast: Mackenzie Foy, Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Matthew Macfadyen, Richard E. Grant, Jack Whitehall, Eugenio Derbez, Jayden Fowora-Knight

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.
Dull and exhausting; heavy-handed contrivances; ineffectual performances and direction.

d – Fede Alvarez
w – Jay Basu, Fede Alvarez, Steven Knight   (Based on the Novel by David Lagercrantz)
ph – Pedro Luque Briozzo
pd – Eve Stewart
m – Roque Baños
ed – Tatiana S. Riegel
cos – Ellen Mirojnick

p – Scott Rudin, Amy Pascal, Elizabeth Cantillon, Eli Bush, Søren Stærmose, Ole Søndberg, Barry Levin

Cast: Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, Sylvia Hoeks, Lakeith Stanfield, Stephen Merchant, Vicky Krieps, Christopher Convery, Claes Bang, Synnøve Macody Lund, Cameron Britton

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