Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Crisp Criticism - "Vice", "Bumblebee", Escape Room", "Wildlife", "On the Basis of Sex", "Mary Poppins Returns", "Bodied"

Julien Faddoul

Vice *

The story of Dick Cheney, an unassuming bureaucratic Washington insider, who quietly wielded immense power as Vice President to George W. Bush, reshaping the United States and the globe.
A cowardly film: Smug, innocuous, haphazard assemblage of performative tics and quasi-castigating jokes designed to warn the left and censure the right to the kind of underhanded political maneuvers that most educated people already know of. This is the same approach (only more so) that McKay took with his last film. But even if the goal is to educate, as a time capsule it doesn’t work because committing so vociferously to parodic skits gives the film no shelf-life. So what is the point? To lecture and postulate for 130 minutes about how evil one individual was and how we let such people have power even today? That’s not cinema; that’s not even a TED talk. Any amount of enjoyment comes from the cast, all of whom have infectious fun playing capitalist dress-up.

wd – Adam McKay
ph – Greig Fraser
pd – Patrice Vermette
m – Nicholas Britell
ed – Hank Corwin
cos – Susan Matheson

p – Brad Pitt, Will Ferrell, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adam McKay, Kevin Messick, Megan Ellison

Cast: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Tyler Perry, Alison Pill, Jesse Plemons, Alex MacNicoll, Aidan Gail, Cailee Spaeny, Colyse Harger, Lily Rabe, Violet Hicks, Justin Kirk, Don McManus, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Matthew Jacobs, Shea Whigham, Eddie Marsan, Stefania LaVie Owen, Adam Bartley, Kirk Bovill, Jillian Armenante, Bill Camp, Fay Masterson, Alfred Molina, Naomi Watts, Joseph Beck, Paul Perri, Brandon Sklenar