My thoughts on the national parks, movies, sports and whatever else comes into my mind.
Black Death Review
Black Death is a solid adventure that takes on an era in history that is rarely portrayed on film or portrayed as graphically. The film unfortunately is weakened by one major problem: the setup hints at an epic journey to come. Instead we are given a minor psychological battle that all takes place in a small village.
While director, Christopher Smith, and writer, Dario Poloni are the ones that have to be blamed for this problem, I have to give them a lot of credit for everything else they do. The film is a small scale production that had to stretch every dollar possible. That is not evident anywhere in the film besides the major shift in scale between the beginning and the rest of the film that I mentioned above. Smith and Poloni try everything to scale back the money spent while still making an interesting plot (while they do go overboard with the twists at the end of the film, they never take the plot overboard). The art direction and makeup also feel like they come from a summer blockbuster. The work done by the makeup designers and art directors is some of the best you will see in any film this year.
The acting is, like the film, solid. Eddie Redmayne continues to be a decent leading man. Like his performance in the STARZ miniseries, The Pillars of the Earth, he shows he can carry a film but he does not do anything to make his performance stand out from the rest of the cast. Sean Bean continues his great year as he gives his "Sean Bean" performance again. Fortunately, Sean Bean doing his regular shtick is still exciting to watch. The real standout of the film, however, is Carice van Houten who does her best audition for Melisandre for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. That fact that she won the role shows how great she is in this film.
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