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I have to say that the key word to describe this movie has to be
We have the outbreak of the bubonic plague or pestilance as they call it, the bloody Christians( no schocker there), almost equally bloodthirsty pagans or some other such thing,oodles of violence, and that's about it. Trying to follow the logical progression doesn't really work in this movie. And that poses a very serious problem. After a while, this particural viewer got a tad annoyed. Christians bad, pagans bad, the weapon friendly knights bad, the innocent monk bad, the luscious babe witch bad. It gets a bit repetitive. There is a very nice camera work, and that's all that I can remember. And I just finished watching it.
Sean Bean as the warrior inquisitor and Eddie Redmayne as a monk lead a
cast that deals with a story of the great bubonic plague epidemic that
swept over the eastern and later western world. It did more to level
the population of England and France than the 100 Years War which both
countries were engaging in at the time.
Death was familiar in Europe with both the war and the pestilence, some thought it was the sign of the end times. Black Death's biggest strength was that the film positively reeks of the atmosphere of the bleak times.
The mission which Bean is in charge of and that Redmayne serves as guide is to a village where suspected unbelief has broken out. Heresy, witchcraft, a return to the pagan religions of old; something has kept these people healthy in a world where the stench of death is all around. The church wants an explanation and is willing to mete out the appropriate punishment for whatever.
The atmosphere and camera-work are superb, sad to say though the story is a bit muddled. Still it's a fine effort and imagine to yourselves how these people might have dealt with the AIDS epidemic in those times.
You don't think it could happen, well remember some of the fanaticism surrounding a "gay" disease back when it came to our shores and think on that.
I saw this movie last night on cable TV, and i was not really expecting it to be a good one (more or less) - but it managed to keep it all together and got into a dark mood of thriller / religious questions raised. It also contains strong violence, and emphasized on human nature and its bonds with what is divine and touches base with human faith and what we expect from God. the movie revolves nicely around a very well known phase in human history and turns it into a thriller with some twists and interesting characters. i enjoyed it, and recommend it to all "midieval / dark thrillers with religious background" lovers. i would rate it with 5.5 to 6 over 10.
This movie is a real mixed bag. It has some great elements in it but
some weak ones as well. I ultimately wasn't too fond or impressed by
the movie its approach and story. A real shame, since this movie seemed
to have plenty of potential and had also a great cast in it.
Thing with this movie is that it that combines far too many different genres and elements. At first the movie seems to be a good old fashioned adventures medieval movie, with also plenty of action in it but the movie soon turns into a slow drama, that mostly consists out of talking and gets restrained with its settings.
Sure, it's original that the movie throws in all of its religious aspects and it provides the movie with some good moments but overall it just didn't made the movie a very interesting one, at least not for me. I just never really got into this movie and its story failed to intrigue me. It besides got far too slow at certain points. It all makes the movie also ultimately a very forgettable one.
Pacing seems to be really an issue with this movie. I can't really say that it's well directed, since the movie is at times all over the place with all of its different story elements and pacing as well. Some moments are rushed, while others are really stretched out. It also causes the ending to not really work out. The entire ending seems like it's part of a totally different movie and seemed to have been written for a possible sequel, instead of as the ending for this movie. It's very rushed and sort of comes out of the blue and doesn't really feel connected with the rest of the movie.
Sean Bean, Carice van Houten and David Warner (though his role is far too small and pretty pointless as well) are all more than capable actors and also gave away some fine performances. They truly lifted the movie up and still made it a watchable one but they can only make the movie good and watchable to a certain extend. They can't really help the fact that the story isn't that well written or intriguing and that director Christopher Smith didn't really did a great job with the available material.
The movie is still good looking and has a good atmosphere over it. It obviously wasn't the most expensive movie to make but not all movies need to cost millions of dollars of course. They simply did a good job with its available budget, though some more action and excitement wouldn't had harmed the movie.
And on a side-note, I wasn't always too happy with some of the hand-held camera-work. This is something that should mostly get used during battle and action sequences, not when people are walking or just talking to each other. It actually really took me out of the movie at times, even though I never really got into it in the first place.
Nothing too horrible but still a very forgettable little movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I should start by saying I didn't see this advertised at the cinema, and after watching I didn't fully agree that it deserves four out of five stars, but it was alright, from director Christopher Smith (Creep, Severance, Triangle). Basically set in 1348, medieval England, during the time when the country had the breakout of the bubonic plague, or the Black Death, spreading disease, pestilence and hideous death through lands and villages. Little fact, most people think it was the rats that spread the plague, it was in fact the fleas on the rats who passed it on to the rats and then to people. The main story sees young monk Osmund (Eddie Redmayne), bringing his beloved Averill (Kimberley Nixon), is charged with leading fearsome knight Ulric (Sean Bean) and his group of mercenaries to a remote marsh village near the Dentwich Forest where the plague has not reached. Osmound struggles between his love of God, and his love with Averill, and he finds a new attraction for mysterious beauty Langiva (Carice Van Houten) when they arrive at the village. Community leader Hob (Tim McInnerny) confirms that all the village has heard of the plague is only word, but you realise that the threat of the hideous disease spreading cannot stay away for long, and high suspicion of who has it is high. Alchemost Langiva is believed to be a necromancer, a person who can bring the dead back to life, but you never really see anything like this happen, as all the knights are captured, tortured and one by one killed with the plague threat. Also starring David Warner as The Abbot, Dead Set's Andy Nyman as Dalywag, Sliding Doors' John Lynch as Wolfstan, Johnny Harris as Mold, Emun Elliott as Swire, Tygo Gernandt as Ivo and Jamie Ballard as Griff. Bean is reasonably good, and some of the supporting cast of recognisable British actors are alright too, I think one of the big reasons I didn't think this was as entertaining as it could have been was that we didn't see enough disease ridden people and their fatal symptoms, so it's an okay horror mystery. Worth watching!
This movie had the potential to be very good, but the writer seemed to fall short. After watching this movie I was disappointed, the plot hadn't led up to anything. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen. This movie was just, simply stated, boring. It was not "thought provoking" at all.Lastly, this movie looks very cheaply made, at some parts the camera-work is so bad you can't even tell what's going on. This movie was produced in the hopes that the few battle scenes would get enough gore loving teens to watch it. This movie is definitely not worth your time or money, and the only reason I'm even giving this 2 stars instead of one because the cast was really good, it's just a really bad movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The bad ending in this movie acts like a domino effect and it easily
ruined the whole story. It's the black death, it go's from sean bean
asking a priest (main character) for assistance they go on their
endeavour to catch a necromancer who they accused for causing the
plague and plan to capture/put him in a human torture catalyst and
bring him back alive to be further tortured and then killed. In my mind
I'm thinking "oh no" I hope they don't succeed because that would be
unjustified, too immoral and nobody would learn anything.
Well that basically happens in the end nobody learned anything, the priest that was good became a hypocrite because he killed his own sister because he thought she was the walking dead. So he made a mistake, you would think he would learn after that but he doesn't. He becomes a inquisitor in the end and just torches literally anyone that he feels like, as long as it justifies in the name of his god.
Not only that they typecast the pagans as cruel near the end which I can't understand in light in comparison to christians at the time. Christianity had pagan influence how are they different from any other. Season of the Witch is way better than this.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It was a fun movie to watch for the most part, aside from some bad editing, limited good dialogue and confusing point/moral. If its just a movie just to be a movie then good it was fine and I would give it a 6. The story was creative but so back and forth with a moral and slightly abstract, but all led to no good thinking; just pure entertainment is what I got out of it. If your going to write a slightly abstract historical fiction movie there has got to be something more than a seemingly wishy washy theme of Christianity. The story was neat and creative but.... there was negative Christianity tones and then very positive, or should I say killer tones of Christianity. Many pluses to the story, but all and all it doesn't cut it. It was really fun to watch but then I felt dead with lack of thought and little confusion afterward, (which is never fun). And I can't imagine myself wanting to watch it again to figure out any message or moral, sort of like Inception. It was entertaining because about the first half of the movie seems very real and plausible, and there are some good scenes, but it all leads to confusion or lack of provoking thought.
I had high hopes for Black Death: director Christopher Smith has
previously displayed both a wickedly dark sense of humour and a
willingness to get good and gory in the name of entertainment, and his
first three features, Creep, Severance and Triangle, saw him steadily
improving as a film-maker and storyteller. With a movie set in
plague-ravaged Medieval times, I fully expected Smith to deliver a
delightfully gruesome piece of historical horror, light on factual
accuracy perhaps, but heavy on exploitative goodnessFlesh + Blood for
the 21st Century.
However, rather than go the whole hog and wallow in the utter filth and depravity of the era, depicting in lingering close-up its horrific torture, rape, executions, brutal battles and scabrous whores with bad teeth dropping dead in the street, Smith adopts an approach that is frustratingly reserved and surprisingly trite.
While the film is certainly unrelentingly grim and frequently violent, its bouts of brutality are filmed in annoyingly trendy wobbly-cam and edited so rapidly that what juicy content there is proves frustratingly hard to see. As far as I am concerned, if you present an ingenious torture device designed to split a person from 'ass to Adam's apple', you should show it in use; if you've got half a dozen merciless warriors engaged in battle with savage killers, bring on the outrageous splatter and scatter those severed body parts; and if you have a character pulled apart by horses, don't wimp out with a crap one-second shot of mannequin arms being pulled along the ground when the audience are expecting a twitching limb-less torso gushing blood.
The lack of satisfyingly gruesome detail, coupled with a dreary and overly austere narrative that focuses on boring religious conflict and a bland monk's search for his love interest ultimately makes the film a disappointing experience. There's nothing here that Witchfinder General didn't do much, much better over 40 years ago.
From the beginning I loved the setting with all the scenery that
consumed me in setting the mood. It started off a bit slow but quickly
picked up. About 1/2 way through there as some intense fighting along
with quite a bit of gore.
From there the story took on a different view as they entered the village. I too thought that the villagers seems a bit too modern for the rest of the backdrop. Sean Bean looked like he walked right of the Game of Thrones set onto this set.
At times the plot covered religion and faith as a over-compassing subject forcing the watcher to at times self reflect. I found some of the dialog was a bit drawn out and the shaky camera action was annoying. Overall it was a good movie
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