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The Forest (2016)
This should have been a Japanese movie
''The Forest'' is a British-American supernatural horror movie which takes place in the infamous Aokigahara, a vast forest below Mount Fuji that has a historic association with demons in Japanese mythology and which is a notoriously common suicide site. The film tells the story of a young American woman who tries to rescue her twin sister who was working as an English teacher in Tokyo and who disappeared during a weekend trip to said forest. While local authorities believe that the troubled young woman committed suicide, her sister believes she is still alive since she has a special supernatural connection to her. She travels to Japan on her own and decides to look for her sister despite several warnings from local guides. She gets help from an Australian journalist and a Japanese park guide when she starts looking for her sister. She soon starts to have strange visions, has numerous arguments with the two men, gets mentally unstable and ultimately lost in the woods. The young has to fight her own demons of the past first in order to uncover the mysterious fate of her twin sister and survive after nightfall.
What I liked about the movie is the inspiring and original settings in Japan. The movie includes a few interesting cultural elements which build up a chilling atmosphere. The introduction of the movie is short and to the point. The background story of the two sisters is a quite good idea but could have been a little bit more detailed and profound. The camera, light and sound techniques are solid and overall there aren't too many low-budget shaky camera sections in this film which is positively exceptional nowadays.
On the other side, this movie would have been much more authentic if it had been made by an entire Japanese film crew even though most Western cinemas might have ignored such a film due to Hollywood's monopoly. I have seen several Japanese horror movies and they usually offer an intense mixture of supernatural horror elements and perfectly inserted bits and pieces of their own rich culture. ''The Forest'' doesn't have the same kind of depth and remains an entertaining yet exchangeable horror movie that could almost take place anywhere around the world. From an atmospheric point of view, there are two or three mysterious scenes and two or three good jump scares but other parts of the movie are rather dull and sometimes we get fifteen to twenty minutes where nothing important happens at all and where the movie loses a lot of momentum. The acting is of an average quality and none of the actors or actresses leaves a positive impression. This is mostly due to a poor script. It might introduce a few promising ideas like the mysterious death of the twins' parents but they aren't much developed and remain mostly superficial.
The conclusion to the film is controversial and in my opinion rather confusing, hectic and absolutely implausible. I'm aware of the fact that a supernatural horror movie isn't supposed to be realistic but this ending is so absurd that it's almost laughable. It's a typical ''deus ex machina'' ending which sadly fits to an overall vapid plot.
In the end, faithful horror movie fans and those who like to get exposed to Japanese culture by any means can give this film a try. For anyone else, this movie is nothing more or less than an average supernatural horror flick which isn't really scary after all. If you want to go to the cinema with a couple of friends and get exposed to a handful of jump scares, this movie might be entertaining at some points. If you watch it on your own or are expecting something clever, this film is a letdown. If you are truly interested in profound supernatural horror movies connected to Asian culture, you can find much better films from Asia which are ignored by Western cinemas.
The Hateful Eight (2015)
All of Quentin Tarantino's trademarks united in one movie
''The Hateful Eight'' is a typical Quentin Tarantino movie. It has a slow build-up that carefully introduces the eight different characters. The dialogues are very elaborated and mix crude vocabulary with more intellectual expressions to create an emotional balance. The tension of the movie is based on the cold landscapes, the long dialogues, the restricted setting, the excellent gloomy soundtrack and an overall simple yet efficient story with a little twist. It takes nearly two hours before the first main character dies and the killing scenes are then very graphic, purposely exaggerated and chillingly refreshing in contrast to the lengthy conversations. Anyone who knows Quentin Tarantino gets exactly what one can expect from him.
This factor has its advantages and disadvantages. The dialogues are among the very best in modern Hollywood cinema. The camera techniques are epic, the settings add to the atmosphere of the film and the score composed by Ennio Morricone is great. The eight characters are unique and very different from each other. They are incarnated by eight actors who really shine in this movie. All of them do an outstanding job but I would like to point the acting of the only female lead character played by Jennifer Jason Leigh who perfectly portrays a sneaky, sadistic and opportunistic criminal that constantly tries to manipulate people around her. The relations between the different characters are what makes this movie even more outstanding. Unlikely rivalries and alliances come and go during the movie and none of the characters is predictable.
On the negative side, the movie is comparable to several previous movies by Quentin Tarantino. In my opinion, the film has too many similarities with his last western ''Django Unchained'', including the setting, discussions about slavery and the Civil War background. Another negative element is the length of the movie. While the film builds up a lot of atmosphere, some momentum gets lost in the middle of the film before the first character dies. The movie could have been shortened by at least twenty to thirty minutes to assure a more fluid experience. Another element that bothered me a little bit was the perspective change in the movie. Right before the climax, the film introduces an entire chapter set in the early hours of the same day that reveals all the twists in about twenty minutes which decreases the impact of the following climax and interrupts the flow of the movie in an odd way. This background story could have been told differently, quicker and especially at a different moment in the movie.
In the end, ''The Hateful Eight'' might not be Quentin Tarantino's best movie so far but it's a good or slightly above average film by him. The dialogues of the script are worthy of an Academy Award, the camera, light and sound techniques have both a retro style and are up to modern standards and the actors and actresses deliver some of their very best career performances. If you like westerns, the stunning landscapes and the story are two more reasons for you to adore this movie. If you are looking for a more graphic, short-paced and violent movie, ''The Hateful Eight'' might bore you since the film is unusually long and at points hard to sit through, focuses almost only on dialogues and character developments and only gets physically intense in the last sixth of the movie. Personally, this was one of last year's greatest movies in my opinion but you will only admire this movie if you are familiar with other works of Quentin Tarantino, like western stories and settings and adore elaborated dialogues.
Dung che sai duk (1994)
Solitary soul(s) on a quest for redemption
''Ashes of Time'' is a unique art film which is loosely bound upon Jin Yong's wuxia novel ''The Legend of the Condor Heroes''. Despite two blurry action choreographies, this movie can't be considered as a martial arts movie at all. Due to its philosophical content, its numerous metaphors and examples of symbolism and its calm episodic script, this movie could best be categorized as an art-house drama. The movie is separated into five fragments according to the four seasons with the spring season representing both introduction and coda of this piece of art. The director doesn't offer any conclusion to its vague story and challenges the audience to make sense of this film on its own.
The only guiding lines of the movie are the changes of season, the transformation of colourful landscapes and the topic of unrequited love and how to deal with this depressing fate. Each character has faced, currently faces or will face a desperate love relationship and everyone of them tries to find a different solution: one of them simply tries to forget the past, another one seeks refuge in isolation and another one wants to assassinate the one who causes all the emotional and mental suffering. In the end, none of the characters can find a satisfying answer on their quest for redemption. Despite the depressing tone, the beginning of the movie can be interpreted as the origin of a quest for redemption while the coda might be seen as an optimistic attempt at renaissance.
This film can be interpreted in at least two ways. One possibility is that the main location in form of a bare cabin in the desert is a meeting point for solitary souls who feel outcast from society and who are absorbed by their mental problems. The main character listens to their different stories and often manages to find solutions for them but he is still unable to solve his own problems. Another possibility is that this movie is only about the main character and that the side characters only exist on his confused mind and represent different sides of his shattered soul looking for salvation.
Despite its colourful journey, inspiring philosophical content and revolutionary visual component, this courageous piece of art is not appropriate for mainstream audiences and might even be hard to digest for passionate cineasts. The movie's pace is extremely slow and it contains several noticeable lengths towards the middle. While the few fight choreographies could have spiced things up a little bit, they happen to be rather redundant, slow and unspectacular.
In the end, you should absolutely watch this if you have an open mind for philosophical art-house experiments that request your intellectual participation in the movie. You should avoid it if you are expecting a vivid wuxia movie or a tense martial arts film because your expectations won't be met and you will end up being disappointed.
Zhì qu weihu shan (2014)
A certain return to form for legendary director Tsui Hark
Tsui Hark movies are always a mixed bag for me. The Vietnamese New Wave director created visually stunning, profoundly philosophical and mostly historically inspired movies like the ''A Chinese Ghost Story'' and ''Once Upon a Time in China'' movie series in his early years that any movie fan should know. In recent years, he rather focused on commercially entertaining, effect-ridden and overall meaningless films such as ''Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame'' and ''The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate''. The latter movies weren't entirely bad but they weren't on the same artistic, authentic and intellectual level as his early classics. ''The Taking of Tiger Mountain'' is situated somewhere in between both categories but probably closer to the second group than to the first.
On the positive side, the movie is partially historically inspired even though the film isn't devoid of a certain propagandistic approach that presents the People's Liberation Army in a much too positive way. The movie basically tells the story of a small group within this army that needs to outsmart a large group of bandits that are raiding villages in the northern parts of the fragile country. The settings of the movie are truly spectacular. The costumes, the villages and even the way the actors speak are truly accurate and trace your way back seventy years in time. Most of the story is set in elegant winter landscapes and one gets to see breathtaking valleys and mountains, simple but charming skiing exercises and even a couple of animals such as the tiger that attacks the protagonist halfway through the movie. In comparison with Tsui Hark's other recent movies, especially the first half of the film feels refreshingly authentic, natural and realistic and only a few effects are used in an efficient way. Towards the climax of the story, more and more special effects are used but they somehow add to the action and tension of the film and don't feel randomly inserted as in many of his other recent films. The action choreographies are stunning and the best example for these intense passages is the battle in the raided village which takes place towards the last third of the movie. While the acting itself is not outstanding, it definitely has more depth than characters in Tsui Hark's more recent films and one can feel some empathy with the smart and mysterious protagonist, the emotional and lonely child or the optimistic female combat medic.
On the negative side, the main villain remains superficial and even ridiculous at certain moments. The short moments of humour when he speaks nonsense or exaggeration when he gestures in theatrical manner feel out of place and unnecessarily decrease the intensity of the movie. The special effects get a little bit exaggerated in the final twenty minutes or so of the movie and contrast the initially authentic magic of the movie that turns into something which isn't a far call from a meaningless Hollywood action flick. The story itself is also a little bit too simple, predictable and one-sided. Another element which I disliked is how the movie was forcedly connected to some random Chinese emigrant living in New York City who can't let go of his culture, family and past instead of trying to become accurately integrated in a foreign country. I feel that this connection to our contemporary world didn't add anything at all to the movie even if the director probably intended to prove that the value of this story based on Qu Bo's novel of the same name from 1957 has been firmly planted in the Chinese national consciousness for more than half a century.
In the end, the numerous positive elements are much more impressive and present than the few negative facts which can be seen as secondary. Tsui Hark somewhat redeems himself after a series of rather shallow flicks that were only aiming for commercial success, modern special effects and simple entertainment. This movie has more depth concerning the characters, magic settings and at least some kind of moral at certain points in the story. This movie still isn't on the same level as Tsui Hark's earliest successes but fans of historically inspired contemporary Chinese action movies can't go wrong with this movie and should therefore give this film a chance.
Bai ri yan huo (2014)
Atmosphere alone is not enough
''Black Coal, Thin Ice'' is a sinister neo-noir movie by renowned Chinese actor, director and screenwriter Diao Yinan. The film is a mixture of a slow-paced thriller and a depressing drama. The movie received wide critical acclaim and won the Golden Bear award at the Berlin International Film Festival among others.
Sadly, this movie is a good example for the fact that critically acclaimed movies rarely appeal to wider audiences. Things start promisingly in the beginning when body parts are found in different coal factories in the People's Republic of China in 1999. The locations look empty, grey and polluted and show unusually cold-hearted, contemporary and realistic facets of the country. Just about fifteen minutes into the movie, a very weird scene occurs. The cops want to interview a first suspect and the whole event escalates for no apparent reason. The suspect and some of his friends die as well as several cops. We soon get to know that the suspects didn't seem to have anything to do with the murder and the question is why they would immediately panic when they saw the police and try to kill everyone around them. The whole scene was intense and had a shocking effect but it felt exaggerated and almost surreal. The promisingly slow start felt disharmonically interrupted and botched.
This opening massacre is not the only time characters are acting in abnormally weird ways in this movie. The movie surely includes a lot of symbolism and metaphors and tries to portray loneliness and rejection in a directionless and industrialized society but some scenes are out of place and so surreal that they somehow contradict the dark realism of the plot. While the movie has several interesting experimental ideas, other parts are unnecessarily long-winded and the plot itself is not surprising enough to carry over almost two hours. The film feels as if Charles Bukowski met David Lynch in an industrial ghost town to elaborate a script that is missing that certain something. The plot itself is not complex enough to make this a good thriller. The characters are not profound enough to make this an intense drama. The story is not surreal enough to make this an uneasy mystery movie. This film includes elements of all these genres but not enough of everything to fully convince and sometimes feels directionless. What could have been a revolutionary mixture of genres feels headless at certain moments.
The initially interesting characters and solid acting also fail to develop further as the movie goes on. Five years after the first crime and its ensuing massacre, other dismembered body parts are found that all seem to lead to the mysterious widow of the first victim. The two desperate, disgraced and lonesome cops who survived the opening massacre try to find the real murderer behind these gruesome crimes. One has become a drunken security guard who desperately wants to solve the murder case that destroyed his life. He first investigates and stalks the mysterious and quiet widow before he begins a romantic relationship with her. This relationship between two solitary souls could have been an amazing idea. The concept isn't new but movies such as ''Sea of Love'' or ''Basic Instinct'' have shown what you can make with such a plot. Sadly, the two main characters don't connect on any level. Even their common loneliness is lived in different facets and it's challenging if not impossible to feel empathy for any of them. I found that the conclusion of this initially promising relationship felt disjunct. Maybe it was the director's intension to let his sinister piece of art end in a heartless way but it felt too neutral to be either heartless or emotional. Once again, a middle way was chosen that feels somewhat botched.
The closing scenes with the drunk security guard dancing with himself to a horrid pop song and some teenagers starting fireworks at daytime feel extremely pretentious. I'm aware of the fact that the director wanted to show the cop's deliverance from his demons and the start of a new life for him in the former scene and the mixture of mysterious fantasy and depressing realism as guide line through the movie in the latter scene but these parts felt once again forced, out of context and under-developed. The director tried too hard to show how creative he is and that's why these closing scenes are plain unsatisfying. Fans of the movie will probably believe that some viewers didn't get all the allusions but that isn't the problem. The director wanted to achieve too many things at the same time and failed in a nearly arrogant way.
The only positive elements that remain are the thoroughly sinister atmosphere created by grey settings, probably intentionally paralyzed acting skills, chillingly calm camera techniques, a fitting soundtrack and a few good acting parts. Despite a handful of potentially creative, philosophical and even revolutionary ideas from the filmmaker, this movies falls flat because of its own directionless, over-ambitioned and slow-paced pretentiousness. Fans of art-house cinema and philosophical neo-noir movies can give this a try. Those who are looking for a profound drama or engaging thriller should look elsewhere.
Intellectual action-drama that requests multiple viewings
"Assassination" or "Amsal" is an engaging and epic mixture of an espionage action film and a historically inspired drama. Both genre parts are equally balanced and the modern special effects aren't so overloaded that they feel out of context in a movie set more than eighty years ago. The film convinces with an intellectually appealing script, diversified and great characters and acting performances and a solid mixture of historically inspired storytelling, personal drama parts and tense action scenes. There is no doubt that this is one of the best movies of the year.
Over the course of almost two and a half hours, the film tells the story of an assassination attempt on a Japanese governor and a pro-Japanese Korean business tycoon by Korean resistance activists during Japan's colonial rule of Korea. The movie is set at different times and even the perspectives slightly change which makes the movie a little bit hard to follow in the beginning. The film takes all the time it needs to introduce the different characters and the historical settings which adds a lot of depth to the characters, details to the historic elements and emotions to the story. These are the reasons why the slightly long introduction that might be hard to sit through for wider audiences is absolutely essential to the rest of the movie.
The first slow-paced hour builds up to the furious last ninety minutes of the film. The final two thirds of the film feature a stellar acting performance, a smart use of camera angles, costumes, locations, soundtrack and special effects by the director and a clever story with many predictable but also unpredictable twists and turns in form of different conspiracies.
Especially the fate of female sniper Ahn OK-yun who is portrayed by an absolutely stunning Jun Ji-hyun in the best performance of her career is a key element of the movie. Most viewers will probably care a lot about the twisted ups and downs of this engaging character.
The showdown of the movie is one of the best directed action scenes in world cinema this year and in the history of Korean cinema in general. It's not as memorable as the fighting scenes in "Oldboy", "The Man from Nowhere" or "The Admiral: Roaring Currents" but it gets quite close and has a breathtaking choreography. The coda of the movie which takes place almost two decades after the actions of the main plot is an excellent way to end a great movie on a high note.
Due to it's complex story and high number of directional ideas, I would recommend watching this movie several times. This emotional action-drama is definitely worth your attention and one of the cinematic highlights of the year. I can't wait to revisit this great film and buy this movie on DVD or Blu-ray next year.
12 Citizens (2014)
Unintentionally revealing social science study of a struggling society in a country without common identity and values
"Twelve Citizens" is the Chinese version of Reginald Rose's legendary drama "Twelve Angry Men" from 1954. Instead of reinventing the content to assimilate it to China's contemporary culture, law system and society, the movie is almost an exact copy of the original masterpiece. The only important difference is that this movie shows us a fake trial inspired by the American law system held by parents of law school students who have worked on a case where a son is supposed to have killed his father and found him guilty. The parents have to debate whether the students did a good job and pass their exam. This means that the initial tension of the original where a man's life was at stake is completely missing in this movie. Another part that changed is that in this film, a rich boy living in the city killed his poor father in the countryside. Since China still has a restrictive communist government, rich young men are the same kind of outsiders that criminal slum kids were sixty years earlier in the United States of America. This speaks volumes for the contemporary conditions in this country but instead of honestly criticizing, exposing and solving these problems, the movie rejects the American law system and the ideology of democracy.
This modern movie has almost nothing of the outstanding settings of the original movie with Herny Fonda among others. Even though most of this movie is also shot in one room, it's a very large one where people can walk around and away from each other at any time instead of a small jury room where tensions arise rather quickly. The heat is not as extreme as in the tense original film. Even though there are weather changes in this movie, they aren't very present and don't serve as guiding line to the story. The clever camera angles of the original are almost completely absent in this film since the cameras rarely film from above in the beginning and there aren't many close-ups either towards the end. The soundtrack is even more limited than the original and not memorable at all. At certain points, this movie feels as if it had been directed by some overambitious law school students and unexperienced movie fans that didn't exactly understand why the original version worked so brilliantly and still does until today.
Despite being a copy of a great script that comes six decades too late, the movie is still enjoyable because the story is almost timeless and the original drama has an incredibly strong character development and perfect dialogues. The Chinese actors aren't as perfect but they are really solid and their performances are clearly better than many other television remakes of the original. Some characters have slightly different background stories if compared to the original which adds at least a handful of interesting new elements. We get to know an old man whose family got wrongfully criticized by an entire village due to Mao Zedong's failed reforms, a bitter, conservative and poor iceman who despises an entire Generation and a rational communist state prosecutor who obviously plays the protagonist of the story. This little detail is only revealed in the very last scene of the movie and that's why it's so important.
This propaganda movie basically spreads three messages. First of all, the American law system is flawed and can't work in the People's Republic of China. Second, China's law system is better and the men and women who represent it are fair, impartial and modern. Third, China still has to move forward and deal with the demons of its own past, notably the impacts of Mao Zedong's reforms and the prejudices it spread and that still persist. The movie also tries to show more or less that contemporary young millionaires without any identity deserve as much respect as working men who have built an entire nation which is acceptable for this particular courtroom drama but debatable as a general statement.
This movie unintentionally exposes China's heart and soul to the viewers and shows a generation caught between a restrictive system with obsolete values of the past and an egocentric globalized world where it's challenging to find your own place. It portrays a society without any common identity, values and virtues. From that point of view and if you read between the lines and go beyond the plot itself, this movie has a certain interest and almost feels like a social science study while the story itself is simply stated a cheap ripoff. The analysis of this flawed propagandistic perspective is what makes this movie much more interesting than anything else and the main reason for my generous Rating. This movie made me explore the past and contemporary struggles of a directionless yet fascinating country.
Intense gore horror ride with an environmental message in an unusual setting
With "Blood Glacier", also known as "The Station", Austrians prove once more that they are among the most diversified, interesting and underestimated movie makers in Europe. While the movie can't equal the neo-noir western "The Dark Valley" that can be considered a future cult classic due to its cool story line, intriguing settings and unusual genre mix, this movie here should be a treat for fans of brutal horror movies, mountain settings and survival stories.
"Blood Glacier" has a slightly dystopian feeling since it's taking place in the near future where global warming has brought aggressive parasites back to life that transforms and breeds terrible hybrids of different organisms. They are first discovered by four scientists and engineers in Austria when they discover reddish organisms on glaciers and find something resembling a mutated fox in a sinister cave. Soon, different animals and human beings get infected and the four men and women are fighting for survival. At the same time, they disagree about the best way to deal with the unexpected problem and serious tensions arise. Meanwhile, a minister and her crew who want to get more information about the researches are already on their way to the remote station. Partially unaware of the potential dangers, their arrival could mean that the scientists might all be saved or that even more people could get infected and die.
After a slow start that introduces the characters and settings in the first thirty minutes, the final hour of the movie will keep you on the edge of your seat. The clash of the diversified characters, the constant tense action scenes and numerous gore effects are the main elements for an intense ride until the debatable and slightly surprising ending.
Obviously, the movie also has its flaws. The story line isn't very clever and a few weird and unintentionally humorous scenes towards the end might diminish the enjoyment of the film. Some lines by the characters are so awkward that they are actually rather catchy. The acting isn't exactly stellar and especially the main characters could have been a little bit more convincing. With a better cast, the movie could have worked much better. The special effects and especially the looks of the original monsters are rather cheaply made if compared to more expensive productions but it's not an abominable case either.
If you are a sucker for intense gore horror movies in an intriguing environment, these obvious flaws won't bother you much because the last hour of the film is much too intense to think about these elements anyway. Genre fans will find a true gem with this explicit roller-coaster ride. Movie connoisseurs will be pleasantly surprised that germanophone countries are able to produce something else than depressive, exchangeable and old-fashioned crime flicks. Over another episode of "Tatort" and the likes on television and this monster b-movie with a slightly environmental message, my choice is quickly made for the latter.
Odd mixture of classic and contemporary elements
''Spectre'' is an entirely entertaining above average action- thriller but only an average part of the famous James Bond franchise that I know by heart. While I enjoyed watching this movie at the cinema, I still felt somewhat disappointed and won't revisit this film anytime soon.
The main problem of the movie is that it tries to arrange an odd mixture of the more recent films characterized by a more fragile main character, more personal plots and a sinister atmosphere on one side and the reintroduction of antiquated gadgets, classic characters from the seventies and the waffling of the usual trademark sentences on the other side. Instead of being an intriguing mixture of both styles, ''Spectre'' feels directionless, odd and surprisingly predictable.
This has to do with an extremely weak story line. While the first hour of the movie is promising and builds up a mysterious tension around the main villain, the last ninety minutes fall flat from any point of view. The movie rehashes all the old stereotypes that aren't credible anymore in a contemporary setting. The love story between James Bond and Madeleine Swann isn't credible and feels forced. The main villain makes the most stupid mistakes such as torturing his victim instead of killing it at several moments. Even exploding watches and flame-spitting cars are back and add some unintentional slapstick humour to a film that starts in a serious manner. The problems don't stop there. Many parts of the movie are directly copied from several previous films of the franchise. The fighting scene on the train is a cheap copy of ''From Russia with Love'' for example. The character of Mr. Hinx is a cheap copy of Jaws from ''The Spy Who Loved Me'' and ''Moonraker''. These elements lack so much originality that they can't just be excused as simple tributes to the past.
The acting of the movie is also rather underwhelming. It's Daniel Craig's least emotional performance of James Bond as he feels somewhat shallow and like a hollow shell of his former self. I was severely disappointed by the underused talent of the outstanding Christoph Waltz who is one of the best contemporary actors around the world but limited to a predictable character and a very short screen time. Monica Belluci's role is even completely unnecessary since she only has about five minutes of screen time, ten lines of dialogue and her role seems just to be a weak pretext for showing off some skin.
Obviously, there are still several positive elements. Léa Seydoux is a confident, smart and tough incarnation of a Bond girl that contrasts the more traditional characters in the movie. Ralph Fiennes as M is convincing as a cold, loyal and serious boss. The geeky reinterpretation of Q portrayed by Ben Whishaw reaches a new high quality peak as well.
The action sequences of the movie might not be original but they are definitely stunning. The chase scene in Austria is bombastic, breathtaking and well-edited. The costumes and settings of the movie are diversified but always appropriate. The soundtrack is on the same elegant level as the previous ''Skyfall''.
Some elements of the plot are truly promising, especially in the first hour of the movie. The longer the movie gets, the more ridiculous the story becomes and especially the closing scene is really weak in my opinion.
In the end, ''Spectre'' is a slightly below average James Bond movie. Die-hard fans of the franchise should go to the cinema while anyone else can simply wait for a release on DVD/Blu-ray. You will probably be entertained while you're watching this movie but in the long run, it's a rather exchangeable film that you will soon forget.
Crimson Peak (2015)
This year's best choice to celebrate Halloween in a Gothic way
''Crimson Peak'' is an entertaining and enjoyable Gothic movie with elements of supernatural horror, period crime and tragic romantic genres. The greatest parts of the movie are the settings and costumes. Some of it may not always be historically accurate but these elements sure add to the enchantingly creepy atmosphere of the film. They make both the growing metropolises in the North-Eastern part of the United States of America and the wild, rural and lonely landscapes of the United Kingdom and their respective societies come to life in an impressive way. The greatest element is the dilapidated mansion that almost feels like an additional character to the story due to its vast and rotten spaces, pale vestiges of old aristocracy and complex mysteries hidden in the numerous rooms and walls.
The story itself is rather predictable but nicely narrated. The generic plot still works thanks to a solid acting performance by the feminist yet fragile character portrayed by Mia Wasikowska, the elegant yet sinister character played by Tom Hiddleston and the cold and evil character incarnated by Jessica Chastain. The relationship between the three is very ambiguous, engaging and tense.
Even though this might neither be the movie of the year nor one of director Guillermo del Toro's best works, ''Crimson Peak'' is a spine-chilling Gothic movie that convinces with atmospheric settings and solid acting. If you're looking for a more classic, elegant and intellectual horror movie around Halloween this year, ''Crimson Peak'' should be your first choice.