The Hateful Eight (movie review)

TheHatefulEight

By Franz

I like Tarantino. I like most of his films. But I don’t think he’s a flawless, genius, God-like director, he’s pretty good. That’s all. The Hateful Eight is pretty far from is best works, but it’s no where near his worst. In my opinion at least. I had a lot of problems with this film but I will say one thing: I enjoyed this film, despite the problems and I would recommend this. So, since I’m a lazy, un-talented hack of a critic, I’m going to do this review with the simple “Pros and cons” style. So, let’s start.

Pros:

The performances are great all across the board. It’s no surprise, Tarantino writes his characters for actors and he usually can get anybody he wants in his movies so it’s rare that there would be a bad performance in his works. Kurt Russel shows a shit ton of charisma, Samuel L. Jackson is fine (I’ve never thought Jackson was an interesting lead, and he doesn’t prove me wrong here), Jennifer Jason Leigh was awesome as a total fucking asshole, Walton Goggins was no doubt my favorite character and performance and Bruce Dern was pretty good as well. The characters are somewhat interesting, everyone has a motive and everybody’s hiding something, they all have wonderful chemistry together. There’s no “Oscar-worthy” performance here, but still everyone was very solid.

Now, basically everybody has been hyping this film up because Tarantino shot this in 70mm, which is nice but nothing to rave about. Jeremy Jahns’ review (which I liked a lot) was almost cringe-inducing the way he talked about how insane it was. I mean, 70mm isn’t dead. Sure, it’s not used as much anymore, but pretty fucking far from dead. Christopher Nolan is known for using 70mm in his films (never fully shot in 70mm, but parts are) and Paul Thomas Anderson shot The Master in 70mm (actually 65 but basically the same thing) and that’s just a couple of examples. Trust me, Tarantino’s choice wasn’t groundbreaking. It was cool and the film looks nice, but nothing to masturbate to.

Anyway, the cinematography is nice, nothing fantastic (surprisingly enough, Tarantino doesn’t have a visual style, which is odd considering he’s one of the most stylized directors), but very decent. He breaks the 180 degree rule at least once here, but that’s fine, I don’t want to nit-pick, just something I noticed. I kinda like the idea of shooting with 70mm and then have 95% of the film be in this small cabin, but I’m not completely sure does that work. It has “epic” landscape shots, but they were fairly blah in my book. RedLetterMedia brought up The Master in their review and Mike said that “the whole film takes place in a church basement”, which was a funny line, but The Master has a lot more epic, beautiful shots than The Hateful Eight does. In my opinion, The Master uses the format a lot better than Hateful Eight. But they are two completely different films. I do love the set design here, the cabin, while fairly small, is just so detailed and the 70mm shows so much I just wanted to pause the film and look at every little thing object there.

The story is very strong, like you would expect. Though I have a lot of problems with it, I will say I enjoyed the ride for the most part. It was a lot of fun trying to guess who was the culprit and all that. Even when it kinda fucks up with the flashback stuff, I actually really liked the flashback sequence. I did find the first 40 or so minutes to be almost un-bearably long and fucking tedious, but after they get to the cabin, it gets better. Tarantino kinda sold this movie as an Agatha Christie style western, and it kinda is, but no where near as wonderful written as Christie’s works. However, the mystery is interesting and Tarantino does know how to build a story. So good job.

Cons:

One of the biggest flaws (in my opinion) was the lack of suspense. In Inglorious Basterds, the bar scene is no doubt the most suspenseful scene Tarantino has every filmed (in my mind, the best scene he has ever filmed). It’s suspenseful because we have no idea what’s going to happen. There’s so many fake-outs, so many points where everyone can die, but it doesn’t happen, Tarantino holds the scene, letting the characters continue their discussion. Even when you know for certain shit’s gonna happen, we don’t know when exactly. It’s classic Sergio Leone style suspension, and it works amazing. There isn’t a scene like that in here. Most of the time when he was going for scenes like that, I knew what was going to happen. When Jackson shows the Lincoln letter for the first time, how many of you guessed Leigh was going to spit on it? That was just way too screenwriting 101, pretty amateurish. Or when Jackson was telling the story about Dern’s son, again, pretty fucking obvious what he was trying to do. Also that monologue was pretty great until the black cock thing which was annoyingly terrible. But, I just couldn’t feel any suspense here, even though you don’t know what’s gonna happen or when, there was just a bit too much information in every scene which to me destroyed the suspense. Like the flashback moment, you know it’s gonna happen and the “when” doesn’t matter.

Also, I hate to say this, the violence. Okay, before you consider me a total prude, I don’t mind his violence at all. In Django, which is a pretty fucking violent film, I loved the violence, because that was the punchline. Django in general is a very tongue-in-cheek film where violence is played off as silly and over-the-top. The Hateful Eight has comedy as well, in typical Tarantino fashion, but it’s not where near as “funny” as Django. In fact, most of the film is so straight and serious, whenever a “joke” comes, it’s not only distracting but took me out of the film. I got that the Jackson’s monologue to Dern was a joke, but a dick joke? Really Tarantino? And I get it, the violence is meant to be over-the-top because it’s Tarantino’s trademark. But The Who doesn’t smash their instruments on stage when they play Behind Blue Eyes, you get what I’m saying? There’s a time and place for his type of violence. And in my opinion, this film doesn’t need it. Since the violence is just so ridiculous here, so gory and gruesome, it took me out of the film, it killed any kind of suspense, the little there was. When Tarantino indulges on the blood and guts that much, it’s hard to take the whole mystery seriously.

And last problem I had was the first 40 minutes were kinda tedious. Actually really tedious. Do we have to see Jackson slowly putting his revolvers on the ground and slowly walk towards Russel? Do you have to start the film with a slow zoom-out of Jesus and then don’t give a pay off? Just couple things like that kinda annoyed me.

 

Overall:

I still recommend this film, despite it’s flaws, it’s an entertaining film and a somewhat unique film in his filmography. The Hateful Eight gets a Hateful 7/10 from me.

Creed (2015) review

*Holy shit, finally a review. I know, it’s been a while*

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By Franz

It’s weird, you hear about a Rocky spin-off featuring Apollo Creed’s son trained by Rocky and it’s not panned as a terrible idea and a terrible movie. Well okay, maybe it was panned as a terrible idea but when it came out, it was actually hailed as one of the years best. Maybe we should have guessed that it wouldn’t be terrible, it wasn’t directed or even written by Stallone and the series had a new creative vision behind it. But, I was, like everybody, highly skeptical, the trailer wasn’t anything special and Michael B. Jordan hasn’t really shown a lot of greatness (yet). But, the film, maybe like the original Rocky, exceeded the expectations and it turned our pretty fucking awesome. So, let’s talk about it.

Southpaw came out earlier this year, the Jake Gyllanhaal boxing movie that everybody forgot, and it was absolute shit. The problem with that film was that it was just so generic, basically ripping off every boxing movie cliche in the book and doing nothing with it’s talent, making it a boring, un-inspired film that felt like any other Hollywood sport film. Creed is basically the original Rocky, almost exactly the same story. But why is Creed better than Southpaw when on paper it sounds like they have the same problems? Well, take the original Rocky for example: even at it’s time, it wasn’t really original, just a standard Hollywood rags-to-riches tale of a boxer with some romance. Why did that work and still does? Because, like Rocky the character himself, it had a shit ton of heart and charisma. Sure, it was basic in terms of story and themes, but the characters were relatable and it was emotional. Southpaw doesn’t hit those emotional tones because the characters aren’t interesting, we know basically nothing about them and the story-telling is just awful (it spends way too much at the start and just skips the whole underdog part), Creed doesn’t do that. Creed has heart, it has innovation and energy, sure it follows a lot of the same beats as the original movie, but it uses them correctly.

The main reason Creed works is because it tells the underdog story correctly. Jake Gyllanhaal’s character in Southpaw is flawed, like Adonis is here, but making him a drug addict isn’t relatable nor interesting. Adonis’ flaw in this film is that he doesn’t want to be treated as the son of a great boxer, he’s wants to be proud without using his fathers name, but since people do treat him like that, it makes him a little violent. Now, that’s relatable because we like to think that we are independent and proud, most of us aren’t rich drug addicts. That’s where Southpaw fails, it makes the main character an asshole and pretty boring, and Creed success, Adonis isn’t perfect but we forgive his flaws more easily. Now sure, Jake LaMotta in The Raging Bull is a terrible human being, but Raging Bull isn’t a sweet rags-to-riches story, like these two films are.

Almost every single performance here is good, Michael B. Jordan is very charismatic and natural, just a fantastic performance, sure he’s cocky but not in an arrogant way. Everybody has been hyping up Stallone’s performance, and yes he is fantastic, but he was pretty fantastic in Rocky Balboa (Rocky 6). I mean okay, Rocky Balboa isn’t a fantastic movie, but it’s surprisingly decent and Stallone delivers an equally emotional performance in that. But yeah, his performance here (especially that one fucking scene) did almost bring out some manly tears. Honestly if I had to bring up one performance that wasn’t great that would be Tessa Thompson, who was pretty good but her character was kinda boring. I get it, she’s this films Adrian, but Adrian was a bit more interesting and fairly un-usual love interest. Bianca is just kinda of bland, but Thompson herself does deliver a sympathetic performance.

The cinematography is mostly good, the montages were all excellent, some funny, some intense, good use of music and great editing, no problems there. Everybody has been talking about that one long take and yeah it’s awesome, even if there was some digital tricks there. It’s a great concept, the first big fight, all in one very long, but energetic, almost Scorsese-like, take and they execute it so well. If nobody had said anything about it, I don’t know would have I noticed it, a good long take is the one you don’t notice, but it was nevertheless amazing.

Like I said, I only have one problem with this film and that’s just it takes a bit too much from the original. Especially from a film that wants to be it’s own, stand-alone film, it borrows one too many. But it doesn’t butcher the first film’s emotional peaks and it delivers the same amount of punch it had. It’s a thrill to watch and I did get goosebumps in the final fight, especially when the music drops there. It’s all a bit too familiar, but it’s all done so well. It’s a 8/10 from me.

Song of the Week: The Abusing of The Rib by Atmosphere

*Hey guys, so a bit shorter review this week, busy with all kinds of shit. Anyways, hope you enjoy!*

 

Atmosphere is a hip-hop group consisting of Slug (rapper) and Ant (DJ/producer). Atmosphere has released eight studio albums and ten extended plays, Headshots Se7En was recorded 1998 and was released only as a cassette, it was re-released as a CD in 2005.

Headshots Se7En is one of Atmospheres most acclaimed albums, as this is the album where Ant and Slug really found their sound. The Abusing of The Rib is one of the best songs from the album, also the most unique. Slug shines lyrically and vocally in this song, his calm and soulful voice supports beautifully the emotional lyrics. In The Abusing of The Rib Slug uses traveling and love as metaphors for drug use (or abuse). Slug says: “I wanna ride a train up my lover’s arm, destination the brain“, trains run on tracks, right? So those tracks could mean veins, and veins as we know, lead to the brain. “And natural resources are unlimited, exploration only requires some desire and initiative” More hinting towards drugs again, this particular drug grows naturally and to find and use it only requires “some desire and initiative“. “I’m not dumb, I can hear that train come from miles away, I’m setting obstacles to stop the arrival” He knows he’s hooked, and knows that another relapse is coming and tries to stop it. “If I could show you, you would never leave it, and if I could show you, you would never leave it” I think in the chorus Slug tries to tell that if you understood the effects that the drug has, you would be just as hooked as him, this hypnotizing chant continues until the song fades out.

The Abusing of The Ribs beat is absolutely fantastic, definitely one of Ants best, it flows so fluently and is chillingly beautiful. The haunting piano loop is a total earmworm, and this masterfully crafted, perfectly simple song will force you to listen to it time after another. The Abusing of The Rib is one of the forgotten gems from Atmosphere.

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Movie review: Planet of the Apes (1968) & Beneath The Planet of the Apes (1970)

*Just some quick thoughts on these two films*

By Franz

Planet of the Apes series is one of the most infamous movie series of all time, parodied a million times and also hailed as one of the most creative sci-fi series ever. Now, I’m a movie buff, but this is my first time seeing any of them, for some reason, I just never seen them. But I got the original series for only 15 euros on DVD and honestly, five films for 15 euros is such a good deal, I would have bought any movie that kind of price.

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So, I guess we should start with the first one, the original 1968 PotA with Charlton Heston. It’s considered one of the finest sci-fi films and was a huge hit that has probably parodied more that any other sci-fi film. And I don’t understand why it’s considered a classic. Okay, sure, it’s interesting, the world is very well constructed, there’s some interesting, if somewhat blunt, philosophy and Heston is very charismatic. And while the story is though provoking and fantastical, the script is so blah. The only interesting thing about the story is just the concept, other than that, it’s just screenplay 101, with nothing interesting in it, I knew where it was going all the time and yeah, that may be because everyone has already spoiled everything about this film, but still, the story construction was overly simple. I really hoped that the story would have been told with more creativity and imagination like the concept is.

But there are good things: I love the set design, it really gave a feel that this is a real place and I can understand how it would fool somebody into thinking it’s not Earth. Heston, even though how over-the-top he can be, is a joy to watch and does show his charisma. The ape make up, which is infamous, is fine for the most part, but I have to say it’s pretty dated now, especially when they kiss, they basically just ram their heads into each other like fucking goats. And the ending is quite fantastic, even though everybody will see it coming because of years of parodies. And for years now, I have been quoting Heston’s lines like “You maniacs!” and “Goddamn you all to hell!” and whenever me girlfriend touches my face “Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty APE!”. I’m just kidding. But anyway, it’s a lot of fun to hear those iconic lines in context.

I don’t have a lot to say about this film, the concept is great, Heston is fun and overall it’s pretty entertaining. The script is so basic and un-imaginative and it’s a bit dated. I can’t say it’s a “great film”, but it’s  good film at least. It’s 6/10, maybe a 6.5/10 from me.

Beneath the Planet of the Apes

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One of the reasons I wanted to see the original series was because I’ve heard that the sequals were batshit nuts. And during the first half of this one, I was concerned. It was just very poorly made, but it wasn’t crazy enough. But after about forty minutes, I was delighted. This is film is fucking crazy. Like Michelle Bachman crazy. Actually more like Alex Jones crazy: it doesn’t make any goddamn sense, but the ideas are so from the left field, you kinda just want to listen to where it’s going.

Okay, first up: it’s not a good film. I know there are some fans of this film and call it one of the best films in the series, but I have to heavily disagree here. Am I really the only one who thought that the ideas in this film weren’t brilliant, rather childish and just complete mindfucks? I’m going to spoil some shit, so if you haven’t seen this yet, well, go see it. Why do they have masks on if they’re the only ones in there? Why would they feel insecure? If they have magical powers, why don’t use them on the apes? If they are afraid of the apes, why did they hide just a mile away from them? How did the apes even find them? Did they follow Brent’s scent? Was he that smelly? Why did the humans first speak to Brent via telepathy and then randomly switched to normal speaking, wouldn’t it have been a lot easier just to talk? How did they get their clothes? The nuclear holocaust probably happened thousands of years ago, since if it happened recently, the apes (the common apes) would have known about the humans, so how are the current humans disfigured? Do disfigured people have disfigured babies? Is that how evolution works? And how did they make the masks? If the masks are old, how have they stayed so nice looking through the years? If human evolution reached the point of telepathy, how come the normal animal-humans couldn’t even speak? Did the evolution just forgot about them? Why did Heston dissolve into a mountain?

But it was a fun film, 3/10.

If you have answers to my questions, please by all means, post it in the comments.

Song of the Week: Ride On by AC/DC

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By Franz

When I was ten years old, I saw the Simpsons Halloween special, I can’t remember what season, it wasn’t the greatest Simpsons episode ever, but it did have something that changed my life. Hearing AC/DC’s Highway to Hell for the first time. After that I became a huge fan of the band and continued calling it my favorite band of all time for some years. I bought all their records, even the Australian-exclusive early stuff I somehow found at a flee-market. I fell in love, but like any first love, it slowly faded away. While even to this day I can listen to them and feel joy, it’s just not the same. Yes, they’re a very repetitive band and all of their records are the same fucking thing, but maybe it’s the constant stream of them that I have the ability to really separate songs from their albums. Anyway, where I’m going with this is, while they’re a very repetitive band, there’s one song from their fantastic 1976 album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap that sticks out like a beautiful sore thumb. It’s of course, Ride On.

AC/DC formed in 1973 Australia by two Scotsmen, Angus and Malcolm Young. Two years later they released their first international album High Voltage, with the members being Bon Scott on the vocals, Phil Rudd in the drums, some dude on the bass and the Young brothers in the guitars. It’s a fine album, one of their best actually. It has huge amount of energy and raw-ness to it, it feels like a watered down, more straight-forward rock version of The Stooges, but it works. Anyway, after that they kicked off the dude in the bass and replaced him with Cliff Williams, a gold haired tall fucker.

1976 came and so did their second album, one of their most famous, Dirty Deed Done Dirt Cheap. It’s again a fantastic piece, but I’ve never considered it their finest. Sure it has some amazing tracks, but also a lot of filler like Squeler and the silly dick-joke song Big Balls (which is a guilty pleasure of mine). But the second to last song on the track is one of the finest ones they made, it’s a weird song from them, because they really have never made a song before or after that. Anyway, it’s Ride On.

What is AC/DC known for? Fast, energetic power chords with the basic drum beat and lyrics about fucking, drinking and “good times”. So, Ride On is just like that? No, actually. It has a slow build up, with mellow, slow chords with a blues-y solos and lyrics about just wanting to quit the rock-cliche lifestyle. Yeah, that’s pretty weird from a band that has made the same album forty years in a row. Like I said, the song sticks out like a sore thumb, they have never been this melancholy and “deep”. While it’s a sore thumb, it’s a fantastic, brilliant thumb as well.

I absolutely love this song. Even if I’m not a huge fan of theirs anymore and can’t sit through their latest albums without yawning, I can listen to this song forever. Bon Scott’s sorrowful vocals and the lyrics about just relaxing for a bit, leaving the drinking and womanizing for a little while to realize just how hollow, lonely and miserable life can be. It’s probably Scott’s most personal song, singing about his self-destroying lifestyle that eventually killed him. AC/DC isn’t known for their lyrical masterpieces, but these are quite fantastic. He sings about how everything in his life is getting him down, which is a blues cliche, but then he starts singing about just how lonely his life is and how he doesn’t want to do it anymore and how he just wants to explode but he just keeps riding on, or keep on living.

While I love the lyrics and Scott’s vocals, where this song really shines is the music. Okay, the drums are just the same old tired beat that Phil “The convicted killer/cocaine addict” Rudd plays in every song, but the soft bass line and holy shit the guitars. The Young brothers always speak about how influenced they are by blues, but you rarely actually hear it in their songs. They’re a lot more Rolling Stones, than Robert Johnson. But here, it’s very clear, though there is a modern, more rock touch to it. The soft, lingering chords that amplify the already moody, somewhat melancholy, but ultimately simply relaxing atmosphere. And when the solo hits, it’s just perfect. So wonderfully played, balancing on the edge of a normal hard rock solo, but it has enough melody and rhythm to keep it in it’s blues roots. The giant, almost bombastic build up to the soft, chill as fuck chorus is fucking amazing.

Overall, the song is a slow, atmospheric song about being tired of the self-destructive lifestyle and wanting to change and get away the loneliness and misery of reality. And the music is perfect for it, at times sad, but mostly relaxing and optimistic. It’s a great fucking song, even if you’re not a fan of the band, you should absolutely check this gem out.

Last words on the band

My favorite album by them is their 1977 Let There Be Rock with it’s high octane, energetic sound that influenced a bunch of thrash metal bands and punk bands. It’s one of the finest rock albums ever and I was considering on reviewing Whole Lotta Rosie instead, since it’s quite possibly my favorite by them, but I decided to pick this, since it’s a lot more unique and interesting to talk about. I don’t think AC/DC is an amazing band by any means, but they have a special place in my heart. Like Dirty Harry (1971), they’re not the greatest band in the world, but they introduced me to so much more. After Dirty Harry, I saw films more than simple entertainments, as art and after AC/DC I started to really experiment with different style of music and I became a huge music buff. So, while a lot of people think AC/DC is a repetitive, boring band, I can agree to some degree, but they’re still awesome, maybe because of the nostalgia.

 

Song of the week: Sparrows by No Bird Sing

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By Patrick

Hello, and welcome to TwoSimpleWriters’ Song Of The Week, this week we review Sparrows by No Bird Sing. No Bird Sing is a hip-hop group from Minnesota, they have released three albums. Sparrows is a song from their self-titled album released in 2009.

Sparrows feels like Kristoff Krane and Joe Horton are having a dialog, exchanging feelings of empyness and sadness. Sparrows to me feels like a metaphor for somekind of a cure to these feelings of emptyness.

“There’s nothing to know, there’s no one to miss, The longer I roam the colder it gets, Alone; slowly I grow with a hole in my chest, the size of my head”

The author feels like he is missing something important in his life. “I grow with a hole in my chest, the size of my head” could mean that as the author lost his heart (or something else important from the inside), he also lost a part of his thoughts (like love).

“Take it in, breathe it out, Let the sparrows in your house, Show them where the attic is and let them be to set up shop, Watch them sing, while you dance, While you’re cooking, while you break shit, Never let them go, it’s their escape, they’re escaping”

The author suggests to let the sparrows in to your head (attic), so the sparrows can sing (heal) for you no matter what happens. So the sparrows are pretty much something like guardian angels.

Joe Horton and Kristoff Krane both have great flow and a strong balanced voice. Kristoff Krane is one of my favorite hip-hop lyricist and Sparrows is really Krane-ish, in a good way of course. Sparrows is written in a poetic and abstract style, i expecially like the dialog-ish style where Horton and Krane go back and fourth. More than ofter I find myself humming along with the chorus as it is so well crafted and catchy. The beat is also incredible, it has the perfect amount of tension and it builds up beatifully to the chorus.

Overall this is one of the best No Bird Sing songs, the beautiful beat and lyrics create a captivating atmosphere that brings you back you to this song time after another.

Listen to the song here:
Click this

No Bird Sings Facebook:
https://facebook.com/nobirdsing/

Movie review: 007 Spectre (2015)

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By Franz

Daniel Craig’s fourth and Sam Mendes’ second Bond film just recently hit the theaters and I somehow found the time to go see it. I’m not the biggest Bond fan in the world, but I enjoy the series, at least the Connery and Craig’s eras, and I’ll even defend the Timothy Dalton Bond’s. So I was relatively interested in seeing this, after all I think Mendes can be a wonderful director, at least a very good technical one. And Craig’s era has been mostly fantastic, so is Spectre as good as Casino Royal or Skyfall? No. But it’s better than Quantum of Solace at least. But then again, that’s not very high praise. Since it’s a Bond film and there isn’t a huge chunk of interesting things to talk about, so I’m just going to take the lazy mans route and talk about the good things and the bad things.

Good Things

Daniel Craig returns as our favorite secret agent and he’s great as usual. Craig has really nailed the character, made it more complex and while having a bit of Connery and Brosnan in him, but still making the character his own. He’s a lot more badass than “cool” and has more of an anti hero vibe to him than previous Bonds. So yeah, he’s good. But Bond isn’t the most complex character, sure they make his self-aware about his drinking problem and his habit of fucking every hot chick on the planet, but still, he’s not a Paul Thomas Anderson character worth analyzing. He’s cool, badass, kickass and doesn’t give a shit about killing anybody.

The opening scene, with the huge tracking shot is very impressive and highly enjoyable. Of course it’s a huge budget Hollywood blockbuster so it’s not that impressive, but still it looked very good and showcased Mendes’ willingness to go the extra mile. Most of the opening sequence is very good, though the helicopter bit was a bit confusing and a bit shaky, the editing was overly fast and way too many close-ups and shaky cam. But everything before that was pretty fantastic.

Everybody’s favorite Austrian actor who hasn’t been a governor, Christoph Waltz plays the lead villain. And he’s not amazing, sadly. But he’s still in the good list, because he’s entertainingly evil in it, even though his character is a tad cheesy. His characters introduction is intense and exciting, though he never achives that level of intimidation, he remains very decent throughout.

The action is good, as you would expect, but some of the set-pieces go on a bit too long for my taste. A bit too many explosions and a bit too many chases, but still enjoyable.

Cinematography was decent, not as stunning as in Skyfall, but still very well shot. Especially the snowy mountain scenes were captured quite beautifully and whenever it cuts to London I love how white and clean everything suddenly becomes, almost to the point of distraction.

Bad Things

My main problem with the film is simple: it’s not original in any way. Skyfall had the sense of wanting to win an Oscar, wanting to be a great film, rather than just another, who-gives-a-fuck Bond. It had an ambition to make something great, that had unique looking and feeling set-pieces and it even slightly poked fun of the old Bonds, at least by turning the tables around by (for example) having a young Q. But Spectre doesn’t want to innovate, it wants to be a typical Bond film, it’s comfortable in that. And while it’s nice to see Mendes really wanting to make a “classic” Bond flick, it goes a bit over with some of the stuff. I’m not going to spoil anything, but there are some very cliche Bond moments we haven’t seen in Craig’s era where all sense of realism is mostly thrown away, sadly.

And that’s my biggest complaint, it doesn’t feel like it wants to do anything interesting, it just wants to be a Bond. Is that a bad thing? No, but I expected a lot more and when you do those cliche things, with a serious feel, it comes off as, well, hack-eyed and tedious.

I was excited to see Dave Bautista in this, mainly because when I was a kid I watched a lot of wrestling and obviously Batista was one of my favorites. And I read in an Empire interview that his character wouldn’t just be brute force, but also intelligent as fuck (Bautista’s words). But, no. He’s a big, dumb chunk of muscle, something we’ve seen a million times in Bond films. And he’s not even as interesting as somebody like Jaws, who, despite being a cheesy as hell character, was really exciting to watch, mainly because he so weird. Bautista is just a piece of very dumb meat. And boy, does his character suck at his job or what.

Two complaints from people have been that the sub-plot about trying to get rid of the 00-program is boring and that Waltz just vanishes from the movie for a very long time. But honestly, I didn’t either of those things. I though the sub-plot was very relevant and fascinating and Waltz disapearing was fine, it was good to keep him in the shadows. I mean, that’s the plot of the movie, Bond trying to find him.

The Bond girl, while attractive enough, had no chemistry with Bond. Sure they work together fine, but really, James, this girl is the one? Really? Why this one? It didn’t make a lot of sense, but fuck it, why not throw a boring “can Bond love” sub-plot into the mix, why don’t we.

Overall

But that’s where my problems end, the biggest one is just the un-originality of the film, it doesn’t feel like it wants to do anything special, more like a “fuck, it’ll make money” film. However, they executed it fine. It’s a very entertaining film, filled with witty banter (and some normal exposition dialog, normal to a Bond film), fun action set-pieces and Bond being pretty fucking cool. And the story, while filled with cliche moments, is entertaining enough. I guess I wish they would have went a little bit deeper with it, really showing how the this secret organization works or whatever, but what we got, is fine in my opinion. It’s one of those Bond films that you can skip and you won’t miss much, but if you’re on a Bond marathon, yeah, this ain’t a bad watch. If you’re a Bond fan, you’ve probably already seen this, but if you’re like me and only kinda cares about Bond, I would still recommend this, it’s a decent action film. 7/10