Review Crimson Peak (2015): An ode to the Gothic novel brought to life by Del Toro’s visual poetry

Mia Wasikowska in Crimson Peak

‘Crimson Peak’ is a gothic horror movie set in the beginning of the 20th century in which the young writer Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) falls in love with the mysterious English ‘baronet’ Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). Edith moves in with Thomas and his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) in their Victorian mansion. But she’s not alone in the house: she is haunted by ghosts from a dark past, something Edith is experiencing from a young age. With ‘Crimson Peak’ director Guillermo del Toro revives the forgotten gothic horror genre. Continue reading “Review Crimson Peak (2015): An ode to the Gothic novel brought to life by Del Toro’s visual poetry”

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Review Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Last weekend I saw Avengers: Age of Ultron in the cinemas. Here is a review about the movie from an aspirant screenwriter’s point of view. Warning: this article contains some spoilers.

poster avengers age ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Director: Joss Whedon
Writers: Joss Whedon, Stan Lee (comic book) & Jack Kirby (comic book)
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner
Length: 2 hours 21 minutes

What can I say, another awesome Marvel comic book adaptation! You get pulled right into the story in the (a bit over the top) opening scene with a lot of action and fighting when the Avengers are infiltrating HYDRA. Although the plot isn’t that surprising: a new threat rises to destroy the world and the Avengers have to save everyone (like always). But I liked the fact that this threat is accidentally created by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) themselves: they want to create a peace program without consulting the other Avengers, and this goes terribly wrong. They create an artificial intelligence by the name of Ultron (voice by James Spader) who doesn’t want to save the world, but wants to destroy it and the Avengers with it. I thought Ultron could be more of a villain, but his first scene  where he stumbles across a room with oil leaking out of his wires is kind of creepy.

Right from the start you get lots of classic Avengers humor too. Iron Man and Thor (Chris Hemsworth), with his golden hair longer than ever, are bragging who’s got the better girfriend, Pepper or Jane. The scene when they are at a party and try to lift Thor his hammer is absolutely hilarious.

Also Captain America (Chris Evans) gets teased with his ’40s, old fashioned manners. In these details, these expressions of the character’s traits, I found the characters well written. They become more round characters than in the previous movie. We get to know them better and see their more ‘human’ sides, even though they’re super heroes. Also the relationships between the characters are key. The question rises who’s on who’s side. There is even a little love story going on between two Avengers.

Some new characters are introduced, including Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), who were already in the mid-credits scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Scarlet Witch’s telekinesis and mind control powers aren’t just cool, they serve a higher purpose. Because of these powers, we get inside the character’s heads and see their greatest fears. I finally got some sympathy for Black Widow’s (Scarlett Johansson) character when you get to see her backstory/youth trauma. I believe the overall theme in the story is therefore defeating one’s own fears in order to function as a group.

You can feel that the movie is building up the story towards something bigger (another movie). Maybe they could have gotten more out of this story, but on the other hand… who doesn’t want another Avengers movie?

You will get all the action: Iron Man’s new suits, Thor’s hammer smashing robots, Captain America throwing motorcycles around, Hulk’s ripping pants rage, Black Widow ‘picking up after the boys’, and Hawkeye’s arrows blowing up things that will tremble your seat. But besides that, you will also get well written characters and developing relationships. Avengers: Age of Ultron is definitely worth seeing!