November’s Intermission podcast sees us firing up our opinions on Sicario, Crimson Peak, and the summer’s big creature feature, Jurassic World. We’re not saying you have to listen to it, but your very life and the future of humanity depends on it. Your decision. No pressure.
Much as we appreciate Guillermo del Toro, he misses just as often as he hits, and Crimson Peak joins his list of immaculately produced, beautiful disappointments. Mia Wasikowska’s young American falls in love with down-on-his-luck Sir Thomas Sharpe, but the unexpected lurks both in the Sharpe family history and their spooky, titular stately home. Some rather confused messaging has understandably had people expecting a horror being rather disappointed by the Gothic romance it delivers, and we’re left wondering if removing the supernatural elements entirely wouldn’t have been a better way to achieve largely identical story aims. It’s gorgeous, but it’s a rather flat experience.
On the Mexico – U.S.A. border, Emily Blunt’s FBI agent Kate Mercer is drafted into a C.I.A. helmed anti-cartel squad on the front line of the War on Drugs, taking actions that may be effective but are of questionable legality on home territory. It’s this friction between Blunt and Josh Brolin’s C.I.A. agent, along with Benicio Del Toro’s mysterious adviser, that provides a lot of the reasons to care during a number of incredibly tense action scenes that do a better job of building a nervous, sweaty anticipation than anything I immediately recall seeing in a cinema. It’s as good a film as I’ve seen this year.
Given the box office success, there’s a decent chance you’ve already seen the latest in the dino crisis franchise, but that won’t stop us puzzling over just how ordinary this film seems. It’s essentially running the same Frankenstein playbook of the first film, with a mild twist being the creation of genetically modified dinosaurs being their downfall, rather than boring old common or garden dinosaurs. It’s left to Chris Pine and Bryce Dallas Howard to clean up the mess when things inevitably go to hell and their new Hyper T-Rex goes bandit, Reynolds-style, although largely this occurs via the medium of CG things battering other CG things. Which is fine, for what it is. It delivers a reasonable enough dose of spectacle, but there’s no spark to make it anything more than average. Curiously flat performances from a talented cast and perfunctory action scenes make us think young director Colin Trevorrow’s bitten off a little more than he can chew, but on the other hand the results aren’t disastrous, just disappointing.
If you’ve been affected by any of the issues discussed today, please hit us up on Twitter (@fudsonfilm), on Facebook (facebook.com/fudsonfilm), or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to receive our podcast on a regular basis, please add our feed to your podcasting software of choice, or subscribe on iTunes. If you could see your way clear to leaving a review on iTunes, we’d be eternally grateful, but we won’t blame you if you don’t. We’ll be back with you on the 1st with our examination of one of our favourite actor/directors, Takeshi Kitano, but until then, take care of yourself, and each other.