Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Mini Media Reviews: The Crown & Assassin's Creed

I know this review is a bit late, but I pushed off due to both work and wanting to include my review for the new movie, Assassin's Creed.
If you know me you know I love the royal family. I'm not the sort of obsessed that some of my mother's friends are, but learning about them is one of my favorite past times. And Queen Elizabeth is one of my favorite people in the whole world! I think she's a fantastic pioneer for women in positions of power and seeing her story drawn out so beautifully in this series was like a dream come true.

It kind of snuck up on me, because I didn't realize this show was happening until a week or so after it dropped. I blame school. And then I forced myself to pace through it so that I didn't binge it all at once and miss it too soon. Like I nice piece of dark chocolate, this show was better in small doses where I could take the time to think about it after each episode, which felt like mini-movies, ended.

My favorite thing about this series, besides the cast, was the tone of the show. It was morally gray in the best ways. No one was a good guy or a bad guy because of the near-omniscient story-telling. And because it is a true story there weren't as many "clean" endings as fiction would have- which made it better and more unpredictable. It was a very human show and it made all of these people, who are now much older and wiser (or, sadly, passed away), seem relatable. In fact, I feel almost as if I had a long conversation with each of them and have come away a better person. If you're a fan of historical fiction, this is a MUST WATCH.

Assassin's Creed is a video game franchise I've always had every intention of playing and getting into but have yet to find the time or the money to pick up a game. I've watched walkthroughs, and for now that's the closest I think I will get. I love the lore of the games and was rather excited to see this come to the big screen. It wasn't my most anticipated in any way, but I had somewhat higher hopes than I should have. Video game movies do, after all, have a very, very bad record.

And this one stayed true to that record. The biggest problem was the script. The dialogue was, pardon my language, actual crap. I don't say this lightly but it was like watching the cut-scenes from a game rather than an actual story. The fight scenes were cool but rather poorly placed and they spent too much time in the present when they should have been capitalizing on the past, which was by far the most interesting. The characters were meant to come off as morally gray, but instead just felt confused about what they were doing and looked rather uncomfortable with the whole affair. Plot-wise I'll take a quote from my Dad, who was the one who really, really wanted to see it: "It was all building up to something that lasted three minutes". He's not wrong. And I'm still not all too sure what the ending was supposed to mean.

If I have to say something nice about this movie it's the cinematography and aesthetic. It really is a gorgeous film, and Fassbender sure does help make it easy on the eyes. But seriously, the lighting and the set up and the imagery of both the present and the past are beautiful. If it were an art book I would happily buy it and just flip through pages whilst stroking the images of the skylines and framing.

Basically, stay away from this one, even if you are a fan. It doesn't make sense to those who aren't into the series and even for those who know what's going on you'll feel cheated and offended by the awful script that somehow made it so far as to become a movie.

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