lördag 10 november 2018

Bad Times At The El Royale

There are certain films that don´t care about what is supposed to be modern, and go back to the old school cinema style instead. Films that dare to step outside of the typical Hollywood pattern, is always welcome to me. And i am especially thinking about certain directors that rather bring back the old school cinema, than making it look modern. Director Quentin Tarantino is of course one of the best evidence for this, who have made several really good films. His directorial debut film Reservoir Dogs, is still today one of the most iconic cult classics of the early 90´s. The story in Reservoir Dogs, surrounds a group of selected criminals who is chosen to do a diamond heist. What makes this film so good, is especially the characters and the cast. Steve Buscemi as Mr Pink is outstanding, Michael Madsen as Mr Blonde is pure brilliant and Harvey Keitel as Mr White is pure gold. Of course there are other characters here that make this film special as well, but i have to mention another very important detail. The 70´s homage in this film looks really good, it feels like a pure throwback to the golden age of 70´s cinema, and Tarantino knows exactly how to capture this time period. Tarantino continued making quality films for many years with Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Kill Bill Vol. 2. His remake of Inglorious Basterds is of course a tasteful delight. Let´s move on and talk about The Coen Brothers, known as Joel Coen and Ethan Coen. These legendary directors have brought us some of the best American movies in many years, that includes the classics Raising Arizona, Miller´s Crossing, Barton Fink, Fargo and The Big Lebowski. But it was in 2007 when The Coen Brothers really took the world by storm, with their masterpiece No Country For Old Men. The film released in 2007 won 4 Academy Awards, and the movie won the awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. The story is set during 1980 in Texas, where hitman Anton Chigurh ( brilliant portrayed by actor Javier Bardem ) is on a killing spree. The film surrounds different characters, but i have to say that Javier Bardem is one of the biggest reasons why No Country For Old Men is such a powerful film. Earlier this year i was reading about upcoming films, and came across a titles known as Bad Times At The El Royale. This seemed to be a different movie from the ordinary releases, and i could tell that this could be interesting with a cast that includes Jeff Bridges, John Hamm, Chris Hemsworth and many others. When the trailer finally landed, i became even more curious to see if this film would be interesting. Is the film Bad Times At The El Royale a film that should be experienced in Cinema, or is this film nothing you should waste your precious time on ?

in 1959, a bank robber buries a bag of money under the floor of a room at the El Royale hotel. He is killed inside this room, and the money is left buried. 10 years later, a number of people including Priest Daniel Flynn ( Jeff Bridges ), Soul singer Darlene Sweet ( Cynthia Erivo ), vacuum salesman Laramie Seymour Sullivan ( Jon Hamm ) and Rose Summerspring ( Cailee Spaeny ) check into the hotel with the hotel´s only worker Miles Miller ( Lewis Pullman ). At first it seems that all of them are just ordinary guests. But when everything unfolds, these guests are carrying secrets on their own.

I was hoping to see a movie this year that would bring back the influences of Tarantino and The Coen Brothers. And i am happy to say that Bad Times At The El Royale manage to do this is a very solid way. This film does not only look good, it also have a lot of great characters included. Let´s talk about the characters for a while. Legendary actor Jeff Bridges as criminal Daniel Flynn ( disguised as a priest ) makes a powerful impression in this film. At first he seems to be a good hearted man, but of course you see the real him later on. John Hamm as the undercover FBI Agent Seymor Sullivan, pretending to be a home supplies salesman, is another highlight in this film. John Hamm knows how to make this character fit in with the story. I also like the mystery surrounding his undercover mission, that you can sense while you get to know his real personality. Soul singer Darlene Sweet, played wonderful by Cynthia Erivo, is a female character that clearly have a lot to offer in a film like this. I especially enjoy the scenes between her and Jeff Bridges, where you get a sense of cinema magic. Without a doubt, one of the stongest highlight characters of this film is Rose Summerspring, played by Cailee Spaeny. Her performance is really good, and she give some of her scenes a whole different level of quality. Chris Hemsworth as the cult leader Billy Lee is surprisingly good, as he goes completely nuts later on in the film. I love the way that this film tells the story from different angles of each character, so you get a bigger perspective of what is going on at the El Royale. This film feels like a mixture of The Coen Brothers and Tarantino, but without feeling too predictable. The cinematography by Seamus McGarvey ( who also did the brilliant cinematography on the powerful film We Need To Talk About Kevin ) looks gorgeous. He clearly have worked hard to capture the right essence for this film. Most of all we have to thank director Drew Goddard ( who directed the horror highlight The Cabin In The Woods ). This is his second film as a director, and in my opinion is best film as well. Drew really bring out Cinema magic with Bad Times At The El Royale, and make this his own homage to the good old days of classic films. He clearly have a passion for another time period, where films did make a strong impact. I have noticed that many people never heard about this film when i have mentioned it, and this is such a shame. Bad Times At The El Royale is a tasteful delight that needs to be seen in Cinema, and you should buy tickets and experience a real quality film. There is no doubt, Bad Times At The El Royale is one of the most unexpected movie highlights of this year.

Rating: DDDD

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