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Black Death (Bilingual)

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 39.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sean Bean, John Lynch, Eddie Redmayne, David Warner
  • Directors: Christopher Smith
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Studio: Mongrel Media
  • Release Date: May 10 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B004QWZHFQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,256 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

A potent combination of medieval combat and religious paranoia, Black Death serves as an outstanding example of how a genre film can smuggle in some surprisingly mature themes without missing a kinetic step. Set during the late 14th century, Dario Poloni's script follows a young monk (Eddie Redmayne) struggling with his faith as the bubonic plague runs rampant through Europe. As he contemplates fleeing England for a forbidden romance, he is tasked with leading a team of bishop-appointed mercenaries (led by Sean Bean) on their search for a rumored necromancer in the wilderness. After the group hacks their way through packs of infected marauders and nonbelievers, their search finally leads them to a pastoral town mysteriously free of the disease. When the town's beautiful leader (Carice van Houten) displays what appears to be mystical healing powers, the monk must decide which side God is truly on. Director Christopher Smith, previously responsible for the commendably bent time-travel saga Triangle, creates a fantastically earthy environment for the film's increasingly supernatural possibilities to take hold. Bolstered by Bean's commanding performance, this is a terrifically grim--and occasionally terribly gory--action film that delivers an unsettling sting in its tail. --Andrew Wright

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By The Movie Guy HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on May 7 2016
Format: Blu-ray
This was a somewhat interesting movie. I thought I was in the middle of a Thomas Tryon novel. The movie starts out "dead" slow. There are death carts, but no one yelling, "Bring out your dead." The opening monologue, mentions "germs" which seemed a bit out of place for the beliefs of that era.

Sean Bean is tasked by the Bishop to locate a village in the marsh where it is rumored they have not been affected by the plague and the village is run by a necromancer. A young monk who knows the marsh, leads them. Some things happen along route, but the story doesn't really get going until they are in the village of "Thomas Tryon" led by a pagan woman skilled in herbs. At this point the movie takes its anticipated twist. Overall the ending was a let down for me.

The acting was acceptable. No one tried to talk with funny accents. The action scenes were quick as the movie is built upon reoccurring themes. I think a better ending and a different soundtrack was needed. It is a little like Season of the Witch without the witch.

No sex, no nudity, no f-bombs. Some Medieval Christian bashing.
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Format: DVD
A smaller film with excellent production values. During the first outbreak of the plague in England, a group of soldiers is sent to investigate a village untouched by the pestilence and suspected of witch craft. It deals creatively with religious extremism, offering a look at two sides of this multi-faceted subject rather than simply focusing on the usual boogeymen of fantaticism (most commonly Christianity, with Islam as a close second).

The cast is good, though it could be argued that Sean Bean is underused.

Should appeal to most anyone who enjoyed In the Name of the Rose or The 13th Warrior.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Black Death" must have been a nightmare to market, and perhaps that is why it slipped beneath the radar in most cities. I'm not certain why I bought a copy, probably because Sean Bean is always excellent if badly underused in films. But it was a wise buy, even if I seldom watch the film again.
Hollywood loves to remake films that have been successful, and if Hollywood does not do it, the stage does. "Wizard of Oz" on stage is one of Weber's new attacks upon our emotions, and it is dismal. There was even a musical version of "Gone with the Wind" that died a painful death in Great Britain before it made it across the Atlantic, though Harve Presnell as Rhett should have been interesting. But film remakes are usually atrocious. "The Maltese Falcon" was a great exception with Warner Brothers trying it over and over, until Humphrey Bogart and the rest of that great cast made it work. And, too, "Casablanca". Unfortunately, there have been vile remakes of both since then. What has this to do with "Black Death"? A lot. This film is a failure on so many levels because it doesn't really know where to focus. But if one steps back a bit, looks at it objectively, and represses both the laughter at ridiculous make-up and the shudders of brutal moments of violence, there is a lot to think about that few movies have come close to suggesting.
It is a morality play, but not of the medieval kind. It suits this century perfectly. It also deals with perceptions and with 'realities', using religion more as a springboard than as the central issue. Clearly, there are no absolutes, but what is the range of decency, corruption, deception, and honour? Wrong or right may not matter at all as the two poles we run to or away from. But to what extent can we choose as the old rules fall by the wayside?
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Usually I enjoy watching movies where element of what occurred in the past is used but this one kind of left me on my appetite: Seems that what was going to happen next was very obvious. I dunno... Perhaps I should stop watching movies in my second language?
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