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To call Tom Cruise and "actor" is generous at best. He appears in movies,
and because he is pretty, people watch. He doesn't have enough talent to
occupy minor character roles, and if he weren't so pretty, we would never
have heard his name. But he is, and here he is, without enough horsepower
to drive Ann Rice's seminal character, Lestat.
But, as bad as Cruise is, he is Olivier compared to Pitt, the other megastar pretty boy non-actor. Pitt can't act his way out of a paper bag, and frankly, if you watch the plastic bag scene in American Beauty, you'll see a bag doing a better job at acting than Pitt will ever do.
Neil Jordan decided to downplay the homosexual aspect of Rice's decadent vampires. Given the meager talent of the two leads, there isn't much left. Cruise and Pitt preen and pose through endless costume scenes and the obligatory vampire touchstones like fangs and blood, and it is mediocre beyond belief.
Thank god for Kirsten Dunst. She is spectacular as Claudia, the young vampire denied the chance to grow up physically, but who becomes more wise and mature than any human adult. Without her, there would be nothing but air. Even Stephen Rea and Antonio Banderas are cardboard cutouts propped up in the scenery compared to her.
Ann Rice has publicly said she approved of this presentation of her immensely popular book, but one can't help but wonder if she wasn't a bit disappointed, if the truth were told. I don't hate this movie, but I hate how it is diminished by relying on marquee names instead of talent.
Now that some time has passed, Neil Jordon's beautiful work can be watched without obsessing so much over the stars who were involved. 'Interview' is an extravagant assault on the senses, filled with beauty, erotic and graphic violence, and wonderful, at times poetic dialog. To be sure, this is a Hollywood production, but with director Neil Jordon in charge, the film possesses that special "arthouse" film look, with many scenes being too strange and dark to come across as typical Hollywood. Pitt is fine as Louis, the centuries-old vampire who recounts his sad and fascinating history to a nameless "interviewer", played a bit too light by Christian Slater. If you dislike Tom Cruise and his films, as i do, you should not let his participation in the film dissuade you from seeing this; As the sinister Lestat, Cruise is barely recognizable, and gives here, what might be his finest performance. Obviously due to the subject matter, 'Interview' is a relentlessly dark film. There are a few short scenes of daylight in the beginning, until Louis is transformed. Then begins his life of eternal darkness. When I saw this in the theater, the effect of sitting in a darkened room watching a film that takes place entirely at night, really felt strange. Coming out of the theater I felt as though I had been away from the real world for a long time. Jordon's aesthetic vision, supported for once by the huge Hollywood budget, insured that "Interview" looks gorgeous. The plantation that is Louis' first home, and then the Paris apartment are filled with exquisite antiques, ornate furnishings, gold framed mirrors, lace and velvet four-poster beds, etc, transporting the viewer into the 18th and 19th centuries, and lends an extra level of decadence to the lifestyle of these vampires. The costumes as well are breath-taking, and accurate to the time. The finest thing about this production though, is the beautiful, doll-like Claudia, the child-vampire, played by Kirsten Dunst. It is always terrifying and strange when a child is cast in such an evil role. Claudia's thirst for blood exceeds that of Lestat himself, and her total lack of remorse for the people she kills is the most haunting and disturbing thing about this. The approach to her character was very un-Hollywood, thankfully. Anne Rice's book evokes feelings of loneliness and a profound sadness, and those feelings translate well into Jordans film. "Interview With the Vampire" is a very special, and at times superb cinematic delight, that was not ruined by it's over-exposed stars and commercialism. And those that love Gothic horror and period films should see this, and ignore it's Hollywood origins.
Interview with the Vampire is hands down probably the number one
vampire movie. We got to see a story so unique and original, the eyes
through a vampire and his world. Normally, we see Dracula getting
chased around by Van Helsing, all we know is vampires are usually bad
and must be destroyed, yatta, yatta, yatta. But this time, we not only
experience how Louis became a vampire, but what his life became of it.
Anne Rice would truly be proud of how much a great movie her most
famous book turned out to be.
We have some great and very attractive actors who star in this film like: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Bandares, Christian Slater, and Stephen Rea, not to mention a very young and new Kirsten Dunst. The story starts off with Christian Slater interviewing Brad Pitt, who plays Louis, he makes the most interesting statement to Christian that he's a vampire. Obviously, Christian doesn't take this seriously, but Louis offers him one thing: his story.
Louis was born and grew up during the time when America was just being discovered in the late 1700's, he just lost his wife and child in labor, a little different than the book, but anyways, but his misery brings him to wanting death, and Lestat, played by the brilliant Tom Cruise, brings him that with becoming a vampire. Of course Louis doesn't realize what he gets himself into, but Lestat does what he can to show Louis the perks of being a vampire, even if it means bringing in a child, Claudia, played by Dunst, and turning her into a vampire to keep Louis with him. But Claudia and Louis look at Lestat as a warden and won't let them go, so they attempt to kill him and flee the city of New Orleans to France.
In Paris, they meet a group of thespian vampires, they kill people on stage as if they were in a play. "Vampires pretending to be humans pretending to be vampires". Louis meets Armond, played by Bandares, and Santiago, played by Rea. Armond is obsessed with Louis and tells him that Claudia shouldn't be a vampire since she is so young and ends up destroying the thing that means most to Louis, I won't spoil it. Which leads Louis back to the interviewer where Christian is starting to question his doubts of Louis being a vampire.
Interview with the Vampire is a terrific film that is just beautifully directed and the actors are just so brilliantly charismatic, it's just impossible in some ways for someone not to enjoy this movie. I know my friends who are not into horror films ended up loving this one because of it's interesting story. It's just a great film that I think everyone should get the chance to see.
I'm trying to get over the fact that the ending of the film makes
absolutely no sense to me (unless i'm looking hard for something that's
not there). When I do get past that, however, I find that "Interview
with the Vampire" is a very beautifully told tale that looks deep into
the heart of what evil truly is.
Based on Anne Rice's novel (and also her screenplay) "Interview" is the retelling of Louis's (a vampire) story of how he became a vampire. The story starts in 18th century Louisiana where Louis (Brad Pitt) encounters an opportunity for eternal life when he is seeking death. A vampire named Lestat (Tom Cruise) gives him this opportunity with the expectation of companionship. When Louis has trouble disconnecting his human moral compass from his blood-lusting monster of a self, Lestat tries to test him and eventually brings him another companion when he makes Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) a vampire as well. The story is Louis's search for an understanding of this immortal life that he can come to terms with, which results in a film that explores deep into the notion of immortality with a price.
The film's beauty comes from the very lavish sets and the strong mystical element that is worked into every set. Though the setting is all real world, because the film explores the fantastical world of vampires, everything seems surreal and magical. Dante Ferretti has created another beautiful movie world and Neil Jordan makes it shine through his camera-work. Jordan really brings Rice's screenplay to life, or else you'd be looking at a particularly boring film.
Cruise as Lestat was a good choice. He is downright creepy and conveys the sense of moral ambiguity that Lestat represents. Pitt also shows both the strong and the weak sides of Louis, though he is not as skilled with handling some of the film's melodrama. Dunst is probably the most praiseworthy. Having to portray a child who technically has wisdom beyond her appearance is a challenge and Dunst is behind some of the film's best scenes and most suspenseful moments. Her fits of rage are probably the most interesting as is her character's predicament with never growing up, which really starts the conversation about mortality and the film's themes.
Though some plot clarity would have been nice and a little less melodrama would have helped make the themes really significant to the rest of the film, "Interview" is a successful film from a visual standpoint. The craftsmen of this film, everyone from production design to costumes and make-up, truly made this film take off from okay to good and very interesting. There is no doubt that you are deeply interested in what happens to these characters and that is thanks to the actors and the incredible world that was envisioned for them to act in. ~Steven C
Visit my site at http://moviemusereviews.blogspot.com
One of the best and most beautiful vampire films ever.
This film is amazingly beautiful, from the sets, locations, even right down to its main characters (apparently this film prided itself on the casting it used four of cinema's most gorgeous actors). The casting for this movie is pure inspired genius, although Cruise did cause absolute uproar when he got the part of Lestat. Let's face it, he's not portrayed as the most likable of people, (not to mention being a tad unhinged) or even as a decent actor (remember 'Legend'?) but he does an amazing turn as Lestat. He's vicious, villainous, camp and demonically gleeful in this role. Even Anne Rice sent him a letter of apology after she saw his performance. Brad Pitt's portrayal of Louis is a fair show too; he manages to maintain constant melancholy without crossing the line into whiny annoyance, although his constant pouting detracts from his character somewhat (you're a vampire, not Zoolander!). Kirsten Dunst's Claudia is pure childlike evil. Hard to believe she was only 12 when she made this film.
Having read Anne Rice's infamous 'Vampire Chronicles' a hundred times, it wasn't until I saw this movie that I'd even heard of them (shameful, no?). Even after reading the book, it was one of those rare moments when you think, "well the film was just as good". And to say that a LOT of the narrative was cut, it retains everything about the original story that it should; the atmosphere, the gloom, the characters, it's all there. Even the gore factor is stylishly done; for one, the blood looks real, which, let's face it is one of the most important, yet overlooked elements in most vampire films in Blade, they used what looks like ribena, in Dracula, they used red jelly, and in The Lost Boys they used something resembling passata. The vampires themselves also look absolutely amazing. (To quote Louis "Do you find us beautiful, magical? Our white skin, our fierce eyes ") The makeup and contact lenses, for once, do more than just make the actors look like they've got flu.
Unlike "Queen Of The Damned" this movie sticks to its content, and gives the audience the story, remaining true to it at every stage. There's no story jig, no idiotic and pointless changes to plots and the whole thing is as stylish and sinister as you can get. It does justice to the book and remains a brilliant film in its own right. One to add to any film-junkie's collection.
Interview with the Vampire is the epitome of modern vampire films
(modern included to exclude Dracula, Nosferatu etc which would create a
Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles are the most important supernatural works of the last thirty years and must have inspired many of the new vampire/supernatural films that focus on character/action/drama rather than portraying them as fear objects in horrors.
This film is a drama, not a horror, and anyone expecting a horror with chases or human victims to feel sorry for will be sadly disappointed. Yes, there is blood and feeding but it is the vampires you feel for.
The three leads are incredible, Kirsten Dunst deserves special praise due to her age and anyone who says Tom Cruise can't act should see this film. Brad Pitt's Louis is just as whiney and annoying as he should be, but you understand this given the circumstances of his turning.
It thoroughly involves you in the vampire world and displays how lonely and isolating it can be (yes, I know it's not real but you get the point).
Here's hoping they film some more of Rice's novels (hopefully more in this vein than the slightly OTT Queen of the Damned) - I want to see Blood and Gold! (Memnoch would be brilliant but not sure if it could be pulled off)
As with Queen of the Damned, so it was with this movie that I made what
I thought was a rather hideous mistake in watching the movie prior to
reading the book. Those fears were well based with queen of the Damned-
the book is utterly fantastic, whereas even without having read the
book the only part of the movie I liked was the soundtrack.
My fears were groundless with "Interview". Granted, there were parts missing and parts changed, but not in such a way that it detracted from the story in general. Where the book is a horror novel which almost parallels Bram Stoker's "Dracula" in its ability to terrify, the movie is a drama which alternates between inducing laughter, sorrow and, in some parts, nearly reducing the viewer to tears. Pitt's performance in this regard is particularly fine.
However, the one thing that everyone who has seen this movie cannot fail to agree on is the fact that, whilst there is indeed an all-star cast (notable characters are Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater and Kirsten Dunst), it is the twelve year-old Kirsten Dunst (playing Claudia) who steals the show. In the book she was a truly terrifying child, whose alternate flashes of rage, love and complete and utter lack of emotion serve to unsettle the reader to the point of wanting to close the book and calm down for a few minutes. In the movie she is a little less cold-hearted, and the relationship between her and Louis (Pitt) is bizarre, seeming at times like the relationship between father and daughter, and at other times like the relationship between lovers.
Many viewers who have not had the pleasure of reading the book (in particular the jocks) criticize the movie for the homoerotic undertones which define the relationship that begins to build between Louis and Armand, at times like that between a teacher and their student, and at other times (again) like lovers. This relationship is underdeveloped in the movie, and is not given the chance to blossom into the full- fledged bond that Louis and Armand share for a brief period in the book.
A strong performance is put in by Banderas as Armand, albeit slightly different in temperament than the Armand of Rice's books. Unfortunately the role was too brief a one, and Banderas did not get nearly long enough a role.
Louis' progression through the years is another example of the areas in which this movie excels. Whilst he physically does not change, his surroundings do, and his dress sense changes with the years.
This was a strong adaptation of a brilliant book, which fans of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles should all enjoy. The main plot of the movie stays true to the book, and in some places the dialogue is perfect, straight from the book, line for line. It has the power to disturb, induce laughter, sorrow, and excitement, and is a visual feast for the eyes. The vampires look exactly like Rice describes them, except (dissapointingly) in the case of Armand. And even with the screw-ups in Armand's appearance, Antonio Banderas plays him extremely well.
The fact that I happen to despise Tom Cruise can only serve to add to just how good this movie must be.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
this movie is one of my absolute favorites. light some candles and
watch this movie with a lover or by yourself for that matter! first
off, it is one of the most original stories ever written. the author of
the screenplay and the book, anne rice, gives the reader a tragically
beautiful glimpse into the lush and decadent world of the vampire. the
story shines light and give humanity to an other wise ghastly and
sometimes frightening mythological creature.
IWTV is a film directed by Neil Jordan and is about the origins of the Vampire Louis and his immortal life through centuries and his encounters with other Vampires and also his mournful embrace of his true nature--being a killer. the movie focuses on the relationships with basically 3 different Vampires: Lestat, Claudia and Armand.
watching this movie is like being seduced. this movie will stimulate all of your senses. the natural and practical lighting in the movie is soft and sometimes eerie and beautiful. the score, done masterfully by Elliot Goldenthal, will reach the far depths of your soul and to the deep reaches of the heart.
the acting in the movie is superb and top-notch. Brad Pitt truly does justice to the melancholy character of Louis and Tom Cruise gives the character of Lestat the right amount of elegance and icy-rage. i think the most fabulous scenes in the movie are between Pitt and Cruise and just there conversations on a vampire's true mortal nature and also when they are out "hunting" together. there star appeal is definitely there, but also they both have the ability to fill up the movie screen with there personas, while also having the acting skills to totally transform into these immensely intriguing supernatural beings.
this movie defines the vampire film genre and will appeal to other people who don't particularly like horror films because of the lush eye candy (provided by the actors and the costumes) and philosophical questions the movie brings about.
a great addition to any DVD collection ;)
Great sets and equally impressive costumes fill this lurid and dark vampire
tale. Anne Rice adapts her best selling 1976 novel for the big screen. The
story of depraved love, lust and hunger is told to a reporter(Christian
Slater)by Louis(Brad Pitt)the conscience-stricken protege of the
unremorseful and lascivious Lestat(Tom Cruise). Lestat tries hard to
convince Louis that the blood of New Orleans aristocrats is the most
pleasing of all. Louis would rather suck the blood of rats and chickens than
to take human life. Joining them for companionship is Claudia(twelve yr old
Kirsten Dunst)who favors sinking her fangs into whores and elderly women.
Armand(Antonio Banderas)the oldest living vampire in the world lashes out
his judgment of the three blood suckers.
It is fun watching Cruise and Pitt living as a couple in hopes of hiding their vampirish way of life. Miss Dunst is absolutely great as a character that ages thirty some odd years while staying in the body of a child. Note:Cruise was not Rice's favorite choice to play Lestat, but after the finished product was said to be more than pleased. Moody and gruesome, but a must for vampire fans.
The poetry and power of Anne Rice's novel are not recaptured in this uneven film. Neil Jordan never seems comfortable in his direction and the episodic storyline fails to inspire either pathos or terror. Brad Pitt is excellent, Kirsten Dunst superb, Tom Cruise his usual self (that is not a compliment). The sumptuous photography is by far the best feature of the film, whilst the ending is a dreadful misjudgement.
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