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Well, it was neither the worst nor the best movie I've ever seen. It was a testament to movies that you should watch as a last resort when browsing your rental place. Parts of it truly bugged me, like the unparalleled clarity to the viewer of what any rational human being would do, but, if you're fairly consistent about ignoring rationality, it shouldn't be a problem. I'm told that this movie didn't follow the book (the friend who accompanied me rather vehemently pointed out differences). It's hard to really point out what was wrong with this movie: the acting wasn't terrible, the characters were fine (albeit a little weak), and the story was sound. However, it just leaves you unsatisfied at the end, and you find yourself chuckling at some of the effects. It was nothing special, but it's not the worst movie either.
"Blood and Chocolate" is a surprisingly good movie. I was expecting it
to be some terrible, low-budget horror-wannabe movie in the vain of
"Dracula II: Ascension," "The Prophecy: Uprising," and "The Prophecy:
Forsaken". Instead, "Blood and Chocolate" was a well-done film. This
movie was nearly pitch-perfect. The acting, set design, score,
cinematography and story were nothing short of wonderful.
Olivier Martinez gave an outstanding performance in what could have been a clichéd role. His portrayal of Gabriel was multi-dimensional and none of his screen-time was wasted. He brought all of the elements together as leader, father, and lover (even though there are no sex scenes, he is constantly smoldering with an animal rapacity). He gave a credible performance, especially in light of Gabriel's fate. (I also enjoyed his commentary on the DVD. He is a very thoughtful and funny person.) Agnes Bruckner's portrayal of Vivian was well done. Her acting was not robotic. Vivian's nature is pent-up and bland; she has no outlet for her inner turmoil other than running, and according to the rules of the pack, she must not form close relationships with humans. It is important to remember that this character is not the same as Selene from "The Underworld" series who seethes with vengeful ferocity even while she's strapping up her bustier. Hugh Dancy was adorable and believable; which is always a difficult feat in the role of romantic interest. Also, in the character of Aiden, the filmmakers were able to acknowledge their respect of the loup garoux storyline; they were practically screaming, "This is not some cheesy werewolf story!" Katje Riemann and Bryan Dick also gave nuanced performances as Astrid and Rafe. (The movie suffered from trimming Astrid's storyline. I strongly recommend watching the deleted scenes on the DVD. I think the fate of Astrid's storyline was the result of studio executives wanting to focus on the two younger characters more, but ultimately that decision hurt the overall movie.)
The soundtrack was nothing short of amazing! In my opinion, it suited this movie perfectly. The percussion was not overdone, nor were the synthesizers. Each drumbeat not only heightened the excitement, but also helped to intertwine the dual nature of the loup garoux (human and wolf). I felt it as if it were the quickening pulse of the loup garoux giving in to their wolf nature. I think the decision to stay away from gypsy music (which I love) was a good one. The synthesized music was good and helped to the ground the story in youth and freshness, rather than some overwrought Romanian folklore manner.
On the dual nature of the loup garoux, the transition from human to wolf was beautiful. I loved the notion of the "leap of faith" involved in the transformation and the mythical element of that transformation. Also, the coloring of the loup garoux eyes were spot on. The respect of the transformation from human to wolf translated to the great execution of this premise. The entire story could have been a cliché since the story is mostly "Romeo and Juliet" for the loup garoux set, but it was well-done and well worth watching.
"Blood and Chocolate" had a few missteps. Nothing in the movie makes this title appropriate, other than a short, barely-audible line by Astrid. Not until visiting this web site was I aware that the movie was an adaptation of a book. Whatever occurred in the novel to make "Blood and Chocolate" a suitable title was omitted from the screenplay and the movie suffered for it. As I have stated, Astrid's storyline should have remained intact in the film. My final criticism is that the story is so well-done, I would have liked to have seen an R-rated version of the movie. Meaning, I would love to have seen an even more serious treatment of this story. My understanding is that the novel is geared toward pre-teens which explains the light treatment of the storyline.
I highly recommend "Blood and Chocolate" to anyone looking for an interesting and well-crafted film.
we went into this film because everything else at the theater seemed
boring. The name blood and chocolate almost made me miss it. I expected
some Spanish arty film with that name. IMDb writers said enough to make
the idea of seeing this film especially since most of the academy award
nominees seem like freak show films.
The era of classic vampire and werewolf movies has been over for over 20 years. Since than, we have seen a few, but those films were parodies or desperately tried to be different. This film is more a throwback to the old werewolf films. It is set in Bucharest, so the scenery is terrific. Nothing is too graphic. Many old classic, Gothic buildings and rainy Romanian nights are shown. The special effects are good when people turn into wolves, we see real wolves. The wolves are not that scary unless they growl but the situations are tense at times. Silver is still the main protection against werewolves.
The idea that the wolves hunt in packs add a new tense dimension to wolf man movies.
The 3 lead actors are fine. The first ten minutes with dance club scenes seem as if this film may be a cheap sleazy type film but it quickly veers into a film with a story full of Eastern European atmosphere. The major complaint by viewers seems to be that it was not like the book. This was also the complaint for Eragon. For viewers who had not read the book, this would not be a problem. This is not a film that pushes tolerance or some morality issues. It is just a werewolf film and the werewolves are not entirely bad. The film obviously is not a major classic like the old Hammer American International films but it is worth a look! Is destiny or personal decisions the main point? Perhaps one says one thing but the evidence contradicts the statement.
Let me preface by stating that I grade my movies against their genre
peers, not across the board. Ten stars for a Fellini film and 10 for
BLOOD & CHOCOLATE translate into two different animals. For a modestly
budgeted, PG-13 supernatural thriller, B&C ranks high in its class.
That is not to diminish the directorial skills of Katja von Garnier, who also directed the quirkily charming, award-winning BANDITS. Thanks to her very capable hand, BLOOD & CHOCOLATE joins the ranks of recent memorable movies (THE HOWLING, WOLFEN, GINGER SNAPS, American WEREWOLF, CURSED) in a generally anemic sub-genre.
BLOOD & CHOCOLATE is less of a horror film (splatter addicts will hate its lack of gore and nudity) than it is a supernatural romance, lush with gorgeously photographed Medieval locations, a sensual soundtrack, and beautiful actors in every role.
The international cast is led by rising American starlet Agnes Bruckner, perfectly cast as the Juliet to Hugh Dancy's star-crossed Romeo, caught in a deadly interspecies tryst. Olivier Martinez and Brian Dick are superb as "homo lupine" royalty.
Subtle attention to costuming enhances the characterizations. In his black leather jacket and tousled hair, Martinez's dominant scent practically wafts off the screen. Dick plays his son and heir apparent, a snidely confident Brit preppie leading a pack of hormonally driven young followers.
Katja Riemann is the lean, sexy MILF of the pack, which is made up of dozens of hot young Romanian actors who perform their minor roles with vigor. It's nice when even the background players take their roles seriously and contribute greatly to the atmosphere, and too rare.
The one area I could quibble with is the special visual EFX, but I won't because the single faulty effect is very minor, the kind that turns up frequently, even in big Hollywood blockbusters. Garnier makes effective use of action and stunts coupled with some great animal casting. The animals, by the way, are excellent actors as well.
Blessedly, she forgoes the slash-and-burn digital editing effects so popular among lesser directors who rely on it to disguise their lackluster direction. She actually knows how to drive an action sequence without digitally blurred swishpans and chopshots that break the narrative flow to remind you how clever the filmmaker is. Instead she frames her shots masterfully, gets plenty of coverage, and uses traditional cross-cutting to add dynamism and suspense.
The cinematography and production design are topnotch, taking full advantage of the architectural treasures of Romania, from palatial mansions to grungy industrial cellars. The soundtrack is excellent, the music hip but not obtrusive. The sound efx are rich and clean.
The screenplay is by Ehren Kruger (THE RING, BROTHERS GRIMM, SKELETON KEY) and Christopher Landon (DISTURBIA, and son of Michael!). Their screenplay is pretty straightforward, ticking along like clockwork. It's based on a novel by Annette Curtis Klause, who's written some interesting, off-the-wall novels. Not having read her book BLOOD & CHOCOLATE, I can't comment on any possible differences, but the screenplay is well-crafted and the characters nicely drawn.
Based on a book by a woman and directed by one, this is a great movie for couples or family viewing, with a good story told well, plenty to like, and nothing too exploitive or controversial. Its sexiness is very low-key but I suspect it would be a good tool for seduction. When the werewolf king flashes his wolf eyes, I'm sure hearts will melt and knickers will get misty.
The Matrix has a lot to answer for. Post Matrix every vampire or
werewolf movie (Van Helseign, Underworld, Blade) seems to involve
copious amounts of special effects, Martial arts and the main character
decisions being whether they kill the bad guy with a gun, sword,
falling building, poison that makes people explode, or giant stake
improvised from the radio antenna on top of the Empire State building.
Blood and Chocolate follows the traditions oh movies from the 1980s (The hunger, Wolf, Cat people and even The Lost Boys).
Characters are not fighting over whether to enslave the human race (if vampires planned to enslave the human race, wouldn't it be easier to let everyone know, and 1.3 Billion people versus a few thousand vampires or werewolves will be a very short battle indeed).
Blood and Chocolate tells the story of a teenage werewolf who wants to escape what she is being told she should be and a young American writer/artist who has already escaped from his domineering ex-ranger father).
In this story, werewolves are blessed, not cursed, they are the best of man and the best of beast. Though perhaps that is what they should be, and some of them are the worst of both.
This is a human story at the human level. Some of the characters merely tend to turn into wolves. The movie is more about mood and excitement and action. The action is realistic, not modern son of Honk-Kong martial arts over the top stuff. I loved it, even though I also love the modern effects driven movies. In fact the special effects are so bad, it is likely that was a conscious choice (I think the transformation is a homage to Cat People).
If you like this movie, check out the old stuff from the 80s.
The movie was great, and not like those other kind of werewolves movie
where the creatures looks like masculine gorillas. But this showed
another nature of werewolves, as well how wolves behave. And just using
real wolves gives this movie a plus.
The acting wasn't bad at all, and i was glad this wasn't a typical werewolf movie where the main female (Vivian) is just some pro-ana matrix woman who kills everyone in matrix style, and can carry big guns, just like in the Underworld movies. I was also glad to see Aiden wasn't some superhero who suddenly become a strong guy and kills everyone in some awesome way. Thru out the movie he showed he was weak, but had courage.
The romance was cute, and it showed how the relationship was developed between Vivian and Aiden. It wasn't like "I hate you because you're human" then suddenly the both persons screws each other and suddenly loves each other which makes it epic.
It also showed the werewolves just wanted to survive, and could be friendly than just the kind who hates everyone and want to take over the world.
Although if you're a typical sci-fi Gothic nerd who just want a movie with sexy slim tomboy girls, large gorilla looking wolves and feminine vampires which hates each other and fights just like how they fight in the matrix movies. Then this movie ain't for you. I then point at the Underworld movies.
I Read the book for this a long time ago, it was given to me by a
friend and while it is not the sort of book I would usually buy while
browsing for a new read I was enthralled by it and read it in one
sitting (its not that big anyway) and then again the next day.
Knowing this I watched this movie with some trepidation, I was expecting the usual rip off (ala Lord of the Rings, Narnia etc.) with too much special effects and most of the story missing including some of the most important/memorable parts.
Now while there is a fair bit of the book missing here and a few changes, I was very pleasantly surprised, This film does manage to portray the storyline very well, the acting is believable and the characters look right. they also hit the nail on the head with the wolf side, These are not giant monsters who could tear a man apart with one hand they are wolves, pure honest to god wolves. It makes such a refreshing change to see a werewolf film these days that does not rely on special effects and all out action, One that tells a story and tells it well.
I finished watching this movie with a sense of satisfaction that the job had been done properly, this is the highest praise I can give those involved in this film. it will be added to my collection asap and watched many times.
I cannot say whether I prefer the movie or the book as I feel that both stand on a par, the book fills out the world and the movie brings it to life. So if you've only read the book OR seen the movie, then do the other as they stand better together
I enjoyed this film. It isn't life changing, deep or even particularly
thought provoking, but it does draw you in and keep you 'entertained'
Many of the comments below extol the book and damn the film, you'd think they would know better to expect a fairly run of the mill film to outshine the fiction it was based on. I haven't read the book but I may now.
The story is compassionate and attempts to re-consider the wolf-person theme by treating them as an oppressed minority, I couldn't help but think that they were a metaphor for the Roma, a thought that bears scrutiny I think.
The cinematography was atmospheric and Bucharest became the star, lots of beautiful rococo buildings and a pleasantly eastern soundtrack. I kept wondering if the film wasn't a Hollywood offering because the characters all seem normal and manage to avoid behaving in the usual American manner (not an "oh my god" in earshot), but no, the ending isn't European.
I was really pleasantly surprised with the beautiful human to wolf transitions, the makers restrained themselves from fx to the benefit of the film, it reminded me of the early eastern European fairytale films (the singing ringing tree). Don't be concerned about gore or substance abuse as mentioned below, there is little more blood than a few cut fingers and bloodstained clothing, and the only substance that gets abused is absinthe (which may well be an illegal substance in your country as it is here), it gets drunk sparingly, injected once and burnt fairly often. See this film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Blood and Chocolate (2007) ® D: Katja Von Garnier 3 of 5
'Blood and Chocolate' is an adaptation of a young adult's book that dusts off the old forbidden love story line and gives it a fine lair of fur.
Vivian (the cute Agnes Bruckner) is a young woman who loves to run and be free. But her simple life has hides a secret, one that will come into play later. Aiden (Hugh Dancy) is a graphic novel artist roaming Romania searching for art inspiration. Their paths cross in an old church and Aiden immediately becomes smitten with her. After finally getting in the proverbial front door, Aiden soon realizes that Vivian comes from an ancient line of loup-garoux. Secretly through the years the werewolves have ruled Romania after being run out of many other countries. Vivian was promised to the leader of the pack Gabriel (Olivier Martinez) something which she doesn't desire of course. In time Vivian falls for Aiden but the clash of their two worlds and Gabriel's refusal to let her go leads to the final confrontation that just may extinguish the loup-garoux forever.
I can't compare the book and the film but I imagine that things were changed and redone. That's the nature of the beast so to speak. 'Blood and Chocolate' isn't a bad film per se. it just seems to cover the same ground that dozens of other films have tread. Think Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' but with fangs and fur and you have a broad but accurate idea. Two young people involved in forbidden loves while their families, cultures or fate attempt to tear them apart. Been there and done that. Using Romania as the backdrop certainly makes the film more visually pleasing but not enough to move the needle too much higher. The direction is solid but derivative. The acting is adequate. The two leads do a good job as the cursed lovers. The music (a big film component for me) was ultimately transparent and unremarkable. I liked the more magical approach to the transformations (even though it doesn't translate as well as it could) but the script in the end is the big crutch that the film relies on and fails.
In short 'Blood and Chocolate' is a decently acted film that is hindered by its clichéd script and adequate but bland direction.
I have read the book. I have seen the movie. I would've been mad if I had seen it in theaters but I rented it and so I wasn't as angry about the changes. Basically, the book and movie have very little in common. If you can't get past that, you won't let yourself give the movie a chance. After original indignation I sat back and watched and I wasn't totally horrified by what I saw. Have I seen better movies this year? Yes. But I didn't hate it and demand the hour plus of my life back. I actually really enjoyed the Rafe character. He made me laugh several times and in my opinion, saved the movie for me. After I cast all things in the book from my mind, I enjoyed the premise of the movie and the new take in the werewolf genre.
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