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I saw "The Wolfman" in special screenings Sunday and to be truly
honest, I didn't know what to expect. I saw the original 1941 version
and I really liked it and it is a classic. I was afraid that the new
remake would of been very tacky and that was my biggest concern. But I
have to say after I watched this movie. I was very impressed. Benicio
Del Toro (An Oscar Winner) portrays the role very well and believable.
The cast is very well known with people such as Emily Blunt and the
great Anthony Hopkins. They don't technically give "Oscar Worthy
performances", but their acting certainly is very believable. The movie
oozes mysteriousness and the very Dark mood of it makes it very
enjoyable. But the movie has some flaws like the story is not original
and has been portrayed at least a million times. Also there are "some"
tacky parts in the movie, but they aren't very important at all. So my
overall consensus about the "Wolfman" is that it is a worthy remake the
1941 classic and it will gain many new fans.
I highly recommend people to watch this movie, it is very entertaining and Dark.
Let me start by clarifying two things: 1) I'm a huge fan of horror
Universal monster movies and the original Wolfman is a must see to me
2) I'm 18 so this review is not biased by age
The horror genre in particular suffers an overflow of remakes, reboots, etc today. Once in a while is okay, but there's far too many at once. This is nowhere near as bad as some (looking at you especially House on a Haunted Hill and Wicker Man) but this still didn't quite hit the mark. I wanted to see originality as long as it made sense and there were some interesting ideas here. There's also some pretty good scenes as well. The problem is that it's crippled by certain problems.
Let's start with the good things: Rick Baker was already loved for his effects in werewolf movies like An American Werewolf in London, and Wolf, as well as other movies where even if the movie's bad like Planet of the Apes, his work is excellent and kudos for getting him back. Baker clearly has respect for make-up legend Jack Pierce and the make-up is fantastic. I'm not a fan of CGI and I'm glad the movie cut itself down a bit although it did include it in some scenes. But Baker's work clearly shows.
Hugo Weaving was great and while Anthony Hopkins had a rougher start, he still did rather well. His character is harder than Rain's portrayal but in some ways it works. Certainly more than it did for his portrayal of Van Helsing in my eyes. The settings were fantastic. There's a lot of 19th century buildings that look gorgeous and act as a perfect contrast to the dark and creepy woods.
Now for the bad: The build-up in many scenes was rather limited. The asylum scene was okay, but many scenes could have built the tension better.
The acting from del Toro and Blunt was rather unemotional. I found Gwen Conliffe to be more supportive in this version, but Blunt's emotions were limited. She's a beautiful woman however no doubt. del Toro looks a bit like Lon Chaney Jr. and does well in the make-up, but the Larry side is bland. He's just not able to play it as tragically as Chaney. What's more while some complained that Chaney being Claude Rains son was absurd I can sooner believe in werewolves than the idea del Toro and Hopkins are kin.
Another flaw is the limited screen time of Maleva the old gypsy a key character in the original. She's okay in this, but given little to do which really ticks me off.
A big factor is the werewolf itself. In movies like the original Wolfman and Mummy there was a silent dread. The monsters showed their great power by intimidation alone and the idea they can kill you and go wild but prefer to stalk and plan. Both remakes made them more open to their power. The original's felt scarier without it, but the remakes make it work in their own way a bit.
I found this did better with the horror side than the emotional side. If Talbot was played as dramatically as in the original I think this might have done better. As a whole it's alright. Not too bad, but I can't say as memorable as the original.
Every once in a while, a movie comes along with what many people would
call perfect casting. I remember when Jack Nicholson was first cast as
the Joker for Tim Burton's Batman. Nicholson's portrayal was just what
was expected from such a great actor in a signature role. But it was NO
MORE than we expected from him. In a way, one could say it fell a
little flat. Well, I feel that way about The Wolfman. First, Anthony
Hopkins, one of the consistently best actors out there, gave the exact
performance I would expect from him, commanding respect both as an
actor and as the character he played. But it was nothing we haven't
seen already. Reminiscent of Meet Joe Black or Fracture or Instinct.
I'm also a fan of Benicio Del Toro, but his brooding and emotional
performance was exactly what I went to the theater to see. I didn't see
anything more. The same could be said for the script, a very
straightforward storyline that was a bit predictable and sort of tired.
On one hand, I commend the film makers for not overdoing the story with
convoluted twists in an effort to be "original." But again, I wasn't
surprised by anything in the storyline at all.
I was anxious to see this film, and overall I was very pleased with the cinematography, the performances of the cast and of course the special effects. But I did not leave the theater saying "WOW, that was even better than I expected!" like I had hoped I would.
In contrast to the belief and the whine of many critics, there is an
audience out there for dark, gritty and atmospheric werewolf movies
such as 'The Wolfman'. I will, however, not go into detail and debunk
critic reviews. Instead, I'll try to be brief and express my own
feelings towards this film.
This movie is an instant horror classic. It has everything a werewolf fan would want: Gore, blood, atmosphere, great soundtrack, great looking werewolf and good actors. This movie is not like 'The Wolfman' from 1941. Instead, the makers went ALL-IN with this interpretation and really exemplified what's in our deepest fantasies: Intense werewolf-action. This movie doesn't try to be original in any way. What it does, however, is to take a basic story, a basic concept and develop it in an interesting way. This movie doesn't have any werewolves that are cute and look like wolves (See: Twilight). In that way, it manages to break the monotony of modern horror movies (ghost movies or torture movies). This is a RATED R, Universal monster film that should be taken for what it is: A tense adrenaline rush through the werewolf lore with great effects. This, my friends, is a movie FROM HORROR LOVERS to HORROR LOVERS.
Being in the late 50's in age, I grew up on Universal horror and truly love the originals. But I have to say this remake exceeded my expectations. There are many suspenseful moments and the movie makers seem to have a clear grasp of what the objective was. Also there is a clear difference between a Hollywood werewolf (looks like a big wolf on two legs) and a "Wolfman." The wolf-man looks like an indistinguishable combination of both. A monster. I like the werewolf movies but this tops the bill. Forget the professional critics. They get paid to say negative things and most often don't seem to know what they are talking or writing about. If you like this type of stuff, it is top shelf. I may see it again.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I read all the comments that complained about this movie not being
wildly innovative and original. So I did some checking. And you know
what? It turns out they were right. It seems there actually have been
werewolf movies made before.
But it seems to me that those brilliant and learned film aficionados would have gone into the multiplex expecting to see something at least vaguely familiar. Why then were so many smartypants film buffs disappointed that this movie had so much in common with previous efforts based on the same story? Maybe they were expecting some tragically comic overacting like Gary Oldman in FFC's Dracula. Maybe they wanted to see another campy throwaway rehash of a Lon Chaney Jr. b-movie. What a pity. There was so much more to see.
First of all, what a treat it was to see actual actors in the movie. Little needs to be said about Sir Anthony Hopkins. His icy, reptilian portrayals of villains are legendary, and he does not disappoint here. I'm not a huge Emily Blunt fan, but her range and beauty are pleasing grace notes in everything she does. And Hugo Weaving? How many more times does he have to hit it out of the park before he finally gets the recognition he deserves?
But I, for one, went to see this movie for one reason. Benicio Del Toro. And I was not disappointed, although I was mildly surprised. Del Toro has just the right blend of handsome charm and animal presence to be convincing. His portrayal, while subtly understated, is also powerfully nuanced. The surprise was how well the diverse talents in the movie melded into an ensemble. Oh, so tasty.
The coup de grâce, however, is also the one thing that probably spoils this movie for most viewers. It finally takes a literary approach to what was once, and now is once again, a towering and epic literary tragedy, rather than a campy life support system for meaningless computer-generated special effects. Using Rick Baker was a stroke of genius. His masterful use of prosthetics and physical transformations gifted this movie with an elegance and immediacy so lacking in generations of poseur imitators.
Freed from the usual addiction to hokey visual effects, the movie is able to develop, with subtlety and sophistication, the tragic richness of the story. True literary tragedy depends on one simple premise. The tragic character must fall from grace, by no fault of his own, due to his inherent character flaw. The tragic character must ultimately be a victim, and his fall must be inevitable.
Our protagonist's path was determined long before he arrived on the moors. As he struggles heroically to overcome his own destiny, we witness the inevitability of his demise. This is the sine qua non of literary tragedy. Even American Werewolf in London got this right, deliciously and hilariously right, in fact, and this film is fraught with allusions to AWIL and other classics.
The cinematography is beautiful. The score is brooding, and not nearly as derivative as it might have been. I am so glad that Danny Elfman's score was reinstated. Elfman can do no wrong. Joe Jonhson's direction is at once effortless and masterful.
In short, if you are looking for a special effects cesspool like Twilight, stay home. If you want to see how a Gothic literary classic comes to life in the twenty-first century, this is your film.
The beautiful compositions of Danny Elfman, the sets, or the atmosphere
Joe Johnston has created, or of course the stunning performances of
Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving.How do i begin...
I'll keep it short.I've just came back from the movies and i must say-"The Wolfman" is the best remake I've ever seen.We live in a world, filled with bad to worse remakes, only a few of them above average.But this was really good, especially when you're waiting for it such a long time.
The leads were good.I was a little disappointed of sir Anthony Hopkins's acting, but in the end, there is a reason that may explain this a little.Benicio Del Toro was good as well, but i felt so close to Emily Blunt, and even to Hugo Weaving (who soon should have a knight title of his own).They were very convincing, i loved them.
Joe Johnston has done his job very well-the movie was emotional at moments, and gory and scary, when needed.The kills were very impressive and there were some "jump" scenes of good quality and were very well added too.The good jump scenes are something one could see very rare in such a good quality.But here there were even a few of them.The set decoration was great-London well-adjusted to 1891, the weapons, costumes and language of the people, the atmosphere, as well.
The Wolfman is a great remake with great actors and performances.Stunning! My rate: *****/*****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The movie seemed to start with promise. Great opening scene filled with atmosphere. But it quickly grew old. The "characters" had no depth and I neither believed or cared about them. The music was intrusive, not giving you a moment to maybe let you decide how to feel about a scene or two. It was if it was trying too hard to be a stereotypical horror movie. It just seemed to miss the point. You know the way sometimes the most frightening parts of a horror movie, are the moments where you don't get to see the horrific act or scary monster. Its left to you the audience to imagine it. Well this movie doesn't do that. And we all know we can conceive worse scenarios than are portrayed on screen. The director doesn't trust us. The cinema was emptying around me around the half way point of the movie and I wished I had joined them now. But I thought it might redeem itself in the end. Instead I was left feeling bored and wishing I had spent my money on something, anything else!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Wolfman" is a perfect choice for updating. So much of the 1941
flick rested on good production and make-up design and now we have this
lush remake from director Joe Johnston and screenwriter Andrew Kevin
Walker. The plot comes up a little short but for the most part they've
created an awesome-looking film that also comes in just right in the
Benicio Del Torro takes over for Lon Chaney jr. as Lawrence Talbot, returning to his London home many years after the suicide of his mother. He is reunited with his estranged father, Sir John (Anthony Hopkins), and with his brother's grieving fiancée, Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt). There have been many killings in the village and most of the mutterings among the villagers are of a lunatic let loose in the forest. Lawrence soon comes face to face with this evil as it attacks him one night, leaving bite marks before escaping. The attack leaves the villagers very wary of Talbot and even Scotland Yard Inspector Abberline (Hugo Weaving) takes a considerable interest in him as a suspect. Of course none manage to stop him before turning into a werewolf on the prowl. As Lawrence tries to control the beast within himself, he learns of a terrible secret about his family that could put Gwen in danger.
Even the original was meagerly plotted at only 70 minutes. This "Wolfman" hovers around 95, wisely excising more of the meaningless talk (about Lawrence possibly be deluded, and lycan mythology), changing some plot points around (I liked the family dynamic introduced at the mid-point), and still keeping most of the better drama in-tact. Essentially the movie is a creature-feature-actioner (there is even a final showdown between two werewolves) but when you have production values, scares, and excitement like this, that's hardly a bad thing. Johnston nails the atmosphere just right, dark, dreary and foggy and with very ominous shots of the moon. The film has a quick pace and is helped out mightily by Rick Baker's phenomenal make-up effects, Danny Elfman's haunting score, and a bloody good time where heads, arms, and so on are ripped from bodies. The creature effects, from the transformation to the carnage, is a lot of fun and exactly what people want to see from a flick like this. Benicio plays the tormented hero perfectly, wearing the emotional and psychological strain of being cursed all over his face. Blunt holds her own pretty well in an unfortunately underwritten love story and Hopkins is as sly as ever as Sir John Talbot. Flawed, but a howlingly good re-boot
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
From the first awkwardly expositional spoken dialogue in the film the
director and screenwriter manage to clearly convey disinterest in
character depth. This is taken to such a degree that you (the audience)
are rushed through the most pathetically superficial formalities in the
first 5-10 minutes, while the rest of the 'content' is delivered to you
via weak, predictable foreshadowing.
Foreshadowing, foreshadowing, foreshadowing.
Foreshadowing and dramatic posturing fill the massive gaps where substance and story should normally take place. The problem manifests itself as a painful migraine in the head of any audience member who wouldn't be equally as entertained by simply jingling your keyring in front of them.
The dialogue in the film had to have been plagiarized from the "F" graded homework of an 10th grade writing class. It's so full of rhetoric, cliché and stupid 'witty one-liners' that I openly criticize the intelligence of -everyone- who, without duress, agreed to work on this sodding mess.
Who didn't see within 10 minutes that the movie would inevitably 'apex' with a werewolf vs. werewolf scene? This prescient knowledge sat in the bottom of my stomach the whole film like a poisonous omen, knowing the moment of my doom.
The only real surprise in the film was its apparent Lord of the Rings tie in. Here it goes...
Anthony Hopkins, the esteemed harmonica player, was bitten by Gollum, who lives in a cave in India. Inexplicably, this turns Anthony into a Wookiee. Someone should call Frodo. Anthony kills wife, son, later infects other son with Wookiee-ism. Son is arrested by Elrond, Lord of Rivendell. Son escapes via poetic justice. Son kills father, infects Elrond. True love kills son, son forgives.
Next movie: Elrond terrorizes The Shire, eats hobbits. Gandalf is afflicted with Were-Balrogism. Werewolf vs. Were-Balrog ensues. Michael Bay directs.
It amazes me that it costs $150 million USD to produce something that will (maybe) impress an 8 year old child for 5-10 minutes of a 102 minute session in a chair.
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