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Craptacular and arrogant...lowest common denominator idiocy...
Words almost fail me...where was Dracula or Bram Stoker in this? Oh yeah, right, the women character's names were taken from a book by Stoker.
There was no fantasy in this mess, nothing even particularly supernatural. What else was it missing? Let's see: No brides of Dracula; no live baby for Dracula's din-din; no Dracula castle wall-scaling; no Renfield; no insane asylum; no Bloofer Lady; no blood baptism and Host-scarred Mina; no night spent in a magic circle fending off the brides; no gypsies. Hell, where was Dracula? Did I miss something? They've just staked Lucy in this regrettable production as I write this, and all I can say is, "Thank you, Jesus!" Now if everyone else comprising the cast would just go up in flames in a good old fashioned Hammer conflagration, I'd be so happy.
Why call it Dracula when there is so little of Stoker's Dracula, save some character names, in it? Is this just to sucker folks in? Is it directorial arrogance presuming that its audience is unfamiliar with the source novel? When I sat down to watch this, particularly because it was broadcast on PBS as a Masterpiece Theatre offering, I expected something, somehow, approximating Stoker's work. Call it LORD BLOODYLONGHAIRANDDIRTYNAILS VS. THE WHINING YOUNG VICTORIANS and then it makes some sense, but don't call it Dracula.
I'm now watching it just to see how one of the most incoherent productions bearing the name Dracula will turn out. I guess I want a good laugh, or I can't stop watching the train wreck! And the ending is stunningly awful--why not just add a closing THE END? with shivery question mark? BLECH!
The Wicker Man (2006)
Well, I haven't seen it...yet. I'm going to see it tonight and approach it as if it's an SNL or MadTV spoof of the original.
From what I've read about it - so many negative reviews! - I'm thinking that it sounds like a misogynistic film. I'm surprised so many alternative religion-types are finding it unfavorable from a religious perspective but not a gender issue one.
I love the original film partially because it deals with men and women coming together to celebrate the procreative act. There is a division of the genders in terms of the roles that men and women play in society; but then, there is a blurring of roles emphasized by Lord Summerisle donning drag to lead the May Day rites.
Can't wait to take this film in and have a good "larf."
Suddenly seeing Little Nemo and his friends from Slumberland come alive took my breath away and almost brought a tear to my eye. This is pure cinematic magic: ingenuous, fantastic, and charming. Like peeping into a world of harmless ghosts and fairies.
As someone else has pointed out in this forum, the action of LITTLE NEMO unfolds unrestricted by narrative conventions. Nemo and Flip stretch as if they're waking, and for a viewer today, that's where the marvel is. Nemo wakes in 1911 into the world of moving, hand drawn pictures and, after so many years of neglect, he wakes, again, for us.
Well, I could just go on for days expressing my enchantment with this jewel from the past.
Werewolf of London (1935)
Very pleasantly surprised...
This film is much, much better than I, and my friends with whom I watched it, expected. After reading reviews here and elsewhere, we're still not sure what folks find so problematic about it particularly as it's miles ahead of 1941's THE WOLFMAN which we thought was just dreadful considering all its hype.
Maybe it's the drawing room "comedy of manners" portions of the film that puts some off. We actually found that these sequences worked for us; and, unlike the comedy relief of so many other films of this period, caught ourselves sincerely laughing when we were supposed to. Overall, we consider this a terrific film for a dark and stormy night, and urge others to forget about Lyle Talbot.
Clever and arch doesn't mean good...
Yet another ho-hum Maddin pic that sounds great on paper but doesn't play so on the screen. I can easily imagine Maddin and his gang amusing themselves for hours on end by their oh-so-clever ideas. It's all just becoming so much tired filmmaking from someone who appears to have some "in" with Canadian government funding.
And let's face it: this particular film is great for an audience with absolutely no background in film history. For those folks, I'm sure this comes across as incredibly fresh and different. For the rest of us, it's just plundering the stills files of various film archives for ideas stretched far too thin.
Still, Isabella looks radiant in period garb and Vaseline halos. See this movie if you want to see how Ingrid Bergman might have fared in a Peter Greenaway conceit as filmed by Karl Freund.
Night of the Dark Full Moon (1972)
Creepy and cold...
I don't have much to add about this film, which I consider quite effective, that hasn't already been stated by others; however, I'm a bit concerned by those who complain of this film being unwatchable because it is so dark. For those of you who've encountered this problem, I really think you need to take the issue up with the distributor of the video or dvd which you're watching. The dvd copy that I have, released by Diamond Entertainment, is just fine in the lighting department--or, at least, as fine as a low-budget, gloomy horror film is supposed to be. If you want shrill and gleaming horror films this isn't for you: stick to crap from Hollywood.
La noche del terror ciego (1972)
Absolutely nerve jangling vampire film...
I've seen this movie, which I consider to be more of a vampire than a zombie film, 3 times, and it's gotten better each time:
1) The first time was on the old Elvira show back in the 80s. She made it very amusing, and, being the snot that I was at the time, I thought TOTBD was nothing more than a run of the mill, slow-moving, cheesy, Euro-trash horror film aided by Elvira's gags;
HOWEVER and BOY WAS I WRONG...
2) The second time I watched it--well, sort of watched it--was after I bought the subtitled, enhanced video by Anchor Bay. I admit, I fell asleep not long after Virginia gets it, but I don't think I did this because the movie is so slow. Instead, I think it was because I was just tired and the film made me really uneasy, so I opted to doze off;
3) The third time was within the last two hours, and I'm definitely on the side of those who laud the film. Whoa, what a nerve jangler! At this time, I think I prefer it over other films of its ilk just because it's so rich with detail.
Part horror story, part fantasy, party pseudo-historical romance, part Euro-trash sexploiter, part ethnography, it just has it all. Moreover, I found the plot to be just fine, and I actually noted the development of Betty's character and found her especially engaging.
I'm so glad I gave this film another try. As Halloween is fast approaching, I'll now have the opportunity to recommend it to friends looking for a really chilling film.
Just another lifestyles of the rich and whining...
This film was decent enough but really nothing exceptional. Folks, this isn't the first time a writer or artist has put himself into his work, so don't act like it is.
Ultimately, I think I'd prefer a story about really struggling people who don't have Hollywood mansions and accompanying trust funds to fall back on trying to write a screenplay or make a movie. Do these scenarios exist? Shallow, bitchy, self-absorbed people who suddenly have epiphanies really don't make for compelling film-making.
But, when I think about it, what else can one expect from a "director" who is heir to the Spiegel Catalogue fortune. Nepotism and cronyism at its most flaccid, but still enjoyable in parts. And, as usual, Streep is wonderful and Cooper certainly deserved his Oscar.
The Curse of the Cat People (1944)
Lovely and haunting...
This film is one of my all time favorites; and I have to admit that I really question the smarts of anyone who can't see the very strong ties this film has to its predecessor.
In fact, the whole film centers around curses of various kinds; however, we're not talking about curses in the gypsy-mumbo-jumbo sense but in the sense of seeming to live under the kind of weight brought on by loneliness, anger, frustration, and, perhaps to a certain point, obsession.
There is so much loveliness in this film that to quibble over semantics really does it a disservice. Open your mind when you watch this one, and let its enchantment do its work.
The Pianist (2002)
I saw this film with my family, and we all came out of the theater saying, "Could anyone relate to the selfish pianist?" I guess if you like your main characters to be of the selfish, "Let everyone go to hell as long as I live" variety, then this film is for you.