The Vampire Historians Lunch community devoted to the study of vampires. <![CDATA[ An Oddity Of Epic Proportions, LIFEFORCE Will Steal Your Immortal Soul!]]>  
What could possibly go wrong, eh?
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters.  If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment.  If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
A mission to investigate the passing Halley’s Comet finds something no scientist inspected: in the heart of the phenomenon lies an alien spacecraft!  Col. Tom Carlsen (played with agreeable stoicism by Steve Railsback) commands a spaceborne crew to investigate the foreign vessel, and he’s alarmed to find three human-like aliens in suspended animation.  He orders the men to ferry them back to the shuttle, unknowingly setting Earth on a course to total annihilation by … you guessed it … space vampires!
Now … I say again … oh, good gravy!  In spite of itself, LIFEFORCE is a bomb of epic proportions that, yes, deserves to be celebrated.  Why?  How could that possibly be?  Well, the answer is never easy.
It could be that LIFEFORCE is one of those rare failures – it had a respected director, and the cast isn’t without talent – that inspires others to follow in its footsteps.  I’ve always maintained that no one – not a director, not a screenwriter, not a studio exec or even actors – set out with deliberate intentions to capture a disaster on film; after all, the risks to their respective careers and their employers make it an implausible suggestion.  Still, it somehow happens, and I like to think that it’s due to an all-out consuming breakdown in the creative process.  I suspect that harsh cold reality is somewhere near the heart – or ‘life force’ – of LIFEFORCE.
For example, the disc’s longer cut (116 minutes) really doesn’t add much substance to the theatrical release (101 minutes), but there are some small character moments that help flesh out the otherwise conventional creations.  In the 1980s, it was no secret that theatre owners preferred films pretty close to that much-praised 90 minutes run-time – it gave them the best chance to get the biggest audience into their business day, hence the best return – so I wonder if some of the tinkering contributed to a balkanization of the plot.  (Rest assured, even at 116 minutes this film makes little sense!)
The truth is the problems don’t stop there.  LIFEFORCE’s shooting script is quite probably as anomalous as everything chocked into it – mysterious disappearances, supernatural science, boobs that defy gravity – and even a cursory glance at it reveals a score of problems.  For starters, what is the story?  Is this something being told from the point of view of the astronauts, or is are these space vampires intended to be the main characters?  Thirty minutes into it, there still appears no central conflict – things just ‘happen,’ while, in the meantime, characters seem to come and go with greater frequency.  About halfway through, the narrative finally cleans up a bit when Carlsen kinda/sorta returns from the dead (not really, but don’t bother, because he’s not the only one who kinda/sorta does); with him, he brings some answers, but he also introduces several other new questions?  What to do now but … well, introduce even more characters!
Seriously, I’ve no idea how this script with these ideas could’ve seen its way into production except as a Golan and Globus production.  (Google it, kids … it’ll all make sense with some Googling.)  The end result is like that car wreck – you really should drive past, though you can’t help but keep looking.  That’s the best way to describe LIFEFORCE – a catastrophe you can’t help but watch.  It’s that intoxicating.
Plus, newcomer Mathilda May really does have great posture.
RECOMMENDED entirely because it’s so bizarre to behold!  LIFEFORCE is that rare sci-fi schlockfest that’s worth seeing entirely because it is so mind-blowingly bad.  The script by Dan O’Bannon & Don Jakoby – an adaptation of the novel “The Space Vampires” by Colin Wilson – doesn’t even really try to make sense of any of it probably because it would’ve been an entirely exhaustive affair.  To its credit, LIFEFORCE raised far more questions that it or quite possibly any film could ever answer, so it’s best to go into this one with an open mind AND an open heart … ‘cause if you leave it with any measure of affection then it has to be love!]]> Thu, 31 Oct 2013 18:50:42 +0000
<![CDATA[ A Campy Murder Mystery With Bela Playing a "Mute" Count Mora]]>
Meanwhile everyone in the town including the gypsies say that it is Count Mora who lives in a castle.  We later see Count Mora in his castle as night falls, walking through the castle that has no furniture and is overrun with vermin and what appears to be a single rat.  Mora has a bloodied wound on the side of his head and is accompanied by a woman who looks like a scary Lily Munster.  Throughout the film the two of them just seem to appear out of nowhere and neither of them speak.

There is an interesting scene where the woman seems to be transitioning back from a bat to a human and appears to swoop down to the ground.  This was a pretty amazing effect for 1935.

Overall, the movie is just a campy murder mystery with a weird ending that I am not sure I understand.  The DVD does offer to watch the film with commentary which may help me understand it better but I don't feel I really want to sit through it again.  The campiness of the film (unlike The Bride Of Frankenstein) really detracts from the film and it really is not up to snuff with Universal's Dracula or even Dracula's Daughter.  Bela played a much more interesting vampire in a later film (I think it was called Return of the Vampire) which I would recommend watching over this one.]]> Mon, 15 Jul 2013 13:41:05 +0000
<![CDATA[Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Quick Tip by FM_ALEX]]> Tue, 12 Feb 2013 04:31:51 +0000 <![CDATA[ GREAT BLU-RAY OF BIOPIC]]>


Abraham Lincoln, what can be said about this man that hasn't already been said before? Wait I know, he has battled Vampires and Zombies for most of his life, its fact. I guess you dear reader had no idea about that did you? No you didn't, because it is one of the many government cover ups that are out there. Why did they never tell you about this? Well almost all of you would most certainly panic. Alas, now you know, but for today we will only discuss his many vampire escapades.

You see when Abe was but a boy he witnessed his mother killed by a man who his father had worked for. History, or is that secret history has gone on to document that a young Abe would years later attempt to kill the very man who murdered his mother. As it turns out this man was indeed a creature of the night, a vampire. Naturally Abe had no chance against such a beast and was on his way to certain death. But as luck would have it a man named Henry Sturges was on hand to aid young Abe. They were not able to kill the vamp but they did come to an agreement. Henry would train Abe to hunt and kill vampires if Abe did exactly what he would say.

So time would go on, how much time we are not sure but enough went by to make Abe a vampire killing machine. He hunted them down one at a time looking to finally one day find you know who. I am sure you all know about his wife and how they met, his years working towards politics and of course becoming the President. Well during that time he went in and out of vampire slaying including at terrifying night spent on a train. Now I could go on and on with this historically accurate report, or I could say watch this Biopic.

Based on Honest Abe's honest biography by Seth Grahame-Smith who also wrote the script this Tim Burton produced flick is very fun. The look of the film and over all B movie feel only adds to the appeal of the flick. Director Timur Bekmambetov really knows how to shoot action as I am sure anyone who has seen his other films knows. It is these scenes that really drive the movie and push the pace. In fact it makes it feel like the movie could have been longer or at least moved slower at times. Also the final battle between Abe and lead vamp could have been a bit longer for entertainment value, but I am sure this version was the accurate account. Regardless I did like this movie and found it to be very entertaining and historically accurate.

Still I have to say the movie was fun and the performances were just as good. Also I must admit that I really liked the end of the film and I really mean the end as in last scene. It involves Henry and well you will see what I am talking about. I was always a sucker for those types of scenes, once again after viewing you will see what I mean. The Blu-Ray is excellent coming with all kinds of special features. My favorite being the making of which goes into great detail about everything involving the film. Then of course the commentary by the writer is very interesting. There is much more that only make this release a must have for film buffs who enjoy the behind the scenes stuff. Stay tuned kiddies as next time we will be discussing Honest Abe's run ins with zombies, still historic fact, honest.

]]> Tue, 12 Feb 2013 04:31:36 +0000
<![CDATA[ The Daywalker Hunts in Japanese Anime!]]> X-Men” and had mixed feelings about the “Iron Man” anime series. My expectations have been tempered with director Mitsuyuki Masuhara’s “Blade the anime series. In a nutshell, there are many elements that made the series quite creative that it proved successful when it came to its ambition, but there were certain things about its execution that proved to be somewhat of a letdown.

I have decided to view the series in the English dubbed language because it gives the characters personalities that somehow comes closer to the original characters.

The basic origin of “Blade” stays true to the source material as Eric Brooks (voiced by Harold Perrineau) is revealed to be young man whose mother was bitten by a 4-fanged vampire while she was pregnant. As a result, Eric’s genes has become bonded with the vampire gene permanently and this has given him all the powers of a vampire but none of their weaknesses. Under the guidance of Noah Van Hellsing (Troy Baker), Eric has become a vampire hunter in his mission to destroy the vampire called Deacon Frost (J.B. Blanc). Also, joined by a beautiful vampire hunter named Makoto (Kim Mai Guest), the two travels to different locations in Asia, even Madripoor (a Marvel comics fictional country) to find Frost. Along the way, the two finds both new friends and old foes alike, as they close in on Deacon Frost. But Frost himself has his own agenda, and his plans include Blade himself.

This anime series based the Marvel comics character “Blade” gets a lot of things right, and gets inspiration from all three mediums, the comic series, the first “Blade” movie and even the recent TV series. These things did not bother me at all, I thought the storytelling by Kenta Fukasaku was pretty competent in the way it was structured. What I liked the most about this anime series is the fact that it bothered to include Asian vampire lore in the first 6 episodes. I liked the way that it manages to touch upon Japanese water vampires, the Philippine lore of the Manananggal, Mandungo, and even Sumatran and Malaysian versions of the vampire legend. I admit, while the writing merely touches upon those legends, and true, they were more in the way of flamboyance, I liked the clever manner in how they became inserted into the main story. I was also quite surprised to see that the writing portrayed an area in the Philippines and how poverty affected that said area quite accurately. The series was not afraid to get a little darker and a little unnerving than your average animated series.

The other thing that the series was able to expand on was Eric’s childhood in the form of flashbacks. It was something that made his origins feel a little more real and admittedly, easier to be invested in him. I also appreciated the effort made by the writing in introducing new characters from the countries Makoto and Blade had visited. Lupit, Hagibis and Cimaron were heroes of their native land. Agus presented a conscience in how to deal with the vampire virus and was handled competently into the script. Of course, if there is Deacon Frost, there is also group of the vampire pure bloods called the ‘High council”. In this anime series, Deacon Frost was a more complex character than the one portrayed in the first “Blade” film. He was a man whose drive made him a man of conflicts, his all too human emotions drive him to his agenda, and it may lead to his eventual destruction in spirit.

By episode 7, the series becomes to feel more like a Japanese manga inspired by Marvel comics. This is not a negative comment but rather more of a statement. Of course, everyone’s favorite mutant “Wolverine” (Milo Ventimiglia) makes a guest appearance. I know it felt like a cheap play for ‘fan service’ but his part does make sense. The two part stories in episodes 8 and 9 revealed more of Blade’s origins, as we get to meet the men who made Eric the swordsman that he is. Eric’s sensei, Master Yagyu and former rival Kikyo Mikage brings more depth into Eric’s character, though admittedly, this area felt a little too cliché. I enjoyed their encounters, but I had mixed feelings on the drama it added on to its narrative. Makoto and Noah presented the side that Eric fights for. I really am uncertain as to how I felt about the Noah character, but I enjoyed Makoto’s role in the script. This is a Japanese production after all, so there may be something in the way of ‘hidden love’ around its themes.

I suppose while I liked many things about this “Blade” anime series, it was ambitious and definitely wanted to be different and original, for some reason, it wasn’t as fun and as immersive as I could’ve wished. Yes, it had blood and even some gore, it had several mature themes going for it, but the animation work was very lacking. I am not sure, the animation felt very low budget, and their quality was not consistent. Eric’s character designs felt more inspired by the American TV series than the comics, while the creature and monster designs felt more influenced by the Western audience than something much more geared towards the Japanese. I also have to note that the animation wasn’t as fluid as I would’ve wanted and several action scenes felt awkward. There were also times when it felt like a digital comic when it does those ‘freeze frames’. Yes, the series had a lot of action to spare, and action junkies would be satisfied, but they lacked emotion in several scenes that they ended up failing in terms of excitement. Soundtrack has a lot to do with this also, and the series fails.

The music did not feel “Blade”, it lacked the attitude and pure toughness of the character. The voice acting was decent, but they were nothing to be proud of. I was a little hesitant with the English dubbing, but despite the differences in the original language, they both kept its narrative intact. Of course, this series was intended for the Japanese language, so expect mild synching issues when viewing the series in the English dub.

“Blade the anime series” was something that I really wanted to see, being a fan of the character and the first two movies, I hoped for the best. Yes, I wasn’t disappointed in the screenplay, I enjoyed the way it added elements of different vampire lore and I liked the ambition it had, but the action, the animation quality was well below par than the “X-Men” anime series. This was surprising since the work was done by Madhouse studios, but it felt very low budget compared to their other attempts in Marvel anime. “Blade” is a mixed bag, which was too bad since the story was solid by itself, but as a whole the series was wanting. The direction and the animation work left something to be desired that I can only give this series a light recommendation to anime fans.

Timid Recommendation to anime fans [3 Out of 5 Stars]

 ]]> Thu, 13 Dec 2012 07:19:06 +0000
<![CDATA[ Well-made gore fest]]>
I really enjoyed this movie. Yes, it's horrifically gory at times, but the clever mix of fantasy and true events is very well done and I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. We follow Lincoln from store clerk to the White House. The movie isn't playing for laughs, it's utterly serious. I actually found it more entertaining than Daniel Day-Lewis' "Lincoln."

The title had me expecting a cheesy, low-budget slasher, but the production values are high and the special effects are excellent. The acting is also very good; Benjamin Walker plays a convincing Lincoln and Rufus Sewell is truly menacing as his nemesis.

This is a surprising, witty story that includes just enough historical facts to make it almost plausible. A lot of blood, but still recommended.

When not slaying vampires, Lincoln carried out his presidential duties.
]]> Tue, 11 Dec 2012 06:41:03 +0000
<![CDATA[ A War Breaks Out and The Secret of Alucard Stands Revealed]]> 4 volumes of “Hellsing Ultimate” (click on link to see review) last week, I really wasn’t sure where and how it was going. There was a lot of foreshadowing as to the origins of Alucard and I questioned as to how everything would wrap itself up. The last episode of the first collection ended with a scene that showed the forces of the Major about to drop into London and what results in this collection is possibly one of the most visually arresting displays of violence and horrifying details that had been shown in the world of animation. I guess you may ask, does grisly imagery or violence become much more acceptable when done in animation? I suppose this is where its sly humor and somewhat “looney tunes” like comedy occasionally comes in. But I have to say, the series had gone to a very dark path even when Alucard displays his twisted, monstrous side in a bizarre yet, charming way.

Note: This may be one of the rare times that I enjoyed watching an anime in the English dub since it gave the characters much more defining personalities than the original Japanese language (albeit with a slightly more over-the-top tone) 


As I have talked about in my review of the first four volumes, the series does have a long developing storyline. The full 8 episodes collected in this two collections have the original intent and narrative of the manga series, and this next 4 episodes (or volumes) pick off where it had left off with an army of Nazi vampires led by the Major (Gildart Jackson) who are about to lay siege on London and everything it holds dear. The Hellsing organization or the Holy Order of Protestant Knights led by Integra Hellsing (Victoria Harwood) are about to make their last stand as she becomes hunted by a vampire horde and her mansion is being overrun by the vampire Nazis. Seras Victoria (Katherine Gray) and a mercenary named Barnadotte (Yuri Lowenthal) take their stand against Zorin Blitz (Rachel Robinson) and her forces, while the Catholic crusaders led by a religious zealot called Maxwell (JB Blanc) rise to destroy both humans and vampires alike. War has indeed broken out, as all sides are fighting in more than two fronts, that even the Iscariots led by Anderson (Steven Brand) find themselves at a cross roads. Desperation leads Integra to command Alucard (Crispin Freeman) into the fray one last time, freed of all restraints to unleash his full power….the mystery behind Alucard is finally revealed.



The first episodes in the first collection caused me to ask a lot of questions; it even caused me some transitional issues and shifts in tone that I did not particularly enjoy but understood. While the next few episodes of “Hellsing Ultimate” may still have its touches of sly humor and wildly otaku-like animated comedy, the series have become much darker, more violent and if at all possible, much more graphic in its grand displays of violence. While the first collection introduced several cool characters, this one brings those characters into center stage, as Alucard was only shown briefly in episode 5 before he takes the lead in episode 8. This time, Seras Victoria, Bernadotte and Integra are put into its central focus as they try to define the values of humanity as well as how a vampire TRULY becomes a vampire. Things such as why Seras did not wish to drink of Alucard’s blood and as to what happens when someone offers their blood of their own free will. I suppose while I do have to admit that the series did have its rough spots, I appreciated the thought and effort it had gone through to develop its characters through visions and flashbacks.

The more vital part of this series would be to know just who was Alucard and this 4 volumes does do so with a vengeance. We all knew that he was “Dracula” (or Drakul) or if you really wish to read between the lines, he is Vlad the Impaler, the murderer of thousands. The display of his full power may be the series’ main draw, as I have said, it became one of the more visually arresting moments of violence to be displayed in anime. Alucard’s origins would come as no surprise with those who Dracula’s iconic reputation. But it is not to say that the rest of the series was a slouch, the battle between Zorin’s forces and Seras with the mercenaries were also one for the record books. Vivisection, blood sucking, limbs being torn from bodies, bodies shredded into pieces, and much more gore pop up in episodes 6 and 7. The assault in London and the Hellsing mansion took for a lot of action and brutality, which made this collection much more exciting than the previous one. It was nice to see just how much of a bad-ass Seras could really be, and as to why Integra could become Alucard’s mistress since, well, she is pretty tough as nails. Episode 7 also gets a little more darker and even raunchy, as it had a scene of necrophilia in the purpose of developing the Seras Victoria character.



The Vatican side as well as the Paladin Iscariots also become more fleshed out with the appearance of two new characters in support of Anderson. Yumie and Heinkel Wolf (Siobhan Flynn and Karen Starassman) provided more areas to expand on and we get to see the reasons why the Catholic section are at odds with the Protestant Knights. I am not sure, but they seem to be an expression of blind righteous faith against tempered faith driven by intellect, but I suppose we’ll have to wait and see in the next episodes (if there are more, I am uncertain of its release date at this time).

I guess that is all we could ask for in an anime series and “Hellsing Ultimate” 5-8 does answer a lot of questions. But It also introduces some new twists and surprises that I am hoping for a few more episodes. I know, I noticed that the battle in Hellsing mansion took a little too long despite its necessity, I thought that the story-telling could’ve used more smoothing over. The Major’s role felt more for the purpose of theatrics and the issue with Walter the butler and his opponent could’ve been more fleshed out at this time. Still, “Hellsing Ultimate” Volumes 5-8 is deliciously entertaining. Gory, brutal and visually impressive, with a storyline that channeled exactly what it is supposed to, I found this series worthy of its reputation. I just felt a little bummed that it ended in a cliffhanger, but the following editions have been announced and on its way. I am in for the next new “Hellsing”. I’d like to see more of this undead dude.

Recommended! [4 Out of 5 Stars]

]]> Sun, 2 Dec 2012 09:28:25 +0000
<![CDATA[ 56% of this motion picture is worthless]]>

"I stopped appearing as Dracula in 1972 because in my opinion the presentation of the character had deteriorated to such an extent, particularly bringing him into the contemporary day and age, that it really no longer had any meaning."

Not so - that indefatigable lead portrayed the iconic bloodsucker twice thereafter: a final engagement with perennial Van Helsing Peter Cushing in this dreck's sequel (The Satanic Rites of Dracula), then a modest enactment consigned to wearisome Gallic desecration Dracula and Son. Never mind, for this third of four Ultimate Conflicts between lamia nobleman Lee (his eighth of ten portrayals) and crusading polymath physician Cushing (third of five, respectively) is tawdry, abject tedium, among the worst of Hammer's multitudinous, shopworn '70s flops.

In the wake of a carriage crash in 1872, a moribund Dr. Van Helsing dispatches faux Tepes with a stake fashioned from a tyre spoke through his transverse intestine. Evidently, both the elemental forces of evil and the senescent doctor alike have disregarded the location of the heart entirely, and so Dracula molders to powder. Dracolyte Alucard (godforsaken Christopher Neame) harvests a tube of the undead dust, and - in either surrender to astonishing indolence or adherence to a memo dispatched by Hammer executives - elects to depute the task of resurrecting the Székely monster to his great-grandson, bellwether to a flock of hipster douche bags comprised of some gallingly unsightly dorks, savagely leggy B-fixture Caroline Munro, toothsome brown sugar Marsha Hunt and MI DOLÇ CRISTO -- scrumptious, jiggling Stephanie Beacham in her prime, loveliness not a whit attenuated by bleached locks intimating Dutch lineage as Van Helsing's agnate descendant. Neame bellows doltishly with his stupid mouth and revives Dracula from a century's repose by mixing his vial of Dracaine with his own interior latex blood, dousing Ms. Munro with the resulting amalgamated slop so to promptly sacrifice her, though I can't be bothered to care in the slightest because pert, luscious Stephanie Beacham of nineteen hundred and seventy-two is prevalent herein, so why is Lee's top billing for fifteen-odd minutes of screen time really of any preponderance?

Admittedly, Cushing is again a wonder, if only for imparting perfectly credible urgency to paraphrased disquiet that he's recited at least thrice before. Michael Coles also channels desperately required respectability as a police inspector in aid to Cushing's vampire hunter. At its close, our contemporary Van Helsing slays the abomination for ever and ever and ever until the aforementioned sequel of the following year.

Recommended only for fans of Cushing and Beacham, the gifted pair personable in their banal roles...all screen time in which they're not prevalent (especially that featuring a performance by folk-rock band Stoneground that'll induce douche chills in even the hardiest viewer) may be accelerated in double-quick time. What little you've not seen before here oughtn't be seen.]]> Sat, 27 Oct 2012 00:15:25 +0000
<![CDATA[ What Horror?]]>
In sight, it's a magnificent picture: snow-clad, moonlit panoramas, cosy interiors and eldritch festivities recall Soviet classics Jack Frost and Sampo (atrociously abridged and dubbed versions of which are familiar to Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans) among others; those splendid expanses evince some influence of those wintry vistas conveyed in Chagall's American paintings - faith, Bass's tawdry innkeeper bears an eponym in dubious honor of the iconic artist!

Never lovelier, luscious Tate radiates in her every shot onscreen, yet Polanski wisely employed her sparingly without over-utilizing their limited romantic chemistry. In his nebbish role, the diminutive filmmaker was perfectly paired to gruff MacGowran, with whom he demonstrates a natural talent for physical comedy. Mayne very nearly proves himself Christopher Lee's equal as the fanged antagonist of suave menace; attired in suggestive pale blue, Iain Quarrier unnerves as his frigid queer scion.

Replete with a profusion of slapstick scenarios, ingenious sight gags and pitch-black humor, Dance isn't merely a production of thrill and quality superior to coeval Hammer flicks, but also hilarious as no script of those genre offerings ever dared be. Further, the Polish enfant terrible delighted in confounding expectations: a Jewish lamia isn't momentarily deterred by a brandished crucifix, predilections of the vampiric son hardly extend to the purloined leading lady and a devastating denouement will surely leave the most beguiled audience in disarray. Warbling choral vocals and clamorous rhythms distinguish its outlandish score composed by Polanski mainstay Krzysztof Komeda, among the most ambitious and unconventional that the jazz pianist penned but a few years preceding his untimely death.

Dance of the Vampires is a staple of any cinephile's winter collection, defying comparison with any other Romek offering. As half of a double bill, it may be comfortably screened with...?]]> Thu, 25 Oct 2012 08:20:04 +0000
<![CDATA[ "What in the underworld's come over you." Almost song lyrics.]]> Running time: 1hr 28 minutes
Kate Beckinsale
Michael Ealy
India Eisley
Bjorn Stein

Kate Bekinsale, is Selene, a vampire warrior who was caught and brought to a research laboratory. She was kept in a laboratory tank, in suspended captivity for twelve years. She is able to sense another presence and learns that she has a powerful daughter named Eve. The Lycans are trying to use her DNA to create a super species. Silver is one thing that can kill them and Eve has something in her make up that the Lycans can use to inoculate their members. 

Someone helps her escape this prison and she finds a world where humans have found about vampires and lycans and are in an all out war to eradicate both species.

There is excellent suspense as Selene is saved by a handsome actor who is a vampire and brings her to his hideaway.  There are battle scenes and lots of action.

For those looking for action adventure, this would be a good night by the TV.]]> Tue, 4 Sep 2012 23:54:51 +0000
<![CDATA[ "What in the underworld's come over you." Almost song lyrics.]]> Running time: 1hr 28 minutes
Kate Beckinsale
Michael Ealy
India Eisley
Bjorn Stein

Kate Bekinsale, is Selene, a vampire warrior who was caught and brought to a research laboratory. She was kept in a laboratory tank, in suspended captivity for twelve years. She is able to sense another presence and learns that she has a powerful daughter named Eve. The Lycans are trying to use her DNA to create a super species. Silver is one thing that can kill them and Eve has something in her make up that the Lycans can use to inoculate their members. 

Someone helps her escape this prison and she finds a world where humans have found about vampires and lycans and are in an all out war to eradicate both species.

There is excellent suspense as Selene is saved by a handsome actor who is a vampire and brings her to his hideaway.  There are battle scenes and lots of action.

For those looking for action adventure, this would be a good night by the TV.]]> Tue, 4 Sep 2012 22:47:07 +0000
<![CDATA[Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Quick Tip by rbuchanan]]> Thu, 5 Jul 2012 05:08:33 +0000 <![CDATA[ It May Be A Stupid Movie, But It's a WELL-MADE Stupid Movie, Which Makes All The Difference...]]> The summer movie season can be home to plenty of whimsical, often ridiculous premises for movies. We’ve seen movies based on comic books, toy lines, and most recently, board games. “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” continues the trend with one of the most laughable titles I’ve ever read, let alone the absurd premise of the film that pits our 16th president against a horde of blood-sucking night dwellers in an alternate-history romp. That being said, I was just as surprised leaving the theater Friday afternoon as I was when I first heard that the movie itself was being made, but for an entirely different reason. My surprise came from the fact that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was actually a great, entertaining movie. I was honestly at a loss for words at how much I liked this movie, and even more surprising was the fact that there were several elements from the movie to point to. One is the film’s deadly serious tone. They take the concept of Abraham Lincoln fighting vampires and instead of making a winking self-parody they revel in how cool that idea sounds to almost every teenage boy in America, cranking up the violence and gore, self-indulgent slow motion shots and more than a dozen historical inaccuracies that would make a fifth grade social studies student blush. No one in the film ever winks at the camera or takes the time to stop and wonder how silly it is for this lawyer from Illinois to be hunting vampires, there’s hardly any time with all the gratuitous vampire slaying going on. Also worth thanking is director/Zack-Snyder-prodigy Timur Bekmambetov, who’s previous work on movies like “Wanted” really proves itself to be more than handy. Timur keeps the pace tight and buoyant enough so that you never even have the chance to question how bizarre everything is, and much like “Wanted” he choreographs his action much like a video game cut scene, giving you a consistently great view of what’s going on and out-doing itself with larger scale and more outlandish set pieces in every new sequence. As I said earlier, Timur’s also clearly a fan of the slow motion, but it never gets too redundant, every time it makes an appearance it does a great job of giving you time to take in what all’s going on while simultaneously reminding you the scene you’re currently watching is as cool as you thought it might be. If there’s any real glaring flaw in the film, it is Seth Grahame-Smith’s script. Smith wrote the worst movie I’ve seen so far this summer, Dark Shadows, and just his name on this movie’s credit made me cringe. His script isn’t downright terrible, but the trademark thinness and clunkiness in his writing becomes more prevalent in the last half. On great display here is the solid cast. Rufus Sewell plays it up just sinister and dastardly enough as the lead vampire scum, Dominic Cooper gets some of the best moments in the movie as Lincoln’s vampire mentor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, or Ramona Flowers as I’ll be forever calling her thanks to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, commits a really great, hilarious performance as Mary Todd that brings a lot of unexpected life to a few of the duller scenes. What would you know, even the world-famous “I know I’ve seen that guy before” actor, Alan Tudyk pops up as one of the rival politicians in the first act of the movie. It’s Benjamin Walker though as our titular vampire hunter/president that’s been getting a lot of the praise from film critics all around the circle. Walker does an incredible job in the film, especially in the movie’s last 30 minutes (aka it’s best 30 minutes) when (real life spoiler alert) he actually becomes president and gains the trademark beard/stovepipe hat. I thought his work in the first 2/3 of the film was strong but unremarkable, but it’s really that transformation that occurs where you can’t even recognize Walker anymore that really pushes the movie into “great” territory. All in all, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter may be a stupid movie, but it’s a WELL-MADE stupid movie, and that makes all the difference (studios take note next time you’re making a board game movie no one asked for). A handful of outstanding action set pieces, a terrific cast that bring some serious life to the proceedings, and a story that delights in deadly-serious fun make “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” one of the best surprises of the summer.

4 out of 5]]> Mon, 25 Jun 2012 03:56:41 +0000
<![CDATA[ Abe Lincoln: incorruptible man]]>
I saw the movie today in Bloomington, IL, in the heart of Lincoln country, the day after visiting Springfield and just a handful of its Lincoln sites:  The museum and the home site.   Yes, they do sell the book in the museum gift store and at the time I wondered at this piece of potential sacrilege being sold in the temple of Lincoln.  After watching the movie, I think I might read the book, I can understand why the gift shop sells the book, and I see why the movie works as well as it does:
  1. The historical Lincoln has become a legend, already larger than life.  In both the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC and the Springfield museum Lincoln is a marble man, impossible to criticize, a human deity in his martyr's death.  In a sense he already is a superhero, as no other political or public figure in American history ever has been, and perhaps ever may be (name a current public figure who might be able to carry off this adulation.....go ahead, I'll wait),  In the progression from Log Cabin to Railsplitter to Douglas Debater to Great Emancipator to  Vampire Hunter, that last step is perhaps not so hard to believe as some of the earlier historical ones.
  2. The personal Lincoln was a physical specimen ready made to become an action movie star.  At 6 feet 4 inches tall, he towered over his contemporaries at a time when the average American male was nearly a full foot shorter.  He was a powerfully build man, able to lift a heavy axe by the end of the handle and hold it horizontal in one hand, even after years as a lawyer and politician.  Seeing him wield that axe with fancy spins and kicks in the super slow-motion popular in action movies today he looks not just big, strong, and heroic, but also believably natural.  As my wife said on the way out of the theater, "Abe Lincoln was one bad-ass superhero!"
  3. The historical Civil War was a horror of both humanity (human slavery based on skin color) and politics (brother killing brother across formally open borders).  In the movie, as in contemporary historical and political commentary, the normal language used to explain human and political events failed, and terms like "demonic spirit" were used to try to put a label on what we couldn't even understand, let alone stop or control.  The movie just goes the next steps to make it literal. 
Along the way, the movie never loses the sense of Lincoln the man.  His humor and touch with the common people around him remain intact.  In the White House, in the midst of leading the nation in war by day and vampire hunting under darkness of night, we still see him suffer as a husband and father as young Willie dies (yes in the movie, vampires are involved). Even Mary Todd, so often ignored or villified from every angle in real life, is treated sympathetically.  She is pretty and witty as a young amour engaged to Lincoln's older, better known, rival Stephen Douglas (which I learned yesterday in the museum is historically accurate), and while bitter and angry at Willie's death, stays strong and has a key role to play in the climactic battle against the vampires . . .

 . . . .at the final day in Gettysburg, where Adam, the leader of the slave-owner vampire hoard, has made a deal with Jefferson Davis to supply the Confederate Army with all the undead they could call up.  While the analogy of slave-holders as vampires living off the flesh of their human chattel holds up and is in fact quite powerful, extending the spread of vampires to include the average Southern soldier is stretching the analogy beyond what it might bear.  However, the total numbers are never counted, the average southerner is not implicated and vilified in this way, and most importantly the South's own incorruptible Man Robert E. Lee is not implicated as participating in or condoning the use of the vampire soldiers, an inclusion that would have turned many Southern (and some pro-Northern) readers and movie ticket buyers away even today.   The movie wisely builds up the hero Lincoln without tearing down other heroes.

So, enjoy the engrossing story of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, and admire the real man who lived the legend.  Who knows, you might even want to learn more about both.]]> Mon, 25 Jun 2012 01:55:23 +0000
<![CDATA[ Of presidents and the paranormal.]]>
Honest Abe himself tells us early on in "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" that one very significant portion of his life will not be remembered throughout American history. The premise for the film is that he lived a double life as a slayer of vamps; a side-job that started at an early age when his mother's life was taken by one named Jack Barts. This was mere inspiration. Lincoln did not learn that you could properly dispose of vampires for good until he tried it ten years later and failed miserably; saved only by a more experienced hunter, Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper), who later teaches Abraham the trade, so to speak. This of course means that he walks him through what effectively kills vampires, as well as the enemy's own unique weapons of choice (which include invisibility, evaporation, and obviously the sharp teeth). Abraham goes into battle with the beasts hidden in the darkness each night wielding his trusty axe (with silver on the tip, since everyone knows silver kills vamps); living a perfectly normal life by day.

His daytime job is as a shopkeeper, working for the kindly and energetic Joshua Speed (Jimmi Simpson). In the shop is where the most life-changing moments occur. Lincoln meets the love of his life - the woman who would soon be his wife - Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who is then dating the politician Stephen A. Douglas (Alan Tudyk). He also reunites with a childhood friend; a slave by the name of William Johnson (Anthony Mackie), who still cherishes the fond memories along with the harsh ones that they both endured during their separate and shared boyhoods. Lincoln must try as hard as he possibly can to juggle his personal life, his political life, and his odd job as a killer. And this is just the first part of the story. Just wait until he moves into the White House with Mary Todd. Things get real messy then.

The main villain of the story is a slave-owner/head vampire named Adam (Rufus Sewell). The slaves themselves are the only thing keeping his army of evil bloodsuckers sane for the time being. They will wage war once they run out of food resources. Lincoln makes the mistake of freeing the slaves; and so the war that never was begins. The script by Seth Grahame-Smith, who also wrote the novel of the same name, clearly has no intentions of following history very closely at all; but for a movie of this title, it actually takes itself very seriously indeed. This could have made for something silly - something satirical or flamboyantly goofy - but instead the screenplay makes an attempt to develop real characters and situations. Maybe it's better off that way.

The film, directed by the visionary Timur Bekmambetov, is a stunning visual achievement. With Tim Burton as one of the producers, that's what you'd most likely expect; a ravishing production filled with great shots and nice looking effects (although the vampires aren't particularly amazing to gawk at). If that's all you're looking for, then "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is the movie for you. Its chock full of pretty things to look at and it's got plenty of different elements to pick aside and admire; yet I can't help but feel there's an empty void somewhere here that hasn't quite been filled. Yes, you get some pretty sweet and stylistic action sequences, but so what? I might care if the screenplay had been ignored a little more - or perhaps a little less mediocre - but the film makes the mistake of believing that it's got more substance than it actually does.

If you're a technical junkie, you're going to want to see this no matter what. But the fact of the matter is that "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" provides only momentarily thrilling, but ultimately forgettable pleasures. It has some good performances - although Benjamin Walker as Lincoln is somewhat questionable, more-so during the younger days of the world-renown president rather than his later years - but on a whole, I questioned its authenticity as an action flick and as entertaining historical fiction throughout. I've heard rumors of a 168 minute cut, and I hope that surfaces one day. The thing feels either too short or too long. Or maybe it just feels oddly uninspired for a film with such a great idea going for it. I give it credit for possessing an impressive production and cast, as well as a damn interesting premise; but I also must discredit it for failing to engage me. I don't ask much out of these action movies, why must they be so difficult? Perhaps it's finding the right balance between absurdity and realism; there's a line there and if you cross it, there will be hell to pay. This movie gets off easy. Not all of them can be so lucky.]]> Sun, 24 Jun 2012 05:09:37 +0000
<![CDATA[ It Seems Abe Wasn't as Honest As We Thought]]> Star Rating:

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Don’t you just love a title that plainly spells it all out for you? Say it to yourself, and you’re instantly reminded of the sci-fi/horror B-movies that sounded as if they were christened before an actual screenplay was written, like Attack of the 50 Foot Woman or Creature from the Black Lagoon or Attack of the Crab Monsters. It matters not that the film plays fast and loose with American history. If anything, that will probably make it much more palatable for most audiences, myself included. Why bother with a straight historical drama? History doesn’t interest me. But a supernatural thriller, now there’s something I can really get into. Such movies have the excitement and imagination that can never be found within the pages of an encyclopedia.
The problem lies not with the creative liberties that were taken. It lies in the fact that the filmmakers made the mistake of taking the material seriously. When you have a title like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, there really is no point in trying to formulate clever parallels between vampirism and the atrocities of slavery and the Civil War. Screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith, who adapted his own mashup novel of the same name, was aiming for satire when the innate silliness of the premise dictated that he should have been aiming for pure camp. There are times when it comes close to that, but for the most part, it plays it straight and operates under the assumption that we should accept it on those terms. Forget about the fact that this is difficult to achieve. It might actually be impossible.

Unfolding for the most part as an extended flashback sequence, this film paints a revisionist portrait of the sixteenth President of the United States, one that happens to be in eye-popping 3D. We’re shown that all of the well-documented aspects of his life, from his boyhood days as a frontier axeman to his older days as a law student to his final days as the leader of the free world, were in fact touched in some way by the evil world of vampires, of which there were thousands during the mid nineteenth century. Lincoln wasn’t initially aware of this. As a boy (Lux Haney-Jardine), he witnessed his mother (Robin McLeavy) get ill and die after being attacked in bed by a ruthless slave owner named Jack Barts (Marton Csokas) and vowed to take his revenge; nine years later, as an adult (Benjamin Walker), he makes an attempt on Bart’s life, only to then discover that he was in fact an undead blood sucker.
It’s through this confrontation that Lincoln becomes acquainted with a British man named Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper), who, for reasons the filmmakers made no attempt to keep hidden, knows all too well the reality of the existence of vampires. He reluctantly agrees to teach Lincoln in the ways of vampire hunting; this means he will turn Lincoln into a cross between an action hero and a video game character, paving the way for many violent, frenetic stunt and special effects sequences that involve a lot of slow motion. Sturgess informs Lincoln that a vampire hunter must refrain from forming close personal relationships, as they will almost certainly lead to heartbreak. He also warns that this can’t simply be about vengeance; Lincoln must systematically hunt his way through a series of vampires hidden all throughout the Midwest and ultimately work up to the head vampire, Adam (Rufus Sewell), a New Orleans-based slave owner.

Once in Springfield, Lincoln immediately breaks Sturgess’ first rule, befriending a shopkeeper named Joshua Speed (Jimmi Simpson) and falling in love with Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), the former fiancée of local politician Stephen A. Douglas (Alan Tudyk). Into Lincoln’s life reenters his boyhood friend, an escaped slave named William Johnson (Anthony Mackie), who now helps other slaves escape through the Underground Railroad and needs help evading bounty hunters. From this, we begin to see the misguided satirical machinery at work; Lincoln soon enters politics and speaks out against slavery, which is being perpetuated in large part because slaves are a food source for Southern vampires, who in turn want the right to exist. This inevitably leads to the Civil War, during which, not surprisingly, the Confederacy tries to gain the upper hand by recruiting vampires as soldiers.
It’s unlikely that general audiences will care or even know about the historical references Smith so freely manipulates. They will, however, respond to the music video-like action sequences, during which Lincoln flies through the air like an acrobat and wields a special silver-coated axe with the flair of a samurai. There are also a lot of exposed fangs and beheadings. Surprisingly, there’s no mention of wooden stakes or garlic cloves, and it seems Smith has envisioned vampires as immune to sunlight. There’s also an assortment of vampire rules that really have no bearing on the plot but are fun to hear about nonetheless. Indeed, parts of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter work well as escapist entertainment. The rest of it is mired by its own sense of purpose. We needed a movie, not a historical send-up.

                                                     ]]> Sat, 23 Jun 2012 06:18:08 +0000
<![CDATA[ Presidential Proclamation: Vampire Hunter!]]> When I review a film, comic book or a book, I usually try to find a way to relate to the material to find a common point as to find the things I usually look for in its story. I really wasn’t certain how I was going to approach “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” since it is a fantasy action horror movie that is based on the mashup novel with the same name. I am at a slight disadvantage since I haven’t read the novel as of yet (then again it may be a good idea to see a movie first before reading the book). The best way to approach such a film that is a fantasy about one of the most respected American presidents in history would be not to take the movie seriously and to accept that the idea may be based on an alternate universe. 

                        Benjamin Walker as Abraham Lincoln in "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.''

Well, the last time Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) and Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland) had collaborated (as co-producers) was with the animated film “9”. With their adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel begins in 1818 with a young Abraham Lincoln living with his parents (Robin McLeavy and Joseph Mawle) who works for Jack Barts (Marton Csokas). When a dispute broke out because of Lincoln’s actions in defending a young slave named William Johnson, his parents end up being fired by Barts and decides to collect on their debt in blood with his mother‘s death. Nine years later, Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) sets out to take vengeance for his mother’s death, for which he is unsuccessful since Barts has now been revealed as a vampire. Abraham is saved by a man called Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper) and his taken under his wing as Abraham is taught the skills needed of a vampire hunter. But it seems like Abraham’s revenge will have to take a less priority, as his calling now leads him to an ongoing war and ultimately leads him to the presidency. All his exploits are chronicled in a journal that he keeps close to him all the time. 

                        A scene from "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."

                       A scene from "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."

The film’s premise is pretty standard and in many ways, it appeared to have taken inspiration from other vampire fiction tales that we are very familiar with. I do have to admit, that the idea of using Abraham Lincoln’s time period and his name for telling a story about vampires has put me a little off. I guess I’ll have to break down the film in the way I usually do, and that is to be as objective as possible. The screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith is filled with encounters with one action sequence after another. The film does have other twists and turns and even some surprises that added several intricacies to the film’s plot. This is all about Lincoln’s time and his moment in history; the film manages to intertwine certain moments in history as well as fantasy to give the story a little credibility. It was a good move, as the viewer sees certain moments in Lincoln’s history that came with a different twist with his war with the undead.

It does manage to make it work, and as I’ve said, this is not a story to take seriously. I do have some issues with the way the film went around the scripting as it delivers everything with a straight face. I mean, I understand that this is an action-fantasy film and the direction does wisely play on its strengths, but I felt that the film moved a little too fast at times, that I wasn’t allowed to take in the details of the plot. Granted that all of these details were supposedly coming from Lincoln’s journal, so I understood its occasional incoherency. I guess this was an attempt to cover up the rather flimsy characterization. The characters had very little dimensions and I found several scenes to lack emotion. I mean, they were developed mostly through visuals and action, but I did not like the way it moved to one scene to the next, it feels as if details were coming from nowhere. 

                       A scene from "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."

                       A scene from "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."

I mean, I felt that Lincoln’s friendship with Joshua Speed (Jimmi Simpson) lacked something we could call believability and while I know the depths of his relationship with Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), I felt that it wasn’t developed well into the script. I guess the film wanted to cover as much things from the source material as possible, from his boyhood, to his rise as a hunter up to his moments as a politician and then to president that the film was really episodic. The performances were decent given what the actors had to work with. This is an action movie and its fast pacing did not give them much time to shine with their portrayals. I mean, I felt that the William Johnson (Anthony Mackie) and Mary Todd characters were underused, as they had enormous potential to grow alongside Lincoln.

The make up effects were a little uneven for me. There were moments that the vampire make up looked gorgeous with the very feral and savage look, and then there were moments that I thought that they were sloppy because of the CGI re-touches. The same could be said about Benjamin Walker’s make-up as the older Lincoln. The vampires in the film have the usual qualities of the vampires in “Blade”--they use ointments to cover up for sunlight, they are allergic to silver, inhumanly strong and fast, invisibility. There is one addition that I thought had potential, as the vampires in this film cannot kill one another willingly. 

                            A scene from "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."

A scene from "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."  A scene from "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."

Those who are familiar with Bekmambetov’s work in the Russian movies “Nightwatch” and “Daywatch” would know exactly how he does his action sequences. He keeps the editing and cuts close and then utilizes wide shots to show the action. He does know how to make the scenes look very cool, and kind of “Blade” and “Underworld”-like in style and tempo with some use of martial arts. I did have some issues with the direction’s over-reliance to slow motion, posturing and freeze frames, as I know this is used when the actors cannot really perform the action with a needed confident stance. The film has a few war scenes (Battle of Gettysburg), but they were more of a montage than something to express a bloody battle between humans and the undead. Be that as it may, the film has handsome cinematography and the set designs and costumes were excellent; I did feel that I was in this period in time. There were also scenes that had good CGI effects and it looked cool in 3D with wood and bullets flying.

“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is one movie that is rather difficult for me to really get into. I mean, my personal feelings for the beloved president may have gotten in the way.  I know this may be an alternate universe, and this is a fantasy not to be taken seriously, but the lack of emotions prevented me from really enjoying the film as I usually would this with kind of film. This would have worked so much better if it took a more upbeat tone and mood or something that adheres to pure camp. True, the film is expected to have variations from the novel, and I guess to cover as many points from it, the film felt rather episodic. I guess to approach the film, one has to keep in mind that these are derived from a journal, and such things are often lacking in details. This is one film that would’ve been better if it was longer, I understood its intentions and that it had to work with limitations. “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” is one stylish action-packed romp that didn’t exactly pay off the way I wished, but It succeeds as a visual and aural feast. I cannot knock it for what it wanted to do.

RENTAL [3- Out of 5 Stars]

A scene from "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." Poster art for "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."

]]> Sat, 23 Jun 2012 02:57:22 +0000
<![CDATA[ 'Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter' History + Vampires = A Winner (Video)]]>
By Joan Alperin Schwartz
Most of the time, when you see a film, after you've read the book, you feel let down. The movie usually pales in comparison to the novel.

I am happy to report this isn't the case with 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'

The film, shot in 3D and directed by Timur Bekmambetov (I've never heard of him either) is entertaining, exciting, clever and total fun. 

We meet Abe Lincoln as a boy...a happy carefree boy, until one dark and stormy night, his mother is bitten by a vampire and dies. Years later, the same fate takes his dad.

Lincoln is pissed...All he wants his vengence...Translation: To kill every single vampire on planet earth...give or take one or two.

Now this proves problematic, since vampires are stronger, and faster than us humans...Plus they can fly, as well as disappear, which makes them really, really difficult to destroy. 

But that doesn't stop our young Abe. He practices and practices and eventually it pays off. Let's just say, this is one dude that knows what to do with an ax. 

We follow him into adulthood. Abe gets a job as a clerk in a General Store and then one day...

He meets a mysterious man, named Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper) Henry hates vampires as much as Lincoln does and agrees to train him. Soon, Abe kick-ass vampire hunter. 

Because of his hatred of slavery, Lincoln gets into politics to abolish it and in case one or two of you weren't paying attention in history class...becomes the 16th President of the U.S.

Lincoln also falls in love and marries the beautiful Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and for a while, gives up hunting. You can't blame him, running a country does take up a lot of ones time.

Of course, due to various circumstances, Abe's need for vengence come back stronger than ever. And this time, he has the whole Northern army behind him.

'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' was written by Seth Grahame-Smith, who also wrote the novel. The film has the feel of a comic book/graphic novel...with Lincoln as a Super-Hero. 

By the way, these vampires are nothing like the hot, sexy dudes in 'True Blood' or 'The Vampire Dairies'. These bloodsuckers have long, sharp, pointy teeth and when they opened their big mouths, I jumped out of my seat more than once. 

I gave 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter', which opens in theatres, Friday June 22, 2012, 4 bagels out of 5 because I thoroughly enjoyed this twist on history.

Check out our video to see John's rating and his throughts...The guy actually liked it.

  • ]]> Fri, 22 Jun 2012 03:44:36 +0000
    <![CDATA[The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (movie) Quick Tip by woopak_the_thrill]]> This movie is the GREATEST vampire epic EVER! It has everything--a great looking female lead, romance, action and even drama. People should go out and buy the movies since they are now either $4 or $ 5 in BBuy! I mean, movies like this come once in a lifetime. This is better than Star Wars, anything Tarantino has made, Lord of the Rings, anything Ridley Scott has made or Spielberg for that matter, I mean they don't make movies like this anymore! Twilight is the greatest movie franchise ever!

    That said--

    what you think I would really name the Twilight saga the greatest film saga of all time?! Sorry!

    Take care everyone!

    ]]> Sun, 1 Apr 2012 17:20:31 +0000
    <![CDATA[ A parent's worst nightmare.]]>
    A baby's cry - no, a baby's scream - is quite possibly one of the most annoying sounds known to mankind; this is something that both writer-director Paul Solet and his debut feature "Grace" know very well. In a cinematic legacy of children from hell and toddlers from beyond the grave; here's an artful horror flick where the child is not from hell, nor is it undead. No, it's a normal baby; just with some ugly, gruesome peculiarities. That is what makes it a horror film in the first place; because a baby is a baby, but a baby that vomits blood and loses all its hair at the mere gentle touch of a brush is something else, and signifies a young child that might break instead of bounce if one were to drop it.

    The parent of this child is Madeline (Jordan Ladd). She's tried getting pregnant a few times, but one time while she is engaged in sexual intercourse with her husband Michael, things seem to work out for once. A few seconds later and bang, Madeline is pregnant, and she's living the vegan life. Michael's mother Vivian (Gabrielle Rose) does not approve of the foods that Madeline is indulging in; nor does she approve in her choice of doctors. Instead, she recommends one that she trusts quite a bit; only to have her suggestions rejected by both members of the couple. Their choice is to go to a birthing clinic; where they meet the kindly woman who runs it, Dr. Patricia Lang (Samantha Ferris). They seem to like her; and she seems to like them. But that won't get the baby born. It's only a matter of time now.

    Indeed, it is. Madeline suddenly feels increasing pain in her chest area one night, and has to be rushed to the hospital shortly thereafter. It is there that Patricia prevents the doctors from beginning the labor process; as they intended to. So Michael and Madeline drive home the next night, their child still with them. But then, a fatal car crash changes everything; killing Michael, killing the baby, and leaving Madeline alive. It is then that she refers to Patricia and the clinic for further help; delivering her unborn child and miraculously nursing it (her) back to health, and naming the child Grace.

    Was it a miracle - a blessing - or was it a bad omen for things to come? The child seems pretty alright at first; although it doesn't take much time for the strange stuff to start happening. The flies seem to like it around the baby's crib, and the kid doesn't appear to want to drink her milk. At least not from the bottle. She'll take it from mommy's breast; but then again, it's soon revealed that what she's taking in is not milk at all, but rather blood, and it would certainly appear that this is her preferred beverage, contrary to the conventional baby foods and needs. So it's kind of like "Hellraiser", but with a screaming baby. A screaming baby that upchucks half the blood that it absorbs, develops odd and painful looking rashes all around its little body, and looks consistently sick enough to die just about any minute. But then again, Madeline doesn't look much better either.

    That makes sense, though; she's succumbed to depression. She's just lost her husband, and his mother won't get off her back about the baby and other unnecessary bullshit, and the baby is a loud and prevalent whiner. If "Grace" can't create great and memorable characters; it can certainly create a situation that's real and unnerving enough for us to sympathize for what they're being forced to endure. The film shifts rather abruptly from a sweet little mother-daughter relationship to a disturbing infectious horror-thriller in what feels like a blink of an eye. That probably won't sit well with a lot of people, but if you're looking for a genre picture that's a little less conventional than the rest, I think this will do. It's different, it's disturbing and best of all, it's believable. The acting is solid enough, and the direction was taut enough, for me to buy into the situation and its many horrors. There isn't necessarily a hint of greatness at any point in the movie; but if Solet can make stuff like cat food disgusting and distressing, I'd say he's a new-found talent.

    I understand why the film will be criticized by a lot of people. If you do not care about the characters, then you cannot care about their problems; that is an age-old theory, and let's not treat "Grace" as if it's any exception, because it's not. I admired the film because it has a simple aim - to make the audience feel uncomfortable and disturbed - and in my mind, that's just what it does. As an avid horror fan, I was quite surprised by how down-right nasty and gross some of the scenes were; particularly a few that came around near the end. Now, that isn't always a compliment; but it is in this case. "Grace" is by no means an entertaining film, but it is one that I just couldn't look away from; I blame the damn baby screams.]]> Thu, 1 Mar 2012 22:23:38 +0000
    <![CDATA[ That rare remake that neither improves nor dishonors - but certainly rivals - the original.]]>
    You know a classic film is close to somebody's heart when, to the Americans, it is foreign; but to the person describing the film, it is native - and yet the person goes on to describe it as the best motion picture ever to come out of their home country. In the case of Werner Herzog - that daring ground-breaker of a filmmaker - F.W. Murnau's "Nosferatu" is the best German production ever to grace the silver screen. Nobody just says something like this for the hell of it; Herzog especially must have his good reason for loving the classic, spectacularly spooky (and loose) adaptation of Bram Stoker's "Dracula"; just as we all do. Given his admiration for the original film, you know where he's going with "Nosferatu the Vampyre", which serves as a very close, faithful, and highly successful remake of the Murnau film rather than another old adaptation of the age-old story.

    Since the original, 1922 "Nosferatu" was celluloid terror written in Gothic black-and-white visuals and architecture, make-up effects that were decidedly way ahead of its time, and a unique take on a classic tale of vampirism; there were indeed things that were in need of updating, as well as things that probably should have been left alone. Luckily, Herzog sees everything; from the world to the movies that he watches, and he knew what had to be done. What he offers up is a visual update of the story, filled with his own stylistic touches. He also provides a more emotionally resonant vampire than that of the original "Nosferatu". I cannot say whether it improves on the Murnau film or not; all I know is that it certainly doesn't dishonor it, and that's all that matters.

    Sure enough, not much has changed plot-wise; although this time, Herzog is able to avoid the copyright issues that Murnau faced when making the original; thus, he's able to use the character names brought up in Bram Stoker's classic novel. Most of the time, the story is familiar (given that some stuff differentiates; but not too much), but Herzog laces it with enough spectacle and atmosphere to make up for any form of déjà vu.

    A real-estate agent, Jonathan Harker (Bruno Ganz), is sent from his native land of Wismar, Germany to the obscure and mountainous regions of Transylvania. It is there that he shall meet a client interested in purchasing a new home in Wismar; Count Dracula is his name. The journey is long and complicated; but Jonathan is able to make it to the Count's large-but-creepy castle in one piece. He arrives at night; which is, as we learn, a good time for the Count (Klaus Kinski), as he seems to resent the daytime hours. He allows Jonathan to stay in his home for a few days and a few nights so that the proper paperwork can get dealt with; and also so that the two can get more properly acquainted.

    As we've been brought up to expect from this legendary story; the Count is a vampire. But Jonathan does not believe in such creatures; regardless of the various warnings given to him by a few gypsy-types on his way to the estate. His beliefs will be put to the test when the classic clichés and tropes of vampirism will come alive when he observes the Count's behavior and actions from a distance. Think of it: nobody knows where he sleeps; he never shows during the day; his skin is pale, his head bald; his teeth resemble that of a rat, and his ears a bat; and his fingernails are long and slender. If that isn't enough to convince Jonathan that his newest customer is a bloodsucking devil, then I haven't a single idea what is.

    Here is what happens from then on: the Count samples the blood of Jonathan, becomes entranced by a photograph of his beautiful wife (who is at home) whose name is Lucy (Isabelle Adjani), locks him in the house the next morning, and stows away onto a ship headed for Wismar via coffin, his favorite method of transportation next to the boat the delivers him. And when the boat enters the harbor of Wismar; Herzog is at his prime. The image of the ship containing Count Dracula yet again coming into contact with land and bringing death-by-plague - not to mention an entire rat infestation - to wherever it may anchor. Above all, I think that Herzog displays his affection for storytelling through the imagery of his films; which often takes the place of narrative conventions and plot. If anything, I think the film is visual storytelling at its finest.

    Aside from the suitably intoxicating scenes taking place inside the remarkably Gothic castle of Count Dracula; what gives the film its beauty is the humanity in the Dracula character himself. I think it's rather surprising how, when looking at horror movie history, the most humanity comes not from actual human beings; but rather the creatures - however humanoid they may be - which are labeled by society as monsters. Kinski portrays the Count as lonely, loveless, and unable to die; a horrible combination of the three. He cannot ease his pain as the mortals of the world can; he sees his vampirism as a curse, and one that he cannot uplift. I didn't see such depth in the original film; although perhaps I saw something more all-together and therein lays the magic of Herzog's "Nosferatu" remake. It isn't Murnau's "Nosferatu"; it is purely Herzog's movie, and he makes that known through scenes that depict a sort of spiritual connection with nature, architecture, and location. Then again, maybe that's just Herzog's own relationship with his style of filmmaking. I recognize that this is an impossible bond to break; the sign of a true artist, more or less.]]> Sat, 18 Feb 2012 02:25:26 +0000
    <![CDATA[We Are the Night Quick Tip by woopak_the_thrill]]>

    Yes, this film focuses on four female vampires who enjoy who and what they are. Yet, they exhibit human qualities such as vanity, loneliness, and the need to be wanted. There are strong feminism themes but they were merely hinted upon. Much of their history is underdeveloped, but their customs are much like the ones observed by amazons. The action in the film can be stimulating as the actress who played Charlotte stole the show.

    The film had some good ambition and potential going for it, but the forced elements such as the love story between Lena and Tom proved to be its downfall.

    In a nutshell, “We Are The Night” is your average, standard vampire film. Not good but will prove to be a diversion for lazy evenings.

    RENTAL [2 ½ Out of 5 Stars]

    ]]> Sat, 18 Feb 2012 01:07:26 +0000
    <![CDATA[ Teen Nosferatu.]]>
    George Romero's "Martin" opens rather ingeniously with a scene taking place on a train. It is there that we meet the titular protagonist Martin (John Amplas); a handsome but nearly inanimate young man who we learn believes himself to be a vampire. That is why in some of the most shocking, provocative establishing frames known to both man and cinema alike; he partakes in the stalking, drugging, and murder of a woman aboard the train. Martin has a needle that he injects into her flesh that contains fluids that shall circulate through her body and in no time put her to sleep, so that he can slit her wrists and drink the blood pouring directly from the wound. She will die in her sleep when the rest is lost.

    Martin exits the train and enters the station of Braddock, Pennsylvania. He is greeted by his grandfather Tada Cuda (Lincoln Maazel), who also thinks Martin is a dangerously depraved blood-sucker and creature of the night; but allows him to stay at his place for the time being regardless. But if Martin really is a vampire, Grandpa Cuda is prepared; Martin's room is rigged with bells (to ensure that Grandpa knows whenever somebody enters the room) and garlic hangs from every door in the house. Oh, and there's mirrors too; because Cuda sees himself as the classic vampire hunter. He's convinced that Martin is an evil being who must be stopped; and that his shy nature is merely deception.

    It's clear that Martin is not only troubled and down-right odd on the inside; but also on the outside. His social skills appear to be strangely underdeveloped for a person of his age, and for that reason, he vows never to make new friends during his stay. However, this proves more difficult than one could imagine; given that Martin's thirst for blood might call for some typical socialization amongst the town residents as well as the others with whom he shares the house with. Just one of these people is Cousin Christina, who cooks for Martin and becomes his one and only friend. However, Cuda is the man of the house; and what he says goes. This means that if Christina must leave in order to secure her "safety" given the possibility of Martin being a violent creature; then she must leave, and that is that.

    By day, Martin works at his grandfather's grocery store and makes deliveries for the old man; and by night, he hunts. Martin finds it truly difficult to control the two very different lives that he's attempting to uphold. In one of them, he must conform to society and live the life of a typical young adult male working minimum wage; and in the other, he must be quick, bold, and fearless. In a sense, both lives are given the chance to intertwine when Martin meets a beautiful, lonely housewife who often requests his presence for the sole sake of company. They strike up a romantic relationship that could prove dangerous if Martin cannot locate his next victim alternative to the housewife in a sufficient time span.

    "Martin" is often regarded as one of the director's finest works as well as a classic in the realm of vampirism cinema for a plethora of reasons, but I think above all, people like it so much because it's different and unique. It was made back when Romero hadn't made his masterpiece of the living dead, "Dawn of the Dead", and was still living off the success and the initial revulsion (which has since turned into praise) that was garnered when he made his break-out feature film, "Night of the Living Dead"; so in that sense, it was made when Romero, just like Martin, was still an anarchist, a daring visionary...a rebel. I don't think I've seen a vampire story told quite like this; or a vampire written with as much depth and admiration as the titular Martin. Aside from being unique stylistically, digging deep into the depths of the film might prove beneficial. This is the second time I've seen the film, and only now am I drawing certain thematic conclusions to why the film counts as great cinema.

    For one thing, Martin sees his thirst for blood as a mental illness; so the film itself is a metaphor, or parable, for the mental illnesses that more commonly exist - such as pedophilia, Bi-Polar Disorder, and others. Seen from this angle, I think the film gains a power different from that of any other Romero film - good, bad, or ugly - from the past, the present, and the future. "Martin" proves that, unlike many directors working in the genre that attempted to prove themselves a successor to his stylistics, Romero was a visionary and saw the world in all its horror, beauty, and ironic wonder. "Martin" is a vampire movie about real human beings plagued by delusions and visions of things considered otherworldly; as well as pasts that are anything but memorably merry.

    Tom Savini's gore effects are outstanding. I'm told that the film was made on a low-budget; but the mastery of Savini's talent is that he's been known for doing so much with so little (he also has a supporting role in the film as the romantic partner of Christina). The scares in "Martin" are indeed mostly induced by the blood and gore; although everything else is brought on by thought as well as the realism of every situation. If Martin is not indeed a vampire - and the film makes it very clear that he most likely isn't, but rather a misunderstood man that society labels as a monster for his peculiarities - then he's a delusional psychopath, and just like the film's poster suggests, he could be the boy next door. How can one ignore such a thought?]]> Mon, 13 Feb 2012 20:09:16 +0000
    <![CDATA[Underworld: Awakening Quick Tip by woopak_the_thrill]]>
    Sporting more advanced special effects and more polished editing tricks, "Underworld Awakening" goes further into its mythos, and this time, Selene is very angry.

    See full review here.

    Kate Beckinsale "Underworld Awakening."]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2012 20:37:53 +0000
    <![CDATA[ The Original Death Dealer Returns To Fight A New War Against Humans and Lycans!]]> Evolution” was a step back in the stories, but the recent “Rise of the Lycans” proved to be the best one in the series since the original. Now, with a fourth chapter, the franchise seems to have gained more of its footing, as “Underworld Awakening” seemed to have improved everything the first two films and at the same time, introducing a new twist and threat to the mythos of vampires and werewolves--humans.

                                 India Eisley in "Underworld Awakening."

    Some months after the events of the second film, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) was captured during the “Cleansing” when she and Michael intended to go into hiding. The entire world mobilized to rid the world of vampires and lycans, and after being held in cryogenic suspension for 12 years, Selene is freed by circumstances caused by a test subject called Eve (India Eisley), whose escape may prove to be the new threat to humans since she is herself another hybrid. Now, Selene must battle her way to survive in this new world, with Eve at her side and the vampire nation reeling, she uncovers a conspiracy and a secret that will turn the entire planet upside down on vampires, lycans and even humans themselves….

                              Kate Beckinsale in "Underworld 4."

                              Kate Beckinsale "Underworld Awakening."

    The plot of this fourth film is filled with revelations and twists that the more Selene discovers the truth behind the ‘cleansing’, the more the truth becomes hazy and the more secrets are uncovered. The screenplay co-written by Len Wiseman and one of my favorite comic book writers, J. Michael Straczynski goes further into the mythos, introduces new twists that further develops the Underworld storyline while having the film filled with a lot more vampire action since the “Blade“ franchise. Directors Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein keeps the flow of the film moving with a lot of action, as the viewer is led to learn the new rules of this world alongside Selene.

    The screenplay has its own share of twists and intended surprises; ok, granted they weren’t all that unpredictable since fans of the franchise may see those twists coming rather quickly. I think it was the film’s intentions to be a little predictable as the film does manage to wrap up certain details in the first two films as well as introducing new plot elements. The story after all, is coming from a war, and coming from a war usually means certain conspiracies and planning that follow the rules of war. “Awakening” is more into the development of the Selene character, and well, into her present existence and her estranged relationship with Michael. Kate Beckinsale is all business this time around. Her performance marks a woman on a mission; she is meaner, more ruthless and determined to get to the depths of the secret--a secret of this "Cleansing" and another secret about Selene herself.

                          Kate Beckinsale "Underworld Awakening."

                          Michael Ealy in "Underworld Awakening."

    The Underworld franchise had always had its share of blood and gore; and since the third film, they seemed to have made the film much more violent. I mean, the kills and the stakes have been elevated, so as much as the first two films was the introduction of a hidden war where subterfuge appeared to be the way, “Rise of the Lycans” was a more direct struggle between the combatants, “Awakening” is more about survival. Keeping the same gloomy, bluish atmosphere as we have been used to in the first films, the direction loads up the film with set ups after set ups for the action sequences. My previous minor complaints about the first two films seemed to have been solved; Selene really moved like a top-tiered vampire this time around, and the special effects have been much improved. Beckinsale looked so sweet as she goes forth into combat, she dispatches her enemies with supreme ease and confidence, all the more displaying her true powers as a vampire. The Lycan effects appeared to be a lot nastier and more feral than the ones in the first two films. Some looked like they were skinny and hungry while others were larger and more ‘stoked’ than usual. It is to the filmmakers’ credit that they managed to pay such attention to minor details.

    I have mentioned that Selene takes over this film’s plot, and supported by a cast that were truly minor fillers to advance her story, the film does what it is supposed to do. The new vampire nation leader (Charles Dance) and his son David (Theo James), were present to connect some dots to the previous films, but I wasn’t too excited with the addition of the Sebastian character (played by Michael Ealey), his presence was just a little too convenient, and really felt like a filler. New Lycan characters were introduced and it remains to be seen how far they’ll be developed in the story (there is a hint of another sequel). Watching the first three films would aid in this film’s enjoyment, and aid in its appreciation.

                             Theo James in "Underworld Awakening."

    Truthfully, the “Underworld” film franchise had garnered a cult following and I am one of them. The film series would never be as great as other ‘once in a generation’ series, but the creators of the franchise have enough ambition and ingenuity to keep the franchise going. I mean, when films like the horrible “Hatchet” franchise gets made, “Underworld” brings the viewer a credible, imaginative taste of the life and struggles of a vampire in a world where they are hated by lycans and feared by humans. A vampire stands tall to survive against the assault of the lycans. Not to save a world, but rather to save a race, and I am glad to be along for the ride.

    Recommended! [4-Out of 5 Stars]

    poster art for "Underworld Awakening: An IMAX 3D Experience." Theo James in "Underworld Awakening."

     ]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2012 19:16:43 +0000
    <![CDATA[ This is What Happens When Humans Get Involved]]> Star Rating:

    The fact that I liked Underworld: Awakening says more about me than it does about the filmmakers. I have to admit that up front, for I want you to read this review all the way to the end. From my perspective, the first and second chapters of the series were needlessly complicated and nearly impossible to keep pace with. The prequel film, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, was much more palatable, not only because it achieved the right look for the material, but also because it told a much more focused story that explained many of the mysterious plot elements. Now we have a fourth chapter, and although it’s about as lasting as dust in the wind, I think it represents what the series should have been right from the start: An escapist supernatural action thriller that gives us license to put our brains on autopilot.
    One of the things the filmmakers did right was strip away all the unnecessarily detailed back stories that bogged down the first and second films. Reduced in time from over two hours to just under ninety minutes, we have a singular story that’s easy to follow and process. It begins immediately after the events of Underworld: Evolution; the vampire Death Dealer Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and her lover, the hybrid Michael (Scott Speedman), are on the run after humans somehow became aware of the centuries-old war between the vampires and lycans. It was never adequately explained how the war was kept hidden from humanity for all those years, and it’s left a little obscure when and how they found out about it, but I suppose it doesn’t really matter. An underwater explosion separates the two, and the next thing Selene knows, she’s being awakened from a cryogenic sleep. She will soon discover that she’s being held prisoner in a lab, and that twelve years have passed.

    Why was she being held prisoner? It seems that humans decided to wage war on all supernatural beings once their existence was made public. A television montage tells us that one of the world’s governments declared martial law, after which armies oversaw a cleansing – an event referred to throughout the film as The Purge. As to whether or not this took place all over the world is something the film doesn’t bother to address, which is just as well since Selene is the real subject of the story. Anyway, it now appears the lycans are all but extinct, reduced to a handful of diseased scavengers in underground dwellings. Furthermore, very few vampire covens are left. Any remaining creatures are either eradicated on site or unwillingly become the subjects of medical experiments. This is how we find Selene, where she has been dubbed Subject #1.
    As soon as she awakens, she discovers she has the ability to see through the eyes of another creature, the one that set her free. Alas, it isn’t her beloved Michael. It’s an adolescent girl named Eve (India Eisley), who, like Michael, is a vampire/lycan hybrid. Could she be Selene’s daughter? This possibility is generally accepted by the characters, although that raises a number of logistical questions that are frankly too intelligent for the likes of this story. For the sake of time and energy, let us assume that she is indeed Selene’s daughter and move on with the story. Eve, known by lab technicians as Subject #2, has been the pet project of Dr. Jacob Lane (Stephen Rea), the head scientist for a major bioengineering company; true to form of doctors in movies like this, he wants to use Eve’s DNA for his own nefarious purposes.

    Awakening is not as visually noteworthy as its three predecessors, perhaps because the tone has been altered to be more in line with sci-fi medical thrillers like the Resident Evil films. Having said that, many of the series’ stylistic touches remain, not the least of which are the scenes of relentless action and special effects. Like her trademark skintight black leather suit, Beckinsale is almost never seen without a gun in each hand; she will repeatedly shoot at things, mostly lycans, and we will marvel at the number of bullets a single handgun can hold. When a gun isn’t within reach, she will arm herself with a knife and use her super speed to run through lines of people, slitting them to death. And of course, she continues to flaunt her ability to jump from very high points and land smoothly.
    Apart from Eve and Dr. Lane, other new characters are introduced. These would include: David (Theo James), a vampire who takes in Selene and Eve and is eager to fight for the future of all vampires; David’s father, Thomas (Charles Dance), who isn’t as eager to fight; and Detective Sebastian (Michael Ealy), a human who has personal reasons for helping Selene when Eve is kidnapped by a pack of genetically altered lycans. None of them are particularly well developed, but then again, they didn’t really need to be. More of note is the fact that Underworld: Awakening is the first of the series to be released in 3D. Because the film was actually shot that way and not converted in post production, I found it to be effective, if somewhat dim (although not as dim as I had expected, which was a pleasant surprise). There’s certainly no harm in seeing it that way, although I don’t think the experience will be lessened if you save your money and see it in 2D.

                                                       ]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2012 05:23:20 +0000
    <![CDATA[ The Rise of The Vampire Called "Jerry"...But Where is Count Bob?]]>
                        Christopher Mintz-Plasse in "Fright Night."

                       Imogen Poots and Anton Yelchin in "Fright Night."

    The same basic plot mechanics applies to this 2011 remake with some changes. Charlie Brewster (Anton Yelchin) this time around is a recovering dweeb/nerd which is a far change from the original’s Charlie who was a fan of gothic horror. Charlie had distanced himself from his former fellow dweeb-friend Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) so that he could keep up with his new found buddies and to maintain a ‘friendship’ with his school hottie-buddy named Amy (Imogen Poots). Things seemed to be working out, that is until his new next door neighbor, Jerry (Colin Farrell), turns out to be a vampire. Now Charlie must team up with a so-called Television occult expert named Peter Vincent (David Tennant) to confront Jerry the vampire….

    Director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) and screen writer Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) knew exactly that this remake is amidst the recent “Twilight” craze and so they execute the film for this generation. I am not saying that it follows that “Twilight” craze, but rather, it makes some subtle points to make fun of that franchise. What made the film fun to watch is the way it manages to blend creepy intense imagery, sincere wit and sensibility wrapped around a feeling of dread in its script; all the while maintaining a semblance of B-movie camp necessary to make this remake stand on its own. Honestly, the film de-emphasizes the things that made the original film fun, and then wraps those devices around its characters that fit this generation.

                         Anton Yelchin and Colin Farrell in "Fright Night."

                         Imogen Poots in "Fright Night."

    Sure, the school interactions felt obligatory and a little boring, but it is good to see the story maintain solid pacing that is able to charm its way to its audience. It avoids some unnecessary dialogue and develops the story through the characters and its scenes, it manages to keep a tone of playfulness despite the display the creepy and violent imagery. I liked the way it maintained a balance of being not too overly ‘camp’ and kept a sense of restraint from becoming too dark and unsettling. It is also refreshing to see the film switch the character dynamics without really changing its main premise. It was everything one should expect from a remake, and as a plus, the film is intrinsically gory and bloody too; so it really felt like a vampire movie.

    I suppose what really drove the film’s success is the way the performances took command of the scenes. I was surprised how well Farrell fit the role of the vampire. I mean, he was intense and pale, and yet there was something about him that caught attention. His performance truly defined the Jerry character; he had qualities and habits that were different and pretty unsettling as he was a race that originated from the Mediterranean. I liked the way the film avoided the shape-changing characteristics of the original and kept to a vampire who is mean, cold, cunning, seductive and feral (reminded me of 30 Days of Night). The CGI effects were alright, but there were moments that they did look fake and cheap, not too much to hurt the film, but it was definitely noticeable.

                        David Tennant as Peter Vincent in ``Fright Night.''

                       Colin Farrell as Jerry in ``Fright Night.''

    In this generation, I thought the changes to the Peter Vincent character fit as David Tennant plays him as a sort of a Chris Angel and yet without the pizzazz and make up, he appears to be a regular guy as Charlie with a haunting past. This is the area that I liked from the remake, it made the vampire hunter much more rounded and well executed into its plot; Vincent this time around wasn’t the cheesy character played by Roddy McDowall. Ok, he had some ‘cheese’, but just enough to keep him significant to its premise. Yelchin did well as Charlie Brewster and he really did appear to be the dweeb who became cool enough to form chemistry with beauteous Imogen Poots who had that delicate appeal to her while she just screams and oozes raw sex appeal.

    Sure, I liked 2011’s “Fright Night”; but the film is far from perfect or a great film. The script and pacing were good, but it does miss some intricate plot details as the supporting cast seemed to be just be there and that community of theirs were too small, that I wondered where everyone was at. I also felt that the film lost some of its footing towards the last act that it almost succumbed into becoming a campfest. I suppose the direction wanted it to be part of its charm, but I thought that the ending was too much of an anticlimax, and it was too underwhelming to match the goodness of the first half.

    So is it better than the original? Well, you cannot compare two films with two different goals in mind. “Fright Night” may not be a supreme success, but it is good as far as remakes go and definitely can stand on its own. The writing is sharp, it manages to credibly swap dynamics and had enough homage to the original without becoming a shot-per-shot re-interpretation that it was enough to entertain me. It also had enough gore and blood to satisfy the horror fan in me, it was deftly paced and legitimately funny that it was a joy to watch (only thing that would've made it better would've been Count BOB). Yep, seems like they are shaping up with some of these 80’s remakes, and this film is one of the better remakes out there to earn a light recommendation.

    Recommended! [3 ½ Out of 5 Stars]
    Teaser poster for "Fright Night." David Tennant as Peter Vincent in "Fright Night."


     ]]> Fri, 13 Jan 2012 04:26:58 +0000
    <![CDATA[ A good movie, but not as good as I was expecting.]]> my Quick tip  you know that from the get go I’ve wanted to see this movie it looked very cool and I love the premise it’s looked very interesting and different. Unfortunately I never got to see this in theaters but I eventually found it on DVD. (HMV FTW)   
    Daybreakers concerns a world where 90% of the population are vampires, the remaining humans are either given a choice to be turned or be hunted for their blood. Eventually the human supply begins to run out and the vampire world is in jeopardy a viable blood substitute is needed. Enter Edward Dalton a researcher at Bromley Marks, after helping out some fleeing humans he is introduced to Elvis who has a miraculous cure for the vampirism.
    Daybreakers is one of the most creative Vampire movies I have seen, the premise alone is enough to get a bunch of points from me, but it’s the little things that I really like the small attention to details that made the movie feel like a Classic Vampire flick but with modern elements. Examples: Vampires cant see their reflections in the mirror so instead Mirrors are replaced with view Screens, Other things like driving stake through the heart or  beheading  being the only ways to kill a vampire and a UV warning in cars when it’s a little too sunny out. These little things that made like this movie so much they made the story a little more believable. As for the story it was ok, like most movies these days it’s a bit predictable, the pacing seems a little off in some areas and the movie itself seemed overly long. The Acting was nothing special although I really liked Sam Niell’s performance as the bad guy.
    Overall this is a really pretty ok vampire flick, and if you are into Vampire flicks defiantly check this one out.]]> Thu, 5 Jan 2012 21:33:57 +0000
    <![CDATA[The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (movie) Quick Tip by cyclone_march]]> Wed, 4 Jan 2012 04:24:00 +0000 <![CDATA[ Fun remake of an excellent original.]]>
    I have some fond memories of Tom Holland's "Fright Night" from when I watched it just a few months back; and it's upon those very memories that I built my expectations for the 2011 remake. Having seen the original - which is a classic in vampire cinema -, I came in expecting vampire mythology of both the classic and modern variety, plenty of gore, plenty of special effects, and plenty of style. Can I truly say that, with those expectations set out, I was disappointed? No, I suppose I can't. This "Fright Night" is a fast-paced, energetic thrill-ride with enough trickery in both the visual effects and screenwriting fields to pass as a pretty good night at the movies.

    Sure, it certainly isn't perfect; and it can't quite measure up to the original no matter how close it gets (and that's pretty darn close, if you ask me). But as a remake, I'd say it's pretty solid; after all, we live in a world where Hollywood shells out dozens of J-horror remakes (or at least there was a time when they did this perhaps more often). So the fact that this remake of "Fright Night" is actually a pretty entertaining one is, in its own, impressive. Under the direction of Craig Gillespie, it's the kind of modern vampire tale that works, if only to certain extents.

    Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) is a teenager living in the suburbs of Las Vegas. He shares a home with his mother (Toni Collette); the father is apparently out of the picture. It would seem that life for Charley pretty much begins at school; where he can be with his new-found friends (the "cool" crowd) as well as his beautiful girlfriend Amy (Imogen Poots). He also has one other acquaintance; "Evil" Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who is the kind of guy that you'd rather not know at all. Ed is what most would call a nerd; he has his fixations, and at present, his obsession is with vampires. He informs Charley that his new neighbor - a man named Jerry (Colin Farrell) - is indeed one of them.

    Charley ignores Ed's concerns and continues to show general hospitality towards the boy next-door. However, he keeps Ed's "illogical" musings on the subject of vamps in mind whenever he sees Jerry; there's an ancient part of vampire mythology that says the creatures cannot enter a home unless they are invited in, and when Jerry stops by to ask if Charley can lend him a few beers, our hero observes the fact that he never quite makes it to the level of entry.

    But that's not enough to prove anything of what Ed said. However, there is one night where Charley gets especially intrigued by Jerry and a beautiful girl that he has invited over; the situation just seems a bit odd. About as interested as he is disturbed, Charley sneaks into Jerry's house to investigate; and discovers that his friend's claims were right. Jerry is a blood-sucking creature of the night.

    So we now come to the best part of the film; the formal introduction of a very important character, Peter Vincent (David Tenant). Vincent is the host of a television program in which she stars as a talented magician; although the real illusionist is the special effects team behind the show. Regardless, he appears to know a great deal about vampires; so Charley approaches him and asks for proper guidance on how to kill one. Vincent - a collector of rare artifacts commonly found in vampire lore - doesn't quite believe Charley at first, but is soon forced to when matters get from bad to worse. Jerry gets violent; and so must the protagonists. And once both sides are equally equipped, the fright night begins.

    The filmmakers must have done their homework; because this is the rare remake that really works. Like Zack Snyder's "Dawn of the Dead", the writers chose to take the same approach with their new screenplay for the re-imagining; and their efforts have ultimately paid off. Whether you particularly like this new "Fright Night" or not, it stays true to the spirit of the original (there are some clever homages to the earlier film) and I quite liked that. The cast couldn't be more perfect - with Tennant stealing the show at any chance he gets - and there's a pretty good balance of horror and humor. There are big laughs, big jumps; and it all amounts to a bloody good time. I admit, it isn't for everyone; not even a lot of the people who truly love the Holland-directed original. But Gillespie kept me entertained through visuals and performances; for that, I am pretty darn grateful. "Fright Night", the 2011 version, has earned my seal of approval.]]> Sat, 24 Dec 2011 03:19:47 +0000
    <![CDATA[Fright Night (2011 remake) Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> Sun, 18 Dec 2011 18:17:23 +0000 <![CDATA[Fright Night (1985 film) Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> Sat, 10 Dec 2011 02:29:02 +0000 <![CDATA[ There's a Little Blood Sucker on the Way....]]> Star Rating:

    All has been leading to this moment. Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), form-fitted in a modern but elegant white wedding dress, walks down the aisle, surrounded by nature. She clutches the arm of her father (Billy Burke), who stays as reserved as he can, although he’s clearly fighting back emotions. Eagerly awaiting her at the altar is her fiancé, the vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), who continuously smirks at her gentleman-like in his well-cut tuxedo. We hear little of the preacher, although we do cut back and forth between Bella and Edward’s vows. As they kiss passionately, the camera circles them both, revealing just how lost they are in this one perfect moment – all of the guests, including the entire Cullen clan and Bella’s friends and family, have disappeared. Only when they hear applause do Bella and Edward snap back into reality.
    It’s a good thing they’re officially married, because Lord knows the first three Twilight films exhausted the abstinence metaphor. We do get a little more of it in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, namely when Edward takes Bella to a private island off the coast of Rio de Janeiro for their honeymoon; he carries her over the threshold into a luxurious beachside cabin, and after skinny dipping in the moonlight, they finally consummate their marriage in the bedroom. They saved themselves for each other, you see, which is in accordance with the Mormon beliefs of Stephenie Meyer, author of the original books. Bella is all smiles when she wakes up the next morning, although she’s shocked to discover that the bed has been nearly destroyed. Later on, she discovers bruises all over her body. Edward feels terrible. Bella could have told him that this happens to lots of vampires, but then again, she would have no way of knowing. Neither, for that matter, would he.

    The sermonizing will officially end when Edward finally bites Bella and transforms her into a vampire, which up until now has gone against his moral code. But keep in mind that this story has been split into two chapters – I suspect because it was done so successfully with the last installment of the Harry Potter franchise. For now, we shift gears and venture into far more controversial territory, namely abortion. On their honeymoon, Bella discovers that she’s pregnant. This would be impossible under ordinary circumstances, but because her child is half vampire, it gestates at an alarming rate. By the time the newlyweds return to the Cullens’ Washington home, Bella’s health has drastically declined. The baby is literally destroying her from the inside out. Bones break. Vital nutrients are depleted. As her stomach expands, the rest of her body becomes sallow and emaciated.
    This sparks a debate. Some of the Cullens refer to it as a fetus while others stress that it’s a baby. Some, including Edward, believe the pregnancy should be terminated. Others, including Bella, cannot bear the thought of ending a life. This didactic argument is complicated by the arrival of the hotheaded teen wolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), who knew that Edward’s vampire strength might have killed Bella in the bedroom – and yes, I am suppressing giggles right now. The leader of Jacob’s pack plans on murdering Bella’s unborn child, for he believes it to be a threat. Exactly why he feels this way is not adequately explained, but admittedly, I never bothered to familiarize myself with Meyers’ books or even with the movies, so I’m sure I missed something along the way. Whatever the reason, Jacob must learn to put his hatred of the Cullens aside if he’s to save Bella from canine carnage.

    Breaking Dawn is like all of the Twilight movies in that it’s not very good. What surprises me is that my reasons for disliking it don’t reflect my feelings for the other films. If anything, I’ve come to expect the soapy melodrama, the excessive length, the unreasonable pacing, the strained performances, and the preachy subtexts. What I wasn’t prepared for was the inconsistency in tone, the film shifting wildly from inappropriate humor to overwhelming solemnity. The latter is reserved mostly for later scenes, which are surprisingly disturbing given the context of the story. For the first time watching a Twilight movie, I was actually unsettled by some of the imagery.
    The film was directed by Bill Condon, who wrote the screenplay for Chicago and was both writer and director of Dreamgirls. Given this history, I would expect him to have a much better ear for music. I’m not referring to Carter Burwell’s score; the incidental soundtrack is a collection of alternative rock songs, all of which are thematically and structurally inconsistent with the scenes they’re paired with. He said in a 2010 interview with that he was “very excited to get the chance to bring the climax of this saga to life onscreen,” but considering some of the other films he has directed, including Kinsey and Gods and Monsters, I have a sneaking suspicion that his attachment to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 was strictly for hire. Perhaps I’ll feel differently once Part 2 is released next November. Then again, perhaps I won’t.

                                                         ]]> Sat, 19 Nov 2011 06:53:59 +0000
    <![CDATA[Near Dark (1987) Quick Tip by FM_ALEX]]> The cast is really well put together and they work together marvelously, take the bar scene for instance. This scene in particular is one of the most fascinating scenes I have ever witnessed, me and my brother watched this again the other night and once again we were hooked. I think any body that has the chance should see this movie, especially if you have never seen it before. This set in particular is amazing as it comes with a great booklet, a wonderful audio commentary and a jam packed second disc with a great documentary and more. For all those who have already seen this should see it again, I know I will.]]> Sat, 19 Nov 2011 02:44:43 +0000 <![CDATA[ A MUST SEE CLASSIC]]>


    Do you remember when this classic was in theaters when it first came out, I bet most of you really do not. If you do remember you are one of the very few who do because this was in theaters around the same time as the mega popular "The Lost Boys". This like that film is all about a young man who is brought into something he didn't really want, and like that film has to protect his family from the family of vampires that are after them. This how ever though is more of a serious film were as the other was more of a over the top/fun type film. Don't get me wrong I love both of these films and consider both of them classics.

    The story is all about a young man who is out drinking one night and comes across a young lady who just happens to be a vampire. I guess it is love at first sight because she does not kill him but turns him and convinces her family to take him in. Of course he has to prove him self and the film is all about that scenario, and time after time he tries but his human side keeps him from doing so. Of course there is a lot more to it then that and a lot of really negative stuff happens between him and them and things get great then. This film really doesn't feel like a vampire movie at all but more like a really good dramatic film that just happens to star a family of vampires. I think that the fact this film didn't do well really killed off this type of film from being made again which is a shame. This film did not really play to the usual rules of a vampire movie, I mean other then the day light thing and the blood sucking not much resembles other films in this genre. I even think that the curing thing that happens in this film is excellent, mainly because this is that type of flick.

    Eric Red and director Kathryn Bigelow came up with a brilliant screenplay and created one of the most original films in not only vampire cinema history but in film history all together. Not only did this film have a wonderful people working behind the camera but it also had some great actors. The great Lance Henriksen is marvelous as the head of the vampire family, and his no nonsense take of the character really adds a lot to the film. Bill Paxton is brilliant as the wild crazy member of the vampire family who is all about killing people even if it isn't with his teeth. Adrian Pasdar who is the lead of the film and the unlucky guy who gets turned in the beginning does a really good job in this film and is very believable. Jenny Wright who is the love interest of Adrian and is also the one who turned him also turns in a good believable performance. Jenette Goldstein is the co head of the vampire family along side Lance and gives a wonderful performance, her truck scene is great. Tim Thomerson and Marcie Leeds are excellent as Adrian's father and little sister and really tie this film together. Everyone else in the film also deliver as there really aren't any bad performances in it.

    The cast is really well put together and they work together marvelously, take the bar scene for instance. This scene in particular is one of the most fascinating scenes I have ever witnessed, me and my brother watched this again the other night and once again we were hooked. I think any body that has the chance should see this movie, especially if you have never seen it before. This set in particular is amazing as it comes with a great booklet, a wonderful audio commentary and a jam packed second disc with a great documentary and more. For all those who have already seen this should see it again, I know I will.

    ]]> Sat, 19 Nov 2011 02:43:19 +0000
    <![CDATA[ Rife With Bad Acting and Issues but Still Better Than the Last Two Films.]]>
    The film opens with awkward, melancholy teen Bella (Kristen Stewart), preparing for her wedding to Edward (Robert Pattinson), as their human and vampire friends assemble for the ceremony. Of course Edward's rival Jacob (Tayler Lautner), is highly against the union as he still carries a flame for Bella. Nonetheless, the ceremony goes off as planned and Edward whisks Bella away to a remote Brazilian island to consummate their union, which apparently is a tricky endeavor, being that she is still a mortal and he is a century old vampire.

    What at first is an ideal honeymoon is soon complicated when Bella and Edward discover an unexpected challenge that threatens Bella's well-being and poses a threat to the pact between the vampires and werewolves. I will not spoil the film, even though fans of the series and books will not be any strangers to the drama and politics of the situation, but suffice it to say there is a lot on the line for all of the characters involved.

    The film was rife with issues, the main one being the atrocious acting. One would think that after three previous films with the same cast, these actors would have developed some timing and chemistry with one another, especially Stewart and Pattinson who are a couple offscreen. Nothing could be further from the truth as they stiffly deliver their lines with pained and remote expressions. I am honestly at a loss as to why Bella is so captivating to both Edward and Jacob as she is basically a dour girl who looks incredibly uncomfortable in her own skin, and yet the two are utterly captivated by her. I found the supporting cast far more interesting than the heroine and her besotted heroes. Another issue I had was that Pattinson, who got to show his acting ability in "Water for Elephants" is given little to do aside from staring at Bella and doing profile shots.

    The first half of the film is basically an MTV-style wedding and honeymoon music video but the second half of the film did manage to grab and hold my attention with the ongoing plot points. It is obvious that the story is being stretched to cover two films as there are numerous unnecessary scenes such as people walking up stairs, throwing things in a garbage can, looking in mirrors, which serve little purpose other than increasing the run time of the film. Of course all of this matters little to fans of the series. The studio knows who the core audience is and the movie panders to them every chance they can, as proven by Lautner doffing his shirt not 60 seconds into the film to the squeals of delight from the teens, tweens and grown women in the audience.

    Still, because it pits the Cullens against the werewolves who were their allies in the previous film, Breaking Dawn is better than the previous films. While it raises the angst and tension, it does not provide much growth for the actors as they dutifully go through the motions as best they can with the material. While it attempts to be a darker and more mature film, it still comes across as eye candy and fantasy for young women when the story and cast deserved so much more. That being said, the film stays true to it's core audience and gives them exactly what they have come to expect and does not stray from what has been a successful formula.

    2.5 stars out of 5.]]> Fri, 18 Nov 2011 12:32:31 +0000
    <![CDATA[Rise: Blood Hunter Quick Tip by FM_ALEX]]> Sat, 12 Nov 2011 05:08:24 +0000 <![CDATA[ RISE BLOOD HUNTER]]>


    This was the second vampire film from Sam Raimi's and Rob Tapert's Ghost House Pictures, the first of course being "30 Days of Night". This one right here stars Lucy Liu and sadly even with her upside down and naked this does not come close to being as good as "30 Days of Night". Not to say that this film is a bad film or doesn't have its moments, because it is worth a watch if you rent it or something. I think the main problem with this film is that it is hard to follow and tries too hard to be such. I know that sounds weird but I think they went for that feeling and just didn't get it to come off as well as they planed. The first half of this film falls into that path and suffers because of it, but to its credit the last half really picks up. The film is still somewhat predictable though and that brings the tension of the film down.

    Sadie Blake [Liu] is a reporter that wakes up dead and in a morgue, and she wakes up here a lot through out the film which leads me to believe she can't get a thing accomplished. It turns out she is now a member of the undead under belly of the city and is on a mission to kill off those who are like her. If you are thinking this sounds like a female Blade movie you are not to far off, she even enlists the help of a weapons maker to craft some specialty items for her. Liu is great in the role that she is given and brings the character to life [time after time LOL {trust me you will get it after viewing}], not really surprised by that. James D'Arcy is just as good in his role as Bishop; he is actually one of the most interesting characters in the film. Michael Chiklis who seems a little over the top at times creates some of the best scenes in the film and that over the top feeling you get adds to the film in a positive way.

    Writer/director Sebastian Gutierrez does a pretty good job with this film; I think he got a little over ambitious. Not exactly sure if his script was the problem or his direction but if I had to guess I would say the script was too ambitious. I think if the screenplay would have been worked on a little more the film may have been better. The main problem I had with this movie was it seemed like it wanted to take the vampire genre into a whole new direction but at the same time seemed like it wanted to be a Quentin Tarantino film. When you see it you will know what I mean, and no I am not just talking about the cuts between times in this. Another problem with this flick is at times you may loose interest on what is going on in the film, not exactly boring just predictable.

    There are things to like about this film though as much as the review so far has been in the negative. There are some pretty tense moments every once in a while, and if you get past the first half of this movie you will like the last half. Performances are up to par and Lucy Liu even gets naked in this film, which should have some of you excited. Also the movie is about vampires, who doesn't like that. But I guess over all this is not the best release from Producer Rob Tapert's production company with partner Sam Raimi, but it will do if you have nothing better to watch.

    Rise: Blood Hunter (Unrated Undead Edition)Rise: Blood Hunter (Unrated Undead Edition)Rise: Blood Hunter (Unrated Undead Edition)]]> Sat, 12 Nov 2011 05:06:23 +0000
    <![CDATA[ An entertaining, well-made, but problematic apocalyptic vision.]]>
    Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) gets up every morning and marks each day on his current calendar with a little "X". I presume that means to symbolize each day he has successfully lived through. Then, he checks the garlic and mirrors that are placed on his door. If he needs more; then he makes a trip to town/city in his car. He goes for a ride; but not to sightsee. He has important business. Sometimes, he needs gas, sometimes he needs more garlic and another mirror (although he only "takes what he needs; he's an honest man), and occasionally, he stops at a ditch so that he can unload bodies and watch them burn, burn, burn.

    He is the last man on earth. Or so he thinks. Everyone else around him - and there are plenty of seemingly human beings to spare - is a bloodthirsty vampire forever intent on killing him. Every night is the same old routine; the vamps try to break down Robert's barricades by first evading the traditional vampire phobias (the garlic, the mirrors, and oh, what's this; even the wooden stakes). Each night, they fail to succeed; and the hero lives another day. Luckily for him, it's in the day that he can get things done. And to Robert, there's always much to do about...something.

    "The Last Man On Earth" is one of the three film adaptations of Richard Matheson's "I Am Legend"; and it's most likely the best you can get when it comes down to the trio. It's a competently-crafted, well-intentioned, low-budget science fiction horror movie that isn't necessarily faithful to the source material that inspired it, but nonetheless, it can build atmosphere and tension like a pro. The film keeps building-and-building tension, eventually hoping to lead up to something, and believe me; there's a conclusion that proves my claim that it DOES indeed end somewhere, and on a satisfying note. Some might disagree, and most will have problems with the film that are difficult to overlook, but as entertainment, "The Last Man on Earth" is a mighty success. But as a narrative, eh...not so much.

    I have no problem with the apocalyptic story. I am respectful and very admiring of Matheson's original novel, which served and still serves to this day as an influential work of sci-fi horror fiction, but most of the emotional impact is taken away here through some distracting dubbing and a scenery-chewing performance from Price; who is always wonderful, and does not intend to change that here. There isn't much of a point in going in-depth about how much I liked Price in his role here, because really, if I've done it once, then I've done it more than enough times. One thing that's worth mentioning might be that Price wasn't the essential choice for the character of Robert Morgan (who was called Robert Neville in the source novel). Plenty of other, slightly inferior actors could have fit the role just fine. I'm glad that Price did take on the character, but there's always the sense that here, he lacks the same unforgettable and unique sense of style or wit that he has had in his various other projects (and roles).

    It may sound like I wasn't too fond of "The Last Man on Earth", and indeed, I am giving a positive review to a movie that probably doesn't deserve the kind of praise that outweighs the "bad" by a long-shot, but in reality, I did like this film. It's an excellent piece of entertainment, the production isn't as bad as it was initially thought to be (really, I've seen much worse out of today's "entertainment"). In the end, through all its imperfections and unfaithfulness, it's a quality product and I was pleased with it. You might like it too if you are affectionate of "I Am Legend", the novel, but then again, maybe you'll find even more to complain about. As a critic, it would be wrong to direct you anywhere other than down your own path. My positive rating entails that I recommend the film, and believe me, I do, but I was *this* close to giving it a slightly lower rating, but a lot of thinking soon changed that. "The Last Man on Earth" doesn't necessarily delve deep into its thematic elements, but it does create a convincing and nightmarish landscape, and slow vampires scare me more than the fast ones any day (even if the fast ones were the creation of Matheson in the book, and their pace has been changed for the film). Whether this review makes you skeptical or not; this film is worth a good look, if only out of curiosity. Just don't say I didn't warn you.]]> Mon, 31 Oct 2011 00:41:00 +0000
    <![CDATA[30 Days Of Night: Dark Days Quick Tip by FM_ALEX]]> This is a pretty good adaptation of the graphic novel with some changes of course. I have to say for a film that was a much lower budget from the first film it is still pretty good. I like the look and feel of this film and think that is the best thing it has going for it. The acting for the most part is good and well done. As for the vampires I must say that they turned out pretty good as well.]]> Sat, 22 Oct 2011 06:40:20 +0000 <![CDATA[ DARK DAYS ENDS UP OK]]>


    I am a huge fan of the graphic novels and a huge fan of the first film to start this out with. So when this film was first released I was really excited, I even liked the short films that were on FEARnet. So I was all about this film coming out and I am a fan of Sam Raimi and his Ghost House Pictures which produced all of these films. This second film is based on the graphic novel of the same name.

    Stella has moved on from Barrow and is now in LA trying to educate people on the vampire threat that really exists. Most people do not believe her until she hits the ultraviolet lights that kill off the vamps in attendance. After a run in with the law who happens to be working with the vampires she comes across a team of hunters. These hunters want her help in killing of the queen and have some vampiric help of their own.

    This is a pretty good adaptation of the graphic novel with some changes of course. I have to say for a film that was a much lower budget from the first film it is still pretty good. I like the look and feel of this film and think that is the best thing it has going for it. The acting for the most part is good and well done. As for the vampires I must say that they turned out pretty good as well. Of course this is far from a perfect film and could have been better.

    Still the special features were good with the behind the scenes stuff and the commentary. Director Ben Ketai wrote this film with series creator Steve Niles and I think that is what saved this film to be honest with you. I personally hope that there will be a third film and who knows, how great would a series be? Think of a series based on the graphic novels that would be handled and treated like "The Walking Dead" series is. That would be insanely great in my opinion.

    30 Days of Night: Dark Days30 Days of Night: Dark Days30 Days of Night: Dark Days30 Days of Night: Dark Days30 Days of Night: Dark Days30 Days of Night: Dark Days]]> Sat, 22 Oct 2011 06:39:16 +0000
    <![CDATA[Béla Lugosi Quick Tip by Count_Orlok_22]]> Béla Lugosi is because of his iconic performance as Count Dracula in the legendary 1931 classic Universal horror film Dracula. Lugosi was born in Hungary on October 20, 1882. He got his start as an actor on the stage in various roles in Hungary. Later, after WWI, he moved to Germany where he appeared in a number of silent films. When he finally emigrated to America he didn't speak much English and therefore learned many of his early stage roles phonetically. His big break came in 1927 when he first played the part that made him a legend in an American stage production of the Hamilton Deane's Dracula, which was then rewritten for American audiences by John L. Balderston. The stage play, although panned by theatrical critics, was a huge success with the public and would provide the major inspiration for the film of 1931 directed by Tod Browning. Lugosi's career shot upwards from this point and he starred, often alongside fellow Universal horror icons like Boris Karloff, in many other horror films. However, he soon became typecast as villains in horror films. Lugosi would later in life become broke due to the fact that his heavy Hungarian accent created a language barrier that prevented him from truly displaying the extent of his talent and the few films he could get roles in marginalized his abilities and exploited his fame. He befriended schlock auteur Ed Wood, Jr., often cited as the worst director ever, and he appeared in some of the strangest exploitation films ever made: Glen or Glenda, The Bride of the Monster, and Plan 9 from Outer Space.

    Today, Lugosi is one of the most beloved and praised horror stars and his villainous on-screen intensity has rarely ever been rivaled by any other film actors.

    Happy Birthday, Béla Lugosi!]]> Thu, 20 Oct 2011 15:30:44 +0000
    <![CDATA[Carla Laemmle Quick Tip by Count_Orlok_22]]> Rebecca Laemmle was born. You may or may not know her by this name, because she would shortly thereafter adopt the name Carla Laemmle in honor of her uncle Carl Laemmle, the founder of Universal Pictures. Carla is perhaps best known to fans of classic horror for having appeared in the 1925 silent film version of The Phantom of the Opera, starring Lon Chaney, in which she had a very small uncredited role as one of the ballet dancers. One of her other, more memorable roles, is in the classic 1931 film version of Dracula, directed by Tod Browning and starring Béla Lugosi. She plays a coach passenger who delivers the first lines of dialogue:
    "Among the rugged peaks that frown down upon the Borgo Pass are found crumbling castles of a bygone age."
    While this was essentially nothing more than a cameo appearance, it is nonetheless an unforgettable one and it has gone down in history as the first line of dialogue spoken in a supernatural talkie. Up until this point, most horror films featured a logical explanation for any seemingly supernatural occurrences. Many silent films utilized supernatural elements such as vampires before, but with the growth of conservative moral groups that pressured Hollywood and threatened censorship, supernatural story lines had become something of a taboo. Yet, thanks to Universal Pictures and Carla Laemmle, that is no longer the case!
    On another interesting historical note, Carla is one of the few remaining silent film actors still alive and she has been an information goldmine for film scholars and historians who want to learn about the early years of Hollywood film studios. She also appeared as the host and narrator for the documentary The Road to Dracula, which was directed by David J. Skal, and can be found on all Universal Dracula DVDs.
    Happy 102nd Birthday, Carla Laemmle!]]> Thu, 20 Oct 2011 14:40:52 +0000
    <![CDATA[ Haunting horror classic.]]>
    The 1922 Gothic masterpiece of horror "Nosferatu" is a production of sweeping beauty and spectacle, lively performances and intense atmospheric touches, and pure directorial brilliance. It is fantastically well-crafted; a creepy, ominous horror movie; it feels real and authentic just about every moment when it wants to be. As a vampire film - and I'm sure you knew that it was one - it was influential to the many films that followed; many which attempted to imitate the film (and failed), while some of the further entries proved successful in what they took out of the film that essentially started a new generation of terror. This may just be one of the best horror films I have seen; scary, crafty, and unforgettable. Here you shall find images of horror, situations of horror, and the aftermath of horror. It is a film so good that - if we allow it to - it can make us paranoid and frightened for a good time afterwards. It's impossible not to admire that, since true horror makes us think about it both before and after the film has ended. And "Nosferatu" is without-a-doubt what I'd consider to fit the bill when it comes to being "true".

    Using a simplistic but symbolic and meaningful story, the film is able to focus on how it affects our main senses; one of which is sight. The titular vampire of the story is a repulsive sight; a disgusting, hideous creature who resides in the darkness and is seldom discovered, and when someone does seek him and his evil ways out, he gets rid of them as fast and as soon as he possibly can. The story being told is based off of Bram Stoker's famous novel "Dracula", although names of characters were changed since the filmmakers could not get the rights to the book at the time. One such name is the word "vampire" itself, which as you can see, was changed to the film's title: Nosferatu.

    Thomas Hutter is a happily married man with a nice life laid out for him, as it would appear. He is employed, and when his boss asks him to go visit a client in a faraway land, he is overjoyed and immediately sends himself to that place. The client's name is Count Orlok; and he resides in the Carpathian Mountains. Once he arrives, Hutter faces locals who fear Orlok is a man of danger and mystery; they urge him not to pay him a visit, but the hero must keep going and achieve the goal of meeting the client and ultimately selling him a house. He goes to Orlok's castle and meets the man, who doesn't exactly make the best of impressions when dinner comes around, but still proves himself to be quite the host indeed. Hutter rests at Orlok's castle for the night, and awakens slightly disoriented the next morning; a time in which he discovers things that he was never meant to see.

    Such sights he sees; Orlok sleeping in a coffin, a bite-mark on his very own precious neck, and coffins being transported by-raft to a schooner. It becomes clear that Orlok is, indeed, a "nosferatu"; a blood sucker, a vampire. Whatever you wish to call him, either way, he has taken a bite out of Hutter, and in this particular tale, that means that perhaps the once great and happy man has lost his life over-night to someone far more skillful and cunning.

    Orlok stows away on a ship back to Hutter's home-land in order to move in to the new home that he had purchased. While on the ship, many of the passengers begin to disappear through death; and since Orlok is able to make himself appear non-existent and invisible, the deaths are blamed on a plague caused by rats that have also hitched a ride on the vessel, much like Orlok. Before the remaining members of the crew can take further action, Orlok shows himself and controls the captain; taking charge of the ship for the time being, sailing it safely to shore, where he docks, and finally makes way to his house.

    "Nosferatu" can be seen from multiple angles; in several different ways. On the surface, it is a masterpiece of Gothic atmosphere and horror; a film that I can gladly call "scary", whatever that means. However, there's always something deeper lurking beneath the surface, which elevates it from merely being a "good chiller" to a "great genre picture". Consider the fact that the paranoid citizens of the fictional German city of Wisbord (where the Count's new home resides) accuse Hutter's employer of being the sole cause of the plague and the misfortune that it has left in its past. They don't know what to think, and they really don't know who to blame, but hey: they saw him acting strange on occasion, and after all, he has recently been committed to a psychiatric hospital, so why not bring him to his end?

    The film opens as it ends; a competent film, and even more, thus, even better. It has a wonderfully ghastly score, flawless and haunting cinematography, as well as some of the creepiest images every filmed. Orlok is played by Max Schrek, who plays the part delicately, even if our main fixation is the complex make-up that he wears. It's all so admirable, and there's a lot going on in "Nosferatu", so I don't want to spoil it. I have said enough; and I will recap my main points yet again. I loved every moment of this silent horror classic; which shall soon have a spot within my collection of iconic landmarks in horror cinema. It is definitive of why I love and trust this genre so much even in days as dark as this. Films such as "Nosferatu" serve as light in such eternal darkness. And we all need a little bit of light; there's no denying that.]]> Wed, 19 Oct 2011 21:51:04 +0000
    <![CDATA[ Funny, effectionate "must" in vampire entertainment!]]>
    "Fright Night" is what 80's horror cinema was all about; having fun without being overly dumb. To impress an intelligent audience, one had to actually WRITE a film and THINK about what made films such as this one work. I believe that "Fright Night" works because its writers were well-researched, and its director, Tom Holland (of "Child's Play" fame) knew - at the time - how to craft a well-made work of seemingly effortless entertainment. This is now one of my favorite vampire films; and I don't come across those too often. Perhaps that is because films such as "Twilight" plague the movie-screens of the world with PG-13 filth that dumbs down the vampire legend and lore for younger audience. But in the end, it's still films such as this one that keep us sane and engaged in what the vampire sub-genre of horror has to offer. And as far as vampire movies go, I'd say that "Fright Night" is rather great.

    The screenplay works, and therefore, so does the film; since the movie essentially revolves around how well each storytelling element works. It's a satire, a homage to a now-lost genre, and also it's own film all-together; which is quite glorious indeed. I loved every comedic, creepy, entertaining moment of it.

    You might know the premise, and then again, you might not. So here's the break-down; a typical high school kid named Charlie is facing problems both suitably normal and also atypical. As far as normal goes, he's having girlfriend troubles; the girl is uncertain of his habits and hobbies, which include watching horror films as well as other people, from his house, with a pair of ol' binoculars. One day, Charlie gets a new neighbor. Well actually, he gets two; Jerry (Chris Sarandon) and Billy (Jonathan Stark). Acting out on traditionally normal fashion to this new arrival, Charlie spies on his new neighbors and discovers them lifting a coffin into their basement. Charlie is terrified, but his mother has already been half-seduced by the handsome Jerry, and his friends - "Evil" Ed (Stephen Geoffreys) and girlfriend Amy - are a bit skeptical or his supposive "sightings". Better yet, Charlie is completely fixated on the concept of Jerry being a real-life vampire. Perhaps he's been watching too many late-night horror flicks. Or maybe he's right.

    After consulting the police and having no luck with foiling his neighbors' evil plans, Charlie must turn to his favorite nighttime horror-host; Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall), for answers. Vincent - on screen - has many times claimed to be a vampire hunter, but he doubts himself, and his show is even cancelled due to the lack of concern or interest amongst his target audience. But Charlie gives him a second chance at getting his name out and noticed; through captured and/or killing the boy next door.

    Yeah, it's simple. And yeah, sometimes it is absurd. But I loved "Fright Night" because it embraced just about everything that some might find to be "wrong" with it (clichés, familiarities, etc.), but one cannot deny that it has a heart; and it has stolen my own. It isn't often that I see a vampire movie with such rich social commentary. The film takes the time to take a little reality check; and therefore, if there is horror, then there's a good chance we will gladly relate to it. However, "Fright Night" is equally as interested in getting shrieks as it is laughs; and I will tell you up-front that this is a very funny film. One of the funniest vampire films I've seen, perhaps. One can't shake from their memory delightful moments of human comedy such as the ones that occur before the vampire plot even takes full-form. And the vampire scenes, well, let's just say they are ghoulishly fantastical. The make-up effects are outstanding, the score is atmospheric, and the cinematography is surprisingly inspired. Such things can almost always make a good movie, and not always a great one; but this time, I think it all works to the film's benefit.

    The film also has two very special, memorable performances too. I am of course speaking of Sarandon as his vampire Jerry and McDowall as the vampire hunter, Peter Vincent. When it comes to cinematic vampires, I'd say Sarandon's portrayal of Jerry is pretty high up there. He's nasty, seductive, handsome, ominous, and absolutely demeaning. He does his job considerably right. Then there's McDowall, who gives what I believe to be the best performance in the film. He plays the late-night horror-host part very well indeed, with some dialogue that is often times both comic and personalized; no other actor could play his character quite like he does.

    "Fright Night" is an old-fashioned vampire tale, and that was a part of the charm. It evokes nostalgia of the Gothic era of horror, and the modernized era as well. It's hip, quite jolly, and consistently enjoyable; a real marvel of a movie. I'll even go as far as to call it a classic; not only for its time, but for time all-in-all. There aren't many vampire films that can match it in either style or grace. It gave me a fright that I will try my hardest never to forget, and since entertainment is of value these days, I am recommending the film. If you want a great vampire flick, then you've got it.]]> Wed, 19 Oct 2011 21:41:03 +0000
    <![CDATA[ Brilliant, original, visionary, frightening zombie classic.]]>
    Two siblings, a brother and a sister, visit a cemetery to place a cross and flowers at their father's grave. The sister seems happy just to do it, while the brother complains "I don't even remember what the man looks like!" He also whines about missing church that day, etc.; he is a rather selfish man. The two prepare to leave the cemetery, but not before they notice a strange man walking amongst the tombs of the dead. The distinctive feature is in the way he walks, and otherwise, he just looks rather sickly. He approaches the sister and immediately attacks. It would seem as if he is trying to grab a quick bite of her flesh. The brother pushes the man away and engages in a short-lived brawl, which ends with the death of him and the eventual escape of the sister from the scene itself. The odd man chases the sister in the car that she arrived in; which she decides to abandon after it breaks down, thus, continuing on foot. This begins "Night of the Living Dead".

    The sister (whose name is Barbra, played by Judith O'Dea) finds her way to a seemingly abandoned farmhouse. She sees the man-with-the-funny-walk approaching the building and quickly finds her way inside. She locks all the doors, and believes she is safe, but it would appear that more-and-more strange men and women are making their way - slowly and slowly - towards the house. What do they want? Why do they walk in such an odd manor? And why did that one at the graveyard try to bite Barbra? All is revealed in time, but not until night falls do we learn more about just what's going on.

    A black man named Ben (Duane Jones) suddenly appears out of nowhere in his pickup truck, and Barbra allows him entry into the house when she discovers that (1.) he is not one of those strange men and women outside and (2.) those who are amongst them are unexplainably hungry, seemingly for humans themselves. Through some valuable dialogue, and a well-worn premise (that was pretty much invented in this film), we learn that the dead are coming back to life and walking the earth, hunting warm flesh wherever they can find it. We're still left with one question; how exactly are the dead returning as pale, flesh-craving versions of their former selves? Like most of the questions to be asked regarding the film, give it time, and you shall receive an answer as a reward.

    There's also a family hiding out in the cellar of the farmhouse, although they are far less cooperative than those who prosper above. Those who live under the floorboards, for the time being, are pissed off big time; their little girl has been bitten by one of the ghouls outside the building and is falling ill. Survival is very much of the fittest; as those below are not intent on striking deals or partnering with the "fairer" breed of characters. And yet another question comes along: what will they do when the undead break down their barricades and invade the insides of the home?

    The director of the film, George A. Romero, poses questions intelligent and thoughtful enough to make his film, in a way, kind of brilliant. It's the kind of zombie movie he's been making since this and well into his more recent career; and it never quite gets old. He seems to be using his undead beings - which were to be known as zombies - as devices for social commentary and satire; there's even some political stuff to be found here as well. I appreciate that in a zombie movie; seldom does one such film get around by allowing the zombies to be nothing more than targets for the armed and the dangerous. By no means is this film flowing with enough zombies - disgusting, revolting, or covered in highly complex blood-and-gore make-up effects - to scare most who are in "today's audience", but truly frightening or not, "Night of the Living Dead" is a compelling, original, smart, spooky, and instantly memorable tale of survival in an ever-changing world of horror and dark fascination. It was great for its time- misunderstood, perhaps, but still great - and it's still great now. It was so great that it even spawned a few sequels, all which were (officially) directed by Romero, King of the Zombies. Not all of them were as good as his debut feature was, but nonetheless, this still ranks as one of his best overall. It's scary good.

    As with all good - and even great - horror features, this is a film with many specific shots - images - that I shall gladly remember and hold dear. Of course, I love the story and themes behind "Night of the Living Dead", but sometimes we must rely on sight alone to be moved, and believe me; what you see here could very well be remembered for years to come. Consider the scene where Barbra heads upstairs in the farmhouse and discovers the decaying corpse of the (now previous) owner, which makes for one of the film's most frightening and shocking scenes. A classic, in my book. Also, what about the scenes with the pale, white zombies alone? Will they be remembered? Sure. The simplicity in the design for such beings only adds to the feeling we get when we set eyes upon them; and it allows us to consider the difference between a truly scary zombie and one that is simply disgusting to look at. I like both kinds.

    What you've got is a fairly well-acted and spectacularly ghoulish experience. I loved every moment of it, and it's now one of my favorite zombie films of all time. Why wouldn't it be? When he had his earlier, and overall BETTER days, George Romero could make some pretty interesting stuff. The same cannot be said about a good deal of his newer works, but the fact that he was once able to make a film as good (and iconic) as this one on such a low, shoestring budget, is impressive and admirable. I can only hope that my first film - if I ever get to that - meet such a fate. But if he did it, then so can I; or at least that's the positive way to see it. I'm sure Romero would appreciate my appreciation. All friendly, respectable directors do; and the filmmaker here seems like a fun-loving guy who simply enjoys playing around with dead things. He isn't quite twisted; but he can make the grotesque into the quietly artistic, and in the end, I think we all know that very few directors can do that.]]> Sat, 15 Oct 2011 01:55:12 +0000
    <![CDATA[ An actioner that sins.]]>
    Scott Stewart began his film directing career with 2010's "Legion"; which would easily make it on the "worst films of all time" list, if it were compiled by yours truly. Such a bad movie it was; beginning with promise, and then venturing into stupidity so irredeemable that even a detour into camp territory couldn't save it. Oh well; I had a pretty good laugh at the intended "scares" and the "ideas". Oh, let's not forget the acting; that was funny too. Moving on, Stewart has now made "Priest"; which is his second feature. Equally as dumb as his debut feature yet somewhat of an improvement, this is an almost unwatchable example of an over-done generic Hollywood action picture. It doesn't go over-the-top enough to be "dumb fun", and when it stays within boundaries, it tends to get boring. It wants to be taken seriously, but I find such a thing impossible. When your movie has vampire beasts that look like blind, demonic dogs; aim for all things campy and intentionally stupid.

    The problem is that the filmmakers don't have their heart in the right place. Stewart once again proves that he can't tell a story or direct a movie with considerable skill. The visual techniques that he makes use of (CGI, CGI, and more CGI!) are notably better than whatever the hell he showed us in "Legion", but that's about it. Otherwise, it's about as lame, unbearable, and boring as the former. Basically, as an early warning, I can say this; don't watch "Priest" if you didn't like "Legion". If you hated it as much as me, then take note; don't be quite as stupid as I am. Avoid it like the plague. This is a flashy movie that tries to be entertaining through style and mind-numbingly-fast-paced and special-effects-laden action sequences, but it fails in just about every way. This can't be called entertainment, because the purpose of entertainment is not to bore the viewer into repulsion. "Priest" lacks the capacity to even do its job decently.

    The story is set in the future; where religion has been separated from the rest of society, which lives in peace, without such moral standards and requirements of existence. However, there are still certain areas in which priests, the clergyman, and the church itself are all-too existent. Apparently, the Priests are very important, as they fight our wars against vampires, thus keeping us safe. Or at least that's how most people should feel, but still, disrespect can come from anywhere at any time.

    The film's central character is indeed a Priest, played by Paul Bettany. This priest's niece has been kidnapped by the enemy vampires (one presumably an ally turned foe). The priest goes against all rules and teams up with a priestess (Maggie Q) and a sheriff named Hicks (Cam Gigandet) to get her back.

    There, that's the whole freakin' story right there; all you need to know. As always, I'm not going to spoil anything major, I mean, why should I? I was once intrigued by this film, and curiosity led me to eventually watch it. I believe that good things can come out of curiosity, but in the case of cinema, often times, it does more harm than good. "Priest" was a complete waste of my time. It lacks logic or intelligence; it's basically one CGI action scene after another. It insults the Christian/Catholic faith with its obvious and witless religious references, which I would have forgiven, as long as the film had been engaging or "fun". But alas, it was not either.

    I hated this film. It's trash. It's anti-entertainment. It's pretty much what I was set to expect (you know, from reviews and the like). It doesn't look half-bad, but even pretty visuals and "cool" fight scenes can't save this unoriginal, uncreative sci-fi horror actioner from falling short of what it sets out to do; big time. Some might be OK with it; and I understand that. All that matters to me was that I was not alright with "Priest". Quite frankly, I was very annoyed by it. There are many reasons why I'm enraged by the film, and I've said a few of them. Perhaps you will never know all of them, because a few big ones come in the form of spoilers, and this review is, like all the others, "essentially spoiler free". Even though I hated "Priest", you still might want to watch it just for the hell of it. So there; nothing spoiled. Just don't say I didn't warn you.]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2011 20:03:09 +0000
    <![CDATA[Vampires Suck Quick Tip by woopak_the_thrill]]> Twilight” franchise. I would have made a movie that made fun of that saga, so I guess in a way you may say that I am a supporter of the motivations behind such a film.

    It takes certain elements from the first two “Twilight” movies (I stopped watching them after the 2nd movie, “New Moon") so I cannot tell if it also made fun of the third movie. I didn’t like “Disaster Movie” and I hated “Meet The Spartans”, I feel that good parodies are hard to come by these days. But I have to say, it is the best parody Friedberg and Seltzer had ever done.

                       A scene from the film "Vampires Suck."

                       A scene from the film "Vampires Suck."

    True, “Vampires Suck” lacks creativity and relies on toilet humor, crude comedy and other nonsensical scenes that just take jabs at “Twilight”. It is just embarrassing the way the film executes its jokes, and after awhile, the usual gay jokes and shirtless werewolves became a little too thin. It also tries to poke on some product placements and the acting…well, I cannot judge how the performers did in a movie such as this.

    I suppose “Vampires Suck” has formula that has been overdone by “Scary Movie” and “Super-hero movie”, the film is very lazy and feels like a gag reel. It is a shameless unfunny exercise, that while it did make me laugh at times, I was dumbfounded how a movie could be made. It all depends on one sense of humor I suppose, but poking fun at “Twilight”, I have to admit it was so funny how it wasn’t funny…get it?

    Sorry if this Quick tip is incoherent, the movie is a mess. I’d rather not give it a full review….Who am I kidding?! I like stupid Japanese cult movies LOL!

    SKIP IT unless you have a lot of beer and pizza. {2 out of 5 Stars]]]> Mon, 12 Sep 2011 05:28:06 +0000
    <![CDATA[ Forgive me father, for I have made a Lackluster]]>
    The Church created the walled cities to protect mankind, ultimately creating an elite group of warriors to defend against the vampires. They were called "Priests", humans blessed by God who were capable of slaying vampires. The majority of the vampires were killed while the remainder were placed in reservations. One day,  Priest (Paul Bettany) is approached by Hicks (Cam Gigandet), the sheriff of a nearby town Augustine. Hicks tells him that his brother Owen was wounded by a vampire attack. His sister-in-law and ex-girlfriend Shannon was killed, and Priest's niece, Lucy, was kidnapped. Hicks asks for Priest's assistance in tracking down Lucy but they truly believe it isn't possible that the vampires attacked. Little does he know there is a bigger plan goin down being led by an Black Hat (Karl Urban). Priest leaves anyway with out permission and is now being hunted down by 3 other priests and a priestess (Maggie Q) and has very little time to save his niece. 

    I couldn't quite put my finger on it but it was definitely surely missing something. The cast was decent even the leading role by Bettany who did his best with what he was given. Truly this movie tried to hard to be comic bookey and a little gritty where they should have went for originality and gritty over it all and trust me this could have been a great movie to watch. I'm hoping that makes sense but thats what is felt like. I mean the movie barely reaches an hour and 30 minutes and I felt like it was close to 3. There was good action and some nice new choreography that I didn't expect to see but the story was still not there. It felt like a vampire spaghetti western at times and not its own movie. I felt like I could predict everything, which I did do actually but as if I had seen it before. The visual was above average for me, acting was as good as it could be but this movie still fell short. I would recommend it if your on a vampire night and need a 7th. Its worth maybe one watch with a friend but most likely if you've seen some good vampire films this will be a boring repeat of whats already been done.]]> Thu, 8 Sep 2011 06:42:14 +0000
    <![CDATA[ A Remake with Bite]]> Star Rating:

    It’s fashionable to bemoan the tragic life of a vampire, as recent films such as Let Me In and the Twilight saga have so clearly demonstrated. In all fairness, they make a valid point: There’s nothing appealing about vampirism, which transfers a desperate need for human blood and bestows the curse of soulless immortality. The interesting thing about Fright Night is that it takes everything we know about this blatantly parasitic lifestyle and still manages to make it look cool, if not downright sexy. This is helped in large part by the casting of Colin Farrell; although his character is a centuries-old vampire, his bad boy mystique is undeniably present-day, and while his soul is certainly damned, he genuinely seems to relish it. It’s not so much that he needs blood, but that he wants to need blood. It’s a game he likes to win at – the art of seduction, the thrill of the hunt, the rush of going in for the kill.
    The film is, of course, a remake of the 1985 film directed by Tom Holland and starring Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowell. As is the case with most films nowadays, remakes or otherwise, it has been released in 3D. Although there’s no question that a 2D projection would have been much brighter, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that, even during the shadowy scenes, I could clearly see what was going on. Perhaps it helps that the film was actually shot with a 3D camera system, as opposed to it being shot in 2D and then converted in post production. I will not go so far as to say that I felt completely immersed, but I know this much is true: The demise of a vampire is a lot more fun when blood flies directly at the camera. Wait for the moment when one of them explodes after being exposed to sunlight – you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

    Talking place in Las Vegas, it tells the story of a teenager named Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin), who, after noticing that his classmates have been disappearing, has reason to believe that his new next door neighbor, the charismatic Jerry (Farrell), is a vampire. We, of course, already know this to be true, but we still anticipate the moment he will get some proof. Lo and behold, he breaks into Jerry’s house and discovers a hidden door in the back of his closet, which leads to a small hallway and a series of holding cells, behind which lie victims in waiting. The trouble is, no one will heed Charley’s warnings to stay away from Jerry, not his single mom, Jane (Toni Collette), or his girlfriend, Amy (Imogen Poots). The only one who would have believed him – the one who tried to warn him about Jerry in the first place – would be his former best friend, “Evil” Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). After Charley shunned him for his embarrassing nerdy behavior, he went missing.
    The police aren’t much help. They never are in movies like this. But they know that Jerry has legitimate reasons for being the way he is. In fact, living in Las Vegas gives him the perfect excuses for covering up his windows and emerging only at night – if there was ever a city catered to night owls, Vegas would be it. It seems now the only one who can help Charley is Peter Vincent (David Tennant), the headliner of a vampire-themed illusion show called Fright Night. Boozy and obscene (imagine a cross between Criss Angel and Russell Brand, and you’ve got it), Vincent also happens to be Vegas’ preeminent expert in vampirism and the occult. He initially doesn’t give Charley the time of day, although it has nothing to do with not believing in vampires. All will eventually come down to a series of chases and a final climactic battle in the basement of Jerry’s house, when all the gadgetry and creature effects are put on full display.

    The film is equal parts horror and comedy. This is not a bad thing at all, and I’ll be the first to admit that it features a number of well-written jokes and amusing sight gags. But horror comedies are risky, mainly because audiences might not know when a joke has ended. The people I sat with, for example, seemed to think that everything Colin Farrell did was intended to be funny. I really do mean everything; the slightest smirk, the tiniest movement of his finger, and they would get the giggles. There’s really no accounting for a person’s sense of humor, but I strongly believe the film was supposed to walk the line and provoke screams as well as laughter. If you really want an excuse to laugh, perhaps even to applaud, then just wait for a cameo appearance by ... but no, I will not spoil the surprise for you.
    The standout performance of the original film was Roddy McDowell, a washed up horror movie star turned host of the late night creature feature show. In this version, Farrell is the one who brings it to the table, which is only fitting since he’s the one playing the evil vampire. Credit also to Yelchin, who was wise to play it straight, and to Plasse, whose take on “Evil” Ed is infinitely less annoying than that of Stephen Geoffreys. Given the innately unexceptional nature of the story, all the actors do about as well as they possibly can. Fright Night was directed by Craig Gillespie, who wowed me in 2007 with his brilliant debut film Lars and the Real Girl. The two films are not comparable, but that’s beside the point; Gillespie has proven that, in addition to compelling character studies, he can make gory horror comedies that give audiences license to have a little fun.

                                                   ]]> Sat, 20 Aug 2011 07:04:08 +0000