Tag Archives: body of work

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles

Most of the time when you hear a vampire movie is being made, you don’t ever think it will ever get any Oscar buzz. In the case of Anne Rice’s novel turned movie, Interview with the Vampire, that’s a different story. Winning best score and art direction, even

Two regal and noble vamps.

nominating Kirsten Dunst for best supporting actress, this movie cleaned up for a drama about blood suckers. With an all star cast including Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Antonio Banderas, what woman could resist the allure of at least two hunky men? For me, I couldn’t resist a movie spoken in Old English (Shakespeare style).

At the start of the film, we encounter a reporter (Christian Slater, supposed to be played by River Phoenix before his untimely death) following an interesting man with long hair. Before he knows it, he is cornered by what he finds to be a vampire from the late 1700’s. His name is Louis (Brad Pitt, french pronunciation) and instead of sucking his blood dry, he tells him of his story. How he was turned and why he is here, now, telling him all this.

Is Jumanji what tainted this wonderful performance from Kirsten the child actress?

It all starts when Louis loses his wife and child, feeling as if he is a soulless human, wandering through the world in a cold daze. Seeking any means of escape, he encounters Lestat (Tom Cruise), a malevolent vampire who wishes to fulfill his wish, but not in the way he thought. Becoming companions, Lestat teaches Louis the way of the vampires and encourages him to enjoy the new life he has now. But Louis’ problem is that he still feels human with compassion and sympathy, not wanting to live a life alone, in the dark. Forever.

The movie moves through to the present day, skipping a few decades here and there, a century or more until we come to the point where

Great costumes.

Brad Pitt is talking to Christian Slater. It’d be interesting to see Louis enter the 20th century, but the movie was 2 hours long as it was. It covered all the important parts of a period piece film, with elegant and regal outfits galore. The music I didn’t notice as much (sorry those who won an Oscar for the soundtrack) but I was more swept up with the look and feel of the film. Elegant, but always with that underlying element of death.

Hispanic thunder.

I had tried to catch this movie earlier, but I’d only seen snippets of it. I always came in on that depressing scene with Kirsten Dunst and I was like, “I gotta check this movie out.” Sitting down to an elegant (not Underworldy) film about vampires, I had no idea what to expect. Anne Rice, another woman who wrote about vampires? Pleasantly surprised was the end result.

I really liked all the performances in the film. I think that, and the writing/scripting for the film really set it apart from other vampire movies. You felt like they were humans first, and you forgot that they were out in the dark all the time. The language is poetic and fluid, and seems to slip off their tongues as if it was first nature. Tom Cruise (although people may shit all over his attempts as an actor for his beliefs in Scientology) was ballin’ in this film. He’s one of those actors that you know it’s him, and you’ll always see him as Tom Cruise and not the character he’s playing. But by god, he can deliver a vengeful rage of a line or something just as emotionally stirring. He’s a very

‘Sup, Slater?

engrossing actor and needs to be given credit for it. Beliefs/opinions needs to be separated from a body of work. They have nothing to do with each other.

As for the rest of the cast, they all did just as well. Brad Pitt (other than a Fabio looking vampire with long hair) is emotion filled and  a likable main character. That’s what he usually is. Kirsten Dunst was a phenom as a child actress in this movie, playing the adult in children’s clothing, Claudia the vampire. You know those performances where you see it and you think, “That girl was in Spider-Man with a snaggle

Vampires you can fall for.

tooth…” That’s a “wow” performance. Antonio Banderas, you don’t see him that much anymore these days (other than Nasonex commercials). But I appreciated his accent all the same. The Hispanic Schwarzenegger. Rico Suave.

With a great cast and some spectacular settings, who wouldn’t believe this was a well done period piece. And I love a good period piece. This film deserved awards and it really focused on the humanity of the vampire. People didn’t like The Queen of the Damned in the mind of Anne Rice, but we’ll see what I have to say on the matter… 8.5 out of 10.

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The Ten: Thou Shalt Laugh

David Wain surprises me again and again with his hilarious body of work. And not his actual body, mind you, because it is funny that his balding haircut is as comic as his movies. But The Ten is a comedic movie taking a different angle on the Ten Commandments. With ten short sketches about just what do those commandments mean leaves you understanding just what a modern view of those rules are.

Paul Rudd is the host of this little soiree, sticking his head in and out as he lives beneath the two behemoth tablets. Married to Famke Janssen, Paul struggles with the commandments himself and finds love in Jessica Alba, as his life is turned upside down. Now, I love Paul Rudd. Being the straight man comes off as strange for him sometimes, but 50/50 it works in his comedies. I just love that he has worked so closely with David Wain over the years (Role Models, Wet Hot American Summer, this…) that he has been able to

Paul Rudd, you genius, you.

cultivate comedic characters that are both funny and underhandedly serious at the same time. That’s a balance that’s hard to walk, but Rudd finds a way. He is one of my favorite comedic actors of all time. Thank God (pardon the pun) for The 40 Year Old Virgin.

Some Pinocchio lovin’.

Now some of these stories are hit and miss. Winona Ryder’s scenes with Adam Brody and the ventriloquist dummy are some of the best. It’s nice to see that characters came back in this series. The commandment story with Liev Schreiber in competition with Joe Lo Truglio over MRI machines was hilarious. But not all of them are that good. The goof story and the subsequent ass rape story were a little off base, but I can see where David Wain was coming from. To take a serious situation and make it into something darkly funny is usually key, but it all comes with the territory that you might fudge it up. But it all wraps together nicely with a song and dance with some nude men and Roberta Flack. It was truly killing me softly.

That’s a lot of nude men who like Roberta Flack.

I would say as far as concept, this movie is an interesting one. It hits the points I find interesting. Modern day religion, characters tied into each other’s stories, and a comedic element of seriousness that pushes the story along. It’s not as good as some of David Wain’s other work, but it wasn’t a bad attempt either. It’s worth watching, but if you are offended by animated orgies or sex with dolls, then maybe you should look elsewhere for your comedy. I got a laugh out of it, and you might too. A decent film, The Ten deserves a 6.5 out of TEN.