|Comments on Monday 17 May 2004:|
|Van Helsing, the recent movie - much better than pretty much all accounts would have had us believe. Like all movies nowadays it could probably have done with a bit more cutting, but unlike most that cutting should only have removed about twenty minutes, rather than two thirds of the running time.|
A couple of reviewers would have us believe that it's bad in the same way as League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Nonsense. I can see why one might want to compare it to League of Extraordinarily Boring Gentlemen (it has Jekyll and Hyde, and vampires, and a semi-superpowered human hero), but it differs primarily in that it's not boring and rubbish. Instead it's good fun rubbish.
The other common comparison is "it's not as good as the Mummy". That's true enough, but has any movie in the last three years been as good as the Mummy? I doubt it. The Mummy came out before the movie world's addiction to making movies longer than they should be, after all.
Spoiler time. I was slightly disappointed that the early hints that Mr Helsing might be a werewolf were unfounded, but hooray - the movie made up for it by the end by having him turn into a werewolf after all. Pleasingly, there was no attempt at explaining how he came to be four hundred years old without being a vampire or a werewolf. Also nice is that Frankenstein's Monster is the winner, and Helsing is not.
I'm sure there are plenty of people being horrified by the heresies of, for example, having Dracula invulnerable to stakes, sunlight, crosses, holy water and garlic, and having him be the financial input for Frankenstein's experiments, but I'm very glad the movie decided to stray from the "true to the books" safe ground. There is surely nothing more boring than a retelling of an old story that's already been twenty movies, with no unique variation other than new special effects. Obviously the creator of the Mummy and Van Helsing agrees with me on this, and for that I applaud him.
For the movie Van Helsing, I also applaud him. It wasn't great, but it was fun, and that's what a non-documentary movie is supposed to be. [13:26]
|I liked that they gave Dracula a personality. Usually he's just "Look at me, aren't I ominous?" but in Van Helsing he was a bit quirky and had a sense of humor - a morbid one, but that's to be expected. His brides were also fun; I'm not sure exactly what it was, but they seemed more than a little eccentric.|
They gave most of the 'evil' characters personalities and motivation, which was nice. Usually they're just "I'm evil and I want to eat your face mwahaha," which is annoying. If anyone's ever known Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, one realizes that the point of the book is to make you realize that it's not the creation that's the monster.
Also, watching something with just enough plot to string together effects scenes is a nice deviation from reality, but only if it's a semi-cool and sort-of-original plot like Van Helsing and not stupid, inane, and tired, like Haunted Mansion, which my dearest mother dragged me to. Never see Haunted Mansion. EVER.
|I enjoyed Frankenstien's Monster very much. I think he was in fact the best character in the whole movie. No support for it; I just liked him the best.|
And actually, Van Helsing's prolonge dlife was explained. He's the angel Gabriel, the left hand of God. Now, the questions then are, why doens't he have any special powers of some sort, and why doesn't he remember his past?
Good movie indeed though. I very much enjoyed it.
|Personally, I found it boring as snot. Very *very* pretty - worth seeing for the beautiful visuals - but empty. Kind of like someone said "Hey, there's all these famous characters no longer under copyright, let's make a movie that uses their names and nothing else!"|
But hey, it got Raven (my Raven, not the raven who's blog this is) and me out of the house and away from the kids for a few hours, and I'll forgive it all kinds of sins for that.
|James: yes, but you need a babysitter to do that, and I think I speak for all babysitters when I say that we appreciate your money but not your monsters.|