Saturday, September 20, 2003

Underworld and Movie Critics

I just got home from seeing Underworld, a movie about vampires and werewolves and their age old war. Yea I know it was news to me too. I didn't know about this "war" until yesterday and it was most likely a promotional 'documentary' for Underworld, as there were a large number of clips from the movie supplied to this show on the AMC channel.

All in all I liked the movie. It was a nice combination of Matrix and Blade with fleas mixed in. The vampires weren't nearly as romantic as those in Interview with a Vampire or as super powered as in Blade but they were more convincing as 'real' people. If you've seen the goth crowd you know how corny they can look. Way over done with black nail polish and lipstick, dripping with piercing and tattoos. The vampires here, while still 'goth' were much more fashionable.

The lyconthropes (werewolves) were convincing as well. Grungy hairy guys you really wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley, or any where else for that matter. Their 'change' was the staring CG trick in the movie. The bodies gurgled and contorted with realism, rather than looking computer generated. They are finally starting to seamlessly blend the CG into the movies were you don't even notice it any more.

The story was good, not great, but different from all the other vampire fair. Was it exceptional? No. There was the usual melodramatic love lost and ancient desires. I give the writers credit for throwing in the werewolves to mix things up a bit but we need a new vampire. The classic is great, but rarely done correctly. The current generation of vampires are geared very much towards the goth crowd. The characters act as if a goth kid today became a vampire, not as a real vampire would. Of course I wouldn't know so I could be wrong. Perhaps some vampire will come visit me tonight and drain me. LOL

Vampires are a kind of leach but at least they have some dignity and charm. The movie critics on the other hand have none. I was visiting Rotten Tomatoes and I was appalled at the reviews this movie got. While it's no rich piece of art, it was a quality movie that entertained. Isn't that what a movie should do? The points I made in my review are valid, in my opinion, but I present them in as a critique. If you read some of the reviews on the Rotten Tomatoes site you quickly see that many of these reviewers just trash the movie. I fear they have become jaded and cold after having to sit through too many straight to video releases that probably did deserve a thrashing.

While it is not right of me to defend someone else's movie I will say that movie critics are in general a bunch of self-absorbed, self-important twits that need to reevaluate why people go to the movies in the first place. Many of us are not going to see high art. Yes seeing a quality movie that provokes emotions and new thoughts is great, but do you honestly think the vast majority of movie goers (many who are in the 13-25 age bracket) want to see that in every movie?

Movies are a type of escapism entertainment. Movies are competing with video games, many which have the same weak plots and great special effects. It's my opinion that people want something fun that takes their minds of the daily hum-drum. When was the last time you thought about vampires and werewolves fighting, while at work? (Those responsible for this movie are exempt from answering that question.)

Bottom line... The movie was good enough to get me fired up enough to write this. You make you own opinion.

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