Friday, July 16, 2010

When the Moon is Full the Legend Comes to Life

It’s time to revisit a horror movie legend in Joe Johnston’s remake of The Wolfman.

First thing I want to get out of the way is the fact that nothing will ever top the original, with that said there are positive points about the remake but also some gleaming flaws that some people might not be able to overlook.

The movie’s main character, Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro), is a stage actor who, as a child, was sent away to an insane asylum after his mother’s death. While in America he is visited by his brother’s fiancée, Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt), who informs him that his brother has gone missing.

Talbot then returns home to his father’s estate in the English countryside to only learn his brother’s body was found and he had been mauled to death. Talbot then sets out to find his brother’s killer. What he discovers is a true horror lurking in the countryside and his own destiny.

The story is not Oscar winning, but its fun, there I said it. Just go with it and don’t try to over analyze every little thing.

The greatest thing the movie has going for it is its look. The film has a very gothic look and it works well. I loved everything from the sets to the outdoor scenes, because they were all filmed on location in England. After watching Avatar and Alice in Wonderland it’s refreshing to actually see real sets and real environments and not just images that were created in a computer.

CGI is used in the film, but it’s only used to enhance certain areas of the movie but it never takes the lead. I couldn’t believe that CGI was actually being used as a tool, the main reason it was invented!

What really impressed me were the makeup effects. Rick Baker, you might know him for his effects in American Werewolf in London, really out did himself. I was really disappointed that he wasn’t able to do a full animatronics transformation scene. The film does go with CGI for the transformations, which weren’t my favorite but they were at least done well.

Now, for the characters, Del Toro does a great job. He is able to pull it off and I can’t see how they could’ve cast anyone else but him. Anthony Hopkins who plays Del Toro’s father is also good, but he just seemed like Anthony Hopkins most of the time. Emily Blunt does a good job playing the love interest and Hugo Weaving, well; he’s Hugo Weaving which isn’t a bad thing.

Yes, the movie’s flaws would be around some of the pacing, it might feel slow to some people. The story could’ve been better, but for what it is it seems just fine to me. The movie does go into the realm of camp and also looses some focus with some questionable editing.

Yet, even with those problems I had fun watching The Wolfman. I found it to be more entertaining then Alice in Wonderland and what I don’t understand is how critics can gush over Avatar's story, which is clearly a rip off from other films, but rip this one in half.

It’s not a perfect movie but its fun. Just don’t go into it thinking it’s going to be the greatest film ever and just enjoy for what it is – a monster movie.


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