Sunday, May 09, 2004


"how did I let my agent talk me into this?

It hardly really matters now, considering that the movie netted 54+ million dollars this weekend but just for the record: Van Helsing SUCKED. I thought Hellboy was the worst movie experience I had since Underworld but now, the three films are all in hot competition for being complete bores and examples of how CGI has destroyed the need for such cinematic basics as: narrative, script, dialogue, etc.

It's actually bizarre how closely VH and Underworld resemble each other; both take place in uber-gothic sets, star Kate Beckingsale, and feature a climactic battle between a bad ass werewolf and vampire. It's a little uncanny but I'm actually starting to appreciate Underworld more now; it seems to practice some actual restraint whereas VH throws the kitchen sink at the screen just to see what sticks.

Seriously, the story on this movie is so unbelievably convoluted (not to mention deathly uninteresting) that I'm forced to deploy the ultimate cliche and call it "Frakenstein-like" in terms of how stiched together it is. The difference is that Frankenstein in the movie actually has a personality, something more than you can say for VH itself. Hugh Jackman seems to have adapted Wolverine into his monster-hunter character in this film: believe it or not, there's an actual scene where, as a werewolf, Van Helsing flexes his claws out just like Wolvie. Unbelievable. Where's Professor X? Maybe he could induce us all into forgetting that we watched this movie.

I foresee a MASSIVE drop-off by the second week, especially since I'm assuming word of mouth is not going to be that positive about the film and the critics have uniformly hated it ( has it at 37 (out of 100). I'm not mad at all the people who went to go see it this weekend (hell, I did, right?) but anyone who sees it next week is suspect.

On the other hand, S and I watched Ghost in the Shell again last night. It had been quite a few years since I last saw it and I had forgotten how brilliant this film was. I had also never noticed how completely and shamelessly the Wachowski Bros. had ripped the film off for The Matrix; someone owes Director Oshii a big fat royalty check. But seriously, this is an action film (albeit anime) with a real story, smart use of CGI, and compelling characters, all of which are missing from that slop job Van Helsing.


  • Speaking of vampires...Upgrade: Angel. Pardon my french but this week's eppy was the greatest of this show I've ever seen. So incredibly funny yet with pathos. I'd bemoan them cancelling the show (again) but it won't make a difference. But goddamn, how can they cancel this? It's so killer right now!

  • Why, it's almost like love. Love good for your health. Temporarily at least.

  • Interesting article from the Detroit Free Press that compares the divergent successes of William Hung and Harlemm Lee.
    (credit: Angry Asian