mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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30 days of night.

last night i ducked out of work just a few minutes early to go into manhattan & watch 30 days of night. i've been looking forward to this since it was announced for a variety of reasons. here is my story, if you haven't heard it already. once upon a time, when i was a wee mordicai, i lived in the wastelands & enjoyed pretending to be a vampire. by that i mean instead of dungeons & dragons, the game du jour was vampire: the masquerade. to make a long story short, whenever they would publish a sourcebook on a modern city, like, lets say cleveland, that book would be titled cleveland by night. okay? that is context, the pay-off being that it was my longstanding half-serious ambition to write juno by night. so, basically steve niles probably paid the broker that reads my mind & steals my ideas. besides that, i was looking forward to the film because frankly, it isn't the sort of material you can fuck up. i mean, as long as you are reasonably faithful to the comic, it has all your money shots in there for you. i quite like ben templesmith's art, so i think the foundations to build this bloodsucker cathedral were pretty solid.

i met up with tom, bernie, & a couple of tom's friends without too much wait for the film to start rolling. first, let me talk about the trailers, because the people in the row in front of my thought me shit-talking the trailers was fabulous. what the fuck trailers were they running? they. were so. bad. i mean, they weren't even aimed at the audience; there was one for a dance movie sequel, one for a martin lawrence garbage flick, & then maybe the worst "cyber-horror" trailer ever. it actually included the line "he hacked my car!" & then her car swerving all over the road. niiiiiice. i was hoping for an iron man teaser, you know? i mean, did you know tony stark is a guy who wears armor that can fly & has like, flame throwers? plus, the guy who directed elf is in charge! no, no, you show us this urban dance trailer, we're definately your target demographic.

finally the movie got into pace, with some very nice white-out shots. i have a bit of a hard-on for desolate, snowy landscapes- see above re: wastelands. & that time i really was going to move to antarctica. as the movie rolled, the first impression i got was that everyone was doing their job well except the editor. let me speak to that first: the movie was pretty jumpy, especially at first. no real chance to establish exposition or anything like that. it didn't wreck anything for me, since i went in there knowing that it was a vampire movie, but the supporting roles figuring out that they were vampires didn't make any sense, not even in a "we can assume they were up to something while the other characters were away." eventually, once the actual meat of the plot came up, instead of the establishment of the situation, it stabilized. like i said though, everything else was well enough done- the actor gave an acceptable level of pathos, the sets were oozing isolation & cold, the make-up was tastefully underdone, the photography was very nice, everything else.

i've got to say this though: i have nothing but contempt for people who respond to stress with nervous giggling. seriously, you came to a scary movie, you expect suspense. so stop fucking chickening out with your suspension of disbelief. the people in the row behind us were a real tribe of idiots. listen, fuckers. when you come to a horror movie, you come prepared to accept the emotional tableaux presented. cackling like a drunk hyena whenever anything spooky happens to show off to your friends isn't fooling anyone; we know you are afraid. all you are succeeding in doing is sabotaging the experience for yourself. this also includes romantic scenes; yes, the lines used here are cheesy. what are you looking for, exactly? do you think humans actually participate in unique expressions of love? everybody's lines are cheesy. to be precise: the separated couple thrown into a life or death situation are probably going to still have feelings for each other. groaning whenever they talk (& honestly, it wasn't that corny) just marks you as someone trying hard not to empathize; in other words, you are the worst kind of audience member, & that is why i talked shit about you in front of your face. one more thing: this isn't a "call & response" thing. when the guy falls on the shredder & gets mauled? you are allowed to go "OH DAMN!" okay? when the bad guy says the scary-dorky line? you are allowed to laugh. there is a cadence to cinema. i'm not getting all white suburban kid here. i just want to be clear about that. basically i want to contrast this viewing with when i saw the descent with iphisol. that crowd was all hooting & hollering & shouting "what the fuck!?" but it was all done at the proper time. you...you were just the worst.

the best though was the lead vampire, marlow, played by danny huston. you've seen the trailers or teasers, right? he's the "no god" guy. man he was fucking cooler than cool (ice cold!). i don't quite know what it was. partly, he didn't look like any archetypal vampire, which just sold him. he just looked like some guy who got bit, & found out he was good at being a nosferatu. i guess it was sort of a zombie outfit he was in, all monstrous with a business suit on. besides that, he just had a charisma. charisma is the sort of thing that is hard to get across when your character mostly screeches like a shark-owl & if he does has lines, they are in russian or something, & said through giant prosthetic teeth. he was a show stealer though, i'll tell you what, & he had me smiling ear to ear on more than a few occasions. fuck, go see it just to see this guy alpha a bunch of marilyn mansons & bald guys with neck tattoos. oh, the viggo mortensen look-alike ghoul was pretty cool, too & his point in the story wasn't even really that well established (see above re: editing). & what a point to miss, right? all doing the really creepy shit he did. seriously, the set-up to this movie is really good, & could he been spooled out much better. ah, i'm getting off topic. vampires in reservoir dogs suits, covered in blood! win win win!

so yeah, i liked it a lot, & i can't understand some of the complaints that people have: most of them i can only reply to by asking "wait, what movie did you come to see? i came to see vampires on rampage or whatever." you know? & i think people so expect a movie to abuse cliches that when it does so kind of originally they don't notice that the cliche was used, not abused. like the scene with the girl walking through the street calling for help (again, from the trailer-- no spoilers here!). the jerks behind me are like "what a stupid girl!" & whatnot, without even catching what was actually going on-- that the leeches were trying to use her as bait. i think this movie went from executing tropes competently to giving a new twist to the vampire story, & i certainly enjoyed myself. goooooo team nosferatu!
Tags: comics, movies
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