Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vampires, Lycans, Romeo & Juliet

I’ve always been an Underworld fan ever since the first movie was released. It’s not just another Vampire movie, but a masterpiece of Gothic movies, thanks to the gorgeous Kate Beckinsale. The most recent one, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, was set to be the prequel of the first one, and even replaced Kate with Rhona Mitra (of course, Kate’s role Selene was not even born in the prequel story…). That made me quite hesitated before finally went to the cinema.

The story is simple, just like the title of this article – The Vampire-Lycan version of Romeo & Juliet. But obviously the writers did not pay much attention in the details, so that there are many “leaks” and mismatches here and there:

  1. Vampires can breed and “grow up”! This must be the biggest breakthrough in vampire history – with their immortality, power and now the new ability, vampires will rule the world!
  2. Curious how the vampire castle got its food supply. Since it charged “protection tax” from the human nobles nearby, it was not quite possible for them to hunt in the neighborhood. There was one scene that Viktor sip some red liquid from a glass, don’t tell me that was tomato juice!
  3. Vampires kept lycans as slaves by forcing them to wear cuffs around the neck, so that once they tried to turn into werewolves, the sharp tips on the cuffs would cut their veins. This, I should say, is a simple-and-silly way, which will be the favorite of any system engineer, but not normal audience. We want to see some magic dose, magic stone, etc.
  4. According to the first two movies, the “bloody” relationships between vampires and lycans are very complicated: They originated from one single ancestor Alexander (who, is also immortal, and this might be the reason that both his sons are immortal), but turned into two different species, which made the hybrid of them almost impossible (in Underworld: Evolution, the hybrid could only be implemented on Michael, a human with “pure” Corvinus blood, while Selene only “evolved” to not afraid of sunshine by drinking Alexander’s blood). But now we almost got a hybrid baby by Sonja and Lucian!
    To kill a vampire, you need sunlight; to kill a lycan, you need silver bullet. Now we know that actually a good bite can also do the job…

This is also the “Rise of the Supporting Roles”. Bill Naughy (as Viktor) and Michael Sheen (as Lucian) finally got their names printed in the first line of the cast. But why Lucian looks even older than in the first movie? Hey Michael, you should get some facial treatment! And Bill Naughy’s pronunciation was a bit strange. Seems he has not fully recovered from the Davy Jones’ mood…

Rhona Mitra has a killing shape, but not the killing charm like Kate Beckinsale. And obviously she got not much talent in martial arts. Probably that’s why most of her scenes were indoors. The scene of the couple having sex in the cave is really hot…

The stunts and special effects were simple copies of the first two movies and similar stuff like Van Helsing and LOTR. Do they really think that some bloody syrup and broken limbs are enough for audience nowadays?

BTW they even copied the poster of Van Helsing…

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Before & After of QEII

Saw this huge ad board in a shopping centre in Singapore today. Don't know if Her Majesty would mind...

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Heroic Father Forever -- Inkheart

It seems that Brendan Fraser has earned him a nickname "Father Hero" during these years: The Mummy (Or I should say, The Mummies?), Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and now, Inkheart. But I saw the class is downgrading: From the A-class for The Mummy series, to the B-class cast of Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and finally to the C-class of this Inkheart.

The story tells a man found out that he got a talent to "read out" the characters of the books. Because of that, he lost his beloved wife, and had to travel around with his little girl. Still, he was traced down by the bad guys he read out, and the final fight came... Not quite exciting once you have already watched Bedtime Stories. But lucky for Brendan, Adam Sandler did really a bad job in that movie, so Brandon still got the chance to fight back, with quite a strong cast and beautiful country sightviews. And guess what, that means the movie company did not pay a penny on special effects!

Andy Serkis (most memorable by the Gullum in LOTR) acted as the Big Bad Boss, Helen Mirren Her Majesty is the sticky Granny, both are just following the formulas, but still, both are OK. Paul Bettany (the "white" guy in Da Vinci Code) tried to portrait a quite complicated role, but not quite successful in the first half of the movie. The newcomer Rafi Gavron (as Farid) looks quite like a young Orlando Bloom, cute...

Basically the tone of the whole movie is quite 1960's: those old vans and trucks, ancient castles, mountains of autumn, all are favorites of that era. Not quite easy to do that in nowadays.