Sunday, June 4, 2017

To Vampire or Not to Vampire.

The twilight of the Vampire genre I think has finally come at last. Where at one point vampire oriented films were hugely popular, now they are relegated to the backdrop. Unfortunately Underworld: Blood Wars is more of a speck on that backdrop due to a number of reasons. The original film that Len Wiseman directed which was released back in 2003 was amazing; the standard that all vampire films should be held to. Yet after he left directing the franchise things started to unravel. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans was a great film, mostly due to the cast, but the story was good along with several other things as well. Yet this film just doesn't really hit the target. Basically, picking up from where Underworld: Awakening left off, both the vampires and the werewolves are after Selene's daughter for their own purposes, so they attempt to capture her to force the truth out of her even though she doesn't know the answer. Meanwhile the vampires are having an internal power struggle that is threatening to destroy them from within. Kate Beckinsale as Selene was fine, although she didn't add anything to her character and the performance really came off flat. Theo James as David really pulled through in this film....even if his character came off a little like King Arthur, but he was definitely a compelling character. Lara Pulver as the vampire Semira was just lovely; would have been most excellent to see her role expanded more. Charles Dance returned which was awesome, and of course he was fantastic; also would have been amazing to have more of him in the film. Bradley James as the vampire Varga was also a nice touch; and of course once again it would have been nice to see more of him. The villain of the film, or rather chief villain, was the werewolf Marius played by Tobias Menzies. His character and performance were utterly dreadful; so poorly written, and I can't really say anything good of the actor's portrayal. For the most part, the casting was the best part of the film.
It seems I keep finding myself at this same point frequently with many of the films I have watched and then reviewed. The raw potential was there for this film to be really good, but it was the writing and especially in this film, the length of the film that made it come off flat. If the film would have been thirty minutes longer, it would have done so much to improve the film. The characters would have had more depth, and the film wouldn't have felt so rushed. How much of the blame falls on the director, Anna Foerster, or the writers, Cory Goodman and Kyle Ward, who knows; but all three of them share some of the burden of blame. I do have to say though that the cinematography by Karl Walter Lindenlaub was quite good. There's a part of the film that takes place in the icy part of northern Europe, and it was shot splendidly. And I have to give props to the costume designer Bojana Nikitovic; she really nailed the vampire garb down very well, and especially Selene towards the end of the film. The action was rather blah, but honestly I liked the original film more for the story and characters than the action, although it was also good. I don't recall the music score by Michael Wandmacher very well, so no motifs or themes really stood out, which is a shame that in now the fifth film of the franchise that there aren't any musical themes or motifs that have carried through all of the films yet. A lost opportunity. That might actually be the best way to describe this film. Better writing and more time would have improved this film beyond measure; and they should have axed the werewolf villain or re-written him. Honestly if you haven't been watching any of the "Underworld" film then don't bother watching this, and if you have well.....it's better than Awakening so....there you go. Certainly not a film for the cinema history books like the original was. Stepping into reality for a moment, I wish there was some good news to share, but honestly there is nothing. I have actually stopped watching any news and just mainly read the Wall Street Journal because it's so depressing, and most journalism has lost it's credibility and now is mainly focused on selling stories and printing gossip, and peoples' opinions rather than facts. There was a picture on the front of the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that haunts me; it was the scene of the bombing that happened in Kabul. In the photo there is wreckage and smoke from the bomb everywhere, and what looks like a corpse. However, a man bloodied and injured is trying to pull himself away from the destruction and he looks up at what I'm assuming is the individual taking the picture and he makes this expression which could be construed as shock, or hopelessness, or perhaps.."why don't you try to help me instead of taking a picture..." look. I hear and see from pictures and videos of all the tragic things that are happening across the globe, and how do people particularly from the West and America act? They simply take picture and move on, and instead focus on celebrities and political controversies that won't mean anything in a couple of years. People live on forever though; they are perhaps the only things that continue on past this transient existence. If the entire world cared more about people, or just part of the world cared more about people, or even a fraction, then things would be different and change. But for now I wait for some really good news, and now I step down from my soap box. May the Force be with us all.

Underworld: Blood Wars scene

Underworld: Blood Wars interviews

Game of Thrones season 7 trailer

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