Daily Archives: 04/15/2012

INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE

INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE-United States-1994

Stephen Rea as Santiago

Antonio Banderas as Armand

Christian Slater as Daniel Malloy

Kirsten Dunst as Claudia

Directed by Neil Jordan

Screenplay by Anne Rice

Based on the novel by Anne Rice

 

How could a movie adaptation of Interview with the Vampire go wrong? First off, you have Anne Rice’s masterful novel as a starting point. You have two young stars, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, who manage to put their egos aside and deliver performances that exceed all expectations. You have director Neil Jordan, who had just come off helming one of the greatest films of all time, The Crying Game. Add a stellar performance by a budding young actress named Kirsten Dunst and you have a recipe for a great vampire film.

The thing that impressed me the most about both the book and the movie is the conflict between newly turned vampire Louis and the vampire Lestat. Louis is struggling to hang on to his humanity no matter what the cost. Lestat is savage evil wrapped in the guise of a gentleman. Whatever shred of decency he had died a long time before the story even began.

For some, the biggest controversy surrounding the film was the casting of Tom Cruise as Lestat. Even Anne Rice herself was livid that Cruise had been cast in the role. After seeing his performance, she graciously admitted her error in misjudgment. I’ll admit I’m not a fan of Tom Cruise the person. I find him to be stupid to the point of being a complete buffoon.  As for Tom Cruise the actor and his performance as Lestat, he nails it, no doubt about it.

Equally good is Brad Pitt as the vampire Louis. People may forget Pitt’s performance as it is the more reserved of the two between himself and Cruise. Nevertheless, his performance as Louis is the perfect counterpart to Cruise’s Lestat.

Interview with the Vampire is not for everyone’s taste. There are always going to be the minority that will argue that the book was better. I have to disagree. Both the book and the film are of one piece; and that one piece is a masterpiece.

TRIVIA

Christina Ricci, Dominique Swain, Julia Stiles, Erin Moore and Evan Rachel Wood auditioned for the role of Claudia.

Tom Cruise wanted a private set, and hence tunnels were built to escort the actors to and from the set. This was done so that the vampire’s makeup effects would remain a secret.

The character Lestat’s full name is Lestat de Lioncourt. He was based on Anne Rice’s husband Stan Rice, and even given Stan Rice’s birthday of 7 November.
 
The character Louis’ full name is Louis de Pointe du Lac. Louis was based on Anne Rice as she grieved for her deceased daughter, Michelle. Louis was even given Anne Rice’s birthday of 4 October.
 
 
 
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THE LOST BOYS

THE LOST BOYS-United States-1987

Jami Gertz as Star

Edward Hermann as Max

Barnard Hughes as Grandpa

Dianne Wiest as Lucy

Directed by Joel Schumacher

Screenplay by Janice Fischer, James Jeremias and Jeffrey Boam

Story by Janice Fischer and James Jeremias

This is only the third time that I’ve watched The Lost Boys. The first time was when it was released to video. The second time maybe a month after that. Honestly, I really wasn’t that impressed with the film. Sure, it was a re-telling of the Peter Pan story, only this time with vampires. So what? The acting in the film is lackluster, the pacing of the film leaves a lot to be desired and the whole thing is completely monotonous. The film did nothing to further the careers of its younger stars. What ever happened to Jason Patric? Has he really done anything of any significance since then? Then of course there are the Corey’s, Feldman and Haim. The two of them had quite a career going for them in the ’80′s. Then came the ’90′s and finally the new millennium and reality TV. What happened then? Corey Haim died and Corey Feldman continues to make direct to video Lost Boys movies. That’s not exactly a stellar career. What about director Joel Schumacher? Isn’t he the guy that decided to add nipples to the Bat suit; thereby nearly ruining not only the Batman mythos, but the comic book movie altogether? The only young star to come out of the Lost Boys with any degree of success is, in my opinion, Kiefer Sutherland. Even so, it was not cinematic success; it was with TV and 24.

I know that there are those of you out there who are going to take me to the woodshed on this one. I can’t help it. It’s been over 20 years since I last saw the film and after seeing it my feelings have not changed. The film is a lackluster attempt to meld two legends, Peter Pan and vampires, and bring them into a modern day setting. It’s not just the boys that are lost; it’s the whole damn movie.

TRIVIA

The original screenplay written by Janice Fischer and James Jeremias was originally about a bunch of “Goonie-type 5th-6th grade kid vampires”, with the Frog Brothers being “chubby 8 year old cub scouts”, and Star being a boy instead of a love interest. Joel Schumacher hated that idea and told the producers he would only sign on if he could change them to teenagers, as he thought it would be much sexier and more interesting.

Kiefer Sutherland was only meant to wear the black gloves he wears as David when riding the motorbike. However, while messing around on the bike behind-the-scenes, he fell off, breaking his arm so he had to wear the gloves through the whole movie to cover his cast.

In the opening sequence there is a random crowd shot that includes an older man in the distance with thick glasses wearing a Gothic looking hooded black robe. While his appearance is in line with the “spooky” factor of the film, he is in fact a semi-nomadic Christian.

½

 

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