30 Days Across the Universe of Night!

So this last weekend I took the time to check out two very diffrent movies.

30 Days of Night and Across the Universe…So lets dig into my thoughts and opinions on both movies.

The Movie: 30 Days of Night

What Worked: So this movie is based on a Comic mini-series of the same name by, Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith. While it has quite a few different elements from the original comic the core of the story is the same. It’s a fresh take on vampires and honestly I really enjoyed the movie. See the thing I hate most about 99% of Vampire movies, is that they portray Vampires as tortured souls that are misunderstood and really deep down are looking for eternal love in a slightly twisted harlequin romance novel way. Not this movie! In this take on Vampires, they are far from being the emo Euro-trash, no these vampires are truly monsters. They are predators and twisted evil murders. I love it! They are just a shade above vicious animals…and it gave me so many ideas on how to change my perception of the way I run vampires in D & D. The cast is pretty solid even Josh Hartnett gives a decent performance…the stand out for me was Mark Boone Jr, who played the angry bear-like Beau Brower, and Ben Foster who is really good at playing the guy with quite a few screws loose (See 3:10 to Bad Ass!). It minus my few gripes was a solid horror movie that made me jump and cringe a few times…the little girl in the general store…I still twitch when I think of the noises…

What Didn’t Work: It is very obvious that we can’t have a horror/monster moive where the cast is rational through out the whole picture. The survivors of the first attack take to the Scooby-Doo mentality so much in this film that is drives me nuts. The first time the Vampires use a fellow townsperson as bait they all know it and so they make a gut check and leave the poor person to their grisly fate…but then later…a small child is used as the same bait…and well with out thought…lets go save her! <SMACKS HEAD> There are a few other instances of this type of idiotic mentality that was what really dragged this movie down a few notches for me.

The Verdict: Well worth the price of admission for me. It took me a few days of thought to really decide if I liked it…but after taking it all in…I can honestly say it stands as one of my favorite Vampire films to ever come out. I await the DVD release to see what cool shit we get on that.

The next review is for a movie that is on the very opposite end of the spectrum…

The Movie: Across the Universe

What Worked: While I make no claim of being a music expert, I know what I like and what I don’t like. While some may look at this film as a cheap knock off of 2001’s Moulin Rouge, nothing could be father from the truth. While both movies share similar elements they differ in quite a few areas. The music of the Beatles provides the musical back drop to this picture, which really helps set so many tones and emotions of this film. I was not a child of the 60’s my growth came in the 80’s and 90’s, but this film helped me see the passion, fervor, and idealism that man young people had during that time period. So much of the movie was just brilliantly done…the two scenes that were by far my favorites; Joe Cocker’s rendition of “Come Together” the imagery was just simply amazing…and the “Let It Be” the context in which the song is sung is just stunning and very deep.

Not only was the movie visually put together well, the cast was excellent. The main male lead acted by the very talented Jim Sturgess, is one of those actors that I can’t wait to see in more mainstream productions. Martin Luther McCoy was another actor I hope to see again soon. I found out that 90% of the songs were recorded live on-set and were not dubbed with studio recordings in post-production. That alone makes this movie even more amazing. Evan Rachel Wood’s version of “If I Fell” is totally live, and was successfully completed on the first take. The remainder of the cast is wonderful and helps makes this movie is a great piece of cinema gold!

What Didn’t Work: There is nothing I can really say that I disliked about this movie…my only criticism was the theater I saw it in had really crappy seats that made my ass numb.

The Verdict: Now I know firsthand that this movie isn’t for everyone, and frankly I can see why a lot of critics are panning it. It’s not going to appeal to a mass audience; I think most of Generation X & Y will dislike the movie, but it really hit home with me. All I can really say is that it is a movie like this that proves not everyone in Hollywood has sold out to cynicism and bitterness.

This movie is wrapped in creativity, expression, and passion. I’ve already bought the soundtrack and plan on seeing it at least one more time in the theater before I await its release on DVD.


~ by lyoncage on October 22, 2007.

3 Responses to “30 Days Across the Universe of Night!”

  1. wow

  2. Wes – I couldn’t agree more. As I look back at the film and try to pinpoint what it was that I liked so much, I keep coming back to the way the filmakers used the Beatles’ songs. For instance, I would never have drawn the conclusions between I Want You (She’s So Heavy) and soldiers grudgingly supporting Lady Liberty in the Vietnam War. The gospel version of Let It Be to the back drop of the riots in Watts and the death of a soldier was also incredible. Obviously, the movie wouldn’t have been anything without the amazing tallent, but the creative use of the music elevated it beyond your normal musical.

  3. Hehe, the reason I hated it so much is why you and Wes liked it so much. I hated their versions of the Beatles songs. I felt it was extremely over played melodrama set to pale imitations of the original songs. Eddie Izzard completely hacked For the benefit of mr. Kite, one of my favourite Beatles songs. Musicals like the “Blues Brothers” or “The Sound of Music” or “Fiddler on the Roof” or “The Phantom of the Opera” are SOOOO much better in this genre.

    I do agree the acting was pretty good tho… and the cinimetography was nice. Wish I could shoot the director, writer.

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