Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The Wolfman (2010)


Dir: Joe Johnston (Hidalgo, Jumanji)
Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving
UK/USA, 2010

Seen: February 12, 2010

Reason to see: I'm always up for a werewolf film

The wait was finally over, after 2 delays and a few different trailers on Friday we finally got to see the remake of the The Wolfman (1941). This time we go on the journey with Benicio Del Toro, who plays the lead character Laurence Talbot. I'm not the biggest fan of werewolf movies, but I always give them the benefit of the doubt and am up for seeing them. With this version of The Wolfman, I'm glad I did.

First off, it's a gorgeous film to look at. I'm not a stickler or even a fan of period pieces but this one really used the period to it's advantage cinematically and thematically. The world felt rich as well as worn, like an old leather bound book - something that feels very akin to the story. I would have to say that I didn't find it scary, but with this particular kind of monster film I think that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I believe the intent here is to focus more on the monster inside, choices and ideas surrounding accepting or rejection the nature of the beast, all of this are interesting themes to explore. In terms of scares, beyond the idea along I think werewolf films are way more about the effects and the gore than the horror - and this one delivers impressive effects and gore to boot. I'm not big on gore myself, but in this instance it's well placed and certainly fits the nature of the film.

The happy surprize here was that the focus of the effects wasn't solely in monster creation, but used throughout the film which give it a unique visual style that made for quite a beautiful viewing experience. I never would have expected to see beauty in this film, but it has a strong presence and works well given the historical setting.

The acting was pretty solid. I enjoyed Emily Blunt performance the most, and continue to be amazed by her ability to tackle roles of different genres with strength and passion. I thought Hugo Weaving also did a great job as well as the tough as nails lawman. From the moment I heard that Benicio Del Toro was being cast in the film, I knew he would be the perfect choice and he was, but there were just a few small moments that weren't spot on in terms of the dialogue, but very minor when you look at it as a whole. I though he provided a convincing range that the role demanded from charming to horrified to horrifying.

After several changes in the release date, I went in a little leery and skeptical but ended up really enjoying the film. High production values, characters that you care about and solid story made it well worth seeing.

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'll buy it
I'd recommend it to fans of werewolf film, and also fans of historicals that can stand the gore

12 minutes of preshow including 3 commercials and 4 previews: Brooklyn's Finest, Kick-Ass, Repo Men and Green Zone

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© Shannon Ridler, 2010


The Film Connoisseur said...

Glad you enjoyed it Moxie! I thought this was one of the best werewolf movies I have seen, second only to American Werewolf in London of course.

But it certainly ranks really high on my werewolf movie list. Possibly in second place, but Ill know for sure once i see it again. Which I will of course!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Yay! Thrilled to hear you enjoyed it too Connoisseur! I had a lot of fun watching it and am a little surprized that the buzz on it hasn't been great because I thought it was fantastic!

Suzie Ridler said...

Alright! Can I tell you how happy I am to hear you liked it? Soooo happy Shannon! Now I know we are going to love it. I was also thrilled to hear Benicio was going to be in it, he is perfect to play a wolfman. If you say the gore is actually important to the movie, then I think I can handle it. Can't wait to see the beautiful spooky visuals and landscape, that really makes me want to go. Two weeks and we will be there!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Awesome Suzie! I think you and R will really enjoy it, I can't imagine you not enjoying it now that I think about it. Great casting, great story, great visuals - good times!

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