Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Wolfman

For Valentine's Day, my Sweetheart took me to see The Wolfman. Reviewers have mostly panned this movie, wanting more depth to the characters, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I try to keep in mind that critics are just now coming off of Avatar/Pocahontas, and everything that isn't amazing 3D will suffer for it.

Before I give you my quick review, I have a confession to make, one that I've made before but really has relevance here.

A movie really has to be absolute shite for me not to like it. I'm not overly-analytical about nuances of the acting, character motivation and whatnot. I go to be entertained, not bored. I don't need explosions every seven minutes to wake me up. I resent when I'm being treated by the writers as an idiot who can't write her own name. I really resent rip-offs of other movies-like the trailer of Repo Men I saw while waiting for The Wolfman to start. It's a rip-off of Repo! The Genetic Opera and I am astounded that there really are no other scripts in Hollywood of original stories to make into films. But I digress.

The Wolfman was a fun movie. There. I said it. I didn't have one minute of saying in my head "Boring! Get on with it!" The whole look of the film was stunning-dark and brooding, as would be expected, but still gorgeous. I now have a new standard to work towards on my tombstones, that's for sure! I loved the interior of Talbot Manor and fully intend to buy a mansion just like that as soon as I win bazillions in the Lottery.

As expected both Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins turned in noteworthy performances. Hopkins plays the Lord of the Manor-cold and distant-to a t. During one speech, you can see a tiny bit of Hannibal Lecter peeking out, and that's wonderful. I did expect Del Toro's character to have more of a reaction to becoming a werewolf-outrage, torment, something, but his reaction was understated and I guess that worked, too. I would have been more drawn in had he shown more emotion about it.

There is gore, as one one would expect of a Wolfman movie. Limbs fly around quite a bit during the scenes where Larry Talbot is the monster. The visual effects are stunning, particularly the transformation scenes, and you can almost touch Victorian London. I'm sure my dad will be watching these for next year's Visual Effects Awards.

The bottom line is, I found this to be an entertaining movie. There are enough startles to make your loved one leap into your lap-Mr. ShellHawk actually jumped a few times-so make sure you take the opportunity to hold them close. And for goodness sakes-just have fun with it!


  1. Thanks for the review! I'm going to see this tonight -- assuming the 5+ inches of additional snow forecast for today doesn't materialize too early.

    Sometimes I'm torn about "fan" movie reviews versus "professional" reviews. On the one hand, professionals can provide a nuanced look at a film and help explain a lot of what's being seen on the screen or what is missing from the film. But as you note they can also look to minutiae like character motivation that I could care less about.

    However, on the other hand, fans can be too wrapped up in the subject to allow for an impartial reading of what we're seeing. I don't know how many horror film sites I've been to looking for good reviews of movies only to be greatly disappointed when I actually watch the shlock that's put up on the screen.

    Like you, I'm just looking to be entertained.

    While I was bummed about many of the pro reviews I've seen about The Wolfman, I'm pretty stoked about seeing it now that I've read your review and that of Johnny Thunder.

    As I said, assuming I don't have to break out the dogsled team to go to the theater tonight, I hope to add my own review tomorrow. Thanks again!


  2. I was wondering what you thought of the movie! I haven't seen it yet but plan to. think I'm like you when it comes to movies--if I'm entertained and it was fun to watch, then it was a good movie. perhaps not a great movie but there aren't many of those and I don't usually go to a movie expecting to see one of those. anyway, thanks for the critique--well done!

  3. Thanks for the review, I too am one who likes to be entertained at a movie. The professional critics don't seem to understand that or have been reviewing movies too long. I can't wait to go see this. Now to just find the time.

  4. thanks for the post. i thought wolf man was just ok.

    though i did like the preview of REPO MEN. i've seen REPO! the genetic opera before too and it's actually quite different.

    the controversy is really well explained here with the interview with REPO MEN's screenwriter: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/43628

    anyway seems like a cool movie, look forward to reading more of your reviews!


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