Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Here're reviews of some recent DVD releases I watched over the weekend.

1) Monsters, Inc - This is from Pixar, the talented team that brought us "Toy Story". This one again showcases their wonderful computer graphics, especially in the form of an Asian-looking toddler named Boo. However, I felt the storyline wasn't interesting enough, and lost some interest towards the end. Still, it's a good way to relax after a long day, and look out for Steve Buscemi who voices Randall, a really creepy chameleon-like monster.

2) Panic Room - A much awaited project from David Fincher, who helmed the shocking thriller "Se7en", and followed up with the terrific "Fight Club". "Panic Room" falls flat, though, with its simple plot and boring characters. Jodie Foster obviously worked out for the role, but the script sucks, and the villains are downright moronic at times. I had my finger on the fast-forward button for the last half hour, and didn't even miss a thing.

3) Queen of the Damned - Technically a B-grade horror flick, but surprisingly, it's the only one among the 3 that I actually enjoyed. This is the sequel to "Interview With The Vampire", which was based on the first book in the Vampire Chronicles series by Anne Rice, and released almost 10 years ago. It starred heavyweights Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas and then-unknown Kirsten Dunst, and made a pot of money. QOTD doesn't boast any major star power, but let me tell you, it's a lot more realistic as a vampire film than "Interview" ever will be.
This movie continues where the first left off. Lestat awakens from hibernation and rejoins the mortal world as a rock star, becoming an international sex symbol. Along the way, he unwittingly unleashes Akasha, the queen of the vampires, causing death and destruction in the process.
Lestat is played by Stuart Townsend, an actor whose work I've never seen, but who positively dazzles in his role. Possessing unbelievable cheekbones ( rivalled only by Orlando Bloom's, aka Legolas in the "Lord of the Rings" films ) and loads of attitude, he is very convincing as an ancient bloodsucker who's both fascinated with and bored by the humans who worship him. While Cruise sauntered around in wigs and frilly coats, Townsend struts about in tight leather pants with unbuttoned silk shirts in all-black ensembles. Combined with garishly pale facial makeup and bloodshot eyes, he beats Cruise hands down as the quintessential vampire, and even makes the latter look like a wimp.
Aaliyah does a nice job as Akasha, but I don't fancy her acting "technique" -- ie. slinking around and hissing her lines. She was a talented singer/dancer, but probably wouldn't have excelled as a thespian.

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