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The Wolfman Movie Review: Howling in the Dark

The WolfmanBenicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving and Emily Blunt. It’s a star-studded cast with The Rocketeer and Hidalgo director, Joe Johnston at the helm. You can also add Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, Jurassic Park III and Jumanji to his filmography, but don’t be fooled… Johnston’s a real talent. He’s already signed on to do The First Avenger: Captain America for 2011. His experience in fantasy and sci-fi shines through, two of the key components to most decent superhero movies. Superheroes are back to rescue America’s disillusioned anti-terrorism society much like post-WW2 and that means Johnston’s got his hands full.

The Wolfman is directed like a superhero movie: quick pacing, a fallen hero, an unfortunate incident, an untameable beast inside him… this could have easily been a story for The Incredible Hulk if you strip away the Sherlock Holmes backdrops and costumes. We’ve already seen a wolf man superhero show his true grit under the direction of our very own Gavin Hood in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but this is a remake of The Wolf Man (1941), which has just been released on DVD.

The Lycan/Werewolf is as much a horror icon as Count Dracula or Frankenstein’s Monster and The Wolfman’s appearance is derived from such classics as Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943). There’s a fascination behind what separates men from animals, the same curiosity is expressed in Frankenstein as we try to separate life from death, man from machine. This curiosity has sustained these horror classics for ages and it was only a matter of time before the wolf man reared its...continued.

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New Rental Releases This Week (08/02/10)

New DVD rental releases at DVBee this week:

Cheri, Jennifer's Body and Whiteout.


CHéRI (2009)
Director: Stephen Frears
Starring: Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend, Kathy Bates
Genre: Drama, Romance
Age Restriction: 16 NS

Michelle Pfeiffer plays Lea de Lonval, renowned courtesan. During the belle époque, France's richest courtesans indulged in life's luxuries for their services to millionaires and Kings. When Lea is charged with the task of educating a friend's son in the ways of the world, she accidentally falls in love with the charming young man. Decent performances, lavish sets and non-French accents pave the way for a sanitised adaptation of Colette's novels. Inconsistent and sluggish at times. 

Director: Karyn Kusama
Starring: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Comedy
Age Restriction: 18 LSV

Jennifer's Body is a star vehicle for Megan Fox. Award-winning Juno writer and ex-stripper, Cody Diablo, takes a stab at the horror genre. It's cheesy, offbeat teen high school horror with direct parallels with '90s horror classic Ginger Snaps. The teen vixen goes about her evil business of seducing unsuspecting high school boys... chewing them up and spitting them out, while her sidekick heaps on the praise. If you're expecting anything more than the title would suggest you're rattling the wrong cage... Apart from a lesbian kiss and some bland gore, there's nothing to write home about.


Director: Dominic Sena
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Gabriel Macht
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Age Restriction: 13 LV

This Antarctic "whodunnit" has slick visuals and beautiful icy landscapes, but relies on gore instead of its mystery plot to carry the story home. The clunky dialogue is coupled by a bland and unconvincing performance from the gorgeous Kate Beckinsale making this generic icebound thriller as predictable as it is forgettable.

Celeb ID #10: Guess Who?


Eddie Izzard

The first person to identify this warped celebrity at SPL!NG on Facebook
wins a DVD!
Clue: This dyslexic celebrity was born in Yemen and "likes" Sean Connery.

(Unmodified original image will be posted on right once this Celeb ID game is over.)

Join SPL!NG on Facebook

Bright Star Movie Review: Beautifully Dull

Bright Star Movie Poster

Bright Star is a Jane Campion film, based on a three year romance between poet, John Keats and Fanny Brawne, starring Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish. Campion's best known for The Piano and The Portrait of a Lady, averaging a film every three years. While the early '90s could be described as her heyday, she seemed to lose some of the sparkle with more contemporary films like Holy Smoke and In The Cut.

Bright Star marks a return to classic Campion cinema with a real-life love story to rival Romeo & Juliet. John Keats passed away at the age of 25... echoing the sentiment that the brightest flames burn fastest. Bright Star illuminates the romance he shared with Ms Fanny Brawne, who inspired some of his best work and shared some of his last moments in love.

The cinematography is exquisite... lulling us into the poetic countryside estate where the two lovers met and guiding the film home under a Bright Star. The luscious visuals make the film's Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design seem a bit lonely, despite the period piece accuracy. This is a beautiful film to behold and swathes the viewer in an enchanting blanket of love. The atmosphere is perfect and paves the way for fine performances from a relatively unknown cast including: Ben Whishaw, Paul Schneider and Abbie Cornish.

Whishaw's physique contrasts quite starkly with Cornish's and this reverses the roles in this romance. Fanny Brawne's name...continued.

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