Tag: cary elwes
A movie about the movie Nosferatu essentially, Shadow of the Vampire is a really interesting angle as to what happened behind the scenes. The story revolves around the filmmaker Friedrich Murnau (portrayed by John Malkovich) and his obsession with realism while making Nosferatu. So much so, that he hires a vampire to play an actor playing a vampire. Did you get all that? It took me a minute there too, but I think it’s brilliant nonetheless.
The cast and crew have no clue as to the true identity of the actor portraying Nosferatu – Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe) as he’s a method actor who constantly stays in character. They’re all supposed to respect his methods so they play along even though they start disappearing or becoming “ill” on set.
One of the cool visual aspects to the film (besides the amazing old castle sets and spot-on wardrobe design and makeup) is the way the film blends from current state to what the film ended up looking like – black and white with a tight iris, grainy quality, and shutter-spuddering speed to it. It plays like the original from 1922.
Everything about this film is tight – the writing, directing, editing, acting, everything. It looks like it was a blast to make and the actors are amazing to watch. John Malkovich is arrogant, crazy, obsessed, and just amazing as Murnau. He should be with WIllem Dafoe setting the bar as Max Schreck / Nosferatu. I’d say this is his tour-de-force performance but he’s had numerous so we’ll just add this one to the list. Udo Kier and Cary Elwes and Catherine McCormack are all engaging actors and play their roles with great flair and style as does the excellent Eddie Izzard.
Original, interesting and highly recommended, check it out.
reviewed by Sean McKnight
Jim Carrey stars in this animated re-telling of the Dickens Christmas classic. The story goes as you’d expect and aside from being a truncated version, the story holds true to the original. Less emphasis on Tiny Tim and the other side characters and more on Scrooge in this iteration but that was kind of necessary given the nature of the presentation this time. It keeps moving, which is kind of a drawback given the pacing of the original story is slower and more detailed and seemingly by comparison, a better fit in terms of pacing.
This version isn’t necessarily bad, it has merit, especially visually. The detail and the animation is amazingly detailed, beautiful and at times, exhilarating. There are some flying scenes that made me wish I had seen the film in the theater. Unfortunately, some of the characters just look, well, creepy. Especially Scrooge, who is supposed to be not-likable and he is. The problem is, even after his character arc, he still seems creepy, maybe even moreso when he’s trying to be nice. The dour design of the characters is something that would be true to the look of the people at the time but remains resonate after the point where the story should turn more uplifting.
The voice acting is well done and includes a great lineup that includes Jim Carrey playing Scrooge along with a number of other characters alongside Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Cary Elwes, Bob Hoskins and Robin Wright.
Robert Zemeckis wrote the screenplay and directed.
It’s worth seeing if you’re tired of watching the black and white version and want to shake things up a bit. I would see the original first if this is your first viewing or perhaps check out Bill Murray’s Scrooged instead.
reviewed by Sean McKnight