Sunday, November 11, 2007

Late Saturday Morning Fanboy / Weekend Fanboy

Caught a much put off screening of 30 Days of Night Friday night. I’ll give it a B- overall. I went into this familiar with Niles and Templesmith’s comic, so I was concerned having that knowledge might dilute the experience for me. That wasn’t really the case. The first shot sequence with its soundscape really got my expectations up. The make up department did an amazing job capturing the likeness of Templesmith’s illustrations in the film’s vampire cast, though I think the make up needed some adjustments in the climatic conflict as I think the lighting change threw off the persuasive job it had been doing up till that point. Someone should have noticed that and compensated for it. The effects crew should also pump their fists, so to speak, for the final blow Eben dealt the lead vampire.

However, and I politely argued this point with the counter worker at Showcase Comics Saturday when I picked up a reprint of the graphic novel compilation, something was lost in the translation from graphic novel to film. Yes, the story and the number and nature of most of the characters were truncated to fit movie conventions though still did justice to the original; and while the makeup did excellent work capturing the look of 30 Days’ vamps, the atmosphere the illustrations provided didn’t fully transfer. Cold and dark tones give the fingers frostbite when reading the graphic novel, at a number of points in the movie, it just didn’t seem that cold at all. When the film did try to assert the hostile artic climate, it came off half-cocked. For instance, a sequence where the characters are walking through a blizzard was transparently CGI and wind machine. The graphic novel consistently pulls you in, and chills you. Moments like the blizzard walk pull you out. Decent bloodbath, but the setting matter so much to the story of 30 Days in a way I think the filmmakers didn’t fully appreciate in their adaptation.

I’ll conclude my thoughts with my feelings that having the vampires speak “Vampire” and not English was annoying. Its only purpose I could see was to give an added, and admittedly successful, creep out factor to the “No God” scene:

Otherwise, it took away from what could have been some fun distillation of the vamps discussions from the comic. It also mars up potential for adapting the rest of the 30 Days mythos into film too, and adds a “huh” factor to the Prequel available on I mean, I can accept Vamps using the Internet without English; but the logistics of coordinating attacks in New Orleans and L.A. without any sort of need to “pass” among humanity struck me as off.

Past two episodes of Razor flashbacks on SciFi had a creep factor too. Kind of curious if Adama’s psychic contact with the hybrid goo is going to have any consequences in Razor or Season 4. I’m imagining the ship Diana is going to play a role in Razor, unless the test subject pool were a trick within a ridiculously Cylon plan labyrinthine plan. Hopefully getting to the theatre two hours ahead of the screening will secure me a seat. If I don’t get in as result of there just being a more hard core fanbase ahead of me, so be it. However I’m fearing some sort of Chinatown bus stop-style crowd control fuck up on Riverview's part, shafting me after waiting on foot for two hours. And I don't mean the pushing and shoving one by the WaWa on 11th and Arch, I'm talking the logistical mess at the Canal St. stop in NYC.

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