Monday, September 3, 2007

Blood and Chocolate : film review

  • Based on the book Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
  • Directed by Katja Von Garnier
  • Written by Ehren Kruger and Christopher P. Landon
  • Sony Pictures (2007)
  • PG-13
  • 98 minutes
  • I watched this film on September 3

Oh, my. First, let me preface this by saying I loved the book. A lot. Which is why I was so stoked to see the movie. And why, having seen it, I'm so angry now. Garbage!
Okay: there is so much changed from the book that basically the only thing that's the same are the characters' names and the fact that some of them are werewolves. First, they made the characters older. Okay, I can deal with that. Then they inexplicably changed the setting from America to Bucharest. What? Also they managed to take out all the beauty, all the moral all the...well, good stuff.
The book is about a teenaged werewolf who is struggling with sexuality, with her heritage, with her identity. In the end she resolves those issues and finds peace. In the movie a pretty blond girl runs around, fights and betrays her identity for a moderately attractive random dude (but, oh, he writes graphic novels, so he's edgy!). Also, because they can't bother to really explain the title they have Vivian work in a Chocolate shop. Get it? Cause the title has the word chocolate in it! So clever. Also, they scraped Vivan's mural, which I would have really liked to see. And, oh, by the way; in an expert move of abandoning everything the whole book stood for: Vivian ends up with the wrong guy in the movie! HATE!! There were points where I was wondering if the people who adapted this even read the book.
Is there some good? Well, the phasing to wolf is borderline cool. However, they morph into honest to God wolves, not mythic Loup-garoux. There are some good looking people in it, but no one in this whole film has chemistry with anyone else. How could Oliver Martinez, who was so hot in Unfaithful be so bland here? Though I hated that movie, his performance was much better when he was philandering with Diane Lane. And Agnes Bruckner who plays Vivian is...I dunno, pretty, or whatever, but she did nothing for me. The worst part is the director brought us Iron Jawed Angels which was super good. And the same producer made Underworld, which I loved.
So you know, Rotten Tomatoes agrees with me that this movie was balls. If, for some reason you are interested in visiting the hilariously bad site for the film...well I warned you. (Also, what's with her fake nails? They are on the movie poster and splashed all over that site. Vivian is so not the kind of girl to sport big fake acrylics). I do highly recommend the book, and you can read more about that here.
Alright, that's it, I'm done. I'm so annoyed that the more I think about this movie the more I'd like to punch someone in the throat.

1 comment:

Carl V. said...

Its funny, because I think much of this derives from what you did first. I went and saw the movie with my daughter when it came out in theatres and I like it. It is far from being a great movie, don't get me wrong, but I still enjoyed it for what it was.

I just read the book a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed it as well. I think her newest book, Freaks, is a better book but Blood and Chocolate is very good.

I didn't mind so much that the story was completely different, obviously, because the reality was it was her novel that they completely went away from in the book. The one thing I was a little disappointed about with the book is that I didn't feel like she spent enough time building Gabriel up to be a worthwhile person for her to hook up with in the end. They did some stuff, but it was all too quick and mostly in the end. I also thought it had a bit of "we should only stay with our kind" message which seems to me to be an odd message in today's society. But again, I enjoyed the novel overall and I would have loved to have seen it filmed that way with one exception, I prefer the foreign setting with its beautiful architecture to rural America.

I would love to see an interview with Klause regarding the film. She had to be devastated, or at the least infuriated, by the film since all they took from it was a couple of names and the fact that there were werewolves involved.

If you are interested, my review of the novel is here: