Jan 15, 2010

[Movies] Blood: The Last Vampire (2009)

Blood: The Last Vampire (2009)With all the adaptations popping up everywhere, there are various camps forming in terms of how to evaluate such films. Naturally there are a lot of folks who feel that the adaptation should be as close to the original as possible, thus making a faithful remake or perhaps just making sure one remains true to the original story. Then of course there are others who want the adaptation to take the older story into a newer, more dynamic direction.

Naturally the two schools of thought don't quite get along all the time.

In time I think many learn what I've come to realize in recent years - it's not about accuracy or radical creativity. At the end of the day, it's really about how the director brings all the elements together. Whether the goal is to be faithful to the original or to be radically different doesn't guarantee it'll be a good movie. It's something else entirely.

Blood the Last Vampire movieImage by solkana via Flickr

Blood: The Last Vampire is the live-action adaptation of the anime horror film of the same name. Like the original, the story follows the story of Saya (Gianna Jun), who is a 400-year old vampire who works with a secret organization to track down and kill other vampires. She's ultimately looking for Onigen (Koyuki), who is pretty much the big boss of the vampires. In the movie she ends up befriending Alice (Alison Miller) and the two struggle to face the vampires hiding in plain sight amongst other humans.

For the most part, it was highly evident that the people behind this movie really wanted to create a very faithful adaptation of the original tale. This was best seen in the opening sequence of the movie that was practically the same as the opening of the anime, which was a nice touch. There were many elements like this throughout the movie that fans of the original are sure to notice and enjoy for what they're worth.

On the flip side, there was something sort of lacking in the action sequences - they lacked a certain gracefulness and fluidity. Sure, there were some pretty amazing freeze-frame moments when the director really managed to put together a pretty impressive scene but once things start moving again, it all comes off looking sort of awkward or jerky. I can better understand now why not many people were happy with how the movie turned out.

I was interested with the introduction of Alice as a friend to Saya since in the original cartoon she was just a screaming nurse-like lady. In this case she became a good anchor for Saya and someone to balance off against, which made things a bit more interesting. I doubt everyone liked this angle of things, but I still think adding a human companion was a nice balance to things.

The movie lacked a certain spirit / passion / edge to it that made it fall a tad flat in terms of its delivery. It's decent though and not totally horrid or painful to watch (like Push) but no something I'd go out of my way to catch. If you do catch it on TV at random, then it's not a total crime to go watch it.

Blood: The Last Vampire gets 3 vampire heads out of 5.

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1 comment:

Frods said...

how many more japanese school girls must wield the entire arsenal of japanese weaponry before it gets really really old?

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