Movie Reviews 237 – The Day of the Triffids (2009)

September 27, 2015

The Day of the Triffids-2009Only having seen photo stills of the original 1963 The Day of the Triffids movie as a kid, I was delighted when I later finally tracked down a copy of John Wyndham’s thrilling 1951 novel blending science fiction and horror. The very idea of walking and stalking ‘monster’ plants was on par with any of the Universal monsters or nuclear created giant insects that were the movies of my dreams. Better yet, the novel was everything I’d hoped it would be and more. This wasn’t a just fluffy alien invasion tale, but a well rounded story with a great added twist. When I finally managed to see that original movie it wasn’t too bad, although it certainly didn’t live up to the novel.

My interest peaked again in 1981 when the first BBC miniseries was created. When my TV guide indicated that it would be aired very late one night, the best I could do was set my trusty VCR to record it. I was treated to shock and horror the next day, but that wasn’t so much because of seeing terrifying triffids when I played the tape the next day. I was what I didn’t see. The entire tape clearly recorded the audio but the video was nothing more that scrambled static. So much for seeing that miniseries since I was very curious as to how they expanded the tale to more than a feature movie length given that the original movie itself, faithful to the novel, was so short they had to pad it with an new secondary plot. While I still have not seen that first miniseries, this review is for the more recent two part miniseries, evidently inferior to previous adaptations according to sources.

Combining two cataclysmic notions, an alien invasion of sorts combined with a meteorological event that blinds nearly the entire population of Earth overnight, The Day of the Triffids doubles up the terror that any one of the two would deliver on it’s own. Mankind suddenly finds itself with a population of pleading, groping, blind masses while at the same time triffids, towering crawling, gurgling plants lash out swirly stems and devour their easy human prey.

But there is a small contingent of people who have avoided the first cataclysm and remain sighted, and who are now trying to avoid the triffids while trying to stay alive in their version of a post-apocalyptical world.

Researcher Bill Masen (Dougray Scott) wakes up in a hospital after having been accidentally lashed by a triffid the day before at his workplace where captive triffids are bred for the oil they produce. Eyes bandaged overnight as the planet was subjected to a blinding space storm, he discovers that the entire hospital staff and all the patients are staggering blindly. The same eerie scene plays out on the streets of London. As he goes about trying to find out what happened he rescues Jo (Joely Richardson) a local TV reporter from a clinging mob trying to capture her so that she could become their ‘eyes’.

They find the remnants of the city’s seeing population holed up in a government building, but Bill has plans of his own to find his father, a triffid researcher who may have even been responsible for creating the mutant triffids years ago. While Bill makes the treacherous journey in search of his father, Torrence (Eddie Izzard) a spineless fraud slowly takes over what is left of the forces that are trying to reestablish society, all while pretending to be a benevolent pillar of salvation to Jo.

She eventually catches on and escapes to find Bill where he and his father (Brian Cox) are desperately working on a plan to overcome the triffids before they spore and all of mankind is lost for good. Will there be a happy ending, or is mankind doomed to become flora fodder?

While the series presents a marked deviation from the novel, there are some interesting additions including Bill and Jo having a brief stay at a church were the reigning Mother Superior (Vanessa Redgrave who happens to be Joely’s mother in real life) claims divine intervention is keeping the triffids at bay from the group. Another character that pops up now and then is a social activist (Jason Priestley) trying to help others, be they blind or sighted, and who seeks one last reputed bastion of unscathed humanity on the Isle of Wight.

A reasonable adaptation effort on an SF classic, but you may want to hold out for the more vaunted first miniseries. You know, the one I haven’t seen yet.  But whatever you do… fear the flora!

Movie Reviews 236 – Manhunter (1986)

September 17, 2015

ManhunterMost people think of The Silence of the Lambs as the cinematic birth of the evil Dr. Hannibal Lecter as portrayed by Anthony Hopkins. But not only was it not the first Lecter movie, Silence was the follow up novel by creator Thomas Harris to his original novel Red Dragon, and Manhunter is the original adaption of Red Dragon. (I say, original adaption since after Silence, Red Dragon was once again adapted to a movie, this time keeping the original title and starring Hopkins in the Lecter role. Hollywood can be a bitch when it just comes to comprehensive adaptations.)

But if you thought Manhunter was a far cry from the overwhelming critical acceptance of Silence think again. For one thing, the two stories share an eerily similar in plot with a determined detective reluctantly using the sage if not sane incarcerated Lecter (Brian Cox) to get into the mind of a sadistic killer on the loose. But in Manhunter Lecter (actually named Dr. Lecktor in this one installment) plays a pivotal yet decidedly smaller role in the film. Instead of Jodie Foster as agent Sterling we have William Petersen as Will Graham the troubled, retired agent called back to track the “Tooth Fairy” killer. His retirement as an FBI profiler was due to a psychological breakdown after a face to face encounter with a prior serial killer. Aside from personal anxieties, Graham must also convince his wife of the need to return for this one particular heartless family killer. Part of the deal to coming back to work on the case is contingent on Graham working in secret to the greatest degree possible.

His prison visit with Lecter (OK, Lecktor!) is immediately exploited by Hannibal, seeming to know (and prod) all his personal fears. Being Hannibal, he also manages to use both social engineering and a piece of conductive gum wrapper to acquire the address of Graham’s family who are in a secret hideout while Will is working the case. You really have to watch the movie to understand the gum wrapper bit.

Graham immediately uses deductive logic to not only find previously missed evidence on the Tooth Fairy, but also clarifies the mindset and circumstances of the killer, all while having his name pasted on the front pages of newspapers thanks to a snivelling reporter who just wants splash headlines, regardless of Graham’s fear for his family. A fear fueled by Lecktor being able to relay Graham’s family hideout to the killer all while in seclusion.

There are plenty of thrilling moments and an explosive ending thanks to Peter Noonan’s excellent portrayal of the disturbing Tooth Fairy and while this movie was something of a bust upon release, it has come to earn a lot of respect over the years as a peer to it’s more famous movie sequel.

Think of it as an electro-synth soundtracked version of The Silence of the Lambs.

Movie Reviews 235 – The Mothman Prophecies (2002)

September 2, 2015

The Mothman PropheciesI can’t believe I didn’t write a movie review the first time I watched this movie a few years ago. Forget the fact that this is billed as one of those ‘based on real facts’ movies and that mainstream hunk Richard Gere is the star. The Mothman Prophecies is deceptively creepy and falls squarely in the horror movie genre category. Not relying on gratuitous gore or jump scares, it is a straight up spooky tale that delivers genuine shivers derived from one’s innermost fears.

Two years after a horrific accident in which his wife exclaimed that she saw a caped or winged creature moments before impact, newspaper columnist John (Gere) Klein’s wife dies from an unrelated tumour. Still grieving the loss, he goes for an overnight drive seeking a moment of solitude when John finds that he has inexplicably covered hundred of miles in a short time landing  himself in the small town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. But when his car suddenly sputters out and he goes to the nearest house for help, the homeowner is already waiting for him, shotgun in hand, claiming it was the third time in as many nights that John has come ringing the house in the middle of the night. The surreal situation is calmed when officer Connie Wills (Laura Linney) answers the call. But Connie also remarks to John that his unexplained encounter is just one of many that have afflicted the small town in the recent past. Something is brewing in Point Pleasant.

Before long John is investigating strange ‘messages’ being heard by some townsfolk, including a dream by Connie herself. The messages are innocuous taken by themselves, but later become relevant when tragedies and disasters follow. Those who are haunted have also seen images of the Mothman creature that John’s wife claims to have seen. John knows he was brought to Point Pleasant for some reason and believes that he can prevent a pending disaster but in order to do so he has to make sense of the messages and dreams which have led him to incorrect conclusions. He and the few others siding his crusade are taunted by The Mothman, even to the point of getting phone calls. But what is the end game? What does it all mean? And what disaster awaits them?

Based on paranormal researcher John Keel’s 1975 book with the same title, the events reputedly took place in 1966-67, with over one hundred claimed apparitions of The Mothman in Point Pleasant, These supposedly all ended after the town disaster – which is the finale of the movie – claimed 46 lives.

The visions and messages all make sense with that last event which presents a neat closure for the film, but at the same time leaves us lingering about the mythological Mothman. Was it just some bloated cryptozoology hoax perpetrated by the town so that they could have their local monster? If you visit Mount Pleasant today you’ll find that they’ve certainly embraced their legend and even erected a statue next to the Mothman Museum and Research Center. If nothing else we got a decent film out of the deal although making genre movie out of a real life tragedy does seem kind of cold.

Movie Reviews 234 – Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

August 26, 2015

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire HunterI’m beginning to wonder if creating the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves was Abraham Lincoln’s greatest achievement or whether slaying hordes of vampires is really the reason we ought to be honoring this most celebrated past US president. While the Battle of Gettysburg weighed heavily on his mind, according to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter his biggest battle was when he was cornered in a southern mansion teaming with blood suckers and managed to slay dozens of them in gravity defying leaps and lurches. I think my history books skipped that part.

The movie is basically the life of Abe (Benjamin Walker) reimagined, focusing on his trials and tribulations from boyhood right up to the fateful night he goes to his last theater show. Historical aspects including the American Civil War and the underground railroad are the background but his secret life as a vampire hunter (and a good one at that) form the core of the film.

His secret vocation is nurtured after being attacked by a vampire (who consequently was responsible for Abe’s mother’s death) and being taken under the watchful eye of Henry Sturges (Dominic Cooper) a man who coaches and leads other disparate reclusive hunters. Beginning as a meager store clerk, Lincoln ascends to becoming a lawyer and eventually seeks office. All the while he surreptitiously learns the craft of vampire hunting and the necessary weapon training skills. He falls for and eventually weds Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) but, for the most part, manages to hide his true calling from her.

I thought this was going to be just a slipshod production vying for audience dollars in the twilight of the …um Twilight craze. Instead I found it to be quite entertaining, managing to balance a quaint love story while still delivering the excitement of good old fashion bloodsucker mayhem.

Sure you have to suspend a little belief and adapt to a few new rules. Vampire’s cannot kill each other, daylight just brings out the glow of vampire’s rosy cheeks, and silver now kills vampires instead of werewolves. But hey what did you expect? The title pretty much says it all.  I wonder if we’ll get to see Franklin Roosevelt: Werewolf Trapper next? It would still be better than that Twilight dreck.

Movie Reviews 233 – Pumping Iron (1977)

August 21, 2015

Pumping IronNot my usual type of movie review, but then again Pumping Iron is not your usual movie, even for a subject specific documentary.

The setting; the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest. The pinnacle of bodybuilding excellency. An event created to determine the one true best bodybuilder in the world. The contenders; reigning five time champion Arnold Schwarzenegger facing younger, taller unseasoned Lou Ferrigno. The former is brash, ambitious and already primed for to advance his career beyond the podium. The latter is quiet, coached by a domineering father, and grew up with a slight hearing defect that also gives him a faint speech impediment. The clash pitting these two diametrically opposed titans at that particular instant in history is simply fascinating.

At the time, both men were obscure other than to those active in the sport while the sport of bodybuilding itself was but a small cadre of practitioners and fans. The Mr. Universe and Mr Olympia contests themselves were created to elicit recognition and a showcase for the then relatively unknown sport. That all changed with the release of Pumping Iron.

The success of this movie was what made Arnold a household name, and a harbinger of his Hollywood and politician careers that would follow. Filming training, travelling and interviews, we are immediately exposed to Arnold’s assertive and cocksure nature and even his ambitions to move on. His overpowering and condescending interactions with his opponents, Ferrigno in particular, emphasize his upper hand, if not with his physique, definitely with his psychological mind games. Lou on the other hand is young, inexperienced and has to deal with his vocal sometimes overbearing father. The outcome was practically preordained. Arnold won his sixth Mr. Universe, Lou coming in third after a surprise showing by a French competitor.

Pumping Iron-Arnold inset

What makes this movie so compelling is the foreknowledge of what later became of these two brawny men. While Schwarzenegger’s Hollywood elite status soon followed the documentary,  Ferrigno later became television’s conveniently silent Hulk. But even Lou has since become a fan favorite and ironically is now just as famous for just being himself in both television comedy roles and as a speaker at conventions. Arnie of course followed up with a stint as Governor of California, and remains as slick as the body oils he used during his competition days. The rest as they say, is history.

Regardless if you have any interest in the sport or not, Pumping Iron is a definite must see documentary for both fans and critics of the Governator, and Ferrigno. But it also harkens back to a time when the world had yet to discover Venice beach and Gold’s Gym workouts.

If you have the 25th Anniversary DVD edition I also highly recommend watching the extra features which includes Raw Iron: The Making of Pumping Iron which gives not only some behind the scenes footage, but greater context as to how the movie got off the ground, reflections from the stars, how Arnold did not even plan to enter the contest that year, and many other surprises. Again all captivating viewing.

Movie Reviews 232 – Dead Alive (1992)

August 19, 2015

Dead Alive (Braindead)Long before director Peter Jackson became famous for filming hobbits, orcs, trolls and some fancy story about a ring (good Lord!) he put together a lowly special effects laden horror comedy called Dead Alive and the world hardly noticed… at least at first. But over the years the horror romantic comedy began to be noticed and finally get the recognition it deserves.

Set in 1957 in a picturesque New Zealand port city of Wellington, a mysterious ‘Sumatran rat-monkey’ is brought to the local zoo after being snatched from the Indonesian Island.

Paquita María Sánchez (Diana Peñalver) runs a local corner store and takes interest in timid Lionel (Timothy Balme), a young man under the thumb of his domineering, prim and proper mother Vera (Elizabeth Moody).  Wanting to scuttle the burgeoning relationship, Vera follows the couple on a date at the zoo and gets attacked by the rat-monkey just before it gets it’s skull crushed by the zookeeper. But the bite on Vera’s arm isn’t healing under the bandages, and overnight becomes a big gaping hole of oozing puss. As she vainly tries to maintain her composure entertaining members of a social society the next day, her appendages begin falling off at an alarming rate.

Hoping to hide his mother’s affliction from everyone, Lionel tries to end his relationship with Paquita, but once again mom (or what’s left of her) interferes, only to be run down in the streets. But Lionel brings his evidently living dead mom and hides her in the basement. She is soon joined by the house nurse that was helping Lionel and a few other mother-created zombies after hoodlums try to desecrate a hastily dug grave in which Lionel tries to dispose of her.

Lionel discovers that his zombie horde can be temporarily pacified with injections of anesthetics that he repeatedly pumps into them, but when the zombies start procreating and give birth to a giggling beastly baby, even he can barely contain his sordid situation.

With a sizable inheritance that includes the house, Lionel is visited by his garish uncle who turns the screws on him when he discovers Lionel’s throng of zombies locked below. The uncle decides to celebrate his fortunes by having a raucous party, which ends up with almost every one of his guests being turned into living dead in a slapstick comedy sequence of wild chases, screams and flaying body parts. The end to the party culminates with Lionel coming to the rescue, doing for lawn mowers what Evil Dead’s Ash did for chainsaws.

The real stars are the low brow caricature creatures including multiple versions of the ever degenerating Vera who eventually transforms into a behemoth of quivering flesh. The boastful buckets of blood makes the party scene memorable, but it’s the non-stop fun that make this entire kiwi delight unforgettable.

I should point out that the original movie title of Braindead had to be renamed for North American release due to another movie of the same name, so keep you eye out for both titles.

Movie Reviews 231 – The Collector (2009)

August 12, 2015

The CollectorThe DVD box for The Collector clearly makes it a point to highlight the fact that the movie was written by the same guy who wrote some of the later Saw installments (Saw IV and Saw V if that makes a difference). While this may or may not seem important, it is a telling indicator of what to expect here.

Like the Saw movies which go to great lengths trying to devise clever new ways to ensnare hapless victims in timed ‘do or die’ mechanical contraptions, what we get in The Collector is an endless procession of deadly booby traps in a house. Another similarity between the Saw movies and this movie is that the machinations are all put in place by a mysterious masked adversary and we’re not sure what his motivation and intentions are. And finally, one last common component is a protagonist that straddles the line between good and evil.

But where Saw delivers genuine intrigue and mystery, The Collector stutters with a ramshackle and incoherent storyline with lots of gaps we either have to rationalize ourselves or, failing that, just go with the flow and hope things will sort themselves before the end. The problem is that they don’t and all these holes leaves the main plot as a smelly swiss cheese.

Seasoned safe-cracker Arkin (Josh Stewart) scouts a wealthy jeweller’s house while posing as a contractor during renovations. As the family is about to leave for vacations, his intent is to break in that evening when they are gone and get to a hidden safe. But that night he gets a nasty surprise as some other hooded prowler slithers through the rooms on his heels. As the cat and mouse game continues Arkin discovers that the homeowners have been savagely beaten by The Collector and are now being held in the basement. But the biggest surprise is that not only has the home become a veritable jungle of blades, nails, knives, bear traps, and sticky acidic goo, all exits are now obstructed, making Arkin a prisoner as well.

There is some tension building as Arkin tries to help the homeowners and even rescue their young daughter who has so far eluded The Collector, but not enough to salvage the film.

Who is The Collector and what does he really want? There is brief plot point that demonstrates that the The Collector is a recurring offender who begins each new household victimization by bringing one of his precursor victims, alive and boxed in a wooden container. His newest victims first begin their precarious journey innocently discovering the mystery box in their homes before being terrorized themselves. But why he does this is never explained at all and it just adds more confusion to the story.

Another problem here is the film makers tried to come up with a lame excuse as to why Arkin was determined to rob the house in the first place and how he has until midnight to get the job done. But the reason is a semi-coherent story about how his wife desperately needs money by the end of the day, and somehow even though Arkin finds himself in a ambulance at the stroke of midnight with a chunk of something he took from the safe (looks more like a lump of rock) he seems content on having ‘made it’ in time. (Say what?)

Much like the Saw movies themselves, if implements of torture and death are enough to satisfy you you’ll get a kick from the movie. But even the Saw movies provided a well defined antagonist in the form of Jigsaw over the course of the series. The Collector remains a figure cloaked (and masked) in mystery. Perhaps the producers ‘fleshed him out’ in the sequel, The Collection, but I’m not sure I’m interested enough to care.

Movie Reviews 230 – Summer of Sam (1999)

August 7, 2015

Summer of SamI remember the Summer of Sam very well. I wasn’t living in New York city, or even in the same country, but regardless of where you were in 1977, you knew that New York was being terrorized by a crazed gunman killing innocent citizens. You could not avoid hearing about it the news, and as the killings piled up, so did the rhetoric, carnival like speculation and fear.

New York city itself wasn’t anything like it is today. Having just scraped by declaring bankruptcy two years earlier, it was in dire straits. Seedy, grimy, and already crime ridden before this latest murder spree, it seemed the perennial murder capital of the world averaging two thousand homicides a year. The birth of grindhouse exploitation (and blacksploitation) movies can be traced to NYC roots and later movies like Maniac used the squalid city as a backdrop. Cop shows reigned on TV, often set in similar decaying metropolises and even situation comedies like Good Times focused on tenement housing and poverty.

But at the same time, New York was still The Big Apple and the center of the world. Times Square was still the place to be on New Years Eve, Saturday Night Live was just gearing up (and arguably at it’s satirical best) and much to the chagrin of hard rockers everywhere, the city’s discotheques, notably Studio 54, was popularizing the disco glitter while at the same time raunchier clubs were quickly adapting to English punk rock.

Given the title Summer of Sam, I thought that this Spike Lee movie was a straight up drama about David Berkowitz’s assault on the city. But while this is a movie about the murders, it is as much a time capsule of the seventies. Lensed from the view point of young and troubled couple Vinny and Dionna (John Leguizamo and Mira Sorvino), the city embarks on a manhunt where every suspicious character is suspect. Vinny’s old friend Richie (Adrian Brody) becomes the focus of that microscope as he adopts the punk lifestyle, among other secretive indulgences. The drama, both related to the crimes and the troubled relationships, are interesting enough, but what I enjoyed most was the trip to the past as the essence of the seventies is captured here better than in some movies actually made in the seventies.

Just like the era itself, it can be a bit hard to swallow. But if you lived the times it’ll bring back those memories of all that was good, bad, and yes ugly.

Movie Reviews 229 – Sinister (2012)

July 30, 2015

SinisterBlending a mix of haunted house, serial murder mystery with a touch of out of this world mysticism, Sinister serves one of those oh so rare movies that actually delivers something new and yes, sinister, to even the most jaded of horror fans.

A writer who researches actual savage murder mysteries is once again looking for that one big bestseller to replenish his fortunes. His latest project has him renting out the home where the crime took place, a house where all but the youngest family member were hung at the same time from a tree branch in the back yard. Moving in he discovers a lone box in the attic with 8mm home movies and a projector. Playing the films he finds that they are surreptitious recordings of the family before the grisly murders with the end end of the reel being with a recording of the actual event from the perspective of the perpetrator. There are a few tapes in the box and each contains the demise of a different family. Each family is murdered using a different, although just as morbid manner of group death. A bit of research uncovers the fact that in each case the youngest child in the family were never to be found and are presumed to died as well. But the children’s bodies are never found.

The terror is slickly layered with a few red herring leads but always becoming all the more mysterious as the facts unravel. But it’s the double whammy ending that delivers the shivers as all the pieces fall into place and the true extent of the horror is uncovered.

It’s nice to see Ethan Hawke get a decent role for a change and he makes the best of it here as writer Ellison Oswalt. He has to juggle his own insecurities as a writer while trying to keep his family together all while trying to compete with his own past. There are a few other nice touches like the police chief that would rather see Ellison just leave well enough alone while one of his junior officers, much to the chief’s consternation, adores the writer and secretly becomes embroiled in the investigation.

I was impressed enough that I now have to sit down watch director Scott Derrickson’s earlier The Exorcism of Emily Rose. While not directed by Derrickson, Sinister II is about to hit theaters. I’ll be crossing my fingers for that one, but I’m sure the movie will once again have other body parts being crossed.

Movie Reviews 228 – Dreamcatcher (2003)

July 28, 2015

DreamcatcherThose reading this blog regularly may have noted that in the last few years I’ve gained some admiration of Stephen King and have not only been trying to catch up on my reading (if that was even possible for such a prolific writer) but have developed a keen interest on the many movies and television series developed upon his written works.

I’ve actually been amassing a sizable backlog of DVDs of Stephen King material and so far they have all been enjoyable if not outright fantastic. At the same time I’ve read some not so positive reviews of other more obscure films that I have yet to watch and have been bracing myself for a dud. Dreamcatcher does manage to fall in the questionable category, but it is all the more frustrating because at the same time it has a lot of promising points.

Drawing on the elements of King’s own alien invasion novel/movie “The Mist” and town quarantine films like “The Crazies“, Dreamcatcher also lightly taps other King material including “Stand By Me” (A.K.A “The Body” in novella form) and even a few mystical elements like “The Green Mile“. Add a stellar cast that includes Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Timothy Olyphant, Tom Sizemore and even Donnie Walberg (he’s actually pretty good for a change) to all those King ingredients and it begins to sound like you can’t lose. But while Dreamcatcher sounds like a great King amalgam that would be sure to satisfy, drawing on so many elements at once seems to be the Achilles’s heel in this case as the story becomes disjointed and plagued with logic flaws.

As kids long ago, four young boys came to the aid of a mentally challenged kid named Duddits who was being bullied. When they befriend Duddits he later endows each of the boys with unique powers in addition to giving them the ability to communicate telepathically with one another. Years later, the boys, now young men, all meet up for their annual winter cabin in the woods get together with plans for later going to see Duddits again after so many years. But when some of the men bring a rescued hunter to the cabin, the hunter’s body soon undergoes some ghastly transformations and soon releases an inner horror. We soon learn that there is a very localized epidemic of such horrors and an elite super secret branch of the services are here to end the onslaught. It seems that this isn’t the first incursion of some grand alien plan and the rescuers will stop at nothing to quash the invasion, including killing any innocent people caught in the net. It’s up to Duddits and the boys to save the day, although whether that means simply stopping the current incursion or stopping the so called ‘good guys’ is up for debate.

There are some decent scenes and nifty wormlike CGI creatures, but there are so many logic lapses and unexplained events that the movie as a whole fails entirely. We have the leader of the elite fighters (Freeman) going a bit bonkers, but even then it’s hard to argue whether his drastic measures were in fact warranted or not. The boys using their ‘powers’ almost comes as a distraction to an otherwise already muddled story. Each of the four protagonists have a glaring character fault, but why that is or how it fits into the story is never reasoned out.

The boys exclaim their favorite tagline of “SSDD” (“Same Shit, Different Day”) throughout the movie, but this may as well apply to the movie itself and there really isn’t anything new or unique. I suppose that this may just be a bad adaptation of the original source, but even given what was filmed, I’m not particularly interested in ever reading the novel to see if it was much better.


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