Highly stylized, but an empty shell of a great novel
Feb 2, 2008
Review by Chili Queen
Rated a Very Helpful Review
User Rating: OK
Pros:Pretty sets and location footage
The Bottom Line: Bad special effects, hollow characters, and pointless violence marred what could have been a delicious update on a classic.
As an adolescent, I loved Annette Curtis Klause's Blood and Chocolate, the gripping tale of a modern-day werewolf pack. In the film adaptation by Katja Von Garnier (screenplay by Christopher B. Landon and Ehren Kruger), Vivian (Agnes Bruckner) and her pack live in Bucharest, Romania after fleeing a massacre in the United States. The solitary Vivian jogs, works in a chocolate shop, and avoids the advances of her cousin Rafe and his slimy friends. At night, she sips absinthe in trendy basement clubs. One night she runs into graphic novelist Aiden (Hugh Dancy), who is working on a piece about the loup-garou (werewolves), and Aiden seems to speak her language, viewing werewolves as noble.
Recommend this product?
Vivian tries to shake Aiden's interest in her, as she is destined to become leader Gabriel's (Olivier Martinez) wife and future leader. However, the two eventually become involved, with tragic consequences for all involved. The so-called romance felt forced and unrealistic.
The film is very dark and violent, with several scenes of pack hunting, vigilante justice, and graphic murders. It seemed to be all style and no substance; sure, the location footage of Bucharest looked beautiful, but served no purpose to further the story. There was no integration with local culture, and the trendy clubs could have been in any major European city.
What little plot there was focused on vengeance, with shamefully little devoted to the werewolf lore that was the center of the original novel. In the film, there are no special effects when the humans (rarely) change into werewolves; instead, we're shown a brief blur that dissolves into real wolves. Disappointing to say the least; given, it's not a human in a bad werewolf suit, but none of the mystery or romance from the original novel is there. The chase scenes were heavy handed and overused, as were the numerous club scenes. The violence was gratuitous and largely without merit, but not scary enough to make this a horror film.
Other than the names of several characters, little has been preserved from the original novel, and that's a shame. Klause penned beautiful descriptions of the change from human to werewolf, and of Vivian's delight in her dual sensual natures. In the original novel, Vivian is wrapped up in school and the pack hierarchy, and in many ways is a normal teenager interested in art and music. In the film version, Vivian feels empty; we never know what she enjoys, we never see her at school or with friends. Instead of the well-outlined pack hierarchy in the novel, Olivier Martinez's Gabriel is focused on protecting the pack through violence; there is none of the code of honor featured in the novel, and the werewolves' code is much more animalistic here. In the novel, Klause makes it possible to sympathize with the pack members who have all suffered personal loss and tragedy because of what they are; here, we never meet (or care about) the faceless pack members that exist only to kill humans.
The DVD offers several deleted scenes, a commentary from Olivier Martinez, and widescreen and fullscreen versions.
Final verdict: next time, stick closer to the source material. Some changes may have given the story a fresh new face, but the screenwriters basically rewrote the entire Blood and Chocolate story without any of the romance or wonder.
Viewing Format: DVD
Share this product review with your friends
Chocolate Design Transfer Sheets Blood Cells Design 15 Sheet Pack Each sheet 16 x 10 Create exquisite chocolate pieces or desserts with these chocolat...
Extend Snacks Extend Bars Extend Bars are a low carb and diabetic diet snack food that controls blood sugar and hunger. Developed by leading endocrino...
ExtendBar Chocolate Delight is an ideal snack between meals and before exercise or bed for diabetics. Sugar Free and has Only 2g Net Carbs. Helps cont...
Bloomsberry Halloween Emergency Milk Chocolate Ten 3.5 oz. Bars (34% Cocoa) Great item for gifts, handouts or giveaways – or keep it all for yoursel...
The InBar Chocolate Fudge Nutrient Bar is real food for real results. The healthy choice for your weight loss or sugar management program is InBar Cho...
Himalania - Dark Chocolate Covered Goji Berries - 6 oz. (170g) HimalaniaDark Chocolate Covered Goji Berries are a perfect union of flavor and health. ...
Delicious milk chocolate spheres wrapped in elegant Italian foils of a blood orange red color. There are approximately 88 pieces per pound. Ball Diame...
Cliff Bar White Chocolate Macadamia Nut.Expiration date: June 02, 2014. Delivers sustained energy by steadily increasing, then decreasing blood sugar ...
Stevia Wow! comes in several great flavors! Guilt free you can add it to your drink or use it as a sugar substitute in your favorite holiday cooking r...
ExtendBar was designed to do one thing particularly well - help stabilize blood sugar levels for up to 9 hours! Its patented formula converts graduall...