Tag Archives: Bram Stoker’s Dracula

The Blue Pill

Unless The Matrix starts with the scene with Neo evading Agent Smith, ducking behind cubicles and office furniture, desperately following Morpheus’ orders, the movie doesn’t feel real to me.

The first time I saw The Matrix I was in a car with a bunch of friends of a friend, at a rundown drive-in parking lot somewhere on the outskirts of Calgary, 1999. We got lost, arrived late. Caught the movie beginning at what reminds in my mind as that pivotal scene.

I have since seen The Matrix two more times (maybe three), and in its entirety.

Neo has an apartment? Look at those people standing there in the hallway! Trinity first speaks to him at some aboveground underground latex night club? Really.

Really?

Each time since 1999, Calgary, everything before Neo in the Office is a new movie, a different Matrix from The Matrix as I know it. I am aware that this Matrix is the real Matrix (The Matrix as it has always been, if there is in fact to be a Matrix film), but I can’t convince myself that that is so, memory and sensation in this case overriding fact.

Never mind the red pill.

***

2009. A transcontinental flight from Canada to Vietnam. Malaysian Airlines in flight movie.

The Watchmen.

It is the case that sometimes (and likely much more often than you think) countries will edit foreign films for domestic consumption. They revise the material, edit for content, blur things out, cut scenes containing, for instance, sex and/or violence (or interpreted as such…and let’s face it, hardly anyone makes cuts when it comes to violence).

Enter Dr. Manhattan.

Have you seen the film? Read the graphic novel? Then you’d know: the good doctor is naked, full frontal, a lot of the time.

Except where I was, fifty thousand feet in the air somewhere between Toronto and Ho Chi Minh City. From the hips down – way down – down past his cobalt thigh and down to his cerulean knees, there was a mass of pixels, pixels, pixels overlapping each other like crude geometric barnacles. They (the proverbial they) blurred it, and took extra just to be sure.

I found out about that extra later when I saw the North American (adult rated) release of the movie.

Imagine my disappointment; picture my surprise, however underwhelmed it was destined to be and inevitably so.

***

  1. My aunt’s house. A bootleg copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Hello again, Keanu.

Whomever got to this movie before me had a grand ‘ol time with the edits they employed. Bootlegging it, apparently, was not enough to satisfy.

All sex, all whiffs of it were cut from the movie’s 128 minute runtime, as was most of its violence (again not all, I saw much blood, a few stabs and, I believe, a beheading, if not the acts that lead up to them or even followed).

The final cut made no sense or rather, it made the kind of sense you’d sense in mediocre dreams and poorly-constructed nightmares. Dialogue cut mid-sentence, absurd time jumps from one scene to another, characters that simply appeared and/or vanished without explanation. Or reason.

The whole movie was 20 minutes long, if that. And it was the first time I’d ever seen or heard of a movie called Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

It took me years before I saw the full, unadulterated movie.

And yet. Both versions remain valid, the one being so far removed from the other that they are different things entirely, things quite impossible to compare, one way or the other. No need to vouch or even speak of quality or control here.

Too much has changed. Not enough remains the same.

Hello again, Keanu.

And again, but not really.

 

 

 

 

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Blink Reviews

The fact is, I don’t know much about how movies are made.

(I attended a screening of a documentary once and afterward, at the pub, I spaced out when the film types starting talking about film Things.  I was startled back into the fray when one of them said, “Oh, well, Cindy doesn’t know what a camera dolly is.”  Truer words).

Still: don't care.  But I do love D to the P.  She is lovely!

Not close.

[Don’t worry:  I don’t actually care all that much about what a camera dodi is.  As for the documentary itself…I think it was about, like, The Earth or something].

But…yeah.  Lighting, zooms, cuts and, um, bird’s eye view?[1]  That pretty much sums up my knowledge of how a movie is put together.

Or if you will, “film”.

Hey, though!  I like story.  Lessons learned, morals, that kind of Thing.

I’m the kind of person who wonders if a million coincidences does, actually, a movie make (Forest Gump) – or more precisely, a good movie make – and who appreciates that the heart wants what it wants (The Human Centipede).

It yearns.

Here, then, (and in splendid alphabetical order) are some bits – blink reviews, really – of what I have learned by watching the movie good!

Wait.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo…The Human Centipede…Bram Stoker’s DraculaBeauty and the Beast…

I am not cutting and pasting this again. LET’S. GO.

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Families should talk more.

 

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009)

There is a right way, and a wrong way, to make new friends.

Qu'est-ce qu'il y a?  Pretty much everything.

Ménage à wrong.

 

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

You don’t always get what you want.

 

Beauty and The Beast (1991)

Learn to love him as he is (good) and perhaps he’ll change (better!).  It’s on you.

 

Avatar (2009)

More is less.

 

Forrest Gump (1994)

Shit happens.

Catch-phrase please!

Now this? This I like.

 

The Black Swan (2010)

Fight club for ladies?

 

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

It was just a dream.  No it wasn’t.  Yes it was.  Maybe?  Nah.

 

Mulholland Dr. (2001)

David Lynch is smarter than me.[2]

Homer Simpson. Sage.

"Brillant! I have no idea what's going on."

 

Adaptation (2002)

Truly this is a movie more perfect than God Almighty — who yet found it in His Infinite Wisdom to make it nearly impossible to truly express snark in type. THIS IS SUCH A GOOD MOVIE.

 

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

It is possible to enjoy something and not all of the people who enjoy that same Thing (see Harold and Maude).

 

Harold and Maude (1971)

Sometimes, even when you really like something, you have to let on like you like it EVEN MORE to satisfy the people around you.  And to get out of there.

 

Titanic (1997)

Look, she’s a good friend and this rare lapse in judgment should not be such a great mark against her as a human being.  Besides, lavish period romances set on doomed luxury cruisers rendered lovingly in CGI just aren’t for you.  You could not have known that without experiencing it, much like the time you tried flax seed butter.  Remember?  You tried it.  It wasn’t for you.  It’s OK.  WHAT IS FLAX SEED??  Everything will be OK.

 

Anaconda (1997)

Look.  Society will never, never accept you if it knew of your insatiable love for this.  Never ever.  If anyone mentions this movie to you in any capacity, just fake confusion with a penis metaphor and quickly change subjects.   Try “hey, so, the economy”.  “Oh my god, Shia Labeouf!” is another option.  Failing that, continue talking about penises until everything is penises.  BLEND.

Pronounced "hex-plode".

"They strike, wrap around you. Hold you tighter than your true love. And you get the privilege, of hearing your bones break before the power of embrace causes your veins to explode".

(But seriously.  JLO and Ice Cube, together, fighting giant snakes?  ANACONDAS!  The lesson here is clear: never trust Jon Voight with an accent).

 


[1] Birds’ eye view?  I am unsure of the number of birds involved in this.

[2] Also: Mulholland?  Not a doctor.

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