February 1, 2007

Movie Review: Blood & Chocolate

If nothing else, the movie lived up to its title. It provided blood, albeit very little, and it had some chocolate. Outside of that, there was very little to offer. It is a tale of forbidden hairy love, when the act is never actually reached. Through it all, you will probably get the feeling that you have seen it before, about ten years ago to be exact. The movie was An American Werewolf in Paris. It is the story of young man in a foreign land who meets a mysterious girl with a furry secret. There is a secret society of werewolves who are able to shapeshift at will, and our young interloper finds himself caught between love and a hairy place. Sound familiar? Change a few details, add a confectionary treat and Blood & Choclate is born.

The story finds a young woman coming to a crossroads in her life. Young Vivian (Agnes Bruckner) is struggling to come to terms with her dual nature. She wishes to stay in the world of humans, while dealing with the expectations of her pack. You see, she is set to become the new wife, err mate, to the leader, a tough guy named Gabriel (Oliver Martinez). Then fate stepped in with a cruel twist, as Vivian crosses paths with Aidan (Hugh Dancy, looking not unlike Tom Everett Scott). Aidan is an artist, come to exotic Bucharest to study up on the werewolf legends, although a different name is used (it began with an L but wasn't lycan, it was something like loguna, I can't quite remember).

Blood & Chocolate features lots of running with charcters bouncing off of walls for no particular reason, a dating montage, plenty of bad european accents, a criminal misuse of a great location, and a cast hired to look pretty rather than act well. Then there is the transformation, in an apparent effort to get away from the overuse of CGI the change consists of a swan dive and a flash of light, ending with the appearance of an actual wolf.

You know, werewolf movies can be good. The how werewolf idea is a great metaphor for the awkwardness of growing up, or any number of things. Take a look at something like Ginger Snaps, there is a wolf movie that works to great effect. Blood & Choclate is a neutered werewolf flick, subtract the gory violence, ramp up the romance, and subtract the interest, and there you have it.

It has the tragic love story of Romeo & Juliet, the muted cinematography of Underworld (from the same producers), and a potentially interesting subtext of conflict between the pack leader and our heroine. Man, the end result was just so bland that I really didn't care about any of the characters or their plights.

Bottomline. I have to recommend that this one be skipped. It just is not all that interesting, blandly written, poorly acted, and to top it off, they do something in the film that I wouldn't mind doing to this print. They burn some film for the silver. Sounds like a good idea.

Not Recommended.


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