Thursday, October 28, 2010
Why is it that foreign ads are so much better than ads here in the states? Because of all the ridiculous advertising restrictions we have or because Americans respond better the dumber the ad is? Recently, Chevrolet released a slew of new campaign spots under their new terrible slogan "Chevy Runs Deep." Honestly the commercials aren't that bad but they can't scream America more enough. You can watch them over at Chevy's official Youtube channel here. Right as these ads came out, I discovered a Chinese Chevrolet Cruze ad in which several engineers created a full size Pac-Man grid and had several Chevy Cruzes play Pac-Man. A white Cruze plays the part of Pac-Man while black Cruzes play the ghosts. The commerical is played to the song "Fuck Rock n' Roll" by The League. Seriously, what's better than this?
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Ah! Could the zombie apocalypse be among us!? Well no... but several major cities around the world today such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, London, Munich, Madrid, Rome, Athens, Johannesburg, Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires and my own neighborhood D.C., was invaded by gangs of zombies "attacking" folks who were just trying to get to work this morning. So this isn't really an ad but its a fucking cool promotional stunt so had to write about it.
This Halloween will be the premiere of AMC's new original series The Walking Dead directed by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption). To get some promotion buzz for the TV Show, AMC pulled off this wacko zombie invasion stunt. Groups of actors dressed as zombies reined down on several major cities and terrified folks trying to do their morning commute. The Washington Post warned us local DC-ers the day before to expect zombies the next morning but I wondered if this could actually be pulled off. After I sat down at my desk at 7:30 this morning, first thing I noticed was people tweeting pictures and videos of the zombies they ran into when walking off the metro. They were supposedly going to come to the same neighborhood I work in, so during my lunch break, I went on a scouting mission and cry when I can't find them. Luckily we always have Youtube to capture the moments I missed. Check out this guys channel, he's got videos uploaded from all the cities that were invaded.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Does anybody else think of Coraline when you look at the picture above? The photo is actually for the short animated film Alma, and Coraline comparisons may not be all that inappropriate. The short film is by Spanish, Pixar animator Rodrigo Blaas and features a young girl named Alma that gets enticed into what seems to be a jolly-ole' place for children only to realize later on in the short it's actually a deadly trap for young-ins. There's plenty of freaky ass dolls and dark fantasy themes all throughout the short- does Coraline come to mind now? If you haven't read my older post on Coraline, you can check it out here. Alma is quite an incredible feat; the animation splendid, sound mixing is wonderful and the end will leave you with shivers all down your arm. Check it out here!
The short has been turning quite a few heads with critics and now it's set to get a full length, big screen adaption! Woot! But wait! What's this? Blaas isn't doing it for Pixar, he's doing it for........DREAMWORKS!? Ohhhhh backstabber! Interesting move on Dreamworks' part though. Dreamworks' actions lately has been turning some of my attention to the animation studio. I've been hating on Dreamworks for awhile, so when Chris Sanders went there after John Lasseter killed his American Dog project, I was unhappy and disappointed to say the least. Well, my woes went away when I saw the first trailer to Dreamworks' How To Train Your Dragon. I could right off the bat that it was going to be something special and different from the usual work Dreamwork puts out there. After the success of How To Train Your Dragon, perhaps Dreamworks realized that quality work is the better direction to head in instead of relying on celebrity voice acting and pop culture jokes.
Back when the hype of How To Train Your Dragon was making its way around, Guillermo del Toro sadly announced that his Double Dare You project with Disney died. Boo!!! Double Dare You was a suppose to be a new segment in Disney's animation line which focused on scarier animated films for kids; first film was to be titled Troll Hunters. Not sure what happened but turns out del Toro was picked up by Dreamworks afterwards to become their creative director/consultant for their many films in production. Sounds like he's there to whip the animation studio into shape- kind of like when Disney brought on John Lasseter to be their hopeful savior. Well now Dreamworks is allowing del Toro to make his Trollhunters film (yippe! and maybe they'll let Sanders make American Dog? *fingers crossed*) as well as a full length feature film of Alma. Del Toro will sit on as the producer with Blaas in the director chair. Del Toro is currently working on the screen play for Trollhunters and Blaas is in talks to co-direct it with him. Here is what del Toro has to say about the project:
“I wanted very much to develop a story that could be written for kids but dealt with a genre that was scary. It essentially combines fairy tales with modern times and is about how difficult it is to be kid. Normally, kids are idealized in animated films. But the growing pains, married with the notion that there is a world right next to us that is completely plagued by creatures of ancient lore, it’s thematically fitting with the rest of my stuff.”
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Pixar has released a slew of Cars 2 goodies this past week including a teaser trailer, concept art, and plot details. Pixar is one of those things that I totally love to geek out to, so you can count on me covering any news about this beloved animation studio. Check out the trailer embedded below along with the four pieces of concept art. Each art piece clearly distinguishes a different part of the globe and the plot details go in hand with that part of the story.
" Star racecar Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) heads overseas next summer to compete in the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the fastest car on the planet. McQueen and his best friend Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) make a pit stop in London, but there’s no time for tea when an international spy plot entangles Mater, and McQueen must race before royalty. “Cars 2” speeds past the world’s most iconic landmarks—including London’s Big Bentley"
"There’s no place in the world like Radiator Springs, but Paris comes close! Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) venture abroad for the first-ever World Grand Prix. While McQueen focuses on the races, his best friend Mater hits a few detours. International espionage, anyone? On his top-secret mission, Mater takes the scenic route and manages to see the Parisian sights—including the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and the famous car-goyles of Notre Dame. "
"It’s an international feast of epic proportions when star racecar Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and lovable tow truck Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) travel to Porto Corsa, Italy, for the first-ever World Grand Prix. The pair will have to bypass the Italian Riviera’s specialties—boating, beaches and pasta al pesto—as Mater is detoured on a top-secret spy mission and McQueen must race to win against the world’s best!"
"Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) and Mater (voice of Larry the Cable Guy) take their friendship to exciting new destinations when McQueen is tapped for the first-ever World Grand Prix to determine the world’s fastest car. First stop, Tokyo, Japan—where ancient tradition meets modern technology. But like a modern-day Samurai, Mater must play the part of a top-secret spy when he’s unknowingly embroiled in a case of international espionage."
To be completely honest, Cars was by far my least favorite Pixar film. Not to say I didn't enjoy it; only I thought it wasn't nearly up to par with their other films. I think most people would agree with me on this and are probably wondering why they chose to do a sequel. Despite capitalizing on millions of dollars on merchandise sales, I think Pixar is taking this opportunity to take their world of Cars and better it into the realms of their other beloved fantasy worlds such as Toy Story or Monster Inc. cause lets face it, the cars in Cars just weren't as loved as Woody and Buzz.
Speaking of Pixar, if you read my previous post regarding Newt, you know I'm slightly frustrated over the fact we won't be getting any original stories from them for quite some time. The next original story will be Brave and is their first film where the lead will be female. Pixar prided themselves over the fact that this film would also be featuring their first woman director, Brenda Chapman (Prince of Egypt). Well turns out she been removed from that position and replaced with Mark Andrews, director of the Pixar short One Man Band (probably my least favorite short). Makes me sad to hear. Feels nostalgic from back when Chris Sanders' film American Dog got its plug pulled by Mr. Lasseter for "creative differences." I'm sure Pixar had good reason to replace Ms. Chapman with Mr. Andrews. All their films have gone through hell at one point and require major reworking. I trust Pixar made the choice for the right reasons. Here is the official synopsis for Brave.
"A rugged and mythic Scotland is the setting for Pixar’s action-adventure Brave. The impetuous, tangle-haired Merida, though a daughter of royalty, would prefer to make her mark as a great archer. A clash of wills with her mother compels Merida to make a reckless choice, which unleashes unintended peril on her father’s kingdom and her mother’s life. Merida struggles with the unpredictable forces of nature, magic and a dark, ancient curse to set things right. The storytelling wizards of Pixar conjure humor, fantasy and excitement in this rich Highland tale."
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Want to watch a man drown in a tank of Skittles or a chubby pale guy prance around in his underwear for 25 days all live in the comfort in front of your computer? Watching these live feeds or random people online may just be the newest thing for marketers to use in order to grab the attention of audiences. Yesterday, Skittle's UK Facebook page invited fans to drown a man in a tank using those delicious pieces of candy! A sort of Old Spice/David Blain type character named David Phoenix challenged Skittles fans to try and submerge him in two million Skittles! Every person who becomes a fan of the Facebook page contributes Skittles to the tank. You could watch the video live from Facebook of this guy in a tank slowing disappearing among these colorful candy bits. On top of that, there were two hilarious Irish commentators to keep the mood going during the hours of this event. I checked in on the live feed yesterday when the candies had covered everything but the top of his head so only a little island piece of hair could be seem. Oh how I love Skittles and their brilliant dark-comedic advertising.
If you missed out on Mr. Phoenix drowning in candy yesterday, you could also head over to guyathome.com and watch a one-testicled Canadian walk around his home in his underwear all day. This publicity stunt is a 25 day campaign by the Canadian Cancer Society to raise awareness for testicular cancer. This pale Canadian man will wear stay in his home and wear just his underwear all day and it will all be streamed live for the public to watch. Head over to guyathome.com to see this Truman Show-esq show and become a fan on their Facebook page. Every person that becomes a fan will be $1 donated to the CCS.
I've always loved Stella Artois advertising spot but this one tops the cake. Seems like this Belgium lager company is the latest to jump on the celebrity director bandwagon for their advertising. Their latest spot titled "Apartomatic" is directed by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola and features a totally bitchin 60's retro apartment and all its futuristic glory. Check it out!
On the note of alcoholic beverage commercials, Smirnoff has released a new ad spot titled "Stampede." The commercial looks like spot for a epic fantasy film with a hot girl...hmmmm. I've always found Smirnoff ads to be more on the less creative side of booze advertising (not to say they haven't had any good ones before) but looking at this commercial, I think maybe they're trying to change up the tone of the their brand. It kind of reminds me of their 2007 spot "Purified." I don't know if I buy into it. What do you think?
Thursday, October 14, 2010
So I just want to take this moment to abuse my blog and brag. During the Gorillaz concert on Monday, Kano came running on stage during their Clint Eastwood number and brought his camcorder with him. I didn't think much about it at the time, but it was posted to his offical Youtube Channel yesterday and I'm right there in the front row! I'm sure you don't know which one is me but I'm there!! :DDDDDD
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Disney has released a teaser of one of the Tron Legacy tracks by the French electonic duo Daft Punk. The name of the track is "The Game Has Changed" and you may recognize it from the trailers. Have a listen! It's pretty much the most epic thing ever and it really does wonders in harmonizing and setting the tone of this new Tron movie.
Seems like we're seeing more and more of this type of mainstream, electronic music being incorporate with movie soundtracks. Don't get me wrong, I think that it's great! I absolutely loved what Trent Reznor did for The Social Network. I feel like the score for The Social Network was one of the films biggest draws. They were smart to release the first five tracks to the soundtrack for free to the public prior to the release of the film so audiences could get a feel for the film's tone. Also jumping on the bandwagon is Joe Wright's upcoming teenage assassin flick Hanna. Electronic duo The Chemical Brothers will be helming the score for the film in order to give the movie a more "modern beat." I think it will be great for the film and I LOVE Joe Wright! Here is the synopsis for Hanna if anyone is interested:
"Hanna (Ronan) is a teenage girl. Uniquely, she has the strength, the stamina, and the smarts of a solider; these come from being raised by her father (Bana), an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Sweden. Living a life unlike any other teenager, her upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own (Blanchett). As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity."
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I know! I've been completely MIA for like week now! So sorry to anyone out there. I've probably promised my review for The Social Network a donzen times now but haven't done it...oops. I'll get around to it eventually, I swear! In the meantime, I've had Gorillaz on the brain since last night so need to get it out of me. I was completely stoked when I found out they would be doing a North American tour, and not only that, they would be stopping by my local venue! I was oh so lucky and got a spot in the very front row! The ever so sexy Damon Albarn was just about within arms length from me. Gasp! The entire concert just reminded me why I've been in love with Gorillaz since I first heard their Clint Eastwood single back in high school.
So as you may know, the Gorillaz' third album Plastic Beach came out earlier this year. Of course I jumped on it and purchased it off of itunes the day of. I really had no idea what to expect from it. If you're familiar with their music, you know their music is eclectic and unpredictable. What I got was a big surprise, but in a good way! Their third album was very different from its predecessors but it kept the same integrity. Only musical genius Damon Albarn could throw together such an eccentric mix of musical styles and make it cohesive at the same time.
If you don't know, the Gorillaz is a concept band developed by British musician Damon Albarn (Blur) and comic book artist, Jamie Hewlet (Tank Girl). The idea was to create a virtual universe where these these four fictional, animated band members exist. The four members of the band are lead singer 2D, bass player Murdoc, lead guitarist Noodle, and drummer Russell. The lives of these four characters exist through multiple media channels such as their website, music videos, TV, radio, books, social media, and many other online mediums. Each album has its own story and tells a chapter in the crazy lives of these four lovable characters. An incredible blend of story telling and music.
Their latest album Plastic Beach is, unsurprisingly, revolves around aquatic themes. The Gorillaz' have moved out of the Kong Studio back from their Demon Days to a new studio. Prior to the release of the album, a series of character "idents" showcased each character making their way to their new studio Plastic Beach in the middle of the ocean. This album is probably their greatest collaborative effort yet with special guest appearances from artists like Snoop Dog, Bobby Womack, Mos Def, Mick Jones, and Little Dragon. One of the most incredible things about the Gorillaz is the fact that they can make me listen to and appreciate music genres that I typically don't like or listen to such as rap and European electropop. There's really no one general genre that the Gorillaz fall into. Their a experimental mix of electric rock, alternative rock, hip hop, r&b, electropop, techno and some more genres I don't even know the names of. I appluad Damon Albarn for taking so many different artists, musical styles, and music ensembles and making them work well together. He has really created a brand new music genre in itself.
I found a lot of the music in Plastic Beach to be very hypnotic. The tone constantly shifts from track to track; going from a rap-europop meld to a full on instrumental orchestra movement. You really need to listen to the album a couple of times to get a firm grasp on it. My favorite guest musicians to lend their chops to the album were Mos Def, Bobby Womack and Little Dragon. Seeing these musical acts live, I must say, brought my appreciation for their work to a whole other level. Their enormous stage set had to accommodate a sting ensemble (who all wore sailor outfits!), a rockin' nine piece brass group, a bluegrass ensemble, and backup singers. This was all on top of Mr. Albarn himself, percussionists, keyboardist, a couple of bassists and guitarists, and their musical special guests. Whew!! I didn't know what, who, or where to look at during the concert. This decision was made even more difficult with the enormous projection behind it all rolling cool animated clips.
Beside from the fact that the concert was a musical and visual stunner, I was surprised by how many guest musicians were there. Mos Def and Bobby Womack both showed up and, like I said before, they were right in front my face! Ahh! I still can't believe it! Bobby Womack has still got it I tell you! He was amazing in concert!! Mos Def was very good as well and same goes for Mr. Albarn. Two old Clash members also made the stage: Mick Jones and Paul Simonon. Mind boggling! As expected, for the encore presentation they played Feel Good Inc., but what was not expected was Del La Soul running out onto the stage for this one number. Whew! Damon Albarn, how you managed to pull all this off, I don't know but don't care because I love you for it.
Final Score- 9/10
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
This here is a short film titled "Sintel" which you can watch in its entirety on Youtube (its only 15 minutes long). The movie was created using a open source software called Blender and is the third short film created with the support of the Blender Foundation. This is what is says on their official website:
This 15 minute film has been realized in the studio of the Amsterdam Blender Institute, by an international team of artists and developers. In addition to that, several crucial technical and creative targets have been realized online, by developers and artists and teams all over the world."
“Sintel” is an independently produced short film, initiated by the Blender Foundation as a means to further improve and validate the free/open source 3D creation suite Blender. With initial funding provided by 1000s of donations via the internet community, it has again proven to be a viable development model for both open 3D technology as for independent animation film.
This 15 minute film has been realized in the studio of the Amsterdam Blender Institute, by an international team of artists and developers. In addition to that, several crucial technical and creative targets have been realized online, by developers and artists and teams all over the world."
Check it out! It's quiet impressive!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Okay I'm soooooorry about posting so much shit about Let The Right One In/Let Me In! I will try everything in my power to make this the last one. I swear, tomorrow's post will be on The Social Network! So SlashFilm.com just got an exclusive clip of a deleted scene from Let Me In. The scene shows Abby when she get turned in to vampire. I'll warn you now the scene is pretty intense. Here it is:
To be completely honest, I can't really tell what's going on, haha. Here's where having read the original book comes into confusing me as a viewer. I know what happened in the novel, this is the moment where Eli gets castrated, but here it looks more like a rape scene. Anyways, regardless, its an emotionally intense scene in which a child is being put through the unimaginable; it's got the same emotional effect on me when I read the castration scene in the book. I got mixed feelings about it though. I don't know if I'd have preferred Reeves to keep in the final cut or not. On one hand, I think its great we actually get to see Abby do the "be me a little" magic trick thing she did in the book (something that ended up not being included in the LTROI film) but on the other hand, I don't like how they changed her back story.
I knew I should have waited to write my review on Let Me In until after I had time to mull on it. The more I think about it, the more the outcome at the end bothers me. I just keep thinking how Let Me In is no longer a coming of age story or a love story. I mean, did Owen ever grow out of his serial killer mentality? It's not clear how much of an effect Abby had on him in helping him develop. It seemed more like he was stuck going with her in the end cause he literally had no one that cared about him. Also, with Abby. It doesn't seem like Owen helped her grow and develop either. She's still going to continue her never ending cycle of killing people and finding a lonely boy to fall in love with her, then using him to do all her dirty work for an entire lifetime. Bahhhh, how is there anything satisfying about this ending!?
Please, somebody else share their thoughts here.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Now that I've gone and seen Let Me In, I've decided to take down all that vampire themed stuff I had going on but I'll start toying around with cool looking backgrounds from now on. Probably the only trailer that caught my eye this past weekend from the two films I saw (Let Me In, The Social Network) was True Grit. The full length trailer was just recently released and it looks amazing! Based on the book by Charles Portis written in 1968 which was adapted into a film a year later starring John Wayne, Glen Campbell and Kim Darby, this new retake on the novel be released in theaters December 25 2010. The remakes has a stellar cast with Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and newcomer Hailee Steinfield with the Coen brother directing and producing. Definitely something I'll check out. Gotta go read the novel now!
Here's the official synopsis:
"Fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross’s (Hailee Steinfeld) father has been shot in cold blood by the coward Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), and she is determined to bring him to justice. Enlisting the help of a trigger-happy, drunken U.S. Marshal, Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), she sets out with him — over his objections — to hunt down Chaney. Her father’s blood demands that she pursue the criminal into Indian territory and find him before a Texas Ranger named LeBoeuf (Matt Damon) catches him and brings him back to Texas for the murder of another man."
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Okay here it is. My long awaited (for me, haha) review for Let Me In. I really wanted to wait until at least tomorrow to write this so I could have time to let all my thoughts settle...but I can't help it! The words are dying to be spilled out of my fingertips. So what's the consensus? Well, I thought it was good! Really good in fact. Did I think it was better than the original? No. If you haven't read my past two blog posts, you should know that the book Let Me In is based off of is probably my favorite book of all time and the original film it's based off of is, I think, one of the greatest films EVER! So yeah, you can call me a pretty big fan, thus, I'm going to be more critical towards Let Me In than the average movie goer.
When I first heard that Matt Reeves would be taking on a remake of the 2008 Swedish film, Let The Right One In, I had mixed emotions. I was scared that the integrity of the story could potentially be ruined. I don't have a huge hate against remakes, I just feel that most of them tend to be remade, well, pretty shitty to put blunt. My opinion on that slightly changed on that when I saw Martin Scorsese's remake of Infernal Affairs, which would be The Departed. Scorsese was able to keep it in line with the original. He Americanize it in a Boston setting but still stayed faithful to the original and even added his own extensions on several scenes that I thought worked well. Remakes like that are some of the few exceptions to the rule and I was hoping Let Me In would be one too. Pre-production rumors of the film started with some unsettling changes that I was not too happy about, and neither were the other fans of LTROI. Let Me In became a target of hate and all sorts of flames from fan boys of the original. I still wanted to stay positive and give this thing a chance despise all the changes I heard about. I tried to look at Let Me In not as a remake, but Matt Reeves' interpretation of JAL's novel. I gotta say though, after seeing the film, there's no way I can't call this film a remake. I warn you now, this review isn't all on the grounds of Let Me In by itself- there will be many comparison critiques. You may want to read my previous one or two posts cause I'm not going to do any sort of plot synopsis.
The first change from the original would be the change in location. The dark, snowy suburb of Stockholm was a huge tone setter in the original film. The American remake placed the setting in Los Alamos, New Mexico in 1983. I was kind of cynical towards the idea of the film taking place in America, but now I'm really glad it did. It brought on a new perspective to the film and was a great way Let Me In could differentiate itself from LTROI. This 1980's Reagan era worked out really well for the movie. Here and there, you'd can hear President Reagan ranting in the background either on TV or radio on the concept of evil (speaking about the Soviets no doubt). Oskar's character (renamed to Owen) is having to constantly hear these message about good vs evil not only on TV but from his uber Christian (and invisible) mother as well. Makes for a very moral conflicting moment for Owen when he realizes that Abby (changed from Eli) is a vampire. Oh and seeing that the 80's is one of my favorite musical eras, the old school records that were played in the movie made me smile. I would have never been able to enjoy these small things had it been set in Sweden cause its not like I have any understanding of 80's pop culture in Sweden.
So as you know, the characters Oskar and Eli were renamed to Owen and Abby in Let Me In. I was kind of hoping they would just rename them (or should I say respell) to Oscar and Ellie cause its not like its really foreign sounding or anything. I didn't understand at first the name change but now I do. Reeves isn't trying to portray Oskar and Eli in his film but two completely new characters of his own. Why? Well, I think he needed Owen and Abby to be more likeable to American audiences, even if it meant taking out what made them such unique characters in the original story. Well let's start with Owen. Oskar, the character his character is based off of, is an obvious serial killer in the making. He keeps a knife with him, is obsessed with keeping a scrap book of murder clippings, and whole heartedly wants to kill people. Kind of a turn off and I guess less likeable to Americans? I dunno. But Owen is portrayed to be more innocent. His murder fantasies look more like revenge fantasies (and seeing the shit he's being put through, you'd understand why) rather than a soon-to-be-real-life serial killer fantasies.
Our vampire character Abby I gotta say, is quite different from Eli. I applaud Reeves for trying to show more of her vampire side that was kind of hidden away in the original, but it looked slightly silly. The original novel did say that Eli changed to some grotesque looking monster when he fed, but Abby looked more like a zombie from a cheesy horror movie. Also, the CGI of her when she's climbing and jumping makes her look fantastical- not organic in a supernatural way that the original made it look. I really wondered how the whole former boy thing was going to be handled for Abby in Let Me In. The whole "I use to be a boy" idea is not exactly a pretty one for most Americans. I had a sickening feeling that they were going to make is super clear that Abby is a girl and nothing else, but is seems like Reeves decided to be ambiguous about the whole thing so I guess its for the audience to decide. Abby's character did however seem closer to the lost tragic vampire that was in the novel. The original film made her seem much more head strong and confident. She also wasn't dirty at all-lol. She needed some dirt on her face and grease in her hair. I guess they wanted her to appear pretty so cleaned her up.
Okay now the father character. This is one thing in the film that drove me absolutely ape wire. So the original character he is based of is named Hakan. You don't really know who this father character is for the most part in the movie. It's obvious that he loves Abby a lot, even enough to go out and kill for her so she doesn't have to risk getting caught. It's explained in the novel that Hakan was a school teacher who was discovered to be a pedofile and so fired from his job and shunned from society. Homeless and miserable, Eli finds him one night and offers him a money and a place to stay if he'd hunt for her. Eli used his desire for her to manipulate him and get him to kill for her and clean up after her. Sooooooo, Let Me In completely changed that. I understand that a pedophile is a big turn off, but changing that concept came with huge implications for Abby's character. In one scene, Owen finds like some 1930s or 40s photo booth strip of her together with "the father" when he was a young boy around Owen's age. This suggests that Abby has had a close companion before Owen and this is what's he turned into. Some slave that caters to her every evil whim without her showing the slightest hint of love back. Is this what's to become of Owen? Does she actually care for him at all or is she only interested in him cause she needs a new bitch boy? What made the original story so special was the fact that Eli has never loved or been close to someone and Oskar fills that void. She would never even think about turning him into what became of Hakan. Perhaps I'm just taking this thing the wrong way. Maybe "the father" character did mean nothing to Abby and her thing with Owen is something completely different.
One thing I was really looking forward to is seeing scenes from the book that the original movie was not able to adapt. Seeing how Reeves described Let Me In as a REINTERPRETATION of the novel and not a remake of the film, I was excepting to see a lot of new stuff. The original film was a great adaption in every way but I did leave a lot of stuff out. Reeves had a chance to include a lot of that! Instead, it seemed like almost every scene in Let Me In was a scene from the LTROI. Not a remake I see? Well thats quiet a coincidence then. I recall from the trailer a shot where Abby's head is being held down and I took that to be either one of two parts that were in the book that wasn't in the original film. Either the part when Eli gets turned into a vampire during a sadistic ritual or when a reanimated, mindless Hakan finds Eli and tries to rape her (or should I say him?). Well I didn't get to find out when I saw the movie cause they cut it. I found on an article afterwards with Chloe Moretz explaining what the scene was suppose be.
"She started as a normal little girl," Moretz said. "Her family wasn't very wealthy but they worked. Her uncle was wealthy but was always the weird guy. He stayed in a darker house and he had animal skins everywhere. We came up with that my uncle turned me and robbed me of my innocence and made me immortal."
Okay right there- that scene would have been the proof that Abby is full on girl, further showing that these aren't the same characters in JAL novel. Yeah, I'm really glad it was cut. The only addition from the book that Reeves added was the cop character but Lacke's character was sacrificed for that. I was also bummed that Virginia's character didn't get as much screen time. We didn't get a feel for who she was or get to see her emotional sufferings after she gets changed by Abby. I was really hoping for a cool cat attack scene but never got it.
Alright, enough of my comparison complaints. Even with all the stuff I was bitching about earlier, it's still a fantastic film. I'm glad Reeves didn't make Let Me In a fast paced thriller in order to appeal to American's (even thought that's what the trailers make it look like). The tone is creepy, dark and tense and maintains a good steady pace. There were many tense moments in this film, even more than the original. One scene is shot in a absolutely fantastic way- "the father" is in the back seat of a car waiting for his chance to attack the driver, when suddenly everything starts to go wrong. Another passenger gets into the vehicle and soon the two of them stop for gas. You're on the edge of your seat, nervous in anticipation on what's going to happen, yet it's strange because it's the scene is coming from the killers point of view. I was also a lot more terrified of the bullies in Let Me In versus the bullies in LTROI. That could be because I didn't fully understand the meaning of the words that were coming out of the bullies' mouths in the Swedish version, but hearing it in english put it in a whole new light.
Even with all the dark gritty scenes, the film had plenty of its tender moments. The chemistry between Owen and Abby was fantastic. There were plenty of moving scenes between the two of them. Hearing all their dialogue in english, again, brought up a emotional aspect for me. The sweetest moment I thought was when Owen offer Abby a Now & Later and Abby chews on it pretending to like it. Now I have to talk about the ending scene because I can't help myself. Sorry for the spoiler. The last scene was intense. Was it as intense as the original? I'd say so, but I much enjoyed the original version of it better. Let Me In shot the scene underwater just like LTROI, but unlike LTROI, you can tell much better what's happening on the surface of the pool. You actually see the bullies reactions when Abby smashes through the window and you see a most of the bullies getting man handled by Abby. What I loved about this scene in the original was you really had to pay attention to piece together what was happening above water. The hints are barely there but just enough for every one in ten people to figure out what happened. The chilling effect is so much more intense when you can't see it.
The two young stars of this movie really, really shine. Kodi Smit-Mcphee is phenomenal! How they got such an intense and emotional performance out of such a young kid is just beyond me. Chloe Moretz was really great too but I was expecting that. Richard Jenkins was incredible as well but I wish he got more screen time. I was really hoping for a ZOMBIE HAKAN to get me squirming in my seat. Matt Reeves really did a wonderful job putting together a beautiful, emotionally haunting film and even though it is a remake, it can shine on its own. The score was a big drive for the emotional aspects throughout the movie. The score created a lot of the film's intensity and a lot of it's endearing moments. I hope Michael Giacchino wins an Oscar for the second year in a row for best score. So my bottom line- this movie is a beautiful film on its own rights and I definitely recommend it, but being a huge fan of the original book and film, I'm going to judge it slightly harsher.
Final Score- 9/10
Side note: Can I just take this moment to bitch about annoying audience members? My friends and I saw a noon showing so I wasn't expecting very many folks to be in the theater. There were only a handful of other people so it's easy to single out individuals. Well this one pompous fat dude thought he had every right to be a pretentious asshat and laugh at the most awkward parts. The first scene showing Owen get bullied is tense and uncomfortable by itself but this guy thought it would be cool to laugh loudly throughout the entire scene. Now when I say laugh, I mean full out donkey laughing. So loudly that you couldn't even hear the audio from the movie anymore. It just made it reeeeeeally uncomfortable for all the audience members. He pulled this stunt several times too!