Saturday, October 18, 2014

VAMPS (2012)

Written & Directed By: Amy Heckerling
Cinematography By: Tim Surhstedt 

Editor: Debra Chiate 

Cast: Alicia Silverstone, Krysten Ritter, Sigourney Weaver, Richard Lewis, Marilu Henner, Wallace Shawn, Larry Wilmore, Todd Barry, Zak Orth, Ivan Sergei, Kirsten Johnson, Justin Kirk, Taylor Negron, Dan Stevens, Malcolm McDowell, Joel Michaely

In Manhattan, the vampires Goody and Stacy share an apartment and work and study in the night-shift. Goody was turned in vampire in 1840 by the evil Cisserus, who turned Stacy in the 90s, and they became best friends but Goody never told her real age to her friend. They only drink mice blood and refuse to drink human blood, and they go together to the Vampire Anonymous. Stacy falls in love with her classmate Joey, and soon she learns that he is the son of the vampire slayer Dr. Van Helsing. Meanwhile, Goody meets her former passion, Danny, in the hospital where his wife is terminal. When Stacy gets pregnant, Goody knows that the only way that the child can survive is killing Cisserus, since they would revert to their human ages. But nobody knows here her lair is.

Now before I begin, let me say I am a Amy Heckerling fan FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH is one of my favorite films but one of those films that I see on a constant basis as I grew up and in adulthood and still find myself moved huge film. I like most of her films and will say that other then the film Loser this is to me the second only disappointment from her. When I first heard of this film I was Intrigued by the concept of a vampire comedy that I hoped would be a better film then VAMPIRE’S KISS. Once this film was actually released not in theaters but straight to DVD I waited until I was in the right mood to watch it. Well that day finally came asks I viewed it.

As always with her films they are filled with good ideas, interesting perspectives and insight. Wicked humor and filled with her obsessions and interests. --This film felt like a 90 minute sitcom pilot. It had the look of one as it is filmed in New York, but looks like sets in California.

The humor of the film feels that way too like there could be a pause for the audience to applause and laugh. He humor and characters seems to be more cartoon-ish. At times it feels like a lighthearted version of sex and the city only with ghouls. You can't take any of it Seriously even though you're not supposed to as all the jokes seem to be tongue in cheek.

I admire the film for not going for the obvious love story and make the side story that looks more like a fling develop into a relationship. Though it falls flat as those characters have no real chemistry. The humor seems to try to be raunchy by comes off more PG-13 as his film plays like a teen movie full of adults. The type I imagine that would be a sleepover request. Though kids today seem so sophisticated this film might even be to juvenile for them.

This film feels like some sort o holdover from the 80's which was when Ms. Heckerling was a force to be reckoned with. It seems to carry her sensibilities from them. Another problem that becomes nagging throughout the film is that it looks cheap, From the sets to the makeup to the special effects. It really is distracting and hampers the performance of the film. This seems to be a case of compromise like finding a deal that was promised then dropped to a lower price. It's a film that if it doesn't have that one component it's really not worth making until you can.

There are some highlights in the film and Silverstone and Ritter give great energetic performances. It’s just the peaks of the film are soft and in between the film falls flat and stays Down For the count too long. It seems to play more like a spoof ala SCARY MOVIE (But better thought out) rather than straight comedy

It's not a total failure, but unless you are a completist there is no reason to really watch the film. In fact it might leave you heartbroken. Some observations the films makes are funny and true also it has a good cast of recognizable actors having fun at play. Again as they seem to be playing more cartoonish roles. Maybe the film should have been animated. Every time the film seems like it might get better it takes a step back. I like how it rewrites the rules of vampire mythology to fit it's scenarios. Which let's face it is a number of them. It seems half the time the vampires spend a quarter of their running time rewriting the rules to fit Into the vampire universe they have created dispelling all the knowledge we might be coming as a viewer.

I know that this film is more to have fun and take a poke of a relationship comedy that happens to involve the vampire lore and myth, but this is still disappointing from a filmmaker who I personally believe is better than this

Grade: D

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