Veronica Lake Before I Hang - Boris KarloffBefore I Hang - Boris KarloffBefore I Hang - Boris KarloffBefore I Hang - Boris KarloffGeorge C Scott - The List of the Adrian Messenger 1963Dana WYnter  - List of Adrian MessengerDan Wynter  - 1963List of the Adrian Messenger - Directed by John Huston

Archive 375 - July 2017

Previous Posts that appeared on the front page of cinemagraphe.com


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Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly

Van Helsing - 2004

Van Helsing 2004 - Directed by Sommers

Van Helsing - Released May 7, 2004. Directed by Stephen Sommers

Amid the first rate action sequences, stunt-work, opulent scenery, costuming and massive use of (circa 2004) CGI, director and writer Stephen Sommers seems to be trying to capitalize and evolve his style from the 1999 The Mummy, which was part monster movie with a big dose of humor and Indiana Jones-style action.

Van Helsing is certainly a lot of fun for monster movie aficionados, but it is so stuffed with side-trips through the pantheon of old horror films that the story in Van Helsing is more of a map through a theme park instead of a cogent tale of how our lead character Van Helsing must protect and save Anna Valerious (Kate Beckinsale) from the mad-plans of diabolical Count Dracula (Richard Roxburgh).

Jackman and Beckinsale are not a problem, and are quite enjoyable in these roles, as is the rest of the cast. When they are given some dialogue and moments in between the onslaught of CGI to chat with each other and establish motivations, for a more-forgiving audience, the movie has a lot of charm. But Van Helsing is plagued at times with a pacing right out of a video game, and as wildly inventive as the visuals often are, it's just not a substitute for quality in the simple but overly-stretched story.

There's no denying the eye candy is fantastic and apparently meant to be the main draw for the movie, and there are many nice moments that pop up over and over, such as Shuler Hensley's Frankenstein Monster with a throbbing, glowing psychedelic heart/motor. The sequence of the Wolfman fighting Dracula (who turns into a monstrous flying bat) is something right out of the old Universal monster round-ups of the 1940s, but staged in a way in Van Helsing that was impossible then.

Where Sommers' The Mummy had quirky personalities for the main cast and room for them to do bits of character-establishing business, Beckinsale and Jackman are carved from a grim-avenger template and aren't allowed to to be as human, though they do go into their battle sequences well-equipped with quips. And, of course, they look great as they try to defeat various monsters with hand-to-hand combat and steam-punk style weapons, but it all gets a bit repetitive and Van Helsing would have been better served with maybe ten minutes more of well-done dialogue writing and ten minutes less of CGI.

A wonderful, but bad, movie.

Van Helsing 2004 - Directed by SommersVan Helsing 2004 - Directed by SommersVan Helsing 2004 - Directed by SommersVan Helsing 2004 - Directed by Sommers


Anne Baxter

Anne Baxter

The Devil and Daniel Webster - 1941

The Devil and Daniel Webster - 1941The Devil and Daniel Webster - 1941

The Devil and Daniel Webster - Released October 17, 1941. Directed by William Dieterle

Simone Simon - The Devil and Daniel Webster 1941John Qualen - The Devil and Daniel Webster - 1941The Devil and Daniel Webster - 1941 - Simone Simon with John CraigThe Devil and Daniel Webster - 1941The Devil and Daniel Webster - 1941Anne SHirley - 1941 - The Devil and Daniel Webster - 1941


Arlene Martel - 1966

Arlene Martel - 1966 - Perry MasonArlene Martel

The Case of the Dead Ringer - Perry Mason, NBC broadcast April 17, 1966. Directed by Arthur Marks


The List of the Adrian Messenger - 1963

The List of the Adrian Messenger - 1963The List of the Adrian Messenger - 1963

The List of the Adrian Messenger - 1963 - Released May 29,1963. Directed by John Huston

The List of the Adrian Messenger - 1963


Heaven Knows Mr Allison Deborah Kerr

Heaven Knows, Mr Allison - Released March 13, 1957. Directed by John Huston.


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Original Page July 10, 2017
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