THE WOLFMAN Review.


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Directed by Joe Johnston, 2010
Written by Andrew Kevin Walker and David Self


I’ve got just as many complaints as I have compliments for Joe Johnston’s THE WOLFMAN, but the crux of its failings is this; What’s the point?  Lawrence Talbot (Benecio Del Toro) returns home to his estranged and aloof father (Anthony Hopkins) to investigate the savage death of his brother at the request of his now-widowed sister in law (Emily Blunt).  Things are not as expected in back in England and, well, I don’t need to explain it.  We all know Benecio Del Toro is then turned into a werewolf and starts killing people against his will.  It’s really not that complicated.

And that’s the problem.  THE WOLFMAN needs to be complicated.  There needs to be torment behind those eyes in order for the audience to fear the full moon as much as Talbot does should.  Yet this iteration has no such concerns.  In fact, it’s not so much a creature feature as it is a zombie film.  Johnston and company lurch mindlessly from one obvious plot point to the next as though the whole film were operating on muscle memory and the vague knowledge that at one point in its life it had a higher purpose.  And low the purpose fell, the sets and makeup remained, so all involved went through the motions to deliver a horror movie that is entertaining in spurts but largely forgettable.

Universal’s resurrection of its classic monster is riddled with obvious holes in which to insert blame, but its troubled production is hardly the excuse here.  Even if original director Mark Romanek had stayed on board, audiences would still have Benecio Del Toro, who is about as energetic as a pamphlet on lycanthropy.  It’s astounding how uninvolved his performance is considering his love for the 1941 WOLF MAN is what got the project up and running in the first place.  He exerts zero charisma throughout his non-wolf sequences, in turn giving the audience zero emotional interest in seeing him overcome the monstrous Gypsy curse.

Last Week in Horror News: January 17th to the 24th


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • ZOMBIES OF MASS DESTRUCTION – After Dark rolls out a new trailer for their Horrorfest titles.
  • HIDDEN – One of the ADF Horrorfest titles I’ve seen.  Not bad, kinda slow.
  • THE REEDS – Chalk up another ADF title.
  • THE FINAL – One more ADF Horrorfest trailer.
  • BURIED – I believe I read earlier today that Lionsgate just bought the Ryan Reynolds trapped-in-a-coffin flick.

Studio News and Attachments

  • PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 – Kevin Greutert, who made the surprisingly solid SAW 6, is directing PA2.
  • SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL – Sam Jackson and Josh Duhamel may be stuck battling heaven and hell in Boaz Yankin’s Louisiana-set supernatural thriller.
  • Spielberg’s new Alien TV show – No title yet, but Spielberg will be throwing down for another Taken-esque miniseries; this time for TNT.
  • DREAM HOUSE – Naomi Watts joins Jim Sheridan’s “city folk shouldn’t move to creepy houses in the country” flick alongside Daniel Craig.
  • BURKE AND HARE – Casting for John Landis’ graverobbing comedy gets more awesome.  Joining Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis are Tom Wilkinson and Isla Fisher.
  • THE FURTHER – James Wan’s next film to be produced by Oren Peli.
  • THE WALKING DEAD – Frank Darabont’s TV-series adaptation of Kirkman’s comic got the greenlight at AMC.
  • DRACULA: YEAR ZERO – Alex Proyas is budgeting and scheduling his take on the origin of Dracula.

Remakes

  • THE WOLFMAN – Danny Elfman’s score has been re-instated for Joe Johnston’s WOLFMAN.
  • PLANET OF THE APES – Despite recent news to the contrary, Fox does indeed still plan on rebooting PLANET OF THE APES.  Again.
  • CONAN – Marcus Nispel’s CONAN THE BARBARIAN remake gets its hunk.  It’s that guy from that STARGATE show you never watched.
  • FRANKENSTEIN – Not so much a remake as another adaptation, but Danny Boyle will be directing a stage play of the classic tale in London.

Indie, Foreign and Random News

  • BLACK SUNSET – The Butcher Brothers, AKA the guys who made THE HAMILTONS and THE VIOLENT KIND, have pegged their next project about a “betrayal-filled nightmare” that plays out during a surfing trip to Mexico.
  • BLACK DEATH – Christopher Smith’s movie about the bubonic plague slips a little on its UK release.
  • MY NAME IS BRUCE 2 – Bruce will be fighting Frankenstein.  I’d be interested if MY NAME IS BRUCE was anything less than a clunking piece of shit.
  • ENTER THE VOID – IFC picks up Gasper Noe’s latest film for US distribution.

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • EATERS – Italian zombie flick produced by Uwe Boll.

Last Week in Horror News: December 6th to the 13th


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • THE CRAZIES – Second trailer.
  • SOLOMON KANE – A cool clip from the movie, which still lacks distribution in the States but since it is a sold, dark fantasy flick, I’m putting it here out of hope.

Studio News and Attachments

  • MIRRORS 2 – The Nick Stahl starring sequel to Alexandre Aja’s dull remake of a dull movie gets a longer plot description and a full cast.
  • SEASON OF THE WITCH – If you like fire and Nicholas Cage’s forehead, then have I got a poster for you!
  • GHOSTBUSTERS 3 – Sigourney Weaver hints that Bill Murray might be playing a ghost this time around…
  • PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES – Natalie Portman will produce and star in a big screen adaptation of no one’s favorite alternate universe literary classic.
  • VLAD – Summit’s Vlad the Impaler film, written by “SONS OF ANARCHY” and GREEN STREET HOOLIGANS star Charlie Hunnam, will have no hits of vampires in it.
  • HALLOWEEN 3D – The Weinstein Company is scrambling for new ideas to make a movie no one wants into a movie at least one person wants.
  • RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE – Slides from fall 2010 to the second week of 2011.

Remakes

  • THE WOLFMAN – Emily Blunt says the reason for the shifting WOLFMAN release date has always been driven by special effects deadlines; not because Joe Johnston made a crappy movie.  Speaking of, the flick got an R rating this week.
  • FANTASTIC VOYAGE – The ’60s classic sci-fi flick about shrinking down and going inside the human body joins the growing list of movies James Cameron might tackle next.
  • THE GATE – H.R. Giger will be designing some of the creatures for Alex Winter’s THE GATE 3D.
  • FRIDAY THE 13TH 2 – Unsurprisingly, Platinum Dunes’ proposed sequel to Marcus Nispel’s reboot of F13 has slid from its extremely tentative August 13th, 2010 date to the ambiguous To Be Determined.
  • DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT – Josh Vargas wants to remake S.F. Brownrigg’s film, but with some violent updates.
  • NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET – Samuel Bayer’s remake of NOES is currently undergoing some reshoots, presumably after first test screenings weren’t so hot.

Indie, Foreign, and Random News

  • Zombie STAR WARS – Some guy zombiefied Drew Struzan’s original STAR WARS posters.
  • 2010 Slamdance Lineup – The Sundance offshoot that essentially discovered PARANORMAL ACTIVITY has announced its competition slate for next year.
  • Paramount Goes Low-Budget – The massive studio has set up a fund to produce micro-budget films in at attempt to recapture the profit margins of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, which they released earlier this year.
  • PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE SEARCH FOR KATE – Speaking of, PA now has a follow-up comic series.

Non-theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • [REC] 2 – The first 5 minutes of the film are online, and though they are badass, they’re not nearly as awesome as what happens later on in the movie.
  • HALLOWEEN 2 – The alternate ending.
  • RARE EXPORTS – This is what happens when you dig up Santa Claus.
  • CABIN FEVER 2 – There is no reason you should be looking forward to this movie.
  • 13 HRS. – The producers of DOG SOLDIERS would like to show you their new werewolf movie.

Last Week in Horror News: December 7th to the 14th


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

Remakes

Indie, Foreign and Random News

Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Horror News Catch Up: November 5th to the 23rd


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Really?  I was gone for two weeks and not a single new theatrical trailer came out?  I must have missed something…

Studio News and Attachments

Remakes

Indie, Foreign and Random News

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips




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