*** Official THE WOLF MAN Review Thread

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Patrick Sun, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    One-word review: Horrible.

    "The Wolfman" was crippled by never settling on a consistent story, so the filmmakers/producers settled for R-rated violence to ramp up the gore without providing interesting character development or a comprehensible plot.

    I give it 1 star or a grade of D.
     
  2. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    I see we disagree. I felt this was a very good horror film, just as good as the original 1941 WOLF MAN in its own different way ... and I'd easily consider it the best of all those "modernized werewolf movies" of the last 30 years. This one blows that overrated AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and THE HOWLING comedies out of the woods. It's also miles ahead of Jack Nicholson's pedestrian WOLF.
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "The Wolf Man". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an
    Official Discussion Thread.




    Crawdaddy
     
  4. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I pretty much agree with Joe. This was a good horror film of the old school, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It does have some flaws(ie, lack of development of the relationship between Talbot and Gwen), but overall it's a fun movie in the tradition of the Universals of the forties(with a dash of Hammer). A solid three star flick.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    My review is in between Patrick's and Joe's. I think this version of The Wolf Man is an average effort at best. To me the lead actor is miscast while the storyline borrows some plotlines from the original while being quite different with their own version of the storyline. Overall, I'll give it a C grade. I must have a sick humor about me because some of the most graphic violent scenes had me laughing out loud a couple of times.


    By the way, I watched the original again and it has a certain amount of charm this latest version can't even touch.




    Crawdaddy
     
  6. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I liked it. Although it was alot more violent, it still had the orignals mood. Whereas the orignal made use of Universal sets to set the mood on the foggy English Plain, the new one had quite stunning locale photgraphy. Del torro had the sadness of the Larry Talbot as portrayed by Chaney, the love story was a bit hackneyed, but the original's was'nt great either. The ending was typical modern movie making "More is less" mentality.

    Did we really need 2 Wolfmen to ramp things up, and I prefer the original's more suttle ending.
     
  7. Pete-D

    Pete-D Screenwriter

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    The movie had a nice mood/cinematography, but Del Toro is miscast in the lead (even if he does evoke Lon Chaney) and he has almost zero chemistry with Emily Blunt, who really has nothing to do in this movie. You don't ever really care about any of the characters, which saps a lot of the tension out of the movie.

    It's a movie that never really hits a top gear, it kind of teases you by revving up but never really accelerates.

    It's a shame they couldn't do more with this because they clearly had the benefit of a big budget, a full-bore R-rating, and some good actors. It's not a movie that does anything terrible, but it doesn't do anything especially great either. It's just kinda ... average. I would liken it to a bit of a poor man's "Sleepy Hollow" with a few nice homages to the old black & white "Wolf Man" thrown in here and there.

    Still, there are worse things you could drop $8 on at the theaters, and I think it's something that might play better watching at home on DVD on Halloween night or something.

    2 1/2 stars out of 5
     
  8. Brett_M

    Brett_M Screenwriter

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  9. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Wolfman, The (2010)
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    After countless delays, Universal's remake of their 1941 film finally hit theaters and perhaps it would have been best left on the shelf. In the film Benicio Del Toro plays Lawrence Talbot who returns home to find out what thing killed his brother. His father (Anthony Hopkins) warns him not to go out in the full moon but he does anyway and he's bitten by a werewolf and soon taking shape himself. I'm really not sure where to start with this thing but I do have to scratch my head when I hear $150 million was spent on this film and I have to wonder why some of that couldn't have gone for a better screenplay. This is yet another horror movie that lacks any suspense or surprises and instead just delivers a bunch of fake looking gore. I lost track of how many heads, fingers, arms and legs were actually cut off but I didn't lose count of the suspense scenes because it was zero. Just take a look at the scene early on where the gypsy community is attacked. We get bad CGI effects of the werewolf running around taking bites out of people but there's not an ounce of suspense in the build up and even before this scene we get the brother being attacked without a single jump. We get the usual loud noise that is taking over horror films to try and get people to jump but then we get this followed up with the beast jumping out just as we expect him to. The film tries to play it straight but there's a really embarrassing sequence of humor when Talbot is tied down so doctors can watch that this werewolf stuff is just in his mind. The know-it-all doctor just keeps talking and talking as Talbot takes form in the background. The humor here just doesn't work because who in there right mind wouldn't hear what was going on behind them by a couple feet? The performances are a mixed bag but Hopkins comes off the best as the mysterious father. He gets to deliver a few good lines and he appears to be having fun in the role. Emily Blunt is decent but she isn't given too much to do except really take part in a horrendous ending. Then there's Del Toro who has proven himself to be a great actor but he just isn't right for the role here. His dark, moody tone is on full display here and to me it just wasn't right to have no emotion or sympathy for the character. A lot of this can be blamed on the screenplay that keeps the Talbot character at the same note before and after the attack. The special effects by Rick Baker are good in places but the added benefit of CGI isn't doing anyone any favors and the CGI really doesn't help each scene it's in especially in the really fake looking skies. As with most remakes these days, this one here gives a few nice winks to the original film but one can't help but walk out of this thing disappointed. If you want nothing but violence and gore you might want to give it a shot but I've come to expect more and especially for the price tag.
     
  10. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    I completely agree, Michael.

    While watching it I got the impression the studio decided to bring the werewolf genre back to life and just started throwing parts together and plowed forward without really thinking about the film as a whole. I found the scenes between the wolf man attacks so mind dumbingly boring I had trouble focusing on them. I can't even recommend this film on a 'wait for cable' level.
     
  11. Mario Gauci

    Mario Gauci Cinematographer

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    02/20/10: THE WOLFMAN (Joe Johnston, 2010)

    This was a long-awaited, thus much-anticipated, remake of a classic monster movie from the heyday of Universal Studios’ reign over the horror genre; the behind-the-scenes vicissitudes which saw a change of director early on were offset by an avowed reverence for the subject/source by its makers (star/co-producer Benicio Del Toro even holds vintage “Wolf Man” memorabilia in his personal collection!) that was clearly absent from THE MUMMY (1999). The decision to transpose the setting from 1940s Wales (or, more precisely, Hollywood’s idea of it) to Victorian England (even incorporating the real-life Scotland Yard Inspector in charge of the gruesome “Ripper” murders) works to the film’s benefit, resulting in an epic scale (where the originals were essentially “B’ movies) and oodles of fog-laden atmosphere (not forgetting shadowy candle-lit interiors). So far so good: the trouble starts when we get to the storyline and the characterization, and while the special effects were reasonably impressive (I honestly felt restless throughout the preliminary exposition as I was anxious to see how these were going to turn out and what the creature’s final look would be) – though I still prefer Rick Baker’s work on the as-yet-unsurpassed AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981) – they fell flat whenever CGI reared its ugly head; I was not bothered by the sight of the monster running on all fours, but the rapid-leaping-across-rooftops scenes did bring back unpleasant memories of the travesty that was VAN HELSING (2004)! It was perhaps inevitable but also unwise to pilfer 75 years of cinematic lycanthropy for this one movie, since this is pretty much done without rhyme or reason (so much for its would-be rigor towards Curt Siodmak’s 1941 script!): if you are to reference the legendary curse, why misquote it (“wolf(s)bane”) and have it come in at the very start and then never again?!; and where is the interaction – which was basically the heart of the old Universal series – between Lawrence Talbot and the gypsy woman Maleva (here played by a wizened Geraldine Chaplin)? That said, the forest sequences are indeed redolent of the Lon Chaney Jr. movies; however, the impossible love story (why does every horror legend have to be re-worked to this end?!), actually harks back to Hammer’s underrated THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF (1961). As for the dream sequences, they would like to evoke the 1981 John Landis werewolf masterpiece mentioned above (another nod to it is the casting of tell-tale local David Schofield, now the constable who gets skewered through the mouth during the ill-advised gypsy caravan fracas) but actually come closer to the scare-for-scare’s-sake which typifies much of the recent “J-Horror” style! As I said earlier, there is much that is wrong with the plot: again, what was the point of making Del Toro’s protagonist an actor (unless it was to have Anthony Hopkins play around with the celebrated ‘To Be Or Not To Be’ line from “Hamlet” and, to be sure, the elder Talbot showed much greater flair for performance throughout – in spite of Hopkins’ atypical restraint – than our relentlessly glum hero!) if no association at all is made between this gift and the new-found duality of his nature?! What to make of the whole tragic back-story of the Talbots which, apart from the ludicrous (and apparently nonchalant) propensity for self-destruction, exhibits grave narrative lapses?! The asylum sequences, too, did not belong in this movie (they seem to have strayed in from one of Paul Naschy’s series of “Waldemar Daninsky” werewolf flicks and, who knows, maybe it was a deliberate nod in their direction!) – but, as with the afore-mentioned forest massacre, it is here that we get sole humorous respite from the overwhelmingly gloomy proceedings. The Danny Elfman score, while characteristic enough of his style, feels a bit too similar to Wojchiech Kilar’s powerful/melancholy soundtrack for BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (1992) – in which Hopkins had gone all-out with an incongruously batty Van Helsing! By the way, one more interesting point I picked up here is how the Welsh thespian’s role ends up being a variation not on the archetypal vampire hunter but rather his stab at yet another legendary figure in THE MASK OF ZORRO (1998)! For a devotee` of classic horror, I did not mind the plentiful gore on display but I could have done without the climactic werewolf one-on-one (all-too-obviously citing the most conventional lycanthrope picture of recent times, WOLF [1994]) – though I would venture to say that the flaming monster was a first within such a prolific genre – and the frankly crap way a sequel is set up (again, how could they bring in the silver-topped cane from the original and not adopt it as the weapon with which to set Lawrence Talbot free?! As often happens with modern films, my overly-critical comments above somewhat belie the “Good” rating I bestowed upon it: truth be told, I considerably enjoyed the experience of watching THE WOLFMAN (which, I guess, is what really matters!) but it also does not seem to bear close scrutiny…
     
  12. Rhett_Y

    Rhett_Y Screenwriter

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    I agree with Michael on this one. The gore was nice, however at times that is all I thought they wanted to show. The female lead was there why? No real base for her to fall for the main character.

    The scene where he dies is horrible also. Good lord I almost laughed at how bad the scene was.

    Did anybody else think of "Last American Werewolf in London" when the horse drawn trolly tipped over and the wolf man went to town.

    I liked the gore which was pretty much about it. Overall I was very disappointed in this remake/rehash of the original wolfma.
     

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