Friday, November 12, 2004

Two Silly Movies

Van Helsing probably sounded good on paper. A movie focusing on the man who hunted Dracula, making him young, cool, and handsome. He'd be an all-purpose monster hunter, a male Buffy in olden times. The bad guy would still be Dracula, but Van Helsing would have to fight Mr. Hyde, werewolves, Dracula's brides, and baby vampires too. He also had to have a smart Q-esque assistant, and a tough, beautiful woman to help him in his task. It all sounds so perfect that it should've been money in the bank. Instead, it's an utterly silly, laughable flick that's wayy too long. Hugh Jackman does a good job with the title role, proving that he can do more action films apart from X-Men movies. Kate Beckinsale was also good in her thankless role as the tough woman (it's funny that she went from a vampire in Underworld to a vampire hunter in this film). I did like some things about this movie. This film's versions of Dracula and the Frankenstein monster were pretty cool. It made a lot of sense to have Dracula turn into a nasty batlike monster as opposed to the small bat he always turns into in the movies. However, with scenes like a carriage catching fire when a werewolf fell onto it (how the heck could thathappen?) and an undertaker getting killed and falling into the grave he was digging (ha ha), Van Helsing is just a bit too silly to be thrilling. This movie is best watched by people who enjoy laughably bad movies and/or those who want to drool over Hugh Jackman.

What can I say about White Chicks? It's a Wayans Brothers movie and that means that it will either be viciously funny, incredibly stupid, cringe-inducing, or a combination. I guess I found this movie to be a little more stupid and cringe-inducing than funny. There is some funny stuff in this movie, though. I thought the black man obsessed with white women was funny. That poor actor...after this movie and Friday After Next (where he was a predatory gay ex-con), he's going to be typecast as the big black man obsessed with stuff. The scene when Marlon Wayans's character tries desperately to make himself look unattractive (through nasty habits) was very funny...even if it was very gross and immature. I liked the way that Vanessa Carlton song was used in the movie (if it had been a few years ago, it would've been Sarah McLachlan). There were other scattered scenes I liked as well. More often than not, though, I cringed without laughing. Compared to their other movies, this one is kind of lackluster. They missed a lot of opportunities to make fun not only of rich white girls, but the way rich white girls (and rich white people) see the world. Also, their humor was kind of toned down for this movie (after all, you have to get that PG-13!) so I wonder if the unrated version is funnier. If I had to rank White Chicks, I'd put it above Scary Movie 2 (which I think is the Wayans' least funny movie) but below Scary Movie, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, and Don't Be A Menace... I remember hearing that their next project will be updating The Munsters for the big screen. I can't wait to see if their style of humor can be translated to the humor of that classic show.

Note: I've been thinking about giving star ratings for my movie reviews...comments?

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