A werewolf tale from the producers of “Underworld”, “Blood & Chocolate” tells the story of Vivian (Agnes Bruckner), a young teenage girl who must choose between her love for a young artist and loyalty to her werewolf lineage. Others may have secrets, but none as extraordinary as Vivian. One of the last of her kind, she comes from a line of loup garoux, shape shifters able to transform into the form of both human and wolf at will. When Vivian’s affections for a visiting artist threaten to reveal her family’s secret society, she must decide whether to prove her allegiance to their secret vows or follow her heart and betray them all.
2007 – Certificate 12 – American Film
Rating Details: Moderate violence, horror and drug references
7 out of 10
I’ve been provided with a new work mobile. Well it’s not really new, it’s one that’s been ‘reallocated’; but it’s new to me. Its predecessor, a seven-year-old Nokia 6300, had become a bit of an embarrassment, what with its unbusinesslike, tatty appearance and talk-time that struggled to get me past the ‘how are you?” stage of a phone conversation. You can probably imagine how my pulling that out of my pocket at a critical moment in one of the many, high-powered meetings I attend, can undermine my negotiating position. My new one is a Nokia E5. It’s the first smart-phone I’ve ever had. Something tells me it’s not a medal contender in the mobile coolness rankings, although as I don’t have a contract for it that includes a data allowance, this rather limits its use for anything resembling “smart” anyway. It does seem to be able to ‘talk’ to my network at home though. I’m not quite sure what all the buttons and icons are for yet, although I have managed to sort out the most important things, like the ringtones it uses. For calls it plays “Do You Like Waffles?” by Parry Gripp, whilst for texts it blares out “Marco Polo” by Guttermouth. The latter is 15 seconds of punk rock noise that when combined with its cheap, in-built speaker, is likely to send anyone else within 10m of it when it plays in an ‘office environment’, into an incandescent fury. There’re quite a number of people in this movie who get pretty pissed about things too.
When they’ve got over bitching about how much this film doesn’t resemble the book of the same name, people seem to then suggest it’s some sort of teen romance about werewolves. So let me tell you it’s really an out-and-out action movie; all it needs is Sylvester Stallone and it would be the whole package. Big explosive finale? Check. Some guns and stuff? Check? An unlikely hero who performs way beyond the call of duty? Check. Some cheesy one-liners? Check. Being able to write and draw (our hero Aiden is a penniless graphic novel writer) is pretty cool; if you think my writing is bad you should see my drawing. I took my last art exam when I was 14 years-old. I got 18%. I tried to draw sadness but it came out as a disgusting shambles of green, painted squiggles. I imagine the teacher probably thought I was taking the piss but really, that was the best I could do. Sadly (and somewhat ironically given the focus of my work), my canvas had all the emotionally resonance of a newly painted bathroom radiator, in magnolia. To this day my ability to draw remains at the level of a 4 year-old; and not a talented one either. I’m always a little in awe of those than can seemingly and effortlessly draw things; a genuine talent. However, I’ve never considered that the traits that make someone a good artist or writer, would also equip the same person to be an action-hero too. This movie is about a penniless artist/writer, who falls in love with a chick. Of course, like many potential in-laws, hers don’t really take to him, so being werewolves they decide to kill him. In the space of a day or two, our quiet, unassuming (although a little stalker-like) artist turns into one, badasss motherfucker, taking on half the werewolves in Bucharest. To explain these abilities, the movie provides a brief throwaway line about something to do with his relationship with his father not being that great. Bloody hell, poor guy. What a bastard he must have been! Aiden even manages to survive what looks like a good 50’ drop through a broken sky-light, before coming to a very sudden stop, dangling upside down, with his leg caught in a rope, without this causing him the slightest injury. He even has the audacity to blame Vivian for the situation he’s in, even though he spends half the film virtually stalking her. I’m certainly no expert on relationships, but something tells me theirs isn’t going to last much longer than the end credits. Fortunately, what all this means is that I can admit to seeing this movie without having to invent an imaginary girlfriend “who made me watch it” as an excuse for doing so. I have to say Agnes Bruckner does do a good, surly teenager, sulky pout. It’s actually a decent film, well worth watching.
The soundtrack has a sort of gothic-Klingon-“The Equaliser” vibe going on. Sadly it’s as ‘good’ as it sounds. Serviceable but forgettable.
Recommended for artists, writers, teens, chocolate-addicts and action-heroes. Not recommend for werewolves. They always seem to end up on the losing side.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? It has to be our mild-mannered, stalker/artist/writer/hero, Aiden. He utters the one-liner “Drink Up” just before he sets fire to a load of alcohol to burn a couple of werewolves to death, after a fire-fight with a gang of them. This is especially impressive as we’re not led to believe he makes a habit of this sort of thing. The ability to up your game when the time comes is definitely badass. It’ll be a brave person who gives any of the graphic novels he writes a bad review…
Brigitte is the first work selflessly took care of his sister Hannah, who turned into a werewolf. Now her suffering worse. Sam’s sister Brigitte was infected! In the full moon must figure out how to cure it to prevent further bloody rampage. At least that’s how Google translates it from the Czech on the cover of my DVD. I think it’s losing something… Who’s Sam and why has Brigitte had a gender reassignment? I don’t remember either of those in the film. Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if everyone spoke the same language? Ideally English…
2004 – Certificate: 15 – Canadian Film
7.5 out of 10
I have/had an American Express Nectar Credit Card; (that’s the Amex Card that plebs are allowed to have.) Recently it decided to introduce an annual fee of £25 for the ‘privilege’ of having one. I, like (I’ve no doubt) millions of other ‘outraged customers’ decided that I didn’t fancy paying for something I can get for free elsewhere. So I rang up and cancelled it. There are three things that make American Express ‘different’ to ‘other’ credit card companies (i.e. Visa and MasterCard); 1 – nowhere accepts Amex credits cards; 2 – they identify you as a shallow, egotistic, posh snob, who wants to flaunt his or her success in the face of others; 3 – they have good customer service. So you can imagine my profound disappointment, when I got a letter a few days later confirming my cancellation. The letter said; “We are sorry you have decided to cancel your Nectar Credit Card. For this reason we have cancelled your Nectar Credit Card account as you requested.” So basically it’s cancelled the card because it’s sorry I’ve decided to cancel the card? What would have happened if it hadn’t been sad? Would it had continued to force me to have it and pay £25 a year for doing so? It seems good customer service stops when you leave. And yes, I realise that that’s a bit of a boring tale without much of a punch line. Mountains and mole hills come to mind.
Ginger Snaps is one of the best horror/comedy/teen/fantasy films ever. So what about its sequel? Well the comedy part has gone. The teen bit has also been diluted too. It’s still got teenagers in it (including the two stars from the previous instalment), but it’s not really a film about teenagers anymore; the story could have featured people of any age really. Instead we get an out-and-out horror and it’s not a bad one at all. Smiling less than an emo girl having a bad day, (a part Emily Perkins plays so well), Brigitte is a patient at the Happier Times Care Centre, a rehab clinic where she inexplicably seems to appear after an altercation over a few library books. I didn’t realise reading was quite that addictive. Unfortunately, the Centre isn’t a good advert for the voluntary sector providing health services, as most of the staff there are a bit weird or pervy and it looks very much like a rundown prison. I guess we’ll just have to blame it on funding cuts. It’s the sort of place Jimmy Saville would have enjoyed visiting. The ending is a bit rubbishy, but the rest of the film is fine and it’s good to see werewolves being given a bit of ‘quality screentime’; in footballing terms they always felt a bit like Manchester City, if you imagine vampires to be Manchester United; an occasional flash of success but basically always living in the shadow of their more successful, interesting and flamboyant neighbours. Sadly the stunning Katharine Isabelle (Ginger) isn’t in it very much, but considering what happened to her in the original film that’s not that surprising. Instead we get Ghost, a slightly creepy 13-year-old, who suffers from Hollywood Child-in-a-Film Syndrome, in that she acts like no real 13-year-old would; perhaps that’s why she was in the clinic in the first place? (Tatiana Maslany, who I think was actually 19 when she made this film, really doesn’t look her own age.) Anyway, it’s a very good film, well made, well acted and with decent special effects; but watch the brilliant Ginger Snaps before going onto this one, as it’s a direct sequel to it.
The music is serviceable, but forgettable. Some rather dull, alternative rock and an infrequently heard film score don’t make it a movie to remember.
Recommended for werewolves, junkies, emos and anyone providing health care services in the voluntary sector.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? “I’m going to kill it. Get me all the sharp things you can find.” No running away and falling over for her, Brigitte’s outcome-focused approach to dealing with an issue would be welcomed by many in the private sector, keen for employees with a clear vision of what they want to achieve and how they’re going to achieve it. Mission Drift isn’t something the viewer needs to worry about in this movie.