Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Van Helsing

I was thinking of other films I've wanted to do and this has been on my list for about 3 years now.

I will go on the record and say I was a huge, huge fan of this film when it came out. I heard about it through my cousins and the more they described pieces of the film my imagination got bigger and more invested. I played the video game which was a lot of fun, I owned toys and stuff that now would be considered collectibles, this was for me. And it happened right around the time I was watching more classic Universal monster movies, so it all synced up for me. It's been about 10 long years since I last saw this film, and I still had a real good time with it and if anything I've come to appreciate it more over time. Taking the director of the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies and putting Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale fresh off their big success in the X-Men and Underworld series is kind of a genius move for that time and place in the world. So the story involves legendary monster hunter Van Helsing sent to Transylvania to assist in the destruction of one Count Vladislaus Dracula, while meeting up with resident monster slayer Anna Valerious as they come into contact with various reinvented classic monsters. I dig it man. I really dig it. The whole production, the casting, the story, it really hasn't lost it's luster for me. Yeah, there is some camp fun but it never takes anything away from the movie for me. The sets are outstanding, each one massive and detailed with camera work showing it all off in 360° long takes, and each one is memorable. Hugh and Kate are rightfully so, awesome leads and each actor fully takes it seriously, giving good performances throughout. Hell I even hear people claim Richard Roxburgh's Dracula is their favorite and stays true to the character above others, and bless them really and truly, I think that's awesome to show that actor so much love for this role. I know some people will give the movie a lot of bad mouthing considering the CGI, and while it gets plentiful near the end a good chunk of it holds up surprisingly well and look good for the time. I remember watching all the behind the scenes bonus features on the DVD back then and seeing how they did it all was really damn cool cause I rarely did that for movies back then, and you can very clearly tell they commited to how they wanted to do these effects and how exactly they pulled them off. Van Helsing is just a cool character and the fact he learns more about a forgotten life gives quite good investment to the audience and it's fascinating, the dynamic between him and all the players works very well I think. If only reviews were this kind back then, the film got panned and didn't perform well at the box office but recieved a second breath on video, and you bet your ass I would sit down for Van Helsing 2 in theaters. Christ, I want to fish out my PS2 from storage and play the game again after watching it. There be many good memories associated with this movie and I'm still a fan to this day. Nothing but 4 stars, a solid 7.5/10, seriously give it a watch. You may be surprised how much you like it and how many subtle references it has. But God help you if you want to take the drinking game and take a shot everytime someone says, "Oh my God.". Your memory will be wiped just like Hugh in this movie. See you tomorrow for one more.

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