Saturday, February 27, 2010
DVDebut: Paul Weitz's shamefully pleasureable CIRQUE DU FREAK: The Vampire's Assistant
CIRQUE DU FREAK: The Vampire's Assistant turns out to be that rare, worthwhile mainstream variation on vampires for which TrustMovies has been waiting a blood moon or longer. Witty as hell, fast-moving, funny and smart, the film has been brought to amazing life by Paul Weitz (below) as director & co-adapter (w/ Brian Helgeland) of the book series by Darren Shan.
Rotten Tomatoes -- and commercial: a dud at the box-office) to this delightful piece, which is being billed by RT as a "horror/suspense" movie!? Get over it: Cirque du Freak (the movie version, at least: I haven't read the books) does not intend to offer horror and suspense. Instead, it's a teenager's adventure tale that just happens to feature vampires and weird, freaky circus attractions.
Salma Hayek (above) as the bearded lady and lover/confidante of the movie's real hero (Larten Crepsley, played by the wonderful John C. Reilly: who'd have thought this actor would handle a smart, sexy leading man role so very well?), Japan's Ken Watanabe as Mr. Tall; the adorable-as-ever Patrick Fugit (below, left) as the snake boy, and many more (including Willem Dafoe, Michael Cerveris (center, two photos above), Orlando Jones and even Ray Stevenson).
Josh Hutcherson (shown below, left), Chris Massoglia (above, center, and below, right) and Jessica Carlson (above, right, who has a little surprise up her sleeve -- well, skirt, actually); each is just fine and ought to have pleased the particular audience for whom the movie has been designed. Why did it not? Perhaps teens must now be sated by copious blood and gore rather than the clever/creepy kind displayed here? Has youth lost all sense of wonderment and fun? Does it no longer require "adventure" -- which is what this movie offers above all?
If so, that's sad.