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INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
In modern day San Francisco, Louis de Pointe (Brad Pitt) tells journalist Malloy (Christian Slater) about his 200 year existence as a vampire. Flashbacks reveal Louis' transformation in New Orleans after an attack by the vampire Lestat (Tom Cruise) and his meeting with young vampire orphan Claudia (Kirsten Dunst). Rejecting their mentor, Claudia and Louis plot Lestat's death and flee to Europe where they meet Armand (Antonio Banderas), leader of a vampire society living beneath the streets of Paris.


Review by Richard Kuipers:
Sumptuously decorated, extravagantly filmed and performed with lusty relish, Interview With The Vampire is one of the better fang flicks made since Hammer Films threw in the crucifix in 1974. It's not scary enough and bogs down with too much vampire philosophy to qualify as a classic of the genre but as an atmospheric slice of Grand Guignol, it sure looks great. Dante Ferretti's production design and the juicy performances of Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas and Kirsten Dunst (the most stunning juvenile scene-stealer since Linda Blair in The Exorcist) add lustre to this Neil Jordan production that's absent from Anne Rice's fairly laborious screenplay. That said, this is Citizen Kane compared to the film travesty made of her novel Queen of the Damned.

Picture and audio are crisp and clear on this DVD transfer and the package comes with some attractive bonus features. Neil Jordan's commentary is a big plus, with the Irish director striking a pleasing balance of technical and personal observations as his gorgeous visuals pass by. The half hour 'making of' special included here is much better than the bland PR exercises that pass themselves off as documentaries on many DVDs. The 1994 interviews with Pitt and Cruise don't add much but the majority of the running time is dedicated to new and informative comments from Jordan, Anne Rice, Antonio Banderas, Stephen Rea, Kirsten Dunst, make-up genius Stan Winston and special effects creator Rob Legato, whose pioneering work with digital compositing is fascinating for buffs.

The least attractive 'bonus' on this disc is a special introduction by Jordan, Rice and Banderas that appears before the film itself. What's unforgivable about this preamble is the inclusion of footage from the film in between comments. Once you hit 'play
movie' on your remote it is not possible to skip this introduction - the best you can do is fast forward through it and press play when the Geffen Pictures logo appears. Why anyone would want to see snippets of a film they're just about to watch escapes even my wildest imagination. Did the DVD producers think audiences wouldn't look at two minutes of talking heads without these annoying distractions? Beats me, but I can say that it really spoiled my initial enjoyment of an otherwise very tasty creature feature.

Published October 31, 2002



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INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE: DVD (M15+)
(US - 1964)

CAST: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst, Antonio Banderas, Stephen Rea, Christian Slater

DIRECTOR: Neil Jordan

RUNNING TIME: 122 minutes

PRESENTATION: ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1; AUDIO: Dolby 5.1, Dolby 2.0 (German)

SPECIAL FEATURES: Trailer, Documentary: In The Shadow of the Vampire, Audio Commentary with Director Neil Jordan, Special Introductions by Anne Rice, Neil Jordan and Antonio Banderas. Languages: English, German. Subtitles: English, English (HOH) German, German (HOH) French, Dutch, Norwegian, Turkish, Romanian, Russian, Greek, (Suomi, Hrvatski, Svenska)

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video

DVD RELEASE: October 23, 2002







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