Review

VAN HELSING Review

Published at: May 5, 2004, 8:47 a.m. CST by headgeek

Early in the undead morning of Tuesday, I had a conversation that really affected the way I viewed VAN HELSING 14 hours later. Around 3am, a friend of mine called, an actor who I’m working on a top secret cool as fuck (I think so) television series with, and it is something that he’s been working on for quite some time now, and had been pushed into the background given the theatrical things I’ve been busy with recently. Anyway, last night we were chatting, and he’d had a conversation with Tarantino a few nights before… One where he was talking to Quentin about his own writing process, and specifically the secret magic of how to write exciting genre material that just tingles the short hairs. And Quentin told him, essentially this. (Paraphrased advice follows)

‘Remember when you were nine years old and that favorite TV show of yours and all your friends just began to not be as good as it once was? How it used to be this thing you worshipped, but now the formula has gone a tad tepid and like 3 of your friends are over for a sleepover and you’re all hopped up on too much sugar talking about what the coolest episode ever would be? You’re vibrating from the energy of just unleashed possibilities and your Mom is telling you to get to sleep, but that Nine Year Old creative force is just shaking… running a thousand words a minute, spilling everything you ever dreamt of to your buddies and it feels like the greatest thing any of you have ever heard? Well that’s where you have to write from. You have to write with that energy and that fire. It is all about that magic 9 year old unleashed.’

I couldn’t agree more.

I think VAN HELSING is that hopped up eight bowls of Frosted Flakes with marshmallows sugar rush of a 9 year old dream of what the ultimate badass Universal Monster movie would be. I also believe that for Stephen Sommers this is an incredibly personal film. Call me naïve, claim that I swallowed Sommers’ childish fantasy hook, line and sinker, but as I watched the radiantly energetic and fun-filled VAN HELSING, I was giggling along with my dad and we loved it.

After the last frame of the movie, there’s this goofy overly expensive cg end credits thing, and it has Stephen Sommers’ writing and directing credit, along with the phrase of, “For my Dad.” That was the final note that hit me exactly right. When you watch Sommers’ electrified energetic talks about the Universal Monsters on the recent FRANKENSEIN, WOLFMAN and DRACULA sets that came out… you’re watching someone spill about Universal Monsters that I’m willing to bet all the chips, had endless 9 year old conversations with his Dad about what the coolest monster movie ever was… and that 9 year old grew up to be Stephen Sommers, and this is that nine year old’s coolest monster movie! And I'll be damned, but I bet every drop of blood in Sommers' universe tastes like Big Red!

Sommers loves this material… there isn’t a second of this film where I couldn’t feel that unfettered enthusiasm for the material unleashed. Like a half-crazed unleashed pre-adolescent fantasy ought to be told, this thing is filled with conveniences that are there solely for the sake of coolness.

For example… Why walk when you can swing, cuz wouldn’t it be cooler if Frankenstein swings baby? Hehehe… The amount of swinging going on in this thing, for a bit you’d think this was influenced by Bob Crane’s life had he swung like Weissmuller. Gravity, Torque and the physical realities mean nothing in Sommers’ universe. All those things are sacrificed to his personal God of Cool.

I mean, every element of this thing has that same unleashed gloriously childish sensibility to it. There isn’t a single cynical frame of self-awareness in this thing. Sommers is essentially leaping for joy in his favorite childhood pajamas trying to make a hole in his ceiling while laughing and leaping upon his bed. It’s crazy, it doesn’t make a lick of sense, but God Damn if it isn’t a shitload of fun.

I mean, things that just didn’t make any sense to me when I read his script, which I wasn’t really a fan of, suddenly leapt to life onscreen. And I think I get it. You see, when you read something, or at least when I read something, its easy to get hung up on a detail. A thing like… Why the fuck is Van Helsing’s first name Gabriel, he’s supposed to fucking be Abraham! BUT – when you watch the film, and you see him doing impossible after impossible stunt. Well frankly, it’s because Gabriel kicks ass for the Lord! LITERALLY. This Van Helsing is the mighty left hand of God, smiting those that offend the eye of God.

There’s a crazy cartoon logic at play in this film that dares to invent its own whacked mythology. It is at that level that you’re either going to go with it, or fucking hate this thing as a piece of shit.

The rules are never laid out in black and white in this film, and if you bring in the established rules and have no room to budge with them… Well, you’ll write a bitter review of this film like Ebert did with the original BLADE… where he was just pissed about all this Silver killing Vampires nonsense and how a vampire with really great sunblock and long sleeves and UV glasses can walk around in the daylight… He just couldn’t handle that. Too much. Well, this oughta kill him.

Here the sun isn’t about UV light, in a way the sun and moon are the eyes of God, and when the Sun sees only you, no veil of cloud, no brick between you… if you’re a vampire you will be burnt to death.

The crazy Werewolf thing is similar. The full eye of the moon, when it is cast upon those cursed to be a werewolf, it forces you to reveal the demon hell spawn inside. And the transformations themselves… well if you’re a man who is pure of heart and says his prayers at night… and you fight becoming a werewolf… it’s a painful prolonged skin ripping transformation… BUT – if you give yourself over to it, embrace what it is you have become… that transformation is as simple and seemingly painless as a Vampire’s. Dracula even mentions that at a point, talking about “first-mooners” and how they fight it, there hearts aren’t in it and they’re a pain cuz they haven’t learned to just go with it. The difference at the end is, that werewolf knows it must be a werewolf, must become a werewolf and wants nothing more than to BE the werewolf.

You see, the characters and creatures of Van Helsing are all self-aware of their purpose and motivations and reasons for being. Like David Wenham’s wonderful Friar Carl. He knows he’s not a monk and he knows the vows he’d have to take to become a monk… he’d rather be a Friar. And god damn it, he’s a Friar with the best Eugene Pallette Friar foot forward. He celebrates his aloofness, relishes in the quirks.

Like Dracula… Dracula as played by Richard Roxburgh isn’t really like any Dracula I’ve seen before. He’s a cocky father of evil. He’s been around for ages, knows he’s pretty much fucking invincible… he knows he holds all the cards, three lovely wives and a giant castle of booger encased babies… and why is he so fucking happy? Well look at it like this… If you were Dracula and Josie Maran, Silvia Colloca and Elena Anaya were your wives… and you produced what visually looks like a billion boogers of babies… You’d be a pretty satisfied evil fuck too!

Speaking of them Vampire Harpy Bitches… God I love them. Every Harryhausen ounce of me loved them. That attack on the village… the joy they had of fucking with the villagers. It was great. And Van Helsing’s gas powered crossbow from God… MAN – That thing fucking kicks ass! I also really dig the bottled lightning brain of Frankenstein’s Monster. And I couldn’t help, but think how cool it’d be to have a life-sized prop of that head, but with one of them Plasma ball things encased in it so that your Frankenstein Monster really had that plasma dancing about. And if you could swing open the skull top and the face side… hehehehe… that’d be cool!

If all of this is making you make a poopie-face and your digestive system is kicking fits… I don’t recommend you see the movie. If you’re just gonna be a miserable bitch about it all… DON’T GO. But, if you have an ounce of a 9 year old Monster Lover in you… This thing will kick your ass. But it really is that 9 year old thing. If you’re a miserable angsty 15 year old cynical ball of shit type… you are going to twist like bacon on a red hot grill during this thing.

ILM did great fun work here. You could really get a sense of glee out of their work. Same with Alan Silvestri -- who seems to really love John Williams’ Grail theme from “Last Crusade” and a whoppingly concussive BEE GEE’s styling Evil Fighting Groove that he has going on in this baby.

The production design, monsters, sets, costumes and weapons are all just gorgeous. This film may have cost a zillion dollars, but I can see every last penny of it up there. When you look at Stephen Sommers’ last film, MUMMY RETURNS – this is that movie on much more sugar. Amazingly beautiful locations, people and monsters. Crazy ass action and mystical ancient mumbo jumbo. I could have fought this film from frame one, but I didn’t. When I saw that color Universal World go black and white… and suddenly burst into white flames… I laughed and howled… and as it became a torch, I giggled. This film isn’t about subtlety, atmosphere and reverence. This is about going into those worlds and just tearing it up… having fun and moving around as fast as you can. Its about fun, and it really is up to the viewer to want to have it… or not. Personally, I had a shitload of fun.

Readers Talkback

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  • May 5, 2004, 8:55 a.m. CST

    FLUSH!

    by Brian Bialy

    Goes Harrys cred.

  • May 5, 2004, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Sounds like an Ed Wood movie

    by Drath

    Ignore your brain and just be a kid that doesn't know any better, huh? Moriarty must HATE this movie. Ed Wood had enthusiasm too, it doesn't make his movies good in the way he wanted them to be. I'm going to see this, I hope with my dad, and I doubt I can regress to a gullible kid level like Harry is daring me to, but I hope that I'll like it at least as much as I like the Mummy movies. That's not asking too much, is it?

  • May 5, 2004, 9:05 a.m. CST

    That's a Big Change

    by Jin-Roh

    As much venom as I've seen spewed on this site about this film I am suprised that Harry had a positive review for Van Helsing. Personally, I agree with Harry and think this movie will be fun.

  • May 5, 2004, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Are there any actors in this movie?

    by JuliusCsir

    To read the review, it sounds like a sit-around the campfire, listening Sommers tell a story after eating a box of Pop Tarts...

  • May 5, 2004, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Great, Harry, so 9 year olds will love it. What about the rest o

    by SmarkJobber

    Unless Harry is having a piss with this review, I'm going to cry "COP OUT." The entire basis of the review revolves around whether or not one wants to acknowledge their inner child, and if you do and can, well g'alldarnnit, you'll probably like "Van Helsing." Harry, if I was a 9 year old, I'd probably like lots of shit -- shit worse than "Helsing" (even though, from what I hear, there isn't much worse).

  • May 5, 2004, 9:07 a.m. CST

    This review is the last nail in the coffin...it's official, it's

    by minderbinder

  • May 5, 2004, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Ebert LIKED the first BLADE....3 stars.

    by baghutch

    Very honest of you to mention that many people will think its a steaming pile of poodoo. I hope everyone realizes that we're all entitled to our own taste, and when it comes to movies like this, Harry's good sense just seems to go out the window compared to most level headed people who love movies. Never forget the man who believes 'Daredevil' is the best Marvel movie.

  • May 5, 2004, 9:22 a.m. CST

    9 years old like

    by Zim Zala Bim

    Last Summer I saw League of Extraordinary Gentlemen at the drive-in with a bunch of age 30something movie geeks. We all had fun ripping LXG to pieces. A couple weeks later I took my Nephews (ages 9 and 11) to LXG and they loved it, and we had a good time. It didn't make it a great movie. Movie love is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. Problem with that is that you review the movie you WANT it to be, not what it is. I accept the subjective nature of reviews, but that's why I say 'find a reviewer whose opinions align with your own and listen to them.' Think of them as an agent. They take their cut, but they are worth the expense. Harry can't be my movie agent. Ebert and I agree 95% of time, but his ass still owes me for recommending "Spawn."

  • May 5, 2004, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Jesus h Christ

    by peter60

    Is Harry on crack? Or sugar? Okay, so I haven't seen VH yet, but holy cremoly it sounds abysmal. He's called "Gabriel" not "Abraham" but there's a brilliant reason, which Harry just thought up. Do me a favour. This entire review is a mish mash of cliche, bad grammar, illiterate nonsense, and desperate attempts to get us to go and see a movie which is almost certainly garbage. How much is Harry being paid by VH's makers?

  • May 5, 2004, 9:31 a.m. CST

    for his Dad....AWWWWWwwwwwww....

    by Rupee88

    And Harry saw the movie with his Dad too...so relevant...<sniffle>... I'm so touched. What a great fucking movie it must be.

  • May 5, 2004, 9:32 a.m. CST

    If you seriously recommend this Harry, your judgement is badly f

    by Mister McClane

    What the hell are you talking about Harry? I saw

  • I gain GREAT entertainment watching all the "CONSTIP-HATERS" (c) screaming PLANT! SELLOUT! & just plain naysaying just because it's "something to do" and "not conformist". Have fun, "Constip-Haters"... most of us ignore you anyway. I look forward to seeing Van Helsing and seeing new versions of all of my favorite Universal Monsters.

  • May 5, 2004, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Harry was a chef at Mensa...true story

    by Rob_Graves

    Stephen Sommers and I discussed the CG effects in Van Helsing while Jack Bauer shot heroin. Harry was a terrible cook, he would only make lardcakes and spamdogs.

  • May 5, 2004, 10:51 a.m. CST

    This is the SAME guy who gave the punisher THAT review people!!!

    by Rcamacho2278

    forgive Van helsing, but rip the punisher apart ..wow man, the hipocrisy is amazing. WHy don't you rip on Van helsing and how many splats it's got on rotten tomatoes like you did with the punisher????

  • May 5, 2004, 11:01 a.m. CST

    oh brother

    by lopan

    people take themselves so seriously on the message boards here...so harry dissed VH, and now he likes it...harry has recommended plenty of bad movies before and it will happen again. who cares, move on

  • May 5, 2004, 11:22 a.m. CST

    There

    by EmmettOtter

    They don

  • May 5, 2004, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Did anyone not see this coming?

    by alchemist

    Harry told us, "I want to like this film." He said, "I don't care about one bad review, I want to like this film." He said, "I don't care about 100 bad reviews, I want to like this film." Why? Just cause (and don't make me bring up Vampires and Werewolves). And then you know what, he finally saw it, and guess what, the man liked it..................... I've never taken to Harry bashing in these talkbacks, but really THAT WILL HAPPEN WITH EVERY FLICK! WHEN YOU GO IN NOT WITH EXPECTATION BUT WITH AN OPEN MIND, YOU WILL LIKE ANY FILM!! Idiot. It wouldn't be so bad, except you write reviews. You can't go into a film expecting to love it and then write a fair review, you just can't.

  • May 5, 2004, 11:42 a.m. CST

    I saw Van Helsing yesterday and I want my time back!

    by Atomic_Jedi

    Van Helsing is a movie made for stupid kids and retarded adults. The dialog was absolutely abysmal. Hugh Jackman got suckered into the worst film of 2004. This movie makes Reloaded and Dude Where's My Car look like academy award material. ATROCIOUS, A-FUCKING-TROCIOUS! Dracula is the biggest monster hack I've ever seen and his maidens should have been sprayed with Holy Water and exposed to sunlight before the fucking movie even started!!! If you want to shit away your money and your precious time in this earth go ahead, you've been warned! The only way I saw this film was thanks to a couple of free passes. Do not watch this movie unless: a) you have free passes and ignore my warning. b) You are an idiot and don't value your time!

  • May 5, 2004, 12:02 p.m. CST

    If Saturday morning TV made for good film someone would have bou

    by rev_skarekroe

    And Harry, do something about the speed and unreliability of this website. Seriously dude, you should be ashamed that a site that gets mainstream press is completely inaccessable half the time. sk

  • May 5, 2004, 12:03 p.m. CST

    As the wind blows ...

    by squidman

    In my opinion, It seems that Harry's willingness to suspend his disbelief for SOME over-the-top CGI-filled "fun" films, and his UNwillingness to do it for OTHERS really discredits him as a critic. Regardless of the film-makers intentions, be they self-gratifying imaginative what-ifs, or love-letters to their fathers, the question remains: Is it a QUALITY, well-driven, well-written movie. Isn't it okay to say you like a movie, but realize it may have been for the wrong reasons? It's called a guilty pleasure. Don't be laudatory of a film because it connected with YOU on a personal level. But, this is Harry's site, and he can do whatever the hell he wants. But for me, personally, I always found a bit too much of Harry in his reviews. I love this site for its scoops, and movie news, but I think - until I see this movie and judge for myself - I will cease refer to these wild reviews. Yeah, I know you all care.

  • May 5, 2004, 12:38 p.m. CST

    Harry clearly has a financial stake in promoting this movie

    by Petro45

    The review above, on its own, wouldn't be so suspicious. But if you combine it with the other headlines Harry has devoted to this film, its clear that he is going ridiculously out of his way to create some kind of positive buzz. First, he dedicates an entire article to some idiot who called Van Helsing a "200 million dollar Troma film," going on and on about how this is the highest compliment one can pay. Then, he gives a headline to a review in a freaking FOREIGN LANGUAGE, so desperate was he to find some positive feedback for this dungfest. Harry's own review is merely icing on the cake. Its obvious how desperate he is to find something good to say about this film, when he suggests that you should pretend you're nine years old again to enjoy it. Face it - Harry is clearly biased here. He has done everything in his power to try to alter the conventional wisdom that this is a steaming pile of crap. How much is he getting paid?

  • May 5, 2004, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Oh you shitty shitty bandwidth

    by Brian Bialy

    shitty shitty bandwidth we hate you and your shitty shitty bandwidth shitty shitty bandwidth makes me mad too. What the hell? I used to think that this was a legitimate movie site. Now Harry and his "Presents" are shilling schlockfest movies and Amazon linked goods while most of us cannot even get on because the bandwidth is non existent. My friend saw a sneak peek at VH last night and guess what? He said it is the worst movie he has seen this year. And he is just a regular guy, not some smarmy talk backer like me or the rest of us. Bad accents, bad acting, cheezy effects. MUST BE AWARD WINNING MATERIAL THOUGH HUH HARRY? CHA CHING! I can't wait to see what Joblo says about the movie Friday.

  • May 5, 2004, 12:52 p.m. CST

    So you're saying this should be enjoyable maybe?

    by WarDog

    Thanks, Harry, for that review. I was afraid that you might agree wtih those who hated it. Maybe I will like it on a certain level, from a certain perspective, in spite of other flaws of story-telling or movie-making it might contain. Hey, if it contains enough pure, gleeful fun, that can compensate for the bad aspects. But just why did they change his name from Abraham to Gabriel? And wasn't the esteemed Dr. Van Helsing in _Dracula_ a Jew? I really need to re-read _Dracula_.

  • May 5, 2004, 1:21 p.m. CST

    What is the rating of this movie?

    by tucson

    If it's R, how many 9-year-olds are going to be able to see it? Even if it's not, what are the chances that real adults (even those with a sense of "childlike wonder"...bleah) are going to enjoy this?

  • May 5, 2004, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Harry's Review

    by Buddapest

    Give the man a break. He has a right to be sentimental towards a flick like this. I felt - and still feel - like he does toward this in regard to the American remake of GODZILLA. I had a blast at that movie, and still regard it as a fluff favorite. I know it has flaws, but I still enjoy the crap out of it. I expect I will love VAN HELSING as much as Harry did, too, because I was also a Universal Monsters fan when I was a kid - and, like GODZILLA, they weren't totally perfect in their original incarnations, either. Most of those old movies had way crappier production values than what we're used to - so what's up with all the bitchin'?

  • Sounds about right to me? If you've ever participated, or witnessed such an event you'd know that the results are typically incoherent, and dumb. I see what quentin was getting at, you need that kind of ENTHUSIASM. he didn't say you should record and literally transcribe 9-year old brainstorms to a script. Which, as horribly written, and as asinine as this film is, I have no problem believing that's how it came together. Fun doesn't excuse dumb, in fact dumb acts in direct opposition to fun.

  • May 5, 2004, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Honestly people, IS there a movie Harry doesn't like?

    by Rob_Graves

    IN the whole time I have been visiting this site, I would have to say that I have not once seen Harry TOTALLY hate a movie. He likes parts, thinks parts could be better, despises parts but loves others. He never outright hates anything, except diets. Honestly, if you take this guys opinion of anything except main courses at restaurants, you are stupid. The talk backs are all that is useful on this site, all the reviews are useless. You should have realized that a LONG time ago.

  • May 5, 2004, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Good lord.

    by eight-

    You guys are freaking morons. So what if the movie sucks, or if you don't like it. Don't let it ruin your lives. Everytime I read these lines, it's like I'm listening to a bunch of 13 year olds complain about how they hate everything.

  • May 5, 2004, 2:16 p.m. CST

    What do you goddamn nerds want?

    by Mabus

    You hate every movie made, BEFORE you even watch it. You pay money to see every SciFi movie, then complain about how bad they are. No movie is ever good enough for your "high tastes." You have your homemade light saber while saying how crappy Star Wars is. I would guess Van Helsing would have been better if YOU had directed and starred in it. But alas, Hollywood hasn't discovered your unfathomable genius yet, so all movies will suck until they do.

  • May 5, 2004, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Ebert never hated BLADE Harry

    by CONNOR MCMANUS

    Harry, Great review dude. I was hoping to love this movie and the way you describe it i bet i will. By the way, Ebert never hated Blade. Here's what he said: "Blade (R) Blade: Wesley Snipes Whistler: Kris Kristofferson Deacon Frost: Stephen Dorff Directed by Stephen Norrington. Written by David S. Goyer. Running time: 120 minutes. Classified R (for strong, pervasive vampire violence and gore, language and brief sexuality). BY ROGER EBERT At a time when too many movies are built from flat, TV-style visuals of people standing around talking, movies based on comic books represent one of the last best hopes for visionary filmmaking. It's ironic that the comics, which borrowed their early visual style from movies, should now be returning the favor. ``Blade,'' starring Wesley Snipes as a killer of vampires who is engaged in an armageddon for possession of the Earth, is a movie that relishes high visual style. It uses the extreme camera angles, the bizarre costumes and sets, the exaggerated shadows, the confident cutting between long shots and extreme closeups. It slams ahead in pure visceral imagery. Of course anyone patiently attending the film in the hopes of a reasoned story line is going to be disappointed. Better to see it in comic book terms, as an episode in a master-myth, in which even the most cataclysmic confrontation is not quite the end of things, because there has to be another issue next month. The story, like so many comic myths, involves ordinary people who are connected through a superhero to an occult universe that lurks beneath reality--or, as Blade tells a young human doctor, ``The world you live in is just a sugar-coated topping. There is another world beneath it--the real world!'' Blade, based on a Marvel Comics hero, is played by Snipes as a man on the border between human and vampire. Blade's origination story: His mother was bitten by a vampire while pregnant, infecting her child, who lived in the streets until being adopted by a man named Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), who masterminds a lonely war against vampires. Now Blade, raised to manhood, is the spearhead of that battle, as vampires spread their influence through the major cities. One of their chief gathering grounds: secret after-hours dance clubs where victims are lured by the promise of forbidden thrills, only to be bitten and converted. The movie is built around a series of major action scenes; the first one features an update of an old friend from 1970s Hong Kong movies, the flying guillotine. This is a knife-edged boomerang that spins, slices and returns to its owner. Very neat. Blade encounters Dr. Karen Jensen (N'Bushe Wright), a blood specialist who has been bitten by a badly burned vampire brought in for emergency treatment. Can she be saved? He returns her to Whistler's secret lab for an injection of liquid garlic, which will give her a fighting chance. Blade himself lives under a daily reprieve; Whistler's serum keeps him on the human side, although he may be building up a resistance to it. Arrayed against Blade are the forces of vampirism, represented by his arch-enemy Deacon Frost (Stephen Dorff), who's also half-human, half-vampire, who dreams of a final vampire uprising against humans, and world conquest. His rival within the vampire world is Dragonetti (Udo Keir), a pure vampire who prefers the current arrangement under which vampires secretly control key organizations to safeguard their interests. There is a lot of mythology underlying Frost's plans, including the evocation of an ancient vampire god who may return to lead the creatures in their final conquest. The setting for the climactic scene is a phantasmagoric vampire temple where Blade must risk everything in a titanic showdown. The movie, directed by Stephen Norrington, is another in a recent group of New Line Cinema movies that combine comic book imagery, noir universes, and the visual heritage of German Expressionism; I'd rank it third after ``Dark City'' and ``Spawn.'' This material is obviously moving in the direction of pure animation, which is the look it often tries to evoke, and there are some shots here that use f/x to evoke animation's freedom from gravity and other physical laws. Notice, for example, an unbroken shot where Blade takes Dr. Jensen in his arms and makes an improbable leap from a high window to a far rooftop. Can't be done--especially not with them seemingly floating down in midair to a safe landing--but the dreamlike feel of escape is effective. Wesley Snipes understands the material from the inside out and makes an effective Blade because he knows that the key ingredient in any interesting superhero is not omnipotence, but vulnerability. There is always a kind of sadness underlying the personalities of the great superheroes, who have been given great knowledge and gifts but few consolations in their battle against evil. The fun all seems to be on the villain's side. By embodying those feelings, Snipes as Blade gives the movie that edge of emotion without which it would simply be special effects. Of course you have to bring something to it yourself, preferably a sympathy for the whole comic superhero ethos. This is the kind of movie that gets better the more you know about the genre."

  • May 5, 2004, 4:12 p.m. CST

    it is sad to see this...

    by riouxda

    It is sad and funny at the same time. How people can't have an opinion these days without being teared apart. I agree with someone else on here who said that you have to find a reviewers with who you feel you have some things in common. When I first came here and started reading Harry's review, I was impress to finally have found someone who could not only tell you about how he felt about a movie but also explain why, how he felt that day, etc. That gave much more depth to the review to me. Of course, I'm not saying that I always agree with Harry but, I'm also a geek so, I can appreciate and understands his interests in movies. It is sad to see that today's people don't understand the role of some movies anymore. I'd be curious to see how people would react to some of Harryhausen's movies today. People would probably start bashing them because of the bad SFX and acting and all...But then, in those times, they were fantastic movies who would take you to wonderful places. But people no longer know how to forget about their little life and let themself dragged into these movies. Today's people are so spoiled that they've become professional whiners at everything. It probably makes them look cool when they say that a movie sucks so, that's why they do it although they probably didn't understand a thing about the movie they saw. Harry has put a lot of work to do this web site and I think he deserves more respect than being called name by people who are jealous of him. Yes, he might be overweight but, he is still human you know. If you guys don't like his work on here, just go start your own site and I'd be curious to see how it ends up looking and to see if you'd be able to put the same work as Harry has done on here. Hmmm...you'd probably stop after a few days cuz it would be too much work for you since many of you whiners are probably used of being given everything without having to work for it. So anyway, instead of bashing Harry for his review, I'd be curious to hear about your opinions and the whys of them. Not just a "it Sucks"!! But something that could bring discussion... Sadly, it probably won't happen anytime soon...

  • May 5, 2004, 4:36 p.m. CST

    the cure for TB degenerates

    by DocPazuzu

    It

  • May 5, 2004, 5:08 p.m. CST

    dolfan....

    by DocPazuzu

    ...no spacebar? Then DON'T POST, jackass.

  • May 5, 2004, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Shut Up!

    by Grendel Khan

    Why label someone a sell out? Just because he was able to relax and enjoy a movie without being a freaked out fanboy getting bogged down in what we think those characters should be. It's like someone saying you cannot enjoy a cheeseburger, because it's not a steak dinner. What's wrong with a little mindless fun from time to time? That's the problem with being a fanboy, you cannot just relax and enjoy a film. It's got to be taken apart and put under a microscope. Shut your damned pie hole, relax and enjoy it for what it is!

  • May 5, 2004, 5:48 p.m. CST

    The headline reads... 'HARRY WHACKED-OUT ON WOWEE SAUCE!!!'

    by workshed

    Harry... Compared to 'The Monster Squad' (long overdue for a decent DVD release) THIS FILM SUCKS BALLS. Maybe that guy likes having his balls sucked in a positive way. Harry, me ol' mucker, as a critic, there's a time to be nice and a time to be nasty. In 'Van Helsing's case, the prevailing wind is blowing in the right direction I'm afraid. The rat should leave this ship before it goes down with it. Love, Workshed.xxx

  • What the fuck is wrong with the studios' internet advertising departments? Why the fuck do you advertise for family comedies on a site populated by genre-loving, hard-swearing, family comedy-hating, and for most probably children-lacking movie fans? You guys should be burned alive in your cubicles.

  • May 5, 2004, 6:19 p.m. CST

    I...

    by Ford Fairlane

    Think it will be just fine. Hugh Jackman ain't all that bad. And Beckinsale is a sweet piece of pipe.

  • May 5, 2004, 6:38 p.m. CST

    damn

    by neckbone

    so harry, do all the theaters in austin offer butter, salt AND crack with the popcorn?

  • May 5, 2004, 6:55 p.m. CST

    by Batlash

    Actually there IS a brilliant (or at least practical) reason for why he's "Gabriel" Van Helsing and not "Abraham." It's because Abraham Van Helsing is an OLD MAN who can't perform the kick-ass action required of this character. It's one less thing the the anal angst-ridden it's got monsters in it so it has to be dark and gory and oh so serious and can't change one iota from the original crowd to bitch about. Oh I forgot, you ARE bitching about it. Glad to read Harry liked this. I was starting to worry all these guys might be right.

  • May 5, 2004, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Van Helsing....Gabriel...Van Helsing!

    by Batlash

    Actually there IS a brilliant (or at least practical) reason for why he's "Gabriel" Van Helsing and not "Abraham." It's because Abraham Van Helsing is an OLD MAN who can't perform the kick-ass action required of this character. It's one less thing the the anal angst-ridden it's got monsters in it so it has to be dark and gory and oh so serious and can't change one iota from the original crowd to bitch about. Oh I forgot, you ARE bitching about it. Glad to read Harry liked this. I was starting to worry all these guys might be right.

  • May 5, 2004, 7:03 p.m. CST

    So, whaddya get

    by danimal63

    if you write Harry a porn story involving monsters? Other than the horrifying mental picture of Harry's man goo all over a picture of the werewolf.

  • May 5, 2004, 7:04 p.m. CST

    HARRY HITS A NEW LOW OF DEPTH-DEFYING PROPORTION...

    by horseloverfat723

    Every "Harryhausen" ounce of you? Gee, what a way to INSULT a trumendous sci-fiction writer by associating your lame-ass self with his name. This review is even worse then the infamous occasions of when you called Daredevil a "perfect film" (hahaha) and loved every second of Episode II (ugh..), yet hated the brilliance that was MATRIX RELOADED (that's right, assholes, I said it!! I liked Reloaded, shoot me why don't you). What the hell is wrong with you? You either are being payed for this shit, or really have THAT BAD OF TASTE!

  • May 5, 2004, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Unbelievable

    by josephsh

    This isn't amount Van Helsing being a popcorn flick, or fanboys having to pick apart every film. It's about Van Helsing being an absolutely horrible movie (I saw it at a screening weeks ago) with terrible acting and a nonsensical plot. It's an insult to popcorn flicks. Someone read this review, then read Harry's review of Punisher (not a great film by any means but worse than the Dolph Lundgren version) and tell me with a straight face that something's not going on with Harry and this site.

  • Do you just throw all standards out the window the minute you hear that a movie isn't going to take itself seriously? Is any shit acceptable up on-sreen as long as you're stuffing your fucking face with popcorn? Oh well, have fun then.

  • May 5, 2004, 7:26 p.m. CST

    I liked this review...

    by Archduke_Chocula

    and I will see Van Helsing. Why you ask? Cause the movies is supposed to be entertainment, mindless entertainment, like a fireworks show shit will explode to try and muster ooo's and awww's from the crowd. I caught watching Dracula that he does employ Werewolfs, so I can accept the Wolfman, the ending sounds horrible and the fact that Sommers has an obsession with baby versions of the main villains is insane. But this movie is more for the "Wouldn't it be cool if the Wolfman, Dracula, Frnakenstein whooped ass?" crowd. I hope I don't draw the anger of a talkbacker as i'm not trying to step on your nerves but I think i'll like Van Helsing, but the notion of exploding carriages cracks me up just thinking about it.

  • May 5, 2004, 7:32 p.m. CST

    I didn't know that the target audience for this movie was 9 year

    by IAmLegolas

    You learn something new everyday. And since I'm 30 with no kids or nephews, I'll pass on this movie.

  • May 5, 2004, 7:38 p.m. CST

    giggling and howling

    by readyoufool

    Does anyone else think that it would be an incredibly annoying experience to see a movie with harry? I mean, he seems to be constantly giggling, laughing and howling at every little thing like a baby in its crib with a new mobile overhead.

  • Should we be surprised he likes it?

  • May 5, 2004, 7:53 p.m. CST

    Why is everyone so obsessed with one man's opinion?

    by Lou C.

    Good lord. Get a life. If you love the movie, good for you. If you hate it, good for you. If you all fucking hate Harry's reviews so much, why is his opinion that important to you? Sheesh.

  • May 5, 2004, 7:59 p.m. CST

    PLANT!

    by TheKinsman

    More like you swallowed his cum before writing this review

  • May 5, 2004, 8 p.m. CST

    Done got none respecgt

    by MrDave

    You know, as best I can remember, Ray Harryhausen is a special effects genius, not a Sci-fi AUTEUR. I think we might want to check our prepubescent facts before wandering off into some PLANT! yelling wonderland. As you haven't seen this film, you OBVIOUSLY have something to add. I haven't seen this movie, but at least I have a) A vague command of the English language, and b) A knowledge of the subject matter. Just so we know: Ray Harryhausen is a stop-motion special effects pioneer. Harry is allowed to like movies you decided you don't three months ago. Bela Lugosi once played Dracula. It was in some old movie and shit.

  • May 5, 2004, 8 p.m. CST

    Done got none respecgt

    by MrDave

    You know, as best I can remember, Ray Harryhausen is a special effects genius, not a Sci-fi AUTEUR. I think we might want to check our prepubescent facts before wandering off into some PLANT! yelling wonderland. As you haven't seen this film, you OBVIOUSLY have something to add. I haven't seen this movie, but at least I have a) A vague command of the English language, and b) A knowledge of the subject matter. Just so we know: Ray Harryhausen is a stop-motion special effects pioneer. Harry is allowed to like movies you decided you don't three months ago. Bela Lugosi once played Dracula. It was in some old movie and shit.

  • May 5, 2004, 8:15 p.m. CST

    All Talk Backers Suck Cock

    by Knightmare187

    Except the one that left this message.

  • May 5, 2004, 8:17 p.m. CST

    Actually, DocPazuzu, just about every movie I think will suck, c

    by FluffyUnbound

    You can look it up. I have ALWAYS been on the right side. And I say this Van Halen Helsing garbage will stink up the joint. Take it from the name you trust.

  • May 5, 2004, 8:30 p.m. CST

    I Knew you'd like it

    by Godbot

    I knew that unless I had totally misjudged the previews and completely misread the fact that it was from "The Director of The Mummy and The Mummy Returns", I knew you would go apeshit over this movie, Harry. And all you uptight motherfuckers who don't have an ounce of joy in you can eat my arse.

  • May 5, 2004, 8:43 p.m. CST

    GO SEE "SUPERSIZE ME" INSTEAD!!!

    by Johnny Ahab

    Seriously, folks. It's a terrifically funny little film, opens the same weekend, and the tiny indie Samuel Goldwyn company needs your support much more than this crapfest. Do you reeeeeeally need to go opening weekend? And inflate the grosses so Universal can crow and then greenlight "VAN HELSING 2"? For all the people out there saying "go decide for yourself" -- you betcha. I sure will. Six months later when it's out on DVD and I can rent it for half the price. Or when it shows up on HBO. That's what I did for the insufferable "LXG", "AVENGERS", "BATMAN & ROBIN", "WILD WILD WEST" -- better yet, do it with ten friends and many beers and you will have a rockin' good time (and 10 of you see it for $4, and the studios are robbed of the bucks they do not deserve.) You vote with your dollars, folks. Pump up its box office numbers, the studios will only make more shit like this. Go make a hit out of a left-field doc like "SUPERSIZE ME", and guess what -- the studios and indie folks and financiers will TAKE RISKS with cooler fare! Seriously, people -- it's not like "VAN HELSING" is the only thing playing this weekend. Support other deserving films, and resist the temptation to go see this. If you ABSOLUTELY MUST go, pay for another film like "HELLBOY" (to inflate their box office numbers even though you've seen it and reward a GOOD damn geek film), then sneak into "VAN HELSING" so they can't tally your $8-10 into the total. And if you go and pay full price and hate it, well, you were warned. OH, and Harry, you destroyed your cred with me long ago. I went to see the awful "LAKE PLACID" on your recommendation. That clinched it for me. Nothing could make me go see this film. Nothing.

  • May 5, 2004, 8:45 p.m. CST

    Harry loved Godzilla and cried during Armageddon, remember?

    by My Ass Smells

    His opinion hasn't been worth a goddamn for many many many years now.

  • May 5, 2004, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Roger Ebert gave both Spawn and Speed 2 a thumbs up!

    by My Ass Smells

    Who gives a shit what he thinks about movies.

  • May 5, 2004, 8:58 p.m. CST

    Look, my dad is a classic horror fan too

    by GypsyTRobot

    Dad made me watch "The Black Cat" 5 million times, the last time I was home he made me watch his new DVD of "The Man Who Laughs". He can't tolerate MST3K making fun of a Lugosi movie. But he hates that Abbott & Costello shit, and he'd probably hate this if he bothered to go see it. Just because you like "Bride of Frankenstein" doesn't mean you have to like every post-Karloff Frankenstein out there.

  • May 5, 2004, 9:23 p.m. CST

    To People Who Don't Get It

    by flossygomez

    Anyone who goes to a "House of Frankenstein" style monster movie expecting anything more than a brainless thrill ride is DEEPLY STUPID. I don't mind brainless thrill rides if they entertain. The Mummy was one such movie. If it's like that one, I will enjoy it. Remember what it's like to just have fun? Jaded idiots.

  • May 5, 2004, 9:40 p.m. CST

    shut up about PLANTS

    by polyh3dron

    the whole "calling any favorable review a plant" thing is REALLY getting old now, just as old as the whole hulk hogan tradition except the plant thing isn't funny. please stop the Plant messages, there's no way of knowing unless you wrote the damn review.

  • Tee-hee !

  • May 5, 2004, 10 p.m. CST

    Who cares what YOU think...

    by Hiryu

    I rarely post here, but I swear, the level s of stupidity and fanboy/geek/nerd bickering has reached an absurd level...Whats the fucking deal with harry liking a movie everyone "seems" hates?...if you go see it, and you end up liking it, I doubt you all Van Helsing haters will ever recognize it, because you will lose your so important AICN?s talkback social status, and your ego will go down a little. I plan to see this movie, because it has elements i like..vampires, Werewolves, Frankenstein's monster, i want to be entertained, if i wanted art, I'll go see Herzog,Dreyer, Kurosawa or any other film that has reached the Art category...not all movies have to be artistic, or fit to YOUR tastes...Ive never seen Sommer ssaying "Oh Its an art film" or "Its a magnificent piece of cinema story", fuck, the guy just wanted to do a brainless, fun monster movie....Just like what all the classic monster movies were on those days...thats the sole thing about movies that will never change, that most movies are meant to entertain you...if you cant deal with that, go sick back on your porcelain throne and leave everyone else's opinion alone...that, or recognize you just post shit on these talk backs to boost your pathetic ego...me, im gonna go see the movie, and if its crap, so there, if its fun, great, and its fun crap i

  • May 5, 2004, 10:26 p.m. CST

    This Van Helsing couldn't possibly be any worse than Spider-Man

    by Gere's AssGerbil

    I gots me my popcorn. Now bring on the CGI shitfests. It wouldn't be summer without 'em. At least Van Helsing has a really hot chick rather than Kirsten Dumpst.

  • May 5, 2004, 10:29 p.m. CST

    "I

    by FrankDrebin

    So if it's somebody else's project, AICN will print any rumor, script review, test screening, etc. it can get it's hand on. But it's about an AICN deal, then it's national security time.

  • May 5, 2004, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Surprise...surprise...surprise!!! Harry likes a movie with WERE

    by DarthCorleone

  • May 5, 2004, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Methinks thou doth review too much

    by scumbag

  • May 5, 2004, 11:46 p.m. CST

    Jesus H. Gibson, people..! You want to read a REVIEW, buy a pape

    by mookiedood

    And they're both great, for different reasons. I mean, Harry's take on a movie can swing wildly, and it really depends on his mood or mindset on any given day. He saw Armageddon and cried (for some reason), but I bet if he'd seen it a few days earlier or later when he was in a different mood he would have ripped it apart. He occasionally finds ways to justify his opinion by throwing up comments about film history and technique, but crap, when it comes right down to it the guy just really lets himself go and get carried away by a movie, positively or negatively, in the way that a REVIEWER doesn't or can't. I can't do it either... very rarely can I give myself up to like or hate a movie so immensely, based on whatever emotional baggage I'm bringing in. And you know what? I wish I could. I really wish I could just give myself up to enjoy a crappy movie for personal, emotional reasons, without keeping track of how bad the writing or directing are. Because I think a guy like Harry has a lot more fun in a theatre than me, and it makes me kind of envious. So if I want a REVIEW I'll read Ebert. But that's not why I come here.

  • May 5, 2004, 11:46 p.m. CST

    CAN'T YOU GUYS BE A LITTLE HUMAN?

    by Kon-El

    What's your problems? Every time this man writes a positive review each one of you degenerates into a rabid child. Why do you feel the need to insult him? Has he molested a child? Insulted your mothers? Burned a cross? Well, what is it? He enjoyed a film? A film that several of you have yet to see? But it must be terrible because Harry liked it. Leave this man alone and let him enjoy his movie! I can understand criticizing him for reviewing and promoting the work of his friends, but to debase a man out of envy and spite? Come on. We're all better than that. Be sensible. Be decent. Try to think with reason before you ejaculate such venom. Just try to be a little nicer. Please.

  • May 5, 2004, 11:59 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah, and while I'm at it...

    by mookiedood

    ... why the fuck do you people keep coming to read Harry's reviews when you hate them so much? I don't understand that. It's kind of pathological to keep inflicting a negative experience on yourself, without learning from negative reinforcement. They prescrive Xanax to people like that. Honestly... if I were you I'd find the bastard that keeps making your browser come here, and kick his ass!!

  • May 6, 2004, midnight CST

    Sorry, but I just saw the movie here in Brazil and liked it a lo

    by EddieMarlowe

    Reading all the negative reviews here... Man, I was expecting something real real lame. So why I went to see it tonight? I liked the first production designs, the posters, the trailers was so-so, saw both Mummy's because I miss Indiana Jones, and I was damn curious to see how much they ripped from the "source" (Vampire Hunter D), wink wink. And Jackman is DA Logan, and Beckinsale was a cutie in Shooting Fish and Underworld (I know, totally opposite movies). And so what? Saw the movie and, again, liked a lot. Mr. Hyde is way much cooler than the LXG version (and I liked it, Harry hated). The first shot of miss Beckinsale is a damn butt great one ;). Jackman is the young Eastwood kickin' ass in a monster flick. About the monsters, the looks are ok (at least, much better than the toy versions, ugh), but the most important thing is: you really feel sorry for them. In this way, Sommers understood and respected the old material. Roxburgh is making a nice career as a genre villain. Reading the bad reviews, I was expecting the over-the-top from him. Well, like Harry said, he gave us something new and cool instead. To finish, I was expecting a bad review from Harry. I should know him better, he just loves the old monster stuff. And, ah, there's nothing after the end credits, you can go home ;)

  • May 6, 2004, 12:19 a.m. CST

    CATWOMAN TRAILER!!!

    by halcyonseven

    Since the guys here aren't gonna give you any real news, heres something for you to see... *SCOOP* The catwoman teaser trailer has been caught and is on the web at: http://blackfilm.com/20040430/features/catwomantrailer.shtml What do ya think? Cool or as lame as that costume? Looks pretty slick but...well...looks like a giant urban rat... What do you guys think???

  • Oh yeah, Lucas meant for meant for the pre-trilogy to have shitty diologue. He's just paying homage to crappy old movies from a by-gone time of innocence...sure. Just leave your brain at the door and enjoy, kids. I spose that's the thinking Sommers is counting on too. As LOTR proved, a far-out fantasy story doesn't have to be stupid to boot. P.S. The Mummy STILL sux. And TPM always was, and forever will remain...a Phart-sucking Menace

  • May 6, 2004, 12:35 a.m. CST

    I'll admit , I have not seen it...

    by WONKABAR

    MAYBE I'll be surprised. But as someone else reminded me...Raiders and O.T. DO bring out your inner nine-year-old. Shit like The Mummy, new-S.W., and probably Van-Helsing...fuck, I don't think they even appeal to REAL nine-year-olds. I just think some of you are so starved for good entertainment that you just can't tell the difference anymore, even mainstream critics go WAY to easy on some of this crap these days. oh yeah, The Mummy Returns...STILL sux too

  • May 6, 2004, 12:47 a.m. CST

    A sure sign of the upcoming apocalypse....

    by ethandarkseid

    Read THIS: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=545&ncid=755&e=1&u=/ap/20040505/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbo_spider_man_on_base Now, what the FUCK is up with putting an AD on a god-damn major league baseball base?? Is'nt anything sacred anymore???? PS: Now something on topic: van helsing SUCKS because harry likes it.

  • May 6, 2004, 12:49 a.m. CST

    Harry is 100% on the mark...

    by schlong_john

    Can't you guys remenber being nine anymore? That love of anything monster-related? That "am-I-old-enough-to-believe-it's-not-under-my-bed?" hesitant fear as you slip a foot out from under the covers? Those "how can I get this video copy of 'The Howling' past my parents", and even "wouldn't it be cool if KITT could fly, or had a Lamborghini girlfriend car?" days? This movie needs to be taken as it is: a gaudy, glorious pastiche of just about every young boy's monster movie fantasy. Sure, it has its faults and predictabilities (and some amusing continuity problems), but these are not the things that nine year olds worry about--don't tell me they do. How many of my significantly younger nephews love the new Star Wars films, when I think they suck donkey balls. No, Van Helsing is about nostalgia--taking you back to the first time you saw "The Wolfman", or "Frankenstein"; and it's about having a great time--provided you use the eyes of your youth. There are a lot of annoying, unfinished Wolverine-like references to Van Helsing--but here I completely agree with Harry--when I saw "Dedicated to my Dad" appear onscreen I suddenly had a much greater understanding of Mr Sommers' context in relation to his intentions. I rewatched Frankenstein straight after getting back from the theatre--how many of you think that is a cinema classic? Most of you? Well, I think it is--a James Whale masterpiece--but there was some really shitty acting in it, and to me the story is really untidy in some parts. Van Helsing is the same--you cannot try to judge it as an analytical adult critic. Don't we generally hate those bastards anyway? When did we become so cynical? Four out of five stars. It's goodnight from me.

  • May 6, 2004, 1:03 a.m. CST

    Much ado about nothing

    by devil0509

    It's a Stephen Sommers monster flick - you know a long time ago this was going to be a vapid confection. It'll make a fat first weekend, and then be utterly and completely obliterated by Troy. As it should be. Enough said...too much time already wasted on this flick. Lord knows my 135 minutes and $8 won't be.

  • May 6, 2004, 1:24 a.m. CST

    ethandarkseid--moron

    by WONKABAR

    eat... shit... and... die!!!

  • What I said...

  • it was only a $200 million dollar movie...

  • May 6, 2004, 1:57 a.m. CST

    Great review, Harry...

    by Snow Is Fun

    That review absolutely captured my feelings for the film and why I am looking forward to it. It is just a cool, Saturday morning cartoon type thing with kick-ass special effects and action and monsters! A movie doesn't have to be deep and meaningful to be good. I'll admit with no shame that I loved every bit of Daredevil, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, and many other flicks that the majority of talkbackers love to hate. At the same time, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is my favorite movie so far this year. I enjoy the entire spectrum of movies. As far as the positive people being the intolerant ones, that is a piss poor argument made only by people with no reason to back up their bitching. We're not intolerant and we don't like every movie that comes along, but we don't come to this site just to bitch; we come here to talk about movies, the one thing that we all share in common. If you don't like a movie, fine, but back it up with some reason other than "Movie X sux shit an' so duz N E 1 who likes it 'cuz there dumm."

  • That's just plain fuckin' dumb.

  • May 6, 2004, 3:16 a.m. CST

    Bitch Ass Mutha Fukers... Punisher Can Suck My Balls!

    by Lewster3000

    People make me sick, If Harry had bad taste than he wouldnt have a website (that all you bitches use your time at to talk shit, If you dont like Harry, waht the fuck are all of you doing here?) Ive agreed with Harry before and Ive also dissagreed with him before. So what, move on. It seems like non of you winny bitches even seen it. Just because person who has seen dosnt meen its bad. Its just that there fucking boring little bitches. If your boring, how do u like movies? Its entertainment. I liked the Mummy, and I know waht Im seeing this weeknd... VH Biatch! Oh yeah.... The Punisher can suck my big harry balls!!

  • May 6, 2004, 3:35 a.m. CST

    Have a SHIT on me all Van Helsing Haters!

    by JackWhyte

    I loved both Mummy ficks and Van Helsing is going to rock! ASS! Truth: I have both in my video Collections too...hahahah I'm going to see it, then judge it....

  • May 6, 2004, 3:48 a.m. CST

    What a shock

    by St.Buggering

    Everyone who's surprised that Harry loved this movie, raise your hands. Okay, now go play in traffic.

  • May 6, 2004, 5:38 a.m. CST

    What the BIBLE has to say about Cynical Movie Goers!!!

    by antonphd

    Ecclesiastes 7:16-17 "Do not be excessively righteous, and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself? Do not be excessively wicked, and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time? It is good that you grasp one thing, and also not let go of the other;" What do I think that this has to do with Cynical Movie Goers? Well, it suggests balance instead of extremes. Too wise - you ruin yourself and your movie going experience. Too foolish - and you die from the car accident on the way to the movies because you are calling everyone you know on your cell phone to tell them about the latest piece of shit and what a dick they will be if they see it... like you just did... on opening day... first show... so you die before your time and everyone at your funeral talks about how the one thing that they remember about you is how much you hated movies. Way to go!

  • May 6, 2004, 5:50 a.m. CST

    Re: Above Post

    by SmarkJobber

    Good thing the Bible is fiction, then, huh? The reason so many on this TB are bashing people for wanting to see "Helsing" is because they don't want MORE "Helsings" to be made. Why? Because they are a disgrace to storytelling. I want movies to be FUN, but mostly I want them to be GOOD. Twenty movies with better scripts than "Van Helsing" could have been made with that $200 mil budget.

  • May 6, 2004, 6:13 a.m. CST

    SmartJobber - Interesting

    by antonphd

    I did not know that. That does change my mind about the ranting. I guess it is just their way of expressing their desire to not see movies of that type. I can appreciate that. Cool. Free speak rocks! I hope that I like Van Helsing though. As a future game maker in school I do have to say that making any kind of art for money does require it's compromises with quality. $200 million to make pretty pictures move is alot of money and a lot of pressure with not nearly enough time. The Lord of the Rings movies are a standard that is difficult if not impossible to meet for most movies that don't have a decade to be made. In light of your statement - I hope that both Van Helsing is a success and that the frustrated opinions on this site are heard and that fantasy movies can be made and made well; because, I am afraid that history shows that with out both of those, there are no Lord of the Rings quality movies.

  • May 6, 2004, 6:19 a.m. CST

    Antonphd...

    by SmarkJobber

    ...Yeah, I mean, I wish "Van Helsing" was worth the coin it took to produce it. But -- it is pretty apparent that that won't be the case (judging by the inernet-wide negativity). The thing is, when this was announced (way back when) that Sommers would be writing and directing --well, the hope pretty much stopped there.

  • May 6, 2004, 6:35 a.m. CST

    Hrmmm

    by KobayashiEQ

    Okay, long time lurker, first time poster here. What makes me laugh is that the people bitching about the other slamming harry haven't actually SEEN the movie yet. Its like *Let a man have a personal opinion, i expect i'll really like this move when i get to see it* But give those of us who have actually SEEN the movie some credit here. I went in with an open mind, and i did like the black and white, dodgy as hell opening scene. Then it went way downhill from there. The paris scene looked like CG from 10 years ago, written up on a commodore 64. I liked the LXG Hyde far more, and thats saying something. I love Beckinsdale like a lot of people, shes one of the most gorgeous actresses around right now, but damn, i havent heard a worse accent since Keanu in dracula. Shes nice to look at as always though, but really, i had enough of a movie with her looks being one of the only decent points in underworld, i dont need another 2 hours of it. As ripped off of Q as it was, the friar character did give me a few laughs, Wenham does do us aussies proud these days. Its not ALL bad, but its certainly not worth the full price of admission. The I did like the way the wolfman was animated, but alot of it was sub-standard with what youd expect from a movie that cost that much in 2004. Not sure how much matinee's cost you guys these days, butits probaly worth 5 bucks if you are avoiding housework or a nagging signifcant other for a few hours.

  • May 6, 2004, 6:37 a.m. CST

    Talk back peeps=

    by Dolmes

    boring. I've wasted 10 minutes of my life life scanning these threads looking for a useful comment and replying. I won't get that back. Fuck!

  • May 6, 2004, 7:31 a.m. CST

    SHUT THE HELL UP!

    by BlackHarryPotter

    If you don't like Van Helsing, why are you devoting so much time and energy bitching about it. If you thought it sucked, so what? Get over it. Move on, its not the end of the world. I gather a lot of Talkbacker's lead very sad lonely lives and are as bitter as hell about the cards fate dealt them - so it's probably cathartic to unload their shit elsewhere, but sublimating your anger here is just BORING. Van Helsing is a MOVIE - not the cure for cancer or the 2nd coming. Harry Knowles LIKED it. SO WHAT? Good for him. I happen to like Hawk the Slayer and 3 sugars in my tea. It's personal opinion, not a matter for the United Nations. So let people be different and tastes remain subjective - lets agree to disagree. I will be seeing Van Helsing tomorrow and am looking forward to being entertained by a goofy, cheesy, camp...need I go on? I know what I'm paying to see and know it'll be my cup of tea. If you ask me it's just a storm in a tea cup.

  • May 6, 2004, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Oh hell it was just entertainment, right??

    by ginga ninga

    No, it sucked! Do not see this movie if you value the time you have left on this planet. At 27 I'm hardly old but I walked out of the London preview, muttering 'what was that all about, bloody loud wasn't it?' Van Helsing is a mess of a movie, it isn't gorgeous to look at, the cinematography second rate, the special effects average and the plot? Well there isn't one. I'm all for summer popcorn blockbusters and expect good things from, Troy, HP3, Spiderman 2 etc but Van Helsing ain't it. If you want true campy fun buy the DVD version of Flash Gorden.

  • May 6, 2004, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Ah, Fluffy...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...my friend -- then you have nothing to fear from the Scorecard. That's the beauty of it. If a talkbacker is a nothing but a contrary buttplug, it will be plain for all to see. If, however, you make a number of accurate predictions you will become a giant among geeks -- your good taste forever preserved for all to experience at a glance.

  • May 6, 2004, 7:43 p.m. CST

    BAH! You serious Harry?!

    by gopherkhan

    I don't agree at all. I absolutely hated this film [url]http://www.dreamlogic.net/REVIEWS/vanhelsing.html[/url] The movie was garbage, plain and simple.

  • We fanboys rant about how awful these movies are, then we buy multiple editions of the DVD for the deleted scenes that deserved deletion in the first place. And multiple copies of the comic book for the "variant" covers. And boxes of the trading cards for the scarce "holofoil" cards. And cases of the actions figures for the limited edition "alternate costume" figures. Man, do they know how to push our buttons...

  • May 6, 2004, 9:33 p.m. CST

    AND THIS IS THE GUY WHO HATED THE PUNISHER!!!!

    by Rcamacho2278

    whaaaaaat is goinnnnnng onnnn hereeee?? this is on BULLSHIT review. why doesnt he mention how this movie rates in rotten tomatoes like he did with punisher???

  • May 6, 2004, 9:50 p.m. CST

    Harry AMAZES me!

    by mtoast

    "Around 3am, a friend of mine called, an actor who I

  • May 7, 2004, 12:01 a.m. CST

    Parallels with this pile of crap

    by fraqtl

    I saw this pile of crap the other night and was put in mind of one of my favourite websites, homestarrunner.com. Bear with me on this one. Go and have a look at the following, then come back to me. http://www.homestarrunner.com/newboots.html After having watched that insert some dialog like the following: "Thanks for stabbing me with the antidote the Kate Beckinsale, have a trophy" etc. etc. I think that about sums up the movie. You are right though Harry, that movie could have been made by a 9 year old, as long as they had ILM doing the effects.

  • May 7, 2004, 1:56 a.m. CST

    I've decided...

    by Darth Thoth

    I've decided to take a stand and not see this movie. I'll wait for video. Usually I like to watch a movie and draw my own conclusions but the vibe I'm getting from this flick is that it's everything that's wrong with Hollywood right now. Therefore, I'm sitting this one out for the time being.

  • May 7, 2004, 2:58 a.m. CST

    s

    by omegaman20

    s

  • May 7, 2004, 2:59 a.m. CST

    Harry you F*cking Retard, now this confirms the MOVIE SUCKS NUTS

    by omegaman20

  • May 7, 2004, 3:20 a.m. CST

    Van Helsing rules

    by reignman79

    The movie opened yesterday, thursday here in oz, today's friday and I just got back from seeing it. What a great, fun ride. Hugh Jackman's THE MAN.

  • May 7, 2004, 3:49 a.m. CST

    Fuck it, I'll see it. What else is there this weekend?

    by FelatioHornblowr

    The Olsen Twins? Please. There's something unnatural about those two that gives me the heebeejeebees. They're like some sort of cloned package-set money-making machine. I've liked all of Sommers's other action movies, so I'm just hoping for more of the same with Van Helsing. My only concern is that Jackman and others might be trying to play it too serious. The tongue-in-cheek aspect of the Mummy movies was obvious in their trailers and I'm not really seeing that in Van Helsing. Well, I guess I'll find out soon enough.

  • May 7, 2004, 3:49 a.m. CST

    There's a 2-disk edition of UNDERWORLD due May 25th, with 23 ext

    by FrankDrebin

    We fanboys rant about how awful these movies are, then we buy multiple editions of the DVD for the deleted scenes that deserved deletion in the first place. And multiple copies of the comic book for the "variant" covers. And boxes of the trading cards for the scarce "holofoil" cards. And cases of the actions figures for the limited edition "alternate costume" figures. Man, do they know how to push our buttons...

  • May 7, 2004, 3:55 a.m. CST

    The latest tv spots compare it to RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK...

    by FrankDrebin

    They'll say anything to get people people to see it opening weekend, before word gets around how bad it is.

  • May 7, 2004, 4:15 a.m. CST

    Van fucking Helsing

    by Nutblan

    Harry, how can you say Van Helsing is a good film?! Your havin a fuckin giraffe mate. What about the bit where the horses jump the ravine, it looked like santa and his bloody reindeer sailing through the air. Stephen Summers needs to be stopped, don't get me wrong I thought The Mummy was quality and the Mummy Returns was ok but this was just a load of self-indulgent bollocks

  • May 7, 2004, 4:20 a.m. CST

    this rocks!

    by u.k. star

    i have to agree almost word for word with everything harry said then.. this film was just cool, a lot of fun and for all people wanna knock the "plot" you can tell an aful lot of thought and heart, went into it. if you're not goona like the movie why waste any more of your time writing about it? you must have other thins to do, but me all my friends and from what i could tell pretty much everyone in a packed cinema loved this film, in fact the only complaint i really heard was some people discussing how they couldn't make another as so certain characters were now dead, and they'd love to see more. given that this film seems to have split people in a similar way that they mummy did, and that went on to be huge i don't think universal has anything to worry about, this is far better than the mummy. and for allof you preparing a witty response to that statement i'll leave you with the answer i gave a friend of mine who saw that van helsing was made by the director of the mummy and the mummy returns, she said "is this gonna be any good because i hated the mummy and the mummy returns". i replied simply "if you hated the mummy, why would you pay to see the mummy returns?" she had no answer .......... I see the wolfman hasn't killed you yet!...

  • May 7, 2004, 5:01 a.m. CST

    Harry, like Michael Jackson, IS a 9-year old in an adult's body.

    by truthseekr1488

  • May 7, 2004, 5:03 a.m. CST

    This geek doesn't have a problem with Ed Wood

    by Shano

    You know, I read about this movie as a *concept* months and months ago, and I thought: shit, that sounds like fun! Now, I know that Stephen Sommers has the potential to come out with some crap - The Mummy was fun, Mummy 2 a piece of shit and Deep Rising a so/so horror. This though, I liked. I liked the look of it, the idea of the pumped up monsters and I like the concept of Van Helsing as aan action character rather than the dry, bookish vampire slayer he was in the book and the earlier movies. The reviews (barring Harry's love fest) have been dire. But y'know, someone said on this thread that it sounds like an Ed Wood movie, and that's what has actually turned this debate around for me. I don't have a problem with Ed Wood. Sure, his movies were often spectacularly bad, but you could see the love that went into making them. They are a lot of fun. I LOVE PLan 9 from Outer Space. So am I gonna see this movie? Shit yeah. Will I hate it? Maybe. Will I go with an open heart and mind? I sure will. If it turns out to be a perfect example of film-making a la Ed Wood, well that'll be ok by me.

  • May 7, 2004, 5:21 a.m. CST

    fucking hell Harry all you had to say was it was cool

    by Kid Joker

    you fucking went overboard on this like you did on Kill Bill Vol 2. Fuck man - getting all personal and shit about this film. *i roll my eyes whilst reading*.

  • May 7, 2004, 6 a.m. CST

    Saw it last night...

    by Mischiefdemon

    And it was better than I thought it would be. In fact, I really enjoyed myself, as did everyone in the cinema. I thought Dracula was a cool new original take, as was the way werewolfs transform, I've never seen it done that way before. The Brides where awesome, sexy, scary & comical. The Friar was funny. Anna was damn hot, and very sleek, a good complement to the Van Helsing character. I hope Hugh is going to be playing him in future releases as theres a lot there to be realised. Ok, there wasn't much of a deep story, but I liked the story that was there. It was a good fun movie. Forget realism, theres Vampires, Werewolfs and others from the undead... Its not supposed to be real! So Have fun... I did.

  • May 7, 2004, 6:07 a.m. CST

    ROGER EBERT LIKED VAN HELSING TOO!

    by BlackHarryPotter

    "Van Helsing" is silly and spectacular, and fun. 'NUFF SAID.

  • May 7, 2004, 6:14 a.m. CST

    This doesn't look so good...

    by simpsonite

    I usually make up my own mind about films, but have to admit that this looks about as appealing as LXG. It's pretty gutting, 'cos I was thinking recently how cool it would be for someone to do a genre flick with the Universal Monsters. When I found out that this tosh was going to be the outcome, I was disappointed to say the least. They should have just made a film version of the 'Groovy Ghoulies' and been done with it. I would've been more inclined to go see that than this FX laden mish mash.

  • May 7, 2004, 6:21 a.m. CST

    Ebert's been off his rocker lately...

    by SmarkJobber

    Ebe gave "Van Helsing" *** -- the Tomatometer is currently at 23% positive, with 14 of 62 reviews being favorable. Ebe is way in the minority here. /// Other movies he has given *** or higher recently: "The Alamo," "Starsky and Hutch," "Taking Lives," "Never Die Alone." All head-scratchers.

  • May 7, 2004, 6:28 a.m. CST

    I have seen this movie now and I think

    by antonphd

    AICN Readers, This is the first time I have ever written a review of a movie. I know that by the time this review is read, if it is posted, the movie will already be out; never the less, I am still writting this because the movie deserves more good reviews, because due to the large amount of bad reviews many of you will not see a movie that you would love and I can't stand to see that happen. So onto my SPOILER FREE review. Without excuses, reservations, or hesitations I am happy to say that Van Helsing is the funnest movie I have seen in a while. Since Kill Bill to be exact. Before that, the Lord of the Rings. That's right. I am saying that I had just as much fun with Van Helsing as I did with those two holy grail movies. And why did I have that much fun? Because, like those other two films, the makers of Van Helsing cleary had their hearts in the movie. And a lot of money. And the result is a movie that sweeps you right into their love. And I don't mean a love of old movies or books. Unlike Harry I think that their love goes beyond that, even if it was born in that. The love is the love of every artist who sees something and then makes a piece of art to put their love of it on display. This movie reminds me of my first artistic memory. When I was four or five(I am 30), I made a drawing of the Super Friends. A copy actually of a picture of them on my pillow case. When I showed it to my parents they were amazed, not because of my drawing skill, but because of the initiative that I took drawing it. Because, when they asked me why I made the drawing my answer was simple... because I wanted to. I had never been taught to draw... I figured it out on my own. I saw something, and took a pen and drew a picture of it. Art that came from my heart. I felt that tonight when I saw Van Helsing. I think Harry would agree with that. I think that is why Harry feels that it takes the child in you to enjoy it. Not because of what the movie is supposedly missing according to the bad reviewers. But, because of what it has that many many movies do not have... art for the sake of art... even if it makes money, and it will, it is clear that the movie was not made for that reason, it was made because a grown up kid made a picture of something he saw in his imagination all because he wanted to. And boy did I like looking at his picture. And I think that many of you will too. Thanks for letting me say what I think, You can call me Anton... cause that's my name. Or if you like... The Left Hand of GOD!!! ;) P.S. For those of you out there that want to bash this review, I have to say this. I hope that you find a picture that you like to look at. If this movie doesn't do it for you, hopefully some other movie will. Or maybe you will have to be like the director of this movie and make the movie that you want to see yourself. Maybe we will all like that too.

  • May 7, 2004, 6:44 a.m. CST

    Conspiracy from the media mafia? (READ THIS)

    by Donnie Darkest

    Forget how bad VH is (and it truly is bad) I am extremely disturbed by the creepily vapid reviews of the film in the UK press. So far of the 5 reviews I have seen (including one by respected author/intellectual Will Self) none have had the balls to stick a critic's stake into this soulless film's black heart. Why is this I wonder? We all know that most magazines will be forced not to slate the film in order to secure interviews with Beckinsale and Jackman (where is that man's career going!?) But you would think someone would rise to the bait? Harry's review is one of the silliest I have seen in a long while. I thought the point of sites like this was that they existed outside the corporate pressures of the mainstream? VH is a mess. Even if you are to champion it as 'just a popcorn movie' you have to admit it is too long, too loud and too repetitive. I would love someone to measure the decibals in the film (surely one of the loudest of all time). Did Sommers make it so loud so the audience cant hear each other sniggering at the shambolic dialogue? At best, it occasionally looks cool. But it has the most forgettable Dracula one could imagine. It's a Gothic Horror that has less blood in it than I have in my right pinky. This film is awful. Do not waste your money on it.

  • May 7, 2004, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Media Mafia (Part 2)

    by Donnie Darkest

    I'm back, these reviews fawning over the child-like "love" in this film are riddiculous. They are also making me angry. Just because Sommers loves his source material and loves his father does not excuse how badly executed this film is. Incidentally, could the "For My Dad" dedication at the end of the film not be the most emotionally manipulative stunt of the year thus far? Child-like enthusiasm is great. It returns us to a wonderland of memories. But enthusiasm alone does not make a good film. Would LOTR have been such a triumph if it were made with sheer enthusiasm? Of course not. It looks like we will be relying on Peter Jackson to show us how a true monster movie is made. This film has responsibilities beyond indulging Sommers' fan-boy passions. It cost $150M for goodness sake! Think of how many better films could have been made for that. Stop this nonsense by indulging a blcokbuster with the kind of sentomentality you should reserve for the films that really need it. Films like 'Eternal Sunshine' for goodness sake.

  • May 7, 2004, 7:39 a.m. CST

    You are Snobs and Posers

    by Backlashx2

    It's sad that the anonymity of the internet makes everyone want to comment as you have. If Harry enjoyed Van Helsing, more power to him. A movie doesn't have the be Othello in order to be enjoyable. I watch movies to have fun and can enjoy that type of movie on it's merits. I love watching Tim Burton and Michael Bay movies. I like Kubrick and Spielberg. To blast someone for liking a movie you didn't like makes you a snob. To blast someone for liking a movie you've never seen makes you a poser. Don't be like that. Be happy that someone enjoys a movie. I hope I enjoy Van Helsing, and if I don't I won't suggest Harry is taking bribes because he did. If you haven't seen this movie yet, maybe you should just keep your fingers off the keys until you have.

  • May 7, 2004, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Oliver Stone reviews Van Helsing?

    by BlackHarryPotter

    Gee, paranoid much? Nice conspiracy theory. Yes, the British tabloids have indeed embraced it - and rightly so. Johny Vaughan's review in The Sun today is by far the best. He gave it 4 British Bulldogs out of 5. So add that to your Rotten Tomatoes rating if you can!

  • May 7, 2004, 7:52 a.m. CST

    Oliver Stone reviews Van Helsing?

    by BlackHarryPotter

    Gee, paranoid much? Nice conspiracy theory. Yes, the British tabloids have indeed embraced it - and rightly so. Johny Vaughan's review in The Sun today is by far the best. He gave it 4 British Bulldogs out of 5. So add that to your Rotten Tomatoes rating if you can!

  • May 7, 2004, 7:57 a.m. CST

    I agree with Harry

    by darthsidious32

    First, I think that the people who want to see art prick films shouldn't go seem films like "Van Helsing." Why do those people complain when they see these films? What did they expect? From the previews, it looked exactly like what I've been hearing it is - an overblown CGI special effects popcorn adventure film! So because of that, and the fact that it's directed by Steve Sommers, should've let the viewer know if they'd want to see it. It's the VIEWER'S fault for going to see something they should've known beforehand that they wouldn't like. It was plain as day that this film was going to be another popcorn flick. It's a simple concept really. For example, I don't like musicals, so I don't watch them. Simple as that. You won't catch me whining, because I only see films I know I'll probably like. Secondly, I think a lot of people just don't know how to enjoy films anymore. There are many different levels of film. What people are calling "bad" films these days aren't really bad. Just maybe average. To them, there's just "Bad" and "Great." No in between. "Bad" is "Blair Witch 2," "The Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman," etc. and not, for example, "The Mummy" or "LXG." Those are average popcorn fun. They're the in between. There's not really a whole lot wrong with those films except that they're not perfect. Well, we get a lot of films that aren't perfect. That doesn't mean that they're "bad." The problem is that people walk into the theater with an automatic mental pencil and notepad, jotting down every flaw they can find, and can't just walk into it to simply have fun and enjoy it for what it is. When going to a film, one is supposed to leave reality for a couple of hours, not be grounded in it by constantly paying attention to how good or bad the acting/plot is. I agree that there are some things that just take one out of the fantasy they're watching and are just jarring. Plot holes, acting, badly-rendered CGI (for some idiots, ANY CGI), etc. But I think some people's standards are just way to high. Like I said, what did you expect when seeing this film? Shakespeare? Schindler's List? Lord of the Rings? Come on, it's a Steven Sommers film. Quit whining about waisting your time just because you made the mistake of seeing something you should've known that you wouldn't like. Perhaps movie goers feel they'll lose their credibility if they like "brainless popcorn fun." But I personally think it's okay to enjoy films like "Van Helsing," just so long as one does not forget what DOES make movies like "Lord of the Rings," and "Schindler's List" great. As long as one can walk into movies that ARE great (and not just okay) and understand WHY they're great, one does not loose his/her credibility as a film goer when watching films like "Van Helsing." Come on, audiences of the 50s -70s would've totally got into this film! It's just that audiences today are way to cynical, and can't seem to enjoy anything anymore. It's a wonder people even go to the movies when all they do is complain afterwards. geerdan@yahoo.com

  • May 7, 2004, 8:25 a.m. CST

    I agree with Harry (revised)

    by darthsidious32

    First, I think that the people who want to see art prick films shouldn't go seem films like "Van Helsing." Why do those people complain when they see these films? What did they expect? From the previews, it looked exactly like what I've been hearing it is - an overblown CGI special effects popcorn adventure film! So because of that, and the fact that it's directed by Steve Sommers, should've let the viewer know if they'd want to see it. It's the VIEWER'S fault for going to see something they should've known beforehand that they wouldn't like. It was plain as day that this film was going to be another popcorn flick. It's a simple concept really. For example, I don't like musicals, so I don't watch them. Simple as that. You won't catch me whining, because I only see films I know I'll probably like. Secondly, I think a lot of people just don't know how to enjoy films anymore. There are many different levels of film. What people are calling "bad" films these days aren't really bad. Just maybe average. To them, there's just "Bad" and "Great." No in between. "Bad" is "Blair Witch 2," "The Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman," etc. and not, for example, "The Mummy" or "LXG." Those are average popcorn fun. They're the "in-between." There's not really a whole lot wrong with those films except that they're not perfect. Well, we get a lot of films that aren't perfect. That doesn't mean that they're "bad." The problem is that people walk into the theater with an automatic mental pencil and notepad, jotting down every flaw they can find, and can't just walk into it simply to have fun and enjoy it for what it is. When going to a film, one is supposed to leave reality for a couple of hours, not being so grounded in it by constantly paying attention to how good or bad the acting/plot is. Think of it this way instead: "There is no acting. There is no plot. This is a window into events that are actually happening right before your eyes. These are real monsters. These are real characters." That's how one is supposed to watch films. Then later, after you've enjoyed yourself, you can go back and critique the acting/plot/special FX, etc. But try to enjoy yourself and believe the magic on first viewing. Don't tell me that this isn't the way we should view movies. If that's the case, then why do people cry at the movies? Is it because they're thinking, "Ooooh! The acting was so great! I'm drowning in my tears!" or "Oooh! The plot is so well written!" No, they're actually sad (or "happy-sad") because of the events they believe they're actually witnessing. For them, it's so real that they cry. That's what going to the movies is all about - believing it's real for the two hours you're there. I agree that there are some things that just take one out of the fantasy they're watching and are just jarring. Plot holes, acting, badly-rendered CGI (for some idiots, ANY CGI), etc. But I think some people's standards are just way to high. Like I said, what did you expect when seeing this film? Shakespeare? Schindler's List? Lord of the Rings? Come on, it's a Steven Sommers film. Quit whining about waisting your time just because you made the mistake of seeing something you should've known that you wouldn't like. Perhaps movie goers feel they'll lose their credibility if they like "brainless popcorn fun." But I personally think it's okay to enjoy films like "Van Helsing," just so long as one does not forget what DOES make movies like "Lord of the Rings," and "Schindler's List" great. As long as one can walk into movies that ARE great (and not just average) and understand WHY they're great, one does not loose his/her credibility as a film goer when watching films like "Van Helsing." Come on, audiences of the 50s -70s would've totally got into this film! It's just that audiences today are way to cynical, and can't seem to enjoy anything anymore. It's a wonder people even go to the movies when all they do is complain afterwards. The bar has been raised higher and higher year after year for a hundred years, so much to the point that no film-maker can see the top anymore.

  • May 7, 2004, 10:40 a.m. CST

    What could be the real reason he's called Gabriel.

    by Shan

    I read somewhere that basically, they can't copyright the name "Abraham Van Helsing" because it's public domain like the original Dracula story. So, they had to change the name primarily for this reason.

  • May 7, 2004, 10:42 a.m. CST

    What could be the real reason he's called Gabriel.

    by Shan

    I read somewhere that basically, they can't copyright the name "Abraham Van Helsing" because it's public domain like the original Dracula story. So, they had to change the name primarily for this reason if they wanted to be able to enable copyright.

  • May 7, 2004, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Media Mafia Part 3

    by Donnie Darkest

    I write in response to backlashx2's silly post on my critique of VH. 1) Read my review. Of course I have seen the film. 2) The purpose of reviews is to help those who have not seen the film to decide whether it is worth investing their time and money into. 3) You don't have to agree with Harry all the time. That's the beauty of freedom of speech. I myself am equally keen on blockbuster films. I am not the snob you deride me as. But Van Helsing is simply a very bad film. Laugheably bad in places. It is not scary. When it is funniest it is unintended (we laugh at beckinsale's riddiculous accent and delivery). This has nothing to do with art house vs. mainstream. It is simply a bad film. It is too long. It is too loud. It is too repetitive. The CGI is dodgy in parts. There is little if any horror. Remember Kids. Harry is not always right.

  • May 7, 2004, 6:41 p.m. CST

    by TesticleTom

    Van Helsing was a lot of fun. It was like a fireworks show, check your brain at the door and enjoy the ride. If you didn't like the mummies, don't see it. I'll see it again, and I'll love it. For those of you that can't enjoy it, sorry, go watch your art movies at home and screw off while the rest of us enjoy it.

  • May 7, 2004, 7:01 p.m. CST

    I saw it, too Testicle Tom /// Rotten Tomatometer: "Punisher" vs

    by SmarkJobber

    Tom, I agree -- "Helsing" is JUST LIKE A FIREWORK DISPLAY. A two-hour firework show; always big, loud, seemingly never-ending, and boring after ten minutes. And, also like a firework show, I didn't pay for it (so I can only regret losing the time and not the money, thank allah). /// Rotten Tomataoes FINAL TALLY: "Punisher" received a 28% rating (128 reviews; 36 positive, 92 negative) while "Van Helsing" received a 22% rating (117 reviews; 26 positive, 91 negative). Both movies were deemed "ROTTEN," but "Helsing" 6% more-so. In other words, it slobbers on nuts.

  • May 7, 2004, 8:28 p.m. CST

    My review

    by DarkBastion

    Just saw it. It was all right. Lame special effects as times, a little too much action, but overall, better than the Mummy movies, and a good summer popcorn flick. People calling this thing a steamer, get over yourself and enjoy the stupid movie.

  • May 7, 2004, 8:39 p.m. CST

    by JohnIan

    Just got back from seeing the movie. I like it. From all the early reviews I expected car wreck. I went in expecting (hoping) for a good popcorn flick, I got it. I will being buying this when it comes out on DVD. Plus that animated title coming next week. Kodos to Alan Silvestri excellent score (I really didn't like his work on "The Mummy Returns"). Somethings of note. I'm glad Sommers didn't go all Hollywood with the feature. Van Helsing's sidekick friar Carl was used sparingly. Not some lame buddy cop movie deal. And I'm happy with the ending. Just like in real life the good guys don't aways get the girl and shit happens. I enjoyed the film and recommend it to all my friends. A solid Summer movie.

  • May 7, 2004, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Check Your Brain At The Door

    by WoodyStiffer

    What kind of moron says that about a film? Just because it's a popcorn film doesn't mean that it shouldn't be a good film. Stephen Sommers is one of the absolute WORST directors working today, yet morons keep seeing the crap he churns out. The Mummy, The Mummy 2, and Van Helsing are all giant crap fests - yet idiots keep throwing money at his movies. Give me a Raiders of the Lost Ark any day - now THAT's a popcorn film worth seeing.

  • May 7, 2004, 8:50 p.m. CST

    movie kicked a$$

    by Audets70

    This was very much like Mummy movies.....damn fun and great to look at. I liked how the three monsters stories were woven together. ANd I now bow down to Kate Beckinsale! May she wear skin tight leather pants in all her movies. Her accent was fine, Dracula doesnt overact and the CGI was way better than the tv ads look. It had a good surprise at the end and very nice........................................also.........flying cow!!!!! Havent laughed at a cow like that since.......Twister????

  • May 7, 2004, 11:20 p.m. CST

    Harry is more than correct

    by AlwaysThere

    It only happens once in a lifetime that I like a movie that he likes, but Van Helsing is so FUCKING damn good. The people that hated it are full of SHIT. Their loss, bitch.

  • May 7, 2004, 11:44 p.m. CST

    9 year olds Dude

    by Man w No Name

    pederass

  • May 8, 2004, 12:19 a.m. CST

    Van Helsing IS SO FUCKING GOOD

    by WoodyStiffer

    To whomever made that statement: you've just announced to everyone here that you're retarded. Truly, I feel bad for you.

  • May 8, 2004, 12:28 a.m. CST

    Audets70

    by WoodyStiffer

    My name is Audets70: I LOVE to watch Stephen Sommers films. I also love the following: GOSH, I just can't wait to see who wins the next SURVIVOR series!; OH MY, I can't wait to see what Paris does next on her new series; WOW, Joey has a spinoff? I can't wait to watch it!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Goddamn dumbasses, we should use morons like this for fertilizer. They're of no use to society. They're no different from Bush supporters, who are also so completely fucking deluded and stupid, that they should also be mulched into fertilizer for my goddamn lawn.

  • May 8, 2004, 12:36 a.m. CST

    Ya'll are funny!

    by Jaka

    Most of you haven't even seen it and you are doing exactly what Harry said you would if you went. lol.

  • May 8, 2004, 12:37 a.m. CST

    NAME THAT FILM

    by WoodyStiffer

    I've gotta stop keeping track of the morons who like Stephen Sommers films. Are they all brain dead? Were they beaten senseless? Are they all special-ed cases? Are they a product of our depleted education system? I GIVE UP. I THINK THEY'RE RETARDS - AND I'M RIGHT. Regardless - I've got a quote for the non-retards (ie the non stephen-sommers fans out there): It's Good to be the King. Special props for those who get it (it's not very hard).

  • May 8, 2004, 12:40 a.m. CST

    DarthSidious

    by WoodyStiffer

    First, Darthsidious agrees with Harry. Anyone who dislikes Van Helsing HAS A BRAIN! Goddamnit! How dare they?! How can anyone not feel ashamed to have taste and not be like the teeming masses who like to be force fed pure shit? THOSE BASTARDS!

  • May 8, 2004, 1:29 a.m. CST

    hugh jackman

    by Nick Beam

    CURLY MCLAINE, YOU'VE JUST KILLED THE FIRST VAMPIRE IN OVER 100 YEARS. I'D SAY THAT EARNED YOU A DRINK!!!

  • May 8, 2004, 1:40 a.m. CST

    Woody Stifler!!!!!!!!!

    by Audets70

    Yeah, well so I liked Van Helsing. Im sure you had a nice trip to the Olsen Twins movie huh? Or maybe you're waiting for TROY and all the homoerotica that will follow with it. Dont be ashamed that you like to pud from the rud. By the way, Never watched Simple Life or Friends and I hate George Bush with a passion!!!

  • May 8, 2004, 1:59 a.m. CST

    Great idea for the wolfman in the sequel...

    by Dead Cowboy

    What if instead of turning into a wolf during the full moon, he morphs into Harry!? He'd wake up the next morning and his clothes would be ripped to shreds after spontaneously gaining 530 pounds. Instead of blood and dead bodies around him, he'd be laying in a pile of empty pizza boxes, KFC buckets, and candy bar wrappers... "What have I done?!"

  • May 8, 2004, 2:20 a.m. CST

    Audets70

    by WoodyStiffer

    Okay, I just typed in a long response which crapped out on me. Suffice it to say, I have no idea what you're talking about with regards to the Olsens - you're on your own there dude. HOWEVER, if you're not a friend of Bush, you're a friend of mine and I'LL GLADLY SEE ANY DAMN OLSEN MOVIE WITH YA!!!

  • May 8, 2004, 2:24 a.m. CST

    The Review

    by WoodyStiffer

    OK - I haven't read the review, but did Harry predict that everyone would crap all over it? That's an easy stance to take when you recognize that a movie is a pile of shit. It's easy to say "EVERYONE WILL SAY IT'S CRAP". Here's a newsflash - this movie is a PILE OF SHIT. Everything that Sommers has directed is a PILE OF SHIT. Anyone who blindly sits through one of his films and enjoys is it is a mindless retard - sad but true.

  • May 8, 2004, 4:11 a.m. CST

    Damn I thought I would hat it, but I actually enjoyed this chees

    by The Founder

    I thought i would hate it ,but Van Helsing turned out to be fun. Sommers makes up in mindless non stop action for a next to non existence and silly plot. Sommes actualy captures the feel of them old horror films, even down to the over blown acting, which comes in spades from Dracula and his Brides. Good Lord the cgi was shotty in a lot of places, but it was fun, and I had a good time laughing my ass off. I think it's best that us fan boys stop holding everything to high standards. Just enjoy the movie and stop picking everything apart.

  • May 8, 2004, 4:14 a.m. CST

    Harry, you were RIGHT! Just saw it and it IS a shitload of FUN

    by Big Dumb Ape

    Harry's review about just letting go and having a good time nails EXACTLY the approach for enjoying this. I just got back from seeing it up at Universal (in digital no less, which made it look even more amazing) and I had a TOTAL blast. I feel like I just got to see the uber-cool big budget monster movie that I wanted to always see as a kid, the way Harry described it. I don't often necessarily agree with Harry on his reviews, but this time he really did nail it. Sommers put some real juice into the old Universal monsters in a way that made perfect sense to me. I didn't think the screen story binding the 3 core monsters together was bad at all -- the plot points all tied together fine. So those saying it doesn't make sense must have their heads buried in their popcorn or up their asses or in their girlfriend's open blouse in the seat next to them. What wasn't to understand? I loved the look of the film -- give the Production Designer and the Art Direction crew Oscars now. There's no question it's a GORGEOUS looking film. Every penny is on the screen. All production, set and costume designs were huge, bold, and larger than life. I loved Hugh and Kate (what a honey!). Jackman ruled and if Paramount's smart, he'll be John Carter of Mars next. I'd say the only one that could have been better (or, yes, even replaced) was Dracula simply because he didn't seem "dashing" enough -- certainly not as the story's polar opposite to Hugh. And he paled against Hugh's screen presence. One thing's for sure after seeing this: Jackman's still young enough and good looking enough and projects that old style matinee movie star quality. As usual, ILM came through with amazing visuals. My favorite shot has to be the Wolfman jumping through the flames at Van Helsing atop the moving stage coach. That shot in particular looked totally kick ass on the big screen (and as I said, in digital!) So to the naysayers, hey, if you don't want to see it...fine. Don't go. But for anyone looking to have a good time, looking to get out of the house for a fun, summer blockbuster "popcorn" flick...this one's for you. It was a great way to kick off the summer off. In fact, I'm going right back tommorrow with other friends to see it AGAIN. And in a few weeks time, when I'm looking to get out of the house on a hot summer weekend and I just want to have some fun at a movie and relax, I'm sure I'll see it a third time.

  • May 8, 2004, 4:19 a.m. CST

    Tarantino is speaking FIGURATIVELY; Sommers apparently HAS becom

    by Mosquito March

    I hate to say it, because I've loved every other Sommers film, but, this movie was absolutely horrible. I went in expecting it to be a dumb-but-fun ride, and the fun never showed up - just lots of dumb. And, lots of noise and computer generated people swinging from things. The only things I did like in the end were the cinematography, and the vampire brides, who were probably the most genuinely creepy things that Sommers has ever put into a movie. That said, every other aspect of this film, from [[SPOILER]] the opening Wolverine/Shrek fight to the inevitible and quite unwatchable Werewolverine/Badguy-From-Moulin-Rouge smackdown. [[End Spoiler]] Every character was shallow, every line forced, every plot twist predictable, and the performances were so varied that some actors seemed to think they were in a parody of a story that other actors were taking very, very seriously. Actually, I do think the performances would have been much better if the "screenwriter" had allowed them to. Stephen Sommers didn't write a script - he merely woke up from a cinematic wet dream, and wrote down the parts of the dream that he could remember, and then filmed them. That is not filmmaking, and it certainly isn't storytelling. Unfortunately, there was nobody there to tell him when he'd gone too far. I think he's become like George Lucas with his newfound success. Now that he can pay people to put anything he can imagine on the screen, he no longer has to edit himself. There is nothing that he cannot achieve visually (though the quality of the visuals is debatable), so he throws everything into the movie, never having to be creative with limited means like the B-movie director he began as, and, should remain. As soon as George Lucas achieved the ability to do whatever he wanted, he gave up on ingenuity. Access to unlimited resources is exactly what you shouldn't give to B-movie directors, if you want the genre to live on. And, one detail that I personally found a little repugnant was the notion that priests from all the other world religions apparently work for the good of the Pope and the Vatican. That may sound like a nitpicky thing to latch onto in a film like this, but it goes to show how shortsighted and arrogant Sommers has become. Oh, lastly - I don't ever want to see Hugh Jackman in another movie, unless he's playing Wolverine in it. I like Hugh Jackman, but the man apparently has no idea how to choose projects. Every movie he's been in besides the X-MEN films has been absolute garbage. He is certainly not making good on his star-making performance, and if he keeps signing on to crap movies, it's gonna go away.

  • May 8, 2004, 4:28 a.m. CST

    Nintendo what the phuck are you ranting on about?

    by The Founder

    Wow you have the greatest insight on the planet where you can generalize all black people. Wow that's amazing. You mentioned sterotypes and trying to i guess educate us black folk on it you forgot yourself that you're sterotyping. Aas for you White Chicks & Soul Plane comments, look to whitey who greenlit those horriable movies, it sure as hell wasn't blacks. Their are pelnty of screenplays by talented blacks that are passed over in favor of crap like Soul Plane, anything remotly positive or actually enteraining, especially where the characters are acting human, are pissed on by white execs in Hollywood, but they'll pump out a dozen Soul Planes. Whatever man, it's easy for you to make whack ass racial comments about All blacks sitting your sorry ass behind a computer screen. Man may god bless you.

  • May 8, 2004, 4:39 a.m. CST

    Oh, yeah! And to whoever complained in his "review" here that an

    by Big Dumb Ape

    You know, when Harry posted that review and you complained about the Wolfman striking the carriage and it bursting into flame for no reason -- as if the Wolfman was combustable and that was a prime example of Sommer

  • May 8, 2004, 4:51 a.m. CST

    lion king ending

    by TRUNDLE

    where was mufasa when kate was in the clouds . utter wank fest of an ending , other than that not as bad as i expected,leave brain at the door

  • May 8, 2004, 5:42 a.m. CST

    Not all Philadelphians are morons

    by Grey Light

    We leave that for Nintendo. BTW: He needs a day job. Anyone out there hiring in the South Philly area? He has many skills, including those involving people. Just kidding.

  • May 8, 2004, 5:47 a.m. CST

    HEY ANALANTHRAX

    by ethandarkseid

    NO.....YOU...EAT SHIT....AND YOU DIE YOU MOTHERFUCKING COCKSMOKING SHIT EATING SON OF A BITCH! FUCK YOU !

  • May 8, 2004, 5:59 a.m. CST

    Too bad about this movie...

    by ethandarkseid

    It obviously SUCKS yet we have MORONS like analanthrax and other idiots out there who can't see that this movie is bad but will still line up to sit thru 10 minutes of ads and eat bags of overpriced pop-corn (because after all, it IS a pop-corn movie, right???) to see the same 'ol garbage on screen.

  • May 8, 2004, 7:05 a.m. CST

    When will you guys just give it up?

    by Workingclasshero

    I've been coming to this site for about a year now and up until now have never posted on the talkback. Every single review I've read here, without fail has had negative comments. When will you guys give it up? Every time Harry posts a review you rip him to shreds calling him a sellout or whatever. Give him a break. If he posts a good review you slaughter him and point out that "this movie sux and harry was obviously paid by the studio to give it a good review". OK this is a little annoying but what really got me was Harry's recent punisher review. I have never heard anything like the ridiculous theories that sprung from that. "Harry wants this movie to bomb so kill bill can make money" Give it up. Maybe Harry actually didnt like the punisher, maybe he really did like van helsing, why do you have to rip him to shreds every time he opens his mouth? If you dont like it, fine dont come here, but dont come here to piss and moan because Harry did or did not like a movie. I'm starting to think if Harry announced the world was round you'd all disagree with him.

  • May 8, 2004, 7:33 a.m. CST

    WorkingClassHero -- stick to not posting...

    by SmarkJobber

    ...why do the TBers rip on Harry for panning/praising movies? Because, unlike Ebert or other legitimate critics, Harry has (I should add "seemingly") some serious ulterior motives. Read the first couple paragraphs of his "Helsing" review. Hearken back to lots of Harry's reviews/posts (and especially anything to do with QT, Rodrriguez, or Del Toro). He is not an unbiased viewpoint. I think some TBers do cross the line with their Harry bashing (I've certainly not been easy on him on occasion), and I don't really agree with the nature of those posts. But that doesn't mean he shouldn't be scrutinized altogether.

  • May 8, 2004, 7:53 a.m. CST

    This place is weird

    by vrv2764

    Here's my review: It was an entertaining movie. It's just a movie. No one cares. Sheesh.

  • "I mean this Dracula is not just DRAC, alll riiight, I mean he is like the all-time KINNNNG of BAD-ASSESSSSSS, ya know what I'm saying, I mean he has been around for eighteen hundred muffuckin' years and he is out to BITE YOUR ASS, all right? I mean like full-on CHOMP INTO IT." Gimme a break--"the joy of a nine-year-old." Is Harry just completely payola-motivated? How come the so-bad-it's-good PUNISHER gets this bitchslapping review, and a piece of grotesque overpriced CGI-mad shite like VAN HELSING gets its knob polished? Too many set visits, too many "development deals"--hope all those projects pan out, Har. They couldn't just be a bunch of D-guys greasing you up for their corporate masters or anything....right?

  • May 8, 2004, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Big Dumb Ape is Dumb

    by sgt623

    Did you even pay any attention to the movie? The wolfman knocked over one of the lamps on top of the carrige which set the top of the carrige on fire. It was pretty clear to me...what a dumb ass.

  • May 8, 2004, 12:17 p.m. CST

    A Bomb?

    by Rodan

    Say what you want about Van Helsing, the fact is it made over $19 million on Friday alone, over 4 times as much as the next highest grossing film. The reason is, of course, because all you dooshbags on this TB that are now railing against it went out and plunked down your $8-$10, DESPITE the numerous trailers and negative reviews you read. So really, you can only blame yourselves when Van Helsing 2 and similar movies are made and released in the future, so stop talking about "the masses" and the "lowest common denominator" who are responsible for encouraging this kind of filmmaking, because you are obviously part of it.

  • May 8, 2004, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Van Helsing Rolls....

    by Batlash

    ...right along it's merry way (it doesn't quite rock, but I had a good time anyway). Now that I've seen it, I can see why those who hate it feel that way, but I just can't join them. The worst thing I found about the film is that, as some movies simply stop rather than end, Van Helsing simply starts. It's almost as if there should be a title card that reads "We Now Join Our Regularly Scheduled Program Already in Progress." As a result, there's little to no establishing what the events and characters are all about. You're just expected to know and go with it. I was beginning to have my doubts during the black and white opening and the Mr. Hyde sequence, thanking that maybe the naysayers were right, but by the conclusion of the first vampire attack on the village, I had settled in with the film's rhythm and just sat back and enjoyed the ride. Could it have been better? Yes. Is it a godawful piece of shit? No. Everyone in the theater laughed in all the right places (there were even a few scattered cheers). It's not the best movie I've ever seen, and it's not exactly what I imagined when I first read about it, but end the end, I had a good time...and my eight year old son is going to have an even better time when he gets to see it. And we're probably buying the animated prequel this coming Tuesday. So when does Van Helsing 2 come out?

  • May 8, 2004, 1:14 p.m. CST

    "'Batman and Robin' is no longer the WORST movie ever made."

    by Ribbons

    Hey now, let's not say things we can't take back.

  • May 8, 2004, 1:23 p.m. CST

    what the fuck does everyone expect out of a movie???

    by Bourne GreyElf

    Can't you jackasses have some fucking fun for once? Sure, the actings bad, so what? Does every movie have to have oscar performances? But Greyelf, the cgi is bad! And what movie has perfect cgi? Who gives a shit? I don't even understand why some of you negative retards even go to the movies anymore, you seem to never be satisfied. And just what the hell was wrong with daredevil? I can tell you one thing, it may not be the best comic movie, But I think that character has been done the most justice being brought to life, ie the actor that potrayed him did a better job than any other actor did bringing a comic hero to life....with the exception of Chris Reeve of course. Anyway, VHS is great fucking fun, its an action movie with funny dialogue, great costumes, solid special effects,and awesome scenery akin to lotr, not to mention a pretty kick ass soundtrack. What the fuck more do you want? Assholes....

  • May 8, 2004, 1:27 p.m. CST

    right on batlash, I'm right there with you...

    by Bourne GreyElf

    I'll be buying that animated prequel too....and when DOES vhs 2 come out?

  • May 8, 2004, 2:50 p.m. CST

    THIS MOVIE IS NOT FUN!!!!

    by Rcamacho2278

    I cannot explain the pain I was feeling sitting through this movie, I was not interested in the action sequences . it was a horrible horrible movie and the fact that harry wrote such a positive review for this movie and bashed the punisher is fucken bullshit, I think imma stick with IGN for my movie news from now on, cuz this is beyond bullshit.

  • May 8, 2004, 4:58 p.m. CST

    overkill

    by kiwiUK

    Van Helsing just opened here in the UK. My verdict: the script/screenplay was a mishmash and pure(excuse the pun) overkill. The opening sequence was excellent; music, plot, pacing were spot on and I thought I was in for a decent popcorn movie. Alas, a derivative reference to James Bond's Q headquarters under the Vatican; to the 'sand people' from Star Wars in Dracula's castle, and derivative references to 'Alien' cocoons(god knows how the female Vamps gave birth to those things!) all served to destroy a seemingly passable plot. From what I have seen from Sommers work, he goes for total overkill and in the process destroys the plot and its pacing. Further, this film suffers from an identity problem - is it an action movie, a horror movie or both or something else?Again, the ludicrous elements in the plot do not allow us to make a determination. Pity.

  • May 8, 2004, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Harry are we being Punk'd?

    by crackerfarmboy

    It's just impossible that you like every awful movie and shit all over every decent one. It's just impossible. This has to be a joke? Right? Your taste cannot really be that bad. Can it? If The Punisher was really as "awful" as you claimed it to be than this must be the worst film on the planet. Maybe you have the definitions of good and bad confused?

  • May 8, 2004, 7:06 p.m. CST

    The naysayers are right

    by poopyface

    My disdain for this movie has nothing to do with the fact that I hate popcorn movies, or I expected to see Philadelphia. The problem with this movie is simply that it sucked. The "action" that the movie's supporters keep raving about is all derivative of other movies, the character of Van Helsing himself (in this movie, anyway) is no more than someone with a lot of toys to play with. He's the monster fighting version of Roger Moore. Tell me what was so great about any of the action scenes? The CGI was ridiculously over the top. The guy who played Dracula seemed to be channelling some freaky combination of Bela Legosi and Liberace. The dialogue was laughably bad, with a script Stallone would turn down. The only redeemable aspect of this movie is Kate Beckinsdale's juicy ass.

  • May 8, 2004, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Bad

    by BillEmic

    This movie was God-awful and dead on arrival. It started out very, very promising. The opening b&w sequence was fantastic. And then it just spiraled out of control after that, at the merry whim of one Steven Sommers. I actually enjoyed Dracula's over-the-top performance, though, as he seemed to be the only person having fun making the movie. He has the "best" bad performance since the actor that played Kraven in Underworld. This is a very forgettable movie and I don't see it making more than $80 million, if US audiences have any taste left. CGI overkill, lame dialogue, stunted acting, a far fetched plot, Van Helsing's "mysterious past", a lack of decent action (plenty of explosions but did Hugh really *fight* anybody? He just used his gadgets!)...all of these contributed to this movie's lameness.

  • May 8, 2004, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Even my giddy 9 year old self hated this peice of shit.

    by antmanx68

    This movie sucked so hard... so whats the big deal? sucky movies come out all the time. Well, this sucky movie has fucked up a lot of things..... it took several very viable franchises/characters/stories and totally pissed them away. Not to mention Hugh Jackman's career..... the dude is cool and very talented i just hope this movie doesnt make him go away (Hugh, play wolverine again NOW). I wont even get into how bad the movie sucked, it just sucked really hard, one of the worst i have ever seen but what really stings is the fact that it could have been one of the best..... Hugh Jackman in a humongous budget horror-action flick where he plays a hero hired by the Catholic church to hunt monsters... Van Helsing, going up against Dracula, the Wolfman, and frankenstien? That pitch sounds ridiculous, so much promise and potential, how can it go wrong? Oh yea, give it to a fucking idiot asshole hack of a director and let him squander away horror's most beloved icons. Fuck Steven Sommers, what an idiot, I dont know whos worse: Him for fucking everything up, or Universal for letting him fuck everything up....... God, what a anal rape of the Van Helsing/Dracula rivalry this shit was...... What a faggy and not scary dracula that was...... what a gay piece of shit this whole movie was...... After I got home from the theater I had to do something to keep from hurting the ones i love, so i popped in Monster Squad and watched it a few times and that BARELY saved the day (you know shit is fucked up when Monster Squad doesnt immediately cure of your cinematic ills). -A N T

  • May 8, 2004, 10:32 p.m. CST

    NEGATIVE REVIEWS FOR THIS MOVIE HAVE BEEN A JOKE

    by antonphd

    I have been reading the reviews for this movie by regular people on the internet on places like yahoo movies and the like and 99% of the people who have watched this movie are giving it a TOP rating, not a middle rating, but a TOP rating. AND the bad reviews I have read are just saying that the movie is horrible for the same reasons that everyone else likes it. So guess what... you negative reviews suck. That's right you suck. Popular opinion rules and you pathetic little geeks and nerds can just go fuck your pillows. God. Just a little advice. Standing around and talking about what's wrong with something and thinking that you are elite because you can see does not make you smart. It makes you too immature to realize that EVERYONE can see what's wrong they just don't have the time to stand around talking about it being busy living their lives. If you can't fix it SHUT THE FUCK UP. NONE OF YOU CAN DO BETTER. You can complain but you won't even try. Go and make your movie you pathetic FUCKS. Stop complaining and go MAKE YOUR MOVIE. NO EXCUSES. If these "idiots" can do it then SO CAN YOU. Now go do it and stop being suck a nerd. Nerds just talk real people do. GO AND MAKE YOUR MOVIE and THEN COME BACK AND TALK SHIT ABOUT OTHER MOVIES AFTER YOUR MOVIE IS THE SHIT. UNTIL THEN. BE RESPECTFUL and maybe you can fuck a person instead of your laundry. Dumb fucks. And you think your smart. Now go ahead, be a dip shit and write some smart ass reply but DON'T do anything smart like GO AND MAKE YOUR MOVIE!!!

  • May 8, 2004, 11:55 p.m. CST

    antonphd

    by antmanx68

    If you wanna know, yea i could have written a better script than that peice of shit, and thats not bragging about what a good writer i am..... it seriously would not be hard. And as far as us nerds (i have to laugh at your connotation behind nerds as you are a little fuck on an AICN talk back cussing out people for not liking a movie) making films of our own, thats ridiculous.... Steven Sommers had 160 Million dollars and leagues of qualified people working under him, and that was his finished product? give me a fucking break. These people who make movies get paid big bucks to bring us some entertainment. And when a movie sucks i get pissed because thats me missing out on a chance to have a movie that I value. And totally shitting on characters like Van Helsing, Dracula, WOlfman, and Frankenstien is inexcusable. The movie was total bullshit, much like your previous post....... Oh yea, and do you have to be a chef to know when food tastes like shit? NO, when your dinner taste like the cook whiped his ass with it, you send it back to the kitchen, unless you're just a whiny fuck like you then you might just eat every ass-tastic bite of it and think "oh well, its not like i could cook any better". Its assholes like you who dont bash shitty movies that keep them shitty... How bout actually taking a stance on something before you wanna talk about people who do... did you like it, because if you did i can say (with confidence) that you're a shitfaced idiot who doesnt realize what good is.

  • May 9, 2004, 12:06 a.m. CST

    Harry, I'm behind you all the way on this one!

    by Trashman2006

    All for the people who think this movie sucked are IDIOTS! Harry, i'm with you 100%. This movie rocked!

  • May 9, 2004, 12:11 a.m. CST

    May I offer my opinion? (To Smark)

    by johnmikeoos

    Look, here's my take on it. Harry IS biased...but I'm cool with that because his biases are pretty much out there, and I prefer reviewers with a somewhat clear agenda than those with a completely hidden one. (Methinks this is why Harry used to start his reviews with a description of his day.) Of course, a good film critic should not have any biases, public or not, but I don't count Harry as a film CRITIC, I count him as a film FAN. (I wouldn't be surprised if he calls himself a critic, but if he does, then I simply don't agree.) The difference between fans and critics are this: FANS have open minds - they are absolutely drunk in love with cinema to some degree. They've got biases (everybody has), but they don't feel bound to constrain those biases. They'll tell you whether or not they liked a movie, and they'll try to describe why as best as they can, even if it means describing a whole scene or referring to other movies, or even just saying "it rubbed/didn't rub me the right way." A CRITIC should be expected to constrain these biases towards and review each film on a technical level, and they must tell you what's wrong as straight as possible. "The plot is too convoluted," "the logic behind the action is absurd," "the climax relies too much on deus ex machina," "the actors are overperforming," and so on and so forth. I usually prefer the fan's opinion, but sometimes you want a critic's opinion. In the case of Van Helsing, if Rotten Tomatoes is to be believed, most critics will not like this movie. Hence, most people who follow critics will stay away. Some people will live vicariously through their favorite critics and say that they've seen the movie and it sucked. But in the opinion of Harry, a fan who lives and dies by monster movies, who believes what Quentin has to say when he talks about writing genre material with the fire of a nine-year-old hopped up on sugar (whether it's because he really believes it or he just plain likes the man), well...he fucking loved the movie. There it is. He's not saying "everyone must see this movie," like he probably would say if he really felt that way (or if, you know, he was greased). He's telling you what the experience was like in the most spoiler-free method possible, and then saying "if this doesn't sound like your cup of tea, stay away." Simple as that. And you know what? That review served it's purpose: I knew what to expect from Van Helsing after reading that review, I saw it in the sort of mindset, and I LOVED IT, so there THAT is. I had some qualms, absolutely. (Dracula to Gabriel: "Do you ever wonder why you get those nightmares?" --Gabriel had nightmares?) Maybe eventually, those qualms will get the better of me and it won't stand up to my test of time. But that day, I had a damn ball, and that's all I ever hope for when I watch a movie, especially if I'm going to blow $6.50 on it. So there. If you don't agree with Harry, that's cool. Point in fact, he's happy to give people the chance to call bullshit on him as well as each other - hence, TalkBack. Just keep in mind - it's not a question of Harry being biased or if he's being paid off; he is biased, not sure about being paid off but I'm not a cynic. The question is, "Do you agree?" You probably already answered that question, and you're free to argue it. Me, I'm calling bullshit - you're free to argue that.

  • May 9, 2004, 12:32 a.m. CST

    Johnmikeoos and Antmanx68

    by Ribbons

    I tip my hat to you two. Good posts. And anton, either you're a troll or you need to stop being so, yes, elitist.

  • May 9, 2004, 12:59 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Ribbons! (NT)

    by johnmikeoos

  • May 9, 2004, 1:16 a.m. CST

    Ribbons gets it! : )

    by antmanx68

  • May 9, 2004, 1:17 a.m. CST

    I agree with Ebert...

    by JackBristow

    it was lame how vamps in BLADE can go outside with enough sunscreen. That was a joke.

  • May 9, 2004, 1:35 a.m. CST

    Bristow...

    by SmarkJobber

    ...But it's NOT lame that the Wolf Man turns back to a human because clouds cover the moonlight? Get ouuta here...

  • May 9, 2004, 2:30 a.m. CST

    Kate Beckinsale looked great, but...

    by TheDevilsBidness

    no way does she survive all those falls unles she's secretly Spider-Woman

  • May 9, 2004, 3:04 a.m. CST

    It's Official: Harry Knowles = INDUSTRY WHORE

    by Sno-Dogg

    I am less and less surprised every time Harry gives a glowing review to a crap movie.

  • May 9, 2004, 3:37 a.m. CST

    Underworld is an Oscar winner comapred to Van Helsing.

    by MtnGeeks

    I really really really wanted to like this moive. But I am sorry , Van Helsing is a bad movie...even for 9 year olds. I am going to keep this short because most of my criticsms have been covered. But my biggest is that if you are going to play with a genre movie, and tell stories out of the genre, THEN AT LEAST HAVE SOME CONTINUITY WITH THE FABLE. Steven Sommers ruins the Van Helsing story. Where does he go from here. He certainly won't be dealing with Vampires al la Bram Stoker. Also this KIng of the Vampires had little if anything in common with the myth. At least Balde, DEusk Till Dawn, and even Underworld stayed true to at least the basic tenants of the story. AT least my 9 year old self would figure that out. I'm all for fun and taking my brain out to watch a movie. This did not even come close to filling the bill. On another note. How much higher can movies ticket prices go. I know in bigger cities you have been paying double digit ticket prices for years. HEre in Denver we just hit $9 for the evening show, and the matinees are no bargain either. I used to by a drink, but not at this price. The movie theatres and studios are doing a good job of getting people to stay home. Maybe that's what they want. Maybe they just want us to watch at home. That's too bad because Van Helsin is a movie that desrves to be big. Even though it is bad.

  • May 9, 2004, 4:05 a.m. CST

    Van Helsing sucks nuts.

    by Grando

    Plant. Harry, if you liked this film then you are a fucking retard. Next time I go to see a Sommer's film I'm taking a joypad with me. Maybe then I can make the bad CGI stop.........

  • May 9, 2004, 4:16 a.m. CST

    I want to have David Wenham's babies

    by Daenerys

    Friar Carl rocked my world. I would have been happier if the whole movie had the look and feel of the masquerade ball. But it was a cheesy melodramatic movie done in the style of the 1930s monster movies. In other words IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE FRICKIN' OVER THE TOP AND CHEESY. I had fun in this movie. Dracula is supposed to be sexy as hell and I would have done Richard Roxborough. I would say Van Helsing is 'spectacularly awful.' It's so bad it's great. Mostly. Yeah, no it sucks. Heh. I still want to have David Wenham's babies though. Kate Beckinsale died! woo hoo!!

  • May 9, 2004, 5:11 a.m. CST

    antmanx68 - that was a pretty good response, seriously

    by antonphd

    I so don't seriously give a shit. But, it is fun to write it. Sorry if I offended you or any one else. I just got caught up in the moment. I thought I wrote it in a pretty funny way too. Kidding aside, what I did get caught up in was the fact that I have been a professional artist for 3 years now and I get pissed when I high quality art get trashed by people who just can't appreciate it. Many of you just don't appreciate how hard it really is to make something. You really don't. If you did, then you wouldn't say what you do. You would have been in their shoes and understood. I feel the same way about Harry and his blasting reviews. I know that many powerful people in hollywood don't care about art, BUT, the people who actually work on the movies, DO, and they put their heart and soul into Van Helsing and you CAN see it if you know what to look for. People who say that this movie shouldn't have been made especially because of its cost, really bother me. Do you think that this movie was made for that much for any other reason than it really cost that much. I mean, the money was spent to pay artist and workers to do work, not big names, as there are NO big names in Van Helsing. No one got a 100 million dollar paycheck. The work on this movie was very impressive and I have been in the art industry long enough to know that it is TOP NOTCH work. Do you guys actually know what it takes to make that movie. I was blown away. I feel that the bar on visuals was raised. I admit to actual nervousness about how the quality of my work will measure up now because they have raised the bar and let me tell you every one that works in media arts knows that it is raised. This is just a little taste of why I would like to hear some respect. And to be honest. Some people who do make a difference DO look at these sights and they would listen more if they weren't being talked to like idiots by people who don't know what they are talking about. And, yes, it does take a chef to appreciate food the way a chef does. Anyway, I only write this cause I am a softy and I remember where I came from and I respect people with serious opinions.

  • May 9, 2004, 6:06 a.m. CST

    Sgt623, you only PROVED Dumb Ape's point...

    by Commando Cody

    You said (quote): "Did you even pay any attention to the movie? The wolfman knocked over one of the lamps on top of the carrige which set the top of the carrige on fire. It was pretty clear to me...what a dumb ass." Well, keep this in mind. Despite calling him a dumb ass for no apparent reason (it's not like Ape picked a fight with you directly)the irony here is that YOUR post only CONFIRMS Ape's point. Ape was taking to task the guy who sent in a review a few weeks back that said the carriage fire started for NO REASON AT ALL and THAT was a prime example of Sommer's bad storytelling. But as even YOU are now acknowledging, Sommers DOES show "how" the carriage fire starts. And you're right -- it does start when the Wolfman hits the lantern and breaks it. I read that guy's negative review back when it was posted, and I noticed Ape's post last night. So when I saw the movie today with some friends, we all made it a point to keep our eyes glued during the stagecoach sequence to see IF you can see "why" the fire starts. And sure enough, Sommers DOES show the Wolfman's body hitting the lantern, causing it to break and burst into a fireball. So Ape's details may have been a bit off, but only by a bit. He wasn't NEARLY as off as the reviewer who said the fire starts for no reason at all.

  • May 9, 2004, 7:29 a.m. CST

    hey danaerys.

    by Bourne GreyElf

  • May 9, 2004, 7:30 a.m. CST

    hey danaerys.

    by Bourne GreyElf

    nice to see a george rr martin fan....."Drogon, Dracaerys!"

  • May 9, 2004, 7:42 a.m. CST

    And, MovieMack, running through your points...

    by Commando Cody

    And, Moviemack, running through your list, here's just a few things to consider. You said "That whole argument about flaming werewolves and bursting oil lamps? Ape claims to clearly see what happens in the span of a millisecond. You can't see ANYTHING clearly in this mess as the Wolfman is a non-stop blur of digital effects animation and motion." Sorry, but you CAN see it all. It's hardly blurry or confusing at all. As Sgt623 posted above -- and as I'll vouch too -- while Ape was a bit off in his details, his core point was dead on. You CAN see how the fire starts very clearly. For crying out loud, Sommers couldn't have made it any more clear. The camera focuses on Hugh & Kate riding atop the carriage smiling and thinking they're now out of danger... the camera cuts 180 degrees to a POV shot as the Wolfman leaps AT THEM from the road ahead, leaping over the train of horses... the camera cuts back to Hugh & Kate as he leans to his side, to push her out of the Wolfman's way. At which point the Wolfman's body hits the lantern on Hugh's side, it breaks, and you clearly see a large fireball that sets the carriage on fire. ******* "Can you see where all those arrows land that Miss Valerious can run through with ease?" Well, I would respond "Why do I need to?" The effect Sommers was clearly going for was the equivalent of a WWII movie where you see a soldier outrunning a spray of machine gun fire. But in a WWII movie (or any movie employing a rapid fire weapon) it's not like you see where EVERY bullet lands. At best for dramatic effect you see a limited squib spray go off against a wall or something. It's the same here. We DO see where most of Van Helsing's rapid fire stakes go -- they're spraying the sky (so technically they have nothing to land "on" until they begin to arc down) and for the most part they're putting holes in the Vampire girls' wings, holes which we DO see appearing, healing, reappearing as more stakes hit them. Plus when Kate is running away from one of the Vampires, there's that cool shot of arrows flying left and right of her body...the payoff being when she pokes her head up from behind a wooden trough and you see arrows imbedded all over. Again, no big deal. The whole point of that WAS the comical payoff of her suddenly seeing how MANY arrows are implaled in items all around her. Off the cuff, the best analogy I can think of is the "joke moment" in TRUE LIES where the villain fires his machine gun and sprays bullets at Tom Arnold who stands behind a lamp post that's CLEARLY thinner than his tubby body, yet every bullet misses (with only a few hitting the pole) and once the guy stops shooting, Tom grabs his crotch to make sure its ok, then kisses the pole. Sommers was essentially riffing the same gag. ****** "Can you see how vampire #3 escapes Frankenstein's monster or for that matter how he has escaped her?" When Frankenstein was in the room with her, it was clearly shown that HE was trying to hold her back. Hell, his line of dialogue to Kate is literally "Go help Van Helsing! I'll handle her!" So your second notion that he escapes her doesn't even apply. He's not looking to escape. On the other hand, Sommers clearly establishes -- while Kate is in the room -- that Frankenstein is having a hell of a tough time holding onto Vampire Girl, given her supernatural strength and the power of her wings (the lingering SFX shot where he's holding onto her ankles as she tries to fly away). So the notion that at one point he grabbed her by an ankle (as Sommers SHOWED) but managed to squirm free and with her speed makes it out the broken window seems fine to me. I didn't mind filling in THAT blank. I mean, come on, SOME blanks are fine to fill in. Hell, some blanks you SHOULD fill in yourself. ****** "Or for that matter how Carl has crossed a bridge he claims he's unable to cross?" Again, I don't know what you're complaining about here. It's all shown. Carl thinks he can't cross the bridge because the giant electrical bolt blew a massive gape in it. But the camera pulls back to show it's NOT a hole that completely SPLITS the bridge. Sommers clearly establishes -- in several shots -- that there's a thin line of stonework still connecting the 2 sides. The whole point of the scene is that Carl doesn't want to chance crossing it, but AFTER he tosses Kate the syringe (which even I'll admit WAS too much) he then SEES the Vampire girl attacking Kate. So in a character moment, he summons up his courage to help. And at that point Sommers DOES show Carl grabbing the waist-high ledge of the bridge to balance himself on and Carl begins to tip-toe across that thin connecting stonework. We see him start, we just don't follow him all the way across. ****** "Can you see any clawmarks on the cow?" Come on, how trivial are you searching for things here? Again, if you want to be THIS trivial, I could argue that you wouldn't see the clawmarks. The cow was facing the camera at about a 45 degree angle when the Vampiress grabbed it (to accent the visual of her grabbing its side) a which point there's the quick blurring motion as it gets tossed into the roof. That action happens so fast that I doubt you'd ever see claw marks in the side even if it was captured on film as a "real" event. Besides, the next time the cow's seen, it's on the ground level porch and pretty much directly facing the audience. So its right side (the side that was grabbed) is barely visible. ****** "Any puddles of ectoplasmic goo on the ground after thousands of vampire babies burst like balloons?" Actually, you DO see them splattering on the ground as they burst and you DO see them leaving puddles of goo all over. We just don't get any kind of tight close-up -- it's all a CGI long shot of the enormous hall they're flapping about it. And after they explode, we don't see "puddles" about simply because they blew up out in the main hall -- a set which the heroes never enter again (visibly) for the rest of the movie.

  • May 9, 2004, 8:25 a.m. CST

    dude, I don't know why your defending this movie

    by Rcamacho2278

    This movie was SAD. I couldn't wait for it to end, it was such a stupid movie done really poorly. People who enjoyed this movie are not really people who can be trusted to tell the difference between a good movie and a bad movie. Case in point everyone seems to be saying the same thing, if you people who actually liked Van Helsing but hated the punisher (Harry) then your whole way of thinking is seriously flawed. Compared to the punisher van helsing had so much more wrong with it and insulted the audiences intelligence without even trying to put good acting or good story. If people complained about how bad the hulk looked, at least Ang Lee tried to implement a soul into the movie, whereas these CGI characters in van helsing looked absolutely Horrible, I never thought I woulda said to myself that im tired of CGI. This movie proved it to me,

  • May 9, 2004, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Antonphd

    by antmanx68

    hey man, its ok. I'm an artist too, I do some graphic design here in FL, but comics are my passion..... And it sucks when i see people who i dont believe are talented in the comic industry get all this praise when they produce garbage.... and yea i get what you were saying, but didnt realize you were kind of kidding. Sorry about the name calling.

  • May 9, 2004, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Van Helsing: empty calories

    by DMented

    If I was nine years old, like my nephew is, I would've loved the flick just like he did. I'm considerably older though, and despite the shenanigans constantly going on up on that screen, I almost dozed off for a couple of minutes. Van Helsing tried to make up for its lack of involving characters and cohesive plot by overwhelming the audience by sheer number of CG effects. Number, not quality -- because many of them seemed rushed or completely uninspired. With the possible exception of the first fight scene, they were all very mediocre in this post-Matrix and -LOTR trilogy age. Van Helsing takes place in the world of Roger Rabbit, or the Road Runner, where reality is a completely malleable thing and there are no physical laws whatsoever. Logic? What's that? A character can fall through a building and survive simply because the director has decided it should be so, not because it makes any kind of fucking sense. Harry, I think you got Tarantino wrong if you think this is what he meant to say with that analogy involving your inner 9-year old. What you feel as you're writing should be the wonder of that 9-year-old, who finally gets to see the coolest show ever done right. But you shouldn't need to have the mental capacity of a 9-year-old to ignore all the film's huge shortcomings and come away thinking it was cool. Did anybody care who lived or died in this flick? No, because they broke a cardinal rule of filmmaking: create characters we can care about. Me, I didn't give two shits for the lot of 'em. Sommers fucked this up big time, should be flogged publically, and I want my money back. I've never before given credence to those who call you a sellout, but I can't fucking believe you really liked this movie, so I'm starting to wonder why you gave it a positive review.

  • May 10, 2004, 4:46 a.m. CST

    Big Dumb Ape

    by one9deuce

    You sure like Big Dumb Movies. Episode 2, Van Helsing.

  • May 10, 2004, 5:43 a.m. CST

    VAN HELSING IS THE BEST GENRE MOVIE I`VE SEEN IN A WHILE

    by chien_sale

    It`s even more deserving than "Return of The King" BECAUSE it didn`t take itself seriously.

  • May 10, 2004, 5:45 a.m. CST

    Bravo Harry!

    by innertMoustard

    You got "it".

  • May 10, 2004, 6:47 a.m. CST

    OK, so now I've seen it...

    by Shano

    Well, I can actually talk about the movie with some authority now, because yesterday me, the little woman and my five year old daughter went to see it during the matinee showing. Well, my darling wife *hated* it. She said it was way too long, had no real discernible plot, that while Hugh Jackman was easy on the eye he didn't have the charisma to carry it off and that all Kate Beckinsale was was window dressing. My daughter was moderately interested, but lost interest way before the half way mark. She said it was scary in parts, but overall was a bit boring. I'm prepared to pass those two viewpoints off as a gender thing. It is kind of a guy movie, and as someone who is a bit of a nerd about the universal monster movies, I will allow that the movie is maybe a bit self-indulgent. So what did I think? Overall, I wasn't blown out of my boots with the excellence of the film (this was no Kill Bill Vol 2 experience), but it wasn't the all-time suck-fest that it's been made out to be either. I posted here last week as saying that if the movie proved to be an Ed Wood homage I wouldn't be upset. Well, while it obviously was made with some love and passion, I think it lacked the raw, heart-on-sleeve vibe a true Wood movie would have had. The movie opened well. The black and white scene was kind of cool, and Richard Roxburgh made a better Dracula than he has been given credit for. I HATED him in LXG. Here, he kind of worked. I suppose I would put him in the same league as Gary Oldman, Frank Langella, somewhere in that tongue in cheek, not really scary but having fun with it sort of approach to the role. Frankenstein's monster worked very well. A really nice turn there, just the right amount of power and pain to get the sympathy juices flowing. The first appearance of HJ as VH worked well too. The design of the character is good, half Western, half futuristic with a bit of the Indiana Jones and Blade Runner thing thrown in for good measure. I really didn't like Dr Jekyl/Mr Hyde. Stephen Somers does not do CGI well. The Mummy 2 suffered badly in this dept. Just not convincing. The Wolf-men were badly served in this movie for the same reason. When we moved on to the vatican and met Faramir and got the Q scene it worked ok. Obviously a Bond homage, and none the worse for it. The problem I had here was the the scenes in the Vatican, ostensibly VH's home, should have gone on longer. We needed more character development. That was what was sorely lacking from this film. Somers has done some good work reimagining this character, but all we've really been given is a younger, buffed up guy with a shady history and not much else. I wanted to know more. The appearance of Kate Beckinsale was fine. She sure looks hot in this film, and gets to show us some of the moves she has learnt during Underworld and the training for this gig. She and HJ work well together, and she seems to have a good chemistry with Faramir too. There is a really good sequence with the Vampire Brides and KB and HJ in the village. Probably the best setpiece in the movie. After that, it sort of gets stuck. There is a really dumb-ass scene in Castle Dracula with the by now infamous in a Jar-Jar Binks kind of way vampire babies. There is a so-so chase between the vampire brides and VH involving a carriage and horses. There is a totally non-sensical scene involving a trapeze and some vampire dancers, which just seemed to be an excuse to get Kate Beckinsale into a dress - which is fine, but had no real narrarative value. The movie ends with a whimper rather than a bang, and the actual ending scene is so lame as to be almost embarrassing. I was on the verge of standing up in the cinema and shouting: "Enough already!" But then, this is a 12PG family gig, so you have to expect a bit of the schmaltz, I suppose. In summary, it was fun for the most part. Harry's attempts to bring us along with the general vibe and to try and keep our minds open to it have, in general, worked on me and I went into the movie prepared to just have fun with it. I most certainly sense a franchise in the making, and I think that if they take some time to develop the characters it may actually work. To keep the Bond comparisons going, Pierce Brosnan has shaped up to be the best Bond since Connery, but it took him a few movies to really get into his stride. Maybe HJ will be the same. 5 stars out of ten for Mr Somers and Van Helsing. No smiley face, and must try harder.

  • May 10, 2004, 8:10 a.m. CST

    Kudos to Harry, Van Helsing

    by jhechanova

    Hey Harry, your review of Van Helsing was so right on! It was indeed a monster tribute to the movie monsters---a real monster mash! It wasn't the best of movies but it was fun...a real popcorn movie! To those who wrote negative reviews, I respect you but it seems that you didn't understand the movie as clearly as harry did. Harry, don't mind them...they're clueless. Just like you said some will love it and some will hate it. Out...

  • May 10, 2004, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Harry's review

    by onlythestrong

    Spot on about Van Helsing Harry, awesome movie, tons of fun, the acting and script were deliberately crap in order to mirror the old Universal and Hammer films which it was obviously paying homage to, great score by silvestri, how any self respecting geek can not like this is a mystery, this movie is what cinemas were built for. Big,loud, totally silly, but so entertaining and so much fun.

  • May 10, 2004, 11:52 p.m. CST

    I'm with ya Harry

    by Hovitos2k

    Your review is 100% on. It's fun, people. And that's why we see monster movies in the first place. My inner nine year old was fucking jumping through the roof. VAN HELSING! Sorry, I just like screaming that...

  • May 11, 2004, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Van Helsing vs LXG - What's worse?!

    by fawkman

    Haven't seen Van Helsing yet. Was just wanting a general idea on whether it is better than the torrent of Guinness induced sloppy black turds that was called The League Of Extraordinary Gentleman?

  • May 11, 2004, 1:10 p.m. CST

    What is ''sugar''?

    by Zaratustra

    I don't know what harry is talking about, but it must be dangerous if it can fuck you up to such a degree that you come up with VH.

  • May 11, 2004, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Van Helsing... not that bad

    by Nicko6

    I think Van Helsing is one of those pop corn flicks. Yea, I must say that if you wait to watch it on DVD you are not missing much. If you must go and watch this movie in a theater then catch this movie early so you won't have to pay $8 for it. Before closing I would like to make a comment with regard to James Cameron. Fuck this worthless piece of shit who has not made a movie since Titanic..no wait Ghosts of the Abyss...what the fuck is up with all the water movies? I will not support anymore of his films in the theater unless he makes something remarkable. Oh..yea and fuck all the titanic lovers....that movie blows monkey balls (good special effects...Horrible Story) If Van Helsing was named Titanic PT2 it would have been the greatest horror movie ever.:)

  • May 11, 2004, 11:13 p.m. CST

    They tried to warn us

    by Hockenberry

    and I didn

  • May 12, 2004, 10:22 a.m. CST

    24% rating on rotten tomatoes....

    by General Idea

    Yep, that's 24%. So basically only Harry & some dude from Fresno liked it.

  • May 12, 2004, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Hey Nintendo...

    by tango fett

    Shut the fuck up you racist bastard. Cheerio.

  • May 12, 2004, 5:10 p.m. CST

    I agree with Harry, I loved this movie! I had a s#itload of fun!

    by BOBtheCAT

    All the rest of you can burn in hell and suck Hitler's d!ck! No-fun-loving a$$holes!

  • May 12, 2004, 7:16 p.m. CST

    This movie sucks nuts?

    by Sabowan

    With absolutely nothing to fill my afternoon today but rain, I went and caught a matinee of this film, and I must say, after expecting it to "suck nuts" for so long, I came away pleasantly surprised. Sure, there were definitely a few cheeserific moments, but Somers is NOT a hack; he knew exactly what he was doing. Maybe I should go into movies with extremely low expectations more often...

  • May 13, 2004, 12:29 a.m. CST

    flaming Ebert

    by jethroc

    I lost all respect for Roger when he put on the back cover of his book how Lake Placid was on his list of worst movies ever. I can understand that some people who don't like monster movies would not like it, but for monster movie fans like me, it ruled! Even my wife, who thinks monster movies are retarded (and i can't argue with that -- as she doesn't defend her Danielle Steele collection either), but who likes Golden Girls (TV show) liked Lake Placid.

  • May 13, 2004, 12:29 a.m. CST

    horrible.

    by JefferyLebowski

    not scary. not funny. not exciting. and definitely not cool, harry. not at all. it's loud, obnoxious, over-stuffed, CGI bullshit like this movie that give real popcorn movies a bad name. trying to defend this waste of celluloid by calling it a "popcorn movie" is doing a serious disservice to REAL popcorn filmmakerss like Spielberg, Cameron, Shyamalan... oh, believe me, i "get it." i didn't go into this movie expect artistry. i went in with low expectations, and somehow, still felt terribly ripped off.

  • May 13, 2004, 2:19 a.m. CST

    How much did it suck?

    by antmanx68

    Lots, but thats not the point. The saddest thing is that it had to rip of so many good things and still suck big ole' dick. I really liked the soundtrack though, i hope it wins an award so that they can give it to Joseph LoDuca and especially John Williams (whose GRAIL theme worked so nice in this movie). I mean Williams, LoDuca, Vampire Hunter D, Castlevania.... the list goes on and on, this movie is the biggest ripoff i've ever seen and it still sucked copious amounts of peepee. oh and Harry says "This is about going into those worlds and just tearing it up

  • May 13, 2004, 4:15 a.m. CST

    Since nobody but losers scroll down this far, I'm going to use t

    by Happy Harry

    1. Deposit rent check 2. Switch class times to Wednesdays at 6 3. Get milk 4. Complete construction of miniature thermo-nuclear reactor 5. Rewatch final Friends epsiode, because Joey is just so huggable 6. Place recently completed reactor to back of neighbor's Buick to complete his "lesson" 7. Get ready to cry as I say goodbye to Frasier

  • May 13, 2004, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Harry, you were RIGHT!

    by banroth

    I

  • May 13, 2004, 8:17 p.m. CST

    If you allow yourself to have fun.......

    by antmanx68

    Thats the dumbest shit i've ever heard........ If i sit there and force me self to be entertained by the punisher, or cutthroat island, or van helsin or any other horrible movie I can, thats not the point. The movies listed above suck, they are sucky movies, there are movies that are good, and ones that suck, those suck, and suck, and suck. I could watch a slide show of my aunt Jo's vacation in canada and be entertained....... but its boring nonetheless. I can watch a watch a video of people licking stamps for 2 hours and make it entertaining to me.... it sucks though. This movie wasnt cool, scary, funny, creative, badass, or original for 1 moment..... it was contrived, ripped off, bland, boring, corny, over the top, and downright disrespectful...... Richard Roxbrough was channeling Bela Lugosi? That the joke of the year.... he raped the character that Bela made cool and made him a feminine, not scary, non-threat of a character.

  • May 14, 2004, 1:25 a.m. CST

    ROTFLLMAOPIMP!!!!!

    by superdavid

    Gee anytime I need a pick me up all I have to do is come in here and read this shit and laugh my ass off!!! WE WUZ ROBBED!!! GODDAMMIT WE WUZ ROBBED!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Yea so I saw it today. At least they didnt go for the Matrix sfx like Underworld. I liked Underworld but at least this one did some cool sfx and cgi that was a bit newer for a change. And the grand finale who cares if it was cgi it blew away the underwhelming finale of Underworld. This was like Underworld on steroids with a little James Bond, shaken not stirred, thrown in the mix. C'mon that under the vatican scene was pure Bond and that Friar was Q taken on a field trip! Too freakin funny! This film does pay homage in places to the classics. The thing is though it hints at camp even though it probably doesnt intend it. After the classics you just cant make a movie like this anymore without it seeming silly and cliche'd.

  • May 14, 2004, 7:08 p.m. CST

    I just saw it...

    by Avon

    Here's my review: I found it a mess... it didn't know what it wanted to be. I wouldn't have enjoyed it much as a 9 yr old kid either. I didn't feel like the kids who watched it enjoyed it much either. It was a head fuck. There was too much to take in. It should have been more like Lord of the Rings.

  • You'll be on the floor, yourself, by the second act.

  • May 20, 2004, 7:38 a.m. CST

    you don't have to be 9 years old...

    by filmpundit

    ... to enjoy van helsing... http://www.filmpundit.com/review/VanHelsing

  • May 21, 2004, 8:54 a.m. CST

    WHAT A STEAMING PILE OF SHIT...

    by The Fisherman

    ...this thing was. Though I went and watched this pile with an open mind, I found this movie to be that bad that I feel cheated of 2+ hours of my life. For foisting this fucking piece of shit on the public Stephen Sommers will never see a penny of my hard earned money again. Guaranteed.

  • May 23, 2004, 8:54 p.m. CST

    by Bytor2112

    Fucking rocked, and Kate Beckinsale will be mine...

  • May 24, 2004, 11:59 p.m. CST

    Endurance Fest

    by WoodyStiffer

    WOW! I finally saw the film. My girlfriend and I were sitting around, bored to tears, so we decided to see a film. Seeing the we're not big fans of animation (re. Shrek), we decided to see Van Helsing. Despite all of my ranting against this shitfest, I saw it anyway. Yes, I'm one of the morons who helped Stephen Sommers' bottom line. The guy's a hack, and I help HIS GROSS (note: I DO FEEL ASHAMED ABOUT THIS). JESUS!!! Anyway, as I suspected all along, this movie just plain sucks. It's beyond being simply crap. It's horrid. IT'S A FUCKING ENDURANCE FEST. It was truly hard to sit through. Did no one read this screenplay? It's amazing! Also, how does Harry recommend this? Let's face it - everyone has the occassional shitty movie that's their guilty pleasure. I thought his was Blade 2. I guess we should add this to the list. This was just an abomination. There was just no sense of a storyline anywhere in this travesty. My girlfriend and I were laughing fifteen minutes into it because... I must digress. We like our Friday movies together. Usually, it's a downer to pick a shitty movie on a Friday, as we've done many a time, but Van Helsing was outside the norm. It was a shitty movie that was so incredibly bad that it invoked unintentional laughter and therefore gave the intelligent moviegoer a good experience. We actually felt good coming out of the theater because of the (unintentional) laughs the film had given us. Hey, I'm a convert. If you have an IQ higher than 70 (I'm not familiar with the scale) check out the movie. Being so shitty, it'll give you a good time!!!

  • May 29, 2004, 3:17 a.m. CST

    are you serious?

    by skaara

    This was an incredibly redundant, boring flick. And the effects, well, it was definately ILM's B team. Nothing looked real and the castle wide shots were straight out of a bad cd-rom game. With 170 million spent on this film, they should have relied less on CG for the structures, and built great minatures. Especially for the moments of destruction. That would have left them with more money for the character animation. I mean come on. The Wolfman stuff was truly terrible.

  • June 9, 2004, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Poor old Hugh Ackman

    by megadog

    You know,you have to feel sorry for Harry. If he thinks that this movie recreats the feeling of being a kid and watching an RKO monster reeler then he must have bought into Steve Summers bullshit. If Steve Summers felt that good about his source material why did he screw it up so badly. Honestly this movie is much much worse than either of the Mummy flix. It wasn't Hugh Jackman's fault as he just wasn't handed any lines of any interest at all. Summers seems to have squeezed all of the joy out of the RKO stable of monsters - no plot, just an extended chase. Had it been cheesy enough we could have enjoyed the irony but in this case it seems to have been aimed at a spectacle hungry teen market and even by those low terms he missed the boat. Anyone for a fight on ropes? Why not, the film was on the ropes for most of its length. By the way the first 10 mins in B/W were good and promised more than Summers could deliver. How can he sequel this as he's just about exhausted the monster pool?

  • June 15, 2004, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Liked it, but... *SPOILER*

    by Warlock One

    This was a fun movie for me. It's basically a nonstop action sequence, but moves fast enough that it never seems to insult your intelligence so much you say "Now hold ON?!..." Had great fun discussing the whole "big pools of acid" home decorating scheme afterwards ("Why are there big pools/pillars of acid all over the place?" "So henchmen can fall in 'em." "Oh.") BUT (Spoiler) Killing off the heroine at the end so we could be angsty and maybe hook up a different babe in the sequel was not only gratuitous, but ridiculous. Come on, she's knocked around by vampires, falls from three story buildings without a scratch, and then gets killed that easily?

  • June 19, 2004, 3:45 a.m. CST

    Van Helsing

    by Joshua Skye

    Hugh Jackman has his "Showgirls" with this one... although I must say that "Showgirls" is an Oscar winning film compared to "Van Helsing." There is one good thing about "Van Helsing" and one thing only... the special effects. It was obviously written by that proverbial 9 year-old that seems to be the excuse being rattled off here (clearly the reason Tarentino's films are so damn stupid... he's worse then Stephen King when it comes to plagerizing far better works). Only a 9 year-old could possibly be this ridiculous, lame and untalented a writer! The entire film was an eye-rolling extravaganza of ineptitude... from the surprisingly bad acting, to the amaturish directing and the script written by a 9 year-old overdosing on sugar. There is nothing noteworthy here. Everyone has their guilty pleasures... "Van Helsing" may fall into that category for some people, but don't pretend thats its a good film; don't fool youself into any legitimacy for it and don't try to rationalize your love of it by quoting Tarentino's inane logic. "Van Helsing" is a piece of shit no matter how you cut it. In fact, the last film I saw that was this bad was "Glitter."

  • June 22, 2004, 10:04 p.m. CST

    Van Helsing? Terrible film

    by cantill2

    The movie blowed. I left through the half-way point of it. The movie was aimed at 10 year old kids. The acting, narration, dialogue - all fourth grade level. I was gravely disappointed with the film, and would like my $9 back. By the way, whoever the jackass was who wrote the film review in large, homosexual blue text deserves to be banned from this site. There was nothing original in Van Helsing, you idiot. In London they made a comic book film out of the story, fool. It was not some 9 year old hopped up on sugar that came up with this original idea. Don't use the word "cuz" either because I hate people that use that word. You must be 9 yourself?

  • Jan. 6, 2005, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Good tribute to Universal's Classics!

    by Fugazi32

    I was giggling when I saw the lightning and machines in Frankenstein's lab start up, to create the monster! "It's alive!!!" - Cool. :) Got the DVD for my siblings for Christmas.

  • Jan. 10, 2006, 10:07 p.m. CST

    I don&#39;t even think I can finish this piece of shit. How much

    by IAmJack'sUserID

    This film is the biggest piece of shit I have ever had the extreme displeasure of trying to sit through. It&#39;s boring, stupid, schlocky, badly acted, and just plain mindless. Harry, you&#39;re a sucker for liking this dreck! Not that I take your reviews seriously anyway. You&#39;re already bought.

  • May 9, 2009, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Sucked Balls

    by Autodidact

    Let me just remind everyone how much this movie sucked balls, in case anyone is getting the funny idea to watch it again after all these years. I'm still annoyed by those fucking harpies who screeched at the camera every single time they were on screen.

  • Feb. 15, 2010, 1:34 a.m. CST

    Cocrbc

    by TmvEqK

    afHudtOV <a href="http://zzugef.com/ ">Cocrbc</a>

  • Feb. 15, 2010, 1:35 a.m. CST

    TaBfqwk

    by TmvEqK

    OKxXmc <a href="http://wwuttf.com/ ">TaBfqwk</a>

  • May 13, 2010, 6:20 a.m. CST

    I Love Reading Old Reviews and Comments...

    by Pawprint

    I wonder if Harry stills stands by his review? I wonder if all those TBers above who defended the film still feel the same way?<p> I bought this on DVD when it came out so the whole family could watch it, and I don't think I have watched it again since.

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