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Another Reader Takes A Bite Of That 30 DAYS OF NIGHT Test Screening!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. I’m really curious about this one. I liked David Slade’s HARD CANDY, but didn’t love it, and I think he’s got real potential as a filmmaker. This is one of those simple concepts that I’d hate to see someone screw up, especially after all the time and energy that’s gone into getting it onscreen so far. And now we’ve got a second review of last week’s Torrence test screening:

As with your other reviewer, I was also at the Torrance, CA screening of ‘30 Days of Night’ yesterday evening. I’m a big fan of the graphic novel, I went into this with high hopes and boy were they met. Aside with small gripes over issues that should be fixed by the time of release, things like uneven pacing, the movie was almost a perfect adaptation of the source material. It begins calmly enough by introducing us to the town of Barrow, Alaska and their quiet, uneventful existence. There is something lurking underneath this sense of normalcy, however, as we see Sheriff Eben Olemaun becoming uneasy due to the nature of the calls he’s reporting to. At a somewhat brisk pace we’re introduced to our main characters, and as is the nature of horror movies, our meat, the characters that serve the story by having bad bad things happen to them. Then, when the sun goes down, the movie kicks into overdrive. We are treated to a fairly hectic series of events that, in addition to vastly reducing the population of this town, push our characters into survival mode for the rest of the movie, the most fucked game of cat and mouse that our main characters could have imagined. The pros: -Mark Boon Junior. I know the name might not sound familiar but you will recognize him from his role in Batman Begins. His character, Beau, makes one of the best attacks against the undead I’ve seen on film. Think logging equipment. -Ben Foster. Completely un-fucking-recognizable in his role as ‘The Stranger,’ the clan’s trusty familiar. Creepy as all hell and a scene stealer. Ben Foster is quickly becoming the next Johnny Depp, with his complete willingness to undergo the physical transformation his work requires, giving himself over fully to the character. -The camera work. There’s one shot during the vampires first attack that leaves you horrified at what they’re doing to this town. -Josh Hartnett. You’ll believe he can play a bad-ass from this point on. A man willing to give up everything to protect ‘family.’ -The style. The weather effects and the creature design place you firmly within Ben Templesmith’s artwork. And finally… -The Vampires. Unlike any vampires to grace the screen before. These aren’t your parent’s romantic blood-sucking Goths. These are apex predators. They move like jaguars, feed like piranha, and hunt in packs. No silly fangs here, instead we have mouths packed full of razor-sharp needles. Truly ferocious. The con: -The complete removal of Vincente from the book, along with his entire subplot. Although I can understand why it was done, in order to streamline everything into a concise story about what one will do to survive, for fans of the comics, he will be missed. Hopefully, should they decide to continue Stella’s story into ‘Dark Days’ and ‘Eben and Stella,’ we will see him introduced. Overall, a great movie with a great twist on vampire stories. I will definitely be paying to see this one come October. If you decide to use this call me Mikey Sunshine.
Readers Talkback
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  • June 24, 2007, 8:47 p.m. CST

    First again

    by Mister Fame

    on a roll today

  • June 24, 2007, 8:53 p.m. CST


    by cammywobs

    where is everyone?

  • June 24, 2007, 9:13 p.m. CST

    looking good

    by Sir Loin

    Saw the preview on the bigscreen befor 1408 today and it's quite stylish, seem like it'll be pretty intense.

  • June 24, 2007, 9:17 p.m. CST

    It's weird... but I completely agree about Ben Foster.

    by Jonny_Dr_Thunder

    This guy is everywhere. He kicked me in the nuts in that "3:10 to Yuma" trailer. This dude is impressive these days!!!!

  • June 24, 2007, 10:10 p.m. CST

    Josh Hartnett a bad ass?

    by classyfredblassy

    One...Two...Three....wait for it....PLANT!!

  • June 24, 2007, 10:15 p.m. CST

    the only con?

    by paragraphs

    really? that's it? ok, i guess.

  • June 24, 2007, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Jaws Remake: UPDATED

    by classyfredblassy

    After his great work on "30 Days" Josh Hartnett has landed the role of Chief Brody in the JAWS remake, also starring Jason Biggs as Hooper, Tara Reid at Mrs. Brody, and Lorenzo Lamas as Quint. Directed by Tim Story. CGI sharks, they aren't just for Renny Harlin any more

  • June 24, 2007, 10:35 p.m. CST

    speaking of JAWS...

    by Mr. Waturi

    Josh Hartnett has shark eyes. Cold, black, lifeless eyes. How does that tool continue to find work in movies I might otherwise see?

  • June 24, 2007, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Your right Mr. Waturi

    by classyfredblassy

    You don't think Josh Hartnett is alive, till you see him bitting down on some guy'c cock. Then you hear that awful screaming....

  • June 24, 2007, 11:07 p.m. CST

    rumor has it

    by HessenRoots

    the vampires don't do a lot of talking in this. I don't remember much about the comics but I seem to remember at least one of them doing a fair bit of speaking, which became pretty important in Dark Days...or am I thinking of something else?

  • June 24, 2007, 11:35 p.m. CST

    finally some good news

    by huggerorange

    finally some good news

  • June 24, 2007, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Hey Mori

    by Turd Furgeson

    The Telegraph in England is quoting you on the new Harry Potter movie.... Just read the article about reviews leaking and they are quoting "Moriarty"... Check it out.. Don't have the article but just google "harry potter and the order of the phoenix" and it will be the first thing posted...

  • June 24, 2007, 11:41 p.m. CST

    i can never hear what the

    by huggerorange

    i can never hear what the fuck hartnett is saying. I find myself using subtitles often on his movies. he needs to quit the mumbling act and speak up! its not cool anymore.

  • June 25, 2007, 12:12 a.m. CST

    The Hartnett praise is hilariously unrealistic

    by IndustryKiller!

    So you would have me believe, that after wooden performance after wooden performance, all of the sudden Josh Hartnett find his inner Mcqueen and becomes a bad-ass and an asset to any film? Bullshit. Pure and simple bullshit. And I don't need to see the movie to know that its bullshit.

  • June 25, 2007, 12:12 a.m. CST

    "Sink your teeth into another 30 days of Night review

    by Yeti

    I'm appearing all week. Tip your waitress.

  • June 25, 2007, 2:04 a.m. CST

    yes! good camera work!!

    by BadMrWonka

    the cinematography in the preview was what made me want to see this. great review Mikey. I'm definitely there for this one...

  • June 25, 2007, 2:09 a.m. CST


    by BadMrWonka

    don't want to defend Hartnett, I don't blame him for the horrendous Black Dahlia, and even though I've never been too impressed, I don't hate the guy. I think he's affleck minus a little. maybe he'll get better. affleck sure did.<p>but is McQueen really the go to guy for a badass reference? he's a little more suave, you know? I mean there's Bruce Willis...witty, but first and foremost a badass...and then there's McQueen, a little bit of a badass, but first and foremost a charmer. the great escape, thomas crown affair, etc. these are films that absolutely HINGED on McQueen's charm in a leading role. what roles did he have where they hinged on him being a merciless badass? I still gotta give it to Willis as the go-to badass...

  • June 25, 2007, 3:04 a.m. CST

    After Alpha Dog, I've become a huge Ben Foster fan

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    He steals 3:10 to Yuma too.

  • June 25, 2007, 8:03 a.m. CST

    Ben Foster

    by MRJONZ72

    Yeah say what you will about some of the movies he been in. I can only think of 4 movies he been in (2 of which I really liked Hostage and Alpha dog and 2 others just kinda of meh to me X3 and The Punisher), but I'm becoming a fan of his. I really liked his chameleon like abilities. I didnt even realized for a while, that the dude that was in Punisher and Hostage was the same.

  • June 25, 2007, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Ben Foster

    by Petro45

    I first saw Ben Foster (along with Adrien Brody) in "Liberty Heights," which is a really enjoyable, if standard, Barry Levinson coming-of-age drama. I've been a fan of his ever since, rooting for him to succeed. Nice to see that he's developing a solid career.

  • June 25, 2007, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Wow, a 'perfect adaptation' of...

    by Mosquito March

    ...a total piece of shit comic book. Seriously, after all the hype about that series, I was stunned at just how bad the storytelling was. I guess I should have been tipped off when I saw a foreword by Clive Barker. Niles is a mega-hack (and the artwork sucked; you can't even tell what you're looking at half the time). So, a 'perfect adaptation' of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT sounds about as fun as watching Nell Carter's corpse take a douche. And, as far as all the Ben Foster knob-gobbling going on around here, he's just a little Brad Dourif imitator. Watch any performance and then put in a Dourif performance; there's basically no difference.

  • June 25, 2007, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Brad Dourif

    by Petro45

    So you're saying that there's no difference b/n Ben Foster's performances and those of the guy who played Billy Bibbit and Doc Cochran? And that's supposed to be an insult?

  • June 25, 2007, 11:15 a.m. CST

    brad dourif

    by bobbywatts

    wow..that is very on the money..This guy indeed does come off like brad dourif in just about everything...not that thats a bad thing I guess, I like both these guys, and I'm pretty posiive at this point that 30 days is going to kick our asses, but no one can deliver a warbly watery-eyed performance like brad..check out Dune.

  • June 25, 2007, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Petro45 - Yes, being a blatant copy-cat is bad.

    by Mosquito March

    I get really sick of seeing all these overpraised young actors who just mimic people before them. Brad Renfro, for example, copies Richard Gere, particularly when playing 'angry': he does that shit where he blinks his eyes really hard, which is a Gere trademark. When I saw Ryan Gosling in The Believer, I thought I was watching a fucking Sean Penn movie. Then you have that guys who look so much like other actors that they feel the need to copy them completely, like David Krumholtz, who channels Al Pacino in everything he's in, and fucking Eddie K. Whatshisname in the American Pie movies who thinks he's Nicolas Cage. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's actors copying mannerisms from other, better actors. It INFURIATES me, and it should you, too. What happened the good old days when star actors were star actors because they were unique? The homogenized sameness of modern actors mirrors that of modern movies, and if we keep blowing these knock-offs, we're not going to have any genuine star actors in 20 or 30 years. All the greats like Pacino and DeNiro and Hackman and Hoffman will be dead, and we'll be left with a bunch of douchebags who can't carry their own weight.

  • June 25, 2007, 1:33 p.m. CST

    vampires play together?

    by compn

    "These aren’t your parent’s romantic blood-sucking Goths. These are apex predators. They move like jaguars, feed like piranha, and hunt in packs."------ screams plant to me... also, hunt in packs? what? vampires got weak all of a sudden? and they play well with others? huh?

  • June 25, 2007, 1:35 p.m. CST

    ben foster? the little shit in 'big trouble' ?

    by compn

    he dont impress me much. i dont see the connection between him and brad douriff ( brad is one of my fav spooky b-movie sidekicks next to kevin j'oconner and jeffrey combs ).

  • June 25, 2007, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Mosquito March

    by Petro45

    Yes, I agree that being a blatant copy-cat would be bad. But I think your entire premise, i.e. that Ben Foster is intentionally copying Brad Dourif (a good actor, but not exactly a star) is a bit of a stretch. Just because one young actor reminds you of an older one does not mean that he is intentionally copying him. <p> The problems with your theory are numerous. First, what do you mean when you say he's copying "Brad Dourif"? Brad Dourif is not the same in every movie -- Doc Cochran is not the same character as Billy Bibbit. <p> Your other examples are gigantic stretches. Brad Renfro sucks, but not because he's copying Richard Gere. Ryan Gosling is a Sean Penn copycat? Really? Maybe if "being a good actor and taking on interesting roles in a variety of different films" constitutes copying. And David Krumholtz is channels Al Pacino? Really? You don't want to revise that a bit? I can't recall many movies in which Al Pacino played the teenage maladroit, which is how Krumholz made his career. While you're at it, why don't you tell us about how Michael Cera is just ripping off Christian Bale?

  • June 25, 2007, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Brad Dourif

    by Stuntcock Mike

    Deadwood and Exorcist 3. Ben Foster? Ummm...not even close.

  • June 25, 2007, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Coooooooooooooooool !!!


    Wasn't blown away by Hard Candy but it wasny bad for a low budget character piece. This on the other hand looks like it could well kick arse for the Lord!

  • June 25, 2007, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Petra/Stuntcock - Keep sucking those dicks.

    by Mosquito March

    Everybody's gotta be good at something.

  • June 25, 2007, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Mosquito March

    by Petro45

    "Keep sucking those dicks"? Because I thought Ben Foster was good in Liberty Heights, I'm "sucking his dick"? Because I called you out on your ridiculous statement that David Krumholz is an Al Pacino doppelganger, I'm "sucking dick"? <p> I didn't say anything remotely "dick sucking" in any of my posts. I did, however, point out the idiocy of your post. I guess when someone calls you out, you resort to dick-sucking comments. Well-played, asshole.

  • June 25, 2007, 6:02 p.m. CST


    by The Real MiraJeff

    australian for beer... nah, just kidding, foster's a really talented young actor, i thought he was the best part of alpha dog, i love his intensity, but comparing him to dourif, c'mon... thanks to chucky, dourif would be a legend even if he didn't have an oscar for cuckoo's nest

  • June 25, 2007, 7:46 p.m. CST

    I'm sorry....

    by Fridge

    ....but did someone just say Nicolas "Wicker Man" Cage was a good actor? That alone completely ruins your already weak argument.

  • June 25, 2007, 7:54 p.m. CST


    by Petro45

    What's worse, that he called Nicholas Cage a good actor, or described Finch from the American Pie movies as an "overpraised" young actor who emulates Cage? Yes, I can hardly go a day without hearing the Hollywood elite going on and on about Finch's brilliance. . . .

  • June 26, 2007, 6:40 a.m. CST


    by Boromir187

    Foster's been excellent in almost everything I have seen it in, be it a good film or a mediocre one. He keeps popping up in the darndest places too. For instance, the Eminem-esque rapper with the short scene or two in Phone Booth? That's Foster! I blew my mind as well the day I figured out the same person who played the squeamish nerd in The Punisher was the psycho criminal in Hostage. He also looks to be ten times more amazing in 3:10 To Yuma and 30 Days of Night later this year.

  • June 26, 2007, 6:43 a.m. CST

    Actors reminding people of other actors...

    by Boromir187

    ...happens all the time. Timothy Olyphant's early roles (and a handful of his more recent ones) have had a mild John Travolta vibe to his actions and delivery (though not as good), but I wouldn't claim that he is intentionally riffing Travolta. I can see a bit of Dourif in some of Foster's performances, but only to the degree that they both seem to have a blast playing darker roles and being more of a character actor than a leading man. That I can see, but I don't think he's picking every role going "what Dourif performance can I use for this one?". He just has similar interests, that's all.