Tuesday, 21 July 2009

They say you are a man of good... taste.

Well, I'm going to get ALL OUT OF ORDER if I post now but having spent the entire day dressed up as a pirate, whizzing to The Isle of Wight on a speedboat and playing rounders in the rain (n.b. not all of my days are this exciting and/or bizarre, alas) I am just about ready to fall asleep on my laptop so I think I should probably go ahead and share my thoughts on this week's topic with you all.

So. Vampires. Vampires. Well.

I'll level with you here, people. I'm not one for vampires. Whilst you were all watching Buffy and drooling over Spike or Angel*, I was thinking "hmm... I quite like Joss Whedon's snappy dialogue. Shame he's wasting it on a vampire story. I wish he'd write something else, like, oh I don't know, maybe a good space western?" and fangirling over Pacey Witter. And it wasn't that it was fantasy - I stuck with Charmed to the bitter (OH SO VERY BITTER) end and loved every minute almost every minute at least a solid third of it. And then there is Twilight. I haven't even read Twilight. And that's not because I'm a literary snob - I am, after all, the girl who rereads the Anne of Green Gables series once a year and has a whole collection of Phillipa Gregory novels lining my shelves. I haven't seen the film, either, and it's definitely not because of any lack of interest in Robert "I look remarkably like a foot and yet am RIDICULOUSLY attractive anyway" Pattinson because he is ~*~dazzling~*~, as they say. No, it is just because I cannot muster any interest for anything to do with vampires. It's like Doctor Who - on paper, it ticks all the "relevant to my interests" boxes. But in practice? It just... washes over me.

What did NOT wash over me, however, was the awful, horrible experience of watching Bram Stoker's Dracula as directed by Francis Ford Coppola. When I was younger, I owned a fabulous children's book called The Great Baked Bean Scheme (no, really, it's great). This book featured a really bad director who was based on Francis Ford Coppola. As I got older, I watched things like The Godfather and American Graffiti and I wondered why he had this reputation of making bad movies. I mean, if you ignore the small matter of Godfather III, this man has made some wonderful pieces of cinema, right**? But then I watched Bram Stoker's Dracula and all became clear. Because dear GOD, that film is awful. Awful. Irredeemably awful in every respect. And here's what hurts the most, kids: Keanu Reeves is irredeemably awful right along with it.

Let me be honest. I watched Bram Stoker's Dracula, just like I have spent countless hours watching other equally shit films, because Keanu Reeves is in it. I have been a Keanu Reeves fan since I was six years old. My cousin and I would watch Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and argue over who we liked the best (Me: Bill, her: Ted. Later on it would be me: Stephen Gately, her: Ronan Keating. SHAME.) at least twice a week. Later we established that our interest was in Keanu Reeves himself (and it was not an innocent interest) and spent many a hormonally frustrated afternoon lying in the dark watching a variety of films in which Keanu Gets His Shirt Off***, including - you've guessed it - Bram Stoker's Dracula.

I have defended Keanu Reeves to the hilt, guys. I have argued that he CAN act, he's NOT dumb, he's very DEDICATED and HARD-WORKING and EVERYONE SAYS NICE THINGS ABOUT WORKING WITH HIM. I have watched Chain Reaction more than once. Hell, I have watched Jonny Mnemonic more than once. But I cannot find a single redeeming feature about his performance in Bram Stoker's Dracula. From the accent**** to the awkward interactions with Winona Ryder (skip to about three minutes in - Winona, incidentally, also cannot act and yet gets a lot less flack and a lot more minor roles in massive sci-fi franchises, dammit), it is hideous. Cringe-worthy. A terrible, horrible nightmare from which I cannot wake up. A bad dream in which I realise that my lovely Keanu - whom I have loved, supported and defended for nearly twenty years***** Actually. Cannot. Act.

My worldview? Shattered.

And so that is why I don't like vampires. Not because they are scary. Not even because I find them dull. But because whenever I see a vampire, hear a vampire, even am simply reminded of vampires - all I can hear is Keanu Reeves saying "Me-nuh!" in that godwaful crime of an accent and the love I have carried with me for twenty years is shattered once more.

And that hurts more than a two-fanged bite from Gary Oldman.

* Yes, that is an OR. You are either a Spike or an Angel fan, and which one you choose says a lot about you.

** Assuming, that is, we let him off for producing Sofia, who in turn produced the FIVE HOUR LONG MUSIC VIDEO that was Lost in Translation. UGH. Direct quote from my brother when we finished watching it: "Well, that's three hours of my life I could have spent doing something useful. Like cleaning out the shower drain. Probably would have been more entertaining, too."

*** This was our main criteria, but Keanu Gets His Bum Out, Keanu Looks Dead Muscly and Keanu Has Some Form Of Homosexual Contact With River Phoenix were also popular recurring themes. Sadly less prevalent in today's cinema landscape.

**** What do you mean, he's not doing an accent in that interview? OH YES HE IS. That is as good as it gets in the movie. Eesh.

***** Holy crap I'm old.


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