Near Dark

First off, let’s get one thing out of the way-Avatar was a good movie.  People were only hating on it because it got nominated for an award it probably didn’t deserve, but who gives a shit?  It didn’t win, and it’s not like The Academy Awards are infallible, definitive bastion of movie praise.  Remember, these are the motherfuckers who give awards to Crash, Chicago, and Driving Miss Daisy (in the same year they fail to nominate Do the Right Thing).  The Oscars are just 2 ½ hours of Hollywood hotshots patting themselves on the back.  Stop pretending otherwise.  The best we can hope for is that they make PRETTY GOOD choices.  Don’t take them so seriously, is what I’m saying.  Try to look at them with a more objective eye.  Honestly, I thought this year’s selection of The Hurt Locker for best picture was a great choice.  The movie was genuinely great, and it was cool to see someone like Kathryn Bigelow, a lady who’s spent pretty much her entire career making action movies, get credit where it was due.  I liked The Hurt Locker so much, I decided to explore the Kathryn Bigelow archives.

Kathryn Bigelow is all the rage right now after winning all those Oscars, so you can impress your friends by bringing up Near Dark, her second feature, after The Loveless (A biker gang movie with Willem Fucking Dafoe!  I’ll get to that one later.)  Near Dark is all about this kid, Caleb, who gets bit by a hot young vampire girl and then he has to join her vampire gang and learn the ropes of vampirism.  You know how it is.  I’ve got mixed feelings about the movie.  On one hand, there’s certainly a lot of COOL moments, but on the other, it can be a bizarrely illogical film.  Characters make a lot of dumb decisions, and most of the vampires are just ridiculously amoral.  It’s one of those vampire movies where, not only do they never say “vampire,” but everybody acts like they don’t know what vampires are.  Never really understood the point of that.   But hey, this is pretty fuckin’ cool-

Damn, that's awesome.

And honestly, if you think that’s cool too, it’s probably worth a look.  I’ve got to err on the movie’s side.  It aint perfect, but I think it manages to pull it off, if just barely.  Bigelow’s inexperience shows.  There’s a lot of weird cuts and bad acting, but the violence is all well-staged, and it’s got some genuine suspense, mostly revolving around whether or not Caleb has it in him to kill a man.  Somehow, despite some paper thin characterization, I even managed to care about, not some, but ALL of the characters, so way to go on that one.

The supporting characters, at least the vampires, are all great.  These guys come from the bygone era when crappy movies at least had the decency to have some colorful characters.  Bill Paxton’s Severin being the star of the lot.  Paxton steals the show every time he’s on screen, stabbing and maiming his way into our hearts, but the other vampires are good too.  In addition to Paxton, you’ve also got Lance Henrikson and Jenette Goldstein.  That’s half the cast of Aliens!  Awesome!   I even liked Homer, the child vampire.  Jenny Wright and Adrian  Pasdar have good chemistry as the two star-crossed lovers.  However, the girl playing Caleb’s sister is pretty obnoxious, but luckily she’s not in it that much.  I normally don’t mind bad acting that much, but I have no tolerance for adorable children.  If those things can’t act (and they never can) they piss me off.

Lapses in logic aside, this is a pretty good, if sometimes frustrating movie.  It’s no Let the Right One In, but it’s still better than half the other vampire-related shit out there.

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  1. I couldn’t have said it better myself, well maybe I could but I didn’t so you win this round.

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