Written by Ehren Kruger and Christopher Landon
Directed by Katja von Garnier
Running Time: 1:38
for violence/terror, some sexuality
and substance abuse.
As my first review of 2007, Blood and Chocolate was a bad way to start off the year.
Vivian is a werewolf, although not the kind you normally see in movies. She moved to Romania 10 years earlier after her family was slaughtered while living in the U.S. She is afraid because the leader of the pack, Gabriel, has come to town to pick a new wife, something he does every seven years. Vivian isn't like the other werewolves because she doesn't enjoy the hunt... she just enjoys running. She meets Aiden, a graphic novelist, who is running as well. They fall in love, but the rest of the pack thinks Vivian is giving Aiden all of their secrets. Soon Vivian realizes Gabriel isn't about love and peace and harmony, and is more about ridding the planet of humans. She and Aiden team up to save themselves from Gabriel's tyranny and at the same time, keep their love alive.
Way back in 2006, I was sitting in the theater on opening night for Rocky Balboa. The theater was filled with about 95% men. A trailer came on for Blood and Chocolate and people were really getting into it. I guess a film about werewolves with a relatively attractive woman (Agnes Bruckner, who reminds me of a poor woman's Jennie Garth) can win over some male viewers. But then came the moment where the voiceover guy announces the title... "Blood... and Chocolate." At that point the 95% male viewers all burst out laughing. I knew then and there, this movie wasn't going to succeed. If someone in the marketing department decided that it was OK to release a movie with the title Blood and Chocolate, then these same people wouldn't know a good movie if it hit them over the head with a large mallet. I realize the movie was based on a book with the same title, but you can change things around. And you might be wondering why I then bothered to see the film. I gave in to peer pressure.
I'll start by saying that visually, the movie wasn't half bad. It was shot nicely and the scenes of Bucharest were rather nice. And the acting wasn't all that bad either considering what the actors had to work with. Those were the good parts of the film. The bad parts, as you might imagine, far outweighed the good parts. First off, the story was pretty pedestrian and uninspired. Boy and girl fall in love, girl has a secret... you've seen it before. Even the character names made me laugh out loud. I mean, a gothic werewolf movie with guys named Gabriel and Aiden? And the dialogue was clichéd and laughable. There was a group of five young werewolf males who reminded me a lot of the Backstreet Boys, so that was at least fun. I didn't understand why they always felt the need to jump off of walls in order to run around the city. It didn't save any time.
So you might be wondering, how did they come up with the title, Blood and Chocolate? Well the blood part made sense. When Aiden was reading up about werewolves for his latest graphic novel, he found out that a way to tell if an otherwise normal person was a werewolf, is to cut them and then you can see it in their eyes. This of course comes into play later in the film. The chocolate part was another thing. See Vivian, our heroine, worked in a chocolate store. Yup, that's it. She worked with chocolate. Did chocolate have any other part to play in the story? Nope, not at all. She just made it. It didn't have some magical restorative powers, it didn't kill werewolves... it didn't have anything to do with anything. I think a better title for the film could have been "Blood and Silver." Silver played a major role in the film, and frankly is a tougher sounding title.
Then again, maybe the filmmakers/marketing people were thinking by going with Blood and Chocolate they could target the female audience. I mean, there was an entire sequence in the middle of the movie where the two lovebirds were dancing through fountains while music you'd expect to hear on a CW show played over the montage. It was completely out of place, but maybe now I understand the purpose. Give women something to swoon over. The tough chick who could make chocolate and the bushy haired American with a secret of his own. What more could you ask for from a werewolf film? I mean, besides a story.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, Blood and Chocolate is a movie you can pass on. At all levels. Except maybe if it shows up on the CW one Saturday afternoon. Then go ahead and give it a watch.
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