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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 19 September 2002
Having never read Ann Rice's novel I cannot comment on the accuracy of the film. What I will say is that, on its own strengths, this film is essential viewing. Those seeking thrills and frights should turn away now, those interested in depth and character development should buy this instantly. Tom Cruise turns in a great performance as the lonely, malicious vampire Lestat, with Brad Pitt as his brooding, conscience-stricken protege. Despite the fact that the leads are all vampires and drink blood, at times quite graphically, you cannot help but feel sympathy for them as prisoners of eternal darkness. This is partly because of the phenomenal acting on offer and partly because of the screenplay. Some very intense issues are dealt with in the course of the film, Louis struggles with his morality over killing people for a large chunk of the film until eventually he resigns himself to his fate, biting a young girl (Kirsten Dunst). The scope of the film expands from just Lestat and Louis in America to a whole secret society in Paris, along the way revealing some of the vampire laws and customs. The plot also spans a huge time period, ending in the modern day with Louis telling his tale to a journalist (Christian Slater). After watching this film I remember thinking to myself "yeah... if vampires existed I could see them being exactly like that," Rice's vampires are still human, they just become resigned to the fact that they have to drink blood to survive.
My advice is if you like the sound of my review go out and buy the film. If you are not sure definitely rent it, you never know, it might surprise you.
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on 21 January 2011
Good solid film - but disappointing blu ray transfer. That said, this is a dark film - as in it's mostly set in a dark environment - and it was never what you'd call a pretty film to look at to start with. It's a little frustrating that people compare it to, say The Dark Knight, in terms of transfer quality. This is a much older film. That a film is 'grainy' is often the intended look of the film by the director and not necessarily a slight on the transfer itself. That said, even by the blu ray standard set for some older films where there is an obvious and sometimes considerable improvement; this is by contrast little better than it's DVD counterpart. Those expecting a pristine, re mastered version of this film will be very disappointed. My advice is buy only if you don't already own this on DVD. Simply put, not worth the upgrade as good as the film may otherwise be. The Star Rating reflects the blu ray quality rather than the film, which is easily worthy of 4 stars.
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on 1 January 2006
When you normally read that a film is being made of a book you like, your thinking of all the things they won't be able to show or what will be cut out or changed. Although slightly varying from the original book by Anne Rice, this first film adaptation of the first of Rice's Vampire Chronicles, Interview is quite good! Tom Cruise isn't who most would say best characterises the character of Lestat but as you watch he really gets across what Lestat was like. Interview centres around Louis, played by Brad Pitt, a vampire made by Lestat, "whining" Louis tells us of his life shortly before he was given the blood. Louis and Lestat, joined later by a young Kirsten Dunst as Claudia (based on Anne Rices own deceased child) travel and hunt together in America ... Some funny moments in the film like the draining of the rat's blood into a goblet scene (Cruise and Pitt trying in vain not to smirk!).
I won't tell you all the story - most already know from the book but with appearances of Stephen Rea, Antonio Banderas (great in his role - wouldn't mind him biting my neck!) and some fantastic music you will be drawn to it if you love the genre. Not a terror inducing film but a dark gothic feeling movie all the same. It's a pity the original cast did not continue with the chronicles - Queen of the Damned should never have been made - was a poor attempt at Rice's work. Love watching this film every now and then.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 February 2016
This 1994 drama with a horror base starts with reporter Daniel Molloy [Christian Slater] interviewing Louis de Pointe du Lac [Brad Pitt], who claims to be a vampire. Louis quickly convinces Daniel his claim is true and begins to tell his tale of how he was ‘turned’ by the callous Lestat [Tom Cruise] but what do you do when you run out of chickens?
Long in the tooth [couldn’t resist that!] this may be it still has some decent special effects, while the photography and sets are quite superb, but the short introduction to the film is annoying and while not a plot spoiler as such, does ruin the suspense of some scenes. The dark and dry humour is always present and Kirsten Dunst is brilliant as the young, demanding, spoilt, malicious and manipulative murderous Claudia.
The single disc features play, scene selection, languages [german or English with subtitles in most European + some other languages] and special features [cast & crew, making of, and trailer].
Slow paced it may be, but there are enough jumps and scares to keep you awake until you get drawn into the riveting story. Animal lovers may want to look away at certain points, Ah rats, you either love ‘em or hate them. I doubt this would be rated 18 now but it does have violence, but nothing that hasn’t been done in a 15 but there is some nudity.
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on 9 October 2003
Interview with the Vampire as a film, is like a vivid dream of the book by the same name written by Anne Rice. If possible, see the film first. But because I'm writing a review for film media, I will treat it as such.
In short, the synopsis: What happens if a Vampire chooses you not for a moveable feast, but to tell you it's tragic life story?
Luckily the novel was adpated for screen by Anne Rice, so the story stayed intact. Wonderful story, well (visually) told by Neil Jordan, and characters well portrayed by selfless actors.
Brad Pitt as Louis and Tom Cruise as Lestat. I was very much surprised and touched by Kirsten Dunst, playing the part of a woman trapped in a girl-vampire's body.
Production design and cinematogrphy was absolutely brilliant, not to cast aside the costumes. And finished of with Elliot Goldenthal's brooding and dark score, it makes for a film destined to become a classic for those who really care about film, and not for their own ego's and clever 'criticism'.
If by chance you are interrested in this title, but put off by bad mouthing, please ignore the bad reviews. It is a film to see and remember. It is a film (complementing the novel)that could change the way you see yourself as top of the food chain.
Enjoy it.
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on 6 May 2004
"Libera me, Domine, de vitae aeterna" - "Free me, Lord, from eternal life": If a movie begins with a choir and boy soprano singing these words, in a requiem's style and overlaying the camera's sweeping move over nightly San Francisco bay, zooming in on a Victorian building's top-floor window after having followed the life on the street below like a hunter follows its prey - if a movie begins like this, you know you're not looking at your average flick, whatever its subject. (And if the first thing you catch is the Latin phrase's grammatical mistake, this is probably not your kind of movie anyway).
Much-discussed even before its release, due not least to Anne Rice's temporary withdrawal of support and her no less sensational subsequent 180-degree turn, Neil Jordan's adaptation of the "Vampire Chronicles"' first part, based on Rice's own screenplay, is a sumptuous production awash in luminous colors, magnificent period decor and costumes, rich fabrics, heavy crystal, elegant silverware and gallons of deeply scarlet blood, supremely photographed by Phillippe Rousselot, with a constant undercurrent of sensuality and seduction; an audiovisual orgy substantiated by one of recent film history's most ingenious scores (by Elliot Goldenthal). Although the book only gained notoriety after the publication of its sequel "The Vampire Lestat," followed in short order by the "Chronicles"' third installment, "The Queen of the Damned," by the time this movie was produced, Rice had acquired a large and loyal fan base, who would have been ready to tear it to shreds had it failed to meet their expectations. That this was not unanimously the case is in and of itself testimony to Neil Jordan's considerable achievement (only underscored by the botched 2002 realization of "Queen of the Damned"). Sure, some decry the plot changes vis-a-vis the novel and the fact that some of the protagonists (particularly Louis and Armand) look different from Rice's description. But others have embraced the movie wholeheartedly; praising it for remaining faithful to the fundamentalities of Rice's story and for its production values as such. I find myself firmly in the latter corner; indeed, in some respects I consider this one of the rare movies that are superior to their literary originals - primarily because the story's two main characters, Louis and Lestat, gain considerably in stature and complexity compared to Rice's book.
While both film and novel are narrated by Louis (Brad Pitt), giving an interview to a reporter (Christian Slater) in the hope of achieving some minimal atonement for 200 years of sin and guilt, and while Lestat (Tom Cruise) appears on screen barely half the movie's running time, Lestat is much more of a central character than in Rice's novel; and vastly more interesting. For Anne Rice's Lestat only comes into his own in the "Chronicles"' second part, which is named for him and where we truly learn to appreciate him as the vampire world's aristocratic, arrogant, wicked, intelligent and unscrupulous "brat prince," who although completely lacking regret for any of his actions nevertheless shows occasional glimpses of caring, even if he would never admit thereto. *This*, however, is exactly the movie's Lestat; not the comparatively uninformed and, all things considered, even somewhat brutish creature of Rice's first novel. It is no small feat on Tom Cruise's part to have accomplished this; and in my mind his portrayal has completely eclipsed the character's original conception, which was reportedly based on Rutger Hauer's Captain Navarre in "Ladyhawke."
Similarly, while every bit as guilt-ridden as the character created by Anne Rice, Brad Pitt's Louis regains more inner strength - and more quickly so - than the narrator of Rice's book, rendering him more of an even foil for Lestat, and equally lending greater credibility to his initial selection as Lestat's companion, his actions to ensure his and Claudia's escape to Europe, and his later decision not to stay with Armand. (Indeed, Louis's and Armand's separation after the burning of the Theatre of the Vampires makes perfect sense in the movie's context; it would have undercut both characters', but especially Louis's credibility had they gone on to share years of companionship like in the book.)
Kirsten Dunst's Claudia was not only this movie's biggest discovery - not surprisingly, in an interview included on the DVD Dunst calls this "the most prominent role" of her career so far - she, too, embodies the novel's child vampire to absolute perfection; capturing her eternally childlike features as well as her Lolitaesque seductiveness and the ruthless killer hidden under her doll-like appearance. Doubtlessly furthest from the novel's character is Antonio Banderas's powerful and charismatic Armand: But while I do somewhat miss Rice's auburn-haired "Botticelli angel," I always had a problem imagining him as the leader of the Paris coven, in control even of the quicksilver-like Santiago (marvelously portrayed by Stephen Rea in one of his most overtly theatrical performances). Here, too, the movie - if anything - gives the story greater credibility; although it's admittedly hard to reconcile with parts of the "Chronicles"' later installments, particularly Armand's own biography.
In interviews, Neil Jordan and Brad Pitt particularly have mentioned the emotional strain that this movie put on all its participants; due its almost exclusively nightly shooting schedule, and even more so because of its incessant exploration of guilt, damnation and, literally, hell on earth. Anne Rice's vampires truly are the ultimate outsiders; no longer part of human society, they feed on it, can neither be harmed by sickness nor by methods the world has taken for granted ever since Bram Stoker's "Dracula" (which are in fact merely "the vulgar fictions of a demented Irishman," as Louis explains, simultaneously amused and contemptuous) and are thus, if not killed by fire and/or beheading, condemned to walk the earth forever, without any hope of redemption. It is primarily this element which has given Rice's novels their lasting appeal, and which is perfectly rendered in Jordan's adaptation. I'm still not sure I'd ever want to meet them in person, though ...
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on 18 March 2004
"Libera me, Domine, de vitae aeterna" - "Free me, Lord, from eternal life": If a movie begins with a choir and boy soprano singing these words, in a requiem's style and overlaying the camera's sweeping move over nightly San Francisco bay, zooming in on a Victorian building's top-floor window after having followed the life on the street below like a hunter follows its prey - if a movie begins like this, you know you're not looking at your average flick, whatever its subject. (And if the first thing you catch is the Latin phrase's grammatical mistake, this is probably not your kind of movie to begin with).
Much-discussed even before its release, due not least to Anne Rice's temporary withdrawal of support and her no less sensational subsequent 180-degree turn, Neil Jordan's adaptation of the "Vampire Chronicles"' first part, based on Rice's own screenplay, is a sumptuous production awash in luminous colors, magnificent period decor and costumes, rich fabrics, heavy crystal, elegant silverware and gallons of deeply scarlet blood, supremely photographed by Phillippe Rousselot, with a constant undercurrent of sensuality and seduction; an audiovisual orgy substantiated by one of recent film history's most ingenious scores (by Elliot Goldenthal). Although the book only gained notoriety after the publication of its sequel "The Vampire Lestat," followed in short order by the "Chronicles"' third installment, "The Queen of the Damned," by the time this movie was produced, Rice had acquired a large and loyal fan base, who would have been ready to tear it to shreds had it failed to meet their expectations. That this was not unanimously the case is in and of itself testimony to Neil Jordan's considerable achievement (only underscored by the botched 2002 realization of "Queen of the Damned"). Sure, some decry the plot changes vis-a-vis the novel and the fact that some of the protagonists (particularly Louis and Armand) look different from Rice's description. But others have embraced the movie wholeheartedly; praising it for remaining faithful to the fundamentalities of Rice's story and for its production values as such. I find myself firmly in the latter corner; indeed, in some respects I consider this one of the rare movies that are superior to their literary originals - primarily because the story's two main characters, Louis and Lestat, gain considerably in stature and complexity compared to Rice's book.
While both film and novel are narrated by Louis (Brad Pitt), giving an interview to a reporter (Christian Slater) in the hope of achieving some minimal atonement for 200 years of sin and guilt, and while Lestat (Tom Cruise) appears on screen barely half the movie's running time, Lestat is much more of a central character than in Rice's novel; and vastly more interesting. For Anne Rice's Lestat only comes into his own in the "Chronicles"' second part, which is named for him and where we truly learn to appreciate him as the vampire world's aristocratic, arrogant, wicked, intelligent and unscrupulous "brat prince," who although completely lacking regret for any of his actions nevertheless shows occasional glimpses of caring, even if he would never admit thereto. *This*, however, is exactly the movie's Lestat; not the comparatively uninformed and, all things considered, even somewhat brutish creature of Rice's first novel. It is no small feat on Tom Cruise's part to have accomplished this; and in my mind his portrayal has completely eclipsed the character's original conception, which was reportedly based on Rutger Hauer's Captain Navarre in "Ladyhawke."
Similarly, while every bit as guilt-ridden as the character created by Anne Rice, Brad Pitt's Louis regains more inner strength - and more quickly so - than the narrator of Rice's book, rendering him more of an even foil for Lestat, and equally lending greater credibility to his initial selection as Lestat's companion, his actions to ensure his and Claudia's escape to Europe, and his later decision not to stay with Armand. (Indeed, Louis's and Armand's separation after the burning of the Theatre of the Vampires makes perfect sense in the movie's context; it would have undercut both characters', but especially Louis's credibility had they gone on to share years of companionship like in the book.)
Kirsten Dunst's Claudia was not only this movie's biggest discovery - not surprisingly, in an interview included on the DVD Dunst calls this "the most prominent role" of her career so far - she, too, embodies the novel's child vampire to absolute perfection; capturing her eternally childlike features as well as her Lolitaesque seductiveness and the ruthless killer hidden under her doll-like appearance. Doubtlessly furthest from the novel's character is Antonio Banderas's powerful and charismatic Armand: But while I do somewhat miss Rice's auburn-haired "Botticelli angel," I always had a problem imagining him as the leader of the Paris coven, in control even of the quicksilver-like Santiago (marvelously portrayed by Stephen Rea in one of his most overtly theatrical performances). Here, too, the movie - if anything - gives the story greater credibility; although it's admittedly hard to reconcile with parts of the "Chronicles"' later installments, particularly Armand's own biography.
In interviews, Neil Jordan and Brad Pitt particularly have mentioned the emotional strain that this movie put on all its participants; due its almost exclusively nightly shooting schedule, and even more so because of its incessant exploration of guilt, damnation and, literally, hell on earth. Anne Rice's vampires truly are the ultimate outsiders; no longer part of human society, they feed on it, can neither be harmed by sickness nor by methods the world has taken for granted ever since Bram Stoker's "Dracula" (which are in fact merely "the vulgar fictions of a demented Irishman," as Louis explains, simultaneously amused and contemptuous) and are thus, if not killed by fire and/or beheading, condemned to walk the earth forever, without any hope of redemption. It is primarily this element which has given Rice's novels their lasting appeal, and which is perfectly rendered in Jordan's adaptation. I'm still not sure I'd ever want to meet them in person, though ...
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VINE VOICEon 17 February 2004
Ten years after this movie was made, it is still an awe inspiring film that stays with you hours after watching it. I have watched this movie several times now, and it still moves me to think of how it would be to be immortal.
It follows Louis, (Pitt), who, after losing all that matters to him, meets a vampire called Lestat, (Cruise). We are allowed to follow their story along with a journalist, (Slater), and in doing so are shown the romance of being forever young and healthy, with the terrible sadness and loneliness of having no-one to share it all with.
This movie has everything, from humour and horror to haunting music score and terrific cast. Tom Cruise is not one of my favourite actors, but he is good 9 times out of 10. This film is one of his better roles. He is everything you would expect a vampire to be. Brad Pitt, also not one of my faves, is truly outstanding as Louis. You feel for him at every turn, and I would like to think that people like him still exist today. Who would have thought that a vampire could feel guilty about taking human life?! Kirsten Dunst is wonderful as the woman trapped inside a little girl's body, who just wants to grow up but knows she never will. Antonio Banderas deserves a mention too as does Stephen Rea.
I am surprised that this movie has an 18 certificate. I think it would be quite comfortable as a 15. The blood and gore aren't too bad considering the nature of the plot. Maybe it has something to do with being 10 years old, the older films tend to have a higher certificate than movies today.
All in all, this movie is definately one that should be a part of any true movie fan's library. If you are squeamish, don't be put off because it really isn't a horror film. It's more of a sad, dark fairy tale that makes you question immortality.
I recommend this film to any movie watcher and I think most people will get something good from it.
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on 15 September 2014
Great film, enjoyed watching it more than once and think Tom Cruise must have enjoyed this part but he doesn't quite have the stature physically or fluid movement that a more eloquent actor would likely have brought to the role. Even so can't help liking the film or Tom in this tail of vampires and their tormented souls. Trying to think of actors who could have done a better job but only Jeremy Irons keeps popping in to my head, sure many others can think of some.
When i want a Vampire movie to watch this one is pretty good for style and atmosphere.
Just thought, wouldn't Johnny Depp have fun with this part ?
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on 10 April 2016
20 years after this film was made I still rate this as one of the best performances by both Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise from all their movies they have done before and since. As the title suggests, and based on the Anne Rice novel, the film is based around an interview given to a reporter (Christian Slater) by a vampire (Brad Pitt). He recounts his journey from his vampire birth and his inner torment at trying to resist being what he has become. The film is a mix of emotions as it both pulls you towards the characters and repulses you. A work of art!
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