Netflix A-Z: Kiss of the Damned (2012)

With Netfliz A-Z coming back, you know we’re back to normal.  I’ve drafted out the rest of the movies, hopefully, none of them will be removed before we get to it. I might replace a few with series if I feel like I need a little break from movies. We’ll see! K is always a hard selection but that’s okay. There are enough choices.  Not sure if any of them was intriguing but this movie has been on my list for a while.  I don’t even know why its on my list.  Its a vampire movie called Kiss of the Damned.

I really have nothing else to say.  Let’s just jump right in…

Kiss of the Damned (2012)

Kiss of the Damned

Director: Xan Cassavetes

Cast: Josephine de la Baume, Milo Ventimiglia, Roxane Mesquida, Anna Mouglalis, Michael Rapaport

The vampire Djuna resists the advances of Paolo, but soon gives in to their passion. When her trouble-making sister unexpectedly comes to visit, Djuna’s love is threatened, and the whole vampire community becomes endangered. –IMDB

 Kiss of the Damned is pretty much a harmless film.  I didn’t mind watching it.  There were some silly bits and the dialogue was pretty clunky and awkward.  Its bizarre in general.  The best part was the background music.  However, it also feels like a movie that has some intention except it doesn’t really know what it wants to be.  It seems to want us to feel fear because we’re dealing with vampires.  It wants us to feel the drama of being a vampire and the feud  between power and how much they should be revealed to the world. And easily the only thing it achieved quite a bit of, was romance and the emphasis on passion.  When it was passionate, it was almost burning with desire. It helps that the cast here are a pretty bunch and their clothes makes them sexy, classy, elegant, whatever that character was.

Kiss of the Damned

The only issue is that with a story that doesn’t commit to what it wants to be, its hard for us as the audience to commit either. Its sad because I felt the cast did a decent job and in the multilayer of no direction, if there was more of it, this could at least let me connect with one character. Except it falls into the boring territory of being predictable as it brushes past themes of passion and desire, jealousy and manipulation, rebellion and resistance. What is even more bothersome for me is the attempts at putting twists for the final reveal which was done so to try so hard to be surprising when it was obvious even before anything happened.

Kiss of the Damned

I have never seen any of the actors here except for the small supporting role that Michael Rapaport does. However, as I flip through the filmography here, the main man Milo Ventimiglia has been in a TV series that I have heard of but not seen. With that said, I liked his character quite a bit. The ladies used here were foreign actresses. Josephine de la Baume plays our main girl Djuna who has a crazy and rebellious sister Mimi. She falls in love with Paolo and things move fast. The characters are portrayed well and even the mood and cinematography has an artistic touch to it as it pairs with the beautiful music scored with Kiss of the Damned.

Kiss of the Damned

Overall, Kiss of the Damned is an okay, tries but fails to be unique movie. Even with good cinematography and pretty music, nothing can save this movie from its flawed execution, clunky dialogue and the lack of a decent script.  It builds decent romantic scenes especially the sex scenes are rather fun to watch, however, Kiss of the Damned lacks an engaging storyline to make it worth another watch.

Have you seen Kiss of the Damned? Do you like vampire movies? 

Next up is the letter L? Any ideas of what it might be? Hint: Foreign movie

Beautiful Girls (1996)

Bouncing back to a more recent recommendations from MovieRob, he suggested I watch Beautiful Girls and another one that I’m still looking for.  Luckily Netflix had Beautiful Girls so here we are! I’ve been following Rob fairly recently and he does amazing reviews and he has a side project of currently reviewins Oscar Best Acting Winners and the respective movies. You should definitely go check it out!

beautiful girls posterDirector: Ted Demme

Cast: Matt Dillon, Timothy Hutton, Noah Emmerich, Lauren Holly, Annabeth Gish, Rosie O’Donnell, Max Perlich, Natalie Portman, Uma Thurman, Michael Rapaport, Mira Sorvino

New York City piano player Willie (Timothy Hutton) heads back home for his high school reunion.  Being with his friends and in his old surroundings, while at the going away to think about the crossroads of his life, career and relationship, he sees that nothing has changed much for his friends who stayed at home. They still have the mentality of when they were in high school and each has their own personal struggles to work out as they all face growing up; making the responsible choices.

Beautiful Girls is a thoughtful movie, possibly more geared towards men as they struggle between the idea of growing up and growing old.  Its pretty refreshing because we rarely get the view of men in this phase and a lot of movies like this are more formed in chick flicks geared towards women.  There’s a lot to love about this movie, especially the cast and character development.

beautiful girls natalie portman timothy hutton

I’m not going to say I understand men very well.  I’m happy most days I somewhat understand the logic of what my boyfriend does.  Its a never-ending process.  This movie was special in that way because I’m not saying that men ALL go through the same thing because that would be unfair but this was a nice way to see things. Giving each of these guys, mostly 4 of them, a bigger, more focused story meshed with the women in their life in a rather balanced way was a good thing.  I understood a bit more of the characters: Willie (Timothy Hutton), Tommy (Matt Dillon) and Paul (Michael Rapaport) while Mo (Noah Emmerich) had a more solid life set so he was something of a guiding light along with some of the other sub characters.  It was a very subconscious thing but even though a lot of their mentality seemed off to me, along the way I grew to connect in a way where I wanted them to do the “right” thing.

beautiful girls uma thurman

Other than the guys having a good impact, they needed some ladies that could match up to them.  One of the most intriguing one was Uma Thurman’s appearance as Andera.  She was a beautiful girl that they all were attracted to.  The beautiful thing that was also so understanding and for many of them, she also was helpful in an enlightening way.  Another one that I liked was the young Natalie Portman who had sudden and oddly deep but simple conversations with Willie and in many ways, made him understand a few things and question his life.  Another character that was funny was Rosie O’Donnell’s supporting character, especially when she talked about the unrealistic portrayal of women.

beautiful girls matt dillon

Beautiful Girls was great not only for its characters but it had a really awesome soundtrack.  If you’ve seen this, one of my favorite feel good moments was when they all were together and starting singing Sweet Caroline. Its full of these fun moments but was also thoughtful and engaging.  Its a side we rarely see in men and just the thoughts that might go through their heads as in a way, they shift their vision of women as they get older.  The longing to not grow old but also to not grow up.  Thats one of my favorite conversations in this movie where Mo and Willie talk about this exact thing of his “attraction” to Natalie Portman’s Marty as a way of showing that he didn’t want to grow old and Mo says its his way of not wanting to grow up.  See, Mo = enlightening 😉

The essence of the movie really is in this ramble from Michael Rapaport when he goes on about “beautiful girls”:

Supermodels are beautiful girls, Will. A beautiful girl can make you dizzy, like you’ve been drinking Jack and Coke all morning. She can make you feel high full of the single greatest commodity known to man – promise. Promise of a better day. Promise of a greater hope. Promise of a new tomorrow. This particular aura can be found in the gait of a beautiful girl. In her smile, in her soul, the way she makes every rotten little thing about life seem like it’s going to be okay. The supermodels, Willy? That’s all they are. Bottled promise. Scenes from a brand new day. Hope dancing in stiletto heels.-taken from IMDB

With that said, I have no idea how I’ve never heard of Beautiful Girls.  Its a pretty awesome movie.  Great soundtrack, thoughtful characters and packed with a nice pace and a few feel good moments.  Its fun and fantastic! I totally recommend you to watch this!

Thanks again to Rob for introducing this to me! He is as awesome as this movie and you have to check out his site.  I linked it on top with his blog name! 🙂