THE VAMPIRES HAVE WON!
In a world that has been taken over by vampires, Father Joe, a once reputed and respected priest who had been forced out of his parish, and his unlikely friend, a militant atheist, go to war against the vampire invasion that threatens to suck the blood out of the human race's veins.
These guys take themselves a bit too seriously. I don't know, maybe the DUMB AND DUMBERER dvd spoiled me but I was hoping these guys wouldn't be as morose as the movie they made. There's nothing I dislike more then a film or filmmakers who make themselves the "undertakers for the art world." It was interesting hearing how certain shots were set up, why they chose certain locations, how certain parts of scenes were shot one day and then another part of a scene was shot on a different day but ultimately that wasn't enough for me to really "get into" this commentary track.
Bloopers and Outtakes
Now this is what I am talking about!!
It was hilarious seeing these very serious scenes and then seeing the characters mess up a line, or scream too loud and then having the mood lightened by the cast and crew breaking into a chorus of laughter. I feel that that this added an element of humanity to an otherwise drab viewing experience.
Okay, now I am starting to feel bad. I don't think MIDNIGHT MASS was a bad film per se, it's just that films about vampires, unless they take place in the suburbs(ie. the FRIGHT NIGHT series) just aren't my cup of tea. This movie was predominately set in abandoned places(which tie directly into the story) and I found myself feeling a tad too alienated. That is why I loved these Bloopers and Outtakes. A truly nice touch.
Behind the Camera
I might be in the minority here but I sort of found this "making of" to be more of the same thing as the commentary. Anyone who has read any of my other reviews knows that I am big fan of extra packed dvds. So, for me to actually ask for less of the extras, that should tell you something. This "making of" takes you from concept to screen, but I never felt that the people involved were enjoying themselves. I know this might be a lame point as I know that these light moments happened(they inevitably happen on every movie set) but for me this film was too much a of black, trench coat wearing, Starbucks lovers dream.
Still Gallery Gallery and Production Design Artwork
Cool photos here. The pictures show us a lot of the heart of the film, and I think it was really cool for the makers of this dvd to put it in there. I sometimes find still galleries to be a tad unnecessary but here I found a certain moodiness that I didn't get from the film. Then again maybe it's just me and what I am presupposed to?
16x9 widescreen looked very good. The transfer was really top notch and the picture looked very good. Colors and tone are everything in a film of this nature and it seemed like the filmmakers achieved exactly what they set out to achieve. I knew what they were going for having seen this type of film done with modest budgets(and modest success) before, but for this type of film it was one of the best quality versions I have ever seen. The dvd cover-art is also very well done.
Dolby Stereo sound folks. As I am deaf in one ear, I am not sure how much of this I get, but lets just say I heard everything just fine. As there were some long dialogue scenes, good sound would seem to be a must. And in a film that might be "low in tone", I never found myself straining to hear anything.
Okay, this was a very well executed movie from a very sharp script. It's just that films of this ilk are not my "deal"(sorry to beat that point to death). I love all different kinds of movies but these vampire movies(contemporary or otherwise) usually do nothing for me. It is just a personal preference so maybe I am not the person to be reviewing this film. It is really sad for me because I know these sorts of films have a huge audience. I have some friends who make these kinds of films(after screening this film I invite you to also check out www.lindenmuth.com) but I am just not a fan.
Obviously, the makers of this film know what they are doing. They know the genre, the history and heck...they got a big company like LIONS GATE to distribute their movie for them. That must say something right? I have been in the filmmaking game for almost 10 years(making what I guess would be called "art films", some of them could even be called "experimental" I guess) and I have never even come close to something like that with my own work. So, Bravo guys!!
MIDNIGHT MASS is a very credible film. The people involved are well versed in the material and the result is a high quality movie. If these are the sorts of films you like then MIDNIGHT MASS will fit nicely into your dvd collection.
Midnight Mass was released July 8, 2003.