Video Vault: Vault Mail

Vault Mail
by the readers

“You give Bela Lugosi in the original ‘Dracula’ a seven! Dude, that is a stoning offense (and not the good kind). It is a classic! Next you’ll be giving ‘Citizen Kane’ an 8! … Though I gotta love a review of a circa 1931 flick.”

Shawn from Clearfield

Shawn, I feel your pain. In our review of “Dracula” (v.v. 8/11/06 – Vault Rating: 7*) we did give the count short shrift and your point is clearly a good one. We asterisked the 7 to give a split rating: A 7 now, but a 9 or higher then in recognition of the terrific impact the film had. And I promise you, “Citizen Kane” will never see an 8 in this space. It might be one of the handful of “10s” I’ve ever seen. A perfect film? Kane just might be that film.

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“Great vault on ‘Dracula.’ I’m glad to see someone explain the staying power of true classic film. Also, I think its good for your son to watch something besides ‘Barnyard’ or ‘Cars.’ Maybe if some other parents did that, their kids wouldn’t forget everything wasn’t always made with CGI!”

Ryan from Clearfield

Ryan, While the editors of “Fangoria” have nominated Vault for parent of the year, those crazies who were protesting the Harry Potter movies because of the favorable portrayal of witches are not taking this lying down. Even now, I think I see an angry mob massing in front of the house.

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“Just read your video vault on ‘V for Vendetta.’ I noticed you mentioned a lot of classics like ‘Brave New World’ and ‘1984.’ I was wondering if you knew that V was based on a comic book mini-series from the 1980’s by Alan Moore. He also did another great mini called ‘The Watchmen.’ ”

Aaron in Clearfield

Aaron, Vault will definitely be looking for a copy of ‘The Watchmen.’ We alluded in our review (v.v. 8/5/06 – Vault Rating: 8) to Moore’s source graphic novel. Vault just loves comic books become movies. What are your favorites?

“Favorite comic book movies are tough. The ‘X-Men’ franchise is good, as is the ‘Spider-Man’ franchise. ‘Daredevil’ was highly underrated and is probably one of my favorites. The first ‘Blade’ movie was pretty good, but after that, not so good. ‘Batman’ one and two are good, as is the newest one. Most people didn’t like ‘Hulk,’ but I thought it had great potential. Right now I think ‘Sin City’ (v.v. 9/7/05 – Vault Rating: 7.5) was the best comic book translation to the big screen. Everything they did with the color in the movie was done in the comic book. Marvel is running cartoon movies based on some of their titles. ‘Ultimate Avengers’ was a good translation, and ‘Dr. Strange’ and ‘Iron Man’ are coming out soon. A movie you might want to check out is ‘Mirrormask.’ That movie is so cool. And it’s really geared towards young adults / teens. It’s a bizarre fairy-tale type movie.”

Aaron (again) in Clearfield

Aaron, Vault is right there with you on ‘Daredevil.’ Very underrated and a real valentine to the tight leather crowd. The workout between Ben Affleck (D.D.) and Jennifer Garner (Elektra) was… how shall we put it … thrilling to say the least.

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“I purchased the film (‘V for Vendetta’) but haven’t watched it yet. The graphic novel is about Thatcher’s England, but what’s really changed?”

Rob in Hollidaysburg

Rob, The only updating is in a thematic vein that serves to comment more on current world affairs. Concepts of detention and torture are central and hearken graphically, almost identically, to the public photos of inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison. There are two frames in the film that, if you look quick, express a pointed political opinion. But the basic story, that of a kind of Zorro vs. Big Brother works wonderfully regardless.

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“Am I turning into my parents? Seriously, I HATED ‘Sin City.’ Found it sick, twisted, perverted, horrible and thought that it (like the film ‘Seven’ and ‘Silence of the Lambs’) should not have been made, and if made, should not have been shown, and if shown, should not have been attended. Something about what I’d call a pornography of sadistic perversion that I cannot stomach, in a moral sense I mean, not in terms of mere squeamishness.”

Mike in Austria

Mike, Vault feels the same about “The Sound of Music.” C’mon! Where’s the guy who just loved “Mad Max”?

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“I know it is kind of late to consider my feedback on ‘The Family Stone,’ (v.v. 6/6/06 – V.R: 7.5) but overall it was one that my husband and I both enjoyed. I had an interest in watching from the get go simply because Rachel Adams was among the cast. I fell in love with her in ‘The Notebook.’ Her casting call in that film was just incredible. Definitely a girl to watch on the big screen. Although her role was small in comparison with this film, she was still a treat. Diane Keaton, her normal true beauty, as in ‘Something’s Got to Give.’ And Luke Wilson — Oh my! … My husband thought it was a little slow in the beginning, but it caught up with him – or he caught up with it? In the end, we both admitted your ranking was right on.”

Chris from Clearfield

Chris, You’re not the only ones.

“A friend and I saw this film (‘Family Stone’) thinking it was gonna be a pure waste. I hate sit-coms! — We both cried! Really liked it.”

Gayle in Clearfield

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“Thanks for the invitation to critique a movie. If you like animation and dogs, ‘The Triplets of Belleville’ is a MUST!! The music is great and who ever animated the dog must own one because that dog is so realistic. There isn’t much dialogue, but Tom and I enjoyed the music and the dog.”

Judy in Lemont

Judy, Vault readers never need an invitation to give their two cents worth! The Video Vault is very much meant to be a two way street, y’know? Now that film, “The Triplets of Belleville,” was reviewed in the distant past but I can’t find the cite in my files. It is a kind of animated film that really sticks in your head because it is so offbeat. Vault will be revisiting it this week to refresh and we’ll find the original document as well and we’ll see how that one fared over time. What with the Tour de France just being ended, I think a trippy movie about a bicyclist not on steroids might be worth a look. I really liked ‘Triplets’ and remember it in a really strange light.

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“If you want to spend an evening of funny entertainment with extreme martial arts, good physical comedy, and far out special effects, see… ‘Shaolin Soccer’ and ‘Kung-Fu Hustle.’ Both are directed by Stephen Chow and both films use special effects that purposefully heighten the martial arts drama in an extreme and comedic way. While neither are academy award winning films, either will provide you an evening of entertainment (especially if you are a little buzzed…)”

Mario in Boston

Mario, If “Hustle” is anything like “Shaolin,” Vault can heartily recommend both. “Shaolin” did a CGI take on monks playing soccer that was something straight out of a Nintendo game. Soccer fans will get a bigger kick out of it than most, though.

Hey! Thanks for all the input, everybody. Vault just loves hearing from you. If you’ve got some movie musings of your own, dear readers, just drop us a line at and we’ll put your thoughts down for posterity in the regular vault mail column. Until next time… Enjoy!

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