5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Queen of the Damned
I fell in love with Stuart Townsned as Vampire Lestat! And although it does not follow the book, I thought the movie was wonderful, despite some cheesiness. If wasn't for the perfect performances of Stuart and Aaliyah, and the songs of Jonathan Davis, it would not have been nearly as enjoyable!
Published on March 12, 2002 by soren_parish
64 of 78 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yep...it's damned
*sigh* Where to begin? When Interview with the Vampire (the movie) came out when I was in sixth grade, I was immediately hooked, and I devoured the original 4 Vampire Chronicle books one after the other. I fell in love with Lestat, I felt Louis' pain...it was wonderful. When I heard they were making a movie version of Queen of the Damned, I was glad, yet surprised,...
Published on February 13, 2003 by Paige I. Mano
Most Helpful First | Newest First
64 of 78 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yep...it's damned,
This review is from: Queen of the Damned (Full Screen Edition) (DVD)*sigh* Where to begin? When Interview with the Vampire (the movie) came out when I was in sixth grade, I was immediately hooked, and I devoured the original 4 Vampire Chronicle books one after the other. I fell in love with Lestat, I felt Louis' pain...it was wonderful. When I heard they were making a movie version of Queen of the Damned, I was glad, yet surprised, because The Vampire Lestat (book 2) is actually my favorite of the series, and I would have liked to have seen that as a movie. Now begins my rant.
There's plenty of things I could say about this movie doing no justice to the feel and/or deep and layered plot of the book. However, since it is a movie and not the book, I'll try not to get that specific (i.e., Marius didn't make Lestat, but that doesn't make that much of a difference...does it?) What really [ticked] me off about this is that instead of taking one book's plot and trying to fully develop and explain the story, they shoved a bunch of [junk] into ninety minutes and made it loud, shiny, and polished. And let's not forget the kung fu.
1) I loved Tom Cruise as Lestat, but...Stuart Townsend was hot. I'll admit it. He played the modern Lestat quite well, and I'm willing to say that his hair is *dark* blond. That doesn't quite make up for his brown eyes, however. :)
2) Aaliyah. Not bad; she certainly looked pretty, but what was up with that stupid Hungarian accent? And she had basically no character development, which brings me to
3) NO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!! The only reason I recognized half of the "ancients" in the movie was by their costumes, because God forbid we should actually mention their names!!
4) Why did we have to have that stupid "romance" [stuff]? Can't we just accept Lestat as being androgynous/bisexual and not give him a little teenybopper girlfriend?
5) This wasn't even good as a plain old "vampire" movie. They used the same crap we've seen hundreds of times before. "This is how you become a vampire. This is what you do as a vampire. I love you, but you're a mortal. No, I cannot bring you into my world. Well, now that you're dying, I guess I can." And so on.
6) The soundtrack is rather well done.
So in closing, PLEASE, I implore you, do not base your like/dislike of the Vampire Chronicle BOOKS on seeing this one film. As another reviewer said, READ THEM. READ THEM NOW. They are fascinating. They are better than this movie. This movie is pretty. But it is not good.
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not that bad...,
To sum it up, Queen of the Damned is actually made up of the second and third books of the Vampire Chronicals consisting of chunks from both Queen of the Damned and The Vampire Lestat. It may be called Queen of the Damned, and the posters focus on Akasha, but it really is about Lestat (which is what Queen was about anyway.)
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this movie, but went into it with an open mind. I liked Interview, but didn't care for the choice of Tom (over the top) Cruise as Lestat. The choice of Stewart Townsend was WELL casted as he slithers about reeking of sexuality, just like Lestat; too bad he wasn't the original choice for Interview.
In terms of the storyline, to incorporate or base a movie on both books is a difficult task that can fail and unfortunately, it did in some areas. From reading the negative reviews about QOTD, too much was incorporated into the storyline without explaining the background of each (i.e., Akasha is the first of the vampire bloodline and when her life ceases to exist, so do all the vampires created beneath her.) Stuff like this is never explained and anyone who has never read the books can understandably be confused.
I was more excited by seeing the characters I became so familiar with come to life, but we are only focusing on specific characters in this flick. Namely, Akasha, Marius, Lestat, Jesse and Maharet. All the others are present, but most of them don't even have a single line. Vampires such as Mael, Armand and Pandora are present, but have such a small screen presence that it is disappointing considering they had larger roles in the books. Also, the movie is heavily edited. In the beginning, when Lestat comes across the band "Satan's Night Out" the shots go immediately from "You're a Vampire? LOL!" to "Are you going to kill us?" Obviously there was a chunk of conversation cut out from them to laugh at him and then be frightened of him -- it's illogical. These are probably going to be on the DVD later. Methinks they should have obviously done two movies and both books, but the "need" for bang-em-up scenes led to skipping the second book and doing the third. Somewhat disappointing there as I feel the storyline suffered.
The storyline is choppy, but the visuals are just stunning. We're not talking Matrix-like effects of jumping and such, but imagery, setting the tone of the movie, sets and glowing eyes... I really felt like I was seeing the world of vampires through theirs. It reminded me of a really good Goth video and I found myself really pulled in. On another note, if you're into heavier Korn-type music you will definitely get a blast out of the soundtrack.
All in all, I was really pleased with this. I went into this movie knowing that to capture the whole storyline would be impossible and understanding that artistic licenses would be taken. With that in mind, any fan with this attitude would enjoy this movie for the creation it's become. Give it a shot -- you might be surprised how much you like it.
82 of 108 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "Queen" is damned,
This review is from: Queen of the Damned (DVD)Literary adaptations are a tricky thing at the best of times, but "Queen of the Damned" is to "Lord of the Rings" what Ziploc bags are to fine china. Adapted from Anne Rice's novel of the same name, "Queen" is overstuffed, flashy, disjointed, and sure to offend Rice's die-hard fans.
The Vampire Lestat is back. Only now Lestat (Stuart Townsend) has awakened and joined a nu-metal band, becoming a universally adored rock star -- and proclaims to the world that he wants vampires to not hide anymore. Needless to say, this proclaimation makes him hotter than ever among humans, but irks his fellow vampires no end.
But his music is more than popular -- it somehow wakes the ancient Egyptian vampire Akasha (Aaliyah), who is the mother (or grandmother, or great-grandmother...) of all vampires. Akasha is incredibly powerful, able to walk out in the sun and burn her enemies alive. And she's besotted with Lestat -- except that he learns that she is more evil and destructive than he dreamed.
Despite being described as a sequel to "Interview With the Vampire," "Queen" is a whole different animal. Rather than a sumptuous Old-World look, there's a pyrotechnic MTV look that makes the whole movie look dated already. It certainly doesn't help that the filmmakers also cram in half of Rice's second novel as well as all of her third. It makes the movie feel like it's about to explode.
Forget for a second about whether it was adapted faithfully or not. Instead, note that Scott Abbott's scripting is atrocious. Since Rice reportedly offered to do the script for free, it's a shame that they didn't take her offer -- surely she could've done better than "Boo!" "Boo back!". And fans of MTV-derived direction will love the handling of it, though director Michael Rymer tries to cover up his lack of talent with flash and fire.
Stuart Townsend (also known as the man who was ALMOST Aragorn) simply bombs as Lestat. He lacks charm, sex appeal, presence and charisma in this role, as if he's overwhelmed by it. The late Aaliyah, on the other hand, has enormous presence even though she's required to basically bellydance her way through the film. Margaret Moreau is unimpressive as Talamasca groupie Jesse, although she fares better than Townsend.
The second big-screen Anne Rice flick is a textbook example of how NOT to adapt a book -- flaccid characters, idiotic scripting and cheap direction. All the blood has been sucked from this "Queen."
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Horrible Adaption of the Book, Otherwise, Not a Bad Movie,
This review is from: Queen of the Damned (DVD)Anne Rice has been my favorite author for as long as I can remember, so when I read that they were turning another one of her books into a movie, I was truly excited, yet instantly wary. Just the obvious fact that they went from Interview to Queen, skipping the middleman (Vampire Lestat) was a warning. Yet I went to the theater, plunked down my five dollars, and spent the next couple of hours, as I'm sure most other Anne Rice fans did, in hell. Grossly obvious mistakes (such as Lestat's maker) made me wonder if the screen writer or any other member of the crew had even bothered to read the book or The Vampire Chronicles itself in the first place. After walking out of the theater, I was so angry at the [translation] of such an amazing novel that I didn't even know where to begin in my criticism. I'm by no means a person who gets easily upset (especially by something as trivial as a film), but to put it bluntly, they slaughtered the book, seemingly taking the character's names and then doing whatever they wanted with them with no regards to the actual plot of the book. However, if one can overlook the fact the movie was a terrible adaption and look at it in terms of just a regular film, then my criticism becomes a little less harsh! Amazing special effects and dazzling performances by Aaliyah and Stuart Townsend make this movie worth the 2 stars I gave it. An unbelievble soundstrack compliments the film, and a very well-placed and appropriate Jonathan Davis cameo lightens the film's somber mood. While it was a horrible adaption, as movie, it stands in it's own right. Anyone who has not read the books will probably enjoy it. Worth seeing, just don't go into with any great expectations.
26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars OY VEY!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Queen of the Damned (Full Screen Edition) (DVD)What an awful adaption of a wonderful book. Pretty much everything important to plot and character development is chucked for this MTV style borefest. And so many questions! Why does the french Lestat have a Hungarian accent? Why is the 30 year old Jesse a teeny-bopper who dresses like Britney Spears? Where is Louis, Lestat's REAL love interest? Why does Lestat wear eyeshadow that makes him look like he has two black eyes? Since when is Marius Lestat's maker? Why does Armand look like a freaky she-man creature? Pandora dies?! Where is Maharet's twin, Mekare? Akasha was black rather than Egyptian?
I did not recognize this story at all. The characters were comical cartoons of what they are in the book and the first film. Townsend has not the slightest clue who Lestat is. He would have done well to take some cues from watching Tom Cruise's performance in Interview With the Vampire. Perez is entirely too young to be Marius. A gross case of miscasting there. What's more, who ever understands a word he says? And Jesse as the lovestruck fan of Lestat may be the worst crime of all. Jessica Reeves is a mature, brilliant scholar who hardly has a romantic interest in Lestat. OR vice versa. I realize Hollywood prefers to shy away from homosexual overtones in mainstream films, but COME ON! That's part of what made the books so interesting to read! The relationships were not based on sexual attraction, but attraction of the mind and soul. Aalyah is the best part of the film, but even she is most times reduced to machine-like behavior and lines so cliche it made me flinch. The soundtrack is good. Buy it instead of this worthless film. If you want to see a film that sticks closely to the novels, get Interview With the Vampire.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Dissapointing, and an Insult to Rice's Fans...,
This review is from: Queen of the Damned (DVD)Queen of the Damned, shortly, is an "adaptation" of Rice's otherwise fabulous third book in her Vampire Chronicles Trilogy (I do not consider the books after Queen of the Damned to be included in the Vampire Chronicles). The story follows the life of a Vampire, Lestat, and the mother of all vampires, Akasha, who wants the world in her hands.
I didn't watch the film in the theaters, having heard from my friends that they hated it - and most of them have never read the book. But because of pure curiosity, I rented the DVD.
And what did I see? Purely total dissapointment.
One of the biggest dissapointments of the movie was the cast. Yes, Stuart Townsend was sexy, he was gothic, he was cat-like...but he wasn't Lestat. In "Interview with the Vampire", Tom Cruise brought Lestat to life. He had Lestat's charm and with...he truly protrayed himself as The Brat Prince. Townsend, however, lacked the charisma and charm. He was nothing more than a sex-starved kitten that likes to lure teenage girls into his hands in order to "feed" upon them. The fact that the Lestat in "Queen of the Damned" was enough for me to hurl the DVD out the window. Lestat fed upon the evil doer - not innocent young girls wanting to have sex with a rockstar. Why the director decided to do this was insane.
Other actors also added to the dissappointment - Maurius was too flamboyant, too happy for most of the time - and they also hinted at times that he was evil - even though he wasn't. Other actors were hardly in the movie long enough for me to judge on their acting abilities, and sadly, that included Aaliyah as well. The only two characters which I will praise in their acting abilities is the actor that played as David Talbot, and Aaliyah.
The second dissapointment was the fact that the MOVIE REFUSED TO FOLLOW THE BOOK! Yes, I understand that it is an adaptation. Lord of the Rings, Interview with the Vampire, the Princess Bride, and Harry Potter are also adaptations, yet for most of the time, they remained true to the book. True, Arwen did not rescue Frodo and Harry's father didn't play as Seeker for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, but these changes are minor and do not affect the story as a whole. Yet, in Queen of the Damned, the changes are so large that they destroyed the entire book. Jesse played in the role which should have rightfully been Louis's, Maharet's twin was gone and she played a signficant role to the entire story, Marius was not Lestat's maker, and Daniel, who played such an important role in the book was missing along with Louis. Jesse became Lestat's lover, even though in the story, they only exchanged a few words between each other, and nothing more. The protrayal of vampires being androgynous creatures that did not care for sex yet are able to sensuously interact with other vampires and humans of either sex is also thrown out the window along with all the emotions that the entire story is suppose to evoke in all of us. Akasha's philosophy was gone, Marius's philosphy was gone, and the tragedy and pain was also gone. Without the pain, the tragedy, and the philosphy, the movie became nothing.
Instead, all we get is a shallow-minded movie with a plot that a three-year old could follow. I could understand why this movie would easily appeal to the gothic teenager with Townsend's sexy attitude and how the whole romantic story caught up with Jesse sacrifcing her life for Lestat and how he turned her into a vampire at the end to save her life. Although it's a nice idea, it was nothing even close to what the true story of Queen of the Damned is...and because of this, all you get is a shallow b-grade chick flick with bad morals, bad philosophy, bad acting, bad effects, and a bad story. A pure insult to Rice and Rice's fans...
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pathetic.,
This review is from: Queen of the Damned (DVD)This film is a horrible attempt at bringing 'Queen of the Damnded' (and 'The Vampire Lestat') to the big screen. Not worth even renting this pathetic film is literally only saved by Townsend's looks! The book is a stunning peice of written art (both of 'em: tVL and QotD) and I was horrified when I actually watched this.
The few who say that Townsend is better than Tom Cruise are completely wrong as Cruise fits into the roll as the Lestat Louis sees in 'Interview with the Vampire'. I'll admit, Stuart is attractive but he just doesn't fit Lestat's character and I wanted to snap the DVD at many momentsduring viewing (I rented it. Pity, if I bought it I could return it and get my money back. Even though they should be paying us to watch this!).
They missed out so much that the book offered. The character's like Daniel, Louis and even Mekare (who played a vital part in Anne Rice's 'Queen of the Damned') are missed out completely. They called it a sequal to the brilliant 'Interview with the Vampire' and then missed out Louis which, fans of the better film would be very angry about. Of the characters that did manage to keep their places I can't say much, as most of them only managed a few lines (three for Armand).
There was no explanation to where Vampires came from which is a very important part of the book and the significance of the redheaded twins was never told either. The romance between Jesse and Lestat never existed in the book and Lestat is blond. Marius didn't make Lestat and I could go on for hours but I hope that I have already convinced you that buying this a bad idea, Interview is much better film, watch that instead.
The books are much better than either film even it I do love the movie Interview with a Vampire.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely wrong.,
This review is from: Queen of the Damned [VHS] (VHS Tape)It is rather difficult to review this movies, as one has to take in all the reasons why this movie was bound to fail miserably. First of all, this is the sequel somewhat to the Interview With the Vampire movie (although the third book in the series). Since the second book of the series (The Vampire Lestat) had not been made into a movie, the producers of this film had to compact two books of history into one movie. That is one reason why the film left out the majority of both books (read the books, by the way). Second of all, this film was sequel to the extremely popular and sucessful Inteview With the Vampire, so naturally, repeating that formula would have been very impossible indeed. One reason for that is that the previous film was cast with some very big stars (Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater), while Queen of the Damned was cast with only one: Aalyiah. The rest of the cast was relatively unknown (Stuart Townsend isn't really well known as of now).
All these problems aside, the movie itself is quite horrible. If you have read the book, you will be very disappointed, mainly because much of Rice's rich characterization is lost. None of the vampire's history is revealed, most specifically the Legend of the Twins, which is left totally out. The rest of the vampires are only glimpsed near the end of the movie, and are never referred to by name. Unless you've read the book, you won't be able to tell who's who. Other idiotic point is that the older vampires, for all their short time on screen, dress in the clothing of the era they were made, which is entirely untrue in the book. Something that other's might consider minor is the disappointing lack of physical resemblance the characters have to their counterparts in the books. For example, Marius is described as a man in his forties, with long gray hair, and a beautiful face. Jesse is much older in the book, with very prominent red hair, and the brief appearance of Armand is vastly wrong, because he looks more like Lestat would. The only correct thing about Armand's physical appearance is his age: he is much younger here than in Interview With the Vampire, because the books state Armand was made a vampire when he was 17. The only one who really looked close to his description is Lestat. Stuart Townsend looked very much like my conception of Lestat, though his voice was far too deep. Still, he didn't look as good as Tom Cruise in that part. Physical resemblance is important because vampires are described as being very sensual and beautiful, and the movies suffers for failing to accurately bring those literary characters to movie life.
I won't really start with the inaccuracies with the book; there were far too many. The main liberties taken (besides the absence of the other vampires) were the relationship with Marius and Lestat. Lestat was not made by Marius, as others have pointed out, and Marius as portrayed as something of an evil vampire, when in the book he is Lestat's mentor and he only slays evil men. The ending is wholly different, and impossible to compare and contrast here (read the books).
The main reason I think it failed is that the movie sacrificed a rich story for pop culture refrences. More is made of this movie's soundtrack and Lestat's brief career as a nu-metal star than anything else, even the story. For the reasons I described in the beginning of this review, I do think the filmakers were doomed to repeat the success of Interview With the Vampire, but that is no excuse for not even making an effort. The producers try to make excuses if for, most notably with the cut scenes, where they try to explain why they cut more footage of the other vampires.
In conclusion, Queen of the Damned is a miserable failure, mainly for giving up a rich and thrilling story for pop-culture references. As I have said, it would have been impossible to repeat the success of the former vampire movie, but this movie is just too awful to even stand on it's own.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Highly disappointed.,
Oh well, I know I'm not alone in my feelings. Not that the movie was all that bad, but I just really loved the book...
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Are there words that can describe it?,
This review is from: Queen of the Damned (DVD)The movie was nothing short of horrible! Having read all of the books and being a huge fan of the Chronicles, this movie just annoyed me. I swear to you, if it had a plot I need some help finding it! This movie demonstrates what Hollywood usually does, turns a great novel into a gothic-gore-fest. I mean it reached a point where they were just taking a woman's work, her life's devotion, and destroying it under the guise of her characters! And to the person who mentioned Armand - boy do I know where you're coming from (same thing with Lestat). I will say this, I actually thought that Aaliah did a good job with the script she was given. She was very convincing as the character the producers created. Interview with the Vampire was a great film that did justice to Anne Rice's work. The entire cast (especially Cruise, Pitt, and Dunst) was terrific. With that being said, here's something I found hilarious - apparently the main producer of Queen of the Damned wishes that he had been given the opportunity to work on 'Interview!' Apparently the film didn't live up to his expectations and he could of done so much more with it. I think I speak for most people when I say that I'm glad that he was kept the hell of way from that film. At least there is one movie that Anne Rice fans can admire.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Queen of the Damned by Michael Rymer (DVD - 2002)