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March 2007

March 2007: Arabian Nights



  • Healthy Green Artists:
    Mixing it Up, Paying it Forward
  • EMG News:
    News for March
  • Behind the Art:
    Building Your Palette
  • Myths and Symbols:
    Arabian Nights
  • Wombat Droppings:
    Nothing to see here...


  • Photoshoots for Fun and Profit


  • Fiction: Scherazade
  • Fiction: Lamp-Fever
  • Fiction: Genie's Day Off


  • Movie: Blood and Chocolate
  • Book: Monster Blood Tattoo: Foundling
  • Book: Blood and Chocolate
  • Book: Time of the Faeries

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  • Blood and Chocolate
    Movie Review
    by Georgette Tan

    Genre: Drama / Fantasy / Horror / Romance
    Director: Katja von Garnier
    Language: English
    Cast: Agnes Bruckner, Hugh Dancy, Olivier Martinez, Katja Riemann, Bryan Dick.
    URL: Official Website

    You can tell what this movie is about from the photos. Girl meets boy. Both get into trouble because girl is promised to influential and/or powerful guy. Powerful guy has many minions who will act on his behalf with or without his knowledge or consent. Girl has to choose between her predetermined fate and what boy is offering. Some prophesy is involved at some point.

    Vivian (Agnes Bruckner) is a teenage werewolf descended from a line of lycans, living with her aunt Astrid (Katja Riemann) in Bucharest, Romania. She is supposedly the one prophesied to lead the lycan community into a new age. She is also promised to Gabriel (Olivier Martinez), leader of the pack who by tradition has to take a new wife every seven years to keep their bloodline going.

    Vivian works at a chocolate shop, which is the movie's symbol for humanity versus lycanthropy (blood). When taking refuge in a church, she meets Aiden (Hugh Dancy), a graphic novel artist/writer who is in Romania to research (surprise, surprise) their werewolf legend for his next publication. This means he gets to act all smart and stuff, telling her what he learned about the loup garoux without knowing that he is talking to one. We in the audience know that this scene is purely for our benefit.

    After some boy-chase-girl scenes, Vivian consents to a date with Aiden and they find common ground. Meanwhile, Vivian's cousin Rafe (Bryan Dick) discovers this and takes the opportunity to rat to daddy and stir up trouble.

    Rafe is supposed to inherit the role of pack leader from Gabriel some day. He looks like the kind of kid who gets picked on in school then grows up and discovers the handbook on how to look and act cool. Unfortunately, the handbook doesn't tell him that it isn't cool to whine like a spoiled brat and think you are better than the hero in the movie.

    The thing about werewolf and vampire movies is that you can always depend on a few clichés to be in place:

    Girl with a dark past.

    Boy with a dark past. Preferably from opposing camp, ala Romeo and Juliet.

    Macho pack leader with optional designer goatee, leather jacket and European accent. Macho black motorcycle sold separately. Helmet not included because personal safety is just not macho, and probably not necessary if you turn into a wolf at night anyway.

    Lots of Gothic colors and clothing.

    The club/rave scene where the creatures of the night get to show off their beauty and immortality by writhing on the dance floor with a few unsuspecting humans.


    "Blood and Chocolate" is based on a young adult novel, which possibly accounts for the fluffy story line and overdoing the Gothic coolness factor. Frankly, we can do without the club scene because it's so done (that goes for you vampires too).

    One noteworthy thing in this movie is that they used real and beautiful wolves instead of going on CGI overload. The transformation scenes are a bit cheesy as a result, but boy, can those humans run.

    Curious minds want to know if those psychedelic colors and motion blur eat their clothing as well, because they run into the hunt with clothes on and come out of it nude. Hmm, very curious. Wonder if it has anything to do with the porn music during the romantic scenes.


    Georgette Tan writes for a Malaysian newspaper. She is fond of movies, long walks on the beach and clichés.

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