The Opinionated Wench  

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Queen of the Damned

Well, I was watching this last night because there was a special deal on the LOTR special edition if I rented a movie, so this is what I rented. I remember really liking the book when I was heavily into my Goth phase, though I don't really quite remember all the details any more.

From what I remembered of the book, it had several elements that would only make sense if you were familiar with the first 3 of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles (the first 3 are what I consider to be the canon; now she's just repeating herself, but of course I'm saying that without having read anything past Tale of the Body Thief). This point was brought home by Manmeet, who was watching the movie with me but has never read Anne Rice in her life.

"What's a Talamasca?"
"Oh, it's like a Watcher"
"Oh, okay."
"So, wait. Who's that?
"That's the Talamasca girl's great-great-great-great-etc. aunt. She's a vampire. She kept track of all of the descendants of her baby since way back in Egyptian times."
"Is the Talamasca girl a vampire too then?"
"I thought vampires couldn't go out in the sunlight."
"Well, most of them can't, but Akasha is super powerful, so when Lestat drinks her blood he gets some of her power too."
"That's dumb."
However, at the same time that it's too confusing if you haven't read Anne Rice, it's not nearly true enough to the book for if you have read Anne Rice.

Granted, the book was very complex, and only made sense if you had already read The Vampire Lestat, but I was kind of irritated all the same. For instance, the screenplay pretty much conflates Louis and Armand into the Marius character, as well as having Marius be Lestat's maker, which (maybe I was being really dense but) I didn't get that out of the umpteen billion times I read the book at all. I kind of hoped there would be more flashbacks to ancient Egypt, like there are in the book, and a lot of the ending part was grossly oversimplified. So, not enough fidelity to the book for Anne Rice fans, but too much left unexplained for the non-Anne Rice fans.

Overall it was pretty well done, though. The vampire effects were pretty cool. Aaliyah did the best she could with limited material as Akasha. Stuart Townsend was a much, much better Lestat than Tom Cruise could ever dream of being. The guy who played Marius did well as his character - I won't say he was a good Marius because his character was not really anything like Marius in the book, but he was good as his character. And this really has nothing to do with the movie at all, since there was no Louis in the movie, but Johnny Depp IS Louis. Yum, yum. And he looks so good in 18th century dress, too.

Score: Two and a half Pints of tomato juice with a bit of blood mixed in - too much blood for a non-vampire, and too much tomato juice for a vampire.

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