Mamatas right, Morris wrong

I finally went to see Van Helsing at the dollar theater (clips and interesting home site--out on DVD in October).  If you want fun without the brains, go see.  It's definitely a romp:  Dracula meets Wolfman meets Frankenstein's monster.  Although it may have shot for spoof with a handful of bad lines and ludicrous plot developments (religions of the world battle evil via James-Bond style tech and incredible plot coincidences at the end), it isn't a spoof or a knee-slapper--at least no one in my audience laughed except me when the guy behind asked his movie partner if he was going to cry.  It's an exercise in melodrama and how it doesn't work if you don't prepare us for it.  It's a script by numbers--okay, Stephen, we're forty-five minutes in, so we need a tear-jerker followed by a chase scene--without setting up the joke or emotion, whichever they wanted.  Morris thought otherwise.  Maybe, like canned laughter for sit coms of yore, if he were yukking it in my audience, his enthusiasm would have been infective.
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