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Saturday, August 16, 2014

'Only Lovers Left Alive' DVD: Taking a Bite Out of the Vampire Genre

Product Details
The 2013 vampire drama "Only Lovers Left Alive," which Sony Pictures Classics and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are releasing on DVD and BD on August 19 2014, is not your father's (or your tween daughter's) vampire movie.

This film by writer/director Jim Jarmusch puts his typical highly stylized and quirky touch on this genre in the same way that he revisions Westerns in the 1995 art-house classic Johnny Depp film "Dead Man." It definitely is much more "My Dinner With Vladimir" than "Corey the Moody Teenage Vampire."

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the trailer for "Lovers" provides an excellent sense of the atmospheric vibe and truly alternative music in the film; it additionally offers a look at some of the humor and the most intriguing scenes in the movie.

The aptly named Adam and Eve are proverbially centuries-old vampires who less proverbially have been happily married for most if not all of their tenure in that state of existence. Though rock star Adam is living" in Detroit and Eve calls Tangier her home at the beginning of the film, they are still madly in love.

This pair has also evolved to the point that they contentedly satisfy their literal blood lust via purchases from underground brokers of that substance, rather than by drinking directly from the source. Scenes in which a fully alive and normal person, still known to Adam as a "zombie," provokes a response via minor bleeding shows that our heroes are still feral beneath the surface.

Adam more overtly expresses his true nature in repeatedly commenting on zombies polluting their blood and the world around them via their destructive nature.

Tilda Swinton of numerous artsy films, including "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and "Snowpiercer," does a terrific job as the refined but witty Eve. Deliciously evil and wry Loki himself Tom Hiddleston brings those wonderful characteristics to Adam. The new Chekov himself Anton Yelchin nicely rounds out the main threesome as Adam's Igor-like zombie lackey.

In true drama and sitcom style, Eve's sister arriving in Detroit from Los Angeles soon after Eve moves back in with her husband creates mayem. Mia Wasikowska of the recent "Alice in Wonderland" remake does a terrific job as wild 20-something Ava.

Things progress from Ava figuratively raiding the liquor cabinet and bouncing around like a five-year trying to get mom and dad out of bed to presenting a real threat to the cover identities that Adam and Eve have established and then clearly showing Ian that she likes his type.

This malfeasance by the wasteful woman-child throws the peaceful existences of Adam and Eve into understated turmoil that effectively drives them out of the Garden of Eden into the wilderness. 

All of this amounts to one of the more artistic films to come out in the past several years; you will not be humming a song from the soundtrack at the end but may check the shadows for lurking creatures.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Lovers" is encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.