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In other Holboania, a commenter to this post asks:

If I remember correctly, the FROM HELL movie had a massive idiot plot hole in it, in that Depp's inspector character knew that a certain group of prostitutes were being targeted, and that the killer was using drugged grapes to lure them into his carriage, but never told those prostitutes that if someone offers them grapes they should NOT GET IN THE BLOODY CARRIAGE.
As I know the screenwriter is a reader, perhaps he'll respond. And everyone get psyched about the forthcoming Dark Water.

October 17, 2004 | Permalink


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I doubt it'll be nearly as scary as the actually-existing Dark Water...

Posted by: Nasi Lemak | Oct 17, 2004 3:31:22 PM

I have two answers on the From Hell question. A: Hey, it's only a movie. It's not like I'm running for the Presidency where making sense is...oh. Forget that. B: I believe by the time Depp's character has figured out both that the Ripper is using the grapes are a lure and that a specific group of prostitutes is his target those remaining alive are no longer lured by grapes. The last two to die are dispatched without that preliminary. Indeed, they aren't even killed in the carriage. (Also, Btw, the last prostitute to be lured by the grapes is hopelessly drunk and has gone on record as not believing Depp's warnings; indeed, she mocks the heroine for believing in him.) But hey, it's only a movie.

As for Dark Water: everybody knows that foreign films are much much better than American films and that no American made movie remake of a foreign picture can possibly improve on it. We don't even try. Actually we try to make them as poorly as possible. Saves a lot of time and effort.

Posted by: Rafael Yglesias | Oct 17, 2004 3:41:37 PM

That would explain The Ring, then.

Posted by: Nasi Lemak | Oct 17, 2004 3:48:09 PM


1. May I ask what relation you are to Matthew?

2. Loved the original Dark Water, and look forward to your take on it. FWIW, I thought the Ring remake was actually pretty good. If I had seen it first instead of the Japanese original, I might have preferred it. As it is, once I saw the remake, I already knew the story, so that took away from it a little.

(From what I understand, the Dark Water remake is being shot in Japan with American actors. Is that true?)

Posted by: Garth | Oct 17, 2004 4:19:09 PM

BTW, the cast on the Dark Water remake looks really good!

Posted by: Garth | Oct 17, 2004 4:20:10 PM

As for remakes not being as good as the original, well sometimes there's just no contest. Tacking a happy ending onto 'The Vanishing' was a breathtakingly dumb decision; on the other hand, 'A Bug's Life' is infinitely superior to 'The Seven Samurai'.

Posted by: Garth | Oct 17, 2004 4:24:03 PM

Matt, were you a good kneejerk liberal, you'd realize that policemen want to solve crimes, not prevent them, especially crimes against prostitutes. See, your moderation impedes you even in following film plots.

Posted by: Zizka | Oct 17, 2004 4:33:21 PM

Anyone else remember when Rafael's name was tagged to the fake Batman script: "The Frightening?"

Posted by: things fall apart | Oct 17, 2004 4:37:48 PM

I'm am partially responsible for Matthew's existence. I doubt that I'm responsible for his being reality-based. I really shouldn't be gossiping about a forthcoming movie; studios get cranky about things like that. But it's no secret that the Dark Water remake was filmed in Toronto and New York, all of the exteriors being shot in NY. And it's certainly no secret that the cast is great. But this ends my contributions to this thread except to add that Depp's character in From Hell is a good liberal in the film; he gives the prostitutes money to hole up and tells them not to go out under any circumstances to prevent them from being killed. Of course, this being a horror movie, they go out anyway...

Posted by: Rafael Yglesias | Oct 17, 2004 4:39:47 PM

"I'm am partially responsible for Matthew's existence"


Does Matthew feel like clarifying this?

Posted by: Garth | Oct 17, 2004 4:47:34 PM

Thanks for the info, btw, Rafael, and I look forward to seeing it when it comes out.

Posted by: Garth | Oct 17, 2004 4:48:55 PM

"...no American made movie remake of a foreign picture can possibly improve on it" - that would seem to be an incomplete explanation for The Vanishing, which not only fails to improve on the original, but also is stunningly worse, despite having been directed by the same man.

Posted by: David Carroll | Oct 17, 2004 4:52:17 PM

Ooh, saw Dark Water last year (in French - didn't know it wasn't out already over here) - very good, very creepy, but if you've seen The Ring, it's a little like watching The Green Mile after you've seen The Shawshank Redemption: "Oh, so THAT'S where that plot device comes from."

Posted by: Rachel | Oct 17, 2004 5:03:48 PM


Matthew has clarified before.

Posted by: Randy Paul | Oct 17, 2004 5:12:00 PM

I was going to say something about From Hell, but after consideration, I shant.

I will say instead that, starting in 1996 there was a steady decay in my interest in paying to see movies in theatres with parallel but lagging decay in watching movies on DVD/TV. As this point, I haven't seen a movie in the theatre in perhaps 2 years (as compared to when I saw something like a movie a week). And of course, I rarely watch the tube.

Having read From Hell beforehand, and being rather fond of Robbie Coltrane, Johnny Depp, and Ian Holm, I went to see the movie version on opening night.

That essentially marked the terminal point of my going to see movies. Last straw and all that.

So, I shant be seeing Dark Waters. Nothing personal.

['There's not much left except things like The Wire.']

Posted by: ash | Oct 17, 2004 5:15:31 PM


thanks for the info. I actually did read that Motorcycle Diaries entry back then, but didn't make the connection. And Rafael's unusual wording made me wonder if there was some kind of family anecdote lurking there.

Posted by: Garth | Oct 17, 2004 5:29:05 PM

Mr. Y, thanks for dropping by the thread. I thought From Hell was quite good, and your next project sounds interesting, so I look forward to seeing it when it comes out.

Posted by: Haggai | Oct 17, 2004 5:34:35 PM

So does Rafael begetting Matthew karmically balance Lowell Ganz being responsible for Scott?

P.S. Getting all fanboy for a moment, "Fearless" was one of the great, little-seen films of the 1990s.

Posted by: Hank Scorpio | Oct 17, 2004 5:37:03 PM

Due respect to Matthew's pa, but the nicest thing I can bring myself to say about From Hell is that the set design was real nice. Oh, yes, and as of July 11, 2003, it's not the worst screen adaptation of an Alan Moore comic book.

Posted by: Thad | Oct 17, 2004 6:56:07 PM

I liked the hell outa "From Hell"

And Dark Water? Whew. I know the screenwriter doesn't visit a set much, but all I can say is that the very words "Jennifer Connolly" have been known to provide miracle cures for ills not uncommon to post-menopausal men.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Oct 17, 2004 7:55:24 PM

I'm with McManus. I thought "From Hell" was great. Any problems with plot holes, take it up with Alan Moore.

(P.S. I was reading Alan Moore before any of yis, from his work with the UK comic 2000 AD. Nyah, nyah-na-na-na).

Posted by: Tom | Oct 17, 2004 9:14:52 PM

Any problems with plot holes, take it up with Alan Moore.

Er, why? It would be different if Mr. Y's screenplay had anything in common with Mr. Moore's plot. Or even the spirit of his comic. As it was, Mr. Y wrote a completely different movie about Jack the Ripper, and then tacked on Moore's title. (Which is, I realize, precisely what he was hired to do, but still... )

Posted by: Thad | Oct 18, 2004 2:11:09 AM

i have nothing to contribute about movies but wanted to second what ash pointed out above: The Wire is the best thing on TV ... possibly ever.

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