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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4


DVD Review by David Blackwell


DETAILS:  118 minutes, cast and crew interviews, theatrical trailer, previews

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:  English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles:  English SDH, Spanish


STUDIO:  IFC Films/ Demarest Films/ The Irish Film Board/ BFI/ Lip Sync Productions/ Westend Films/ Parallel Films/ Number 9 Films/ MPI Media Group

RELEASE DATE:  10-29-2013

Clara (Gemma Arterton) and Eleanor (Saorise Ronan) are a mother and daughter who have been on the run for 200 years from a brotherhood of vampires who want to end their lives since the Brotherhood is an elite men’s only vampire group that say it is against the rules for women to create other vampires (Clara became a target after making Eleanor a vampire by going to a remote island).  Clara (as a prostitute) feeds off the men who would exploit others while Eleanor only feeds on the elderly who want to die, but they find themselves fleeing to an Irish coastal town after Clara kills one of the Brotherhood who catches up with her and she torches their apartment.   Clara sees the town as a new start and starts a brothel at the Byzantium Hotel.  Meanwhile, Eleanor connects with a teenager who is in remission from leukemia.   She decides to tell her story to him and it starts a chain reaction of events from the consequences of her actions.


BYZANTIUM is a fresh twist on vampire mythology.  Vampires in this movie are never referred to as vampires and they don’t have the usual vampire traits (because these vampires can go out into the sunlight and they have no fangs as they kill with an extended fingernail).   BYZANTIUM switches back and forth between the early 19th century to the time when Clara was made a vampire and the modern day.  It is a mix of a Charles Dickens-like vampire tale and a modern vampire story.  Gemma Arterton, Saorise Ronan, Sam Riley, and Caleb Landry Jones shine in their roles while Neil Jordan directs a far more effective vampire film than the other vampire one he directed (INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE).   Sam Riley is interesting as Darvell, a vampire who fails to stand up for Clara and his cowardice allows the Brotherhood to banish Clara (because they feel she is of common bloodline and doesn’t have good family history).  BYZANTIUM is a very effective vampire art film for those who are looking for something different from the UNDERWORLD and TWILIGHT films.   It focuses on character over action and uses character development to push drama and horror.



Over an hour of interviews with director Neil Jordan, stars Gemma Arterton, Saorise Ronan, Sam Riley, Caleb Landry Jones, writer Moria Buffini, producer Stephen Wooley, producer Alan Moloney, director of photography Sean Bobbitt, stunt coordinator Donan O’Farrell, production designer Simon Elliot, and key makeup artist Lynn Johnson.


Theatrical trailer for BYZANTIUM and previews for other films from IFC Films (including MANIAC and SIMON KILLER)


FINAL ANALYSIS:  BYZANTIUM is an absorbing vampire film from Neil Jordan with the female leads stealing the show, but people expecting another vampire film like TWILIGHT or UNDERWORLD will go away disappointed.  BYZANTIUM is a nuanced art film focused on character instead of action and it delivers a different (and fresh) take on vampires.


This DVD review is (c)11-1-2013 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com


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