Little Women (2019)

An absolutely brilliant adaptation, update, rearrangement of the 1860s novel. By massively restructuring the novel (I was blindsided by the film opening around 60% into the novel’s story!), Greta Gerwig enhances the story so much, finding parallel moments to accentuate across the characters’ lives, finding writerly tricks to make aspects of the story work better…

Little Women (1868-1869) by Louisa May Alcott

Lovely sense of character, especially with Jo March, who instantly feels so fully-formed and real, like she could spring off the page. The other characters all receive some powerful and striking moments (Meg and her husband’s struggles with loving each other but not loving their financial solution were particularly well-realised), but it’s Jo who consistently…

The Brides of Dracula (1960)

A Van Helsing sequel, with Dracula only appearing in the film’s title. Recontextualising the 1958 film as basically just another day in the life of Van Helsing as he goes about stamping evil, that was an interesting idea, but the individual story of this film isn’t of huge interest. A mother hiding her vampire son,…

Dracula (1958)

A very fast-paced adaption of the book, of a style that seems immediately full-formed and distinct from previous versions of DRACULA. The fangs, red contact lenses, ready-made wooden stakes, a lot of iconic Dracula imagery comes from here, not least of which is Christopher Lee’s more directly sexual take on the count. Lugosi was handsome,…

Lyra'x Oxford (2003) by Philip Pullman

I’m never really a huge fan of adding little bits of material to a series after it’s very definitively concluded, especially a series like HIS DARK MATERIALS where the ending had such power and finality. But a little short story like this certainly has its charms, especially with its accompanying illustrations and in-universe media like…

Dracula (1931)

Two fantastic performances (Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, Dwight Fyre’s Renfield), a few delightfully weird little touches (a sudden cut to possums and insects creeping when Dracula and his wives exit their coffins), and a brilliant score by Phillip Glass added to the film decades after its release, all these things anchor what’s a surprisingly thin and…

Vampyr (1932)

Interesting old vampire film, only a year after the famed Bela Lugosi film, and so quite decoupled from the whole Dracula myth. Ethereal and creepy, but somewhat ambling and dull for a lot of the runtime. The camera movements are well-considered, but there’s a kind of disconnect between what feel like more improvisational visual sequences,…