Sunday, January 24, 2010


Now I'll admit that I've only ever seen a few clips from Sideways (and that's unlikely to change), but I would suspect that Virginia Madsen's Oscar-nominated performance there isn't anything to measure up to her role here as Helen Lyle in Candyman.

Or her role as the unlikely offspring of Gillian Anderson and Lucille Ball.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable movie, and I believe it was mostly because of the casting. Madsen was excellent and believable at all times as Helen Lyle. Tony Todd is surprisingly excellent as the Candyman. When he first shows up in a parking garage wearing what looks like a fur pimp-coat and a pirate hook, it's hard to keep from laughing at him, but he somehow he makes it work. He makes the character unique and like the rest of the cast, really gives 100% here.

He's also probably the most genteel of all film murderers, to the extent that he even politely asks Helen, repeatedly, if she'll please be his victim.

The Candyman is also fairly unique as a slasher villain in that he is black. This was no accident, one of main themes here is class/race differences in America... which brings me to one of my only real complaints. Although Candyman manages to constantly bring up social problems of that sort, it doesn't always seem to get around to making it's point. If it had managed to stay on a train of thought for a little longer and finished constructing the points it was trying to make, then I think it could have made them well, because the film never feels preachy.

I've heard criticisms about the ending, but I thought it was just fine. The entire movie is about urban legends, how they survive, and how they change. In that light, what happens to the legend of the Candyman wraps up that idea neatly enough.

Available on Amazon: Candyman (Special Edition)

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