Queen of the Damned is a fine movie that had the potential to be far better. The performance from Stuart Townsend wasn’t bad though hardly memorable while Aaliyah wasn’t impressive but in fairness, her character was limited and had little to work with.
Genre(s): Thriller, Fantasy
Warner Bros. | R – 101 min. – $19.98 | September 18, 2012
Directed by: Michael Rymer
Writer(s): Anne Rice (novel); Scott Abbott and Michael Petroni (screenplay)
Cast: Stuart Townsend, Aaliyah, Marguerite Moreau, Vincent Perez, Lena Olin
Theatrical Release Date: February 22, 2002
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 32.9 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 2.75/5
Plot Outline: It’s her time. Her place. The wickedly regal Mother of All Vampires, Akasha, (AALIYAH), is ready again to rule! Lestat (STUART TOWNSEND) is the undead antihero previously seen in Interview with the Vampire. This time, Lestat finds acceptance in a tattooed and pierced world. He’s a rock star, and his intoxicating Goth-riffed sound rekindles the desires of all-powerful Akasha.
Quick Hit Review: Given this was my first viewing of Queen of the Damned and having heard many bad things both in terms of quality and the production problems, namely Warner Brothers hasting its release before their rights ran out on the book, my expectations were pretty low. With that in mind, I actually didn’t think this was that bad of a movie. No doubt it could’ve and should’ve been better, but at least it has a nice visual flair thanks to director Michael Rymer (In Too Deep, “Battlestar Galactica”) and cinematographer Ian Baker. That said, it’s hardly a well polished movie and some ho-hum acting from Stuart Townsend and, especially the late Aaliyah, though she had little to do or work with.
As it stands, Queen of the Damned is an adequate movie that had potential if not for the tight squeeze the studio was in. However, it’s not nearly as bad as some of the reviews made it out to be and I suspect if not for the source material or a movie sequel to the much loved Interview with a Vampire, it might’ve been appreciated slightly more.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
Comparing the Blu-ray with my old (snapper case) DVD, it appears that all of the features, save for a “Production Book Stills Gallery”, have been ported over.
Audio Commentary – Director Michael Rymer, Producer Jorge Saralegui and Composer Richard Gibbs provide a low key and professional track offering up on-set information about how the movie was made as well as how certain scenes were shot.
The Music of Lestat (11:36; SD) takes a look at how the filmmakers approached writing the music for this character and utilizing the voice talents of Jonathan Davis of Korn and Marilyn Manson.
Creating Vampires (9:48; SD) – This featurette covers how some of the vampire effects, mainly the flying, were accomplished via wires. It’s basically some behind-the-scenes stuff mixed in with cast and crew interviews.
Aaliyah Remembered (3:11; SD) is a short tribute to the singer and fledgling actress who died in a plane crash when the movie was in post production.
Slept So Long (4:23; SD) and Not Meant For Me (2:43; SD) are extended concert sequences.
Deleted Scenes (TRT 31:19; SD) are a collection of 13 scenes excised or cut down for one reason or another, as explained in a text before each scene.
Also included is a Gag Reel (2:48; SD), 4 Music Videos, and the Theatrical Trailer (2:01; HD).
VIDEO – 4.25/5
Queen of the Damned awakes from a long sleep and bites into its debut on Blu-ray with a solid 1080p high-definition transfer. The film, presented with a 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio, is fairly impressive with some nice details and good black levels which, save for maybe one scene, doesn’t show an abundant or distracting amount of film grain or noise. The color palette is well done and never feels as if they were artificially pumped up for HD.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD MA offered on the disc might not make my all-time best tracks but it’s certainly notable. The dialogue levels are clear but loud, any action scenes help bring the lossless track to life while the various rock songs provide good depth. It might not be a wow-inspiring track but it’s more than adequate.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, Queen of the Damned is a fine movie that had the potential to be far better. The performance from Stuart Townsend wasn’t bad though hardly memorable while Aaliyah wasn’t impressive but in fairness, her character was limited and had little to work with. Warner Brothers’ Blu-ray release has nice audio/video transfers and most of the features have been ported over from the DVD version.