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Lost Boys: The Tribe (2008)
Warner Home Video
Blu-ray Disc Released: 7/29/2008
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 8/13/2008
As the moviegoing public, we can be very fickle and hard to please. (Yes, I know that the box-office tallies for some God-awful movies makes that argument look preposterous, but just go along with me.) When we love a movie, and want to see more of the characters/situations, we cry out for a sequel. But, if that sequel doesn't live up to the standards of the first film, we poo-poo it. (Yes, I said poo-poo.) This can put filmmakers in an awkward situation. They want to get the sequel out as fast as possible while the idea is still fresh in the viewer's mind, and yet, they want to take their time to ensure a quality product. (Again, please just go with me on this.) Given this, if it takes 21 years for a sequel to arrive, this implies that the makes really worked extra hard to make sure that they were delivering the best film that they could, or that they simply threw in the towel. With Lost Boys: The Tribe, it's the latter.
As Lost Boys: The Tribe opens, siblings Chris (Tad Hilgenbrink) and Nicole (Autumn Reeser) arrive in Luna Bay. Due to death of their parents, they've come to stay with they Aunt Jillian (Gabrielle Rose), who puts them in a junky shack and asks for $600 a month! Chris was a world-class surfer but he was forced to leave the circuit. (It's implied that he injured someone.) Chris and Nicole find themselves at a party hosted by Shane (Angus Sutherland), who also used to be a world-class surfer who suddenly disappeared. While at the party, Nicole drinks what she thinks is wine. The next day, she begins to feel very strange. Chris visits surfboard maker Edgar Frog (Corey Feldman) in search of work, but soon learns that Edgar is also a vampire-hunter. When he describes the party and Nicole's behavior, Edgar informs Chris that Nicole actually drank blood and that she's a half-vampire. Chris, determined to save his sister, allows himself to be lured in by Shane and his vampire co-horts. Will Chris be able to resist the urge to kill in order to save Nicole?
The makers of this movie could have slapped the "Lost Boys" name on any movie and it would have gotten attention...and that's exactly what they did. This movie could have gone by any name such as "New in Town", "Surfing Suckers", or "My Sister's a Vampire and I Don't Know What to Do". But, by calling it Lost Boys: The Tribe, the movie creates certain expectations in the audience. And if you were expecting a good movie, then you are going to be disappointed.
There's no doubt that the movie shares some similarities with the 1987 original. Both are set in seaside California locales. Both have siblings who are new to the area meeting a motley group of outsiders who are actually vampires. Both have Corey Feldman. Both have someone named Sutherland. The problem with Lost Boys: The Tribe is that it somehow simultaneously tries too hard and yet, doesn't try hard enough. While The Lost Boys contained some violence, most of the film was pretty subtle in this capacity. Lost Boys: The Tribe opens with a beheading and features arterial spray throughout the film. There is also some unnecessary nudity in the film. (This was from the unrated version, which runs 2 minutes longer than the R-rated cut.) Perhaps the makers of the movie felt that this sex and violence was needed to make the movie more hip and contemporary. In addition, we get a lot of extreme sports. I've always said that the one thing missing from The Lost Boys was extreme sports.
But, while they were putting that in the film, they forgot to add a compelling story or interesting characters. Chris and Nicole are both dull and unlikable and we know next to nothing about them. The vampires in Shane's group are even bigger stereotypes than those in the first film. The story closely resembles the one from the original and nothing new or interesting is added here. But the biggest issue that I had with the film was Angus Sutherland. Having Keifer's half-brother in the film is clearly stunt casting and he's one of the worst actors that I've ever scene. His dialogue is delivered in a monotone, emotionless voice that would both even Keanu Reeves. Every time that he spoke, all that I could think was, "Couldn't they have done a take two?"
I recently re-watched The Lost Boys, and noted that the movie leaves some unanswered questions which could have been answered in a sequel. How did the boys meet Max? Some of the clothing worn by the vampires looks like its from another time. Could they have actually been hundreds of years old? What was the deal with Grandpa in that last shot? I guess that the time to explore those mysteries has past and we are left with Lost Boys: The Tribe. I would have preferred no sequel at all to this one.
Lost Boys: The Tribe gets all fangy onBlu-ray Disc courtesy of Warner Home Video. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains a VC-1 1080p HD transfer which averages 28 Mbps. The transfer is a mix of pros and cons. The daytime scenes look good despite a slight amount of grain. The colors are good and realistic and the amount of brightness is appropriate in these scenes. However, the nighttime scenes are noticeably dark and the action is hard to see at times. The Blu-ray offers only a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which runs at 48 kHz and 640 kbps. This track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The track is OK, as the in-movie music sounds fine. There are some notable stereo and surround effects moments. However, it's impossible to say that HD sound is missed here.
The Lost Boys: The Tribe Blu-ray Disc has a loose assortment of extras. "Lost Boys: The Tribe: Action Junkies" (4 minutes) is made up mostly of behind-the-scenes footage as it examines the extreme sports used in the film and how the stunte were filmed. Corey Feldman hosts "Edgar Frog's Guide to Coming Back Alive" (5 minutes), where he explains the various ways to kill a vampire. The Disc offers two ALTERNATE ENDINGS which are basically the same. They bring back characters from the original film and seem to be leading into a totally different movie (which looked far more interesting than The Tribe). The Disc contains a MUSIC VIDEO for "Cry Little Sister (Remix)" by G Tom Mac which takes the song from the original soundtrack and adds a liberal dose of Nine Inch Nails. We also get three MUSIC VIDEOS from the band Yeah Whatever, "Downfall", "Hell is Full" and "It's Over Now".
Review Copyright 2008 by Mike Long