Monday, November 22, 2010

Sorry for the delay... :/

Before I post any other reviews and notes on this blog, I just wanted to let all my followers know that I'm so sorry about not blogging for a few months already?? Wow, I have some serious catching up to do!!

So, just for the record, these are the movie reviews I'm planning on posting hopefully during these next few days:

-The Social Network
-The Runaways
-The Hunger Games (the book obviously...)

Check on those either tomorrow or the day after that, and I promise I'll be good with my blogging!! (And I really do mean it this time...)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Re-watched: Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire (Based on the book Q&A by Vikus Suwarp)
Dir: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tardan
Cast: Dev Patel (Jamal), Anil Kapoor (Prem Kapur), Frieda Pinto (Latika), Irrfran Kahn (Police Inspector), Madhur Mittal (Salim)
Script: Simon Beaufoy
Length: 2 hrs.
Verdict: SEE
Rating: R (Originally the rating was PG-13, but the MPAA bumped it up to R because of its intensity. I'd say this one deserves its R Rating. It's violent and terrifying at some points.)


So this movie replayed on TV yesterday and it gave me a reason to review this movie again. I loved this movie when I first saw it (Don't remember if it was last year or two years ago) and I realized how much this movie deserved all these Oscars. You probably know the story: A young man participates on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and gets all the answers right. How did he do this? The host (Anil Kapoor) thinks he's cheating, but he gets a chance to explain his moving and powerful, if not frightening and terrible, story about what lead him to all the right answers. Add a beautiful love story in the mix, and how could you not love this?
In a way, this reminds me of all those cheesy fairy tales. You know, poor boy grows up in the slums and has a hellish childhood then he finds love, and gets a whole load of money... Don't let that scare you away. Because this is one brutal, violent movie. Not that there's a lot of blood and gore and violence, but when it does happen, it's shocking, and it makes you see India in a whole new different way. I gotta admit, there were some times when this movie made me feel uncomfortable, but if this is real life for the poor in India, I prefer that my stomach was turned. Danny Boyle creates a unique atmosphere that will definately not be for everyone, but it's an atmosphere that I really enjoyed.
The child acting in this movie is amazing. These kids have never acted in their lives? Seriously? They seemed to be acting all their lives. Plus, what a great cause, these kids were given money to go to school and to make their lives better. What was also really engaging were these kid's faces, they lit up the whole screen and made you terrified for them when they are thrust in these situations. They never really felt child-actory if you know what I mean. But it's not just them that are mind-blowing, Dev Patel as the grown up Jamal is perfect for the role, he embodies a sense of vulnerabillity and passion, and together with Frieda Pinto as his love interest, they make a wonderful pair. That scene when they see each other again in the mafia boss's house, I'm not gonna lie, my heart was beating a thousand beats per minute.
Then again, you have other great performances besides the two leads. It's official now that I love Irrfran Kahn. He was great as the father in The Namesake, and he's great here as a harsh police inspector, and those two roles cannot be more different. Anil Kapoor is really charasmatic, and I was torn by Salim, who's nice for one second, and a complete jerk the next, so you really don't know what you think of him. Every character has an emotional depth and Jamal's overall story isn't written in a cheesy way, only strong and poingant. When I first saw it, it became one of my favorite movies so please give it a try.
Overall: It's a wonderful effective love story that brutal and violent, and it won't be for everyone, but if you haven't already, I strongly recommend SEEing it.

Kiddie-tron: Definitely not for kids. It's graphic and some parts are terrifying. I would say, maybe fourteen if they can handle it. :)

Slumdog Millionaire is available on DVD and Blu-Ray

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Namesake movie

The Namesake
Dir.: Mira Nair
Cast: Kal Penn (Gogol/Nikhil), Tabu (Ashima), Irrfan Khan (Ashoke), Jacinda Berret (Maxine), Sahira Nair (Sonia)
Script: Sooni Taraporevala
Year: 2007
Length: 2hrs. 2 min
Verdict: SEE IT
Rating: PG-13 (Hmmm... A borderline PG-13. There's some stuff, but not too much)
Faithfulness Scale: 68% (Not too much missing, but not completely faithful)


Really good adaptation! Like the scale shows, not INCREDIBLY faithful text-wise, but spirit-wise, it's a completely faithful adaptation. Plus, all the important scenes are there, which is a plus! :)
First of all, the movie is GORGEOUS. All those sweeping shots of Calcutta and New York just completely took me by surprise. So, I do give Mira Nair credit for that. It might look like the scenes from a travel documentary, but they are better than that. And I'm sorry everybody who thought Girl With a Pearl Earring was great, but the movie actually makes Calcutta an attractive place to visit! 
Besides that, everyone did great in their roles. Kal Penn was amazing as Gogol/Nikhil (he's not as good as you can't imagine anyone else in the role, but he's still really good). MY only problem with him, is that he's not really good to play a teenager. He sort of plays it off as dumb (Maybe he missed playing Harold in Harold and Kumar or something.) But other than that, when he played Gogol age 20-25, he did give Gogol a great emotional range. Irrfran Kahn and Tabu are wonderful playing the parents, and the supporting roles were good too. What's most important in the acting is that they stayed true to the spirit of the book, which is really important if you're not going to make it completely faithful. All the actors are very touching in these roles which what made them all work for me. 
I acutally preferred the way the movie started out; with the parents in India, meeting each other for the first time, the accident, and the aftermath of moviing to America. The book was told in flashbacks, which I really enjoyed, but sometimes seemed too long and take up too much room. With the flashbacks told first, it started off on the right pace in chronological order, without the need to replay them througouht the movie. Which is a good thing, because, this movie is WAAAY too long at 2hrs and 2min. It had to shave off at least 30 minutes. It's nice to see Indian lifestyles vrs. the American lifestyle, but the scenes just go on too long. However, this is a really faithful adaptation, it will please fans, it will touch people, and it's a good-hearted adaptation. I LOVED it!


 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Perks of a Wallflower movie coming up!

I guess by now Stephen Chabosky's Perks of Being a Wallflower is starting to become a classic in the world of books (and yes I do not know how many of you read or planned to read this book.) So it wasn't very surprising that now they're making a movie! And yes, Logan Lerman



(you know... Percy Jackson) and Harry Potter movie fans (yep this gal),




you WILL be pleased!

"Emma Watson and Logan Lerman are in negotiations for the two lead roles in John Malkovich’s adaptation of the novel “The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Filmstage shares:


Stephen Chbosky, author of the same-titled novel published in 1999, will be directing from his own script with Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich and Russell Smith producing.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower tells the story of a shy, unpopular teen who assumes the alias “Charlie”, who narrates his life and the happenings of his high school through a series of letters to an anonymous person. The book caused some controversy amongst parents who disliked its frank treatment of some heavy issues including suicide, drugs, and sex. It will be interesting to see how these issues are dealt with in the film and whether they will be just as controversial on screen."
Well, it seems like one depressing book. However, like I said before, Watson DID grow as an actress in the HP movies, and certainly better than the likes of Vanessa Hudgens and Miley Cyrus who seem to be taking over the book adaptation movie world lately. It's now official that Logan Lerman is going star. I have not seen him in Percy Jackson although I did hear that he was pretty good. Plus, all I got to say to John Malkovich: BRING IT ON!! He already made a bad choice to star in Eragon, let's see how he fare with this! :)


The Namesake is as good as it's reputation

The Namesake
By: Jhumpa Lahiri
Setting: India, New England and New York, 1968-1999
Format: 291 pgs.
Verdict: READ IT
Rated: PG-13 (You know, adults doing adult things. Nothing graphic though!)

The Namesake is everything you'd hear it being; touching, warm and all those delicious words. However, it dosen't have a REAL conflict, a REAL suspensful plot. It's just the story about Gogol Ganguli, the son of Bengali immigrants who moved to America a year after their arranged marriage. Gogol has been named after his father's favorite author, Nikolai Gogol, because his great-grandmother couldn't fufill the job of naming her great-grandson. At first, Gogol dosen't mind his name. That is, until his teen year until he really starts to find it annoying because, who in the world would want to be named Gogol right? As Gogol matures and grows, goes to college, gets into relationships and marries, he casts off the name for Nikhil, his original birth name. The whole book goes through Gogol's maturity and thirty years of his life, and we're riding along on his journey of being accepted into American society as a new person. 
Now of course, that's nothing incredibly exciting, and this is one of those books that could have been a terrible one if the execution is not properly done. But the thing is, this book is so well written, the characters so well sketched out, that it eventually was a sucess. Ashima, the mother, was the only one who got on my nerves sometimes, because in the beginning she whines and complains all the time. But she really becomes a real person on the page. I found myself relating a lot to Gogol/Nikhil, and caring for him, which is a must when you write a book like this. There is not one single character that I didn't like and didn't relate to, which is nice to see for a change. 
Like always, there ARE love stories in this book. All of them very interesting. Each of Gogol/Nikhil's girlfriends are different (besides the fact that they all read and like to travel. Another reason why these characters as so relatable.) In that case, it's really hard to see who he will end up with or if he ends up with any of them. And each of them have different outcomes, so when I thought it was going to end one way, it didn't end the way I expected. Like life. :)
The writing in this book is the second best writing I've ever read in my life. It's part of what makes you hold on to the story when you have a plot such as this one. The writing style gives the book this mood that kept me holding on as the characters warm my heart. It's maybe not the BEST book I've ever read, but it is probably one of the best book I've read this year. READ IT. You'll be pleasantly surprised like I was. :)  

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Alice in Wonderland (late... :/) movie review

Alice In Wonderland
Dir: Tim Burton
Cast: Mia Wasikowska (Alice), Johnny Depp (Mad Hatter), Helena Boham Carter (Red Queen), Anne Hathaway (White Queen), Crispin Glover (Knave of Hearts), Micheal Sheen (White Rabbit), Alan Rickman (Caterpillar), Steven Frye (Cheshire Cat)
Script: Linda Woolverton
Length: 1 hr. 49 min.
Verdict: SEE
Rating: PG (Agree with this one. There is a battle scene and a few scary scenes here and there.)

I'm a big Alice fan. I own I own countless of Alice books and movies, and I'm really intrigued by the whole story of how Alice was written and all. And I do know that this version of Alice In Wonderland is worth it. First of all, the movie looks amazing. The whole set captures Wonderland just right with a mix of danger and creepiness but still keeping it fun and playful and, most of all, curious.
The movie basically begins when Alice Kingsley the now-grownup cute Alice, (?Mia Waskikowska? is perfect for Alice if not a little too pale, though that's probably thanks to make-up) is just deciding on a fiancee until she sees the white rabbit and then: well, you know what happens. Once she's in Wonderland the people and creatures have eagerly awaited her return. For the evil Red Queen, Iracebeth (played deliciously with a rather enormous head by Helena Boham Carter) has taken over Wonderland and has become the female version of Stalin. So it's Alice's job to go to the White Queen, Iracebeth's younger sister (Anne Hathaway is adorable here!) and ultimately fight the dreaded Jabberwocky with the help of the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp is perfectly cast here), a bloodhound (Timothy Spall), Blue the caterpillar (Alan Rickman also perfectly cast) among others.
WHAT??? This isn't the normal Alice in Wonderland storyline? WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO??? While it's true I didn't care much for the "good-vrs.-evil" story-line we've seen so many times in movies that's been better executed, I didn't mind much. In fact, for a movie like this, why the hell does story matter? Burton remains faithful to the world, to the characters, to the mood and to the theme and that's all what matters. And he truly does succeed.
I LOVED Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. He IS the Mad Hatter. I don't see how they would have casted anyone else. Depp captures the creepy wierd aspect while still maintaining a level of sweetness and fun. Helena Boham Carter again is pefect for her role as the evil Red Queen (which I guess is a combination of the Queen of Hearts AND the Red Queen.) She's evil, but she also has a sense of humor, contrasting her sister, the White Queen who cannot hurt a single thing, not even waving away a butterfly (???) and who's kind of light headed, but she's still smart and certainly a lot nicer than her sister. I liked Anne Hathaway, she put her own stamp on the part, which I really enjoyed quite a bit.
Only problem, and I did mention this before, I wished the movie had some other plot line we've seen before. Not the "it's Alice's destiny to fight the Red Queen and save Aaaaall of Wonderland!!!" Really Tim Burton? You're so creative, can't you be even MORE creative with the plot of this movie? It did kind of ruined the movie for me, I wished Burton could come up with a more original plot and ending.
But, you know what saved it? That's right folks, can't believe I'm saying this, but the special effects, the costumes, and Wonderland itself is what saved the whole thing. This Wonderland is just beautifully done and recreated. I think out of all the Wonderlands that I've seen in movie history, this one's the best BY FAR! Not only does it look incredibly beautiful and colorful, it was faithful to the book, so the world looks daunting, charming and magical, but it also had quite a bit of darkness in it, which I appreciated as an Alice fan. And adding this great cast in this setting, I got into this world, and it never let me go, until Alice ultimately leaves Wonderland.
Overall, a bit underwhelming (curse you hype!) but it's still very enjoyable, I seriously recomend SEEing it!

Kiddie-tron: Well, it IS PG. It deserves its rating. Like I said, nothing too shabby, but there is a major battle scene, in which something's head gets cut off, and it might be a bit too scary for really young kids. But overall, it is a kid's movie, so you should be A-OK if you have kids. 

Alice in Wonderland is now out on Blu-Ray and DVD
 
The Red Queen: I need a pig here!
[Live pig is slid under her feet]
The Red Queen: I love a warm pig belly for my aching feet.

The Mad Hatter: What a regrettably large head you have. I would very much like to hat it. I used to hat The White Queen, you know. Her head was so small.
The Red Queen: It's tiny. It's a pimple of a head.

The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?
[Alice checks Hatter's temperature]
Alice Kingsley: I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Shiver movie in the works!!

Ever read Shiver by Maggie Stievater?


Now, I don't know about you, I've heard LOTS about the books, and it's on my to-read list. According to Variety, Unique Features is planning to add this to their list of projects. Because I've heard SO many good things about this book, this will probably make people happy.

From Variety.com:


Unique Features has acquired screen rights to "Shiver," a bestselling supernatural romance novel by Maggie Stiefvater that is the first of a three-book series.Pic will be produced by Unique Features partners Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne.
Book covers a bittersweet paranormal romance between a teen who becomes a wolf each winter and his girlfriend, who helps him find the secret to staying human. The first installment was published by Scholastic Press in August and has been on the bestseller lists for six weeks. The sequel novel, "Linger," will be published next August. Unique acquired all three books in the series.
Shaye and Lynne, who at New Line covered such fantasy and supernatural subject matter as "The Lord of the Rings" and "Blade," sparked to the author's voice, and said they couldn't ignore the grip that otherworldly stories have on young viewers.
"I'm not the biggest werewolf or vampire fan, but the author has a strong take on a young adult sensibility," Shaye said. "It's also a sexy love story that isn't too over the top."
Shaye and Lynne used their discretionary fund to acquire the book in a competitive bidding situation. They will bring it first to Warner Bros., where they have a first-look deal, and will set a writer shortly.
Unique adds "Shiver" to a slate of pic projects that include an adaptation of the Paul McCartney children's book "High in the Clouds," a Barry Levinson-directed adaptation of the musical "City of Angels" and the Broadway-bound musicals "Elf" and "Secondhand Lions."

Now that's all fine but the book is only a newbie in the book world (Okay, I know it's been out for a year but still) and something tells me that it's going to have a hard time starting off. Not to let people down or anything, but that was the case with a lot of adaptations. Plus, after what happened with the Great and Terrible Beauty movie, I had lost all hope. However I do hope the book gets its chance, it does seem like a good story to shake up the vampire and werewolf world that we're getting so tired of.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Top 5 Disappointing movie adaptations

Let's face it people, we all had some very disappointing adaptations. I have dozens of them in my head right now! So, to get these most disappointing movies off my chest, I put together the Top 5 Dissapointing movie adaptations ever made in the history of adaptations.

5. The Other Boleyn Girl (Book reccomendation: CHECK IT OUT)
Faithfulness scale: 2%



Yes I did review the movie back when this blog was an itty bitty baby, and really, the book is a take it or leave it for me, but this was one of the worst adaptations ever. How hard is it to be faithful to the PLOT of the story, and I don't mean the gist of it, I mean the whole entire thing?? However the presence of Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson did help, which does not say anything since Johansson also played in a bad adaptation of Girl With A Pearl Earring as well. *sigh*




4. Twilight (Book recommendation (don't yell at me!): READ)
Faithfulness scale: 50%



Now, the book was really a guilty pleasure for me. It's was kind of fun and campy and, yes back then, I did think it was an original take on Vampires. The movie was just an excuse to make Kristen Stewart express nada emotion and Rob Pattinson (Now Twilight fans please don't yell at me) just slow walk towards the camera like a sexy lady and act hot even though he isn't.




And why I was not so excited about glittering you may ask?











Oh. Because it's just overgrown peach fuzz. Apparently that was another excuse to lower the look factor on Rob. *tsk-tsk*

3. Eragon (Book recomendation: READ)
Faithfulness scale: 2%



Like the Twilight recomendation: Fun and an enjoyable experience overall for a) what it was, b) the fact it was written by the guy who was seventeen when he first published the first book in the series. And they just HAD to make it a bad adaptation. Now, the movie wasn't HORRIBLE, but  when you have John Malkovich and Jeremy Irons, two of the greatest actors ever in this mediocre kiddie action flick... it kind of makes me want to yell at them and say: You DO realize that when you think a movie is bad, you CAN say no to it right?


2. Les Miserables (1998 version) Book Recommendation: READ
Faithfulness scale: 28%



Oh God, should I now yell at two MORE important actors? Not complaining about the non-faithfulness factor here because it is hard to be faithful to a 1300 page book. My problem is with the overacting and bad dialogue and kind of abrupt ending and let's not forget the cheesy music. I love Les Mis, I truly do. Why make the book less interesting and important?
And despite all that, we have Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman and Clair Danes! The only thing missing in this movie is Nick Jonas playing Marius. Oh wait, that would totally ruin it. :)


And finally my #1 choice IS:

Lord of the Flies: (1999 version) Book recommendation: SKIP
Faithfulness scale: 30%



Ah! Cussing kids, yucky writing and a movie adaptation so bad, it made a mediocre book look even worse. Seriously, I can just imagine the pitch-meeting: "Oh, why don't we make these kids American and set this in present day it won't take away anything from the actual book!" Hoho! You are SO. WRONG movie people! Bloggers, I did squirm and not because of the killing sequences. No, I squirmed of embarrassment, and I wanted to turn off the DVD right away. You faithful readers who read this blog probably have heard me talk about this movie way too much but the truth is, it gives movie adaptations a bad name. And because of that, anyone who has this on their Netflix Que should be well advised to take it off.

Have I missed anything? If there's anything else that comes to mind, let me know!

Monday, May 31, 2010

A brief review: Up In The Air

Up In The Air
By: Walter Kirn
Setting: Mostly airports and cities around the US
Format: 362 pgs.
Verdict: SKIP
Rated: PG from what I've read. Lots of F-bomb use and whatnot, but nothing that shady.


Rare case here, I liked the movie better than the book. To tell you the truth, I couldn't finish this one. Not saying that it was BAD or anything, the writing was really good and all, it just never engaged me. After page 100, even Ryan started to annoy me with his opinions about every single little detail and every single person and that bugged the hell out of me. Since there was no Natalie as there was in the movie, knowing that he never gets the chance to redeem himself or think differently didn't help things either. 
There were scenes in the book that went on WAY too  long for its own good, there's a scene where he's with one of his clients that goes on forever when really, it should have stopped at five pages maybe. The plot just wandered around and after a while I just wanted to like it too much. Such a shame, I really wanted to give this one at least a CHECK IT OUT because it's so well written. Too bad. It had so much potential.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

On Writing....

I had just realized that this blog is called Books, Movies AND a Writer's life. However, since I had not written one single post on writing, I decided to make a seperate blog for that.  So from now on, this blog is only Books and their Movies and the new blog is called A Historical Writer's life (yes, I do write historical fiction. Well, regular fiction too) and the link is here:   http://historicalwriter.blogspot.com/ 












 Thanks!
-The Critic

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Informant!

The Informant! (Based on the book of the same name by Kurt Eichenwald)

Cast: Matt Damon (Mark Whitacre), Scott Bakula (Agent Brian Shepard), Joel McHale (Agent Bob Herndon), Tom Papa (Mick Andreas), Rick Overton (Terry Wilson),  Melanie Lyskey (Ginger Whitacre)
Script: Scott Z. Burns
Length: 1 hr. 48 min.
Verdict: SEE
Rating: R (There's swearing. As in, normal swearing. That's pretty much it.)
Faithfulness Scale: TBA

 So, I finally saw the movie I always wanted to see for a while this weekend. And, I have to say, it's worth the wait even though some people don't seem to agree with me. Lies! All lies these reviews! Speaking of lies, if you don't know what this movie's about, it's basically the story about the ADM price-fixing case way back in 1995 (my dates correct?) when a particular employer Mark Whitacre (played brilliantly by Matt Damon) noticed something fishy going on behind small grey cubicles. So, what to do except cooperate with the FBI! Ironic that Whitacre is not the most cooperative being on the planet. It turns out that he lied, stole, and schemed his way around the FBI, so that when his two bosses are out of the way, he can be the next person to run ADM. By the time he reached the two year wire-wearing mark with the FBI, Mark had made up all sorts of lies, including that he was adopted by rich parents. Of course he never lied about the price-fixing, but can we even believe that story? 
Matt Damon is brilliant as Whitacre, he made me laugh and moreover, he made me uneasy while watching this. It's especially fun watching Matt Damon put on 30 pounds plus a moustache and act like he's the nicest, but strangest guy on the planet! I don't know if hiring stand-up comics as the FBI agents and the supporting cast worked, the script is not comic enough for them to do comic things. But they were all believable in their roles so I didn't mind. 
Sometimes I did get lost in all the buisness and FBI lingo though, so it's not for anyone who knows nothing at all about buisness or how the FBI does stuff. It will only get you ridiculously confused. Continuing with the dialogue, I know some people were saying it wasn't funny enough. They're really mis-selling this movie, it's not the laugh out loud ha ha ha type of movie you would expect. It has it's moments and it is a light movie (you'll love the springy silly music used in this film. So precious!), but overall, it's not what I would call a serious 'black comedy'.
I was kind of bored during some moments, looking at ADM employees and foreign buisnessmen conduct office affairs isn't exactly interesting to watch, and it does seem to strectch out for too long. But it did teach me certain things about how buisness and the FBI works. It's also shows you how someone who seems like a completely honest, nice family man can even do the shadiest and most illegeal things like taking 11 mill. out of people's bank accounts. So, I say SEE IT, it's definately not for everyone, but it's mainly for older audience members.   

Kiddie-tron: Ehh, pretty harmless. I mean there's swearing, characters drop the F-bomb and the S-bomb a few times, so I wouldn't reccomend it for younger kids (Please stop listening to that stupid, ridiuclous R-rating). Frankly, I wouldn't recomend it for kids period, they'd get bored.

The Informant is out on DVD and Blu-Ray


Mark Whitacre's Mother: Mark's been telling people that you and I were killed in a car accident and he was adopted by rich people? What do you make of that?
Mark Whitacre's Father: Hm. That's kind of weird.

Mark Whitacre: Mark Whitacre, secret agent 0014.
Rusty Williams: Why 0014?
Mark Whitacre: Cause I'm twice as smart as 007.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Girl with a Pearl Earring movie

Girl With a Pearl Earring
Director: Peter Webber
Cast: Scarlett Johansson (Griet), Colin Firth (Vermeer) Tom Wilkinson (Pieter Van Ruivjen), Judy Parfitt (Maria Thins), Cillian Murphy (Pieter), Essie Davis (Catarina), Joanna Scanlan (Tanneke)
Script: Olivia Heetreed
Length: 1 hr. 40 min
Verdict: SKIP
Rated: PG-13 (For a rape scene and a sex scene in the alley)
Faithful Scale: 43%

Question to critics: Why did this movie get good reviews? Because, the only thing I liked about this movie, is the cinematography and Scarlett Johansson. I mean, I'm giving these people who made this movie kudos for casting the person that look exactly like the model does in the painting. Plus, she has such an expressive face, that gives the dull story a boost and makes the movie bearable. You look at her on screen and you immediately know what she's thinking, it takes a real actress to do that. She's perfect for this role, that's for sure. And it's also worth to see it just for the cinematography. It's a beautifully shot film, every shot looks like a painting. But here, it's just dull, dull stuff, like the book. 
To start off, I was annoyed by Colin Firth (Vermeer.) He's basically reduced to a series of reation shots (which are wooden.) Come on dude! Are you sad? Are you happy? Are you what? During the whole movie he never cracked a smile, never showed anything unless if you count akwardness as an emotion. I understand that you're supposed to be mysterious but there are better ways to BE mysterious than just sitting there with a frown on your face. Such a shame, Colin Firth is usually a great actor. 
It was also pretty ridiculous how freakishly panicked Catarina was. Which leads me to this point: I understand that she's supposed to be hysterical, but Judy Parfitt REALLY over did it. In the book, she actually seemed quiet compared to the Catarina in the movie. Parfitt's performance quite bothered me, she didn't scary or intimidating, she just plays it like someone who was just TRYING to be scary and intimidating. 
And this script. Okay, I had the same problem like this in the novel. Vermeer painted Tanneke, right? So, why is Griet supposed to hide the fact that she's being painted? After all, Van Ruijven knows (Tom Wilkinson does an excellent job as a villain) and that's even more scary, no one seems to be making a big deal about it. I mean, am I an idiot? There are scenes filled with lines like this:


Griet: [enters the room, where Maria Thins and Catharina sit quietly by the fireplace, and curtsies]
Catharina: Yes?
Griet: Madam, shall I wash the windows?
Catharina: [Scoffs] You don't need to ask me about such matters.
Griet: It's just...it may change the light.

Those same stuffy lines of dialogue goes on for most of the movie. Plus, I felt that Pieter was almost an afterthought, which seems to me, one of the most important moments in the book. Sadly, you can SKIP IT. Even though the film had so much potential, it just went sliding down-hill after a few minutes. 


 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Movie reviews coming up!

Sorry for not blogging lately, this week has been really hectic for me! I'm hoping to still continue blogging and again, I hope that means often! : )

Anyway, this is a recap of the newer posts:

Saw:

Up in the Air












Verdict: SEE IT!
Great cast, unpredictable plot and relatable to everyone without being preachy. It doesen't tie together nicely, but it's an out of the ordinary, amazing movie nonetheless. I highly recommend it if you're looking for something out of the ordinary.












Lord of the Flies
Verdict: SKIP!
Unnescecary plot points, ridiculous scenes and incessant, needless cussing from the boys. Plus, it commits the crime of modernizing and americanizing the story. YICH!

Books I've read:














Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Verdict: SKIP!
It's one thing to write about an intriguing and mysterious painting, it's another to completely ruin the story by making it dull with flat characters. Yes I know, Delft was beatifully described but it was just WAY too dull for me to enjoy the other aspects of the book. And there are few.

That wraps up the re-cap, now for stuff that's coming up next!

Books: No books this week (I know, sorry guys!) but I am planning to read the book version of Up in the Air by Walter Kirn. I'm also currently reading The Odyssey by the great and mysterious Homer, so expect my thoughts on that and the movies that were inspired by it.

Movies: Just finished Girl with a Pearl Earring movie today, I'm blogging on it tomorrow:












And I just got The Twilight Saga: New Moon from Netflix:












Also: The one and only Marty Scorsese is doing The Invention of Hugo Cabaret in 3-D! I haven't read the book yet, but I plan to read it soon, but I'll still be discussing this movie-in-the-works with you guys.

Hopefully life doesen't snatch me away from Books and Movies, but I'll try my best!! :D Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Film version of "Betsy and the Emperor"

These posts are going to be dedicated to all the potential or announced movies that either are in Pre-Production, or hasn't gotten a release date just yet.

I read this charming book last year, and I'm pretty excited that they're planning to shoot this later this year! Betsy and the Emperor is a great, fun little read about the relationship between Betsy Balcombe and Napoleon Bonaparte, now exiled to Saint Helena. Emma Watson and Al Pacino have been cast as Betsy and Napoleon respectively.

From About.com:
Emma Watson has signed on to star in the period drama Napoleon and Betsy from writer/director Benjamin Ross. Watson, who will always be recognized by millions of Muggles worldwide for her starring role as 'Hermione' in the Harry Potter movies, will play the role of Betsy Balcombe, a young British woman who falls for Napoleon when he's exiled to the island of St Helena.
Scarlett Johansson had been attached to star in the film a few years back, and will remain involved in Napoleon and Betsy as a producer. Filming is expected to take place in Bulgaria later this year.
Watson is currently filming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and will begin work on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the last of the Harry Potter books, next year. Warner Bros Pictures opted to split J K Rowling's final book into two feature films to finish up the series.

Now, as far as the cast goes, Emma Watson's a great choice. She seems to have gotten better with each HP movie coming along, and she's a much better choice if you compare her to say Scarlett Johansson who's WAY to old for the part. Emma could pull out a tough teenager and this is clearly a strecth for her after Hermione. : )

Now as for Al Pacino. Have you even SEEN what Napoleon looks like? Compare this:
To this:


Now I'm not a firm believer that the actor has to look EXACTLY like the part, and I see SOME similarities but this is just looks way too different. He can have the acting chops but acting is not all there is in a movie adaptation as we all know. However, Al is a good actor, and he did say that he wanted to play Napoleon for a while, so I'm not griping too much. Plus thanks to some movie magic, he can look a bit more closer to him.
  
 Definately waiting for this movie to come out! Keep checking for an review of the novel soon!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A short review: Lord of the Flies in 1990

Lord of the Flies
Director: Harry Hook
Cast: Balthazar Getty (Ralph), Chris Furrh (Jack), Danuel Pipoly (Piggy), James Badge Dale (Simon), Andrew and Edward Taft (Sam and Eric), Gary Rule (Roger)
Screenplay: Sara Schiff
Length: 1 hr. 30 min
Verdict: SKIP
Rated: R (Obviously not for children either)
Rating Scale: 30%  (Faithfulness is really missing)

This one is the Americanized/ modernized version of the infamous LOF. Now, seriously, what's the point in doing that? Sir William Golding, who wrote the book, had a point when he made these school children British, NOT American millitary school kids. That took out the whole pleasure of watching this trash. Maybe if it was better made I would have given it an OK, but it's not.
One improvement made on the '63 version (which I liked a lot better even though I had given it a mild RENT) was that Jack was so much scary than that other guy was. The Furrh guy knows scary. Mr. Getty, the Taft guys and Dale are "good" as their roles, and Simon actually looks like a 14 or 13 year old, so that's nice.  The only problem with the acting of the character (more of a screenplay choice than anything) WHY DO YOU GUYS CUSS? There is incessant cussing, 20 or more times they say Sh**, and four times they use the F*** word. I mean, even the little guys cuss! That's not really professional to me, I was giggling every time Jack or someone cusses. Not Hook's point, so not a great choice there either.
Since the beginning, you can really tell that this movie is going to be different from the book which is a real no-no. That might not be so much of a big deal: if they hadn't brought up the almost dead captain of the plane out of the water and make the kids go on wild goose-chases to find him or what not, that was just so ridiculous and unnecessary. Speaking of unnsecesary, there were a lot of thing in this book that was unnecesary, and more important plot points from the book that are so important. We don't need endless conversation between boys saying "I wonder what's on TV right now!" Excuse me, what? Why is that so important?
The savages weren't as scary as they were in the '63 version, they just looked like a bunch of brats face painting themselves and killing people. Plus, with all that hillarious cussing, it took a lot of the scary out of savages.
Overall, a trashy remake, which is incredibly long and stupid. It just goes to show you how sometimes, adaptations that take that many liberties from the book don't always work. So, SKIP IT. You're not missing the gold here.

This version is available on DVD

Quotes:
Steve: Sir, are you the leader?
Peter: Jack is the oldest, but Ralph is the colonel.
[group voices votes for Ralph]
Jack Merridew: I guess you just won the election.
Ralph: It doesn't matter who's in charge. We've just got to work together. First, we build a camp.

Tony: What are we gonna do with thieves when we catch them?
Ralph: We can't have kids stealing and just running wild. We're going to have to have stricter rules and hand out demerits... I guess.

A "Girl with a Pearl Earring," which is less mysterious than the painting

Girl With a Pearl Earring
By: Tracy Chevalier
Setting: Amsterdam (Delft to be more precise)  in 1664-1666
Format: 233 pgs.
Verdict: SKIP IT
Rated: PG-13 (Not anything HORRIBLE, but there are some references to sex and rape. Maids are calling each other names but not anything too riske)

You know that feeling when you read a book that's incredibly popular, but it's so boring you don't get what all the hype's about? Unfortunately, that's what we have here with this book right here. 
Yes, the book which won awards that I can't even count on my own two hands, the book that inspired a movie AND a play! And yet, why? What went wrong? Maybe because it's a story about a poor helpless little maid named Greit who comes to work for the Vermeer's because their father is blind, and they need money. Vermeer is entranced by her beauty and by her understanding of art, and they both develop a relationship. And it goes in so deep that she makes paint for the paintings he paints and she even poses for him when his model is not here. When the evil patron who seduces young maids want to pose for a painting with him, the master yells "Enough!" and together they make this glorious masterpiece, his most famous one to date, to the horror of his wife, he hasn't painted her because she's a shrew of a thing. Rings a bell? Now this could be an interesting story. It could be captivating and inspiring right? What the hell went wrong with this book? Well, partly because it's dull. Dull, dull, dull stuff. 
Let me start with the characters. Catharina is the shrewish wife who needs to be dunked in the river, Pieter, Griet's love interest is the butcher's son who wants to marry her and whom she dosen't love. Vermeer has no personality, he just stares at Griet the whole time. His patron is a nasty, mean villain with no intimidating powers whatsoever, and who likes to "do" maids so that they become prostitutes. Every single one of the characters are stereotypes of other characters. That is, except for Griet, which is not saying much. She's just too shy, too polite, too panicked about certain things. (e.x: *GASP* I don't want him to see my hair because it's ugly and I look like a whore! Uh oh, is *fill in the blank* making me take off my cap?? *panic attack*) She does have flaws and redeeming qualities though, which is nice since every other character is one sided. 
The plot totally did not drag me in from the first page. A book like this should have taken me no time to read, that is a book with an interesting development of plot. There is none here, the plot takes so long to develop it's almost tedious. Half of the book is completely unnecessary. If you're wondering, the book is not developed at all. Now, I don't mind slow paced books. In fact, The Virgin Suicides was a hit for me. Granted apples and oranges don't even begin to describe these two, but at least Suicides was more interesting and thought provoking, and the plot actually went somewhere.  There was only one part of the book which I LOVED, and yet it's not enough.
I did not buy the writing either. Some of it was incredibly well written other timed it didn't impress me. It's really tedious when Griet constantly refers to her master as 'He.' Well, Vermeer isn't God. It's OK for you to say 'My Master'. *shakes head* So sad, I was actually looking forward to the writing in this everyone says it's SOOO GOOD!! Actually, the strongest point in this book was the vivid imagrey of Delft during that time, which Chevalier does such an excellent job in recreating. But the flaws are so huge, it's far from the saving grace of the novel.
There's a lot to admire here, and it's not entirely horrible, but SKIP IT. There's just not enough to win me over.


 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Up in the Air movie

Up In The Air
Director: Jason Reitman
Cast: George Clooney (Ryan Bingham), Vera Farmiga (Alex Goran), Anna Kendrick (Natalie Keener), Jason Batemen (Craig Gregory), Melanie Lynskey (Julie Bingham), Amy Morton (Kara Bingham), J.K Simmons (Bob), Sam Elliott (Maynard Finch)
Screenplay: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner
Length: 1 hr. 45 min
Verdict: SEE
Rated: R (This is another case of movies being mis-rated. This one deserves PG-13. Still has a mention of sex and cuss words being thrown left and right.)
Faithful Scale: 2% (Faithfulness really went out the window)



This is a rare time when I get to see movies before I read the book. Usually, I hate doing that, I have the characters looks messed up in my head. But my family loves Jason Reitman (he did Juno, which I LOVED!), we couldn't help ourselves. So, here we go:
I went in this movie with an open mind. The good: It's Jason Reitman! He makes fantastic movies!  Plus, it got amazing, glowing reviews (well, for the most part at least), and it's based on a book, which is an automatic given. The bad: My friend went to see this and had said that it wasn't that good, and a few of my fellow bloggers gave it mixed reviews. So I came in with an open mind about this one. And I was not disappointed to say the least. 
The premise: A man who's job is to go around the US firing people for a living, Ryan Bingham (Clooney) leads a very secluded and isolated life. That all changes when a young woman named Natalie Keener, (Anna Kendrick, a.k.a Jessica from the Twilight movies) proposes a plan in which employees stay grounded, to Ryan's outrage. His boss then proposes him to take her around the US to show her how it's better to travel, than to stay grounded. Along the way, he falls in love with another frequent traveler (Vera Farmiga), grows closer to Natalie, comes to terms with his family, and gets his heart broken.
One of the things why I love this movie, is because the plot is unpredictable. You think it's going to go one way, but it totally goes another. Yes, the plot can be uneven at times but when you have three amazing leads, what's not to love? And Anna Kendrick is a doll in this movie I love her! There are two ways to represent her character: stereotypically and annoying or sweet and funny, and she chooses to go sweet and funny, which made me relate to her a lot more than I thought I would. George Clooney is amazing as always, nobody could be better for this role than he is. I found his relationship with Farmiga's character believable. Speaking of her character, she plays the role as if she's seductive and sexy but she's far from annoying. Up In The Air is relatable, not only because it's about the economic crisis in America, but when I watched this movie, I felt a connection to these characters. I could connect with them and that's one of the best things a character can ever do to you.
Now let's admit, it wasn't all glorious and amazing. To me, this movie seemed and felt a little too long and it tried my patience sometimes. This movie could work well as either a road trip or a love story, but not both. Plus I felt that some plot points didn't tie in together quite nicely. However if you're looking for something out of the ordinary, you should definitely SEE IT. It's an amazing movie.

Up In the Air is now on DVD or Blu-Ray




Memorable quotes:


Alex Goran: What a weasly prick.
Natalie Keener: Yeah, but what does that make me? Someone who falls for a prick.
Alex Goran: We all fall for the prick. Pricks are spontaneous, they're unpredictable and they're fun. And then we're surprised when they turn out to be pricks. 




Flight Attendant: Would you like the cancer?
Ryan Bingham: What?
Flight Attendant: Would you like the can, sir? 
 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Time for some Awards!




A big Thank you to Katy at A Few More Pages for the Stylish Blogger Award! It's so nice to see my young baby blog get recognized! *dances a jig*

So apparently, when someone gets an award from someone else that someone gets to spread the love and give awards five other fellow bloggers right? 

So this award goes to:

-Amelia @: Imagination in Focus
-Muse in the Frog @: Confessions and Ramblings of a Muse in the Frog
-Sarah @: Book Reviews from Inside an Igloo
-Rhiana @: Rhiana Reads
And finally: Melissa @: i swim for oceans

Congrats everyone!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lord of the Flies in 1963

Lord of the Flies  
Director : Peter Brook 
Cast: James Aubrey (Ralph), Tom Chapin (Jack), Hugh Edwards (Piggy), Tom Gaman (Simon), Roger Elwin (Roger), Nicholas Hammond (Robert)
Screenplay: Peter Brook
Distributor: The Criterion Collection
Length: 1 hr. 30 min
Verdict: RENT
Rated: PG-13 (Obviously not advised for children. You know what that means)
Faithful Scale: 95%

I'm giving this one a mild RENT. I'm still a bit conflicted about this version, because there are some pretty bad things, and some pretty good things in there. Problem is I still can't figure out if they over powered each other.  On one hand there are some beautiful moments. On the other, like the book, I still didn't know what was going on at times. One one hand, the savagrey in this adaptation is freaky and scary and well handled. On the other, some kids looked too young to be their characters (especially Ralph and Simon). And the guy who plays Jack, he isn't Jack. Jack is supposed to be scary and freaky and imposing. This Tom Chapin guy looks too... I don't know... soft I guess. I didn't feel scared when he was on screen. The rest did a good job, but what the hell is up with Simon? He looks like he could be eight! Plus I was so confused about who was who, besides Ralph, Piggy (Hugh Edwards is the best thing here) and Samneric of course. 
There were some times when I was watching this and being confused, how the movie jumps from one scene to another is disorganized. The camera work is also messy here, I guess he's trying to make a point or something but it didn't really work for me.The whole time I thought that the guy didn't know how to shoot certain scenes, all that running around with camera going everywhere not focusing on one thing in particular. I understand when somebody gets killed, you don't want to scar the kids for life but there's a point when that's appropriate and other points where it's just plain annoying.
However, it's not totally awful. There are some beautiful and haunting scenes in here and I loved the times where Jack's tribe gets together with the face paint. That's done so beautifully and it shows a definate change within these kids with their chanting and wild faces looking they're ready to kill you, *shudders* Those parts are amazing. The opening montage too is fantastic and brilliant, I don't know why, but it is. I guess this is a take it or leave it type of movie, it IS a classic after all and it's well made. It just dosen't hold up together that well.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love movie adaptation coming soon!

Eat, Pray, Love
August 13th, 2010
Book by: Elizabeth Gilbert

Yes, I am aware that this movie isn't coming SOON. But I know a lot of people like this book and some people are interested in this, so I don't know. Should I or should I not?

From Wikipeidia (or what I could find):
After trying and failing to become pregnant, a woman realizes she is not getting what she wants out of life, and, after a painful divorce, sets on a journey across the world.

I don't find Julia Roberts WONDERFUL butI've been wondering about the book for a while. A To See? Possibly. What do you think?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Book and Movie reviews coming up

I'm guessing this post is like the In My Mailbox thing, except instead of things arriving by mailbox (Netflix movies excluded of course, those come by mail) I'll keep you updated on what's going on on this blog, and what I'm reading or watching later this week or next or whatever.

Books:

Ok, first, I just checked out Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier from the library:



Movies:

There are two versions of Lord of the Flies. One is the obvious 1966 classic black-and-white movie directed by Peter Brook we all know that one...



And the other is the Americanized and modernized (yes unfortunately, they dared to do so) version that came out in '90, directed by Harry Hook



Has anybody read Girl With a Pearl Earring? I'm on the verge of reading it right now. Also, has anybody seen the new version of LOF? I'd love to hear other people's views on this book and the new (and old) movie version.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Beastly coming to theaters soon!

Beastly.
Book by: Alex Flinn
Coming July 30th, 2010


From the Facebook fan page:

Kyle Kingson (Alex Pettyfer) has it all – looks, intelligence, wealth and opportunity – and a wicked cruel streak. Prone to mocking and humiliating “aggressively unattractive” classmates, he zeroes in on Goth classmate Kendra, inviting her to the school’s extravagant environmental bash. Kendra accepts, and, true to form, Kyle blows her off in a particularly savage fashion. She retaliates by casting a spell that physically transforms him into everything he despises. Enraged by his horrible and unrecognizable appearance he confronts Kendra and learns that the only solution to the curse is to find someone that will love him as he is – a task he considers impossible.

Repulsed by his appearance, Kyle’s callous father banishes him to Brooklyn with a sympathetic housekeeper (LisaGay Hamilton) and blind tutor (Neil Patrick Harris). As Kyle ponders how to overcome the curse and get his old life back, he chances upon a drug addict in the act of killing a threatening dealer. Seizing the opportunity, Kyle promises the addict freedom and safety for his daughter Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens) if she will consent to live in Kyle’s Brooklyn home. Thus begins Kyle’s journey to discover true love in this hyper-modern retelling of the classic “Beauty and the Beast” story.

Vanessa Hudgens (“High School Musical”) and Alex Pettyfer (“Wild Child,” “Stormbreaker”) star in “Beastly” for CBS Films, the film division within CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS). Daniel Barnz (“Phoebe In Wonderland”) is directing the project which commenced principal photography in Montreal in mid-June 2009.

Susan Cartsonis (“No Reservations,” “What Women Want”) is producing through her company, Storefront Pictures. Roz Weisberg is co-producing. In addition to his role as director, Barnz wrote the screenplay, which is based on the Alex Flinn novel of the same name.

I've seen this book for a long time... maybe a sign for me to try it? Problem is, the movie has two VERY annoying and bad actresses, Vannessa Hudgens, who plays the "Beauty" of this movie and Mary-Kate Olsen who plays the "Witch." Ugh. Don't know how I feel about that kind of casting. But I must say, this book has been popping up everywhere and I like to read popular books, (sorry I can't help it...) just to see what all the hype is about. Plus it has been so long since I've read a YA novel that's based on a movie lately. A TO-SEE. Maybe...

Their savage souls, and their dull story

Lord of the Flies
By: William Golding
Setting: An unknown island
Format: 225 pages
Verdict: (Everyone has to read it some day. But for those of you who feel like reading it for fun, you can SKIP IT)
Rated: PG-13 (Violence, killing, savegry...)

The basic premise: A bunch of shipwrecked boys with no adults in sight, start killing each other and turning into savages. Yes, I'm talking about the book that every kid of at least this generation had (or has at least) to read this book for school. I just finished it myself, and not to say it was the worst book I've ever read, but considering there has been many books about the downfall of civilization, this one dosen't reach its potential. Yes, hate me, I dared to not like this book.
Original? Fairly. But notice the PG-13 rating. The book is too kind on this violence, I say if you're going to go with savagrey, flaunt it. Golding takes this too kindly. We are talking about the end of democracy amoung a group of boys who want to kill each other. I admit that too much would ruin it, but there needs to be more to really notice a considerable, awful change. 
Which brings me to another point: Ralph to me wasn't so much as "good guy" than as a "bad." Had Jack not shown up the way he had, I would have been totally convinced that Ralph was going to be the one that's going to create all the mess that happened in this book. At first he acts like a selfish brat. Maybe Golding meant Ralph to be this way so that the reader can sense the destruction ahead I don't know, but the way he treated Piggy, and acted so selfishly, made me lose all the sympathy for him. Well, sometimes I did but I didn't feel a lot, because he continues to brush off Piggy's asthma and continues to not listen to Piggy just because he's not like him or Jack or anybody. 
Simon is the same way, SPOILER HERE!! I felt sad that he died, but only BECAUSE he died. SPOILER OVER. I never connected with him as a character, Golding didn't really develop his personality that well.  So in the end I really didn't care for him that much. Now granted there are some great scenes with him and the Lord of the Flies but there is very little for me to enjoy in his character. Actually, none of them were really enjoyable except for Piggy and Samneric, who had the most complex of personalities, the ones that I actually liked. I told you about Ralph, but Jack seemed a little too unrealistically evil, even for an allegorical novel I found no qualities that I felt, jeez I would really like to know what's going on in this character's head. 
The story itself is intriguing but again, I didn't feel like this was a major break out novel. The writing has no special quality to it, I didn't find myself ENTRANCED by it. The plot never leaps forward because of this non-exciting writing and un-connectable characters. I know some of you will comment on this post and say, "It's an allegory, you're not supposed to take it seriously!" Yes well, in all books, including allegory's, the rules of liking a novel because of character, plot and writing, the rules also apply. 
Now, it's not ALL bad. There are some wonderful scenes that I wouldn't change (The killing of the sow scene, the Lord of the Flies scene...) that were wonderfully gory and creepy. And I did get a chance to compare characters to other people in real life, it is a very original idea, you have to give Golding that. It's not totally unlikely there are no fantastical scenes save a few of course but none of it is really based in the paranormal. But at the same time, the book never really ties together, and those scenes fail to save it. 
Sorry any kids who didn't read this book yet: You are going to have to read it soon. Now, some of my friends absolutely hated this book, that's a bit of an exaggeration. And I can see, going into the Nobel Peace judges (or whatever you call them) why the author won a Nobel for the book. But can I say even CHECK IT OUT even if you want to read it for fun? No. It's not that good enough a classic. This one, I'm afraid, is going to get a SKIP.



Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Duchess movie

The Duchess (Based on Amanda Foreman's Biorgraphy Georgina Duchess of Devonshire)
Director: Saul Dibb
Cast: Keira Knightly (Georgina The Duchess of Devonshire), Ralph Finnes (The Duke of Devonshire), Charlotte Rampling (Lady Spencer), Dominic Cooper (Charles Grey), Hayley Attwell (Elizabeth Foster)
Screenplay: Jeffrey Hatcher and Anders Thomas Jensen
Distributor: Pathe
Length: 1 hr. 45 min.
Verdict: RENT
Rated: PG-13 (Lots of Period componets here, mostly sex. You know what I'm talking about.)

This biopic is based on the cliche, based-on-a-true-story-about-a-rich-aristocratic-woman-who-falls-in-a-loveless-marriage type story. Sounds familliar? Sure. We've heard that story all before. Not to say it's a total cliche it is a Keira Knightly period drama after all. Now I know some of you must be groaning but this is better than those period movies. Does that mean it's something original and fresh? Absolutely not. It's  striking to look at, but sometimes, it feels really tiresome and long.
Now grant you Keira Knightly is amazing. The only thing really original about this movie is the fact that the movie looks at the life of a celebrity as her character was known back in  eighteenth century England. And Keira just pulls it off so well and Ralph Finnes, who plays her cold-hearted devil of a husband (uh oh yes the movie goes in THAT territory) gives his character a heart, which is kind of hard to do it right. But he does, and the acting is one of the reasons that I'm recomending this movie. It's nice to look at somebody that not a lot of people know outside of England, looking at the world of celebrity. I don't know how historically accurate this movie is, Hollywood tends to play around with historical accuracy but the clothing and whatnot don't seem out of place so I don't see any problem there.
My main problem here, was with plot. First, it drags for long, long periods of time. At the end of the movie I thought I had wasted my whole afternoon watching a fluffy period drama. There were some characters at the end that I wanted to see more of, including Dominic Cooper's character as her lover. And yes, I had a problem with the rape scene (imagine that...) in this movie. Directors want to make us feel so sympathetic to the main character, that they go out of their way and make a rape scene to feel sorry for the poor woman because that's how women were treated back then yay! Complete failure. Also a complete failure? The sex scenes. Now I know, there were only two and one wasn't even all that graphic, but the same thing with Dominc Cooper and Keira Knightly, they do not have chemistry. We have to make graphic sex scenes when we don't need them, and what's worse, they're badly mishandled. Ugh, I wish every movie was like Bright Star...
So, should you run out and immediately put this DVD in your Que at Netflix or run out to Blockbuster or wherever and see this movie? Not really. However, it is one of the better period films beating The Other Boleyn Girl by a longshot. This isn't anything HUGELY special though, so if you have a few minutes and happened to pass by Blockbuster on your way home sure, it's a nice pick me up if you're feeling bored and sorry for yourself.