Culture and Entertainment

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Great Expectations 2012 Film Adaptation

    The film-makers took the Pride and Prejudice 2005 approach: dumbing down and modernizing the story for the non-literature reading public 😛 How could I have thought the other film over-dramatized? I should not have been surprised, this is the Downton Abbey generation after all. Great Expectations  is too understated, so lets ramp up the drama so the sensitive people feel like the drama is punching them in the face: “FEEL THIS” “THIS IS SAD,” and etc.

    How could I have thought the other film too changed? These film-makers took liberties with the story line from the very beginning. I am allergic to book/original to movie changes, so this movie put me in anaphylactic shock. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE SMARTER/KNOW BETTER THAN DICKENS?!

    The “small” and/or early changes that had great overall effects on the tone and interpretation of the film:

    This film showed Pip give the pie as a gift (Magwitch mainly requested food in the book). No, this is not a slight change; this change makes it appear as if Magwitch was a logical thinking person, and that he had to have a “reason”  for doing what he did for Pip (how calculating our society is). Joe wasn’t stupid. Mrs. Joe wasn’t mean enough. Where was Biddy? Her nonexistence made Joe’s situation more pitiable . . . and in consequence Pip’s behavior worse. Little Pip was better in this film (smaller, paler), but the pale young gentleman much worse than in the 1999 version (he was not the pale young gentleman at all, but rather a bully-clown).

    This film’s Satis House was too light for a house without electricity, with the windows regularly closed, and with little light used as the book implied and described. Miss Havisham herself was too young and creepy (WAAAY overdone)she wasn’t believable. And the hand soreswhat on earth was that about?! Orlick had them too, but with how this film portrayed him, they made sense for himI think that Satis House was faaaar too grand in both movies; modern people in Western cultures do not want to acknowledge how wealthy we are. Many people in the even lover middle class in Western cultures have as much or more as some of the wealthy did then. There is more wealth in existence now and more people have it, and the rich are far and above more rich than they were then. In the same wealth exaggeration vein, Pip rode in a hired coach not the public coach as in the book (I think maybe when he traveled with Estella in the book he did have a hired coach because Miss Havisham paid). I liked the 1999 portrayal of London better, Victorian London was filthy for anyone who was NOT filthy rich. Good grief, the city was what, 500 or more years old by that point. We have no comparison in the germ theory era U.S.

    Compeyson was a convict and had never been wealthy much less a real gentlemanhe could never have been in those circles as the film portrayed him especially after being a convict. Magwitch’s wife DID murder someone. Yes, the poor are criminals and she WAS NOT Jaggers’ mistress (nor were his home and office the same in the book). Pip was yet again made to look like a fool in that scene with Jaggers and his mistress in the film.

    Orlick was changed . . . to be made pitiable. I hurt for him. What is it with blackening heroes and uplifiting villains? Also, Orlick looked like a zombie. I could be wrong, but I do not think that Orlick would have had easy access to opium, and he sure seemed like he was on something. I cannot remember how much he to do with Magwitch’s capture in the book, but I think he was not as involved as the movie portrayed him to be. Of course they could not have the book’s dramatic Orlick scene (how ironic, considering the drama of the film) because it would not have fit in with this weaker Orlick.

    Bigger issues by character by character:

    The film makers made sure so much of the action reflected badly on poor Pip. They made the story that of a prodigal rather than an erring and misled (funny how that was not emphasized, but rather only Pip’s stupidity and vanity which the book did not display that he had so much more than anyone else) young man. Herbert in the book was better than Pip but as a gentleman (in character) is to another gentleman. Miss Havisham implies Pip is not truly a gentleman, but I do not know if she meant birth/education or character. He was a gentleman in character and always had been despite his mistakes. Pip made mistakes (our culture is too self-righteousbring down the “proud” i.e. conscientious, and raise the “victims”if they are poor). I do not like being told I should like Herbert, especially not at the extreme injury to Pipwhat suBtlty!

    There was NOTHING wrong with Pip leaving Joehe does again in the book when he joins Herbert in Cairo (which fact neither films portrayed). He was a grown man, hello. What Pip repented of in the book was his neglect and coldness (coldness, not bratty-teenager-unbelievable-rudeness).

    I do not understand why he was portrayed as disliked and friendless except for Herbert. He did not bribe people in the book like the film portrayed him as doing. In the book he belonged to a club, but I do not think the club of the book was remotely similar to the posh one of the movie (back to the wealth exaggeration issue). In the book Mr. Pocket was his friend and Startop was his friend.  In the book some “mundane” actions/relationships etc. were assumed in order to focus on the more dramatic action (again, irony). Wemmick was Pip’s friend not Herbert’s like the film portrayed. I am not sure Herbert was even acquainted with Wemmick personally. I do not think his family had any more to do with Jaggers than as Pip’s tutor. Wemmick knew Pip because he, Wemmick, invited him to his house. Apparently the film makers decided that not being a gentleman in blood+having lots of money=unliked. Pip was not so rude in the book except to those who deserved it.

    Why did they have to change Herbert’s story? More melodrama. Were they trying to make him more honorableoh, he left his rich, horrible relations for love while you, evil Pip, left your poor-which-equals-good relations for wealth to egotistically chase after love)? What was the point in his getting married? It just made his coming back ludicrous. I also seemed whacked on the head about him wanting a family (oh, of course he is better than Pip, he wants a family . . . so does Pip, he is not a rake!). In the book I do not think that Jaggers warned Pip about getting into debt (I do not think that would have been considered by him as his business), and Herbert was in debt too in the book nor was this circumstance unusual for such young men. Herbert himself seemed rather affected, and the dancing scene was stupid and awkward.

    The film makers made Estella’s role wrong and the actresses acted it wrongly. The young Estella was better than the old but still was too nice which in the film was the reason Pip could not come again. The book Estella was a cruel child, even “good” children can be cruel, and she certainly was not good. Pip and Estella were more equally matched in looks (but I did not think he fit as a rural Englishman of the time as Douglas Booth looks somehow Asian and/or Grecian); he was not as handsome as in the 1999 version, and she prettier, but still not stunningy like the book describes, and she also looked too modern with her hair and make-up. Estella acted as if she could not help but show she liked Pip (even as a little girl when she definitely did not like him in the book). She was fickle, not cold and cruel as in book; she did not seem to have fully imbibed the heartlessness and calculation of her education. Therefore, in the film portrayal the fact that this Estella married Drummle did not make complete sense.

    Regarding Drummle. Another strike at Pip. Pip was good friends with Herbert in the book and would never have befriended someone of whom Herbert so obviously disapproved (and Herbert’s rushing away was odd and not truly explained). Besides that fact, in the book they both knew Drummle, Pip more so I think, and knew he was a wretch. He would have been so without the scandalous propensities the film makers felt it necessary to add. Pip’s background was not a profound secret like this film implied and nothing was odd about Estella who had been raised as a lady so was a lady.

    About the scandalous stuff. The Drummle of the book could have visited such places although that is not implied, but the real Pip would not have been so stupid as to allow himself to be led to such a place. I was, at how the movie was going, amazed he left in the film. Relieved definitely, but I do not really understand the purpose of the scene for Pip unless it was supposed to make Pip look like a fool for allowing Drummle to lead him there. In what seemed like the very next scene (after Drummle’s disgusting scene), Estella pulled her skirts almost completely up, waded into the river and allowed Pip to kiss her. Immodesty and freedom are not one and the same and what about Pip’s earlier morals just the scene before? Film makers need to be consistent on morals or none of it, morality or immorality makes sense. Pip also grabbed her at a later scene; any attempt on the part of a gentleman to restrain a lady would have been hand to hand or mind to mind or he would be no gentleman.

    So obviously I prefer the 1999 version, and I should have known that would have been the case as more recent adaptations take more liberties; it is as if the 90’s were the golden period of accuracy for period dramas or something.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    The Amazing Spider Man 2

    I love, love, love these movies. I wanted to see this film again in theaters after I watched it. I felt that plot-wise this film did not match the first film, but as before the characters were awesome. The characters were personable, believable, sweet/interesting, and compelling. The bad guy in this one was nutzo and not the best villain, but still his very craziness was very well-played and focused on, we saw a plot line of him besides the ones for Peter and Harry (notice that I do not include Harry as a bad guy :P).

    My sister pointed out that these Amazing Spider Man movies have less action than many superhero movies, this one more so than the first, but still less. That point is a great deal of what makes the films good, but it is not the whole explanation of the awesomeness of the films. A great part of the quality of these films is due the fact that the other scenes are just normal life with normal, (comparatively) average people. No billionaire-genius-playboys or angst-filled dramatic adults. Or gods. The films are filled with little interactions between Peter and his aunt, Peter and his friends/acquaintances, and Peter and Gwen. The film has drama and action, friends and family, romance, and humor. The humor is cute and dorky but not overdone, goofy, and really just not funny (I am looking at you embarrassing Avengers). I did think the action/drama part of the bad guy a bit overkill (missing some cleverness) and Harry’s story was too rushed.

    My sister pointed out, when I said that Peter was not cocky, that he was cocky in his suit. Okay, give him a break, he was 18, and most of the time he was an angel. Oh, Peter, such sweetness overall. His treatment of his aunt, so sweet. I loved the chimney scene, and the scene when he is trying to hide his suit. He tried to do the right thing always even when he found it hard. And he did not do it primarily for the glory (he may have liked it a little, but he followed principles (like Robin Hood did thankyouverymuch horrible-Marian-in-the-beginning and anyone else who snipes at him). He tried to help his friend by bringing Spider Man, but Harry was too far gone to be appeased (btw, the film made it as if Harry had no one but Peter).

    Gwen and Peter were SO, SO sweet. I love that they never really fight. I hate the low-down fights so many couples have or the ugly feminism-tinged competitiveness (they are only teasingly so), or the sassy/sexy talk. These two are just so just plain-good-old-fashioned sweet. My sister pointed out that Gwen tried to be mad at Peter but she could not manage to be so very long (and I love the scene when he is Spider Man, and she yells out “Peter!” and then claps her hand over her mouth). Thor and Jane are like that too, but their characters and romance are not as developed and not as quite as adorable since they are older.

    First of all, Harry Osbourn is my husband, so hands off. Brilliant blue eyes, deep raspy voice, quirky style. Drama. Yes. So, so handsome. “That is Mr. Osbourn to you. We are not friends.” Be the man, show them you ARE their boss. Excellent. “Wait. I know the way out.” He has dignity. That expression on Harry’s face after Gwen leaves the elevator looks so vulnerable . . . but you can see a dangerous look lurking there too.”I don’t do complicated.” No, he sure does not. He asks for something and receives “No” as “No” completely and irrevocably.

    Despite my overall love for the Amazing Spider Man films and Harry, I felt that Harry’s story rolled out waaaaay too fast. Yes, of course I just would have liked to see more of him because I am a silly fan girl, but I do feel that from a critical standpoint he really should have had more time in his story. I was under the impression that he was in all three of the first set of Spider Man films, so I thought this film portrayed his story really fast. We do not see Peter and Harry’s friendship enough to feel Harry’s sense of betrayal (yes, he is wrong, this I know) strongly (I felt it to be a bit of an overreaction because of the film’s speed). I feel like we should have seen the climax of his bitterness and fear and anger coming, but that it should have shown up in the next film.

    Two young men with abandonment and loss. Peter actually faced more by the beginning of this film, but he is an angel while Harry is the troubled one. Peter does have his aunt and Gwen (at the beginning) even after losing so many people in his life while Harry only has his buddy it seems, but STILL. And Peter loses his love (and he feels that it is his fault) and his friend betrays him at the end, so his load is doubled at the end of this film. Even after that burden he does take up his role again after mourning. That is a hero. He is hurt, mocked, betrayed, but he still continues to perform his job.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Great Expectations 1999

    I watched my first Great Expectations film/T.V. adaption in its three hour entirety in one sitting about 1-2 months ago at home alone. I then immediately sat down and scribbled out a bunch of thoughts. Apparently watching a movie in its entirety on the T.V. by myself seems to inspire me to reflect on the film better than I would normally*; I did the same with next Great Expectations film, but the Nicholas Nickleby adventure didn’t quite work out so well as you will read in future.
    Normally being watching a movie in snatches on my computer, watching a movie with my family and  bouncing in and out and chattering regularly, or, more rarely, watching a film at the theatre and walking out dazzled brainless.

    Actors/Actress I Recognized (Or Should Have)

    Grown up Pip: Ioan Gruffudd (Despite the fact that we own Amazing Grace and my sister owns the Horatio Hornblower books, I had only previously seen him in The Secret of Moonacre).

    Grown up Estella: Justine Waddell (I had seen her in Wives and Daughters).

    Magwitch: Bernard Hill (Theoden, WHAT! I thought he was familiar, but not this).

    Various Comments

    ~This film has several slight and not so slight changes from the book. I cannot recall the book fully, so I cannot explain the slight changes I more sensed than knew (as in rearrangements of the sequence of some of the details of the story). The changes seem to snowball in intensity somewhat, so I can explain some. Small changes add up to a different take from the novel on the story over all, and that is why some of these seemingly insignificant changes bother me (and that goes for any book to movie adaptation). Such is the case for all the slight changes regarding Estella’s part in the story.

    ~First Pip himself. He was an adorable child and a amazingly handsome man. I liked Pip’s accent switch from his native accent to the refined London one. Ioan Gruffud is both handsome and striking. I don’t know that Pip was plain in the book as all indications seems to point that Estella, had she been kind, would have considered him handsome enough to marry him. I don’t care how inaccurate his looks were, I loved them. However, as to accuracy with regards to Estella, he was far and above Justine Waddell’s Estella’s league, and she was already not pretty enough for Estella.

    ~Oh, Herbert. I have a sort of compulsive like/loyalty to acceptable main characters simply, I think, because they are main characters, so I do not know that I can honestly say that Herbert is my favorite, but he is truly the better man. The book did not feature him enough, and this film featured him even less. He was excellent both as boy and young man even if he was not Will Scarlet (and judging from Harry Lloyd’s acting as that darling personage, lovable though he is, I am going to pre-judge Lloyd’s Herbert and assume this 1999 Herbert is better in acting). Aaaannnd I was rather right I think.
    *Eomer, Fred and George Weasley, all these characters I love in books who get slighted in the books sometimes and in the films!

    ~The film was too melodramatic. I don’t think that Magwitch smothered Pip, and I know Pip did not yell, “Nooooo!” at the discovery of  the identity of his benefactor. That stayed in his head. The filmakers carried the creepiness  into places it did not belong. Pip had too much of a temper. He yelled at Herbert and Wemmick and the latter instance rather spoiled the hilarious wedding scene of Wemmick’s.

    ~Some ommissions and quibbles. This film didn’t explain/show who Biddy was, she just appeared. Joe and Mrs. Joe had their coloring switched (coloring changes irritate me, don’t laugh at the triviality); besides that I thought the actor fairly decently portrayed Joe. The filmmakers rather took out the obnoxious but excellent Pumblechook scenes. The film portrayed Orlick as a creepy sneak rather than a brute sneak. He also appeared too smart. The actor for Jaggers did not make his character Jaggerish enough nor did the distinctions between the two Wemmicks show enough. And I think the movie could have done better with Wemmick’s house. The movie left out the awesome fireside showdown between Pip and Drummle. I know time constraints probably necessitated this. Even though the film was three hours, to give us perspective, Pride and Prejudice is five, and Pride and Prejudice  is a much smaller book than Great Expectations.

    The more serious issues. 

    All of these relate to the desire to obliterate the fact that some people are more evil (i.e. have less common grace) and more stupid than others. The filmmakers did this by both by raising the pathetic/horrible characters and lowering Pip and making him look like a fool (good grief, he was just a young man). Sorry peoples, we aren’t all equally intelligent and good even though fundamentally we are capable (key word please note) of the same evil and therefore have the same worth and the same possibility of worth in salvation (but still after that intelligence is not equalized). I hate this constant attempt to cut noble people down to fit mediocre and pathetic peoples’ sizes, in order that the mediocre and pathetic people don’t feel bad or have to change!

    ~I already mentioned Pip’s anger.

    ~Magwitch did not suspect Pip of feeling horror in the revelation scene in the novel, and I don’t think that the “real” Pip, after the beginning shock, would have shown it enough for Magwitch to tell (remember Magwitch was simpler, yes, some people really are less perceptive, believe it or not). In the film this detail and a few other words of Herbert and other slight things added up to make Pip look dishonorable in the Magwitch situation. In the novel even before Pip reached the point of pity and caring, he always intended to take the honorable course

    ~I doubt the “real” Pip was on first name basis with Magwitch nor did he love Magwitch as a father, that is absurd. The man was much lower in breeding and intellect than Pip even aside from the issue of their short acquaintance. The book Pip loved Joe more than Magwitch because Joe raised him, and Pip still did not love Joe as he deserved.

    ~Pip fell ill and his creditors left him alone. In the movie the filmmakers put him in jail to lower him to the level of other criminals.

    ~Orlick let Pip go and then told him he was the better man for giving him mercy (no wondrous rescue, no Herbert?!). The sort of man who tried to kill a woman in a despicable, cowardly way and planned to then burn her body, would never have let Pip go. Even threats would not have compelled him, much less begging. And I don’t think the “real” Pip begged nor did he want to die. An already-essential-murderer in the attempt of another murder cannot gain anything of the upper hand by mercy to his innocent-of-crime intended victim! Everything Pip did against Orlick (and some of it Orlick made up) was right because Orlick did and was quite evil. The portrayal of this whole scene tried to make Pip no better than even murderous wretches!

    ~Pip waved a candle in Miss Havisham’s face and was unforgiving of Miss Havishsham at her funeral.

    ~Pip proposed to Biddy on her wedding day. Um no, just no. Give him some dignity.

    The Estella changes. These I am not all certain about, but there are enough to put a different look on her part in the story.

    ~I don’t think Pip spoke of his love to Estella in the same setting in the book as he did in the movie. I cannot remember if he spoke to her of his love at all. I think he did.

    ~In the book he did not see her after her wedding. The acquaintance ended. Therefore he did not know of her abuse by sight (as in the film), and I don’t think he heard about it until later. So of course he could not tell Miss Havisham (as he did in the film). I don’t know how much he went on about her treatment of Estella in the book, but I think he took too long on this in the film. I doubt he still raged at Miss Havisham’s funeral.

    ~Pip was not discrete about Estella’s identity in the movie while he was in the book. It wasn’t his secret to tell (also her mother did not know her identity as they show she does in the movie).

    ~The ending. Hmm. It smacked of scandal, more than the book did anyway. This was Dickens novel, people. I shut off the stupid commentator right at his remark on ambiguity (I muted him in the beginning and middle too). The film also neither showed anyone else at the end nor showed the passage of a decade which also made the ending less plausible and more scandalous (as did her speaking to him of the separation and then their kiss).

    Three hours is obviously a long time. My mom brought me once-but-no-longer-frozen yogurt which I put in the freezer. While I was talking to her I took it out to put my name on it and then put it back in the freezer. Then I realized what I had done: 

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Mansfield Park 2007 Movie Commentary

    This is a running commentary as I rewatched Mansfield Park. I hadn’t re-watched it in years. I tend to have difficulties watching things straight through when I watch on my computer and phone and this film was begging for instant criticisms! And I have a term paper to avoid writing.

    Ugh, I forgot how horrid a lot of this was!


    Fanny’s hair is sloppy, short, and childish. The other girls have very modern updos with weird sloppy “tendrils” which look like some sort of bug spirals. Miss Crawford is immodest in a way not period correct, she is more like a nightwalker, not flirting but trying to seduce. Edmund though blind would never fall to someone so bold. I think she is more like a worse version of Cynthia rather than the strumpet she is in this movie. She knows better. Henry looks like a clown. Tom’s hair is sloppy too but not near as bad. I don’t think the dresses are period correct either the waistlines aren’t high enough (too early, I suppose to make them look backwards next to Miss Crawford?) .

    Maria is so obvious in the beginning!

    The girls are bold not flirtatious. The whole tone of the movie is entirely too modern. The attitude the way the scenes are done the sort of sarcastic feeling. Modern people masquerading in period clothes. I know the other Mansfield Park is much, much worse.

    Does anyone else find it fascinating that Henry did really love Fanny in his selfish-Willoughby like manner? I think he was the worse villain, but still Fanny attracts him.

    Tom is so roguishly handsome.

    The music is so silly and than makes it all ridiculous. And the kiss? People, married couples didn’t kiss in public. Maria was engaged, Just wow all wrong.

    And the quoting of those scandalous lines. I think that even the book Tom would have been more offended at his sisters expense. And I don’t think the book Rushworth would’ve done that anyway. They don’t understand other time periods very well.

    I assume that putting on plays was considered inappropriate because of the roles in plays and because of the lives of actresses. It tarnished a lady’s name to be associated with it.

    They overplay the distinction between Julia and Maria.

    And I KNOW that Edmund would never kiss Miss Crawford in such a situation.

    Did Fanny really bring up slavery. Aren’t the heroines such “forward minded people”

    What is with Maria’s wedding day outfit and hair?!

    And I don’t think that Miss Crawford was so bold about her intentions in her speech to Edmund?

    The movie is too fast. All these people look bolder for their acquaintance is shorter. There are ways to make time past with seasons, hello!

    Oh, William, so handsome and so sweet. Again, though Fanny isn’t a child. And she was quiet and meek and I think easily fatigued.

    Haha, the film in which I first learn the British pronounce lieutenant as “left-tenant.”

    Oh, yeah, and People didn’t run around house in front of the family and boy cousins don’t go in girl cousins bedrooms . . . they married cousins then so super no no.

    Okay the game. I am sure childrens played games like this, but this just another sensual thing for this overtly sensual movie. Sheesh.

    “Well I should have known you Miss Price.” Yeah, is a rake and is being one, but Edmund totally deserved the criticism . . . which he probably didn’t feel.

    Hah, Henry’s disappointed face when she didn’t grab him after he totally put himself to be grabbed.

    Henry is in his shirt sleeves. I do believe that state was considered undressed and probably so even later than the regency or at least very casual as it is pointed out in books.

    I saw this movie before the Emma (which was made later), and I really think the actor for Edmund/Mr. Elton plays a much more natural Edmund than Mr. E even though it could seem to be based on first seen bias. He seemed to try a bit too hard as Mr. E although he was funny.

    Henry Crawford flirted with the other girls, but proposed to Fanny. Good girls win.

    I don’t think Fanny would let him near nor would he have touched her so, bad as he was, he had honorable intentions toward her.

    Henry proposed to Fanny twice (of course the second time was when she was left alone at the house in the movie, erm). I am sorry, but guys have got to grow some guts these days. If that rake can try so hard to tie himself to matrimony.  . . I think to that he was going to continue on with trying for Fanny but the Maria affair proved too great a temptation, at least that is the impression I received from the book long ago.

    I don’t think she would have permitted the constant hand holding, kissing, massaging. The fact that Mr. Knightly seemed about to kiss Emma’s hand (and they had know each other all her life) was made much of in  the book since he had never done it before (and didn’t actually end up kissing her hand). So it was a big deal.

    And she wouldn’t have let him get near her enough to try to kiss. I don’t think the movie showed that he did care for her. It made it seem that it was all about his ego, but it wasn’t.

    Okay, and the illness, another gratuitous sensual scene along with gratuitous ick!

    Here my computer crashed, so I took up finishing it on my phone yesterday. So I will scramble a few more thoughts (most of these written are ones I have thought before about the film).

    Edmund’s repulse of Miss Crawford doesn’t really make total sense because the movie in so sensual it doesn’t portray the period morals clearly, so it just looks weird that he suddenly has a conscience despite the fact that he fell in love with someone who dressed as she did and pulled up her skirt. He just seems wishy-washy.

    Seriously the bedroom stuff. She is in her nightgown. Dude really. Again, you cannot portray period morals believable when everyone is acting like this.

    Oh, and was their new dance the waltz? During the regency in England is wasn’t danced while it was in the more scandalous France. (Another mistake in one of the Emma movies; I read that they danced country dances to waltz music, and this is what the waltz in the book referred to).

    I do enjoy this story. It is easy to pretend they aren’t cousins (not so easy in Rose in Bloom). And I do love the end of this movie (although what is it with running scenes and terribly unrealistic timing? Fanny hadn’t been gone long enough for her to have gone very far even if Edmund had gotten the scissors which I am pretty sure he didn’t). I know Mrs. Bertram wasn’t as aware of the world in the book, but I am glad they made her a bit smarter if only for the adorable scene between the two at the end and the way she connives at ridiculous besotted Edmund. I am glad Fanny teased him. I don’t think she was quite the Fanny of the book though, especially not in that.

    I am off to rewatch the end on my computer this time. I have had papers to write, and I have my longest yet plus another small one and then a final next week. After that I can be better, and more grammatical, with my posts.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Book Thief Film

    I could find a flaw in anything, so I will shut my mouth about imperfections.

    We loved that they actually used German a lot, and the accents were delicious.

    Oh, Max.

    Oh, the story, oh the sweetness.

    Rudy, be still my heart. I want a little boy just like him and so do my sisters; my sisters and I squealed at his adorableness. Kiss him Liesel, kiss him.

    Watch the movie.

    Whispers: “But the book is far, far better.”

    Please note that there is improper language in this film.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Frozen

    I had hardly heard anything of this movie before pins starting appearing in my Pinterest feed; I actually thought it was out way before it was really in theatres, I think. I began to wonder when the pins showed up on Pinterest and then my little sisters and mom saw and exclaimed over it even to the point of comparing it to Tangled (a high standard indeed!).

    Oh, spoilers btw.

    Kristof was too underdeveloped especially after Flynn, but he was cute and hilarious.

    I didn’t want Hans to be bad.

    I thought Elsa sounded too old in her song (I care not about the famousness of the singer), and Mom didn’t like what she called her “sultry look.” I thought the dress was pretty, but the slit was unnecessary as was the way she walked and sang. Oh, and “Let It Go” was very humanistic, selfish, and feminist (but nevertheless very fun to sing because of the music), and it deserves a whole critique post in itself, but we shall see. Over all Elsa and her part of the story disappointed me.

    The character of Ana was cute and funny, but again Rapunzel (whom I thought didn’t match Flynn in development) still was a better developed character. I thought it was sad that the sisters never saw each other for years. Ana’s green coronation dress; envious! The “I mean I am awkward, you are gorgeous” bit was HILARIOUS as I would totally do this in real life.

    I think that the movie had too much going on for the characters to develop well. It was also too dark for me (sometimes I skip the dark parts of Tangled); when I watch Disney I want light for a change. I also did not like the effeminate (Mom’s term, mine is harsher) snowman. Enough with the P.C. stuff Disney, really.

    Oh, we waited to see the teensy bit at the end of the credits, and so I read a disclaimer (in the credits, and as far as I can tell, perfectly serious) regarding Kristoff’s booger line, so no one would called Disney sexist. Hilarious, but really? Really?!

    I can’t wait to see it again since listening to the soundtrack, and I want to make an Elsa dress for myself and an Ana dress even though I wouldn’t look good in it. I want The Art of Frozen. I want to read Snow Queen and read up on Scandinavia and Sami culture.

    It was no Tangled. But the extras like the music, clothes, hair styles, culture . . . fascinating. Oh, and all the fan art and pairing of Elsa and Jack Frost (now I need to see his movie) or Elsa and Hans (I was still impossibly hoping for something like that until the end).

  • Culture and Entertainment

    The Amazing Spider Man

    My brother received this movie for Christmas, so us kids watched it the Friday after Christmas. I missed the first part right up until he is looking through his dad’s files and the friend of his father; I felt like the movie never answered his parents death, maybe that is for the next one.

    Well, I already thought Andrew Garfield was adorable from seeing him waaay back in The Social Network information (no, I haven’t watched that movie and have no desire to . . . beyond gazing at His Handsomeness). Seeing him in a movie, wow, he is too cute to be real . . .  and his character was soooo sweet.

    He seemed like an amazing actor (I hesitate because I have seen him in nothing else, and so he could be playing the same role in every movie, and it just happened to fit this one . . . that does happen although not so perfectly). He would have been in his late 20’s whilst filming this movie, but he pulls off awkward, struggling teenage boy flawlessly. The angst is not overdone; Peter Parker is just miserable, trying to struggle his way through high school and do the right thing. He of course lets his superpowers and his uncle’s death go a bit to his head and does some stupid, wrong things, but he comes back on track. The fact that he keeps his uncle’s voicemail to replay over and over; that is just, yeah. He later gives his aunt eggs which he forgot to buy much earlier in the movie . . . just yeah. That is how young people think. He is disobedient and rude at times like a real teenager, but he really does love his family, so much. Peter is just real I guess . . . okay, probably too good to be real, but yeah. Wow, just wow. He tries to obey Gwen’s father after his death.

    It was cool that the “cool” dude and Peter became friends . . . I actually think that the guy was trying during the period immediately following Peter’s uncle’s death . . . as if he wasn’t just saying it, so Peter wouldn’t kill him, but he really meant it.

    I like the protective dad in Mr. Stacy. I at first wanted him to disappear, but I like how he realized that he was wrong . . . albeit not until after he was forced to essentially. I did not like that he was motivated by his daughter rather than responsibility at times although this was not as much as it at first seemed. I wanted Peter and Gwen to stay together (especially after hearing who will play Mary Jane and because of the fickleness and shallowness of that character as told, and presumed accurate to the comics, in the bits I have seen and heard from the horrible Toby McGuire spiderman).

    I know other reviews have used this photo and said this, but they are so stinking cute and sweet. My sister pointed out that she thought that Gwen liked him all along. She certainly didn’t seem like a snob or diva or anything like that from much of the movie. Although, personally I think Peter is waaaay out of her league. I love how he taps on her window and nothing horrid is implied. Actually, there was no sex stuff in the parts that I saw; that is so lovely.

    I do have problem with the portrayal of the lizard villain. No one is truly good, and if he had enough common grace to be good in human terms, then  he would have killed himself or turned himself in rather than let the evil overtake him. He whole mind goes even in human form for most of the movie, but bam he’s back after the antidote in the end. Peter’s spiders didn’t do that to him; this sort of thing only happened with the mouse and lizard. I am sorry, that just isn’t plausible and I hate the humanism . . . and my siblings hated my lecturing. The flaw was the “guns kill people” argument, nope, the person holds responsibility every. single. time.

    Just like The Hobbit I want to watch this movie again, soon! Of course this is partially because I missed a part of it.

    I wrote this a month or two back. I need to see this movie again. How quickly I forget about what movie choices we have.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    The Hobbit

    This is a gush post rather than a mature, clear review and will contain spoilers.

    I enjoyed this one MUCH more than the first one. I cannot tolerate suspense even when I know the outcome, and the first movie seemed to consist entirely of suspenseful running. This movie contained a little more variety in the action with cool combat scenes along with the freaky chase as well as plenty of little mini-plots and the focus on different lines of the story. I loved the more personal scenes amongst the characters in this movie.

    An older Orlando Bloom equals a much more manly and well-acted Legolas; I was quite impressed and pleased. His fighting skills were pretty cool as well; although since I am girly, I didn’t get a great thrill out of those . . . or the head scenes (although Legolas did not seem to relish them all either, particularly the one in which he had no choice; my sister remarked that Legolas was prim and his father was not).

    Ah, Thranduil. Lots of crushing here. I am chronically late, and while I was still getting ready before we left for the movie (we were going straight from the movie to the first family Christmas celebration) my next sister yelled up at me to hurry up because she had a date with Legolas’s dad (we know his name, but some of us get a kick out of referring to him thus) . . . and Thorin . . . and Bard . . . and Fili. I prefer Kili whilst she and another sister prefer Fili, we established that last year, and this year we established that Dean O’Gorman is handsomer than Aiden Turner, at least in red carpet photos, which anomaly irritates me to no end since Kili IS handsomer . . . how does that work? I have since discovered Aiden Turner is quite adorable in his Being Human photos, so that amends the issue somewhat (important things, peoples, hello!).

    Hello King Haughtiness Hotiness. Yeah, he was messed up (we thought this bit, pardon any inaccuracies, hilarious: “Why did you do that? We promised to set him free.” “I did free him. I freed his wretched head from his miserable shoulders.”).

    And Bard. I owe you my deepest apologies, you do not look as much like Legolas as I thought, and there is so much more to you than that similarity.

    He had a family, and he was young (I love young parents; it is sooo much cuter). This is sooo heartwarming and even the terrible acting of his children could not ruin it. I love how he is the descendent of the mayor of Dale, and he has the arrow, and he is trying to protect the town, and he is sooo noble that he doesn’t turn away my darling sick Kili. Yeah, Bard is awesome. But my sister has her claws in him and has since we were little and Dad read The Hobbit aloud to us. (She has her claws in Tom Hiddleston too; I am almost not “allowed” to like these guys! Seriously, don’t ruin my crushfest).

    This is the scene during which the proper reaction of all watching is,”Thorin, go and die.”

    My most belovedest happens to be the one to have the love affair in the movie. He is sooo sweet and brave with his wound, and his older brother is so sweet and loyal and protective of him! So there fat, ole Thorin! (Yeah, Richard Armitage is, don’t murder me, not handsome enough as a dwarf to beat all the rest of the handsomeness and his own character’s beastliness. I don’t remember Thorin in the book being quite so obnoxious so soon in the story as he was in these movies. I know I wanted to clobber him in the book when they reached the mountain, but before that I thought he was just a boring snob. Apparently I am due for another reread. I should’ve reread it again before this movie, and I definitely will before the third movie).

    Darling Kili

    Well, no one loves him enough because there are not enough photos of him from this movie. I want a picture of him sick and suffering bravely. How about one of him laughing (and probably from the first movie) instead?

    Of course Tauriel couldn’t resist this face. Tauriel, hmm, well, I don’t like feminist fighters, my sisters didn’t think she was too strongly this, but I wish that Kili could have saved himself in fights a bit more (I am by no means maligning his bravery nor speaking of the healing scene, he fought bravely whilst wounded and insisted he could make the journey to the misty mountain grey faced and all; I am saying give him some dignity Tauriel!).  I also don’t care for the fact that she is the one pushing the elves to action. Side note, I just saw a fanart photo of Thorin holding baby Kili…I forgive Thorin EVERYTHING. Not really, it is his fault Kili and Fili die. Oh!


    As to the accuracy to the book. About nil. I exaggerate. But like I mentioned, I didn’t reread The Hobbit this time, so I cannot even remember how I should be picky if I even wanted to be so. I feel like since Peter Jackson took such liberty with the plot in the  first movie (as he with LoftR, particularly Two Towers: Faramir was faaaar more noble than the movie change made him), it didn’t really matter so much how much the second film was changed; I mean if you already damaged it beyond repair . . .

    So yeah, I wanted to see it again soon after I watched it. I will happily re-watch it when it comes out on DVD (I wasn’t super eager to see the first movie again soon after seeing it and haven’t re-watched it much).

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Star Trek: Into the Darkness

    Heads up, this is a spoiler review. Also, this is going to be really random and spotty, just about things that caught my attention. Something about watching a movie in a big theatre has me focused even more on watching, even less than normal on listening and less on thinking…at least I will blame the theatre/first time viewing for that…so I can perhaps go watch it again…:)

    Seeing my beloved crush someone’s skull in his hands was quite disturbing. I was hoping he would be a Loki-esque bad guy. I must say he looked marvelous running though.

    I am not sure what I was expecting. This was a lot darker than the first movie; the title should have given me a clue, but I am an oblivious being.

    Characteristically Kirk begins off the movie by breaking rules; however, he breaks these rules for good. Equally characteristically Spock reports all of this accurately, and consquently Kirk is demoted with the possibility of being sent back to the academy.

    This blow to Captain Cocky (especially as he receives the phone call for a meeting after a sexual escapade of which thankfully nothing is shown beyond that to enlighten the viewers of its occurance) was well-judged, a nice pride-before-the-fall bit as it were.

    Then follows a touching scene with the father-like figure Admiral Pike who appoints Kirk his second in command. Right after this scene Pike is killed, and Kirk is shattered and sobered by this (Spock seems to be touched as well), so that he begins following orders to the dot which results in another excellently portrayed, tense scene when Scottie leaves the ship.

    Spock also seems to sense foul play and plants a bug in a typically resistant Kirk’s ear. Spock backs off, and Kirk reconsiders his plan. Khan is taken alive.

    Super villain John Harrison was tricked and used by Admiral Marcus, and so wreaks his revenge on the human world. Kirk and Scottie are tricked into helping him. Between Marcus and Khan The Enterprise is falling to earth, and Kirk sacrifices his life to save his crew. Another excellent aspect.

    Spock is the most touched by Kirk’s death…or for the first time allows himself to be so. He goes after Khan (the chase scene has to be the best action scene in the movieBenedict Cumberbatch running, ah me), and Uhura goes after him to prevent his killing Khan (which I don’t think would have been possible anyway), so that Khan’s blood can be used to save Kirk.

    There was nothing profound in the plot. My brother said he could predict everythig. Even though I was credulous for much of the movie, I think I could guess some of it although I should have been able to guess more.

    It wasn’t the plot that made the movie. It was the emotion between the characters. The death scenes. The cool scenes. Scottie leaving. The more milder and mature Kirk. The more human Spock. Spock and Kirk friction. Spock and Uhura. Sacrifice, even from Khan (although rereading this I don’t know to what I was referring). Control on vigilantism from Kirk and also the entire Star Fleet with regards to those super warriors.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    The Hobbit

    My dad read the Hobbit years ago to us; I think it had to be definitely around or over a decade ago. I decided that since I had forgotten so much I needed to reread it which I did in the week I finished school. I loved it.

    We went to see the movie last Saturday. I did not love it. I know I am about to be murdered. It was far more intense than I was anticipating, and intense scenes are far easier to read than to watch which fact I obviously had forgotten. I kept asking my sister the time; yes, the situation was that bad. I should be ashamed that I was asking for the time during THE HOBBIT. I was wondering how I could make it through the next two movies. I jumped and screamed at least twice. The second time the whole theatre was quiet and I woke up my slumbering sister (shame to her as well) and startled my friend.

    I am one of those die-hard the book-way-or-the-high-way type people, and there were considerable deviations and additions in my tetchy opinion. The most highly offensive one was the elf-dwarf drama; really, you had to bring that in? There was no hint of such a thing in the book. Way to make the magnificent elves look evil (this was done in Lord of the Rings-all of Middle Earth was beginning to be or would soon have been  besieged; Lothlorien was under attack and elves were leaving Rivendell to avoid being attacked…this is a whole other rant). Way to make the stupid dwarves confuse the much lowlier Wood Elves with the magnificent High Elves (I am NOT a Tolkien nerd, and I have read The Silmarillion, so I scorn any presumptuous person who thinks that they are a Tolkien nerd and have not read that most essential book…hmm, I am thinking of attempting to become an amateur Tolkien nerd). The Pale orc plot line was irritating too-yes, I know there was a Great orc who was responsible for the killing of Thorin’s grandfather, but he did not directly appear in the story. Oh, and this extra plot greatly increased my nervousness with regards to suspense; there was never a moments rest, and there was always the anticipation of a surprise attack-aaahhh!

    I did like the additions that did not change the story such as the blending of the beginning of The Fellowship with Bilbo’s story-telling. I liked that the history of Erebor was told, but I hated the inaccuracies (you would think I am referring to history). I liked that the hints of Gandalf’s work in the Hobbit, the driving of the Necromancer (Sauron) from Mirkwood, was being told, but again, I hated the manner of how it was told. I mean, did Radagast really have to be so embarrassing and gross and ridiculous? And why is Galadriel always so creepy and annoyingly aloof/superior?

    My friends and siblings pointed out that the orcs, goblins, animation, special effects, etc. were much poorer than Lord of the Rings. Personally, I think I preferred these Wargs, although they were too big, for they actually looked like wolves and not like hyena monsters. I thought Gollum was good and his scene was near perfect although I was freaked out and grossed out for most of it (during the beginning I had a horror that he would be shown eating the goblin, and I was sickeningly aware of all the bones…sorry necrophobia coming out here). My group also complained about the weird glow around the somewhat bizarre looking elf-king (in retrospect his expression reminds me of Mr. Lovegood…). I did not mind this, and I also did not mind his “steed”…after all he was a wood elf. But as to the orcs and goblins I have to agree-they were absurdly animated.

    I, of course, knew that our belovedest Richard Armitage played Thorin. Thorin irritated me, but then most of Richard Armitage’s characters do; he is after all adept at characters that brusque and conflicted at best and evil at worst. All of the girls in our group swooned when Fili and Kili appeared. I adore Kili and my sisters adore Fili. We laughed at how we were swooning over DWARVES! Sorry, Thorin, you have been replaced. Now I just need to hear the voice of the dragon and see some more elves to complete my swoonfest. Ahem.

    Bilbo was a doll of course, but Martin Freeman’s mannerisms are exactly the same in The Hobbit as when he is John Watson, and the situation was hilariously the similar. A meek little man is overborne by stronger personalities, and huffs and puffs fruitlessly about it, and then in the end turns out to be a loyal and brave little fellow (sorry, Watson, I suppose you are a leetle more dignified than that description supposes). While I watched Sherlock I though about how hobbit-like Mr. Freeman was. Dear me.

    Can I say something positive without a caveat? Yes. I like the closing scene with the dragon opening his eye. Of course I was thinking about the man who voiced the dragon. Well, I got to see him in the Star Trek premiere (which was marvelous and worth coming to the theatre) and his name in the credits.

    I think I need to read the appendixes and all the main Tolkien novels again before the second installment comes out in order to be properly prepared to be justly offended at all the changes.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    The Avengers

    I went to a midnight showing of Avengers  the first time around, and I just watched it for the second time with more of my brain awake. I have seen most of the necessary precursory movies: Ironman, Captain America, and Thor which really are necessary in order for the desire to see the Avengers to amount to anything. The first viewing was supposed to be with a certain group of people which was part and parcel of my desire to see it in the first place. The movie I was really looking forward to this summer was Dark Knight. I suppose what I am trying to say was that I was not a diehard fan before the movie came out (unlike one of my siblings who dressed as Loki for the movie).

    I did of course enjoy the movie. Superhero movies are, oddly enough, one of my genres of choice. That being said; it did not strike me as being incredible movie in and of itself. I know I am comparing it in my mind to the Batman movies; it is not at that level; therefore, I simply cannot think that it is amazing. I know I am sounding like a terrible critic, but I am sorry, I felt that it was rather fluffy. Indeed, I think that the plots of the original character movies were all better than the plot in this one. I am not sure what I was expecting exactly.

    Honestly, when you analyze the plot it does not amount to much at all. This is pure action here people. Loki comes to earth via the tesseract; he takes Burton, the phycist and the tesseract; the various members of the Avengers gather to fight Loki; Stark mocks the goody-goody Captain America while Banner sarcastically sulks; Loki makes a show whilst he gathers a needed substance and is captured which was his desire; the Avengers fight, argue, and discover weapons of mass destruction which angers them; the Avengers are attacked, Loki escapes, a significant secondary character dies; the death of the S.H.E.I.L.D. agent spurs everyone to bond and fight against Loki (why exactly?); and there is a magnificent battle in New York (one of my siblings pointed out that the city in peril is always New York even when the movies call the city something else…such as Gotham).

    I did not feel that the pieces of the plot blended together smoothly. I still, after two viewings of the film and explanation from friends, don’t quite “get” the plot. There just wasn’t any depth. There were no plausible motives on the part of the Avengers, and there was far too much pettiness for a group of heroes. They come together far too fast and without any clear communication to each other or reasons as to their complete 180 degree attitude change. The action, decisions, and discoveries don’t blend very well with each other.Some of my friends think that there will be more development in the further movies-I certainly hope so, this plot was simply too light and quick paced. I am sorry, the movie may bring in millions, but I do not love it, and I don’t see that I should.

    There was much that was tacky-far more than in any of the precursory movies. Some of the humor was so embarrassing and/or tacky. Here are some of the cringe-worthy “humorous” scenes and quips: “He is adopted.” “It appears to run on some sort of electricity.” “You and I remember Budapest very differently.” The I am a god and I will not be bullied scene.

    Okay, here is what makes the movie for me. The humor and the characters. Chris Hemsworth. Chris Evans. Tom Hiddleston. All the Avengers men are handsome. Loki is handsome. I like the “unromantic” tension between Hawk Eye and Black Widow.There are definitely plenty of awesome lines/quips: “Phil. His first name is Agent,” “Hold on Legolas,” “There is only one God ma’am, and I am pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.” Stark, as much as I want someone to repay him in his own coin, is I admit, pretty awesomely funny.

    I loved the characters themselves rather than the movie itself. I don’t think most of them were shown to their full advantage excepting Ironman (the playa egomaniac gets front and center of course) and Captain America. I really think that more of the characters could have shone;the action could have been shortened. I ,as before, enjoyed the fraternal relationship between Thor and Loki; Thor really loves Loki, and he knows that Loki is capable of changing. Thor is perfectly just; he knows Loki should be punished, but he definitely can see more sides of the issue. I appreciate Captain America’s gentlemanliness as ever. He is as polite and honorable as before, and he endures Spark’s mockery even as he thinks through Spark and Banner’s legitimate points. Some friends appreciated Ironman’s sacrificial move…of course like in most of these type of movies he survives his act. I still want someone to one-up him in sarcasm…a man that is as Pepper’s quips don’t count as revenge although they are hilarious.

    Okay, that’s about all that I have to say about that movie. There is not much need here for deep discussions of good and evil and perceptions and misconceptions regarding the movie and characters…unlike like the best movie of the summer.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    From Prada to Nada Review

              I adore the Jane Austen books, and I am frequently easily frustrated when the movies are not completely accurate. I also take great offense and am quite disgusted when I see another Jane Austen spin-off or sequel. I refuse to read them, but I have caught glimpses, and they gag me. It really truly is very conceited when people do dare to even think that they can add anything worthwhile to classic works.

              I had not until recently watched any Jane Austen spin-off movie. I really enjoyed From Prada to Nada. It only follows the very barest basics of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (which is much of why it is good); it really is authentic and interesting. I like the whole Mexican theme since that culture is a completely different world from mine (as is the filthy rich L.A. life for that matter). I think I am more offended by book spin-offs because the authors somehow think that they can be like Jane Austen simply because their plot and characters’ names are the same. It was not her plots alone that drew people; it was how well she wrote and developed her stories and characters.

              The immediate beginning of the movie is not exactly dazzling. The first shots are dizzying, and the absurd yellow tanning lotion on the girls’ faces is seriously obnoxious-is that really supposed to make us think that they are Mexican? Yes, each is probably Latin, but Mexican is a distinct Latin race, and I do not think Nora cuts it, especially since their father is VERY Mexican looking as is the painting of their mother; Nora is truly fair-skinned. I did think Mary is believable as a Mexican. I always am bothered by details like this because I like things to be as plausible, realistic, and/or conceivable as possible. I can be a perfectionist even over trifling movies.

              While we are on the subject of being realistic, I also found the fact that neither girl knows Spanish is very unlikely (not to mention the addition of this fact into the movie is quite unnecessary-it does not add to any aspect of the movie anything of worth). We have several bilingual parents in our church and most, if not all, of them teach their children their native tongue. It would have been more believable had both Nora and Mary been taught the language since their earliest years, and then Mary refused to speak it ever since she became a teenager because she wanted to be completely American. I would have expected scholarly good girl Nora to know, speak, and perhaps even study it.

              There are a few moral and ideological issues. One major one is that Mary sleeps with Roderigo. She obviously has a morally lax attitude; it is probably not her first indiscretion, and her attitude seems to be acceptable by the others characters. So that stance of the movie is not pleasing, but it is to be expected of Hollywood; however, immorality is not rubbed in your face so to speak, and the most sluttish dressing characters (Olivia and Lucy) are the ones that are supposed to be hated (Mary’s outfits are not remotely modest, but I don’t think she is as calculated in this as the two formerly mentioned women).

              Another issue is that lightly touched topic of illegal immigration which is obviously factual but nevertheless wrong. No body seems to find a fault with it. Indeed, Nora seems to want to help illegal immigrants with her law practice. Nora lives extremely conservatively, but her ideologies seem to be very liberal which is rather strange…and unrealistic in light of her lifestyle I think.

              The actresses who played the girls are excessively thin. I would say anorexic although obviously this would not be anorexia at its worst. It is believable that silly, shallow Mary might be anorexic, but actresses should never be so thin to play that sort of person. Sensible Nora would not have been so thin if she was a real person, and Nora is most certainly the thinnest. For sensitive girls this could be very discouraging to notice, and it is certainly a terrible example.

              Overall I think it is a fairly clean PG-13 movie which of course pleased me. There is the easily skipped (you are given fair warning in time to miss the sensual part) scene where it shows that Mary has slept with Rodrigo; no actual sex scene is shown. There are several immodest women. There are some four letter words said quite clearly (by Mary mostly); there probably are more things said, but I (thankfully) miss a lot in this department (Nora says something to Mary that could be heard two ways after Nora asks Mary why Mary wants to be with Rodrigo). Mary smokes pot, and Nora gets drunk.

              After I got over the weird dizzy beginning, I really started to enjoy the movie.  The movie is not spectacular by any means, but I thought that it is acted well enough for the type of movie that it is (silly chick flick). I think it is very sweet; I like the emphasis on family; Gabe Jr. is accepted into their family and seems to come to love his sisters (unlike Henry Dashwood of the novel). I think there is very little cattiness in it which is surprising for a chick-flick.

              Edward is so cute and sweet (but I don’t think they needed to use the name from the book-after all, they use none of the other names exactly, so that choice is seriously out of place). In the book Edward makes a stupid choice before he meets Elinor and when he is about nineteen; in this movie Edward makes his stupid move after he meets Nora and when he is at least in his mid-twenties. All of these details make the choice much worse in the movie which is quite disappointing because this Edward is quite nice. I feel that he should try much harder to win Nora even before he tells (well, shows :D) her how he feels. And after he tells her he gives up pretty quick (she is drunk when she refuses him after all).

              I like Nora despite her faults for she is not a self-righteous goody-goody. She really tries to improve her life and those of other people, she tries to make Mary do the same, but she is harsh with Mary about Rodrigo (if you choose to hear the word one way) even if it is true. She also is cruel to Edward when she refuses him especially as she has absolutely no real reason to think that he is like she makes him out to be.

              Mary is less like her literary original (it is stretching it to say that any of these characters really correspond to those in the book, but for Mary there is especially little linkage) than Nora is hers. Marianne is an immature girl; Mary is an immature adult. Mary is also immoral something that Marianne is most certainly not. Mary is also intentionally and calculatedly selfish, mean, petty, silly, and rude (Marianne is selfish but not by design but by thoughtlessness, and she is foolish, but she is neither petty nor silly and rarely rude, certainly not like Mary is). I do not want any aspersions cast on Marianne because of her so-called corresponding character.

              Both Marianne and Mary learn their lessons, but the movie is not deep, and Mary does not learn deeply although she is sincere. Her lesson also seems more to be of learning that she should love Bruno than anything else. I am not sure she ever apologizes to anyone either.

              There is not as much of Bruno (I love his name!) in the movie as there is of Colonel Brandon in the novel, and he is not quite the noble character (I cannot forgive him for being rude to Edward especially since he has absolutely no reason for it, petty or deep). The parts of the movie that do have him in it are frequently amusing since he has an ongoing “feud” with Mary, and his jabs are usually much better than her attempts at retaliations. I love the part when he tells Mary that two of the cords of her car need to be connected like her head and her mouth should be when she speaks.

              When Mary and Bruno make up and get together; it is of course amusing as well, and he cannot help but mock her still.  I wish their “romance” is a little more interesting, and though I obviously like it, I wish that the same sort of conclusion is given to Mary and Bruno as is given to Edward and Nora.

              I am thrilled that Edward proposes to Nora instead of simply asking her to move in with him (which is how it first appears). He has an engagement ring connected to the key to the house he wants them to buy (right across from her aunt’s house). Edward is sweet but hardly romantic although his odd clueless wooing is cute in its own way. I always love when movies end with a wedding.