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19 March 2007 @ 06:52 pm
Long Awaited Movie Reviews!  
I so need to get caught up on this before I start forgetting the movies I've watched!

Film 3/20 Little Miss Sunshine, Toni Collette, Greg Kinear

I loved this movie but I thought that it was totally mis-categorized! This was not a comedy! Oh, yes, there was so much that was funny and made me laugh hilariously, but there was also so much that was poignant and beautiful and desperately painful to watch. I am always disappointed when a movie is mis-categorized. It says to me that our traditional categories are too limited. What genre would I categorize this movie? Life. But since that isn't a currently recognized genre, I would have put it as a Drama. I think it was more important as a Drama. It was so fully a slice-of-life description of a real family... So much so, that I felt like I could have easily seen this unfolding on any major highway in this country. An excellent film that deserved its accolades. Toni Collette was wonderful. Everyone was wonderful.

Film 4/20 Wyatt Earp, Kevin Costner

For a movie with so many more big names in it than its counterpart, Tombstone, I felt that this version was sub par. First, it included too much information. Wyatt's past was inexpertly acted by Kevin Costner, who, when we first see him in the role, is attempting to play a 20-year-old when the actor himself was over 40. Ridiculous. 20-year-old Wyatt just came off as mentally challenged, not youthful and inexperienced, which I suppose was the goal. The storyline, as one would expect with a Costner film, meandered slowly from point to point and the film as a whole was too long. I was surprisingly fond of Dennis Quaid as Doc Holliday, though I still believe that Val Kilmer played the role better. I was fascinated by the additions of the Earp wives as more major influences but the whole movie had no central focus and therefore lost me routinely. Over all, I think Tombstone is the better told tale. Tighter, cleaner and more watchable if not exactly factually accurate.

Film 5/20 Pride and Prejudice, Jennifer Ehle, Colin Firth

There is nothing like a well-made Jane Austen film, let me tell you. ::sigh:: The language, the subtlety of the interaction, the accents... Just perfection. I am fascinated that Austen, who had no way to foresee the advent of the motion picture, could have written books with such a film potential. Austen's works would not make good live theatre. The emotions and interactions are not bold enough for the most part. Oh, there's always one or two characters, usually older women, that are outrageous ("Mrs. Bennett" fits that bill here) and usually a young woman who is very in touch with her youth and indiscretion ("Lydia Bennett" fits that bill here and is played by the young woman who made the role of "Saffy" famous in AbFab). However, the true meat of the plot is always very subtle and veiled in innuendo, doublespeak, and quiet discussion. Jennifer Ehle made the protagonist character her own. She was perfect as "Elizabeth Bennett", the intelligent, headstrong, and yet long-suffering second-eldest daughter of five. Colin Firth as "Mr. Darcy" was inspired casting. His brooding arrogance is expertly blended with his self-conscious tenderness and makes the character entirely infuriating and engaging at the same time. I like this Austen work almost as much as I liked Sense and Sensibility but in a different way. Because of its length, this film was able to fully expand on the family relationships and the family's interactions with the other characters in a way that Sense and Sensibility could not. Excellent casting and the wonderful British countryside as a location truly make this film a feast for the eyes and ears and, of course, the heart.

Film 6/20 Lawrence of Arabia, Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Omar Sharif, Jose Ferrer

I love a desert. I didn't fully realize this about myself before I actually set foot in one, but a quick look back at favorite fiction works confirms this. I think the Dune series of books is the most completely amazing series of science fiction books ever written (Frank Herbert's series only). I adored the idiotic adventure film, The Jewel of the Nile, way more than it deserved. Tatooine? I wanted to visit there. So why on EARTH had I never seen this brilliant film?? Firstly, Peter O'Toole should have won the Oscar for his role as "T.E. Lawrence". What a travesty that he didn't. The story itself was also fascinating. A young cartographer in the British Army is chosen for his sheer appreciation of the Arabic way of life to be an observer with an army of nomads led by an Arabian prince as he wages war against the Turks. But because the young cartographer is anything but ordinary, he ends up leading the Nomad army to victory and retakes one of the most strategically important cities in the fight. O'Toole played the role of "El Awrence" with just the right amount of utter arrogance and genuine regard for all things Arabian. The scene in which his spirit is broken was so haunting that it followed me for days. I would find myself suddenly staring off into space, reliving that scene. And it was not graphic, by any stretch of that word. It was so subtly played that at first I wasn't quite sure what they were trying to convey. Only after, in the next scene, was I entirely sure and it was brilliant. There is only one epic biopic that even begins to compare to this film and that's Gandhi. If you haven't seen this, please do. Its influence in later works is obvious, the acting is superb, and the story is riveting.

Okay! So I am finally up to date with my film reviews. I tell you what I want to see next: Premonition with Sandra Bullock. I also want to see Crash, another Sandra Bullock film. Hmm... I'm seeing a trend. ;)

Twoodles!

Erin
 
 
 
Lisa: lbtrockcliffchic81 on March 20th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed Crash, so much so I went out and bought the movie. I'm starting to go through and watch all the dvds I own but have yet to see.
seftiri: WYWS Familyseftiri on March 20th, 2007 01:47 am (UTC)
Oh good! I'm glad to hear it. I will definitely try to see it soon.

Thanks!
Lisa: thankyou/svurockcliffchic81 on March 20th, 2007 01:49 am (UTC)
Welcome! And happy watching! *ok that way very cheesy*
ralstralst on March 20th, 2007 01:28 am (UTC)
I love that version of Pride and Prejudice. There are so many little nuances that just bring the characters and their relationships to life. Just like the book, it's something I revisit often and each time it's a joy.
seftiri: seven of nineseftiri on March 20th, 2007 01:51 am (UTC)
Truly. It's just so richly told and so wonderfully played. Tiff and I were just talking about how amazing a piece it is. And also how we are definitely going to have a trip "across the pond" to visit the two Jane Austen museums. :)

It's Tiff's favorite and she introduced me to it. Like she does with a lot of things I have totally fallen in love with. She's good like that. ;)
Shut up and smile: Misc ll Latin pwnsmorningafter2 on March 20th, 2007 10:46 am (UTC)
I've yet to see Little Miss Sunshine, since catching movies around here is almost impossible, especially ones rated above PG-13. I've heard a lot of people using the term dramady to describe it, though. And, while I think it's a rather funny word, that seems to describe it better than either of the terms it's taken from.

Also, I watched that version of Pride and Prejudice way back when it first came out on TV (making me all of five years old), was absolutely in love with it. We own it, somewhere, and you have now convinced me (though I didn't need much convincing) that I need to watch it again. After I watch the half dozen DVDs on the Greeks I've amassed lately.
froggumz: Benson - Loves girlsfroggumz on March 20th, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC)
I loved Little Miss Sunshine! Ok, so I had to watch it twice because the first time we had been drinking with some friends & decided to pop it in the player. It was much better the 2nd time around when I was sober.
Tiffany: t-rex barelypiekid on April 20th, 2007 09:35 pm (UTC)
BBC PRIDE AND PREJUDICE IS THE ONLY TRUE VERSION!

I've seen other versions too, so I know. LOL (But I refuse to watch Kiera Knightly's P&P, ew.) I've watched this version for years, the first time was in high school. We watched the librarian's personal copy, which HE recorded off the BBC onto a couple of VHS tapes. When it first aired. Ten years ago. I've subsequesntly purchased/owned every VHS and DVD release there has been. I've seen all 5 hours over 3 dozen times. It's a sickness from which I want no relief.

Deserts suck. They're boring and everything looks the same. The same brown, the same dirt that gets in your eyes. Same, same, same, boring, boring, boring. Dry. No rain. Lotsa wind. Ugh.

:)