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Say what you will about Mark Twain, but the story of Huckleberry Finn and Jim was truly his best. Forget Tom Sawyer and his fence - the tale of a mischievous child from an abusive home escaping with a runaway slave capable of enlightening said-child's perspectives on freedom gets my vote. At the height of the popularity of Bart Simpson, Disney released another adaptation of the classic starring a new up-and-coming child actor named Elijah Wood as Huck and a Yale graduate named Courtney B. Vance as Jim. But wait! The stars just keep on coming; Back-to-back Oscar-winner Jason Robards as the King, pre-Harry Potterized Robbie Coltrane as the Duke, Ron "Hellboy" Perlman (I could've sworn it was Tom Waits!) as Huck's drunk pappy, and Anne Heche (still hiding her cuckoo) as Mary Jane Wilks. There are also cameos by "Six Feet Under's" Frances Conroy, Curtis "Booger" Armstrong, and Pete's younger brother Pete Danny Tamberelli. There are quite a few dark moments for this PG-rated film, but maybe that's a big part of why I support it; Huck's gun-wielding confrontation with his father happens to be my favorite scene, though it's certainly not the darkest (That would be Billy's big scene.). The end of the movie is quite different from the end of the book - of course, they took the happily-ever-after approach - which sucks and ultimately makes a film filled with beautiful scenery and an unbelievably terrific score by Bill Conti seem like just another piece of Disnefluff. I know a bad ending can slay an entire movie, but one can't deny there's some good stuff in this one.
I have read the popular novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by
Mark Twain and I found it to be an instant classic and a book
definitely worth my time. When it comes to movie adaptations, I've seen
very few. The 1993 version titled "The Adventures of Huck Finn" stars a
young Elijah Wood as Huckleberry and Courtney B. Vance as Jim and also
featured in the cast are some other well-known faces such as Ron
Perlman, Jason Robards, Robbie Coltrane, and James Gammon. Overall,
with this star-laden cast, the movie is quite entertaining in its own
way. Like other films I can think of, it's beginning made little sense
and happened a little too suddenly with no room for proper pacing or
development. But once this had gone by, I did find myself enjoying the
movie quite a bit.
Wood was, and still is a fine young actor and his performance as Huckleberry was noteworthy. I did like Courney B. Vance's performance as Jim and I think he rendered and portrayed the character with absolute perfection. After him, I did like Jason Robards and Robbie Coltrane as the bumbling con artists who call themselves the king and the duke. Ron Perlman was also a good choice to play Huckleberry's deranged father, unfortunately he wasn't given enough screen time to show his quintessential talents for the role and he wasn't quite involved in the story enough as he was in the book.
One thing that did disappoint me was that the screenwriters wrote out the character of Tom Sawyer, probably due to concern of containing too many characters for a 108-minute film. So I can understand the filmmakers' decision and accept it. Maybe the inclusion would have slowed the movie down, maybe not. But all and all, I did very much enjoy "The Adventures of Huck Finn" and although it is not a perfect adaptation of Mark Twain's excellent book, I still enjoyed it.
I consider this film to be one of the top five best versions of a
classic children's story. In some film adaptations, you get the
impression the writer has put the characters on pedestals, and the
actors are playing them like they're afraid of falling off. This film
isn't like that at all.
When I was going to see this film, I thought "I bet they chicken out of the feud scene, and I bet they have Huck say something at the end like 'Y'know, I sorta had a funny feeling my whole life slavery's actually a very bad thing' (or something equally corny)". I'm happy to say I was wrong on both accounts. The feud scene is handled very intelligently for a family movie, capturing the emotion without resorting to SAVING PRIVATE RYAN-style blood & guts (which I don't think would suit a world-famous children's story). And the slavery issue is dealt with head-on, being one of the prime dramatic themes of the story. One of my favorite moments is when Huck is asked by some river folk whether the companion on his raft is black or white. Huch thinks for a moment, and then replies "He's white!" That scene makes up for the famous letter writing scene in the novel, which other versions have included.
Elijah Wood really makes his character shine with impish personality and a casual chatting delivery (and this is still my all-time favorite role of his). He is ably supported by Ron Perlman as Pa, as well as Jason Robards & Robbie Coltrane as the rascally King & Duke. Heck, even Anne Heche looks classy. I am very impressed with a film when it does a scene which I'd actually forgotten about, in this case it was the "Missy Finn" bit. My only disappointment was that Tom Sawyer got reduced to a one-line cameo at the beginning (and it doesn't handle any revivalist preaching satire).
FYI, I haven't seen the Mickey Rooney, Jackie Coogan or Jeff East versions yet, but this one is going to be hard to beat. The only other films that I've seen which come close to this are the Ted Turner & Disney versions of TREASURE ISLAND, and David Lean's OLIVER TWIST. Also the later PETER PAN (2003) is right on par with this in excellent classic storytelling.
If you haven't read Mark Twain's book already, I highly recommend you read it, for it is a truly great and compelling read. While not 100% perfect, this is a worthy film adaptation. As people have pointed out, the film is true in spirit if not in the details to the book, but it is really not bad on its own merits. For one thing, it's beautifully filmed, with crisp cinematography and beautiful scenery. Then there is a wonderful score, very fitting with what was going on on screen. Also a decent script, good direction and even better performances. Elijah Wood does a good enough job in what I consider one of his best performances in the title role, while Courtney B.Vance plays Jim with such feeling and finesse he was perfect. Ron Perlman is suitably brutish, while Jason Robards and Robbie Coltrane come close to stealing the film as the roguish King and Duke. Plus the ending was heart-rending. My only problems were some parts that were too overly-modernised, its length and how Tom Sawyer was written but other than that this is a worthy film and adaptation. 7/10 Bethany Cox
True, Elijah Wood may not match the look and feel of the character Twain had in mind, but in this movie he works well as a young boy learning that friendship, love, and human rights mean more than tradition. Jim, a wise but uneducated runaway slave longs to find freedom so he can earn enough money to buy his family. Huck, a street-smart kid running away from his abusive father, is torn between breaking the law or betraying a freind. Which is the greater crime? Wood's age is put to good use in allowing more immaturity in the character. He can't understand why he can't bring himself to turn Jim in, even though he knows it's the right thing to do. In a heart-wrenching scene in which Huck's selfishness causes Jim to be whipped by a cruel overseer, Huck tries to convince himself that it wasn't his fault, only to realize how much he and Jim actually love and need each other. All of this takes us full-speed into an emotional climax that is quite honestly the best ending of any movie I have ever seen. Huck Finn is perfect.
I've watched the movie several times and each time , it brought the same emotions. Not one of the movies, that you'll watch just once. I read the book many years ago, when I was 10 years old and the first time I watched, the movie brought out nice memories and emotions in me . I couldn't help but smile throughout the movie. Definitely one of the best adaptations of children's books. It made me want to go through the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn again. Movie doesn't follow all the chapters, some details are left out but it leaves up to the book's spirit. Elijah Wood's performance is noteworthy. He expresses Huck Finn's personality and characteristics perfectly. It is considered a children's book and a children's movie, but in fact, it's pleasant to watch for all the audiences, regardless the age. Like the book, you'll enjoy the movie at any age!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First of all, this movie (which I didn't know was Disney's) has a
decent amount of adventure that should please the majority of those who
appreciate good adventures. Cinematography is another strength, thanks
to the beautiful landscapes and sceneries. On cinematography, it is
guaranteed to delight anyone who gives importance to that detail. On
the other hand, although not all of the characters are likable,
Huckleberry Finn (aka Huck Finn) and his pal Jim are.
I never read Mark Twain's novel on which this motion picture is based, so I'm not the guy to make that kind of comparison. Although while I was watching the movie I didn't know where it takes place, I suspected it was on Mississipi. Where else can you find those characteristic river boats but in Mississippi?
Courtney B. Vance is pretty good as Jim. Elijah Wood's energetic acting as Huck Finn deserves my best approval. The character captivates thanks to his angelic, innocent face. And yet behind that cuteness he has a smart mouth, a confident personality and the spirit of a true warrior. Speaking of smart mouth, what kind of line is «Ah, Hells Bells, Jim, I almost puked up my livers!» ?? Where did he get that ?? LOL!
Those large blue eyes of his tell everything, they're that expressive! His facial expressions are often very hilarious, but he is also every bit as convincing in the dramatic/touching sequences between him and Jim. Nevertheless, one can't deny that Elijah Wood was not only a very cute kid but also a very bright one.
The story is basically the adventures of Huck Finn and his friend Jim. Together they travel and cross the Mississippi River and face obstacles and encounter adventures.
In my opinion, the movie gets off to a great start, then it goes through a lesser good phase when Huck Finn confronts that creepy Ron Perlman's character. Then it improves considerably and goes like that until after the middle. But after that it becomes less involving and intriguing, with too many unlikeable characters and dull scenes, only sort of redeeming itself near the ending, when Huck and Jim runaway and Huck is shot. And he's gotta be pretty tough to get shot and say «I just tripped!». Our story has a happy ending, as Huck survives the shot and gets well and as lively as before.
I, for one, am unenthusiastic about and really disappointed in this
Disney-distributed live-action feature film adaptation of the Great
American Novel, but I don't really think it's horrible. I just wish it
was distributed by a studio other than Disney, because they have to
make their movies kid-friendly and Mark Twain's The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn is not kid-friendly in all its aspects.
I saw this movie in my literature class in the 11th grade after reading the novel and both my teacher and my peers were just as displeased as I was. The movie skips over some interesting parts from the book and the scenes Disney chooses to include, they're quick, dull and without atmosphere, which the movie doesn't really have. I also think Elijah Wood was a careless choice for the part of Huck Finn, and they did it just for the sake of stardom. One thing that I was pleased with in this movie however was Ron Perlman as Huck's father, but even he can't save this movie.
I'm pretty sure if Mark Twain were alive today and saw this film, he would be exasperated not only with the film itself, but with the way it's being told to today's generation. It does compare to the original source material, but in a way that is unsatisfactory, unlikeable and, dare I say it, embarrassing. But if you want to introduce yourself and/or your kids to the Great American Novel as a censored, pandering, shallow, and bland as heck version, don't let this review stop you.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Along the Mississippi River heading North, Huck, Elijah Wood, and Jim, Courtney B. Vance, are on the run. The movie The Adventures of Huck Finn takes place between 1835 and 1845. This film is an adventurous, comedic, drama. Some of the prominent stars of the film were Elijah Wood, Courtney B. Vance, and Ron Perlman. Huck and Jim, Elijah and Courtney, leave their Missouri town and start to head north. They meet some people named The Duke and The King. These new people take Jim and Huck away from their original destination and get Jim put in jail. To get Jim out of jail Huck pulls a con on the two liars, The King and The Duke. One aspect of filmmaking that I noticed was the background music. The music lets you know ahead of time if something bad was going to happen or if something good was going to pass. Another thing that the music does is it gives the movie a slight happy mood to it. Another aspect is the acting. The acting by Ron Perlman, Pap Finn, was really good as was the acting by Courtney B. Vance and Elijah Wood. The Duke and The King could have been portrayed by different actors but the actors used were okay. They made the movie funny and enjoyable. My overall review of the movie is that it is a must watch if you don't want to read the book. This movie is really good and it gave me a different view on how people were treated back in the 1800's. I got a good feeling from this movie and it was really inspirational and moving. I would give it 6 out of 10. Joseph Duran American Literature Student 3rd block: Mr. Mauzey's Class Written May 24th, 2012
Huck Finn is a movie based off a book called Huckleberry Finn written by Mark Twain it's based on a runaway slave named Jim played by Courtney B. Vance and is saved by a young boy named Huck Finn played by Elijah Wood which took place in the 1950's in Mississippi. This film is very adventurist movie that has lots of foreshadowing. Huck Finn is a young 10 year old boy that has an abusive father and his name is Pap and is played by Ron Perlman. Finn lives with a lady that is named Widow Douglas played by Dana Luey, and one day Huck fights this young boy down by the river and sees this fathers foot print in the dirt and runs to go see the physic Jim. And that night Hucks father kidnaps him and takes him to his house where he starts to beat him, and the only way he can escape is by faking his own murder. So then Huck runs to the woods and that's where he finds Jim. They run off together and go on their adventure and then they catch up with two men named Duke and King and they pretend to be people they aren't so they can get a lot my money. In the end Duke and King get tared and feathered. And Huck and Jim run away. Mark Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn in the Age of Realism, which in time was when slavery was very popular and blacks were treated poorly, and this is why it was a good idea that Jim traveled with Huck because he was white and Jim couldn't make all the decisions on his own because he was treated so poorly because of his race. So this shows a white 10 year old boy is superior to a elder black man. In this movie Disney has a way of switching things around in the movie, for example they make it look like slavery is so easy to get out of if you get caught but in reality its not. Also in the end of the movie Mary Jane stops the towns people by saying "leave them alone!" but really it took over 200+ years from them to embolism slavery in the real world. In my opinion I would give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. My reaction to this film was actually a lot better than I tought it would be I thought they did a good way of showing how slaves were treated in the time and also making it funny in some parts so it switched up the mood of the watcher. I would recommend this movie to anyone that is interested in the Age of Realism.
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