Reviews written by registered user
|49 reviews in total|
It's not that I didn't "get" this movie. It's not that I found it hard
to follow. It's not that I only like romantic comedies or action flicks
or whatever other kind of film that fans of this kind of movie think of
as lowbrow. It's that I just couldn't make myself care about the
characters. I didn't care if they got back together, I didn't care if
they erased each other, I didn't like them, and I couldn't identify
with them (never having, say, consumed illicit substances or been
promiscuous, which sometimes seemed to be the two major activities
The premise is interesting, and goes back to Shakespeare and before with the whole 'better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all' bit. The pace and 'feel' was a bit too frenetic for my tastes, although I can see how it would appeal to a lot of people (it felt like watching the beginning of _Moulin Rouge_, a film I enjoy immensely except for the first fifteen minutes, for an hour and a half). Kate Winslet was brilliant, and Jim Carrey was, well, Jim Carrey, which is not bad, I suppose. It all comes back, though, to the fact that I just wanted these foul, vulgar, bizarre people to get out of my living room and never come back.
I am the snobbiest of adaptation purists. I really am. I was sure I'd dislike this film because I knew how widely it varied from the novel, but I wanted to see it so as to be able to give an opinion of it. And I must say that I like it. Not much as an adaptation -- let's face it, there would be no modern audience for a direct retelling of *Mansfield Park*, with its Brontë-ish moral underpinnings and antiquated ideals, much as I personally might agree with them. It is a very different creature from the novel on which it is loosely based, in more ways than one. Ack, the undertones of lesbian eroticism were a bit too much, really, and the slavery subtext with all it entailed was, I thought, an unnecessary addition. However, it does touch on some of the main themes quite well. What makes this movie enjoyable for me, though, when I manage to mentally separate it from the novel I love, is the pretty and somewhat unconventional directing. And unlike many reviewers here I think Frances O'Connell did a wonderful job as Fanny; in fact I thought the whole cast was well-selected and did a fine job.
If you sit down to this movie expecting your average romantic comedy you're
going to come away, as many of the reviewers here did, befuddled and
probably seriously disappointed. I'm no high-art film critic, but I had the
advance warning, of sorts, of having watched the previews on the VHS edition
of this movie (of all things), which let me know not to expect anything
ordinary from it. Plus it's Robert Altman, right? So I went into it
expecting not to take things at face value -- and that's what you have to do
to enjoy this movie. The idea is that you have this man who treats women
with love, respect, and chivalry. He is surrounded by demanding women all
day long, and yet the focus on the individual patients whose encounters with
him we witness shows the truth of something he says to his friends: every
woman is unique. And then we see the different ways in which the women
respond: His office manager falls in love with him. His patients demand
more and more (and are very well-directed). His wife goes insane because
she's loved too much (a diagnosis as obviously unrealistic as hers HAS to
have been written into the story for a reason). His daughters rely on him,
shock him, disappoint him. His sister-in-law takes advantage of his
hospitality while drinking herself into a stupor. His girlfriend (who is
kind of a man's woman) rejects his chivalrous overtures ("I'll do it! I'll
get it!"), is the only self-sufficient woman in the film, and ultimately
rejects his offer for an interdependent relationship. All these combine to
create a world whose stresses pile up until a surreal conclusion whisks Dr.
T away to a completely different world... where straight away he's put back
to work, and he delivers a boy. And who can blame him for being
Overall this is a movie I'm glad I saw once; it was an interesting experience. Kudos to Richard Gere for probably the best acting I've ever seen him do.
I had just read the novel upon which this movie was based and so it was
quite fresh in my mind when I sat down to watch the DVD. I really did try
hard to like the movie on its own merits, even though the first five minutes
gave me a solid clue as to exactly how far it was going to stray from the
book, but I just couldn't. I couldn't even finish watching it. Aaron
Eckhart, look, I'm sorry, I'm sure he's a great guy, but he was just awful
in this (it doesn't help that his character wasn't supposed to be an
American). Gweneth Paltrow was doing OK as far as I watched her, although I
am a little tired of hearing her put on an English accent -- I say this even
though I loved "Sliding Doors" and especially "Shakespeare in Love."
(Seeing two Americans in the leads of what is a VERY British novel didn't
please me much to begin with). I know that people get very tired of movie
reviews which constantly compare the movie to the book, but this movie was
such a pitiful, hollow shell compared to the rich and fascinating novel on
which it was based that I just can't help it. Every iota of atmosphere and
romance were sucked out completely and all that was left was a big empty
space -- which was short a few key characters and a LOT of scholarly
interest. I was even quite disappointed in Jennifer Ehle, whom I loved in
"Pride and Prejudice." The only performances I liked at all -- but not quite
enough to actually make me want to finish watching the movie -- were Jeremy
Northam's and Lena Headey's.
I know most readers will hate me for this, but if you've ever read the book, don't bother with this movie. I'm not even sure I'd recommend it if you *haven't* read the book -- I couldn't stop throwing things at the screen long enough to figure that out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this today and I was disappointed. I simply did not feel drawn into
the story for the first third of it or so, at all. The bloody war footage
left me cold, and I never did (even as the movie went on) see any sense in
the connection between Nicole Kidman's character and Jude Law's -- there was
no real chemistry and no cinematic rhyme or reason to their attachment, in
my opinion. That should have been fleshed out more, and perhaps exchanged
for all the time spent on that loser of a "preacher" who's thrown in,
largely for laughs, on Inman's journey home.
The most solid acting in this movie was from the supporting cast. Renee Zellweger was convincing as Ruby, and her arrival on the scene revitalized the movie for me and probably kept me from walking out. (I think this is, believe it or not, the first movie I've seen her in). Also, the actors portraying the Swanger family turned in good performances, as did Natalie Portman. Nicole Kidman did a good job, as always, although even she occasionally had a hard time hiding her Australian accent behind a Southern one. There were high points, and some good funny moments. Overall, however, I just felt disconnected and disappointed.
****SPOILER WARNING BEYOND THIS POINT******
Perhaps the biggest reason I couldn't get emotionally involved with this film was that, even without having read the book or a single review or summary of the movie beyond the bare-bones "civil war" label, I KNEW that the majority of the characters would be doomed to die by the end. I knew that there was no way the couple could really wind up together; the new Hollywood wouldn't allow that. And I'd seen Jude Law "die" so many times that I suppose I mentally hardened myself against it and just didn't care by the end.
Ugh, this was so disappointing. We spent the first twenty minutes waiting for it to get good, the next thirty thinking it had progressed a bit and might be worth sticking with, and the last thirty realizing we'd made the wrong decision. I can't think of one single moment I actually enjoyed, and there were plenty of moments I actively disliked. Don't waste your time on this one.
I forced myself to finish this movie so that I could give an accurate review
of it. It was not an easy task. Of course the most bothersome aspect was
the truckload of propaganda that was labeled "entertainment" here (warning:
If you didn't see the propaganda in "An American President", you won't see
it here either). Liberal bias in the movie industry? what? Let's see them
quote the Constitution like that when they're making a movie about a kid who
wants to pray in school. *ahem*.
Cinematically, this was also an utter failure. It was more clichéd than any Capra film you ever saw, and those at least had good acting and pleasant stories to make them still quite worth watching. I was never caught up in the story at all, and the only times I laughed were supposed to be serious moments.
All in all this is a waste of celluloid, effort, and time.
I had so many preconceived notions about this movie, as is understandable, even for someone who doesn't watch television, when you're talking about a film that was hyped as much as this one and which has such a following. I didn't watch it until tonight because I was afraid I wouldn't like it. For the first twenty minutes or so I thought I was right, because *other* preconceived notions I had were being laid waste left and right, and that took some mental adjustment. Once I settled in, however, and got used to the stylized presentation I found myself more and more enjoying *Moulin Rouge* for what it was -- an amazing, well-put-together combination of lightheartedness (even silliness) and deep emotion. The music is wonderful (even, perhaps especially, the odd but fitting usage of modern songs). The singing is breathtaking. There are moments that made me laugh out loud and yet the end had me nearly in tears -- what a staggering range of emotion this movie encompasses. Every character was acted to perfection; I could go on for pages and not do justice, not only to Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, but also to the entire supporting cast. As I mentioned previously, the stylized production took some getting used to, but by mid-film I found it adding rather than detracting from my enjoyment, for the most part. Perhaps there were some devices (the jerky movements) which were irritating even until the end. The writing and direction overall are superb -- the whole-cast scenes as well as the more personal moments. This is a movie well worth watching; I'm glad I stuck it out past the first twenty minutes or so and let myself really get into it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*********** Possible Spoilers ***************
I put off watching this for a long time after it was released because my impression of it from trailers was that it would be one long rude noise, so to speak. Then we went to a friend's house and they put this on, and I watched it and was very pleasantly surprised. There is a potty humor element, unfortunately, but it's not as predominant as I had expected, and the story is REALLY well-done other than that. The jokes are funny, the characters are enjoyable, and the animation is great. Most of all, I liked the ending -- a pleasant surprise in this world where looks are paramount. I'd love to see more like it.
This is a very well-made movie which simply didn't appeal to my taste as much as I thought it would. The acting is flawless, the music is wonderful, the direction is original and yet seamless. The story is well-written and well-filmed. My expectation was for a more uplifting movie, and it was also disconcerting to see Everyman Tom Hanks involved in so much violence -- although he played the part very well. Don't let my opinion keep you from watching it.
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