Reviews written by registered user
|3 reviews in total|
Until today (when I caught Princess Mononoke on cable), I've generally thought of anime as silly, cheesy cartoons intended for a low-brow adult audience. Princess Mononoke, however, stands apart and above crap like "Dominion Tank Police" and "Akira". Watch it! It's just too good to miss.
I've watched all four sets of episodes in the "Cadfael" series, and I've
also read the novels that each episode is based on, and I must say that
novels are much better. Firstly, the dramatizations of Ellis Peters' work
are only very, *very* loosely based on the novels; often the plot of the
dramatization bears virtually no resemblance to the plot of the
corresponding novel. However, the most remarkable difference between the
novels and their dramatizations are the way the characters are portrayed:
In general, the characters are displayed in a much more sympathetic light
the novels than they are in the dramatizations. In many of the episodes,
the only characters
who come out with a clean nose are Cadfael and the female
while almost all the other characters are portrayed as ignorant
and/or mean-spirited and/or having ulterior and selfish motives. In the
novels, the kindest and most charitable view of every
character emerges from the prose. Even the murderer in most
the novels is treated with a degree of sympathy in the end. Many of the
characters who in the novels are genuinely good people (or at least have
good intentions or a good will) are presented in the dramatizations as
nasty, judgemental, narrow-minded, and stupid. As a consequence, the
video dramatizations are harsher and darker, and they come across as less
authentic and balanced compared to the novels.
On a positive note, the sets and costumes in the series are great. Derek Jacobi is absolutely *perfect* in the lead role of Cafael - I cannot conceive of another actor playing Cadfael; Jacobi owns this role the way Jeremy Brett came to own the role of Sherlock Holmes. Michael Culver and Julian Firth are exactly as I imagined Prior Robert and Brother Jerome to be when I was reading the novels. The same goes for the Terrence Hardiman as Abbot Radulfus. Given that Hugh Beringar is such a central character in the series, it is unfortunate that one actor could not have been recruited to play him for every episode. My favorite Hugh Beringar is the first one, played by Sean Pertwee. Finally, the actresses playing the female leads have, without exception, been superb.
In conclusion, the "Cadfael" series is good, but the dramatizations are not as good as the novels. Watch the episodes in the series, but be sure to read the novels they are based on afterwards. And if you read the novels *before* you watch the dramatizations, prepare for yourself for disappointment.
This movie had the feel of an Aerosmith video all the way through it. I hate Aerosmith!! Hence, I hate this movie. I hope Hollywood doesn't attempt to copy this style in the future.