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Jane Eyre (2011)
I disliked this version very much with some exceptions
I-ll start by saying I've read Jane Eyre maybe 5 times, the last time being about 6 months ago, so I know the tale very well, and while this movie does bring something new to the others, it's just so rushed that a lot of things were left out for me, especially something very important: the evolution of Jane and Rochester's relationship!
They jump into falling in love so quickly I barely know how it happened, they barely talked, they never seemed to spend time together, and yet: bam! magically they fell in love.
The fire scene was also a shock, that scene is supposed to be charged with tension from both sides, and the only "tension" I saw was Rochester nearly naked and him trying to kiss Jane (that didn't happen in the book), both of them were stiff and it felt so forced. And let's not even start with the Orchard scene - woah. Bad in so many levels.
Mia Wasikowska was good as Jane, except for the tree scene where she seemed like a child reciting her lines rather than feeling them. Fassbender, well Rochester is a passionate man and Fassbender was stiff and boring, the only scenes where I saw real passion was when him and Jane returned soaking wet to the house after the proposal, when he tried to choke Mason, and in the living room scene where he was "convincing" Jane to re-think her decision. Plus, since when Rochester is better looking than St. John?
The things I liked though about this movie is Jamie Bell's performance, while he didn't fit the looks, he was cold, severe and great as St John, by far the best one I've seen and now I will picture him when I re-read the book. Mary and Diana were good too (nice to see Lucrecia Borgia again!), and of course, Lady (or Dame?) Judi Dench was excellent as Mrs. Fairfax. The music was fine, the landscape wonderful, it was truly great (except for Ferndean - buried in a deep wood? I saw a nice meadow around)
This movie would have been great if it was longer and didn't leave out important parts, such as Rochester confiding in Jane about Celine and just spending time talking, the veil part, her return a bit more heart- felt. And while Michael Fassbender is a great actor, this role just wasn't meant for him.
Jane Eyre (1997)
Chopped parts but very true to the book
I'll start by saying this was the first version I've ever seen, and after watching it, I decided to read the book (not the other way around).
When I first watched it, I really had no idea what the story was about so I wasn't on my guard, and some scenes really stroke me in an emotional level I didn't believe it when I first started watching it. Samantha Morton as Jane was very convincing, not a beauty, not ugly, then I found out that was how Brontë described her in the book. Jane was well mannered, sweet and tender, but with iron will and fire in her soul, it was a perfect combination of a heroin in the book who had to endure a lot of things during her life.
As for Mr. Rochester, well I'm a big CIaran Hinds so I may not be completely objective in reviewing his acting, but for me, he was PERFECT. Yes he yelled, he was too proud, sarcastic, but his raw passion and angst was right there you feel it, and specially in the parts where he seemed to touch heaven, and the other part where hell was right before him (those who read the book or watched the movie will know what parts those are).
The chemistry between Morton and Hinds is amazing, when they are talking under the tree, I really began to cry and felt overwhelmed by the intense emotion flooding my screen, and then in the same tree after the "event", I cried some more because I could feel the despair from Rochester and Jane's sorrow but determination. And finally, in the end, I cried more and more with the strong performance from the two of them.
I read the book afterwards, and yes many scenes are left out (gipsy, Jane's aunt dying, Jane's dreams, the tale of Bertha Mason, Jane's new found fortune, etc...) but considering they had only 1 hour 40 minutes to consolidate an 800 pages book, I believed they did a pretty good job.
I read some comments about people who disliked Hinds performance as Rochester, saying he screams too much, well personally I didn't think he "screamed", he raised his voice and Rochester does that a lot in the book. I watched another version with Michael Fassbender, and it lacked the passion this Rochester has, it actually made me yawn.
I highly recommend this version, the casting is great, overall the movie is very true to the book, and the strong performances given by Morton as Jane, and Hinds as Rochester, is really something not to be missed. If you imagined Mr. Rochester as a handsome, well mannered, with integrity, soft spoken and tender man (in other words, a Jane Austen hero, I can't imagine why somebody would imagine him like that), you will hate Hind's Rochester, but if you imagined as a non-attractive man in a conventional way, sarcastic, snappish, moody, witty, intense, rough, tough, passionate, angry but tender when he must and overall, a tortured soul who finds redemption through pure love, you will not be disappointed with him.
Margot at the Wedding (2007)
A raw, human portrayal of a no-so-perfect family
I was stumbling on the internet and found this movie, and with a cast of the likes of Nicole Kidman, seeing Jack Black (who I passionately dislike) doing a dramatic role, and some minor roles with Ciarán Hinds, I thought it was worth the shot and I was right.
Basically the movie is about Margot (Kidman), whose sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is getting married with a struggling artist, Malcolm (Jack Black), and decides to attends to the wedding days before it actually takes place, even though both sisters haven't spoken in years. Both sisters share moments and secrets that afterwards are revealed, and both sisters do not agree on how the other is carrying her life, and while their pre-adolescent kids get acquainted, their lives start taking a certain turn.
I loved the acting in this movie, Nicole Kidman most of her work is flawless, and this is no exception, I can think of maybe 2 or 3 actresses that may have been able to carry the role of Margot as great as she did, but I'm sure Nicole was the best fit as the self-centered, judge and troubled Margot, who is juggling with the idea of leaving her husband while having an affair. Jennifer Jason Leigh, honestly i don't think I've ever seen her before, but she was perfect in this role and Pauline, the insecure, persuasive sister. I think Jack Black, who plays the groom who pretends he doesn't care about other people's opinions, did a good job here, actually in this movie I laughed more than in any of his comedy roles, I sure hope that was meant to happen. He was the only one who actually knew what was going on in the house, and was honest enough to reveal his secret to his bride before the wedding, but only because he was under a lot of pressure. I'm going to make a special mention to Ciarán Hinds, who may have had maybe 10 minutes of screen time, but his character Dick was important in the story as Margot's lover, who shakes Margots foundations and leaves her emotionally shattered in public, and then literally kicks butts (or butt).
I actually enjoyed this movie, the relationships were very well portrayed, real, a film that undresses a family that is supposed to be on the verge of one of the happiest moments of a person's life: a wedding. In the end, we're all humans, and sometimes we don't like how human flaws are portrayed and showed to us.
I never watched rome when it was airing on HBO a few years ago. I just recently watched one episode (happened to catch the very first one) on reruns on Latin HBO at midnight on fridays, and I got hooked. Although the first episode "The stolen eagle" is not the best episode, it was intriguing enough to have me watching the rest of the episode up to episode 6, where I just couldn't wait any longer and had to go and buy the DVD collection and watch them all as fast as I could.
I'm a huge fan of history so that's a big reason on why I wanted to watch this show, but it was how the story was told that caught me. Every single actor in this show delivers an amazing acting in ever scene, makes it completely believable, the plot is very intriguing, intelligent, the dialogue is clever and precise in every shot, the music definitely adds an emotion in each scene, everything is so believable you can almost smell how Rome smelled back then.
Special mention to Ciaran Hinds (Caesar), Polly Walker (Attia), Lindsay Duncan (Servilia), James Purefoy (Mark Antony) and Kevin McKidd (Vorenus) for an amazing acting, they brought the show alive and with their complicated personalities, I felt sympathy for each one of them.
So, if you like history, are not afraid to see a little sex and decapitation every now and then (nobody said the show was pretty anyway), and are up to admire a real piece of art that was on TV and that no show nowadays even compare to this one (ok maybe Game of Thrones), watch it.
It Happened One Night (1934)
The Mother of all Comedies
I started to explore Clark Gable's movies recently, and obviously I had to watch the movie that gave him and Claudette Colbert) This story has been used many times in movies, if not, watch Shrek (the first one) and you'll know what I'm talking about. Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) is the daughter of a rich Wal-Street man who secretly got married to King Wesltey (Jameson Thomas), but her father won't even hear about it. Sick of being told what she has to do, she escapes from her father and tries to get from Miami to NY to see her beau. On the road, she finds a wise-crack reporter, Peter Warne (Clark Gable) who agrees to help her, but in return he wants her story, exclusive.
That's the main plot, and it happens lots and lots of things that happen while the story develops. Let's just say that this movie set the fashion for men to not wear undershirt t-shirts, it taught people how to dunk a donut and how to hitchhike.
Clark Gable did a wonderful job, who would have thought that "The King" who is known for playing roles of ladies men and serious roles, now plays a comic role. He did wonderfully, he surely deserved the Oscar and you can tell that he had a great time doing this movie. Claudette Colbert was excellent too, great performance as the spoiled girl who always gets her way.
Also the movie is great b/c even though it had a limited budget and only 4 weeks to be done, this movie wasn't entirely filmed in a studio, you get to see nice landscapes and great photography, and i love the dialogue between the characters, lots of memorable quotes on this movie that people still use nowadays.
This is probably the best comedy of the 30's, and the pioneer in the so called comedy genre "screwball". I give it a 10/10, and to encourage people to watch it, let's just say that Friz Freleng created the famous Bugs Bunny after watching this movie. When you watch it, you'll know why.
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Now I understand the need for so much publicity
This movie needed the publicity to get people to see it. And with that and trailers and all of that, you could get the idea that was going to be one of those movies that you'd have to see at the movies, at least, 2 times. I went to the movies to see it with high high expectations, boy was I disappointed or what? Bad acting, bad dialoge, weak script, and looooooooooooooong, by the near end of the movie all I could think was "please roll credits!"
I know it was a thriller, but I think they sold the idea of the whole "Christ is not what you think he is" so much that all we cared about was that, an explanation. The rest was just filling. I think the whole explanation is about 30 mins and the rest is them getting chased by cops.
I'd have to say that the only one with a good performance was Sir Ian McKellen, he was good and believable, well Paul Bettany was good too, not great. Tom Hanks disappointed me so much, it's the first time I have to complain about his acting. You couldn't believe him for a second. And Audrey Tatou either, she was terrible! jean Reno was all right, not bad but not great either.
I'm a Catholic and the reason I say this movie is bad has nothing to do with the concept of the movie, as a matter of fact, I found it quite interesting, plus I don't care what people say or don't say or he Church or whatever about Jesus, you either believe or you don't, it's up to you and it depends on how easy is to manipulate your faith.
Go and see this movie or wait until it comes out to video, and "find out the truth" The Da Vinci code is a lame movie.
Der Untergang (2004)
The best Hitler movie ever made!
I've always been a big fan of WWII movies, and mostly, I've always found Hitler to be one interesting character to read about, I've always wanted to know his motivations that lead him to do all those horrible things. Well I have read a lot about him, and watched a few movies about WWII and about him, and every time I would, they portrayed a Hitler who was more like a killing machine or robot, instead of a human being. Which led me to the question: Why did Germans trust this man? How did a man like that, cold and pure evil, could get the sympathy of a country and become what he became?
In this movie, lots of answers can be found. First of all, Hitler's human, what do you know! A charismatic guy, who sure has his rage outbursts, but who also is a man who laughs, smiles, cries, etc.. For example **********spoilers***********
At the beginning of the movie, when Traudl would do her "trial" for being Hitler's secretary, she kinda messes up and closes her eyes waiting for Hitler to yell at her or something like that. Well no, he acts really good and just tells her to try again. From that point on, I knew this wasn't going to be just "another Hitler movie", but something completely different.
********* end of spoiler *******
I loved the acting, Bruno Ganz was terrific, I hate the fact that he wasn't even nominated for an Oscar for best performance. Anyways he's great, completely flawless, great intensity into the character, it's almost like he met Hitler. All the other actors where terrific as well, the music in the movie is great, everything.
2 thumbs up for this movie, the best foreign film of all times for me! (along with Todo Sobre mi madre)
Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
A good movie about second chances..
I saw this movie a few weeks ago mainly b/c I went to Italy this year and wanted to see the landscape again, I have no idea what the movie was about and to be honest, I didn't even care.
Well I was really glad I bought this movie because I loved it. Sure it has some parts where you say "how is that possible?" but anyways, a movie is not meant to be realistic, it helps us to dream..
Well the movie is about Fran (Diane Lane), who's going through a tough divorce and is feeling completely miserable about it. Then her friends buy her a tour to go to Tuscany, and of course, she goes. After a while she feels so enchanted by it's magic, that she decides to buy a house there. The whole movie almost starts from that point, she'll meet a lot of people who will change her life forever indeed.
I liked the performances, Diane Lane is funny and serious when she has to be, I thought she did a great job. Everybody else in the cast does a great job as well. And the landscaping is gorgeous, I'd say that's another character of the movie.
Anyways this movie has a couple of twists (can't find another way to call it) and it's very entertaining, so rent it or better yet, buy it! I give it a **** out of *****
The Grudge (2004)
No matter what people said, I enjoyed this one a lot!
I just saw this movie last night, and despite all the people saying this movie sucks, I really liked it. Sure you guess what happened and how the cursed began and all, but still it gives you a lot of good scares and stuff.
It's about this girl, Karen (Sarah Michelle Geller, not great but she wasn't bad either), who is assigned to go and take care of an old lady, replacing a Japanese girl who was missing. Anyways all kinds of weird stuff starts happening in that house to everybody who gets involved with it.
Like I said, Sarah Michelle Geller is pretty acceptable in this role as Karen, she does manage to get scared and all, but we still see "Buffy" when she's facing scary stuff, that's not very cool. Bill Pullman is there for like 10 minutes, but anyways I thought he did OK, and everybody else in the cast, special mention to the Japanese actors/actresses.
Anyhow, if you feel like watching a movie that I'm sure it'll give you a good scare at least once, please rent this movie :) ***1/2 out of *****
The Wash (2001)
I didn't laugh, at all
This movie was so damn slow, i have no idea when we were supposed to laugh, hated every minute and yet I watched the whole thing. Dre is a terrible actor, Snoop Dogg was annoying and he made me want to kill him, and all the others sucked. Eminem was cool though :D I liked him as that psycho guy calling mr wash every day to threaten him LOL
Lame plot, lame script, bad acting and lots of drugs. Good music though.
I'll give it a 2/10, and those 2 it's b/c 1 is for the music and 1 for Eminem. Here's my advice, don't rent it, and don't buy it, skip it unless you are a die hard fan of either dr dre or snoop dogg.