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Sean Bean is the only Worthwhile Thing in this Horrible Movie
Alexandra Ripley wrote a horrible sequel to Margaret Mitchell's masterpiece book published in the 1930's. Margaret Mitchell's heirs sold out their rights and for big bucks allowed Alexandra Ripley to write a piece of junk book even worse than Barbara Cortland romance novels. I was a huge fan of Margaret Mitchells book and the fake sequel by Alexandra Ripley was written just to cash in for money.
Although I always admired the acting talent of Joanne Kilmer and Timothy Dalton, this is a really terrible film. The script is horrible and full of clichés. Ann Margarets cameo as Belle Watling is so awful I wanted to slap her.
The only worthwhile thing in the movie is Sean Bean who gives a masterful bravura performance as the sexy, feral villain - Lord Fenton. Sean Bean's performance is along the lines of "The Man You Love to Hate" and portrays an unsafe sex symbol.
But Sean Bean is only in the first half of the movie so you then have to be tormented with watching an incredibly long 6 hour movie with an insufferably boring script.
Don't waste your money on this film, unless you are a hard core Sean Bean fan and just watch it for his wonderful performance.
Sharpe's Challenge (2006)
I've seen all 14 previous episodes of the Richard Sharpe series. I'm a very devoted fan and was incredibly surprised to learn that new episode would be aired on BBC America August, 2006. The last time the episodes aired was way back in 1997. Hooray for Sean Bean's devotion to this TV program. He first portrayed Richard Sharpe in 1992, unknown in Hollywood, and only a star in England. Now he's an international Hollywood blockbuster star since LOTR, but still agreed to return to TV for Sharpe, took a huge pay cut to do TV because he loves the part of Sharpe.
The production values, sets, costumes are outstanding. The biggest budget production in the entire 14 episode series. Toby Stephens is deliciously evil as the villain, Lucy Brown gives a touching, luminous performance. Padma Lakshi cannot act her way out of a paper bag and the other Indian actress who played the princess should have been cast in the courtesan role. I loved it, although there were a few flaws.
The battle scenes are much more complex and with an enormous cast of extras compared to the previous 14 episodes. It is an international cast of very fine supporting actors. However, the actor who portrays Sgt. Bickerstaff is very "hammy" and over the top. However, the few flaws I mentioned don't hamper a very fine production, which is a classic!