Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Gentleman Jim (1942)
I loved this movie and thought Flynn was outstanding.
He obviously worked hard to get in shape for this film. I've noticed that he put on a few pounds after The Prince and the Pauper, and seemed to have kept them on until 1941. He looks heavy to me in several films of the '30's, with man boobs and chubby thighs. Which look embarrassing in those thigh-high boots.
So I was so pleased to see how lean he is in this movie. The planes of his face arrested me. I have to ask, though: would it have killed him to have lifted a few weights? He might have had a wicked left hook, but without any muscles in his arms, could he have hurt anybody?
Commentary on vacuity of modern life
Plenty is one of my top ten favorite movies. It juxtaposes the main character's years as a resistance fighter in WWII with her later life in the frivolous, self-indulgent world of upper-class postwar Britain. She despises this world, and tries to convey her need for meaning to those around her, but they don't understand her emptiness. Everyone around her seems fulfilled with parties, social climbing, amassing wealth, and consuming as much as they can. Streep's character desperately wants society to care about things that actually matter. She falls into despair when it becomes clear that she's alone in her need for meaning.
The scene where she throws open the doors and cries, "There's plenty!" sums up the disillusionment, futility and isolation she feels in the midst of people who live for nothing.
The movie flashes back to her resistance days in France to illustrate the difference between a world where people risked their lives to stop the Nazis, and a world that has lost any substantive reason for its existence. I related to the character's despair completely.
Electoral Dysfunction (2012)
Optimistic, Educational, Inspiring
The creators of this film impress me immensely with their optimism and dedication. They attempt nothing less than saving American democracy. To that end, they take an inclusive, light-hearted, but deeply earnest approach to explaining not just the intricacies of American democracy, but threats to the integrity of our voting system.
The directors hope to convince Republicans and Democrats alike of the need to reform several aspects of the US electoral system. They go to great pains to show the issue from both parties' sides. I wonder if there is any hope at all that this effort can succeed. Republicans at the moment are attempting power grabs throughout the country to subvert the electoral process in their favor.
La vie promise (2002)
Isabelle Huppert's character is neither brain-damaged nor schizophrenic. She suffers from what the DSM IV terms "dissociative amnesia". Some people just call it dissociation. The popular term for this phenomenon is repressed memories; however, professionals no longer use that term because it is inaccurate and fraught with misperceptions.
My interpretation of this character's history is this: At some point in her past, before she married her husband and had children, she experienced something which was so traumatic, terrifying, and threatening to her sense of safety and existence,that she had to lose awareness of it in order to not lose her mind. She had a breakdown later on and entered the psychiatric hospital. She got married and things were going okay for awhile but then something triggered the old trauma and she became dissociative again. She left her husband, started a new life and "forgot" all about her old life. She became emotionally shut down and empty because at this point she only functioned with a small amount of her emotional make-up. She had to shut the rest of it down because it contained knowledge that was too threatening for her to know about.
Then she has to run away because of the murder and she re-reads the letters from her ex-husband and slowly starts regaining awareness of that part of her life. However, she still can't remember the original trauma that caused all her problems. When she arrives back at the old house, images and impressions of her life there flood through her mind as if from a dream. This is what memories lost through dissociation are like when they come back. The director evoked this experience pretty accurately. I wanted to tell friends that if they want to see what it's like to remember things that one has lost through dissociation, to see this movie.
She lost the memory of her husband and her life with him because in some way that experience connected to the earlier, unbearable trauma.
She goes back to the psychiatric hospital because she wants to know about her past. She wants to know what happened during her marriage and also what the original trauma was.
I am not pulling this out of the air. For someone knowledgeable about dissociative amnesia, the clues in the movie are obvious.
For one thing, the husband refers in his letter to "that old trouble", or something like that. He says something like, "I know how fragile you are, but I thought that old trouble was behind you..." I can't remember exactly what he says. As I understood it, he was referring to trouble caused by traumatic experiences early in her life. Others may believe he's talking about mental illness such as schizophrenia, but they are incorrect. I'd have to see the film again to argue this point more effectively. However, there's too much else in this movie that makes it clear her problem is dissociation, not schizophrenia.
I can make this case with confidence because this character's story mirrors my own in many ways. The idea that a person can forget events central to her life because they call up old emotions and traumas, which she needed to block out, is not far-fetched. It happened to me. I did forget a significant person, as well as the events and emotions connected with him. I did read his letters years later, and when I did, I started to remember our relationship of 27 years previously. I did find him and after I did, I gradually remembered most of what our relationship had been and who he was. When I called him out of the blue, he told me he had been in love with me all his life. He had never married. Now, he has moved on, after we talked at length about what had happened and I explained to him why I had broken up with him in the terrible way that I did.
When I remembered the relationship I'd had with him, all the emotions connected with it felt as if they'd happened last week, not 27 years ago.
I too have been wanting to remember the details of the original trauma. I had started remembering it before I remembered the old boyfriend. A lot of it has come back, but not all. I think that Isabelle's character probably did get at least some of the answers she was looking for. The fact that the audience didn't get these answers only means that the specific reason she dissociated in the first place is not the most important part of the story.
What's important is the story that came after -- how it affected her and her family, what they all lost, and how she recovered her full self.
It's also about how people need love to heal and how love enables us to heal each other.
Wuthering Heights (1970)
You're a stinker and you stink!
Jennel2 and Rinoa3, I am with you. I also don't want to take too much time writing about this, but here goes: Why did the movie jump from one plot point to another with no development or connection? Was it trying to be the "New Wave" Wuthering Heights? Was it just the schedule? The script? Whatever, the jumping around made it fragmented and jarring.
I liked Anna Calder-whatever, although she was screechy. She was playful and wild. I'm not sure what I thought about Dalton. He smoldered and pouted very well, but his character didn't seem full to me. It felt like he was playacting. Superficial. Also, as usual, he can't maintain a consistent accent. In the first half, there was one scene, in the stable, where he had a very coarse Yorkshire accent. Other than that, in the first half, he spoke pretty much the same as in the second half, with a refined, upper-class accent. It's lame.
I have to agree with whoever said that this novel can't be dramatised well. I think I liked Ralph Fiennes better than Dalton. Might have to watch them both again.
And did anybody else think that Heathcliff, in the first half, bore a resemblance to Nigel Terry's Prince John in The Lion in Winter? Well, I did.
All the same this movie had undeniably poignant and moving moments. Can't totally knock it. I would have liked to have been there to hear the audience gasp.
Dismemberment would've been easier to watch
This movie is unreviewable. It was the most bizarre thing I have ever seen.
So, let's talk about Timothy Dalton! I didn't know this was a musical, so when he started saying the lines to "Love Will Keep Us Together", I thought...weird, that's that song. Then the music came on, and I thought, "...no. No! NO! He is NOT going to...NO! NO!"
It seems ironic that Timothy Dalton's career survived this, only to be derailed by Scarlett 16 years later.
Another odd note to his career is the number of times he's played roles that spoof James Bond. Even before he actually made the Bond films. Besides this movie, there was a Charlie's Angels episode. Then, after Licence to Kill, he played a Nazi spy in The Rocketeer, a Bond-type actor in Loony Tunes: Back in Action, and then, a bad guy in Hot Fuzz, with Bond references in his last sequence. Hysterical.
So that's five spoofs, versus two actual Bond movies. It's weird. This guy was meant to be Bond from the beginning -- Albert Broccoli was dying to have him -- but U.S. audiences didn't get it, and lawsuits prevented him from doing the role again while he was in his prime. What does it mean? And then he did Scarlett, in which he held a plastic bag over the head of his career. He appears to have issues with James Bond.
But back to this movie. I used to be a Sean Pertwee fan, and he made some truly gross films. But none of his dismemberments can compare to Timothy Dalton singing The Captain and Tenille. The humanity.
This movie did hold my interest. I don't want to think about why.
Is he a priest or is he James Bond?
I also enjoyed this movie quite a bit. The script was kind of hammy in places, for example, the scene where the mad priest more or less challenges Fr. Bowdern not to go nuts himself, thus setting up the final conflict. Also, the recurring theme of the WWII memory was overused, I thought. Surely there were other equally interesting obstacles that could have arisen during the exorcisms, to flesh out the character and the drama. But this is Hollywood and the conflict has to be kept simple.
In the world of TV movies, I did think it was very good and it definitely piqued my curiosity on the subject of...well, all that scary stuff.
My main comment regards Timothy Dalton's consistent difficulty with accents. It seemed like in this role his accent was 50 percent American and 50 percent English. I don't think I would have been so disappointed if his work were not otherwise so elevated. I was impressed and quite pleased that he could make me forget who was playing this role, considering the many iconic characters he has played. Forget, that is, until any moment of high tension, when he lapsed into his native accent and I thought, oh right, here's James Bond with a white collar around his neck. It was a bummer and I wanted more from him.
From reading comments about his other movies, he apparently has this problem whenever he adopts an accent. Even in Jane Eyre, his Yorkshire accent was a fleeting thing, I noticed.
Jane Eyre (1983)
disappointed in zelah clarke
Oh my goodness. I'm happy to see how much people loved this production. I also was transported. Won't bother to see the versions I have missed. Have only seen the William Hurt one, which I hated.
Will not talk about T.D.'s fabulousness. Agree wholeheartedly. EXCEPT as one or two people noted, in the crying scene. Poor Timothy, I cringed during that scene. That was not crying. He tried. How hard it must be to do that. I wonder, are there any male actors who can actually burst into tears? I can't think of ANY man in any movie who has done it. But after seeing Emma Thompson nearly explode in Sense and Sensibility, now I know what is possible in a crying scene. I wonder if any man could pull that off. BUT he WAS fabulous overall, there is no doubt about that. Not ugly, of course, but he made himself very severe looking, which worked, and also, as others have noted, he brings Rochester's complex character, in all its variety, to life.
But I cannot concur with the majority who praise Ms. Clarke unreservedly. Although I liked her very much for most parts of the series, in the love scenes she fell short, for me. In fact I felt quite sad and disappointed that the full, glorious potential of those scenes was dashed at the last moment. They could have been absolute perfection. Mr. Dalton was so fully, breathtakingly living those scenes -- but it seemed that Ms. Clarke, at certain moments, was passive and uninvolved. It did not seem to be a matter of reserve. I wondered if she was afraid to really respond to Dalton. I don't know what the problem was.
My specific complaints are these:
1. In the scene where Rochester finally reveals his love and proposes to Jane, I did not see any changes in her expression to show the moment she came to believe that he was not mocking her. Yes, Jane in general has to carefully control her behavior, has to be reserved, but in this scene, where is the joy? Where is the wonder? Where is the light in her eyes as she realizes, yes, he actually loves me?
2. In the scene after the wedding, when Rochester has waited for her outside her door, she did not, I believe, convey the depths of the conflict the REAL Jane Eyre, out there in imaginary-person land, must have been struggling with. It must have been tearing her into pieces. It must have been strong enough to propel her out the door onto the moors with no food or money. I saw that she felt faint and out of breath and overcome with something, but it did not seem like love. It did not seem like an all-consuming communion that sprung from the depths of her soul, that was so strong that she simply could not overcome it as long as he was near. She had to remove herself from his presence to make them both safe (she believed), and her own physical safety meant nothing to her in light of this struggle. I did not see that love and I did not see that torment. Not in her. In Rochester, in Dalton, it was overwhelming. I wished she would give him back as good as he gave.
3. When she returns to Rochester, after he is blind, and she touches his face, and kisses him, and says, "does this feel like a mockery? does this feel like a dream?" -- I just did not see the deep passion, relief, exultation, that, for the Love of God, SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE! IF ONLY I COULD HAVE BEEN THERE TO HAVE DONE IT PROPERLY!
Yes, she has schooled herself to reserve, but in these moments, would her emotions not have run away with her? Would she not have had to burst out of the walls she so carefully constructed around her? Would she not have come to life? Yes, I say! In all her other scenes, she was just right -- but in these scenes -- her acting, her mien, her behavior was -- yes -- WOODEN!
SIX WEEKS LATER:
I wrote these comments in the middle of a major Timothy Dalton phase. It's over now. I'm tempted to delete this comment because it's really embarrassing. But I'll keep it for nostalgic value for now. And by the way, sometimes TD stands in one place and his arm hangs awkwardly at his side and he just talks and that is not good acting. Plus he doesn't talk like a real person. He's deCLAIMING all the time. But who notices when you're under the spell. Very strange.
Julius Caesar (2002)
Chris Noth only decent American
Look, I hate to sound nasty, but this production was not good. The acting was crappy. Really execrable in cases. The dialogue was so awful. Historical accuracy -- not that I expect perfection, but what is the point of doing history if they make half of it up? And look, Jeremy Sisto, I despised him. What is up with him throwing away his lines, like the words or decisions are being forced out of him against his will? I see what he's trying to do, but not only does it seem inapproriate for the character, he does it really badly. He's playing the most dynamic leader of the mightiest empire in history. I saw very little of any charisma or take-charge personality that would inspire devotion in his legions. Sean Pertwee standing beside him makes him look like a muppet.
And Christopher Walken. Shuffling around the Senate looking like he's really constipated. And it made no sense that for most of the movie, he looked like an ineffectual, finicky effeminate person, but when he goes to war he grows long hair and a beard and is suddenly virile and studly. Plus I thought his acting was bad. Except when he fell on his sword. I wish some other characters had done the same.
All right -- maybe it's just that as an American, I was embarrassed that our actors are so inferior. Apollonius was excellent. Richard Harris was really good even though he was obviously so unwell. Vercingetorix -- liked him a a lot, though I must note that it looked like he got his trousers at a flea-market in Santa Cruz. Was Marc Antony American? Because I did think he was good. Oh, and Chris Noth -- he was not awful. He was pretty okay. Certainly looked the part.
I'm sure no one cares, but if anyone liked Sean Pertwee in Cadfael, this is the role most similar to Hugh Beringar. In fact I thought his expressions looked like Hugh Beringar all grown up.