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St. Elsewhere (1982)
A Forgotten Gem
I'm currently in the process of watching the first season of this true gem of television. I was a loyal watcher during its 6 years but had forgotten what a entertaining and powerful show it was. Last night I was completely blown away by the first 2 episodes. The cast, the storyline, the setting----all facets combined to make this a wonderful example of just how great television can be. I am so glad that this (and other shows from those golden '80s) are now available for viewing once again. Name one show that is currently running that can begin to hold a candle to theses classics. Can't do it, can you? Friends? Grey's Anatomy? CSI? I only hope and pray that someone somewhere will put together a new series that will have half the class and entertainment value of St. Elsewhere.
Alas, poor Rosamunde!
Rosamunde Pilcher is one of my very favorite authors. so I was really looking forward to seeing this movie. It is, without a doubt, the worst adaptation of a novel that I have ever seen. There is absolutely NO coherence---if one had not read the book one would be completely at sea. I understand that much of the book had to be cut, but surely it could have been done more judiciously. The stellar cast is caught in a mishmash of chop-and-change scenes and a pathetically lame script. The changes were horrid: adding Pandora's pregnancy, changing Noel to Neil, and leaving out so much of the background that the viewer was lost in a deep Scottish mist. Shame on the costumer for keeping Isobel bundled in the clothes of a scullery maid; shame on the writers for failing to explain Pandora's suicide, and shame on the whole ensemble for virtually wrecking a lovely story. The only thing true to the book was the Highland scenery, and we got to see very little of that. Rosamunde---I am so sorry that they so completely defiled your work!
Jubilee Trail (1954)
Shoot the casting director!!!
I was unfortunate enough to see this last week. The book has long been a favorite of mine; the movie is a disaster.Garnet, Florinda, and Oliver were completely miscast---poor Gwen Bristow must still be whirling in her grave after seeing what Hollywood had done to her wonderful saga. Some of the minor roles (John Ives, the Handsome Brute) were adequate as were the sets and costumes. However,the main characters completely failed to resemble their literary counterparts, and their acting was wooden and totally unconvincing. The book is a wonderful story brimming with action and should have made an exciting and colorful movie. Instead, it is incredibly boring and tedious. What a shame!
Knee Deep (2007)
A Well-Crafted Documentary About Rural Maine
Kudos to the filmmakers who produced such a fine film. The story of Josh Osborne and his girlfriend was headline news in the small, rural Maine town of Farmington. The film captures the hardscrabble life of a young man devoted to his animals and his land only to be nearly destroyed by the women he trusted---his girlfriend and his mother. Josh Osborne left school after sixth grade to work on his family's dairy farm. After his mother deserts the family and moves to Colorado (and after the death of his father) the ownership of the farm becomes a matter of dispute between young Osborne and his mother, Janette. After being promised that the farm would be his, Josh learns that the farm is being sold to a developer. Shots are fired, Janette is wounded, and Josh and his girlfriend are arrested for attempted murder. Both eventually serve time on lesser charges, in spite of the fact that members of the community are in sympathy with the actions of the pair.While critics have called this a dark comedy, it truly is more dark than comedic. One could hardly ask for a more accurate and intriguing study of the sociology and psychology of a family (and the surrounding rural area) whose crisis is never fully resolved. The film accurately portrays the crossroads in rural Maine where those greedy to develop Maine's vast land resources battle constantly with those who have held and worked the land for generations and who are desperate to swim against the flood tide of developers. The film presents a very different and disturbing portrait of the state to those who spend time vacationing on Maine's coast. No prettiness or touristy window-dressing---just hard facts and raw emotion.
What a disappointment!
My husband and I rented this recently to watch with our grandchildren, ages 6 and 2. We were really looking forward to it since we ran a team of sled dogs for many years. All I can say is "Shame on you, Hollywood!". The serum run to Nome was an event which captured the imagination and hearts of the entire nation when it occurred. Obviously this was not exciting enough for the studio. Instead they ruined the story by including numerous (and violent) events which never happened---frightening scenes with dogs fighting viciously, a scene of Balto being attacked by a bear, and scenes where a musher was severely injured. We were truly appalled at the liberties that were taken withthis story. Does Hollywood really believe that our children cannot enjoy an animated feature unless it includes scenes of gratuitous violence?Wake up, movie makers---lots of parents and grandparents agree with me. Tone it down or you'll lose our respect (and our bucks).
Thought-provoking AND a lot of fun!
My husband and I took our grandson to see this movie and were amazed at his reaction. He loved the movie (as did we), but he spent the entire ride home philosophizing about the themes of the movie: finding your true self, and taking care of each other and helping each other to grow (his words, not mine!) Any movie that can provoke such deep thoughts in the mind of a 5 year old has to be very special, and this one certainly is. If you need a bit of a break from the frenetic pace of the holidays, do yourself a favor and go see this wonderful pastiche of Magorium, zebras, Kermit, the sock monkey, and all the fun and zaniness of the Emporium. Yes---the movie has flaws. Yes, the story line does get a bit confusing at times. Yes---the acting is uneven. But remember, this is a CHILDREN'S movie and should not be judged by adult standards. Let the years slip from your shoulders for a couple of hours and enjoy this enchanting bit of wisdom cloaked in the magic of toys and laughter.
My husband and I both loved the first Pirates movie and were really looking forward to the sequel. What a letdown! The plot is ridiculously confusing, the violence is long and gratuitous, and most of the crew of Davy Jones' ship looks like rejects from a "Star Wars" movie. The cannibals on the island looked like a combination of Australian aborigines and African natives---not the Caribs which would have been inhabiting the islands. Yes, we know it's just-pretend, but would it really have been that difficult to introduce a modicum of historical accuracy?
Where is the witty script that so enchanted us in the first movie? There were about 3 funny lines in the entire yawn-fest. Believe me, we weren't the only ones who thought so---the entire audience was dead silent.
Where is the contrast between the lovely, feminine, elegant Kiera Knightly and the scummy pirates? Part of the fun in the first movie was that she was so prim and proper except when she got drunk on rum. THAT was part of what made the movie work so well.
What became of the dashing bravado and humor that Johnny Depp displayed so adeptly in the first movie? He was so deliciously foppish in spite of his piratical ways. This may be the most overblown, over-hyped, pretentious movie of all times---shame on you, Hollywood!
By the way---I hear my 8 year old nephew LOVED it! If you have the mind of an 8 year old you might, too.