There's just way too much suspension of reality here. And the pacing makes us see much more of the bad than the good, which leaves unresolved aspects of the ending. Trust me-skip this one.
I love Christine Baranski as an actress, but Diane Lockhart was a classy woman in the previous series. Here, she is not. And the real tragedy is that she has no worthy co-star to play against. Instead, Baranksi is left twisting in the wind while the other characters scrape to keep up. (Rose Leslie is an agonizing miscast.) Yes, there are very competent actors; even well-liked, familiar characters from the original series, but the chemistry and premise doesn't work here. Neither do the heavy handed political agendas.
Somewhere between Extreme Left Wing Liberals and the Republican Tea Party are the rest of us who just want good TV without having political ideas smashed into our faces like a cream pie. The Good Wife walked the line, but it was so well done that it never completely crossed it. The Good Fight, however, takes that line and erases it like it never existed.
There are also some of us who don't want to see FIVE "F-bombs" dropped within a 40-minute episode. (Referring to Ep.1) That isn't gritty, it's desperate. The Good Fight is a waste of time and a waste of superb acting talent. I predict its painful demise within 2-3 seasons. I'd rather watch Good Wife reruns and remember what great TV was like. This isn't it.
Apparently, according to this film, being diagnosed with breast cancer is a sudden ticket to be a complete narcissist. For a mother who promised her kids she would always be there for them, she sure has a short memory, even when things were within her control.
What a waste.
I must admit, that as conflicts increased I began to question my initial positive feelings about the film. However, by the time it ended, they were confirmed, despite the emotional roller coaster we, the viewers, are forced to endure.
Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander have a wonderful chemistry together and are both quality actors. Their portrayals of Tom and Isabel pull you in and make you feel everything they are feeling right alongside them.
I'm reading the book in tandem with having seen the movie. Together or apart, the film is worth watching.
Best is not perfect, but it is pretty darn close. You can watch this mini-series with the novel on your lap and practically follow along scene for scene.
Let's talk about the fabulousness that is Timothy Dalton.
He was born to play Mr. Rochester. Physically, emotionally, the highs and lows of his personality--all done with sheer excellence. Every scene he's in becomes his own. Every word spoken is perfection. Sometimes he is handsome, other times not, sometimes he's amiable, other times not. It is that changeability that makes the viewer constantly deciding, "Do I like Rochester? Or do I not?" Jane never knows which version of Rochester to expect and neither does the viewer.
When I was younger and first read the book and then saw this mini-series, I did not like Zelah Clarke's portrayal of Jane. Years later I have new appreciation for her. Timothy Dalton has a very strong presence as Rochester. Many actresses would be overshadowed by him, but Zelah Clarke holds her own in every scene they share.
Aside from the excellent acting, which stays true to the novel's characters' personalities, this version paces itself out extremely well. I love that the hilarious "gypsy scene" is included. I love that you see the real development of the relationship between Jane and Rochester. But mostly, I love that the ending is not rushed. The novel's ending is one of the best ever written and this adaptation does it terrific justice.
From the beginning you feel like you're walking in in the middle of the film. Important characters go through the whole movie without clearly stating their relationship or names (such as Jane's sister, who is reminiscent of the elder Jane Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and a young deaf man named George who seems to be Jane Austen's brother, although it is never made quite clear.) I felt that Anne Hathaway was an odd choice to play the part of Jane Austen. She has an all-American look, her British accent was only very slight, and she is too modern-looking, in my opinion, for a period film such as this. I'm guessing that she was mainly cast because of her popularity and because she often plays free spirits who are thrown into against-the-odds situations. For me, it was a poor choice. Her acting was competent, but I couldn't get past the fact that I was watching Anne Hathaway playing a part. I loved her in The Devil Wears Prada, but here she stuck out--and not in a good way.
James McAvoy is a cute, mischievous suitor about whom everyone disapproves in the movie. I had seen him The Chronicles of Narnia and in Rory O'Shea Was Here (a great little film if you have the chance to see it.) One professional review I read said that he would have made a great Mr. Darcy. I'm sorry, but I beg to differ. McAvoy is good at playing self-deprecating, rebellious, and scrappy. He isn't dashing, polished, and gentlemanly--the qualities with which everyone associates with Mr. Darcy. Fortunately, he did fit the character he played in this film, so any Mr. Darcy comparisons are irrelevant.
The film's look was competent, but unspectacular. Great actors like Maggie Smith and Julie Walters were given little screen time--much like in the Harry Potter films--and stole every scene they were in. James Cromwell played Jane's father, a minister with a randy side when alone with his wife.
All in all, I would say that the movie was fair, about 3/5 stars. I enjoyed it, but I found myself looking at my watch. I don't need to see it again. I don't need to own it on DVD. Most importantly-- anyone who looks up Jane Austen's life on Wikipedia or anywhere else will discover that the advertised "extraordinary romance" does not end in a nice little package, which begs the question, what is the point in showing it?
Kate Bosworth was a terrible, terrible choice for Lois Lane. Lois Lane is not supposed to be conventionally beautiful--which Kate is--and she is supposed to be more plucky and self-reliant--which Kate's Lois wasn't. Physically, she was ALL WRONG. Personality-wise, all wrong. Someone like Marla Sokoloff would've been good--someone edgy and a little sarcastic.
The same goes for casting Frank Langella as Perry White. Whose idea was that? He's too tall, too exotic, too expressionless. Bad, bad, choice. I thought the bartender looked more like our idea of Perry White. The bartender--who was the 50's Superman show's Jimmy Olsen.
Kevin Spacey did a good job as Lex Luthor, although I think Lex Luthor would be disappointed with the thin plot line he was given. Hello? Creating your own spiky little country? One that, as Ebert said, a billy goat wouldn't live on. Give me a break.
After the movie I came home and watched Christopher Reeve's SUPERMAN and SUPERMAN II. They are SOOoooo much better. The technology was lesser because of the time period, but it didn't matter because there was a great story, cast, and superior acting.
The new movie's pacing was very off, spending too much time on unimportant action (i.e. Lois on the plane, Lois on the sea plane, Lois on the yacht.) I think we saw more Lois than Superman--and she wasn't that good. I also think they could've given Lois's kid A LOT more to do than just bumping into doors with a trashcan on his head and staring at everything through those shaggy bangs of his. Would someone please give that poor child a haircut? When I saw the photo on Lois's desk, I thought he was a girl at first.
And poor James Marsden getting roped into playing the good-looking neglected fiancée. Sorry, Cyclops, that was a misfire.
This is a movie worth missing, I'm afraid. 2 1/2 hours of Lois Lane with an occasional Superman is not the way to return the iconic character to the public. I think my favorite character was actually Parker Posey's Kitty and her cannibalistic dog. What does that say about the movie?
The nudity is handled very well. The audience was completely silent when the girls first appeared in all their God-given glory. I think that no one wanted to be heard reacting in any way. But after a while the nudity in the film became as secondary to the story as it did to the audience. There are characters and their relationships that you care about and then WWII starts up with all of Hitler's insanity. They become the real focal points.
If you go to the movie knowing what you're in for, you'll have a wonderful time. It is well-done and has a good story with terrific actors. There are some lines that are very, very funny. Audience members of all ages were clapping when it was finished and you will too.
It is fantastic. People of all ages will enjoy it. I highly recommend it if you can find this film in your area.
Two things I liked: the way To Hanks included the "first quotes" of other moon walkers (since the only one we ever hear about is Neil Armstrong's.) I also liked the scenario of what "could have happened" if there was a glitch with the moon rover during the moon landings.
See it--you'll love it.
The two veteran actresses play Janet (Smith) and Ursula (Dench,) two sisters living a comfortable and mundane life in Cornwall, England in 1936. Janet is a widow and Ursula is a spinster. Their lives are altered when a mysterious young Polish man (Daniel Bruhl)washes up on the beach near their home. They take him in, aid in his recovery from an accident that is never explained, and learn that he is a gifted violinist. Their comfort zone, which is already disturbed, becomes more so when a young German female painter (Natascha McElhone)also shows an interest in the young man.
Like in TEA WITH MUSSOLINI, Maggie Smith's character is the more level-headed and pragmatic, while Judi Dench's Ursula is overly-sensitive and borderline childlike. Miriam Margoyles does a great job as their rough-around-the-edges housekeeper and David Warner, who played "that undertaker of a manservant" in TITANIC, plays an equally creepy character in this film as the town's doctor.
The movie is far from perfect (Ebert and Roeper just gave it "two thumbs down," but it is enjoyable. It is just one little slice in the lives of all of these characters, not giving the viewer much history or much closure at the end. The most poignant sideline is the love that Ursula starts to feel for this young man and, though he is in his 20's and she is in her 70's, you are reminded that one really can't choose who one loves, even when the love is as inconvenient and impossible as this. However, I do agree with the 2 professional critics when they said that Maggie Smith "didn't have a lot to do in this film." This is true. Usually she is just the motherly voice of reason when Dench's character is acting irrational.
When I was at the theater there were many, many senior citizens in the audience. I heard many positive comments from my fellow audience members when the film ended and I think several could relate to the two ladies in the story. As for myself (and in my early 30's) I am still glad I saw it.
There really isn't any need for spoilers because it is a sports movie--and sports movies have happy, victorious endings about 99% of the time. But this story isn't really about the ending--which any viewer could predict--it is more about a team coming together at the last minute and working to form cohesion and camaraderie while facing unbeatable odds.
When the US World Cup team was formed, it was mainly comprised of 2 groups, the players from St. Louis' "Hill" and the "East Coasters." A lot of these men had played soccer well, but not professionally. They were men with other jobs like a mailman, undertakers, and a dish washer. The 2 groups had different styles to overcome and each had its own leader: Frank Borghi (Gerard Butler) led the men from the Hill and Walter Bahr (Wes Bentley) led the East Coasters. I really enjoyed these two characters. The film did an excellent job of showing their effort to create a sense of team spirit in a very limited amount of time.
There are plenty of colorful characters in the film, which strengthened the point of how they were all plucked from their lives for a mere 3 weeks to head down to Brazil and play their hearts out. There was Pee Wallace (who is afraid to fly) and Gino Pariani--who are known as a lethal combo on the field )or "pitch." There's Charlie Colombo and Joe Gatjaens--Charlie who wears gloves for every game and Joe--a Haitian--who turns cartwheels and shows infectious optimism. There's Harry Keough, the young mailman learning Spanish at home so he can converse with his girlfriend.
Many of these men were veterans. Many of them had been awarded during the service and several had had psychological after effects from WWII. Perhaps it was because of having served their country in that capacity that they felt the patriotism necessary to give their game that extra "umph." The film gives you just enough of their personal lives to get to know them and spends the majority of its time on the team after it has been formed but before the legendary game. The ending is somewhat abrupt--I felt--in that the second the game is over, so is the movie. You get the obligatory reintroduction of the characters by showing the actual men (now aged and few) who were on the team, but I wish there had been something--even a paragraph that appeared on the screen--that gave the audience some closure with these players with which we had invested the last 90 minutes.
Overall, however, it was very enjoyable and interesting.
(P.S. To those die-hard Gerry Butler fans--you'll enjoy the scenery a lot.)
Johnny Depp play the title role as the author of Peter Pan, struggling from writer's block after his last play flops. Kate Winslet is wonderful as Sylvia Llewelyn-Davies, the widowed mother of 4 boys and head of the family who inspire Barrie to write Peter Pan. Julie Christie is great as the grandmother you love to hate--fearful for her daughter's reputation, but also "protecting what she has" as she puts it during a strong talk with Barrie.
The 4 young men who play the Davies brothers are especially impressive. They look and act like brothers and hardly seem to be acting at all because they are so natural. Note that all 4 of the boys lended their names to the story: John (Jack) and Michael are Wendy's younger brothers, George is the father (and the oldest son), and of course Peter is the boy who refuses to grow up. Legend has it that Barrie created the name Wendy and it was first heard in Peter Pan.
Of course the stand-out young man is Freddie Highmore, who plays the young Peter from whom Barrie borrows the name of his title character. I think we'll see great things from him in the future. He'll be playing Charlie Bucket in Tim Burton's CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. Johnny Depp will be Willy Wonka. These are great roles for Johnny, who seems to be defying aging himself. Who knows how FINDING NEVERLAND would've turned out if Johnny Depp hadn't been cast as J.M. Barrie? Fortunately, we'll never know.
Dustin Hoffman does a superb turn as Charles Frohman, Barrie's producer. Of course, we all know that Dustin Hoffman can do anything on screen, but it is fun to see him linked to Peter Pan once more after his hilarious turn as Captain Hook in HOOK, with Robin Williams.
If differently cast, with different editing, this could've been a very boring movie. It certainly doesn't play like most of the modern-day films. Luckily for the viewers, it IS extremely well cast and well edited and you'll find yourself wanting to find Neverland again and again. It is sure to become a modern-day classic.
WHALE RIDER is the story of Paikea, the female surviving twin and most recent descendant of her Maori tribe's line of chiefs. But leadership does not extend to girls in their tribe, and her grandfather tries to find the "true chief" among boys in the village by conducting lessons of strength and endurance. Pai (played extremely effectively by first-time actress Keisha Castle-Hughes) is not allowed to join in these lessons, but her indomitable spirit is not crushed by her grandfather's rejection. There are excellent supporting characters, such as Pai's grandmother, uncle, and often-absent father. Each of these supporting characters help play a part in molding her character into a young woman with the leadership qualities her grandfather is looking for in others.
This is a very well-made movie because it doesn't feel like a movie. You are simply watching these colorful characters live their lives, exert their beliefs, and become one with their beautiful New Zealand surroundings. It is a treat for anyone who likes a quality film as well as for young people who can appreciate a fine story. Enjoy--