Sunday, August 31, 2008

BBC's Pride and Prejudice {Movie Review}

This P&P was different for me than the other two versions I have watched. The most recent version is only decent in my opinion for an exceptionally abbreviated version of the lesser important parts of the book. Every time I see that version I like Keira Knightley less and less in playing Elizabeth Bennett also. It just doesn't come across as genuine to me. Mrs. Bennett definitely steals the show. I think she is the best Mrs. Bennett to date, and Mr. Bennett is also probably the best to be found. Okay, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh was excellent also.

The BBC/A&E version is essentially wonderful, and probably still my favorite of these three that I have seen. I think the Lizzy in that version is a good balance and wit and respect, and Colin Firth does a wonderful job of transitioning from cold, hard Mr. Darcy to seeing his true nature. That version is also mostly accurate to the book.

This version is also fairly accurate, and I definitely enjoyed watching it. The feel of the movie was entirely different though. I still haven't been able to put my finger on it. David Rintoul was a sensational Mr. Darcy. I think he pulled off the high-and-mighty Mr. Darcy far better than either of the others. While the transition was there in his character I felt that Lizzy did more of the transforming than Darcy in this version. I felt just a touch more warmth would have completely sold me on David being "the" Mr. Darcy... and he might be my favorite Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth Garvie did a very good job of portraying Elizabeth Bennett. I found it interesting to watch this portrayal because Lizzy was not as saucy and, while still being quite firm in her opinion, was respectful and considerate while speaking her mind. I think this version showed a more accurate version of what Lizzy probably would have actually been like in personality and disposition. Though, since I was used to thinking of her with a tad more spice I think I slightly prefer Jennifer Ehle.

I must say all of the Mr. Collins in these movies were excellent choices. The one in this 1980 version was over the top. I could not stand the man (which, of course, is good in this case). My biggest complaint about all three movies is that no one has translated Georgiana to the screen properly. That does irk me some.

I would definitely recommend this version of P&P even with its 4 hour running time. Break it up into segments if you need to, but I suggest watching it in one sitting for its full effect. I give it two thumbs up! :-)

EDIT: This is actually my favorite version of Pride and Prejudice now. It grows on your leaps and bounds each time I see it (which has only been like 2 or 3). I think that Rintoul is the absolute best Darcy, and I think his portrayal does that best at showing how, yes, Mr. Darcy grew in character, but also was misunderstood. Also, I think Lizzie is the most accurately portrayed. While the filmography certainly doesn't win any awards, I think the rest of the movie steals the show. 

4 out of 5 stars.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Hot Fairy Tale

I absolutely LOVED reading this book. And I was pleased as to the accuracy of the movie adaptation as well. I mean, I shouldn't have been surprised - the man who abridged the book is the same man who wrote the screenplay for the movie. :-) Not that some parts weren't changed, mind you, but it was satisfactory.

Goldman took out the "dry" and "boring stuff" that Morgenstern had in his book. Which basically means all the satire on Florin is gone (the stuff that the Florin history buffs love). Of course, now I want to go hunt up his enormous book and read it for myself (which I actually do plan on doing), even though apparently Morgenstern wasn't concerned about the material that makes up the hilarious "good parts" version. The book is just as quotable as the movie. (uh, wait, I already covered that, didn't I). It really is a must read.

Goldman's abridgement style is wonderful. He tells you what he is cutting out and why, and then tells the story in Morgenstern's actual words, instead of just rewriting the whole thing to suit Goldman's fancy (like so many abridgments are so uncreatively typically done).

Read the book, see the movie. Enjoy life. Unlike Westley you probably only have one to live.

(n.b. 2010 - I've been looking for the "original" book ... and I don't think it exists. I think it's just part of Goldman's style to say he edited a book to allow for some of the "lapses" - but that doesn't change the fact that I think this is a great book!)

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Tax Cut

It is not uncommon to hear people make statements such as "I'm a Reagan Republican." After all, he is probably the best president we ever had, and this is certainly the case in my life time. Why did people love Reagan so much, even though people were initially skeptical of his presidential ability given his age? He made good policies, and he understood how the economy works, to name a couple.

The "economic crisis" we currently seem to be in has people scrambling all worried and in a tizzy. What would be the way to fix our problems? How can we fix everything? What about ...

Well, before you lose another nights sleep remember that the economy is going to go up and down - it's a part of being a capitalist nation. IT IS OKAY. In fact, it is normal. And it is artificial to think raising taxes or doing some other such thing is ever going to help. What did Reagan do in a similar time? He cut taxes. What the economy do? It improved. The less government interference, the better the economy goes. Remember that in light of the upcoming election, and read this great blog post about that memorable day Reagan cut taxes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

BBC's Emma {Movie Review}

You know the saying "don't judge a book by it's cover?" Well, don't judge a movie by its cover either! While this adaptation runs longer than most movies (a solid 4 1/2 hours total) it was definitely worth seeing. The length of the film gave believability and depth the the characters, and while it first seems rather theatrical in delivery, it progresses more and more naturally, and some theatrical qualities are absorbed into the personalities of the characters themselves. This was a faithful film adaptation of the book. I was exceedingly gratified. It is obvious that this is an older film (it was made in '72) particularly in the outside scenes, but it is forgivable. I must say that the most endearing character is poor Mr. Woodhouse. The old gentleman is lovably laughable, or maybe its laughably lovable. Either way, his character came across marvelously. I do highly suggest you see this film, even if it is over four hours long.

3 out 5 stars.

And, don't worry, it may be NR, but it's appropriate for all audiences.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

riding GIANTS (Movie Review)

As I mentioned in my review of Surf's Up, Riding Giants is a surfing documentary. A "Big Wave" surfing documentary that is. Aside for the language it is rated PG-13 for inappropriate language (and the language is not infrequent) it is a good watch.

I enjoyed the archival videos they put in the movie, and the spectacular scenery and majesty of the ocean. You think small wave surfin' is something? You haven't seen anything yet! I was astounded at the size of the waves and the different techniques that are used of necessity - and the utter dangerousness of surfing in the manner -- all of which is covered well in Riding Giants.

This is a documentary, so while it is a little dry in some parts it is still largely interesting. I still recommend this film (with a bleeper, of course).

1.75 out of 5 stars.

(BTW- today is 08-08-08!)

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Now is a Time for Choosing

Even though this was said decades ago, the principles still ring true. Keep this in mind when deciding who you will cast your vote for shortly.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Extreme Days {Movie Review}

Extreme Days is a great movie about four best friends from childhood and the trip of their dreams. At least, that's what they want it to be. It, of course, turns out to not turn out like they had planned as life throws them a few curve-balls along the way. Matt is by far the best part of the movie. His lines are truly memorable. There is also a sweet classic Japanese fighting scene in the film. I, of course, can't say I agree with everything in the movie, but it is very entertaining, and there is nothing particularly crude included. Guys will be guys, though, as is evidenced in the fire-ball gas scene. Word of warning though: don't watch this movie if you are looking for something serious. It is definitely all about enjoying life.\

2 out of 5 stars.

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Builder discovers "priceless" Tolkien postcard

Pretty amazing! =) 

By Mike Collett-White
LONDON (Reuters) - A demolition man stripping a fireplace from the former home of "The Lord of the Rings" author J.R.R. Tolkien stumbled across a postcard to the writer dated 1968, and hopes to sell it for a small fortune.

Stephen Malton, who runs Prodem Demolition in Bournemouth on the south English coast, was working in the house in the nearby town of Poole before it was bulldozed to make way for a new construction project.

"Before we demolish a house we do an internal strip out," Malton said Tuesday.

"One of the main features was a fireplace, and upon removing that we came across three postcards. The third one was a postcard dated 1968 and addressed to J.R.R. Tolkien."

Malton said research on the Internet suggested that the carved wooden fireplace with marble inlay, a feature of the house when Tolkien lived there from 1968 to 1972, was already worth up to $250,000.

"To tie in both the fireplace and the postcard, we are talking about a price of around $500,000 for the combined pair," the 42-year-old told Reuters by telephone.

He contacted the Tolkien Estate, which manages the author's copyrights, and said that they had given him the all clear to sell the fireplace and postcard. The estate could not immediately be reached for comment.

Malton said he would probably sell the items at auction, although according to local newspaper the Dorset Echo, he has already had an offer from a Tolkien enthusiast in Belgium.

The postcard was addressed to Tolkien at the Miramar Hotel in Bournemouth, where he and his wife Edith often stayed.

It is from "Lin," which Malton believed could be fellow fantasy author Lin Carter who wrote "Tolkien: A Look Behind 'The Lord of the Rings,'" published in 1969.

Depicting a scene from Ireland, it reads: "I have been thinking of you a lot and hope everything has gone as well as could be expected in the most difficult circumstances."

Malton was not sure what the "difficult circumstances" might be.

Tolkien had achieved fame by the time he moved to Poole in 1968. His epic "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, already popular before the hugely successful film adaptations appeared, was published in 1954-55.
He remained in Poole until his wife's death, when he moved back to Oxford. Tolkien died in 1973, aged 81.