olde_fashioned: (Medieval -- Miranda)
So after what seems like Ye Very Longe Tyme, I've seen a movie in-theaters that didn't altogether suck, yet at the same time had a few serious flaws. Ridley Scott's most recent epic Robin Hood puts a very different spin on a story everyone grows up knowing by heart. I'll just give a brief recap and concentrate on mentioning the things that struck me, and throw in a few pictures for visual appeal (read: COSTUMES) and interest.

TONS of spoilers behind the cut! ;-)

''Ask me nicely.'' )

In closing, I certainly won't be buying this, but admittedly I'm super picky about what I buy. If I won't watch it fifty times over then it's not going to reside beside my Jane Austen DVDs. Having said that, I'm by no means sorry to have gone to see this, and as far as recommendations go, that depends on the person. If a little bit of schlocky historical fiction/romance novel plotting doesn't bother you, or if you enjoy exquisite cinematography, costumes, lovely music, and good acting, then give it a shot. At least there aren't any hoodies or jersey-knit dresses! ;-)

olde_fashioned: (TDK -- enemies)
Well, I've finally seen The Dark Knight. I thought it would have to be when it was released on DVD, but Spencer's friends took him in Utah and when he came back, he said he was dying to talk about it with me, so he treated me. :-) I have the best brother. *hugs him* He missed the first ten minutes the first time around, apparently, and since he was not at all opposed to seeing it a second time, just the two of us went to a local theater for an eight o'clock showing yesterday evening. It was great fun!

Now, consider yourself warned that I'm going to go on (and on...and on...) in a long, boring, and detailed review, but I'm putting anything spoilery behind a cut so others can read my general (and non-spoilery) opinions if they haven't seen the movie yet and/or don't want to read about what parts I liked best, lol. ;-) Click the cut only if you don't mind spoilers, gushing, and over analyzing of characters and their development! ;-P

Okay, first, a little bit of history.

''Maybe you should read the instruction manual first.'' )

Second, the obvious -- Wow. Wow wow wow wow WOW! I thought the movie was great. Absolutely fantastic. Fabulous, first-rate acting, even more fabulous plotting and scriptwriting, combined to make a movie that was very well-made and in a word, awesome. I don't go to the theater often, (haven't been since 2001, believe it or not) but I think it's safe to say that I haven't seen a movie in theaters that I liked this much since being a little kid and loving Beauty and the Beast, lol. TDK certainly lived up to expectations and is probably one of the best sequels that I've seen. Usually a francise seems to drift away from its roots, and get cheesy by the second installment, but there wasn't really anything lame in this.

It was indeed very dark; it is, after all, The Dark Knight. It was not, however, nearly as dark and depressing as I expected. Yes, the Joker (played to near Oscar-worthy perfection by the late Heath Ledger) is the epitomy of evil. Think of the baddest baddie you can imagine, and he's twice as bad as that. He is cold, cruel, calculated, heartless and unthinkably evil, and not only is he bad himself, but he tries his hardest to get other people to become like him. In that way he is like Satan, tempting and pushing others beyond their limits in an attempt to get them to "get off the curb and join him in the gutter." He delights in turning ordinary and even good people into crazed criminals who will do anything and stop at nothing.

''The night is darkest just before the dawn...'' )

Even though I do agree with the general consensus that Heath Ledger probably deserves an Oscar for his last role (at the very least a nomination) I do not think this was the Joker's movie, as so many have said. He was the principle villain, yes, but the movie belonged to Batman, "utterly and completely." (bonus points to whoever knows what that's from!) Christian Bale doesn't disappoint as the alternately human Bruce Wayne and equally tortured Batman, and his acting was so subtle that if you blink you'll miss a major hint of character development. This is definitely a film you have to see more than once to fully appreciate.

'' I know why you choose to have your little [cough] group therapy sessions in broad daylight. I know why you're afraid to go out at night. [pause] The Batman.'' )

This movie tackles several age-old questions about the nature of right and wrong, which I found rather refreshing. Too many Hollywood productions and movie heroes fail the test of morality, but I am happy to say that TDK did not. Tempted, pushed, and even thrown past his limits, Batman does not "cross the line" and break his moral code.

''Accomplice? I'm telling them it was all YOUR idea.'' )

This movie, with its violence and dark storyline which are offensive to some and horrifying to others, is not a symptom of a derilect and rotten society, it is a warning of what just a society will become. When you take away the value of human life, the moral values that are the crutches and very life-support of civilization, when decent people look the other way in fear and apathy, Gotham is what you get. "Evil triumphs when good men do nothing."

I may be over analyzing this movie, I may be a dork and total loser for writing such a ridiculously long review, and I may be reading too much into the nuances and themes incorportated into the plot, but in my humble opinion, they are there, if you look. One reason I've allowed myself to enjoy these movies so much is because of their strong moral compass, their (excuse the word) "passion" and intensity, and heretofore decent worldview. Quite refreshing, IMVHO.

''Either you die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.'' )
olde_fashioned: (Cranford -- young love)
I was bad and didn't write up a review for last week's RIDICULOUSLY SHORT installment of Cranford mainly because I couldn't come up with much to say about it. So I decided to lump it all together with episode three.

Warning: SPOILERS ABOUND as always!! ;-D (and I'm too tired so I'm probably rambling like a nitwit and mispelling words all over the place but oh well.)

A cup of tea, a good book, and a heartwarming story... )
olde_fashioned: (Cranford -- romance)
I've just returned from the first of three trips back in time to a little English village called Cranford. ;-) It was every bit as delightful as my great expecations expected it would be, and even succeeding them in some respects.

[Consider yourself warned....there are gazillions of spoilers.]

What is all this agitation about? Are the new summer gloves come in?! )
olde_fashioned: (JA -- P&P -- Jane & Bingley love)
Well, I've finally seen it! I've finally seen the duel!! 8-D *lol* And I must say, that the clever editing with the red sealing wax as "blood" was ingenious. I liked that very much.

I'm afraid I haven't much else to say, since this was pretty much what I expected, and I did like it, so I'll try to keep my snark to a minimum. *pause* Oh who am I kidding?? ;-P
Can you forgive me? Can you love me? )
olde_fashioned: (S&S2 -- Marianne)
At long last, we get to see the rest of the Complete Jane Austen Season! I thought it was very unkind of the PBS/BBC/whatever execs to torture us with such a huge gap between the adaptations. *pouts* But anyway, patience is a virtue. Or at least so I'm told. ;-P

Firstly, I obviously object to the "seduction" in the opening scene. What, is a Jane Austen story not attractive enough without "spicing" it up?? (Andrew Davies, I'm looking at you!) There is more to love than lust and eros. It was not as bad as I thought it might have been, thankfully. *wipes prudish sweat from brow*

Also, aside from my moral objections to such an addition, I find it highly and materially altering to the story, that we are given such a hugely crucial "spoiler" and clue to Willoughby's true nature so early in the story. We are supposed to be as ignorant as Marianne!! We are not supposed to view him with suspicion. Even the actor they chose makes me raise my eyebrows -- he's too "caddish" looking, in my opinion.

Elinor and Marianne are both well cast, IMO, and I like Elinor especially. I'm a little less fond of Marianne, possibly because I am comparing her too much to Kate Winslet. But seeing her performance once Willoughby breaks her heart will be much more "telling" than what we've seen so far. It's difficult for me to form a "just impression" when I've only seen half a story. ;-)
I am excessively fond of a cottage! )
olde_fashioned: (JA -- I should infinitely prefer a book)
Well, I've finally seen it. I have satisfied my curiosity. And it was about what I excpected it to be. Once again we have a major Austenian production and the studio is unable to leave unappropriate (and unecessary, IMO) references out of an otherwise clean film. I won't go into any details, but Tom Lefroy is depicted as having a skirt problem (amongst many other things!) and we have Northanger Abbey 2007 deja vu with Jane reading Tom Jones after Tom Lefroy has dared her to.

The music was lovely (and I loved hearing Hole in the Wall at the big dance, which I've loved ever since I heard it in Emma and Wives & Daughters) the scenery was picturesque, and the costumes were tolerable enough, but not historically accurate enough to tempt me. What was with the red apron worn while playing cricket? And the lack of hats and bouncing waistlines? Here we have a big to-do at Lady Catherine's er, um, Lady Gresham's estate and we have girls dressed as in costumes ranging from twenty years apart! I can understand the decision to have the working-around-the-farm dresses with old and out of date styles, but the ball gowns?

And then we have the austere-yet-loving aunt, who, strangely akin to the 1940 Pride & Prejudice's devation from the novel, is actually trying to help her nephew win his lady fair. And she is strangely clad in a dress oddly reminiscent of Judi Dench in the 2005 Pride & Prejudice -- purple 18th century attire, fuzzy grey wig and all. *shakes head*

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman in posession of a good mind and no fortune, must be in want of a husband )
olde_fashioned: (JA -- MAR -- Jane undressed)
Since this was part of the Complete Jane Austen season including ITV's laughable Manfield Park and the less-than-perfect Persuasion, I was dubious at best about what to expect from Miss Austen Regrets. I had thought it would be lame and sentimental without any substance, and riddled with inaccuracies. Having watched this last night, I was most pleasantly surprised.

I am going to say again that ever since seeing the Kate Beckinsale adaptation of Emma with Olivia Williams as Jane Fairfax (who played Jane Austen in Miss Austen Regrets) I have always believed she would be an excellent Jane Austen if she ever got the chance to play her. Imagine my surprise (and delight!) when I learned she would indeed get the chance.

Now for the review, which, due to my rather liking the film, is not very sarcastic, I'm afraid. Apologies to those of you who came here hoping for a laugh. ;-)

the only way to get a man like Mr. Darcy is to make him up! )
olde_fashioned: (JA -- MP -- Fanny)
I have just finished watching ITV's skeleton of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. I am most seriously displeased. I am now going to bring out my sarcastic weapons without any apologetic restraints and wield them with utter ferocity in the general direction of whoever is responsible of ruining this story. Do not read this tirade review if you are an ardent fan of this movie. (although I do not see how any could exist, haha) They seem to have kept the names and changed the rest. Why bother to adapt something if you're not going to tell the story properly???? Grrrrrrr…

I knew I would not like Billie Piper the moment the cast list was released and I saw her picture. Without seeming to “judge a book by its cover” she is not at all period-looking or suitably “meek” or sweet or downtrodden enough to play Fanny Price. At least Jane Austen’s Fanny, that is. I was left with the distinct impression that somewhere along the line, PBS was given the wrong tape and we were subjected to some non-Austen contraption designed to torture and confuse the viewer.

What was with the HAIR in this movie? Fanny has a bleach job (and a bad one at that!) while Tom and Henry looked like something a cat would drag in. Edmund’s hair was plastered to his head like he hadn’t taken a bath in weeks. And makeup? Lipstick?? *fans self*

Her hair Louisa! Her HAIR!!! )
olde_fashioned: (NA -- Brock staircase)
I've just finished watching the new Northanger Abbey, so here is what I thought.

Spoilers galore, and comments welcome! ;-D

And do you understand muslins, sir? )
olde_fashioned: (JA -- Persuasion The Letter)
I've just finished watching the new ITV adaptation of Persuasion, and I must say, that I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would!

If you do not know that this is going to contain tons of spoilers, then conisider yourself duly warned.

To those of you who have seen it, what did you think?

You pierce my soul... )

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