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Austen-themed Fancy Dress party, and a bathtub of ridiculous fun.
It is a truth universally acknowledged (yes, I must, and I shall) that when one calls a duck a pig, one tends to be left disappointed. Such is the case with the phenomenon Austenland.
There are some truths that should be made clear before the finer dissections of all that is or should be or is not really wrong with this film. It is, above all, very much the chick lit based movie you are expecting, and as such, is primarily a chick kingdom. We can, of course, make the case that all Austen is more often than not the imaginary dominion of women, but I am not here to do this. There are rumours of men liking Austen, which delights me.
This is not, however, the case with Austenland. It is for women, simple as this. It spells HOT male lead, fumbling female we can all relate to, a platter of guys everywhere, healthy dose of gossip, proposals, sugar-sweet happy ending, the works. If a movie goes wonderfully with a box of chocolate-covered chocolate and your comfiest PJs, you should get an idea of it.
The second point I must accent is that the movie, as well as the book, do not make the claim of being life-changing, and do not have the ambition to be left in history as classics. The author, much like her characters, does not take herself overly seriously, and the film/book is not meant to be, as well. Should be fairly obvious, given the name, but it seems to elude some viewers.
Lastly, it is not Austenish. There is very little that connects it to the books on an intellectual level. There are the props, the sloppy quoting, the disposition of the main character (though that one is VERY debatable). If you approach this movie hoping for a modern ping of Regency romance, turn away, or approach with free-minded caution.
Now that this is covered, onwards.
The film overall, even more so than the book, has a decided air of ridiculousness. And the type that is always, pointedly, over the top. This is why some ardent, pedantic Austen fans might dislike this movie. It is as ridiculous and excessive as Jane Austen's novels are subtle and somewhat caustic. The fact that Jennifer Coolidge is in it should be hint enough as to its atmosphere and tone.
Visually, it is average, but then again, it never made the claim of excelling in that department. It is pleasant, there are no irking sights and details that ruin the experience.
Onto the cast.
The two main characters, to me, had passable chemistry. They are both likable, clumsily honest (a trait better seen in Jane than in Henry), and innocently lost. Keri Russel somehow always strikes me as playing herself – cute, smiling, with a bit of a fiery temper at times, and always wide-eyed and curious. I must say, though, that in a world of irritating heroines, she is pleasant to look at.
I am very partial to JJ Feild, ever since Third Star. I must mention, therefore, that he possesses a certain degree of gravity, of security that seems somehow out of place in the film. It is present in the book character, though, and he portrays faithfully. This being his second Austen appearance besides Northanger Abbey (if we do consider this one Austen, if tentatively), he pertains the characteristics of the classical Austen man, but adds a touch of comedy and innocence that go a long way. He is the height of the film for me, by far.
The rest of the cast are pleasant, and excelling in their ridiculousness. I must say that all of them did a good job portraying their literary characters, which is really what the point of a book film is. Jennifer Coolidge does her thing, yes, you know the one, that one that she does everywhere. If you're a fan, you'd enjoy her in a new setting. A pleasant surprise came from James Kallis as the dubiously gay Colonel. I must say he entertained me far more than Coolidge, and in some cases, more than Russel. Jane Seymour did what was expected, but wasn't spectacular, to me. The rival, Martin, played by Bret McKenzie, was staggeringly faithful to the book image, even more so than the others. Cute, a bit awkward, he does make you like him all the way until the very end, where he, faithfully again, acts like the douche he's meant to be.
There is an easter egg of sorts in this movie, in the face of Rupert Vansittart. I am sure most of you who watched this film, have rewatched BBC's Pride and Prejudice on numerous occasions, and recognized him immediately as the drunken, disinterested and uncivilized Mr. Hurst. Vansittart plays the exact same role – a fact that, I am sure, is intended by both writer and director. I was pleasantly surprised.
Finally, I want to urge those of you who find this movie pleasant, to read the book. It is quite short, easy to read, more Austeny than the movie ("If you're listening, Big Brother, I refuse to be Fanny Price.") and, to my taste, with prettier words all around.
Conclusion? If you're expecting a modern Austen romance, rewatch the BBC P&P (you know it gets better every time). For a bit of hilarious, utterly unhinged girly fun, dip right in this one.
Third Star (2010)
Bittersweet emotional treat
I watched Third Star perhaps two weeks ago, but realised that it is one of those movies you have to step back from before expressing an opinion out in the open.
The movie tells the story of four friends, one of whom diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, to a faraway place filled to the brim with happy, cherished memories.
From beginning to end, the tale is full of emotions, all shapes and sizes, climbing on top of one another and dashing across the spectrum, slurred by the simple, yet powerful dialog.
There are elements present that one expects when reading a summary for 'one of them diagnosed with cancer". They are, however, presented honestly and simply, without redundant drama. Furthermore, it is not James that leads the movie as the sole figure of interest. All four friends have unique stories, unfolding with varying severity and overtones, and each becomes dear to you by the end.
I will finish this review by saying that the movie harnesses great sadness together with immeasurable happiness, and it touches your heart, as all good movies should.
"And there's no tragedy in that."
Light, Sweet, Hilarious
I have to admit that my expectations were great for this movie. I spent an eternity looking for it on the net and found it in a not-so-good quality. But I have to say it was worth all effort, and made my evening pleasantly light.
The story is in my opinion highly applicable even now. The "mature" teenagers that refuse to live the life that is given to them and jump from pond to pond like tadpoles that don't know their place. Besides, gives ground for very good, innocent humor. This is one of "Tadpole"'s most attractive qualities.
The acting, needless to say, is a bouquet of flavors bound to suit the bigger part of the audience. The ladies of the movie are astonishing. Sigourney Weaver, with a slightly classy, slightly playful, slightly dramatic air around her makes her every reaction pleasurable. Bebe Neuwirth, on the other hand, is exquisite in her act as the seducer, the naughty middle-aged who likes to play around.
For me, however, the debut of Aaron Stanford could not have been a better choice. His role was honest, childish, and playing around the poles. Between his disinterest for ignorant teenage girls and childlike attraction for older, more mature women, he is downright brilliant. An adorable role, and the actor does it much justice.
The fact that the movie is short helps the plot, it does not allow it to become overly heavy and somber, lets it play along the edges. The subtlety in the more... tense scenes makes up for the charming character of the movie.
And even if you think that the notion of the movie is not much to your liking, let me remind the last and key quote mentioned in it:
If we don't find anything pleasant, at least we shall find something new.
P.S. I Love You (2007)
Resurrects more than a grief-stricken widow
To say I am not the romantic type would pretty much hit the mark. The usual flick would make me at the most willing to take an unpleasant phone call for the idea of it. But I must say, as it is not five minutes after the credits of "P.S. I Love You" rolled over my screen, that I am impressed and surprisingly hopeful.
I read in the synopsis that Butler's character dies pretty much in the beginning of the movie, so I was a little disappointed, since he was the source of my interest for "P.S. I Love You" . He, however, graces with his presence during the entire movie, proving right its main idea with talent and incredible presence. Furthermore, Swank's acting was amazing. After her all-consuming popularity I was downright sick seeing her face everywhere. But she managed once again to give a unique and capturing performance, making a bond with everyone around her so that the scene works naturally.
The movie itself was a pleasant surprise and worthy addition to the already bulky flick genre. What caught my fancy was these moments when the drama gets a bit over the top, or a silly detail at first sight slipped by mistake sets it, and the main character pinpoints that exact thing, loosing the tension and making you feel a part of the action.
The music, too, was not corny, and not walking a single line of thought. A slight, gentle tune here, a wild and hilarious 'funeral' song there, set the mood right.
And Ireland... well. There is a famous saying, and I am pretty convinced it's not a nationalistic propaganda. You're either born Irish, or wanting to be one. So don't miss the chance to catch a glimpse of that breathtaking nature... and population.
9/10, and you better not miss it.
Exactly What is Expected
As I saw the trailer for Hit-man for the first time, I knew what to expect. The simplicity of the title promises nothing more and nothing less than a complete meal for action movie addicts. I figured it would have a shallow but still touching emotional side to it to add a color other than blood red to the movie. But all in all, I expected to see my all-time favorite action scenes with gunshots deafening me, blood spurting everywhere, screams and music with a metallic maddening ring to it. I was not disappointed.
People who expect more than this should give up their hopes. Hit-man is all about the pure beauty of senseless action and catchy lines. Not to mention that my like for Timothy Olyphant from his previous appearances raised the score.
There was inevitably the feeling of discontent for me as a Bulgarian, because the movie, mainly shot at my country, presented Russia. But like I said, don't dig deep and you will be left highly satisfied and wonderfully relaxed.
7 out of 10, and would watch it again.
Snow Queen (2002)
strong love, mixed with the magic of fairy tales
I have probably watched the movie 4 or 5 times. Every time, i get more and more impressed by how far the wish of a young heart can go, and the strenght of both Kai and Gertha to struggle for what they believe in.
And the whole story is presented in such a way, you just get transfered into the plot and before you know it, you are there. you can see... yeah, there's Kai... working hard on the mirror... a little jump.... there's Gertha, fighting for her love..... and there's the Snow Queen...
it's just a wonderful mix of love, adventure, tension.
it's brilliant 10 out of 10
crazy enough to dream about
to make a band...that's been a dream of mine since i'm able to dream!!! and the love story between Nick and Mooch is very sweet. I'm a lot like her so guess what i'm dreaming about - the same thing to happen to me! anyway, the film is totally awesome - watch it. by the way i have to say that the songs were very cool: i mean, satisfaction, mr. Big stuff, and so on.... besides they're really good - they're playing well if they had a CD , i would buy it.
so that's from me hope u follow my advice and watch it - it's really good
The Replacements (2000)
it's cool to know there's no tomorrow
It's a great movie. These players are not just some rich, famous stars that have their noses up sky-high. there are guys with hearts, fears ( spiders on the field :) , and know how to have fun. and they make us laugh our asses of along with it. it's designed so good, that there isn't a replacement you don't find irreplaceable. and it's fun to see them rough-play even against each other. but in the end, they're like a big family - they stick to each other, they trust each other, and would do anything for their fiends.
very good fun, for both women and men :)
p.s. by the way I'm a girl and i just love the sport, so don't rely on that thought.
Venus Senki (1989)
what can I say...that's manga
This is the first manga film that I watched, and the reason to develop my interest and look for more movies. And thanks to this baby I found "AKIRA", for which I won't stop being grateful. The movie, simply said, has it all. there's action, thrill, criticizing general issues, a bit of romance. The big influence comes from Hiro - he's a boy, deeply interested and amazed by all the unfairness in this world, and as we can see, does everything in his powers to fix it all. Even though he is still a teenager, his seriousness and bravery make his a truly amazing character.
a perfect movie, worth the time 10 out of 10
The Butterfly Effect (2004)
Absolutely brilliant for the ones who get it
Having in mind the habit of the new movies to be complete crab, this one was simply breathtaking. It started scary ( and cool, for the horrorfans, like myself ), with the kid with black spots in his memory, drawing pictures of murders and walking around the house with a knife and a strange look on his face. But if you really look carefully you'll get the picture at the end. It gets confusing sometimes, with all the different stories and all, but at the end the satisfaction is complete.
the interesting thing it it really makes you wonder if you had the chance, what would you change in your life and what will also change without your knowledge.... and is it really worth the effort.
to say the truth, I thought a lot after seeing the movie...I wanted to know where each one of his reactions and the signs he makes comes from... If you think it really bugs you until you figure it out. yes, there are not many funny moments in it, but if you really try to understand it and appreciate it, you'll want to watch it again, and again, and again.
Dangerous Child (2001)
Rage in a 16-year-old boy.... What's better than that?!?
I just have to agree with all of you - Ryan's play in the movie is just brilliant. All the rage and violence in one moment, and the regret and tears in the other, all very strong and pure. As a whole it is interesting to see how the story goes, but there isn't even the slightest shadow of impatience, because you just don't know what he'll do next. and the look, his eyes, filled with such hidden anger and even evil... just makes you shake...it's so real...
besides, you can almost feel the confusion that's happening in that boy's mind, just by the look on his face.
a great movie no less than 10 out of 10
The Whole Nine Yards (2000)
BEST MOVIE EVER
if that's not THE MOVIE, i can't imagine what'll it be. it's by far the funniest thing i've ever watched? this is one of the few movies that make me laugh uncontrollably not only 5 minutes of the whole movie, but non stop! it's not only the situations - just the expressions on their faces makes me fall on the ground in hysterical laughter. 4 example - matthew is the most funny person in the world, no matter as chandler, or oz, or someone else of his characters. and bruice .....well, i think there's no need to explain. he's brilliant as an actor and makes every movie an unforgettable experience.
if you like to laugh, watch this and you'll laugh your ass off for the next 10-20 years
p.s.: I've watched the movie at least 15 times and I'll never get tired of watching it over and over again, because it's simply the best piece of entertainment in the history of movie-making
10 out of 10
Cruel Intentions (1999)
sexy, cruel (even evil), funny. what more do you want?!
as i first watched the movie, i had my soul all mixed up what to feel-excitement, amusement, admiration, hate or....what? the film is made simply brilliant. and the characters are very well picked. but i'll have to disagree with sajeeva sinniah on this. i think this is one of the best performances of Ryan Phillippe. and it's not only cause he's cute ( simply perfect, to say the truth ), but you can see what a great actor he is in the change of his personality in the movie. from a selfish, cruel, spoiled boy, he becomes a responsible, serious, man. but the faces he makes, the jokes he makes, all the specific parts of the behavior in the beginning, make his character even more charming.
i watched it and i'll watch it again 10 out of 10
There are not enough words
man.... oh man.....
as a big moviefan and movie lover, I am rarely really touched by a movie. I usually just laugh, or say it has been good, or really good. But this is one of the movies that made me stay, like, half an hour, staring in the space in front of me, just....being amazed.
The whole story was amazing, had the thrill, had the important human values and all... but the characters were just brilliant. My fave is and always will be Tetsuo. I don't know if it sounds crazy, but it's kind of beautiful to see all that rage, gained in the years, just to poor out with such force.
If I had to chose one character to identify myself with, it would be Tetsuo. And if I had his powers, even for a day, I would make the world remember me for a century.
So people, if you have the chance, WATCH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you won't regret, you have my word.
Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)
Truly mad, truly paranoid, truly impressionable
I had the chance to watch the movie very late - 2004. That'll probably be one of the things I regret the most. And here I'll like to thank my friend Slavina for telling me about it and giving me the opportunity to experience the full pleasure of watching it. In a way, I'm a lot like Pink. He's closed in himself, trying to get over the incredible panic, anger, and pure madness, rising in his soul. to protect himself, he builds a wall around himself that'll keep all the bad people out of his world and prevent them from harming him.
I really understand him, all of his actions - why he does them, how does he feel. For example the scene where he cuts his arm on the broken window while shouting "Take that f***ers". The madness in his eyes, the anger in his voice...man, I've felt like that so many times...
a brilliant movie 10 out of 10