Hello readers! In this post I shall discuss every movie I can remember that I watched this year. Enjoy!
The Roosevelts An Intimate History
This is truly the best movie ever!!!!!! It contains seven 2 hour episodes which chronicle the lives of Theodore, Eleanor, and Franklin Roosevelt. Last March I was struggling to get through the final dark nights of the year. As a history person I thought that a fourteen hour long documentary about the family that produced Fala (FDR’s dog) would be a great way to pass the time. I was able to check out each episode online from the library. As I watched I crocheted a bunch of washcloths for occ boxes. I was especially interested in the parts relating to WWII. The Roosevelts is by far my favorite movie that I have ever seen, but I was disappointed that they did not spend more time talking about Fala.
Side note about Fala: Fala Roosevelt was a very famous Scottish terrier belonging to FDR, and I am one of his biggest fans. I was especially into him last winter. I wrote an article and short story about him, I taped a picture of him onto the March Maddness bracket my dad made me fill out, the background image on my phone was a picture of Fala, and for a while I sent my mother a different picture of him each day. In other words I was (and maybe still am) super into Fala.
Deck the heart
It pains me to put Deck the Heart in the same category as The Roosevelts. It is perhaps the worst and most cheezy movie I have ever watched. One day I told my mother that it was on my bucket list to watch a Hallmark movie. She found this on YouTube and we watched it together on her phone. It was entertaining to laugh at how cheezy it was, but otherwise it was pretty bad. The characters were as flat as they possibly could be, the plot could be correctly predicted by a two year old, and the acting was not great. It was the kind of movie that was trying to be heartwarming and things but it failed miserably. After watching Deck the Heart I gained a greater appreciation for what the word cheezy means, and I decided that I was done watching Hallmark movies.
Dolphin Tale is a movie that I would have probably never watched, had I not recently visited the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which is where the movie was filmed.
We went to the Clearwater Marine Aquaium as part of our vacation to Florida last May. While we were there, we learned about this movie. Later in the summer, I checked out the movie from the library and watched it with Jacques. It is loosely based on a true story about a dolphin at the aquarium, but it is very fictionalized. It is trying to do the same things that Hallmark movies are (be heartwarming, inspiring etc.) but it actually does a good job. Even my cold heart was a little touched. As for Jacques, he was too busy asking me what a dolphin was to be inspired.
Pride and Prejudice (2005 version)
I read the original Pride and Preudice novel in January of last year. I was vaguely aware of the fact that there were movie adaptations out there, but I never bothered to figure out how to watch them. Sometime that summer, Nonnie gave me some movies including two Pride and Prejudice adaptations. I am a busy person with books to read and projects to make, so I put the movies on the shelf and never got around to watching them. Sometime in the fall I fell ill. One evening the men had gone off to church and I was at home with my mother. I didn’t feel good and wanted something to help pass the time so I told my mother that it was my desire to watch a movie. She consented and chose the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice for me to watch. My reaction to it was pretty standard for me. I thought it was good and enjoyed it but at the same time, thought they did everything wrong and the book was far superior.
Pride and Preudice (1995 version)
After I finished the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice my mother informed me that the next day I would start watching the 1995 version. I was still ill and had nothing better to do so I consented to the plan. I watched most of the six hour long movie out in the backyard with Jacques. My setup consisted of three camping chairs, one for setting my mother’s laptop on, one for sitting in, and one for putting my feet on. Jacques doesn’t use chairs so he just sat on the ground. Jacques told me that his favorite character was Mr. Darcy, because Jacques is very rich and lives in a large estate just like Mr. D.
Something very strange happened when I watched this Pride and Prejudice adaptation. I actually didn’t have some big thing that I was mad about! Usually when I watch movie adaptations of books, I get all outraged about something that either was or wasn’t included, but for the most part, after watching Pride and Predjuice I felt content with how the movie was. What is happening to me?!?!?!?!? Have I lost my ability to be outraged? Surely in all the six hours there is something I could be mad about!!! (Sigh)
In all honesty, I believe that the fact that the movie was six hours long is the main reason why I liked it. They did not have to take out any scenes because there was actually time to include them all. There were a couple of scenes that were added, but why I am not outraged about these additions is a great mystery to me. Perhaps since I was ill my mind was not functioning properly.
The Book Thief
Any worries about me losing my ability to be mad at movies were instantly dissolved when I watched The Book Thief. I read the original novel by Markus Zusak and thought it was amazing, but unfortunately the movie was not.
Probably part of the reason why I was dissatisfied with The Book Thief movie was the fact that they had to take a 552 page novel and turn it into a 2 hour movie. The whole film felt very clipped and rushed. I realize that it was necessary for some scenes to be cut out, but I think the filmmaker made very poor choices as to what scenes to cut. All the scenes that made the novel so rich and powerful were removed from the movie! They also changed some key things about the plot that only made the movie worse. That being said, there were a few scenes that I thought were done well, but they were few and far between.
I believe that The Book Thief has the potential to become a really great movie, but to truly do the book justice, a good film adaptation would need to be at least five or six hours long. Of corse, it would also need to include all the proper scenes and not do anything stupid. If any of you readers would like to create such a movie, I will give you my hearty endorsement.
Sense and Sensibility
I have already discussed the circumstances under which I watched this movie at length in another post so there is no need to do so here. I will go straight to what I thought of the film, and I have plenty of thoughts.
In general, the folks who made this movie did a pretty good job and didn’t make complete fools of themselves. I especially liked the person who played Marianne. Even though she didn’t quite look like the real Marianne did, she played the part very well. I also enjoyed Sir John and Mrs. Jennings. Even though I liked most of the film, I did have two major issues with it.
Issue #1 – Edward Ferrars
Take a moment and look at the picture above. It depicts Edward Ferrars from the movie. Now, if you could only use one word to describe him what would it be?
If you said handsome you are not wrong. In fact, probably the first thing you thought when you looked at him was, “Well, there’s a good looking fellow.” Now, you may be wondering what my problem with this is. Isn’t it normal for love interests to be good looking fellows?
Well since you asked, I DON’T CARE HOW LOVE INTERESTS NORMALLY LOOK, THE REAL EDWARD FERRARS WAS HOMELY AND THE MOVIE ONE SHOULD BE TOO!!! And that folks, is my opinion of the matter.
Issue #2 – Colonel Brandon
Usually I try not to reveal sopoilers for books on this blog, but in order to fully discuss my grievances with the movie version of Colonel Brandon, I must discuss certain parts of Sense and Senibility that you probablly don’t want to know about if you have yet to read the novel. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
The above photo depicts a scene from the movie. Those of you who are familiar with the plot of Sense and Sensibility, might assume that the picture is showing Willoughby carrying Marianne after she fell and hurt her foot, but in this case Marianne’s rescuer is Colonel Brandon!
In the movie, shortly after arriving at the Palmer’s house, Marianne went outside in the rain, walked to a hill overlooking Comb Magna, and stood there feeling sad about Willoughby. She stayed away so long that the people inside started to get worried and sent Colonel Brandon out to look for her, but by the time he found her she was so cold and wet that he had to carry her back. The whole ordeal makes Colonel Brandon look like quite the dashing hero, which is why I am mad about it.
In the book Colonel Brandon doesn’t do anything too dashing. Well, maybe fighting in a duel is a little dashing, but for the most part he just sits around and wears a flannel waistcoat. He may not be exciting, but he is steady, reliable, and has upright morals.
As much as I like Colonel Brandon, I must admit that he is not the most heart-stopping of love interests, but I believe Jane Austen made him that way on purpose. Marianne is very drawn to the idea of dashing young men, so when Willoughby shows up she falls head over heels in love with him. He appears to be everything she could ever want, he is young and handsome, wears fashionable clothes, and is into all the same things she is. But these things are only on the outside, as Marianne soon learns. She gets a hint of this when he ditches her and marries Miss Grey, but only fully understands his true character when Colonel Brandon tells Elinor about how Willoughby treated Eliza Williams. At the same time both Marianne and the reader learn about Colonel Brandon’s true character and realize just how great of a guy he is.
At the end of the novel when Marianne marries Colonel Brandon, she has come to realize that there are a lot more important things for a man to be than dashing. Seeing Marianne grow and mature in this way is one of my favorite things about the whole book.
So my question is: Why did the people who made the Sense and Sensibility movie think they needed to make Colonel Brandon be all dashing and things? They’re sort of missing the whole point. I really don’t know, but if I had to guess their thought process was probably something like the following:
“It’s too bad that we can’t make Marianne end up with Willoughby because he’s exactly the kind of love interest movie goers can’t get enough of. Colonel Brandon on the other hand probably won’t be very popular… This is a tough problem. You know, we should just make him just a little more like Willoughby! Maybe he could, like, carry Marianne through the rain or something. That would be great!”
They may have satisfied people’s desire to see dashing men on the silver screen, but they dissatisfied me. They also dissatisfied me by cutting out the whole duel thing. I was a big fan of the duel.
After we had both read Persuasion, my friend Molly and I got together and watched this movie adaptation. I don’t have as many strong opinions about the original Persuasion novel as I do S&S, so naturally my thoughts about the movie will be less passionate. But that being said, I naturally did have some thoughts. I realize that people don’t make movies to please me, but I like to state my opinion anyway.
I approved of most of the scenes in the movie, but they kind of lost me at the end. Like really, who thought it would be a good idea to make two people kiss in the middle of a carnival? I don’t think I even want to know.
Despite the seriousness of the carnival kiss, my greatest grievance with this movie was the appearance of Captain Benwick. As I’m sure you remember, the edition of Persuasion that I read had the exact likeness of Benwick on its cover. Please look at the picture below and acquaint yourself with how Captain Benwick looks.
This is Captain Benwick, no questions asked. But yet, despite how well established this man’s looks are the people who made the movie version of Persuasion cast a person to be Benwick who looks absolutely nothing like the person on the cover of my book. Take a look at the photo below to witness for yourself how the actor looks.
I’ll give you a minute to recover from the mortifying shock…
I would hate to end this post on a bad note, so I’ll give you one bit of happy information. The actor who played Mr. Eliot looked exactly like Mr. Eliot should, as the photo below demonstrates. This was my one comfort amid my disappointment over Benwick.
Take a moment and just appreciate how accurate this Mr. Eliot is.
Well my friends, this post has finally come to a close. It turned out to be a great deal longer than I expected, but that’s okay, it just means more of my words to delight your hearts. Happy New Year everyone!
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