Competing Styles; Directing in the 1997 Hunchback

Richard Harris as Frollo, 1997 The Hunchback picture harris

Richard Harris as Frollo, yells No!

The 1997 Hunchback was directed Peter Medak. Medak is no stranger to TV movie directing and TV directing in general. The directing in this adaptation is mixture of weird angle frames and total utilitarian shot-verse-shots.

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda,

The competing style of the artist angled frames and the shot-verse-shots make for an interesting visual style and by that I mean silly. It’s almost like Medak didn’t know what he wanted when composing the frames and the shots. He shot conversational scenes very utilitarian for efficacy and then he got bored and decided to tilt the camera for visual interest. But the weird competing approaches to directing style just make this version look very awkward. I suppose the awkward directing style is a compliment to the awkward writing choices, so at least it’s consistent.

Next Time – Costumes

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame, picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 Hunchback of Notre Dame

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What’s in a name? Notre Dame

Let’s concluded with series of posts with titular character herself, Notre Dame.

Notre Dame, Paris, France - Matted Photo

Notre Dame, Paris, France – Matted Photo

Notre Dame means in French Our Lady. Notre Dame de Paris mean Our lady of Paris. All churches that have Notre Dame in them refer to the Virgin Mary.

 

The original title novel, Notre Dame de Paris, has double meaning, it refers to the Cathedral and Esmeralda. Esmeralda has a lot of association to the Virgin Mary in the book, but that is a post series for another time.

 

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Male Esmeralda, Stunning Genderswap Fanart

Art by Sakimi chan

Male Esmeralda Sakimi chan  picture image

Male Esmeralda Sakimi chan

 

See the Rest Here Which on is you Favorite

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Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie; Take a Drink every time Roo says Best Halloween Ever

Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie picture image

Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie

Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie is pretty much a direct sequel to Pooh’s Heffalump Movie. It a sequel in that they don’t introduce Lumpy because they just assumed you watched it and know this character. I begrudgingly watch the Heffalump movie after the sequel and while I thought the Heffalump was alright I loathed the Halloween movie.

Lumpy, Roo, Piglet, Tigger, Pooh, Rabbit, Eeyore Trick-or-Treating Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie picture image

Lumpy, Roo, Piglet, Tigger, Pooh, Rabbit, Eeyore Trick-or-Treating

Plot is it’s Lumpy’s first Halloween and Roo and pals are teaching all about it. Tigger tells of story about some made up creature called the Gobloon that turns creatures into “Jaggedy-Lanterns.” Lumpy gets scared, so Roo and him venture to find it and make wishes or something because Pooh ate all the candy. At the 20 minute mark because the screenwriters relieved that they don’t have their Pooh quota of screen time, Roo tells Lumpy a story about Piglet learning not to be scared, a lesson which I‘m sure he will forget. Lumpy and Roo set-up a trap but they run away when they think they hear the Gobloon. Lumpy gets his foot caught while trying to get away after tripping over a wheel-barrow of pumpkins and Roo leaves him to die like a jerk. Lumpy does managed to get away and the two are separated. When Roo goes back for Lumpy he just sees a Lumpy Jack-o-lantern and thinks that the Gobloon tried him to a “Jaggedy-Lanterns.” Lumpy ends up in the Gobloon trap and the gang think they caught the Gobloon. Roo then wishes for Lumpy back. They then find Lumpy in the trap and have the best Halloween ever. At Roo’s house we learn that Kanga made Jack-o-lanterns of everyone but Lumpy’s got lost.

Piglet Mecha Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie Picture image

Piglet Mecha

The first big issue with the movie seems to most Pooh movies, the Flashback story. In Springtime for Roo the flashback story had a precedent on the larger story. In this move, yeah it makes sense but it didn’t work with they larger story and just stalled the movie because with out it would have been 40 minutes and cut the memorable character pretty much out.

Roo Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie picture image

Roo

Which bring me to my next Point, Roo can not and should not carry a Winnie the Pooh movie. I’m not sure what the rational behind this is. I think perhaps that the screenwriters feel that Pooh is too much a grown-up for kids to identify with so they use Roo. It’s a very classic misconception of how grown-up think kids work in relations to movies. Roo should either be a minor character or act as straight man if Christopher Robin is too busy with school. He should not be going on adventure without Pooh and the gang. It worked in Pooh’s Heffalump movie because Roo was a counterpoint to Pooh but here it’s just stupid. Pooh should not be a minor character in his movies.

Lump scared of Eeyore Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie picture image

Lump scared of Eeyore

Then there is Lumpy. Lumpy gave me a bit of a flashback to Lumpy Space Princess, LSP, from Adventure Time but other than the name, Lumpy, and being purple they have little in common except that they annoy me. Lumpy didn’t annoy in the Heffalump movie but in the Halloween movie oh was he annoying. They pretty much killed his character in this. In the Heffalump movie he was cute and fun and got scared once but I wouldn’t characterize him as big coward wimp. In the Halloween movie he was a whiny wimp. It was not endearing or cute. Piglet has the monopoly on being scared you can’t give that trait to another character and make the flashback justify it. Still hate the flashback tactic and I hate Lumpy in this movie which makes me sad since I have affinity for Elephant-like creatures.

Tigger and Pooh in  Halloween costumes Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie picture image

Tigger and Pooh in Halloween costumes

Despite being a Halloween movie with a Heffalump in it this Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie fails by all counts. It’s boring, annoying and stall. The animation is bad by sequel standards and it throws the memorable character aside for boring and annoying children. I really hated this movie.

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Hypothetical Casting; Benedict Cumberpatch as Frollo

Benedict Cumberbatch picture image

Benedict Cumberbatch

The time has come to talk about Benedict Cumberbatch and Frollo.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock picture image

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock

Cumberbatch has been in many poplar things of late, he was the voice of Smaug and the necromancer in TheThe Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug , Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, and he plays Sherlock in the BBC version ofSherlock. He was also in 12 years a slave and is rumor to be up for a role in Star Wars VII.

Benedict Cumberbatch picture image

Benedict Cumberbatch

Cumberbatch would make a wonderful Frollo. In addition to being a popular actor is also a good actor. He display a great deal of intensity which is necessary for a Frollo. Cumberbatch is also very aware of the camera, meaning that he understands that connecting to the camera will connect to audience. This skill would enhance the depiction of Frollo.

Benedict Cumberbatch picture image

Benedict Cumberbatch

As far as looks go, Cumberbatch has an angular face which could be made to look austere and make-up and styling can give him more of a Frollo look.he is also 6 feet so that would work very well to be an imposing goblin monk. Cumberbatch voice is very similar to Alan Rickman, which is a plus.

Benedict Cumberbatch picture image

Benedict Cumberbatch

What do you think would Benedict Cumberbatch make a Frollo in a film adaption of The Hunchback of Notre Dame?

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THe 1997 version of Hunchback; Good Casting but bad version

The 1997 version of the Hunchback confounds me a lot. You pretty have the right actors for the characters and they do a fairly competent job with material they are given but the material given to them is so wrong for a Hunchback adaptation. It’s clear that this movie was emulating the 1939 Laughton version with the printing press and a very sympathetic Quasimodo but it fails to measure up became the execution is miserable.

It’s like if you have all the ingredients to make a simple chocolate cake but half through you decide that you want to make it your own except you have no concept of cooking so you just start throwing whatever you want in there like Bacon, Walnuts, Cherries, whatever. Then you’re surprise when it doesn’t cook right and no one likes it.

Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Mandy Patinkin as Quasimodo

Quasimodo and Esmeralda are the least offensively bad but to be fair these types of versions of the characters that they are portraying are common. Humanize and sympathetic Quasimodos are the norm with film adaptions because the audience has to like Quasimodo despite his looks.

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda

Same goes for Esmeralda. Having a shallow immature girl is not the way to win over an audience. Having a strong confidence yet kind beautiful women works perfectly. Both of these character choices reflects an easy out. A Quasimodo and Esmeralda with a character arc would be hard to write. On could argue that Quasimodo’s arc would be realizing Frollo is a mean jerk face but since he is a villain that’s easy. THe real issue is with Esmeralda is that she doesn’t do anything in this movie outside of looking attractive . She gives Quasimodo water for feelings of guilt but that it. Her importance is just being there for Quasimodo and Frollo to react to and not doing anything.

Richard Harris as Frollo, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Richard Harris as Frollo

Then there is colossal fail that is Frollo in this movie. The biggest issue with Frollo in this movie is that is obsession for Esmeralda is the result of feeling weak with regard to the king’s attitude on the printing press. His lust for Esmeralda feels like an afterthought and that shouldn’t be. The plot revolves around that. Once that decision was made other integral parts of the plot suffered like why would Esmeralda get the blame for the minster’s murder? Who saw the knife and knew it was her’s when it’s only in one scene? No Phoebus and Gringoire does nothing.

The 1997 Hunchback fails as Hunchback adaptation because Frollo’s lust set the story in motion. A failure to understand what drives the story is the reason why this version even with good castings fails.

Next time the Direction

Richard Harris as Frollo, 1997 The Hunchback  picture harris

Richard Harris as Frollo, yells No!

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What in a Name? Sister Gudule

Illustration Sister Gudule and Esmeralda by Luc Oliver Merson picture image

Illustration Sister Gudule and Esmeralda by Luc Oliver Merson

Sister Gudule has an impressive array of names and nicknames.

Let’s start with Sister Gudule. The Sister indicates she is a nun. Gudule is an ceratin type of nun called anchoress. Very simply, an Anchoress is one who retires from the world and prays. These nuns are also called Sachette. I think the name comes from the rags they wear. The name Gudule is French name that seems to be derived from the name Gudula which is derived from Gothic for either guths meaning God or from gôds meaning good. This reflects Gudule’s devotion to praying to god to answer she only prayer which is to have her daughter returned to her

Her name however is Paquette Guybertaut. It’s a little unclear what Paquette means as a first name, one source said Ruddy-cheeked and another indicated it’s pet-form of Pacquet which is “a bundle of kindling” Given her character in her youth and her father was a minstrel, Ruddy-cheeked makes more sense. Her true last name is Guybertaut. Guybertaut on its own does not to seem to be a real surname. Guybertaut can be broken down to Guy and Bertaut. Guy as a last name indicates coming from district of Guise in France. Bertaut is a real surname but I can’t find any hint as its meaning. It doesn’t really matter as Gudule does not remember this name, she only remembers the nickname she was given when she was eighteen.

She was more commonly referred to as Paquette la Chantefleurie. Chantefleurie means “The Flower Song”. It symbolizes her winsome youthful nature which is a kin to Esmeralda’s personality.

Her names reflect her capricious youth and her harsh adulthood as a recluse yearning for lost child.

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Next Version is ……

I asked in a poll what that next version of Hunchback to be review should be between two very bad cartoon version, Secret of the Hunchback or The Enchanted Tales Version. Both versions are terrible in different ways and very stupid. The Winner however was The Enchanted Tale Version.

Melody, a.k.a Not Esmeralda,Enchanted Tales, Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Melody, a.k.a Not Esmeralda, Enchanted Tales, Hunchback of Notre Dame

Review Series of this starting soon.

Help Me!

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Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch; I want to see the Mummy Hula!

Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch picture image

Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch

Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch was okay. That’s it, I’m done!

Glitchy Stitch, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch picture image

Glitchy Stitch

Good Night Everybody!

 Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch picture image

Lilo and Stitch

Really, that is all I can say on it, it’s ok. Considering most the Disney sequels, that’s high praise but in honestly the original Lilo and Stitch never did much for me. I saw it and it was ok but it never connected with me.

 Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch picture image

Lilo and Stitch

The basic plot of this sequel is Stitch is malfunctioning due to his energy never being fully charged and he reverting to evil. In the mean time, Lilo is trying to win a hula contest so her late mother will be proud of her while David is trying to make Nani jealous and Nani trying to keep it all together. Mostly it’s sub-plots. The climax of the movie is Stitch dies and the power of love, I shit you not, saves him. I do like how they don’t use magic Disney Science to explain it, they just don’t care and neither do I.

  Lilo, Stitch, Nani, David,  Pleakley, & Jumba Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch

Lilo, Stitch, Nani, David, Pleakley, & Jumba.

One thing that worked in this movie is that the family is awesome moral made sense. Though it was rampant in the first one, so it was a rehash and the film would have failed if it couldn’t pull that off.

 Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch picture image

Stitch

Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch for all it is, is meh. However Meh equals Ok on the Disney Sequel spectrum of fuckery. It didn’t make me want to destroy humanity the way Atlantis II did nor did it make me question my sanity the way Little Mermaid II did. It wasn’t painful and therefore it’s ok. Although maybe it’s only ok because I have no strong feelings towards the original.

 Mertle Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch picture image

Mertle and Lilo

Mertle is also a Grade-A Bitch.

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You are Tearing me apart, Quasimodo!

The Disaster Artist picture image

The Disaster Artist

Recently, I read The Disaster Artist which is an inside look at the making of The Room, which is called the Citizen Kane of bad films. If you haven’t seen it, see it! The Disaster Artist is also a very compelling read.

Tommy Wiseau the Room picture image

Tommy Wiseau

Fairly early in the book authors Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell liken The Room’s mastermind Tommy Wiseau to Quaismodo saying that Wiseau looks like “the Hunchback of Notre Dame following corrective surgery.” This is allegory is almost too true. Could you imagine Tommy Wiseau playing Quasimodo? That would amazing!

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