The final random pick is To and From New York. Its runtime of 80 minutes gives me pause but it’s at least short.

 

To and From New York picture image

To and From New York

 

Of all the movies I could have randomly gotten, I got this, a low budget independent  movie that is not as bad as The Room but not as enjoyable either.

The plot is an engaged woman named Lydia, goes to New York City for an article. One  night she goes with a college friend to speed dating. She meets a guy who works in a museum and through some series of events she become friends with him. However the plot is she finds a lead between two missing woman and using her new artist friend and another  friend who is a matchmarker/ hosted the speed date, she finds out what happen to these two women and it’s really anticlimactic.   But the good news is that Lydia breaks up with her fiancee and moves to New York. Though we never meet her fiancee or see the break-up.

That is pretty much the movie.

To and From New York is not good by any means. In an objective grading score it would get no high marks. The  most you can say is that at least the person who wrote, directed and produced  the movie, tried to bring his dream to life and that is worth something. Though it was misguided with too many weird chocker shots and odd edits.

It’s just better to go after a soulless studio cash grabs than a low budget independent movie where art and dating try and save the day in the end. It’s the difference between going after an establish author versus someone who self-publishes on kindle or a fanfic writer. Some people are just better but you can’t be too harsh on the work for being amateurish and unpolished.

If you truly have nothing better to do with your 80 minutes sure you could watch it but there is no reason to seek this movie out unless you want to watch every movie that The Cures’ music has been in because this movie has a The Cure song.

The third random pick is Tamanchey. I have many bad feelings about this one.

 

Tamanchey picture image

Tamanchey

Tamanchey means a pistol, often one built locally with not so high quality materials, so it’s the perfect metaphor for this movie’s execution. This movie is a load of hot rotten garbage from start to finish. It just took my low expectations and really ran with them.    

Nikhil Dwivedi as Munna & Richa Chadda as Babu Tamanchey picture image

Nikhil Dwivedi as Munna & Richa Chadda as Babu

The plot is  two criminals, a gal and a dude are both captured and both of their police vehicle go off a cliff and somehow only them and one cob survive, this leads to nothing. The lady is named Babu and she is a drug ring and seems to really like her work and the guy, Munna, does something with threats. Anyway they fall in love sort of. Munna is into the crass Babu despite saying he likes the demure type.  They have train sex which is on a bed of tomatoes so I guess it’s love on his end. The next day Babu peaces out and returns to her gang and lover/boss. Munna follows and they have an affair. Violence ensues and in the end they both die even though they were turning themselves  in for their crimes.

One of the biggest issues with this movie is the characters, they are vastly unlikable. Munna is a blithering idiot even though it’s reveled at the end that he was some kind of mastermind to keep the boss in the cuckold position. Though in all likelihood the movie was trying to make him naive in matters of love. Babu on the other-hand is crass, overtly sexual and seems to enjoy her life of drug selling and somehow she is boring, not sure how the movie pulled that off but they did.

With the character being unlikable and just not caring it took scenes that are being played as tense into a farcical direction. Though to be fair during a bank robbery the two leads are grinding on each other while they steal from safety despot boxes so maybe it is all a farce. Another indicator that this movie could be a farce is it take the two leads a long time to get the idea to kill the boss so they can be together, two criminals with no real moral compass take over an hour to come to the easiest conclusion.      

Nikhil Dwivedi as Munna & Richa Chadda as Babu Tamanchey picture image

Nikhil Dwivedi as Munna & Richa Chadda as Babu

Typically there is usually something that distracts from the terrible character and lack of story like costumes, or scene framing, or the lightning or music score or with Bollywood the music numbers however this movie has nothing. It goes the extra mile in mediocrity. There is one thing that was distracting though, the sound mixing and by distracting I mean it was bad. I recall from a commentary from a better Bollywood movie that Bollywood are dub over with ADR and with this movie you can REALLY tell, it was that bad.  None of the lines sounded naturally recorded from the actors.       

There is nothing good to say about Tamanchey it was a boring movie with terrible characters and sloppy execution.    

The second random selection is…

A Cinderella Story; Once Upon a Song. Help me.

A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song picture image

A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song

Good news is this movie is mercifully short however I didn’t hate it. Granted I set the bar really low at the onset but it’s really just a dumb and silly movie with a Cinderella plot thrown in and  set in  a music school.

 

Megan Park as Lucy Hale as Katie and Matthew Lintz as Victor A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song picture image

Megan Park as Lucy Hale as Katie and Matthew Lintz as Victor

The plot is Katie, our cinderella character, is the step-daughter of this shallow bitch name Gail who is the dean of a music school because she couldn’t hack it as a country singer. Gail has a daughter Bev, who can’t sing and a hellion genius of a son Victor. She also has a spiritual guru named Ravi who isn’t what he appears to be.

The Prince is this British guy named Luke. Luke’s father is a big shot music producer who loves money, because of course he does. Luke however just wants to sing and write music. Katie and Luke bond a little and when Katie turns up at a Bollywood themed dance to sing for Luke because she like-like him he falls for her. However he thinks it’s really Bev because of this  whole plot surrounding Katie singing vocals for Bev in a student showcase or Gail is going to take all Katie’s money her father left her.  Also Katie acts as the Cyrano de Bergerac to Bev’s Christian to woo Luke.

 

Lucy Hale as Katie and Freddie Stroma as Luke A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song picture image

Lucy Hale as Katie and Freddie Stroma as Luke

Honestly this whole plot could have been avoided if Luke had just remember the color of Katie’s eyes. What is with Prince’s in Cinderella movies not recalling even one aspect of her appearance? It makes it worst since Katie’s eyes were the only thing Luke mentions about her other than her singing and he had meet two times prior to the dance.    

One good aspect was the movie did showcase the friendships between Katie and her best friend Angie and Luke and Mike. It’s just nice to see good representations of friendships with little or no drama.

Once big issue with the movie is that romance was lacking. Katie and Luke do bond over music, singing and guitars brands and there is a mutual attraction but it all feels very much like an after-thought to the larger lip-syncing plot-line. It wouldn’t be a big deal if wasn’t for the Cinderella aspect of the plot.   

The treatment of Bev was also problematic. It would have been one thing if the movie didn’t go out of its way to give her a moment of depth and vulnerability before it ends with her being throughly embarrassed on stage. It was off-putting.

 

Missi Pyle as Gail, Manu Narayan as Ravi and Matthew Lintz as Victor A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song picture image

Missi Pyle as Gail, Manu Narayan as Ravi and Matthew Lintz as Victor

Since this movie is a musical I mention the songs. They are ok for the most part. They are by no means amazing but they suit the tone and style of the movie, bland and unassuming. The ONLY memorable part with regards to the music is the chainsaw. One of the random bands uses a chainsaw in their music and yes, it’s great. Also to the movie’s credit they did have a original Bollywood-like song made for the movie and not just a sample.    

Oddly I had a feeling I would get a Bollywood movie, like I was listening to Bollywood music right before this was randomly picked and in way perverse way I got one.

I wish this movie had a bigger budget because they had a chance for an awesome joke. At the end of the movie Gail says that she will have her ‘Nirvana moment’ and then it cuts for her singing a country version of one of the movie’s songs. It would have been much funnier  if she was singing a bad country-cover of a Nirvana song.

   

Lucy Hale as Katie and Freddie Stroma as Luke A Cinderella Story Once Upon a Song picture image

Lucy Hale as Katie and Freddie Stroma as Luke

A Cinderella Story; Once Upon a Song is a silly inoffensive movie. It’s not amazing but it’s not a total a waste of time. I would say watch it once and get a minor chuckle.

Last February I looked at four romantic period movies, this year I thought I would try something I have been watching to try for a while. I’m going to randomly pick a “romance” movie or TV show  and review it. I’m going to this four time so one post a week.  The selection is through https://reelgood.com/roulette/netflix with only the genre romance picked.  There will be no re-rolls, you have my word.

A few guidelines;

  • If I get a show I will only watch/review the first episode.
  • I reserve the right to stop watching the movie/show at least the 30 minute mark. It does take me a lot to quit a movie but I don’t want to waste my worthless time either.
  • If I have seen the movie before I will still review it but in the event that I get a movie I have already reviewed before I reserve the right to re-roll but I shall make a note in the post of that even.  The odds of very low of though so I don’t imagine that will happen.

So guide me oh Netflix gods… What is your first pick?!

The First pick is Red Carpet. Could have guessed that from the subject line though.

Red Carpet 2014 Korean Movie picture image

Red Carpet 2014

Red Carpet is a 2014 Korean Rom-com drama about a porn director, Jung-Woo who dreams of being actual film director. He also falls in love with a former child actress and encourages her to go on auction and she makes it big as an actress and she encourage him to make his movies. Oddly I figured was going to get something from Korea but I figured it would be a K-drama, which I have seen a few, not many but a handful. I just didn’t think it would be the first one but here we are. Wonder if I will get another before the month is done?

 

Jun-hee Ko as Eun-Su and Dal-hwan Jo as Jung-Soo Red Carpet 2014 Korean Movie picture image

Jun-hee Ko as Eun-Su and Dal-hwan Jo as Jung-Soo Red Carpet 2014

I wouldn’t say this was a bad movie but it had many issues. The biggest one was just have contrived it was. The two leads meet because the some apartment mix-up where Eun-Su  moves into Jung-Woo’s apartment. Not sure how that housing thing makes any sense other than in device to the plot. Then the encourage each other and fall in love and hook up then the plot misunderstand occurs. You see Eun-Su doesn’t know Jung-Woo works in pornography so she think he hooking-up with someone else and thus they part ways. He tries to make up with her and eventually he does. They film his legit movie but then scandal because he was  porn director and she is a top actress but it all works out in the end. It’s just all very contrived.

Then there is the humor. I didn’t get it. It might be that I either don’t resonate with Korean humor or I just didn’t work for me. It was all very awkward. Like sure the horse isn heat on the highway part was funny but it’s require so many mental loops to get there. Like the horse was used in a film production, so how does the production even allow for the horse to get off the set and on the highway and the horse was in heat. Do productions even cast horses in heat?   Is that a question I have to ask?

 

 Red Carpet 2014 Korean Movie picture image

Red Carpet, 2014

Also the passing was an issue. Most of the movie seemed like porn based comedic vignette than plot than more comedy till like the end. It made the movie  hard to get into and pay attention to and it wasn’t long movie, just two hours.    

It wasn’t a wholly bad movie, it had it’s moments but it’s very,contrived and not all the comedy lands. Plus as a movie about Pornography, it’s very tame and naive.    

 

The Hunchback of Notre Dame reference in Red Carpet 2014 Korean Movie picture image

The Hunchback of Notre Dame reference in Red Carpet

This movie oddly has a Hunchback of Notre Dame reference in it, what are the odds? One of their porno scripts or movies is called, according to the subtitles “The Hunchback of Notre Dick.”  What luck finding a Hunchback reference in a random Korean movie.

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast La Belle et la Bete Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast

In the past five years there have been two major movie adaptation done on Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve’s fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. One was a French film done in 2014 that took some very big swing on adapting the story to a large scale epic and the other was a 2017 Disney remake of the 1991 animated version. Both films are technically an adaption of the traditional French Fairy tale by Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve. The story took inspiration from other stories including Cupid and Psyche. So nothing is original, everything is adaption and elevation, but are these films?

Jean Cocteau Arm homage in 2017 Beauty and the Beast picture image

Jean Cocteau Arm homage in 2017 Beauty and the Beast

Both films took their queue from other adaptations of Beauty and the Beast, 2014 was made in the spirit of Jean Cocteau’s 1946 version and the 2017 version was a direct remake of Disney’s 1991 movie which also took some influence from Cocteau and other source in addition to the original fairy tale.  Though I just want to say the 2017 movie has a shot of the an arm holding a lamp, so there was a Cocteau homage shoe-horned into the movie.

Vincent Cassel as the Beast and Léa Seydoux as Belle La Belle et la Bete 2014 picture image

Vincent Cassel as the Beast and Léa Seydoux as Belle

The 2017 movie and the 2014  movie are vastly different attempts at adaptation. The 2014 version follows the story closely till Belle reaches the Beast’s Castle but then take some very big swings and makes a lot of weird decisions like giving the beast a complex backstory that ultimately doesn’t make sense to the narrative and weakens the love story. Basically the Beast wouldn’t have been a beast if he and his first  wife just had communicated.  On the other end of the spectrum you have the 2017 version which tries to correct some flaws with original 1991 movie but it’s nearly a shot for shot remake that doesn’t enhance the story for the medium of Live-action.  

Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast 2017 Beauty and the Beast picture image

Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast

The 2017 does add elements that actually makes the story dumber. The only decision that is improve upon and is different is that the stakes are higher for the servants in the castle and the curse is expanded upon and the town is also cursed to a degree. That is the only improved change. The rest of the changes are very misguided, like the book that can go anywhere which was just there because of Belle wanting adventure. However the only time it was used was for backstory on how Belle’s mother died of the plague even though the movie hinted at  a more violent end as Maurice talked about being safe in the village. Also they way they reached the conclusion of death by plague was Belle and Beast finding a doctor’s mask. Why would the doctor just leave that behind anyway? It was a poorly thought out addition that didn’t add anything.

Emma Watson as Belle 2017 Beauty and the Beast picture image

Emma Watson as Belle

Disney didn’t have to approach this project so straight on. They could have gone in any number of directions. Not sure where the fault lies as every decision seemed half-baked and followed the lead of a better movie. Maybe the department heads were not allowed to be creative with the look or style.  While I don’t like the 2014 movie for how confused and boring the narrative was at least the design of the castle and the costumes were on point and interesting. Also the visuals were good in parts.

 Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast 2017 Beauty and the Beast picture image

Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast

The result of the 2017 version was a very calculating remake. Disney knew that their 1991 movie was a triumph as it was nominated for a Best Picture award so they knew they could more less stand on the original’s success to make money and maybe some awards. While the 2014 movie was a misguided effort there was still a creative effort which can’t be sayt about the 2017 remake.

 

Also I hated the acting and the costume but that is for another day because I have words for that ballgown.

Jane Eyre 2011 picture image

Jane Eyre 2011

I have been reading Jane Eyre and when I say that I mean I started it like back in September and read it somewhat periodically but it’s ok I have watched the mini-series from 1983 so I know the in’s and outs. Like so many other literary works Jane Eyre has adapted many, many times and this version is from 2011 and it’s alright.

Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre 2011 picture image

Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre

The way the film is shot is it gives more of a gothic feel and at some points it seems like the shot are more appropriate to a Fantasy work, though to be fair this really only at the start of the movie. As the film goes on it takes on a weird near music video style to the direction and editing. Not saying it’s bad just different.

Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre Tamzin Merchant as Mary Rivers Jane Eyre 2011 picture image

Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre Tamzin Merchant as Mary Rivers

The movie also takes on a flashback framing agent. Meaning the start of the movie has Jane wandering the moors and meeting the kindly Rivers. Her life and meeting Mr.Rochester are told as flashback. The weird caveat is that after she arrives at Thornfield and until she leave it’s unbroken flashback and you forget about the framing. It’s inconsistent and unnecessary. Not saying the idea behind doesn’t have merit because it’s helps create air of mystery but they could have framed it better with more editing or even some use or motif to tie or even contrast her life at Thornfield with her current life.    

Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre & Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester Jane Eyre 2011 picture image

Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre & Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester

Then we have the romance. The chemistry between Rochester and Jane is odd in this movie. It’s there sometimes and mostly this on part of the actors.  Michael Fassbender does a fine job as Rochester but Mia Wasikowska as Jane is hit or miss. She does a great gob with the physical end of Jane but it see she can’t really deliver the dialogue. It’s like she doesn’t believe or understand the lines of dialogue.

Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre & Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester Jane Eyre 2011 picture image

Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre & Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester

To be fair, and I really don’t want to bring up the book but Jane Eyre is a hard role to play. She is a women who seems meek and shy but she really bursting with passion and wit. It’s that society and her station doesn’t allow for her to act that way. This movie has be acting more shy except for few lines about her being “passionate” and “ambitious.”  Honestly Jane’s hair styles this movie showcases her personality more.  Her hair is neatly pulled back into intricately braided buns. Something that looks demure and simple but is really complex and dimensional.

Mia Wasikowska as jane Eyre & Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester Jane Eyre 2011 picture image

Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre & Michael Fassbender as Edward Rochester

With any movie adaption of a book they are either cut or run through aspect which this version does and it end so abruptly at it does take away somewhat from the story but all in all it’s an alright version. Not amazing or great but not unwatchable.   

 

 

Side Note- In my grand scheme I hope to look at Jane Eyre and its movie versions more in the future but I need to finish the book first.

Diary of a Chambermaid picture image

Diary of a Chambermaid

They say time is the most value thing because you can never get it back and yet my time worthless and yet I still wouldn’t waste it on whatever this thing was.  I’m going to be real with you, I didn’t finish it. It takes me a lot to stop watching something when I started especially when it a mere hour half movie.  Need I remind everyone who reads this blog, I have sat through and watched all the Disney sequels and I think this was far worse BUT why?

Léa Seydoux as Célestine Diary of a Chambermaid picture image

Léa Seydoux as Célestine

Here are few reasons;

There isn’t a single interesting or likable character. I COULD have quit too early, not sure I made it past the 30 minute mark, but no one pulled me into the narrative. The main character seemed like a calculating bitch and not even a interesting bitch, I can take a bitch character but Célestine was dull, pretty but dull.  Everyone else was their criminally unlikable or even duller that Célestine, if such were possible.

The tone of the movie was weird. It seems like it a sex comedy and/or a battle of the classes. I don’t want to say I don’t get French humor as there have been French comedies I have found funny but maybe it’s I don’t get Edwardian style French humor. After the ferret scene I had to turn it off, I saw it coming but the scene seem like it was going to prove me wrong but no, rich people suck . Maybe if the film was working for me  I might have gotten however it but no.

The directing. WHAT the heck, god did the director of this loves tracking shots.  Half of what I saw of the movie was just following Celestine around. Oh see how she walks around the garden? Isn’t it thrilling? Intriguing? I honestly don’t know what feeling it was trying to convey. It seemed more suited for a thriller movie or intense movie BUT an Edwardian comedy that has a dildo in a box that’s main function was a source of embarrassment as custom official forced some lady to open the box in a crowd of people? What? Movie, you’re drunk!

Léa Seydoux as Célestine Diary of a Chambermaid picture image

Léa Seydoux as Célestine

Yeah so I didn’t  bother with this movie you can if you want but I don’t recommend it. They ONLY reason I could aside from liking the book would be if you’re a fan of Léa Seydoux and you want to watch the whole of her filmography. Otherwise skip.

 

Side Note – To someone why watched this or even read the book, is there a dairy in it? Or is the title a liar?

Becoming Jane picture image

Becoming Jane

Groans, just so many groans on this movie. When I first saw Becoming Jane  I didn’t have any strong opinions of it in fact I hardly remember it aside from it being about Jane Austen and her unrequited love. Apparently this movie exists to showcase where Jane Austen got her inspiration from but she isn’t Frida Kahlo, her movie narrative is much like her books sans the interest.

Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen & James McAvoy as Tom Lefroy Becoming Jane picture image

Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen & James McAvoy as Tom Lefroy

This movie is shot in  typical lovely manner. It’s pretty in the strict conventional way a period drama is shot especially for this time period. It’s pretty and boring. It does tries it’s hand at interesting shots and edits which just look overindulgent. It looks as though a young director is trying to be artsy but in fact the director, Julien Jarrold, is quite experienced as a director.

Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen & James McAvoy as Tom Lefroy Becoming Jane picture image

Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen & James McAvoy as Tom Lefroy

Then there is the love story. Again it follows the pretty people who are pretty and passionate. Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy start off in typically Disney-esque snarky relationship turned forbidden love. Again the idea is in love is forbidden than an audience HAS to care the lovers. Alas no. There is no real pivot from animosity to love. The just keep bumping into other Tom makes criticisms about Jane’s writings, telling her she needs experience.

Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen & James McAvoy as Tom Lefroy Becoming Jane picture image

Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen & James McAvoy as Tom Lefroy

Speaking on the scene where they first meet, Jane is reading something she wrote at her sister’s engagement and Lefroy is there. After she is done, Jane overhears him criticizing it  and she  runs upstair and tears it up and in the very next time they meet she is defending its worth and how ladies should write because they have feelings. It just seems odd that she is at one time vulnerable to a vague criticism of a guy she doesn’t know and then is all girl power. It’s confusing on her character since she mostly about female empowerment as she won’t marry for position. Go her? Did she even try to get to know the rich guy?   I guess she needed to feel passion that started with a guy saying she sucked at writing? Even though that is not what he said.  Or was it all his sexual talks with her through vague English politeness?             

Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen Becoming Jane picture image

Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen

    

What is really unfortunate is the casting. Anne Hathaway isn’t convincing. Aside from the  English accent, which did sound like an affectation, she didn’t give Jane anything that was interesting as a character. What was Jane Austen’s personality? Smart? Nice? Independent?  Those traits are presence in the film and darn if they aren’t in the dialogue of the movie to convey it, so no acting required.   

Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen & James McAvoy as Tom Lefroy Becoming Jane picture image

Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen & James McAvoy as Tom Lefroy

If you want to ogle James McAvoy for a long two hours then this is a movie for you. If you want a pretty movie with a less than compelling romantic narrative, again a movie for you. However if you want a good romantic movie set in the regency period than watch any other movie that is based on a Jane Austen book.  

For the month of February we’re going to look at romantic period movies.

Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina 2012 picture image

Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina

For those of you who live under a rock, Anna Karenina was written by Leo Tolstoy in 1877, though it’s fine if you didn’t know the date. Anna Karenina has had lots of movie and tv versions. This one by Joe Wright from 2012  has to be the worse version of Anna Karenina ever made. Even if we separate this movie from the book it’s still terrible on every level.

Aaron Johnson as Count Vronsky & Keira Knightley Anna Karenina 2012 picture image

Aaron Johnson as Count Vronsky & Keira Knightley Anna Karenina

First the love story. Now I won’t go full of comparing the book with the movie, but I will say that Anna Karenina isn’t so much about love or romance it’s more about society and marriage. However to make an audience feel for the characters they need to be likable, we have to care about the love story in a movie so we can feel emotions. This version takes the Star Wars Episode II approach to love. Anna and Vronsky are two attractive people who are in a forbidden romance. They literally meet, think each other is hot, Vronsky stalks her and boom! They are in love or lust, honestly there isn’t much of a different.  The only emotion I felt during their own story arc was when Vronsky horse Frou-Frou dies and like any bad script we are TOLD Vronsky loves his horse, we don’t see it visually in a visual median.

Domhnall Gleeson as Levin & Alicia Vikander as Kitty Anna Karenina 2012 picture image

Domhnall Gleeson as Levin & Alicia Vikander as Kitty

Anna and Vronsky are shown in parallel with Levin and Kitty who are in love, not lust. Levin pines for Kitty while Kitty pines for Vronsky till Vronsky throws her over for Anna. Now in the book the story of Kitty and Levin is super dull and boring while and Anna and Vronsky were more interesting. In the movie however it’s the opposite. This could be because they are likable people or that   Alicia Vikander played the role of Kitty from better that Keira Knightley who was beyond unconvincing. She was so ill-cast especially when a far better actress for Anna is already in the movie, Michelle Dockery. As well as Aaron Johnson was unbelievable as Vronsky. He looked like he came out of the 1970’s trying to be a Sergeant Pepper knock-off.

Aaron Johnson as Count Vronsky Anna Karenina 2012 picture image

Aaron Johnson as Count Vronsky

Speaking of style, oh dear lord this movie. So the idea is that Russian Society is like a performance, so  the idea is that the characters are on stage. This is such a misguide direction that  gets in the way so there is no room for the viewer to feel anything because you’re trying to figure out where the fuck everyone is in relation to their own meta performance. Plus there is literally no reason for why some things are on stage, or backstage or not on stage at all.

Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina 2012 picture image

Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina

Here are some examples;

When Anna sees her son in his room, it’s on stage but having relations with her husband is not. Why? It should be the other way around. Anna loves her son but not her husband. The idea of her love for her son being on display on a stage is contrary to her character while he time with her husband is not on display at all not even backstage.

When Levin goes to see his poor addict brother it’s “backstage”? This makes sense but it’s dumb since more of Levin scenes aren’t on stage except the ones in the beginning of the movie and after a point they just don’t even bother. I’m willing to say that this was intentional but it really makes it feel like the movie either ran out steam with the concept who figured it was stupid since it’s in your face at the start and just goes alway till the last scene. Hey movie, if your going to a sophomoric artistic direction be consistent so the viewer can understand your creative intent.

Aaron Johnson as Count Vronsky & Keira Knightley Anna Karenina 2012 picture image

Aaron Johnson as Count Vronsky & Keira Knightley

Also there are the costumes, which again fall into a half-baked style concept. The idea of the look is combining Victorian bustles with 1950’s silhouettes and accessories.  When the movie first came out, I hated this, now I just don’t care. Really this look only applies sometimes to some characters AND again you see it more in spade at the start and it’s only pertains to the main characters which either means the movie couldn’t go full on with their vision or the style of Imperial Russian society is all other the place with regards to style.  In any case it takes you right out the movie and since with the stage direction obvious metaphor and lack of emotion you were never invested in the movie to start. Did anyone actually finish the movie or cared about the characters? Because there that maintains intertest.  I mean when Anna dies it’s like “Thank god now the movie is over.”

Keira Knightley

If you want to watch an Anna Karenina version, there 14 other better versions to watch. If you want a movie that is style of substance, I mean you could watch loads of of the movies like Star Wars  Episode II since it’s pretty much the same love story with no substance and style (sorry, I know people now like the prequels). However if you want an Anna Karenina movie with no substance, a vague attempt at style and to be bored for over two hours, yeah,  then you should totally watch it but that is a weird list of wants for a movie.

This movie has one of the most annoying dance scene ever.   The dance moves are some the stupidest moves ever seen in a movie. And there is also has a fart joke in it. A fart joke for really no reason, it’s not even funny.

This is a list of the Best Live-Action Fairy Tale movies that were reviewed. In a lot of ways this list was harder than the worst list since I had the opposite problem there were a dearth of stellar movies but somehow it hit that target.

 

Number #10 

Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Richard Chamberlain as Prince Edward The Slipper and the Rose Cinderella picture image

Gemma Craven as Cinderella and Richard Chamberlain as Prince Edward

The Slipper and the Rose – Originally this was the movie for the surprised/liked list but it broke off from that for  a few reasons. The biggest reason is this the only Cinderella movie that have the godmother doing more stuff for Cinderella and gives a reason for why the magic has a limit. It also just addresses some other issue with the story and while characters aren’t amazing they are likable and there is more than just the Cinderella story being told. Plus the songs and the costumes are awesome.

 

Number #9

Jen with the Skeksis Chamberlain The Dark Crystal picture image

Jen with the Skeksis Chamberlain

The Dark Crystal – There really isn’t anything quite like The Dark Crystal. It has a lot of artistry,  imagination, and heart. The story is dark yet complex and still fairly accessible.

Number #8 

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella with Pavel Trávníček as the Prince at the ball Three Wishes for Cinderella picture image

Libuše Šafránková as Cinderella with Pavel Trávníček as the Prince at the ball

Three Wishes for Cinderella – In a lot of ways this movie is another breath of fresh air for the Cinderella story. While  there is magic there is no fairy godmother but instead an owl and hazelnuts. Cinderella in this version is very able; she rides, hunts and is clever while still being kind. I do like that she veils her face so no one can recognizes her, even the prince. Plus the snow landscapes are lovely.

 

Number #7 

Ron Perlman as One and Judith Vittet as Miette The City of Lost Children picture image

Ron Perlman as One and Judith Vittet as Miette

City of Lost Children – You don’t get much more surreal than this one. The weird imaginary just adds so much to this story that it makes it more of a fairy tale.

Number #6

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia with Faun Pan’s Labyrinth picture image

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia with Faun

Pan’s Labyrinth – This movie is intoxicating. It combines a beautiful dark fairy tale with the horrors of reality within the context of Fascist Spain. I do wish that it wasn’t so balanced between the two settings as the fairy tale elements were better but that could be just wanting more of it.

 

Number #5

Noah Hathaway as Atreyu and Falkor The Neverending Story picture image

Noah Hathaway as Atreyu and Falkor

The Never Ending Story –  This movie traumatized so many children in the 80’s but it’s just pure uncut nostalgia that you can’t deny it. While it does have complex idea at play the philosophies in this story are lovely. Plus Falcor is awesome.

Number #4 

Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands & Winona Ryder as Kim Boggs Edward Scissorhands picture image

Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands & Winona Ryder as Kim Boggs

Edward Scissorhands – Edward Scissorhands effortlessly combines a lot of fairy tale tropes into a modern setting. It’s a beautiful bittersweet tale that is very emotionally charged.

Number #3

Drew Barrymore as Danielle and Dougray Scott as Prince Henry Ever After: A Cinderella Story picture image

Drew Barrymore as Danielle and Dougray Scott as Prince Henry

Ever After – Let’s not pretend that this isn’t the best Cinderella movie. This movie gives story gives Cinderella a.k.a Danielle  the most acengy she can possible have while still being the Cinderella character and it does it well. All the Cinderella elements are there is someway but the are elevated in such a way that makes them make sense in the story and the world. Plus it’s a fun movie with great costumes.

 

Number #2

Cary Elwes as Westley and Robin Wright as Buttercup The Princess Bride picture image

Cary Elwes as Westley and Robin Wright as Buttercup

The Princess Bride – Another nostalgia bomb. I’m not sure would really understand a person if the didn’t like something about this movie, it literally has everything and it’s super entertaining and vastly quotable.

 

Number #1

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast La Belle et la Bete Jean Cocteau 1946 picture image

Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as The Beast

La Belle et la Bete – There should be no surprise here, that the 1946 Belle et la Bete movie would be number one.  It’s just so perfect. It’s only flaw is that it knows it’s flawed and the story doesn’t make sense so it tells you to keep your childlike sensibility and just hits you with a dream-like movie.

I do hope the Disney Live-action remake will be on the level of the 1946 movie. Maybe when it comes out next year I will review it but till then the blog is moving on.