Okay so no joke I first got  Mako: Island of Secrets which is the spin off to H20: Just add Water. What are the odds? But when I went to watch it I couldn’t find  it on Netflix streaming.  There is however the Netflix original show  Mako Mermaids which is not the same thing.

As I didn’t not foresee the Movie/Tv show that I randomly get not being available  I suppose I should make addendum to the rules in which I will re-spin if the assign movie/show is not available for streaming. I mean I would have watched it but it’s not there for me to watch and since I purposefully didn’t add Hulu to the mix I won’t watch things on there for this purpose. Nor can I really get the  physical copy of the movie/show So re-spining…..

And we got How to Train your Dragon: Dawn of the Dragons Racers   

Hiccup and Toothless How to Train your Dragon Dawn of the Dragons Racers picture image

Hiccup and Toothless

I like the How Train your Dragon movies but this seems sparse in terms of scope. Sure it’s for a straight to DVD video  but it just very meh and makes me wish I was watching one of the other movies. What I liked about the first movie was the lighting which this doesn’t have. It’s looks flat. At least Toothless is still cute

The story is told as flashback on the formation of The Dragon Racing. Basically we have a basic tradition vs modernity story. Regattas are  boring and old fashion and Dragon racing is cool and hip. My issue that takes me right on out is the use of the word Regatta which is Italian in origin and comes out the 17th century. This story is set with vikings, or roughly 760 to 1060.

So ergo Regatta CAN NOT BE OLD FASHION to to their own world building.  Oddly though if you look up viking boat race on google you get a to the howtotrainyourdragon wiki for the Regatta. Then again they are using Scottish accent for Norwegians so I don’t think there is much attention to internal consistency. Somehow the word Regatta gets annoys me more than the name of the characters or the place of Berk. Then again this is fantasy so I shouldn’t be so nitpicky about a word choice. I’ll admit that.

My point is they could have picked a better word then Regatta, their target audience wouldn’t have know the word so who cares?   Also Stoic is totally cool with forgoing the boat race for Dragon racing so whatever. Let’s turn something inclusive that most of the people can watch to something exclusive that no one can really watch. At least Toothless is still cute!

I feel like this whole thing is How to Train your Dragon: Quidditch Style. It’s not even a race it’s getting sheep for a points. It’s more like flying polo.

Also where did the snow area come from? During the race there was a snowy area. Where was that ? Up a mountains? Another planet? A Fjord? Answer me! Because nothing else was snowy.

While I do like the other How Train your Dragon movies this was not good and more confused then entrained. At least Toothless was cute!!!!!!

Season 1 Episode 1 H20: Just add Water

Cariba Heine as Rikki, Phoebe Tonkin as Cleo & Claire Holt as Emma H20: Just add picture image

Cariba Heine as Rikki, Phoebe Tonkin as Cleo & Claire Holt as Emma, H20: Just add Water

I can appreciate that this children/teen show from Australia is not for me or my demographic but that being said everything about it sucks except for that one dolphin.

The premise is that these three teenage girls get stranded on a creepy island after a rich bully was a jerk. On this island they find this tide pool that was in a dormant volcano and somehow being in the water with a full moon causes moon magic to happen. So now when they touch water they turn into mermaids and they have water magic. Maybe the mechanics of the how is addressed later.

This show has a very 80’s approach to it. It feels like it was made in the 80’s but it’s from 2006. However it having an outdate vibe doesn’t make it bad, you know what does?  Everything. The acting is stilted and unnatural. The camera work is dreadful unless it’s underwater.

Even the structure of how the characters are introduced is awful. They just show up. I guess they all go to school together. Emma swims, that is her introduction. She’s on the swim team. Then Cleo gets tricks on a boat by the rich bully, the kind of character you see in every teen movie in the 80s. The rich asshole does this because the boat is broken because his spark plug was taken and for some reason he gets Cleo on the boat before untying it. Why does he do this? He’s an asshole.

The the last  girl, Rikki, jumps on the boat to saves Cleo. Rikki is the one who stole the spark plug, she admits this because tell don’t show.  They then boat around and run in Emma who joins them for boating fun-times.  That is how these three come to together. We don’t know much about them before said metamorphous.

At least we know that Emma is motivated, maybe. Rikki is impulsive, maybe.  And Cleo is timid, I guess.         

This is show awful, everything sucks. I suppose if you like attractive young ladies swimming you could like it. Or if you want ever wanted Splash meets the Secret Life of Alex Mack but with a Australian 80’s/2000’s vibe this could be the show of your dreams, but that is very specific.

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 event.  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 a audition and she makes it big as an actress and she encourages 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 how 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 a plot device. Then they 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 in 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.