Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Watching the Kiera Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice is a bit like watching the Twilight version of Jane Austen. If you’ve ever wondered how bad it was possible to make a movie I recommend watching 1) Twilight movies 2) The Harry Potter movies 3) The 2005 Pride and Prejudice.

This movie has apparently been directed by one Joe Wright, a man who was either very optimistic or very opportunistic. An hour and 10 minutes now into this movie and I think perhaps he was both. When I had first watched this ridiculous movie I really did appreciate the interesting take on the Bennets’ home. It was more wealthy farm house than country house. But both then and now what I couldn’t stand was the dullness of the casting and the direction and the incredible wrongness of everything. How am I an expert on early 19th century mannerisms in Britain? Good question, but at least I read the book. Many, many times over the past (jeez) 20 years. I think Joe Wright could have at least looked through it himself, and then if he was going to get the dialogue changed because the original did not sparkle enough, he could have got some kind of language and protocol expert to tell him what could be said by whom and how. I really don’t think that the first thing Elizabeth Bennet would have said to Mr.Darcy during a formal introductory visit would have been, “What are you doing here?”. Like she ran in to him at the mall.

Anachronistic conversations aside you also have to endure Elizabeth Bennet running hither and thither all over the landscape, occasionally through the rain, when to add to the excitement Mr. Darcy follows her and proposes to her before we (or she) have had time to recover from her whispered conversation in church. In the book she was playful but never undignified, and whispering in church was probably right up there with talking about boys when the waiter was still serving you at the inn in the year 1813. Colonel Fitzwilliam had just her told it was indeed Mr.Darcy who drove away Jane’s lover. Elizabeth is horrified and runs out into the rain. We don’t know what prompted Darcy to follow her, maybe he was just …out for a walk and his feelings overcame him. Very unlike book Darcy who knows there is a time and a place for everything. He proposed in a living room, set aside time to do it, and was rejected, eventually got over it, and it is true he did propose on a walk the second time, but the weather was clement.

Sigh. The BBC series with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle is available on Youtube. You can watch it anytime. You can even buy it and expunge the memory of all the untidy hairstyles (limp bangs abound), lack of punchy dialogue,wide open startled eyes (cliche) and the absence of Colin Firth.

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5 Centimeters Per Second

To be honest, for some reason I though this would be a movie about going into labour. Why not? Anime never seems to shy away from stuff that seems gross in typical Hollywood fare. It’s what I like about anime too (not all the very gross stuff- I remember in one movie the school kids were horror stuck, watching a disgusting teacher eat his own boogers ….oh gross ), because I always get an utterly different cultural take (in light of the previous parenthesis, ha ha ha ha ha) even on ordinary topics like teens dating in high school (or what school teachers are wont to do), or fantasy adventures. The tropes are different,the demons are different,the characters obsess over different things.

Anyhow, I was preparing to be all grossed out by 5 Centimeters but it turned out to be a fairly innocuous movie about adolescents. Everyone kept talking in low, thoughtful murmurs, and because it is a little late right now, I was having trouble concentrating, but it turns out they were all ruminating and pondering away in an extremely thoughtful way about Life and all that it holds for them. At some point (when they were more grown up in Episode 3) they wanted to go back to being 13 years old to when they talked about everything in low, anxious murmurs because this was the time when everything had meaning. I think at least two of the characters reclaimed the thing that mattered most to them at 13 but I am not sure.

Anyway, I liked so many of the very beautiful and detailed scenes. Although I wish anime would stop drawing just one kind of racial look-and then make each person look like the other’s clone. I actually find it hard to remember who is who, unless they try to draw one girl with a ponytail and the other without one. The male romantic lead will always be taller than the rest, have sightly more dramatic hair, and have an extremely emo, melancholy mien. Hee, hee, hee.

But the stories are long, beautifully detailed and rife with unusual, individualistic ideas. Especially for some one who is only used to U.S. style commercial drama. It’s like anime story writers are writing for themselves , and in the other stuff you have to follow a pre-set narrative structure. I know that Makoto Shinkai created the manga version first though, so I don’t know how he managed that.

Okay, so I just went through the comments below the video and the story was actually pretty sweet, I am just too sleepy and and attention span disabled (currently) to really get it.

Also, the low, hushed whispers no matter what they are talking about (actually everything they talk about quite legitimately demands a hushed, introspective tone) eventually kind of lulls you.

I am an animal. Incapable of truly appreciating Shinkai’s Five Centimeters. :(.  But Children Who Chase Lost Voices was tres amazing. I truly loved it and was aware of it all the time I was blissfully watching it for the first time :D. Best anime memory ever.

The Vampire Diaries-S8Ep16- Finale

Tears and then more tears. I think we (all the fans) all turned into running faucets and spilling over bath tubs – oceans of salt water was slopping around.  I loved the finale. I knew that the internet was not a safe place for me until I watched it . Spoilers would lurk everywhere, especially on social media. I now know All. And I think that I can die pretty peacefully. Bury me with my set of TVD please.

TVD marathons will forever be a bitter-sweet experience now, keeping in mind the last and final TVD death. It was a big one, and how can I survive this? Courage, if Bonnie can “figure out the witch thing” after so many set backs I too can be mighty and um, learn to live life after and without TVD. Bonnie really emerges as the hero of the series for me now. I votes for a new series following the young Bennet witch on her search for adventure and fulfillment.

There were so many amazing nods and call backs to previous episodes and also bit but significant characters, remember that random but awesome Bennet witch from S2 who helped Bonnie trap Katherine in the tomb?  And the cheerleader’s grandfather from S1 who recognised Stefan from the 1950s and told Elena about who he was?It was delicious seeing them again. Bonnie’s Grams came back to help her too, it was amazing, my favourite scene with Grams was when Bonnie was getting over Jeremy and trying to destroy the Original witch’s locket and Grams shows up from dead, holds her hand and tells her “You are stronger than all of this.” She was a totally brilliant character!

I was so glad that Stefan saw Lexi again! Although exactly how did he manage to pick her up and swing her around? She looks about 6’2″ (maybe it’s the heels) and is a 500 year old vampire (albeit dead), and he looks about 5’10” and he’s human! The magic of TV 😀

Everything was brilliant. I’m very happy. And also very sad. But my favourite characters all seem to have closure and ….. KLAUS WROTE CAROLINE A LETTTTTERRRRR !!!! AHHHHHHHH!  My heart exploded. And then eviscerated. It’s kind of beginning to function again.

At least I can still follow the actors (and writers). Who will forever keep these guys alive for me. That’s not creepy at all.  😀 Hmm, may be they will actually stay alive if… there is a TVD universe!! Julie Plec said there might be. Somehow these guys really do have a life of their own. They don’t seem to disappear at all, even when the series is over.

Hedda Gabler

Reviewing a play would be a bit of a departure from tradition at the eagerreviewer but here we go…

Ivo van Hove’s take on Henik Ibsen’s 19th century play Hedda Gabler.

The play opens in a large, practically empty room. Newly weds Tesman and Hedda Gabler are back from a six month honeymoon.As friends traipse in and out of the new house, “so much space and light!” , greeting and congratulating the couple, we realise that Hedda hates her life and is bored of her husband whom she married out of desperation. She has a pretty complicated life. It turns out that she’s sleeping with a family friend, and when an old school friend shows up (because this is a work of fiction) it turns out  she (Gabler) used to be romantically involved with her (the school mate’s) lover as well. The same lover is also her husband’s colleague and could be applying for the same job as Tesman which Tesman desperately needs to pay off honeymoon and new house debt. Financial issues bring everything to a head. Until Tesman gets his job the couple have to live very simply and cannot be a part of the social scene of…Norway. 😀

The play’s tone was ridiculously off in some moments. I couldn’t understand the odd emphasis placed on some words and phrases by the Judge Brack character. Ruth Wilson does deserve all her plaudits though, at some point Brack was spitting on her.Literally. Like he would take a drink of tomato juice and then dribble it onto her head or spit it out on to her face. And at the the end of this he says -completely dead pan- “I have you in my power.”.  !!!!!! Er, too right you do, Captain Obvious.

van Hove explained the austere set, saying that it represented Gabler’s mind. He also said that all the characters entered and left the stage from the auditorium , all except Gabler who stays put on stage all the time. This device was meant to show that freedom and escape was always within her grasp and that she created her own cage. I didn’t make the connection myself, but the explanation made it interesting.

I guess experiments in directing, production and acting are important. But they need to make sense as well. I guess my problem with this play was that if was supposed to be a 21st century take on Hedda Gabler maybe it could have been located in time better- by changing dialogue to remarks that make more sense in the 21st century e.g. Lovberg’s speech about his lost manuscript. Honestly it’s like everyone’s on their own trip and no one really shares a common plane of reality, or maybe they do as long as no one’s talking to Hedda.  And even if it isn’t supposed to be about realism then all of the emotions should make sense, they don’t always, and the end result is just odd. In spots. There is a lot of humour which is pleasant, but not all of it is intentional.  Also I couldn’t stand most of the music. Final verdict? Bit of a washout.5/10.

TVD Season 8 Episode 15

Thank you so very much for how miserable all the characters were here. It was such a downer I kind of wanted to use Kelly Donovon’s handy little weapon on myself and end it all :(. This is extreme drama I know, but frankly I am not a Steroline fan. Steroline getting married is …fourth best for Caroline Forbes.Coz Klaus is waaaay better and Tyler Lockwood was better and Alaric’s sweet emo sadness over her wedding makes him so unexpectedly GOOD 😀  .It reminded me of TVD in its days of yore when everything was perfect: drama was aplenty,sadness was only sweet, and the ships were amazing (Stelena,Klaroline Delena,Beremy) 😀  😀  😀

Although btw Klaus is still way better because only an original vampire with portraits hanging in national art galleries and borrowed (or stolen) dresses and bracelets from princesses will ever be deserving of Caroline Forbes.

Alaric’s muted but sweet and supportive reaction to Caroline’s wedding news made the episode for me! Hmmm, why have I read that he’s moving to New Orleans? Do we see him in The Originals now?? I am so tired of seeing Bonnie sad. She sat at Caroline’s wedding a figure of tragedy and mute misery which went straight to my heart and makes me hope that the next episode is a little less …misrubble. Everyone’s depressed and it shows. I don’t think that it can turn around in one episode.

No Katherine in sight but mayhem all around. This is in keeping with the character because when has Katherine ever done her own dirty work? Caroline,Uncle John,Isabel,Uncle Mason,Aunt Jenna,random Bennet related witch,Matt,have all been compelled,coerced,tricked into doing Queen K’s work until she was good and ready to show herself. Although it is a little hard to call her worse than the Devil. Come on! Kat had her own share of Klaus misery (entire family slaughtered,500 years on the run). I know I’ll never forget how she cried over a picture of her family she found in a book about the Petrovas that Elena gave her, do you remember? It still defines the character for me.

You know now that Damon will never get over his Katherine issues. A bachelor party over Katherine’s bones. Hmm. There’s food for psychological analysis over there. It was hilarious and horrible when he sloshed some booze into her skull!  Although the show didn’t seem to comment on it … perhaps it was considered de rigueur in vampire plot writing world and no one noticed. Damon still has trouble with his poker face and now there’s nothing anyone can do about it, second last episode and all.

I want something happy . Come on dream spinners, spin out the fantasy just a bit longer please. Only one episode left.

TVD-S8 Episode 12

Oh gods.No words to describe the eternal boredom of S8 episode 12. There’s  a touch of miserable realism in the scene where Stefan is arrested and can’t compel himself out of it. My fantasy filled series has been ruined.I’m so depressed. Couldn’t he have had his humanity under happier circumstances? All leading up to Stelena end game? Everyone has had to act so different in these episodes. It’s as if all the characters have had the mainspring of their action broken this season (though they’ve been a little boring and repetitive for a while), and they’re all like – I don’t have a reason anymore to be a particular way, I don’t know what that reason could be. And I blame the story arc for this (not so much an arc as a series of bumps  that eventually stop, unlike S1-4  😦  ). As I was saying tho, I do not like you, story arc. You do nothing for my vampires precieux. Damon acts like he’s blissed out on ether, not chasing redemption, Caroline is strange but okay she was a mom for five years so maybe that’s why, Alaric feels redundant and for the first time I wished he’d remained in his coffin and now I find myself hoping against hope that that’s not what surfaces when  i see Elena again. :/. How could the writers run out of good plots? I thought there was a whole book series of happenings to draw on.

TVD 4Evr

I couldn’t help a small,tiny, and very bleak chuckle as I wrote that title. The Vampire Diaries really does not let go even when it hit its low plot-less point.Kind of like a bad relationship, you just hung on to it and hoped your hopes would be rewarded when it got back to what you know and love (it just HAS to!).Seasons 1- 4 were the best years of TVD. I say that with a sigh because as we all know (tho we do not admit the faults of a well beloved) the show just never recovered after Klaus was no longer the the Original Evil whose cantankerous tyranny drove everything and after Delena was accomplished as end game. S4 is way to early to achieve your goals people. And now it’s all ending.Sob. I can’t believe it. Yes, I watched those Youtube TVD mixes with the montages of all the cast. I am that ridiculous over this show. I was distancing myself from the fact that this was the end, but I read the spoiler for Episode 11 and *SPOILER*

BOOM!

STEFAN’S HUMAN!!! AHHHHH!

That was a huge shock, he’s wanted it since Season 4. I couldn’t believe it at all, so I had to see how it all went down. That magic blast Bonnie releases after Enzo dies? Wow. I haven’t been watching this season so the music feels off, kind of standard ominous Devil music, coz of I guess the Cade character. “The Devil” plot line is soo odd. If there’s a devil, there should be God?Maybe God turns out to be that sweet, pedantic, omniscient kid. hee hee hee.

Never will there be villain so villainous as Klaus. The rest were just boring. And they came in ill-connected, poorly fitting bits and pieces. Who cared about them? Also they were not engaging.The Salvatore’s weird mother?Oh please. It was strange that anyone would choose to act so stiff and uninteresting. Give me something to think about lady! At least Tessa came with a cool backstory about how the dopplegangers always find each other.

The poster for the new season looks a little better than the last season. The S7 poster was just hilarious with the Salvatores heading aimlessly off into some unspecified horizon like no one knew what to do with them, even though Plec and Williamson swore the show was really about *cough* brotherly love. Yeah right. It was the love triangle, plus the way all the characters’ stories were embedded in the town’s history that made it work.Why did you spoil the magic formula and ruin TVD time for me :/.

Season 5 onward has just been a hailstorm of happenings to keep our gang busy on the treadmill. But they never went anywhere. Sometimes dark is just boring. I need more sweet and intense romance, please. Serve it up!

P.S. Now is when Klaroline should feel free to happen. Also Stelena 😀 . And don’t kill Bonnie or Damon. Personally, I think Damon has to learn how to live without pining over a girl. He needs some Me time.ha ha. 😀 😀

epically klaroline
Soo beautiful together.

PS2: I forgot I have a history of writing posts about TVD. Here’s one , and t’other and the first. I seem to switch between Stefan and Damon just as much Elena did.  Also, for the unforgivably ignorant the oft repeated couple above is Klaus and Caroline.

Suffragette

Very restrained telling of the fight by British women for the right to vote. Meryl Streep has a bit role as Emmeline Plankhurst. Carey Mulligan plays a laundry woman whose gradual  political awakening occurs alongside the daily abuse she faces at the laundry, and the growing understanding that she has no legal rights over her son. Meryl Streep is brilliant as usual even with less screen time. Mulligan graces her character with a portrayal of grit and hopefulness.

Eleanor & Park

Eleanor and Park was harder to read than I thought it would be. I picked it up blithely thinking it was another YA romance :young love! misfits!TEEN LIFE. But it wasn’t as easy on the emotions as that. I thought that one of them would feel self conscious a la Bella of something bland and forgettable and perhaps they would both maybe make statements about the painful awkwardness of adolescence and the perils of not fitting in with the better looking, well off crowd. But. Eleanor is living with her mum, a house full of siblings, and her mother’s new husband, who is a drunken creep. The whole book I was sitting at the edge   waiting for Richie to abuse Eleanor. I had to keep skipping ahead to reassure myself that it wasn’t going to happen. Girl does meet boy when Eleanor meets Park who in her words is a “stupid, perfect Asian boy”. He has a secure, breathtakingly normal life. Happy mom, happy dad, annoying younger sibling. Rowell reveals how the things such a life takes for granted or can be nonchalant about can be the stuff of paradise in the same neighborhood. Eleanor doesn’t tell Park stuff like she doesn’t have shampoo and just uses what she can get, like dishwashing liquid, or has no clothes of her own.Which is why she wears cast off men’s clothing. With astonishing clarity Rowell articulates Eleanor’s fear that when Park knows the factual details of Eleanor’s life he won’t see her as an enigmatic, self appointed individualist- he would see her life to be as bleak as it is. Eleanor slowly trusts Park with the details of her life , and Park finds out for himself his capacity to love another person through the bleakest events of her existance, and to look past mundane concerns like weight. Eleanor, in her turn, discovers how love confers a sense of intact, inviolable  identity and personhood on both people in the relationship, and slowly finds it impossible to feel self conscious about her body around Park. 

It’s a pretty great love story, Eleanor’s vulnerability, the vulnerability of children and teens in the hands of adults isn’t something you can forget easily. I’m sounding sentimental I guess, but the book leaves you kind of thankful for all the things that go right for yourself, and the things you take for granted.

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