Movie Review: Mirror, Mirror

This past weekend, I watched Mirror, Mirror. I was excited to see it because I am generally interested in any fairy tale/literary adaptation out there. While I’ll admit that it wasn’t the best adaptation of Snow White, there were some interesting variations on the story that made it worth watching.

I like it when writers take a story that has been told in a particular way for generations and revise it, tweak it, or just give the audience an entirely new perspective.

Mirror, Mirror is like this. It’s an interesting take, mostly because if you know the standard Snow White story, then this one will surprise you throughout. They took what you thought you knew about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and rearranged it, tweaked it, and in some places, completely changed it. Writers have been doing this a lot lately, and I don’t always like it, but I did in this film. Probably because I’m not really a huge fan of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It has never been my favorite fairy tale. I blame Walt Disney for that, because while I admire his courage in creating a full-lenght animated feature long before anyone had ever heard of Shrek, the woman who voiced Snow White had the most annoying voice ever.

However, in this film, the most annoying thing was Julia Roberts, and I can tolerate her much better than my husband. Nathan Lane is in the film, and he was a little disappointing. Not nearly as funny as he was in The Birdcage, but I suspect that is the writer’s fault and not Mr. Lane’s.

Overall, it was a good film, but not a great film. It certainly wasn’t epic, like I suspect a certain soon-to-be-released Peter Jackson film will be, but it was a little cute, a little funny, and interesting enough to be worth the time.

I give it four out of five stars.

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London 2012

Tonight I scheduled my evening around watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony. It is one of those things that causes some people to make fun of me. Truth be told, I don’t really care if they do. I love the Olympics, and the fact that they are in London this year makes me happier than any other Olympics I’ve seen in my lifetime. (Sorry, Atlanta and Salt Lake.) I love England. Of all of the non-American countries in the world, England is the one I most want to visit. My love for literature and Colin Firth only enhances my enjoyment of all things British.

The thing about England is that despite its imperfections, it is rich with great history. Almost every country that passed through that stadium tonight has a connection with the United Kingdom, whether large or small.

The inclusion of the acknowledgement of the UK’s great literature was a given to my mind, but I admit that I was worried they wouldn’t include much. I was pleased with the Shakespeare reading, and J.M. Barrie. I adored that they had Rowling read to us, and that Mary Poppins showed up to save the day. I thought there were some things missing (Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, The Doctor), but overall I thought it was a good ceremony.

I found myself thinking today that I should have saved a little more vacation time so that I could stay home and watch some of the Olympics. For the most part, watching the Olympics athletes is not like watching any other type of athlete in the world. Most of them are genuinely good sports and graceful losers (except, I suspect, Usain Bolt), and I admire their commitment to their sport.

As I watched the opening ceremony tonight, I was moved. While others were slightly mocking, I was happily content to silently appreciate the music, the display and the people. It was London, baby! I loved every minute of it!

Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice (1980)

I love Netflix.

Netflix has this amazing instant watch feature, and with our plan, we get unlimited instant watch hours.

So, since some of them are on instant watch, I’m working my way through all of the film adaptations of Jane Austen’s works.

I just finished watching the 1980 version of Pride and Prejudice. After my experience with the 1940 version, I was a little hesitant to try a new version. My fears of seeing Lady Catherine de Bourgh as a giggling prankster, hatching plans with Darcy, unfortunately were the cause of that fear. Fortunately, there was none of that nonsense in this version.

As for Elizabeth Garvie, it seems that she was born to play Elizabeth Bennet. I can’t decide who I like better as Lizzie, her or Jennifer Ehle. Both actresses are wonderful for different reasons.

Playing Darcy in this version is David Rintoul, who is good, and maybe even great. Still, for my part, I prefer Colin Firth. And not just because he is gorgeous. Firth is a remarkable actor. He is more convincing to me as Darcy. He plays the part of the proud Darcy just as easily as he plays Darcy in love. Rintoul seemed a little out of his element in both. His performance was colder, more distant, and even a little awkward. Despite that, he is still a much better Darcy than some of the others.

I’ll admit that I think I may have preferred Sabina Franklyn (1980) over Susannah Harker (1995) as Jane. Franklyn was the kind of Jane that made sense. She was sweet, yet still energetic. Harker’s Jane was sweet, but something about her performance makes it seem as though Jane is constantly depressed.

As for Bingley, well, no one compares to Crispin Bonham-Carter of the 1995 version. He was a perfect Bingley. He was portrayed as intelligent (unlike some versions of P&P), and a little naive. Osmund Bullock (1980), however, was hardly noticeable. I can barely remember his performance, and I just finished watching the film last night. Instead, I keep seeing Bonham-Carter as the jovial Bingley, accepting everyone, no matter their station.

Among the rest of the cast, there were those I loved and those I didn’t.

Once I have seen all of the versions, adaptations, etc., I hope to do a complete side-by-side comparison of each character.

That means I’ll be watching Bride and Prejudice soon. (Which so far, only has merit in my mind because of the involvement of Alexis Bledel.) Wish me luck.