Review: Pride and Prejudice (2005)

“Only the deepest love will persuade me into matrimony.”
– Elizabeth Bennet

SYNOPSIS: Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice? – via IMDB

So I went through a stage where I literally just binged on everything Pride and Prejudice and then just never published my reviews. Shame on me, I know. I was wary of this because while I love the story, there is Keira Knightley. I was seriously hoping she would pull this off the same way she did Atonement, but alas, there was no such luck in my cards. I didn’t dislike her in this as much as I usually do, and she seems better suited to period pieces than other things.

I feel that some of the cast members were just not right for their roles. Donald Sutherland never really grasps Mr Bennet, and never truly embodies that snark on screen, or the relationship between him and Elizabeth. Pity, too. Obviously I have my issues with Knightley, too, to be sure (I just don’t think that she was the perfect choice), and there was something quite off with Rosamund Pike’s portrayal of Jane. Oh well, those are the biggest offenders, I think. There was some amazing casting, too. I think that Macfadyen was a great Darcy. He embodied that pride, that calm and superiority, and he was unflappable, which is great. Brenda Blethyn’s Mrs Bennet correctly made me squirm in my seat and feel immense amounts of embarrassment for those girls, too – so tacky! I thought Kelly Reilly was excellent as Caroline Bingley, as she truly was horrible and snobbish and a total bitch, so well done. Jena Malone, too, nailed that immensely selfish brat Lydia.

There were parts of this movie that I absolutely adored (I am looking at you, hand into the carriage scene!). I also particularly enjoyed all scenes featuring Charles Bingley and Jane, as Bingley is so adorable around her, and they are a sweet couple.

I feel that there were some issues with the pacing – a big part of this was Mr Wickham being introduced and sped off of screen within two minutes, and yet he is such a large part of the main story, so you never really can understand Wickham being such an issue between Darcy and Elizabeth, and he is quite an important character. I also felt that this movie hardly captured the humour of the book, and came across as far too serious. There were moments I smiled, for sure, but for the most part this went for full on drama. Pride and Prejudice does have some truly beautiful sets and some great costume design and a score that suits it perfectly, and that does help you slip into the story and the characters and the time more. The dialogue was also quite loyal to the book, which I appreciated.

Pride and Prejudice is indeed a solid adaptation of its novel. There were some hitches with the cast and the pacing, but it is still well worth a watch, something I can see myself revisiting in future. The story is a classic for a reason, and does have a timeless love story between two characters you cannot help but love and root for. Worth the watch.

Rapid Review: Gone Girl (2014)

gone girl poster

“I loved you and then all we did was resent each other, try to control each other. We caused each other pain.”
– Nick Dunne

SYNOPSIS: On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne reports that his wife, Amy, has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife? – via IMDB

gone girl diary entry

GRADE 8Finally, I got to see this. Goodness knows that I have waited an age for it, and I was really interested to see what David Fincher could do with it, if he still has the super spark, and if I would at least have been correct for backing the casting decision of Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne and Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne. I would just like to state here that I was, indeed, correct in having faith. Seeing as I have read the book, I was interested to hear what my other half would think of this, who had no idea what it was about or what the plot twist was. I think Fincher did a wonderful job of portraying Nick in the first half of the movie as a man we don’t quite understand but then grow to dislike, intensely, like the media does. My other half was pretty vocal on what he thought about Nick. However, the twist came as no surprise for him – actually he had worked that out less than thirty minutes in. I thought the camera work was amazing, and the dreary, washed out look suited this movie down to a tee. It is sort of what you feel when you read the book – it’s a thing with Flynn. It’s like she is incapable of writing about a single likable character. That shows here, but ultimately, as much a tool as Nick is, he is the one you identify with the most. The casting choices for this were great, everyone worked wonders with their material. Rosamund Pike did some exceptionally good work as Amy, but (sorry world) I just don’t get the hype. She delivered all the goods, trust me, but… I don’t know. I think the whole movie was blown out of proportion. Then I remember everyone freaking about Neil Patrick Harris’s dong making an appearance. Seriously people, it was so brief I probably would have missed it aside from the fact that everyone had something to say about it. I think that the scene with Pike and NPH there was quite… brilliantly executed. Something like that rarely works and comes across as tacky, but in here it was so much more than that. I don’t actually want to say too much because I don’t want to give out any spoilers, but I must say that this is well worth the watch, truly. Gone Girl was a really good adaption and there was a lot to like about it. It looked good, it was paced pretty well, and had a solid cast to carry it, it shows that Fincher definitely still has the goods.

Review: Fracture (2007)

fracture movie poster

“Unfortunately, the man is a tax-paying citizen and entitled by our constitution to try and manipulate the legal system like everyone else.”
– Judge Pincus

Theodore “Ted” Crawford is a meticulous man, intelligent, rich and a talented aeronautical engineer who has a problem – he knows his wife Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz) and police detective Robert Nunally (Billy Burke) are having an affair together, and cannot bear the thought. Confronting her about his love for her and her infidelities, Jennifer doesn’t even attempt to deny the accusation, and Crawford shoots her. Police respond almost immediately, though Crawford has been doing some clean-up of the crime scene. Nunally arrives at the scene and freaks out. He assaults Crawford, who confesses to having shot his wife, who is not dead. Attempted murder charges are brought against him.

fracture crawford and his wife
“I love you. Does he?” – Ted Crawford

William “Willy” Beachum is an excellent deputy district attorney who is moving over to private practice. He is known to be incredibly good at closing cases and getting convictions. Beachum gets raked into the Crawford affair, which he considers to be a slam-dunk seeing as the gun was recovered at the scene and they have a confession from Crawford, not forced. The gun that was recovered at the house, however, has never been fired and does not match the shell casings at the scene. Beachum is not worried, he still has the confession. Beachum is overly involved with his move from criminal law to corporate law, joining with Wooton & Simms that he does not put his everything into the case, though at the behest of Crawford liking him, he decides that he will make the Crawford case his last as DDA. His new boss and new lover Nikki Gardner (Rosamund Pike) is not impressed with Beachum still being caught up with the Crawford case, but leaves him be.

fracture crawford and beachum in prison
“I’m not going to play any games with you.” – Willy Beachum

Crawford is representing himself, and is silent the whole way through trial. Beachum’s ego is boosting, this is too simple a case for his talents. However, trouble in paradise starts when Beachum puts Nunally on the stand and Crawford objects on the grounds that his wife was having an affair with the witness, who also happened to be the arresting officer as well as in interrogation with Crawford when the confession was done. Beachum is furious – his whole case has just fallen to pieces. His witness was dishonest, and a whole new light has been shed. Judge Robinson (Fiona Shaw) has given him the long weekend to come up with new evidence, otherwise she will grant Crawford his motion of having the case thrown out. Nunally is desperate when the gun still fails to turn up, and calls in favours to plant falsified evidence. Beachum is desperate to have Crawford convicted, whom he knows shot his wife but can no longer prove it. He toys with the idea of falsifying evidence, but it is against his moral code. Deciding against it, Crawford is acquitted. Nunally commits suicide outside of the courtroom.

fracture crawford and beachum
“Knowledge is pain.” – Ted Crawford

Wooton & Simms have definitely cooled their attitude towards Beachum, and his promising career there has been thrown away. The state does not want him either, though he knows that somehow he needs to get Crawford convicted, which is seemingly impossible. The case is closed and cannot be appealed. Beachum’s career is in a shambles, and the knowledge that Crawford is guilty is wrecking him. What lengths will Beachum go to in order to prove his point? What will Beachum do to bring Crawford to his knees? What will Crawford do now that he is a free man? The case has gotten personal for Beachum, and he is prepared to go to any lengths to make things right in the world, though he has not an inkling how.

A 7/10 for Fracture. This was a decent movie, though by no great length a fantastic one. It was well put together, and the story was pretty good, though at times there was too much lull and it was your typically average psychological thriller. Anthony Hopkins delivered another flawless performance, and again I had to wonder what his obsession with “Williams” is all about. Hopkins again nails that role of smart, deranged and having utterly way too much fun despite his circumstances, he gives another look at a crazy man. At the same time it is very simple to understand why he would have done the things that he did, though you still no that it is wrong how he went about doing what he did. Ryan Gosling was decent in this, though it definitely wasn’t one of his stronger roles, to be honest. Something just fell short with him in this one (maybe it had to do with his character permanently looking stoned in this). The plot was alright, and Hopkins was classic to watch bring Ted to life, and the games that he so ruthlessly plays with William Beachum. There were a few holes, and a few places where the scenes simply fell flat, but overall the film is fine to watch to pass time with or between other movies. The character development was predictable and easy to follow, so nothing new was brought to the table there. There was some humour in it, but not an abundance, just enough. The relationship that sprang up between Nikki and Beachum was absurd, there was no build up to it and there was nothing that made it feel like it was special or important. It just seemed rushed.