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Added by Kinga on 2 Jan 2017 06:56
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2017 - Movie Diary

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People who added this item 1108 Average listal rating (643 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8.2
Rebecca (1940)
It was a re-watch (for the umpteenth times - now because I just finished the book). It does not happen too often that a book is worse than the movie based on the book. In this case though, that's what happened exactly. The movie is so much tighter, so much more plausible - mainly and most importantly the heroin's behavior. She is much, much less submissive, 'wakes up' much earlier and she is becoming more independent and self-confident sooner that makes the movie so much better than the book. The screenplay writers did a fabulous job to pull the story together very tightly and excitingly. There are still lots of melodrama and spectacular heroin-suffering but this is oh so easier to bear than in the book... There is just one glitch in the Hitchcock movie: because of the 'ethical code' of the time they could not let Max actually commit the murder and so they changed it into a real accident. What a pity - otherwise a perfect film.
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People who added this item 2927 Average listal rating (1696 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8
I have re-read Pride and Prejudice and thought it would be a good time/idea to catch up with all the movie/tv variations.

First, a confession: while I do like Jane Austen and find her very witty and funny, I do have issues with her novels. Not just that they are all the same (c'mon, admit it), but also, how big the controversy is between the public image of her as an independent, strong woman and her completely patriarchal, conservative-traditional heroins. Every single one of them will give up her own line of thinking, her own true self just to be married. In the end that's their real and exclusive goal in life, no matter what they say or do beforehand. Take Lizzy Bennett for instance. The way Darcy treated her and her family in the beginning, well, it was absolutely justified and fair from her to refuse his marriage proposal. And she did it with dignity, and integrity (albeit angry and frustrated). And there was no 'pride' and 'prejudice' in her at all. Nothing. Nul. Zero. Darcy was an asshole and got what he would get from any normal woman, almost at any time of history. Period. And yes, he is trying to get into Lizzy's trust with settling her sister's scandal, but under no circumstances his bigheadedness and rudeness should be forgotten. But of course, all of a sudden, Lizzy realizes that 'oh, I was wrong, he paid all those big sums for my sister! He must be a good man!' So it goes. Very, very irritating.

Now, the reason I wrote about it is, that if you are adapting a Jane Austen novel in a movie, you simply have to dig deep to give some true and plausible reasons why her characters can be relevant and more or less lovable. Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility did that perfectly. It was eventually a sad, emotional movie about human relationships (not matter if it is romantic or not).

It is quite evident that this movie tries to attempt the same. All along the film we have the feeling that yes, they picked up the right and relevant threads of this typical Jane Austen story, and dropped the overly romantic (=sentimental) bullshit. And yes, these threads could be the ones why it is worth sitting through the 2 hours. Alas, these feeling are just lingering above, never ever materialized in the movie. The reason is simple: the screenplay. They managed to leave out exactly those scenes, those dialogs, those events that would have backed up and justified the attempted interpretation. Or, they emphasized the wrong parts and swiped through much more important parts very quickly. So we see static scenes, faces, grand totals, some fragments of dialogs that would have been perfect for the original goal, but that's all we have left with. Instead of listing every weakness here are two important ones: to depict Bingly as a half-idiot (even in his outlook), is a serious and sinful misinterpretation. Also, can't leave out that giving the role of Darcy to Matthew Macfadyen was exceptionally wrong. I am sure there would have been other excellent choices - much better than this cow-eyed pretty boy (whose voice I love though). There are some excellent scenes including him but the credit goes to the director of the movie rather to his acting skills (like Bingly's rehearsal of the marriage proposal in the end).
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Maybe there is something wrong with me but... This movie was getting on my nerves. No, it's not true in this way. It was getting to... nowhere with me. I found it didactic in some places, very sketchy and implausible in details (getting a high paid executive job right away in a tv network (?) by practically walking in from the street? C'mon. And what exactly is he doing there? Why is the top guy obsessed with him without his showing any kind of work? And what's the fuss about this so called 'campaign' - that we never learn about except it is 'very important' and about some vague mental illness or something.) So, nope. Not this movie for me.
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I really should try to watch some good movies. Again, this is such an awful piece... Really. Then again, these are good movies to 'watch' while I am engaged in anything, they are like back up noise, no more.
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People who added this item 138 Average listal rating (56 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.9
Onegin (1999)
Terrible movie. Again, just waste of time in spite of Ralph Fiennes.

It was totally unable to capture Pushkin's poetic language, wit, psychological aspect, social criticism and overall: the Russian atmosphere that is so articular in so many 19. c. Russian novels/writings. All this is essentially reduced to some melodramatic clichés and simplified narrative, no more. Oh, and that sex(y) scene with Liv Tyler... Jesus. It seems to me I don't have luck with classics-on-film. But, there is one aspect of this movie I am grateful for: I am re-reading the original Pushkin verse.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 5.6
Annoyingly bad. The 2 stars are only because of Marlene Dietrich's wardrobe.
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People who added this item 53 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.2
Well, it is... The Snows of Kilimanjaro. It is Hemingway. It is Gregory Peck. Should I say more? :D
I am sure I saw this movie decades ago, as I saw all the famous Hollywood movies way back then, but I did not remember it at all. The story seems to be a bit dated; in the height of existentialism it must have been an important movie among the other gazillion, newly-discovered 'deeper' Hollywood productions. By now it has become a bit whiny, a bit melodramatic, a bit predictable. The biggest sin of course is the end - turning Henry's dream in delirium into reality and speedy recovery...
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People who added this item 29 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.7
I am not sure what the actual reason is for my 2 stars: it is either the total boredom and indifference towards this movie or the remarkably lame story. Or both. Among others. I mean, OK, the actors acted, the cameraman shot the movie, the director probably gave instructions (or at least shouted 'Action'), so yes, it happened. But why, I am asking, why. Total waste of time if you ask me. And maybe I missed something but still don't know how and why the heck the woman died... Good old Balzac.
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People who added this item 358 Average listal rating (267 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8
The story is almost falling apart - I felt a bit of a hastiness to run through it in order to keep it together with weird characters (a pink monkey mom and a giant cockroach samurai (!) dad...), sometimes surreal, albeit high action scenes, beautiful animation. And it is a sad, sad, emotional movie - in spite of the 'message' that is supposed to help you over the catharsis. Nevertheless, it is well worth watching and weeping.
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People who added this item 106 Average listal rating (73 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.3
Good movie - definitely in the better batch of this genre. The center of it is the ancient dilemma, whether to sacrifice one life to save many can be justified or not. My only problem with the way this was presented in the movie is, that the dilemma is heavy and serious enough, so you don't have to add to its weight by making the 'one life' even heavier by choosing a sweet little girl as its subject (whose family is somewhat opposing the strict religious force they have to endure - another extra addition that the movie did not need in order to depict the moral dilemma). Other than that, it is probably Alan Rickman's last film, and it was very, very heartbreaking to see him again.
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People who added this item 99 Average listal rating (56 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.5
Whit Stillman has become one of my favorite, favorite, favorite directors. Love & Friendship is based on a Jane Austen short story/novella (that I have never heard of; I know, I know...) If I think Sense and Sensibility (Ang Lee/Emma Thompson) was great (and I definitely think so), I might even reconsider to find another similar adjective for that movie - because this one is a very strong contestant for that word. Simply ingenious.
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People who added this item 29 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.4
Very heart warming story with superb acting. The comparison of the two cultures is slightly forced and didactic sometimes that's why I gave just 9/10. Very traditional directing - probably just setting up the scenes and making sure everything is at hand for the two wonderful feature actors. It also considers its audience adults - which is a plus, I guess, nowadays unfortunately.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.7
Such a silly movie! There is always something weirdly hilarious in Korean over-the-top acting... A decent entertainment value. Friday Night Family Movie in our house.
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People who added this item 203 Average listal rating (125 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.9
Mr. Holmes (2015)
I should stop watching movies about old men who want to accomplish one more thing before they die... Depressing. As for this film, well, it really lacked of consistency. In other words, had there not been Ian McKellen's acting it would have fallen apart along the seam lines. Too much story telling with too little essence. Or maybe I just expected a good old cozy mystery and what I got is, a Portrait of a Detective as an Old Man. Oh well. But the little boy's performance is phenomenal!
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People who added this item 34 Average listal rating (28 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.4
Remember (2015)
OMG. This has been surely one of the most surprisingly ending movies I have ever seen. We all remember the endigs of The Others or The Sixth Sense - the endings that turned every single thing in the movie upside down? Well, this is that kind of movie. True, I haven't read or heard anything about this film at all. I mean, nothing, zero, not even its title. So I was comfortably and unsuspiciously sitting in my chair watching it, thinking, well, it is very well played but kind of a run-of-the-mill thriller, the Nazi/Jew environment could have been substituted with anything, blah blah blah. Yep, that's when that last 5-10 minutes happened. I should have known though - Egoyan is turning to be a masterful suspense director (think of Chloe). 'Nough said.
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People who added this item 16 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.5
I did not know anything about this movie; in fact I just chose it because I wanted to see something that I don't have to pay close attention to, and I thought I was going to watch the Jean Gabin version - which I have seen a gazillion times. Not at all! This is directed by Claude Lelouch and if you are expecting to see the umpteenth version of the Victor Hugo novel then... well, you are kind of getting that too but also, so much more. So much so that at times I was a bit lost; could not figure out for a second where we were, who were what, and so on. It jumps in time and also the characters are shifting too. As we were getting closer to the end the different lines started to be woven together though, and they were much less confusing.
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People who added this item 212 Average listal rating (142 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.7
Café Society (2016)
Definitely not Woody Allen's best. Very, very thin screenplay (both for the 'story' and the underlying Woody Allen-ish issues). Does not happen very often but at times it is flat boring. But as usual his actor choices and instructions to them (actor guidance) are perfect and spectacular (although a very, very slight stereotyping - but this is also quite common with W.A.)
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People who added this item 1241 Average listal rating (780 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4
Watched with Andras. Love how he could be engaged and involved. He completely got the whole movie, what it was about, etc. It is a heart warming, gentle, nice comedy-drama, even if it is not too deep.
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Movies I watch in 2017.

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