Saturday, November 11, 2017

"The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" (2013)

They did what they could in the time that they had, and I thought they did a very good job of it. Nevertheless, I'm glad I read at least two books of the series (the first two) before I watched this film.  They crammed a lot into this film.  And for as much explanation that the book got to provide, the movie handled divvying it up very well.

 A Canada-Germany film, which intrigues me. 

The use of Bach's music as a tool for the good guys was nice.  Yay, the good guys get to use music for a change.  And I'm glad they used one of my favorite lines from the book.  Evidently, they did too.  I can almost hear them, "We have to use that line."  And I was pleased they gave the author credit that the movie was based on her original ideas.

I think there was one or two fight scenes that I would've liked to have followed a little better, but nothing a re-watch or two (or whatever) won't solve through the marvels of rewind.

The choices for condensing story needs, and other choices that I am assuming were for budget constraints, I thought were done well and understandably made.  Well done guys.

Friday, October 13, 2017

"Songcatcher" (2000)

This movie was a story and concert integrated together--okay, so like a musical--except the music was integral to the story.  The music was interesting to listen to.  The story was interesting enough to keep watching.  The story wasn't necessarily an "award winner", but it was well-done.  One of the things I liked best is that all but maybe one of the musical performances were actually performed instead of mimed like is so often done.  If you enjoy folk music and/or Appalachian music, then I would recommend this movie as a creative concert.

This movie did remind me of Zora Neale Hurston's work to capture folktales.  That made it a pleasant connection for me.

Friday, September 1, 2017

"Mulan" (1998)

I hope someone somewhere favors Mulan because it really is okay.  For me, I enjoyed it enough to watch it all the way through.  But it seemed to be a re-hash of "been there, done that".  It's possible that this was the "original" and I watched it out of order, but more than likely it was riding the tide of fashionable "girl saves the story and gets the guy" stories.  Even the music didn't seem like it would be that memorable.  I say all this but I repeat again, it's really not a bad movie and I hope someone somewhere favors this movie because it really is okay.

Monday, August 7, 2017

"The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 2" (2012)

Director:  Richard Eyre

Cuts the prologue (about the spread of lies); Falstaff's page is more "serious"--more as one on the outside looking in, as an observer.  This production has the advantage of on-site locations for setting.

This version seems to do a better job of tying the larger story threads together across the entire play.

Also, the initial arrest-attempt of Falstaff is humorous.  Eastcheap scene is bawdier.  The king's while-ill speeches are played with more temper and more reflective.  The character of Silence is played, at least part of the time, with a stutter.  Falstaff's draft was played more straight/serious.  Wort was played as a small/short person.  Falstaff faces much more how he is growing old as all things are changing around him--something he is at first in denial of and, later, reluctant to face when finally absolved to confront it (during his draft visit).  Prince John of Lancaster is played strong, and his distaste if Falstaff is clear.  Prince Hal upon viewing his father on his deathbed, while torn inside, is played with more certainty, with Prince Hal trying to steel himself to do what he knows is coming, what he himself will have to do.  The fight between Hal and his father, true, genuine, and its resolution touching and heartfelt.

"Royal Shakespeare Company: Henry IV Part II" (2014)

Director:  Gregory Doran

This series continues to be a good one to aid the understanding of the text, and to see the spirit and manner of a theater/stage performance of plays.

The beginning cast light figures of hash tags to go along with the speech about rumors.

Includes the beginning prologue.  Falstaff's page is more humorously played as if in cahoots with Falstaff's take on things, or at least is along for the ride.  The King's death runs like a long heart-attack scene which may be considered as fair reason for the king's staggering-around doubts about Prince Harry's reformation and intentions having muddied his ability to think and see clearly.  The character of Silence was played as one whose mind tended to wander off making him seem a bit spacey.  Falstaff's draft was played attempting to bring out more of the humor of the scene--Wort played as a humpback.  Prince Hal upon viewing his father on his death bead seems more at a loss for what to do.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"A Trip to the Moon" (1902)--Black-and-White and Color versions

The black-and-white version had a voice-over, so you didn't necessarily get the silent film experience, but the music to it seemed to match a little better.  And if you really wanted to know what the story was, that would be the way to go.

The color version (Netflix's color version with "music from the band Air") apparently has been restored to the original coloring and there is no voice-over narration; however, the music is a very modern take.

So, the color would be better if you wanted to try to figure the story out without the voice-over narration, and if you want to see what the coloration looked like, but the music gives it a completely different feel--not bad, just different.  If you look at the music as an adaptation of the original, then it is kind of interesting because the music is very unique.  But if you are looking for it for historical purposes, then you might want to go with the black-and-white (or some other version that might be out there).

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

"Royal Shakespeare Company: Henry IV Part I" (2014)

Director:  Gregory Doran

Where the Dromgoole version Falstaff is more the power/authority figure in much of the banter in the first half of the play, in this version, the power/authority figure is Prince Hal and the beginning of the play this power/authority is definitely used for fun, games, jest, jokes, drinking, and being lord of fun.

While Dromgoole's version shows good back and forth banter, I think this version might have the best post-robbery version of Falstaff's tale.  The play within a play is  humorous to the end.  Even the "I do. I will" line while delivered serious--and can be seen as genuine--there are no serious ripples for its expressing, at least not immediately.

The confrontation between Prince Hal and his father had a Prince Hal that was much more humble and a father who was much closer to tears at his dismay than other versions (so far).

The fight between Prince Hal and Hotspur was less a carrying out of resolve for Prince Hal.  It was more a growing up epiphany to have faced the death of someone who had always been praised.

Finally, the conflict--the age-old conflict--between King Henry and Hotspur's father and uncle was much clearer, more pronounced.  It is much clearer in this version the tragedy that a disagreement between two men (leaders, older generation) would result in the deaths of so many who were not a directly a part of the heart of the quarrel.

This film does have a live audience present in a deep-thrust stage.  I liked this performance.  I enjoyed how Falstaff was portrayed, and it was nice to see other viable options for the other characters taken up.