Archive for the ‘Through the Centuries’ Category

Sleepy Hollow is,according to wikipedia,a horror film,made in 1999,based on W.Irving’s story “The legend of Sleepy Hollow” and starring Johnny Depp,Christina Ricci,Michael Gambon and Christopher Walken.And a lot of other big names,but these are the ones I like.
The movie follows the story of Ichabod Crane,a police constable from New York,sent to the little town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of brutal slayings in which the victims were found beheaded.
The locals believe that the killer is the Headless Horseman.Crane does not believe them until he meets him.
Boarding a room at the Van Tassels,Crane develops an attraction to their daughter,the mysterious Katrina.In the end…spoilers spoilers spoilers,it turns out that the horseman was manipulated by Katrina’s stepmother who still had the horseman’s head.
All is well when it ends well.The final scene is with Ichabod and Katrina in New York,right in time for the new century(1800).

As I said before,according to wikipedia,it’s a horror film.But it’s not really.It’s not scary at all(except maybe for small children),it’s just that it has some murders,witches,a headless zombie on a horse and the Inquisition.
In my opinion,this is Tim Burton at it’s finest,with all the gory details but with a bit of a brighter note(not a big fan of The demon barber or Edward Scissorshands),without being all bright and shiny(Big Fish).
The music is impressive,it gets to you and it does what movie music should do(and to be honest,rarely does acceptably),it makes you feel like you’re in the movie and it’s the only frightening thing there.
The Sleepy Hollow OST is Danny Elfman’s best work.Except for the Nightmare before Christmas.

The setting was almost entirely built.And it’s creepy in a good Tim Burton way.It actually makes me think of Snow White because I always thought that is a dark story.Anyway,as I was saying,visually it’s a typical Tim Burton set.
I loved it entirely,I wouldn’t change a thing and it’s the movie that opened the Tim Burton world for me.
My favorite scene was when Ichabod cuts the dead widow open,then comes out full of blood like a butcher and says that whoever did this was mad.
Enjoy 🙂

Ichabod Crane faints quite a lot

He doesn’t mind so much being around dead bodies,but he hates spiders.
Stab it!

Well,he does mind being around dead bodies

Ichabod Crane rulez!


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Everybody knows how this beautiful Shakespeare story goes.Benedick and Beatrice,Claudio and Hero.Love conquers all and wickedness gets punished.
The 1993 version of this play is brilliant and also one of the most financially successful Shakespeare movies.
Starring Kenneth Branagh as Benedick, Emma Thompson as Beatrice, Keanu Reeves as Don John, Kate Beckinsale as Hero and Denzel Washington as Don Pedro…this movie has an impressive actor list and oh,my!don’t they deliver the story beautifully?
My only problem was with Emma Thompson.I know she’s brilliant,I’ve seen her in Howards End,Sense and Sensibility and The remains of the day.She is indeed a great actress and I can’t say she didn’t do the role justice,but there was just something there missing!Or something that shouldn’t have been there.
This Beatrice seemed a bit sower,disappointed and at times,absurd.As if someone had broken her heart.maan3
All the others did a great job,except for Denzel Washington and Kenneth Branagh…they did an AAAAmazing job!
And here’s a clip…Shakespeare rules!

Honestly!Could there be a better Benedick?Damian Lewis make a pretty good job in the Shakespeare retold,but this piece of genius is unbeatable.
Go team Branagh!

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The movie “Horatio Hornblower-The even chance” is the first in a series of films based on C.S Forester’s novels about the fictional navy officer Horatio Hornblower.
I only saw “The even chance” and there are 8 films in total,all starring Ioan Gruffudd as the main character.
At first the story seems boring,but give it time,it gets better.
Moment 1:We are introduced to a shy,sea-sick 17 year old boy who is to serve as a midshipman on the ship of a dying captain.The men have no occupation,since England is not at war,but to bully each other and senior midshipman Jack Simpson does that very effectively to Horatio.The poor boy even thinks about suicide.
After being beaten and insulted,Horatio challenges Simpson to a duel but Clayton,a midshipman who has been accused by Simpson to be a coward,knocked him unconscious and fought the duel in his place.His last words were that Simpson indeed had to be faced,but not by a boy.He dies and Simpson is merely hurt.
Moment 2:The war begins and with it begins a new stage in Horatio’s life.
He joins the frigate Indefatigable and is given the command of a french captured cargo vessel.
The vessel is holed and he cannot save it.They must abandon ship and the saving boat gets filled with both Englishmen and Frenchmen in equal number.The French captain takes control over the boat and turns it towards France,but Horatio had intentionally marked the wrong location on the map and so the boat just can’t get to land.While floating,they are found by the frigate and Horatio is congratulated and admired by his men.

Moment 3:The midshipmen(including Simpson now) enroll in a difficult mission of taking over the French ship Papillon.In the confusion of the battle,Simpson purposely shoots Horatio(but ineffectively) and sets another midshipman adrift,thus killing him.
When Eccleston,who was in charge,dies,he asks Horatio to take the command,but Simpson attempts to challenge Horatio’s authority invoking his experience.Horatio has him imprisoned and saves the day.

Finale:Simpson challenges Horatio to a duel.Obviously he is now impressed and a bit scared by what he thought was just a 17 year old boy.He shoots at the count of two instead of three and makes a poor shot,to the shoulder.Now it’s Horatio’s turn to shoot,but he doesn’t because it would be too much like an execution.Simpson is begging him not to shoot,but when Horatio turns his back,he attacks him with a knife.Cpt.Pellew who was watching the duel from a distance and with a riffle in his hands.shoots him.
The story takes us to see the development in Horatio’s self confidence and determination.
1.At first we see an unpromising boy,but his decision to challenge Simpson shows he has guts.
Meanwhile we find that he is truly honorable,intelligent and ambitious.
2.Horatio is much more determined,he is stronger,he is able to rule his men and make order.
He is also cunning,quick and very brave.
3.The shy boy is now a leader;men look up to him and have reason to fear him.He has all the qualities a hero should have.There’s nothing boyish about him now.

So I liked the movie a lot.
At first I was bored because of all the bullying and I kind of found it unrealistic.I mean how many men in their twenties are so easily scared by one man?Moreover,how many strong men in groups of 4 would be scared of one man who has nothing better to make him scary than his seniority and wickedness?So…hmmm,I dunno,too much like the nowadays highschool movies.
And I also fail to understand the whole dueling thing.How strange can duels be?Two men sit in front of each other at 10 feet and shoot at the count of three.It seems so pointlessly sacrificial and random.The same thing always hits me about the 18th century battle scenes.Armies just get in position one in front of the other one and just shoot.Positions must be kept and men must only shoot when they are ordered too.And so it’s all done neatly.One army shoots and the other one waits to take the shots.This absurdity is obvious in “The patriot”.Was this part of an honor code?
Seriously,I am in the mist here.
The best bit about this movie was,for me,the rescue boat.Horatio threw the compass in the water even though he had a gun pointed at his head and then we find out he had the presence of spirit to wrongly map his route.I was impressed.
Also he was very brave when he climbed the pole even though he was afraid of heights.
And of course,there is the final duel in which he kills Simpson.Why did Simpson have to be such a bad guy?I would’ve loved Horatio just the same in opposition with a less evil and therefore more believable character.
Strange bit:This movie praises war a lot.Everybody is so happy when war bursts,all the midhipmen are euphoric,but none of them says something like…Oh,we might lose friends in this war.Nothing like that.In fact,the captain’s attitude when he sends Horatio on the frigate is …Boy, I am giving you this chance to make a great career.HELLO!He’s 17!!He might very well die and have no career!And all the midshipmen we meet on the Justinian,except for Horatio,die.
I haven’t read the book(because I couldn’t find it),but my guess is it’s written in a sienkiewicz manner.
But I’m not complaining.
“Horatio Hornblower-The even chance” isn’t a girl story.It doesn’t even have one single female character,but I loved it.It’s more than a war movie,it’s a growing up during the war movie.
It’s a guy movie really.Just guy guy guy.And me movie.Because I like war movies.

Aaaaand Ioan Gruffudd is so beautiful(awwww) and has such girly features in this movie.He was very young during the shooting.He was positively adorable ;)).

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After the girls at Camera,lights,history posted two reviews of this movie,I thought I should lose my prejudices and watch it too.
Well I did and I was just nooot as swept away by it as they were…but I totally give it a 5/5 and I admit that it’s a great movie.
So this is the love story(70% of it is the director’s imagination) of the muslim mughal emperor Akbar and his hindu rajput wife,Jodhaa.With a little twist of genuine Indian drama(which we loved,of course),some political discussions, mean enemies ,white pure main characters who strive to make the world a better place, tradition, religion, singing, nose earrings and Hrithik Roshan, this movie was a success.
So Akbar and Jodhaa fall in love…He falls in love not as slowly as she does.In fact he’s bewitched by her even before he sees her face,and when he does see her face he looks as if he’s just fallen from the sky.He also forgot his shoes on the way out.
Still,I got a bit confused.Where was he going on his way out?Where did she disappear?You could clearly hear her singing and he was looking with love at a non moving point(while moving) but he was alone with the white flowy veils…and she was still singing.Hmmmm.
My sister’s reaction was…what’s going on?Where did she go?
What killed me was that he dismissed the parliament or government or whatever that was,because he heard her singing.OOOK people,I’m the king here so come back with the important state problems…tomorrow or some other day.Now I must go and check what’s up with the singing!!Yea!
She falls in love slowly,as I already said before…me thinks this happens after she sees his bear back while he’s practicing sword fighting.That was a funny scene.
Akbar the sword fighting back stripper!He also takes muscle enhancement drugs!It’s a purk!Come now and get a free look at his abs too!Only today!
He was so nice when he asked to eat from the same dishes she ate.Coolio.
There’s also the locating of the wife,the sword fighting,the sleeping in the same room…platonically…and in the end the not so platonically sleeping in the same room.
Soo enough about the falling in love.It was ocasionally cheesy.

The politics:ough(that’s a sigh).
I’m gonna go through this really fast.The point is that Akbar was a great ruler who learned how to listen to his people and tried to improve their living.He was also very tolerant with religion(very 21st century for a 16th century emperor).

The singing:sigh.
I’m gonna go through this really fast too.
I get it…this singing…it’s an Indian thing.

The tradition:well,what I did understand was that much like in the case of the Persian emperors,Akbar was not an all powerfull ruler.He had to obey the laws and the will of his government.
What is this?Was this empire a rather democratic one?Hmmm.
The emperor respects all religions and while saying that,he looks like a beacon of light…or like Franklin.
Jodhaa makes demands,refuses to marry him unless he meets her demands(does anybody want to pinch me?),refuses to share his bed and won’t go back home with him.
Wroooong.You can’t do that woman!!You’re in the 16th century,remember?…Guess she forgot.
I’ll explain it to ya really simple.She must obey her father and after she is married she must obey her man.Fullstop.I mean,we’re talking about the culture that demands to have the women killed at the death of their husband.
Just how historically inaccurate is this movie,you might ask yourselves?
Very.Don’t go with the ‘it’s another culture and we can’t understand it’ thing.Bollywood is Bollywood and we must love it for what it is.Exageration.

The good part is that you learn some about the religious division in India and you get to see A.R. singing about Khrishna’s curves(for real).
Now I’ve only got two things left to say.
First of all,after Akbar had Adham thrown in his head and asked ‘Is he dead?’,I said(I’m full of funzies):If not,let’s get him back up and DO IT AGAIN…which was pretty much what Akbar said…to my shock!
Second of all:I really really loved the fact that Akbar didn’t kill his brother in law because of Banu.That was so kind and it sends a message about the importance of family.Family rocks!

Don’t get me wrong,I enjoyed Jodhaa Akbar despite my harsh review and I think it’s one of the best Indian movies I saw.
5/5 stars absolutely.

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There’s lots of movies for this and I’ve watched…in time,four adaptations.I’ll discuss them starting from my least favorite.

4.The taming of the shrew BBC,1980
It looks bad,it looks really bad.It was done with a really really tiny budget and filmed in 6 days.
And the acting was too much stage-like,so,as theatre fans should know,the actors have more powerful reactions (to make it believable even if you’re in the last row) ergo at times I considered shutting the computer down,that’s how annoying they could be.
But John Cleese was great and so were Kate and Bianca.
Unlike other adaptations,this one reveals very clearly the nature of Kate and Bianca’s relationship and the cause behind their behaviour.You can see here that in fact their behaviour was their father’s failure.Neither of the girls are properly raised.Kate is rude and mean while Bianca is a selfish manipulative hypocrite and Kate’s appearantly strange behaviour is caused by the revolt against this manipulation.Bianca manipulates everyone but Kat and Kat feels explosive.Everyone else is fooled but her,she feels misunderstood and surrounded by idiots.
So this BBC adaptation has it’s weaknesses but it has great strengths too.

3. 10 things I hate about you
ten things
Julia Stiles is Kat Stratford (Katerina Minola) and Heath Legder is Patrick Verona(Petruchio) in this teen movie that is a successful loose adaptation of Tots.
I like how the story bends to make Kat’s behaviour be the result of a deep trauma or the result of a succession of profound traumas.This way it’s easier for the target public(teens) to understand her aaaand,I love Heath Ledger so even if only for his attendance…we deffinetly liked it.
It’s also got funny lines although slightely too sexual for me to enjoy it with company(under-aged company).
Overall,it’s no more than it claims to be,a funny teen movie with a Shakespeare theme that has really very little to do with the poet and what he was trying to communicate

2.Shakespeare retold 2005.Taming of the shrew

Rufus Sewell plays Petruchio and Shirley Henderson is Kate Minola.
This is truly a very entertaining in-our-days version.There’s wikipedia for a summary.Here’s the wedding bit.

It’s forte is,as far as I’m concerned,the fact that he doesn’t really tame her.The thing is that they tame each other.And Kate comes to the conclusion that a wife must love and obey her husband with the requirement that he does precisely the same for her.
Besides all that,it’s really very funny.

1.Taming of the shrew 1967

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
I don’t think I even have to explain why this is the best adaptation ever.It just is.It’s the smartest,most inventive and funniest.Here’s a clip.Petruchio first meets Katerina.

I confess that I did not make this list considering the value of the movies but considering how much they entertained me.So others may think otherwise and they could very well be more right than I am.
Buh-bye now.

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Lady Jane 1986 with Helena Bonham Carter and Cary Elwes.
The movie was so cute…at least the part where they fall in love.It’s so sweet.
The summary:The teenage king is dieing and the next in line is the catholic Mary Tudor.
John Dudley wants to avoid having a catholic on the throne again so he initiates a plot to have the low royalty Jane Grey of 16 on the throne.For this purpose Jane is married to Dudley’s youngest son,Guilford.The king dies and Jane is queen for 9 days.Everybody betrays her and soon Mary is proclamed queen while Jane must die along with her husband.
The plotline is historically accurate.The only liberty which we call artistic licence,is making Jane and Guilford fall in love.Most likely that never happened.While being imprisoned,Dudley carved Jane’s name on the prison wall,but that is the only foundation on which the assumption that they loved each other,is based.
Anyway,they are so cute together!!!and their falling in love was so tingly for the viewers.
And Cary Elwes used to be really handsome back then.
Here’s a fanmade video.

Thumbs-up for everything.I don’t want to find flaws in this movie,it was too sweet.

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The actress playing Mary Musgrove is really good,I didn’t mention that yesterday.I hear it is more difficult to have a negative part rather than a positive part and this Mary Musgrove is so believable in her self love that I must call Sophie Thompson a genius.
I think the first few minutes of this clip are brilliantly done.

Truely the portions that make this movie successful are the appearantly not so vital ones.
Why is that?Perhaps it is because we see a glimpse of Jane Austen’s actual world.With all the little important details of a woman’s inactive existence.
I also loved admiral Croft and his mrs.Croft.They are genuinely good,simple and with the right dose of common sense and you see this very clearly in their acting.

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