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Great Expectations [DVD] [2012]


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Product details

  • Actors: Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Irvine
  • Directors: Mike Newell
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment UK Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Mar. 2013
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AAXZ75K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,021 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Get swept away with this beautiful adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel starring Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2), Ralph Fiennes (Skyfall), Jeremy Irvine (War Horse), Holliday Grainger (Anna Karenina), Robbie Coltrane (Arthur Christmas) and David Walliams (Little Britain). Directed by BAFTA Award-winning Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), this is a stunning re-telling of the classic tale.

Young orphan Pip (Jeremy Irvine) is given a chance to rise from his humble beginnings thanks to a mysterious benefactor. Moving through London’s class ridden world as a gentleman, Pip uses his new found position to pursue the beautiful Estella (Holliday Grainger); a spoilt heiress he’s loved since childhood. Yet the shocking truth behind his great fortune will have devastating consequences for everything he holds dear.

From Amazon.co.uk

Appreciating that Charles Dickens' Great Expectations is a text that's been adapted for the screen several times, not least in an acclaimed modern day BBC adaptation, it's easy to approach Mike Newell's lavish big screen take on the material with some suspicion. What part of the story, after all, is left to tell? Credit to Newell and his team then that he finds so much to have fun with here, by focusing so tightly on the narrative core. His Great Expectations may be no match for David Lean's, for example, but there's still plenty to enjoy here.

Newell takes a traditional approach to the novel, choosing to tell a classic story straight. His strategy pretty much pays off too, with a substantive cast adding gravitas to an already-impressive production. The likes of Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham-Carter and Jeremy Irvine are all on good form, and there are successful appearances from Robbie Coltrane and David Walliams too.

The biggest criticism of the film? That it chooses traditional over adventure, but conversely, that's just the way many are going to like it. This is a well-told take on Great Expectations, with sumptuous production values and plenty to enjoy. It might leave the gimmicks to the side, but that's certainly no reason to overlook it. A few more extras on the disc though wouldn't hurt... --Jon Foster

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CMB VINE VOICE on 30 April 2013
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Has strange "Downton Abbey" feel to it. Beautifully shot, famous faces, but somehow shallow and not quite "serious" enough.

It's a little rushed, cramming so much of the book into less than two hours, hence the lack of development and depth.

For an alternative, look to the BBC's 1999 version Charles Dickens Collection (Repackaged) [DVD] or Great Expectations - BBC [1999] [Dutch Import] (the latter has Dutch subtitles, so need to fiddle with the remote to remove).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W. Rodick TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 Mar. 2013
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Superb rendition of a classic Dickens tale. The plot points come on thick and fast but always room for the drama. In the opening sequence the soundtrack is most alluring. Pulling you in. But the most telling lines are spoken and delivered with such emotional impact.

"We'll have no feelings here!" so well expressed and played. But for me the film brings out the essential core of the text. A story about class and its ridiculousness. About money and its unimportance. And love sought and found where its not wanted. Mike Newell really nailed the book to the screen.

Its getting to the point where I'm looking forward to any character being played by Ralph Fiennes. From The English Patient he seems to command the screen not unlike a Gielgud, Olivier or Guinness. The performance of Robbie Coltrane as Jaggers is also worth praise even if it is less subtle than in the novel.

An exciting and emotional movie by Mike Newell. He made the movie of one of my favourite reads. The book is a different place but this dvd is a worthy homage. The perversion of rich and poor.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. G. A. Alavi on 5 Dec. 2014
Format: DVD
This is a good adaptation of Dickens's classic novel. They did managed to fit in all the important parts of the book. obviously they could not fit in the whole book is as the movie would have been 5 hours long. I think the acting was good but the character development was a bit rushed. I have to say (showing my age) I much preferred the old black and white version especially because of the character development point of view. This version does show Pip to be more snobby and snipity with Joe from his first visit to Miss Havisham. The two characters I do think that they got wrong were Miss Havisham and Biddy. Both of them looked too young for their characters, and Miss Havisham came off more as middle aged eccentric then a mad decrepit old woman. Apart from that I think it was a good adaptation.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Dec. 2012
Format: DVD
It is hard to "give away the plot" of such a well-known Dickens classic but for those who do not know it I shall limit myself to the following: as a small boy, the orphan Pip is terrified by an escaped convict into smuggling him food and a file; the eccentric Miss Havisham summons Pip to her gloomy mansion as a playmate for her beautiful but cold adopted daughter Estella, whom she has brought up to break men's hearts; made dissatisfied with his humble lot through his contact with Estella, Pip is delighted to learn that he has "great expectations", a fortune from an anonymous benefactor and so can escape to a new life in London.

The film is true to the original novel in its main points, and is visually striking, in particular the scenes of the desolate Kentish marshes by the Thames where Pip's uncle runs a smithy, and the vivid contrast of London in all its grimy vibrancy. There is excellent acting from Ralph Fiennes, who conveys a sense of the convict's violence, but also his worthy aspirations and dignity. Jason Flemyng is effective as the simple but honest, decent and stoical blacksmith Jo Gargery, and Robbie Coltrane is suitably brisk and cynical as the lawyer Jaggers, who keeps dark secrets close to his chest. Jeremy Irvine makes a sensitive and sympathetic handsome hero, showing Pip's development in the difficult process of becoming a gentleman and coping with the source of his wealth. I was left unsure how convinced I was by either Miss Havisham or Estella: the problem is that the former is deranged and the latter is meant to have a heart of ice. Some of the minor characters failed to engage me. Pip's rival Bentley Drummle resembled an Elvis-lookalike bad lot out of the wrong age.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By K. Z. Sobol TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 April 2013
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I had great expectations of this film, but I'm sorry to say that it failed to grip me from the start - the initial scenes felt all too familiar and I had rather expected with such a great cast that they had been excited by something new and exciting.

Helena Bonham Carter is in my opinion a wonderful, talented actress, but in my opinion she seems to have misjudged the character of Miss Havisham - I liked that she wanted to embrace the unhinged mad element - but she seemed to play this side of the character to the exclusion of all the other dimensions, forgetting the cold, steely edge, the sharp and bitter reflections of her pain and as such she seemed rather too likeable.

I thought that the portrayal of Estella was rather too transparent throughout the film in terms her affection for Pip - I have always thought that the character of Estella was so hardened by the years of indoctrination by Miss Havisham to be cold and "heartless" that she was virtually incapable of anything compassion or love and that it was a real conflict for her in her relationship with Pip - but in this version it seemed all too easy for Estella to bestow her affection on Pip throughout and there seemed to be little struggle and her feelings seemed to be quite clear even early on.

I liked Robbie Coltrane as Jaggers, Ralph Fiennes was transformed in the role of Magwitch and played it well, but my quibble would be that he wasn't all that menacing at any point, which I should be something that underpins the early part of his relationship with Pip and was slightly lacking here. I thought that the actor playing Joe did so very effectively and as for the leading character, Pip - he was a slow-burner, starting slowly, but he grew into the role, improving throughout.
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