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Shakespeare In Love [DVD] [1999]
Shakespeare In Love [DVD] [1999]
Dvd ~ Gwyneth Paltrow
Price: £4.76

4.0 out of 5 stars Something Different, 26 Mar. 2013
It is a brave thing to attempt to portray any aspect a figure so revered and disdained by the world, but I think this film just about carries off its entertainment value.

The plot itself has almost no basis in fact. Which I love. Immediately I don't feel like I have to take notes and learn more about his use of metaphor and iambic pentameter. Then again, a lot of what we actually know about Shakespeare is conjecture, so why not have some fun with it?

And fun is exactly what this movie does with Shakespeare's life. You no longer see him on a pedestal, but as a penniless writer trying to please all walks of Elizabethan society. Joseph Fiennes is quirky and cocky as Shakespeare, full of passion and promise, while Gwyneth Paltrow is his doomed-to-marry-Colin-Firth love interest (poor thing), whose innocent bravery and concealed love of literature staves off his writing block.

This film is particularly satisfying if you have studied any Shakespeare, particularly Romeo and Juliet, as many light-hearted references will make you chuckle, while the fervent and ill-fated romance between the two leads echo this. Tom Stoppard's obscure literary references are often lost on the audience, but if you pay them heed they become cleverly satisfying. I also think a stunningly good job has been done to portray Elizabethan entertainment- from a young boy playing Juliet to the course hilarity of a "bit with a dog". Judi Dench blew me away as Elizabeth I, deservedly winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress after only about 8 minutes of screen-time! Now that's what I call presence.

And while at times it becomes a little smothered by its own indulgence, it's worth a watch - fantastic for those who like to feel a smug when they recognise a literary reference.


Mean Girls [2004] [DVD]
Mean Girls [2004] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Lindsay Lohan
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £3.63

5.0 out of 5 stars Mean Girls - The Brutally Quotable Spectacle of Adolescent Behaviour, 26 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Mean Girls [2004] [DVD] (DVD)
Mean Girls came out when I was quite young, but its legacy remains to this day.

This film bites the head off of namby-pamby teen movies about how terrible life is when you're a teenager because you didn't get a date to the prom, churns it about a bit and spits back out a fiercely satirical version of high school. Lines from this movie are repeated every day up and down the country because of how easy the characters are to recognise, and how memorably they made you laugh. I mean, come on, who can't instantly recognise the "plastics" from their class?

Tina Fey pushes the comedy almost to the edge so effectively I nearly wet myself every time I watch it. And if you're put off by the puffy-pink aura coming from the packaging and seemingly all-female audience, just sit down and give it a go. My teenaged brother and his friends still find it hilarious and even my grouchy alpha-male father will watch it unashamedly. Mean Girls hasn't bogged itself down with what is acceptable or the message we should be sending out to whiney tweens about good and bad, but instead powers straight towards one of the funniest and most cringey interpretation of female adolescence out there.

Please watch, you won't regret it!


Sleepy Hollow [DVD]
Sleepy Hollow [DVD]
Dvd ~ Johnny Depp
Offered by A ENTERTAINMENT
Price: £3.03

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible, Quirky Horror. Perfect., 26 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Sleepy Hollow [DVD] (DVD)
I am not a fan of horror in general. If I'm being honest, I don't like being scared, I'm a bit of a wuss that way. But Burton brings his usual artificial gore and spectacular characters to my attention with grandeur.

This is one of my favourite Burton/Depp films (so shoot me, I'm a fan) films, and Ichabod Crane is laughably hapless in his squeamishness, but it is his comedy which makes him so very endearing as a protagonist. Ricci's slightly wooden acting actually fits the distantly tender romance between her and Depp, her characteristically wide eyes revealing the innocently imperfect Katerina.

The supporting cast are fantastic, from Gambon to the adorably loyal Young Masbeth, to perhaps most notably Richard Griffiths' head spinning grotesquely on his bumbling body.

(*spoiler alert!*) It is Miranda Richardson, however, who takes the biscuit as the intrinsically deranged evil seductress. Her trophy wife smile and terrifying cackle seal the deal as the hilariously creepy bad guy (or should I say girl?).

The plot gets slightly convuluted but ultimately doesn't actually matter all that much. It's far more interesting to watch the body count rise and Ichabod chase his tail in an attempt to prove science can solve everything. However for those to whom storyline is important, everything comes to a fine denoument after a sinister but not-all-unexpected plot twist.

The gore is wonderfully indulgent and the misty atmosphere almost as black as the humour, which is abundantly contrasted with the numerous violent deaths.

All in all a treat for almost anybody, though especially those among us who want a more exciting chick flick, a less nightmare-inducing horror or a simply one of Burton's finer entertaining and quirky films.


A Room With a View
A Room With a View
by Edward Morgan Forster
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.13

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Who published this edition?, 27 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Room With a View (Paperback)
A Room With a View is lovely, a fantastic story of oppression, made more enjoyable looking back on how EM Forster's ideas of freedom of expression and passion are strangely similar to our more modern one.

HOWEVER...

DON'T BUY THIS COPY
I KNOW IT'S CHEAP
BUT I FELT AS IF I WAS HAVING TO TRANSLATE THE ENTIRE EDITION THROUGH MISSPELLINGS AND SYMBOLS WHICH RANDOMLY APPEAR IN THE MIDDLE OF WORDS FOR NO APPARENT REASON
WHO PUBLISHED/EDITED/PROOF-READ THIS THING? UNLESS IT WAS A BLIND HERMIT TRYING TO USE A TYPEWRITER FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THE POOR STATE OF THIS EDITION.

apart from this actual copy, the novel is brilliant, and I would definitely recommend it, just choose one that isn't quite so home-made.


Jane Eyre [DVD] [2011]
Jane Eyre [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Mia Wasikowska
Price: £5.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Delectable, 27 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Jane Eyre [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
At 16, I am neither cynical to the existence of, nor wildy swept up in the concept of love, which is why I believe "Jane Eyre" both as a novel and in film appeals to me so much; after reading the book I couldn't wait until payday to order the film, while trying to approach it with the prudence one needs to consider when becoming excited about an adaption.

However, I was not disappointed. Of course there a differences to the book, but all the while I felt that Mia Wasikowska up there on screen was the inwardly passionate and frustratingly rational Jane I had come to know in the book. Conveying that inner torment and self-denial was always going to be a tricky job; I think both the production team and the actors did terrifically in portraying such with the enthralling use of music and silence, by providing touching aspects of the novel in mere moments portrayed beautifully and keeping the bittersweet harshness of Jane's life. The range of shots used, from intense-shaky-cam to grandiose, sweeping landscape shots capture the wildness of nature which Eyre and Bronte both seem to love.

I did not immediately warm to the time-hopping structure, though by about halfway through I was glad of the consdensing of Jane's time with St. John Rivers. While this is important in the book, and I love the creation of the his character as someone the reader both loathes and reveres, it held it's place without taking precedence over the Jane/Rochester relationship (and as a bit of a movie buff, it made me happy at the casting, as Mia Wasikowska and Jamie Bell's characters were married in "Defiance"). While her time at Lowood School was greatly condensed, the audience remains aware of both the painful and satisfying memories she gained there.

The film is also incredibly enjoyable, for those who have not read the novel, or maybe didn't like it, or are just looking for something to watch on a quiet Tuesday night. Judi Dench is perfect for the Mrs Fairfax who has been beefed-up for the better from the novel, and the passionate love story is truly enchanting. For me, this film is definitely worth a shot, even if you don't enjoy quite as much as I did.

The adaptation is not perfect, but seeing as everyone has a different view of great novels in their own head, a damn fine job has been done here. Then again, maybe I just relate to Jane altogether, as someone "poor, obscure, plain and little...."


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