Monthly Archives: July 2013

Austenland- For Austen Lovers Only- Maybe

This weekend, I was part of a group shown a preview of the upcoming movie Austenland.

Jane Hayes (Keri Russell) is a 30 something single American woman obsessed with Jane Austen and more specifically, the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries. On a whim, she spends her life savings on a Jane Austen theme park run by Mrs. Waddlesbrook (Jane Seymour), hoping to meet the perfect English gentleman. Joining her is Miss Elizabeth Charming (Jennifer Coolidge) and Lady Amelia Heartwright (Georgia King).

The gentleman are actors, paid to give participants the full Austen experience. Henry Nobley (JJ Feild), Martin (Bret McKenzie), Colonel Andrews (James Callis) and Captain George East (Ricky Whittle).

This movie is based on a book, which I have not read, but some of my friends have said the book is good.

As a rom-com based on Austen’s novels, it certainly appeals to the Janeite in me. Anyone who knews me to a certain degree or has read this blog knows that I am a very open and proud Janeite. But this movie creates stereotypes that are far from reality. As one of my friends put it, the first 15 minutes are extremely unrealistic. As much as I adore and appreciate the 1995 P&P miniseries, I do not have a life-size Colin Firth Mr. Darcy cutout in my home.

The bright spots in this movie are Jennifer Coolidge who has the funniest lines and JJ Feild who looks good (and I mean looks really, really good) in regency era clothes.

That being said, this movie is not good. It panders to the Janeite fandom community and to women in general, reducing what could have been a very good, very smart and very funny homage to Miss Austen into a predictable and stale rom com. The ending, even as predictable as it is, is too predictable. I’m glad I saw it before it comes to theaters, it is not worth going to the movies for.

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Dont Bother Riding Onto This Range- The Lone Ranger Review

Disney’s latest foray into the action/adventure moviedom is The Lone Ranger, a reboot of the classic TV series of the same title.

Armie Hammer plays the title role of the Lone Ranger/John Reid and Johnny Depp is Tonto, his Native American partner in crime. Joining Hammer and Depp is Ruth Wilson as Rebecca, John’s sister in law/love interest, William Fitchner as Butch Cavendish, the film’s villian, Tom Wilkinson as Cole, a questionable politician and Helena Bonham Carter as Red Carrington, the town Madam.

Other reviewers have reffered to this movie as bloated and misshapen. I would add predictable and trite.

Armie Hammer’s approach to the character is one dimensional, the only actor that held my interest throughout the movie was Johnny Depp. Ruth Wilson, whose portrayl of in the title role of Jane Eyre in 2006 is one of my favorite Jane Eyre’s, is completely wasted in this part. Despite any press stating that Rebecca is not the typical love interest/damsel in distress, I disagree that outside of a few moments in the film, the character does not move beyond the stereotypical female role. The supporting cast of Tom Wilkinson, William Fitchner and Helena Bonham Carter are also wasted as actors.

This movie clocks in at 2 hours and 40 minutes. Frankly, the screen writers seem have lifted parts of plot from 1998 film The Mask Of Zorro. If I could gotten those two hours and forty minutes back of my life, I would. But instead, I warn anyone who is considering seeing this movie, do not see this movie. If Much Ado About Nothing was the best movie I have seen so far this year, this movie is the worst.

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