In every movie franchise, for every individual movie that succeeds, there is one that bombs horribly. In the Batman movie franchise, for every Batman Begins (2005) or Batman Forever (1995), there is a Batman & Robin (1997).
Gotham City is under a two pronged attack. Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) and Dr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) are looking to control the city. Poison Ivy uses her feminine charms and poisons while Dr. Freeze just wants to see the city frozen over. Our heroes, who were able to successfully defeat Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and the Riddler (Jim Carrey) in Batman Forever, find that their relationship is at a crossroads. Can Batman (George Clooney), Robin (Chris O’Donnell) and Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone) defeat the villains and return Gotham City to peace and security?
I will give the production team points for trying. Sometimes when a franchise becomes too serious, a little lightening up is required. But this movie goes too far in trying to put the humor back into the story. It was just a little too over the top for me.
In the annals of high school/teenage movies, Clueless stands out.
Funny, irresistible and and extremely quotable, Amy Heckerling transfers Jane Austen’s Emma and the inhabitants of rural 19th century English Highbury to mid 1990’s California.
Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) is the queen bee of her world. An only child, her mother is dead, her father Mel (Dan Hedaya) is a high priced lawyer. He has re-married and divorced at least once since his first wife’s death, keeping Cher’s ex-stepbrother, Josh (Paul Rudd) in the family.
Cher’s best friend Dionne (Stacey Dash) and her boyfriend Murray (Donald Faison) are constantly arguing. When Tai (the late Brittany Murphy) and Christian (Justin Walker) enter the story, Cher begins to see that she might be more clueless than she thinks she is.
I adore this movie. It’s funny and smart and still holds up after nearly twenty years. And after nearly twenty years, I still have closet envy. Who doesn’t want a closet with a computer that helps you to choose your outfit for the day?
Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.
Emma Woodhouse is Austen’s Queen Bee. She is confident in her view of the world and her place in the world. Living with her widowed father (her mother died when she was a baby, her elder sister is married and moved away), Emma is mistress of her father’s house. Unlike some of other the Austen heroines she is not a dependent on the good will of her relations (Mansfield Park), nor is her home entailed away to the nearest male relative after the death of her father (Sense And Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice).
That being said, I will compare three of the filmed Emma adaptations.
Cast: Alicia Silverstone (Cher Horowitz), Dan Hedaya (Mel Horowitz), Josh (Paul Rudd), Tai (Brittany Murphy)
Pro’s: Amy Heckerling as both director and screenwriter, perfectly adapted the novel. The transition from rural 19th century Highbury to mid 1990’s Los Angeles is seamless. The movie is totally funny, totally quotable and iconic in it’s own right.
Cast: Kate Beckinsale (Emma), Bernard Hepton (Mr. Woodhouse), Mark Strong (Mr. Knightley), Samantha Morton (Harriet Smith)
Pro’s: It is a well done adaptation. The casting is on target and the screenplay is true to the novel. Beckinsale, as the title character is both infuriating and charming. Strong is sexy and annoying in the all knowing big brother sense.
Cons: Mark Strong’s Edwardian Mullet, which really is the only con I can think of.
Cast: Romola Garai (Emma), Michael Gambon (Mr. Woodhouse), Jonny Lee Miller (Mr. Knightley) Louise Dylan (Harriet Smith)
Pro’s: This adaptation is well done and so very funny. Garai and Miller have this bickering brother and sister relationship that is just so endearing. There is almost this Benedict and Beatrice style relationship where they begin to fall in love through the bickering and in fighting.