Tag Archives: Emma Watson

Throwback Thursday-Harry Potter Film Series (2001-2011)

There is something about the magic of a favorite childhood book. No matter how old one gets or how complicated adulting becomes, these books will always stay with us.

The Harry Potter film series (2001-2011) is one of the few book to movie transitions that is both true to the source material and has the ability to stay with the audience.

The films follow the title character, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), an orphaned boy who discovers that he is a wizard. Over the course of ten years and eight films, Harry and his friends, Hermoine Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), grow up, fall in love and fight against the dark forces of their world.

If there is one thing that stands out to me, it is that the narrative and characters feel human and normal against an extraordinary backdrop. Harry is an everyman type of character, giving readers and viewers an emotional hook to grab onto and stay with until the very end.

Do I recommend them? Yes.

P.S. I would love to just talk about the films, but I must address J.K. Rowling‘s morally disgusting remarks about Trans men and women. They are a stain on the legacy of the books/movies that inspired a generation of readers.

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Little Women Movie Review

For 150 years, readers have read and adored Little Women. Louisa May Alcott‘s timeless tale about the March sisters is a universal story of growing up, sisterhood and finding out who you are.

The new adaption, written and directed by Greta Gerwig, was released a couple of weeks ago.

Told in a non-linear narrative, the film starts as the girls are setting out on their own paths in life. Meg March (Emma Watson) is juggling marriage and motherhood. Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) has a day job as a private tutor and sells her stories to local newspapers. Beth March (Eliza Scanlen) remains content to be at home. Amy March (Florence Pugh) is in Paris and living with Aunt March (Meryl Streep) while she is pursuing her dream of becoming a painter.

The movie then flashes back and forth, from the present to the past. Growing up in New England during the Civil War, the girls are being raised by their mother, known as Marmee (Laura Dern) while their father fights for the North. Early in the story, Theodore “Laurie” Laurence (Timothee Chalamet) introduces himself to Jo. He is literally the boy next door and becomes Jo’s best friend.

Though some fans might disagree with Gerwig’s choice of narrative, I think it was a wise choice. Given the number of filmed adaptations of this beloved book, she chose to make her adaptation stand out because of that unorthodox narrative.

One of the things that impressed me about the film is how Amy is no longer a brat. In most adaptations and in the eyes of many fans, Amy March is disliked because she is spoiled and remains so throughout the book. But in this adaptation, Amy is spoiled like many youngest children are spoiled. But she also grows up into a woman who knows she wants, in spite of a world that would hold her back.

Anyone who has ever watched a film adaptation of their favorite book are likely to be disappointed. Changes to either character or narrative are certain. But Gerwig remains true to the text, retelling this beloved tale with a modern spirit and a reminder of why 150 years later, Little Women is a cherished novel.

I absolutely recommend it.

Little Women is presently in theaters.

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Thoughts on the New Little Women Trailer

Little Women is one of those books. It is the literary gateway drug that for many young bookworms (myself included). I remember reading an abridged version of the novel when I was around eleven or twelve. I loved it then and almost thirty years later, that love has blossomed into a life long affection.

The trailer for the reboot written and directed by Greta Gerwig was just released earlier today. Stepping into the iconic, universal and beloved roles of the March sisters are Emma Watson (Meg), Saoirse Ronan (Jo), Eliza Scanlan (Beth) and Florence Pugh (Amy). Supporting and sometimes bumping heads with the March girls are Marmee (Laura Dern), Laurie (Timothée Chalamet ) and Meryl Streep (Aunt March).

As a friend stated on Facebook, about this trailer and the film’s potential success, ” If anyone can top Winona’s Jo, is DEFINITELY Saoirse”. I have an incredible amount of love for the 1994 adaptation, but if this version can top that love, I will love this film forever.

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Beauty and The Beast Movie Review

For a generation, the 1991 animated adaptation of Beauty and the Beast has defined how modern audiences view fairy tales.

This past weekend, the live action Beauty And The Beast hit theaters. Based off of the original story written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve Belle (Emma Watson) is a young lady living in a small rural town in 18th century France. The odd girl out in her town, she dreams of seeing the world and escaping the attention of Gaston (Luke Evans). Gaston cannot understand why Belle won’t marry him and doggedly pursues her.

When Maurice (Kevin Kline), Belle’s father does not return home from a short trip, she goes searching for him and finds him locked away in dark and scary looking castle. The master of the castle, simply known as Beast (Dan Stevens) is a cursed prince in beastly form. The curse is simple: if he cannot forgo his selfish ways, love another and be loved by them in return, he will forever be a beast. Belle makes a deal with the Beast: she will take her father’s place. The Beast’s servants (who have been cursed into household objects) are overjoyed that Belle has walked into their lives and there is a chance that they all will return to their former human selves. But Belle and the Beast don’t exactly get off on the right foot and it seems like the curse is here to stay.

How do I love this movie? Let me the count the ways: it is brilliant, funny, romantic, human and it reminds me why we all fell in love with the original film 26 years ago. Building upon the affection that we as the audience have for the 1991 film, this film is the definitive Beauty And The Beast for this generation. If I had to choose one quality that made this the best film of 2017 (so far), I would say that the writers smartly filled in the minor gaps in character and narrative that left a few questions open from the 1991 film.

I absolutely recommend it.

Before I end this review, I have to bring up the gay rumors. The moments that are getting some up in arms are so quick that it’s really nothing with nothing. I could go on, but I will let Randy Rainbow speak further about this topic.

Beauty And The Beast is presently in theaters.

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Beauty And The Beast Trailer

The trailer for Beauty And The Beast is out and well, the internet is buzzing.

I’ve read and heard that the narrative and the characters have been expanded from the animated film. The Beast’s back story will be given more screen time and Belle, on top of the bookworm we all know and love, is also an inventor.

I can only hope that this film is not only as good as it promises to be, but also lives up to reputation of its predecessor.

Only time will tell, but hopefully the reviews and box office receipts in March will be glowing.

Happy Tuesday.

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Something There Between Dan Stevens And Emma Watson?

In movie news that makes me incredibly happy, a new live action Beauty And The Beast will soon be in the process of being filmed.

In the title roles will be Emma Watson (Harry Potter) and Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey). Playing Belle’s unwanted and obnoxious suitor , Gaston, is Luke Evans (Dracula Untold).

This movie is only in pre-production, but I am so excited about this movie.

In other Beauty And The Beast news, a French language Beauty And The Beast was released last year. As far as I know, it has yet to be released in the states either in theaters or on DVD.

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HeForShe

Emma Watson gave an impassioned speech about Women’s Rights at the UN very recently. She spoke of an organization called HeForShe. HeForShe is not the typical feminist organization. It calls on men and women to take up the cause of feminism together.

Now that I am thinking about it, this is the absolutely correct next step in the feminist movement. We have achieved so much in only a few generations. However, we are not yet completely equal.

As Ms. Watson pointed out, a woman, even if she has the same or better education or professional background than her male colleague, she is still going to be paid less. In certain countries girls are still married off to men much older than them before they hit puberty. Women are still being judged by their outer appearance and sexualized far too early in life.

We need men to fight along with us. We need their support and their voices.

It’s not just a woman’s cause anymore, it’s a cause that belongs to men and women.

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Noah, The Flood That Did Could Have Been

The story of Noah is familiar one. Noah was told by G-d that he was going to create a flood to rid the world of those who had sinned. But Noah and his family would be saved by building an ark which would hold the world’s animals. After some time floating on the endless ocean, a dove was sent to Noah, a sign that that would waters would recede and land would soon be found.

Biblical epics have been a staple of Hollywood storytelling since it’s early days.   Transferring the story of Noah from the pages of the Bible to big screen would have happened eventually.

Directed by Darren Aronofsky,  co written by Aronosky and Ari Handel, Noah (Russell Crowe) is the descendant of Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve. He and his wife Naamah (Jennifer Connelly) have three sons. Shem (played as an adult by Douglas Booth), Ham (played by as an adult by Logan Lerman) and Japheth (played by as an adolescent by Leo McHugh Caroll). When Noah is given a message by G-d that the  flood is coming, he seeks out his grandfather, Methusaleh (Anthony Hopkins), for guidance.  During their journey, they find Ila, a orphan (played by as an adult by Emma Watson) who becomes their adopted daughter and the Watchers, fallen angels who become their helpers in building the ark.  But trouble comes in the form of Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone), a self proclaimed king who wants the ark for himself.

When making a biblical movie, Hollywood will inevitably come up against two barriers: the first being that the movie will never be universally approved, there will always be criticism. The second is that biblical characters, like mythical characters are often larger than life. We, as the audience know their story, but we do not know them as human beings, which allows the filmmakers creative license. That creative license may create controversy when a religious movie goer may disapprove of on screen depiction of the story and the characters.

One of the best elements of the movie was the strong female characters. With a rare exception, most of the women in the Bible referred to as the wife of ______ or the daughter of _______. She is not named, nor are we told anything about her other than she is someone’s wife or daughter. Naamah and Ila are both very strong and capable female characters, they are equal to the men as integral parts of the story.

The movie build up a steady pace up to the flood and then the problems start. The third act of the movie, when they are stuck on the ark, I had problems with. Frankly, that part of the movie could have been shorter, shortening the entire movie. Noah is not a bad movie,  but if I were the screen writer, I would written the third act differently.

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