goldvermilion87: (Default)
I approve of Thor, even though I'm not a fan of superhero movies in general.  (I didn't like Thor as much as Iron Man, but I liked it quite a bit.)
goldvermilion87: (Default)
I approve of Thor, even though I'm not a fan of superhero movies in general.  (I didn't like Thor as much as Iron Man, but I liked it quite a bit.)
goldvermilion87: (Default)
I love Jane Eyre.  I really do.  I suppose nearly every self-respecting girl does for one reason or another. 

So, when I went to see the new Jane Eyre film yesterday I was prepared to love it.  I knew it was only feature length, so I didn't expect the awesomeness that is the Timothy Dalton/Zelah Clarke adaptation from 1983.  But the commercial looked really creepy.  And as Jane Eyre is a gothic novel, I was really excited. 

The film opened with Jane running away from Thornfield.  "What a creative way to frame the story!  THIS WILL BE GOOD!" I thought and bounced a little in my chair.  (I DO THAT, OKAY?)  When the film ended two hours later (I guess... felt like a day), my friend and I walked silently out of the theatre, occasionally saying "I don't know what I thought of that..."  We decided after about fifteen minutes that we would interpret that reaction as an "I didn't like it." 

So what happened in those two hours?

Well, first of all, there was the running away.  The shots were dark and gloomy, but sublime.  I like sublime, so I enjoyed it for about ten minutes.  But I do have a screenshots-of-Jane-alone-on-the-moors/in-her-bed/wandering-Thornfield/standing-and-staring limit.  By the end I thought the filmmakers MIGHT have wanted to emphasize Jane's alone-ness.  I figure they didn't want to rename Thornfield "Soledad" so they went with the next best option.

(Seriously, folks, about 50% of the film was shots of Jane sittting/standing/walking alone, looking very emo.)

But that alone would not have soured me to the film.  

Next problem:  The overly subtle references to the book.  Don't get me wrong--I love subtle.  I also like subtleties in a film/show that are little treats for the people who liked the book.  (e.g. The Sherlock Holmes allusions in Sherlock... like Mrs. Turner, John's wound, etc.).  However, I have this pet peeve about filmmakers actually telling a story.  I suppose I would have to talk to someone who watched Jane Eyre and hadn't read the book to say this for certain, but it felt to me as if the whole production was one big secret club.  For example, they really sneakily implied that Jane may have thought of faes and spirits when Mr. Rochester showed up on his horse, by several scenes previously having Jane real Adelle a story about a demon that takes the shape of a dog or horse.  But it was very hidden, and I'm not sure that anyone who wasn't looking for it would make the connection that both of them were thinking of the fairies just because a few scenes after the horse-spooking scene Mr. Rochester says "she bewitched my horse"  Now, this is one of the first THEY MUST BE SOULMATES moments, so I consider it to be reasonably important.  Or, the symbolic broken oak--it was there in the film, but it was hard to see.  I don't think I would have noticed if I hadn't been looking for it.   It's sort of implied that Jane was a popular teacher at Lowood.  Sort of...   It's slightly implied maybe by one line that St. John had been in love and didn't marry his love because he was going to India.  (We learn he's going to India about when he proposes to Jane, and he doesn't explain why... it's weird.)  Even  Rochester's wife isn't explained very well.  I'm pretty sure there wasn't even any laughing.  You keep seeing Jane get up as if she just heard something, but unless the sound was really bad in the theatre, the audience doesn't actually hear the laughing... so we haven't the foggiest idea why Jane keeps getting creeped out unless we read the book.  I don't mind subtlety, but a story that is told almost solely through sly allusions to stuff that the audience members  now have to put together, and that they can only have a hope of putting together if they've read the book? That's just lazy.

The next problem will sounds contradictory, but it's actually true.  The film was remarkably un-subtle overall.  I mentioned the JANE IS ALONE JUST SO YOU KNOW shots for 50% of the film.  There was also a JANE IS MISERABLE JUST SO YOU KNOW agenda.  So, they took away Lowood getting better, and her being comfortable, and even somewhat happy, but still unsatisfied.  When she leaves Lowood she is leaving the same miserable institution she entered.  She tells St. John that she's happy with the school he gets her, but she's so glum (and having fantasies of smooching Mr. Rochester) that I don't believe it for a SECOND!  Also the school is ALONE in a valley surrounded by mountains without another bit of civilization in sight for miles. (No idea where the kids came from...)  And finally there was SEXUAL TENSION!  Instead of going for the Jane and Mr. Rochester are soulmates theme, we kept getting the Jane and Mr. Rochester have the hots for each other theme.  When she saves him from the fire, and he gives his "I owe you my life" speech, you can basically see their silhouettes, and they are doing that almost kiss thing that filmmakers love so well.  I think making it sexual tension from the beginning really cheapens a story that is very much more about the fact that they can converse. That they are spiritual equals. Not that they want to jump into bed with each other.

The final thing that bothered me is that God was banished from the film.  Of course there was the fire and brimstone from the (never named, I believe) Mr. Brocklehurst, and we keep seeing people praying over their food (haven't totally figured the rationale behind that out...) but that's about it.  Helen vaguely alludes possibly to forgiving people, and says her father preached that you shouldn't be bitter.  But mostly she tells Jane in this weirdly new-agey sounding way that there are spirits everywhere protecting her.  I think that's from the book--certainly it rings a bell--but to my mind Helen's discussions of forgiveness are more obvious, and then more important to the story, which in the end becomes very much about forgiveness.  (Not to mention that they're not as new-agey as the film made it sound.) When Jane refuses Mr. Rochester she gives absolutely no principled reasons for refusing him.  She refuses because she "would not respect herself" otherwise.  I'm going to have to check, but I think the script was again a quotation from the book.  But she doesn't explain that it's God's law that she won't defy.  She only has her self respect.  And finally, as far as principle, right and wrong, and God are concerned, the St. John proposal scene was a horrible horrible confusing mess. It's completely unclear why she or St.John were motivated to do anything other than that he was opressive and she was still madly in love.

Putting all these facts together, this is how I interpret it:

I think the filmmakers were doing this to make a feminist film.  And to do this they made this about Jane and only Jane.  It was about Jane standing up by herself for herself for the reason that she was herself.  Now, I love Jane Eyre (the book) because it is feminist, among other things.  But by taking away anything aside from Jane being a woman who will stand up for herself, the filmmakers turned it into pure selfishness.  It was no longer a woman saying, "I am a woman.  I have worth.  So, I will do what is right and I will be able to live with that, because I know in God's eyes I am right."  It wasn't a woman saying, "I am a woman.  I have worth.  I will defy convention to give away my money to my friends because I love them, and I don't need my money to make me worthwhile."  It was no longer a woman saying, "I am a woman.  I have worth, so even though I am comfortable and have a good job, I want more."  Instead it was a woman saying, "I am a woman, and I hate not being able to do what I want, so I will do what I want when I want to based on the rules I've made up for myself."  It was just EMPTY (and again, if Jane is always running from misery, instead of, at times, unsatisfying comfort, to me that weakens the feminist message that being comfortable is not everything, but being free is what is necessary!) 

I guess, of course, this gets to the heart of what I don't like about a lot of modern Feminism.  To my mind it gets used as just another reason to be selfish (and we humans are so very good at manufacturing them!)  I can do what I want with my time and my body and my mind and my words because I am a WOMAN and I have a right to do what I want!  But if you don't want your freedom and your self-worth for something other than yourself, all you get is misery. 

And the end of the film was just that--completely unsatisfying and miserable.  Jane walks up to Mr. Rochester, he identifies her and they kiss AND THE SCREEN GOES BLACK.  It's just a bummer.  It's not at all clear why Jane decided to go back to him, other than that his wife was dead.  No indication that he's repented for what he did, and now she's forgiving him for what he did to her, and now they can be happy.  No, she just got what she wanted--a single Mr. Rochester--and now they'll get married.

Right when Jane walked up to Mr. Rochester at the end, Pilot got up all excited to say hi to her, and Mr. Rochester said DOWN BOY!  After the film, my friend said "I felt like that's what the filmmakers did to the audience. Right when we were about to get happy, they said DOWN AUDIENCE!"

That's definitely how I felt, too.
goldvermilion87: (Default)
I love Jane Eyre.  I really do.  I suppose nearly every self-respecting girl does for one reason or another. 

So, when I went to see the new Jane Eyre film yesterday I was prepared to love it.  I knew it was only feature length, so I didn't expect the awesomeness that is the Timothy Dalton/Zelah Clarke adaptation from 1983.  But the commercial looked really creepy.  And as Jane Eyre is a gothic novel, I was really excited. 

The film opened with Jane running away from Thornfield.  "What a creative way to frame the story!  THIS WILL BE GOOD!" I thought and bounced a little in my chair.  (I DO THAT, OKAY?)  When the film ended two hours later (I guess... felt like a day), my friend and I walked silently out of the theatre, occasionally saying "I don't know what I thought of that..."  We decided after about fifteen minutes that we would interpret that reaction as an "I didn't like it." 

So what happened in those two hours?

Well, first of all, there was the running away.  The shots were dark and gloomy, but sublime.  I like sublime, so I enjoyed it for about ten minutes.  But I do have a screenshots-of-Jane-alone-on-the-moors/in-her-bed/wandering-Thornfield/standing-and-staring limit.  By the end I thought the filmmakers MIGHT have wanted to emphasize Jane's alone-ness.  I figure they didn't want to rename Thornfield "Soledad" so they went with the next best option.

(Seriously, folks, about 50% of the film was shots of Jane sittting/standing/walking alone, looking very emo.)

But that alone would not have soured me to the film.  

Next problem:  The overly subtle references to the book.  Don't get me wrong--I love subtle.  I also like subtleties in a film/show that are little treats for the people who liked the book.  (e.g. The Sherlock Holmes allusions in Sherlock... like Mrs. Turner, John's wound, etc.).  However, I have this pet peeve about filmmakers actually telling a story.  I suppose I would have to talk to someone who watched Jane Eyre and hadn't read the book to say this for certain, but it felt to me as if the whole production was one big secret club.  For example, they really sneakily implied that Jane may have thought of faes and spirits when Mr. Rochester showed up on his horse, by several scenes previously having Jane real Adelle a story about a demon that takes the shape of a dog or horse.  But it was very hidden, and I'm not sure that anyone who wasn't looking for it would make the connection that both of them were thinking of the fairies just because a few scenes after the horse-spooking scene Mr. Rochester says "she bewitched my horse"  Now, this is one of the first THEY MUST BE SOULMATES moments, so I consider it to be reasonably important.  Or, the symbolic broken oak--it was there in the film, but it was hard to see.  I don't think I would have noticed if I hadn't been looking for it.   It's sort of implied that Jane was a popular teacher at Lowood.  Sort of...   It's slightly implied maybe by one line that St. John had been in love and didn't marry his love because he was going to India.  (We learn he's going to India about when he proposes to Jane, and he doesn't explain why... it's weird.)  Even  Rochester's wife isn't explained very well.  I'm pretty sure there wasn't even any laughing.  You keep seeing Jane get up as if she just heard something, but unless the sound was really bad in the theatre, the audience doesn't actually hear the laughing... so we haven't the foggiest idea why Jane keeps getting creeped out unless we read the book.  I don't mind subtlety, but a story that is told almost solely through sly allusions to stuff that the audience members  now have to put together, and that they can only have a hope of putting together if they've read the book? That's just lazy.

The next problem will sounds contradictory, but it's actually true.  The film was remarkably un-subtle overall.  I mentioned the JANE IS ALONE JUST SO YOU KNOW shots for 50% of the film.  There was also a JANE IS MISERABLE JUST SO YOU KNOW agenda.  So, they took away Lowood getting better, and her being comfortable, and even somewhat happy, but still unsatisfied.  When she leaves Lowood she is leaving the same miserable institution she entered.  She tells St. John that she's happy with the school he gets her, but she's so glum (and having fantasies of smooching Mr. Rochester) that I don't believe it for a SECOND!  Also the school is ALONE in a valley surrounded by mountains without another bit of civilization in sight for miles. (No idea where the kids came from...)  And finally there was SEXUAL TENSION!  Instead of going for the Jane and Mr. Rochester are soulmates theme, we kept getting the Jane and Mr. Rochester have the hots for each other theme.  When she saves him from the fire, and he gives his "I owe you my life" speech, you can basically see their silhouettes, and they are doing that almost kiss thing that filmmakers love so well.  I think making it sexual tension from the beginning really cheapens a story that is very much more about the fact that they can converse. That they are spiritual equals. Not that they want to jump into bed with each other.

The final thing that bothered me is that God was banished from the film.  Of course there was the fire and brimstone from the (never named, I believe) Mr. Brocklehurst, and we keep seeing people praying over their food (haven't totally figured the rationale behind that out...) but that's about it.  Helen vaguely alludes possibly to forgiving people, and says her father preached that you shouldn't be bitter.  But mostly she tells Jane in this weirdly new-agey sounding way that there are spirits everywhere protecting her.  I think that's from the book--certainly it rings a bell--but to my mind Helen's discussions of forgiveness are more obvious, and then more important to the story, which in the end becomes very much about forgiveness.  (Not to mention that they're not as new-agey as the film made it sound.) When Jane refuses Mr. Rochester she gives absolutely no principled reasons for refusing him.  She refuses because she "would not respect herself" otherwise.  I'm going to have to check, but I think the script was again a quotation from the book.  But she doesn't explain that it's God's law that she won't defy.  She only has her self respect.  And finally, as far as principle, right and wrong, and God are concerned, the St. John proposal scene was a horrible horrible confusing mess. It's completely unclear why she or St.John were motivated to do anything other than that he was opressive and she was still madly in love.

Putting all these facts together, this is how I interpret it:

I think the filmmakers were doing this to make a feminist film.  And to do this they made this about Jane and only Jane.  It was about Jane standing up by herself for herself for the reason that she was herself.  Now, I love Jane Eyre (the book) because it is feminist, among other things.  But by taking away anything aside from Jane being a woman who will stand up for herself, the filmmakers turned it into pure selfishness.  It was no longer a woman saying, "I am a woman.  I have worth.  So, I will do what is right and I will be able to live with that, because I know in God's eyes I am right."  It wasn't a woman saying, "I am a woman.  I have worth.  I will defy convention to give away my money to my friends because I love them, and I don't need my money to make me worthwhile."  It was no longer a woman saying, "I am a woman.  I have worth, so even though I am comfortable and have a good job, I want more."  Instead it was a woman saying, "I am a woman, and I hate not being able to do what I want, so I will do what I want when I want to based on the rules I've made up for myself."  It was just EMPTY (and again, if Jane is always running from misery, instead of, at times, unsatisfying comfort, to me that weakens the feminist message that being comfortable is not everything, but being free is what is necessary!) 

I guess, of course, this gets to the heart of what I don't like about a lot of modern Feminism.  To my mind it gets used as just another reason to be selfish (and we humans are so very good at manufacturing them!)  I can do what I want with my time and my body and my mind and my words because I am a WOMAN and I have a right to do what I want!  But if you don't want your freedom and your self-worth for something other than yourself, all you get is misery. 

And the end of the film was just that--completely unsatisfying and miserable.  Jane walks up to Mr. Rochester, he identifies her and they kiss AND THE SCREEN GOES BLACK.  It's just a bummer.  It's not at all clear why Jane decided to go back to him, other than that his wife was dead.  No indication that he's repented for what he did, and now she's forgiving him for what he did to her, and now they can be happy.  No, she just got what she wanted--a single Mr. Rochester--and now they'll get married.

Right when Jane walked up to Mr. Rochester at the end, Pilot got up all excited to say hi to her, and Mr. Rochester said DOWN BOY!  After the film, my friend said "I felt like that's what the filmmakers did to the audience. Right when we were about to get happy, they said DOWN AUDIENCE!"

That's definitely how I felt, too.
goldvermilion87: (Default)

I hate Night at the Museum.

BUT I LOVE NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Kah Mun Rah: Are there any questions?
Al Capone: Yeah, I got one. How come you're wearing a dress?
Kah Mun Rah: This is not a dress. This is a tunic. It was the height of fashion 3,000 years ago, I assure you. Are there any other questions?
Ivan The Terrible: Da. This dress you're wearing, do we have to wear one of these, too?
Kah Mun Rah: Were you not listening? I just told Mr. Capone here that this not a dress. It is, in fact, a tunic. Very big difference. Are there any other questions.
[Napoleon raises his hand]
Kah Mun Rah: [getting annoyed] Are there any questions not about the dress?
[catching himself]
Kah Mun Rah: Tunic?
[Napoleon lowers his hand
 
goldvermilion87: (Default)

I hate Night at the Museum.

BUT I LOVE NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Kah Mun Rah: Are there any questions?
Al Capone: Yeah, I got one. How come you're wearing a dress?
Kah Mun Rah: This is not a dress. This is a tunic. It was the height of fashion 3,000 years ago, I assure you. Are there any other questions?
Ivan The Terrible: Da. This dress you're wearing, do we have to wear one of these, too?
Kah Mun Rah: Were you not listening? I just told Mr. Capone here that this not a dress. It is, in fact, a tunic. Very big difference. Are there any other questions.
[Napoleon raises his hand]
Kah Mun Rah: [getting annoyed] Are there any questions not about the dress?
[catching himself]
Kah Mun Rah: Tunic?
[Napoleon lowers his hand
 
goldvermilion87: (Default)

In which some movie makers take a few names and places from a wonderful book by C.S. Lewis and make up a completely different story. 

The highlight of the movie was when in a weird distortion of the Island where dreams come true there was this conversation:

Rhoop:  Don't think about anything.  If you think of something the green smoke will make it real.
Edmund:  Oh No!
Lucy:  EDMUND!  What did you think about??????

Me:  THE STAY PUFT MARSHMALLOW MAN!
 

Yup.  That was the best part.


goldvermilion87: (Default)

In which some movie makers take a few names and places from a wonderful book by C.S. Lewis and make up a completely different story. 

The highlight of the movie was when in a weird distortion of the Island where dreams come true there was this conversation:

Rhoop:  Don't think about anything.  If you think of something the green smoke will make it real.
Edmund:  Oh No!
Lucy:  EDMUND!  What did you think about??????

Me:  THE STAY PUFT MARSHMALLOW MAN!
 

Yup.  That was the best part.


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