Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Doctor Who Challenge Finale -- The 12th Doctor

So, why did I decide to save only one question for my final post in the Doctor Who Challenge? Because, the question was this: 20 - What actor would you like to play the 12th Doctor? And I have been forming opinions on the subject ever since I felt I was qualified. So, here's my list -- twelve actors I think would be interesting to see as Twelve, in order of least to greatest. Complete of course, with irrelevant opinions, pretty pictures, and pros and cons... and it's absolutely (85%) fanciful. Enjoy!


12 - Simon Woods
33 year-old, five-eleven period drama hero.
Pros: The only reason I thought of Woods is because of his amazing ginger hair in Pride & Prejudice. The Doctor should have his dream -- and not in a half-way kind of way.
Cons: Based on this picture, the red hair wasn't totally real. So unless dyes came onto the scene, it would be half-way. Plus, I'm not sure he has the acting ability for The Doctor... unless you mean romantic and dramatic Doctor Harrison.

11 - Ewan McGregor
42 year-old 5' 9" Scottish Jedi Knight.
Pros: He has the hair, and the vibrant personality, the sense of style, and the acting range... especially the comedy.
Cons: Somehow I feel that his popularity is a con. Could he make his Doctor fresh, or would we just be watching a time traveling Obi-Wan? I imagine his Doctor would also be unbearably cheesy.



10 - Dan Stevens
30, 6-foot British Television hunk.
Pros: He (or at least most his characters) has a interesting, understated off-kilter kind of personality. He does the "awkward but sincere gentleman" very well, and he is very British.
Cons: I'd be worried about his abilities in the action/sci-fi side of the show. And that's pretty important.


9 - Rhys Ifans
46 year-old, six-two chameleon.
Pros: He's got the right face, definitely. You know, the kind that in first glance is weird, but then suddenly grows on you, and next thing you know the guy is actually handsome? A common trait with Doctors. He's also extremely quirky and funny.
Cons: He's too old isn't he? I realize that previous Doctors have been older, but that's not really the thing anymore. Younger audience -- younger actor. Instead, Ifans should just get more film roles; those suit his talents as a chameleon better anyway.


8 - Colin Morgan
Really old, six-foot mythical Irish wizard.
Pros: Watching him in Merlin I assumed he was in his early twenties, and once I found he is actually 27, my very next thought was, "he's old enough to be The Doctor then!" And now I can't get it out of my head. As far as I can tell he has all the necessary qualities, and I personally think he'd be a great, unique Doctor.
Cons: Yeah... there's that one little problem of him having been on Doctor Who before. Rats.


7 - Ben Whishaw
33, 5' 9", supplier of cool toys for 007.
Pros: Well... he's got the wild hair for it. I've only seen him in Skyfall, but based on that, I believe he would make a very interesting, deep Doctor. He has a quiet, but authoritative presence, and an understated sense of humor -- actually everything about him is wonderfully understated... except the hair. Also, I love his voice.
Cons: Since I haven't seen much of him, all this is even more speculative than usual -- I like the idea of him, but really, I have no idea. I could also imagine that his Doctor might be a bit underwhelming. And the hair... it's too much, isn't it?





 
6 - Jamie Bell
The 5' 7" 27 year-old redeeming factor of many terrible movies.
Pros: Obviously, he has the best hair so far, so I'm sold already. He's a very physical actor, so action is no problem, and neither would be comedy as long as sarcasm is okay -- he's great at that. Drama -- very good. Fast-talking -- of course. Bonus -- he's stylish.
Cons: He is rather short, but that's not a problem as long as all companions are as short as Clara. He also usually sticks to movies... but get this: He's Tintin, the sequel is coming soon, and guess who is a writer for those movies? Steven Moffat!





 
 5 - Laurence Fox
Very sensitive Detective Sergeant. 6' 3" thirty-five.
Pros: He's married to Billie Piper, so that pretty much makes him The Doctor already. His looks are perfect for The Doctor (except not ginger) -- unique, odd, but still handsome. Based on his DS Hathaway, you'd think he'd be too mellow for The Doctor, but I read he's actually pretty quirky and upbeat, so really, pluses all around.
Cons: I also read that there's no "Inspector Hathaway" series in the works because he's looking to do more films. In America. A cover story?





4 - Benedict Cumberbatch
37, 6-foot, the universe's only consulting detective.
Pros: Naturally ginger; naturally awesome. He looks like an otter. (yes, that's definitely a pro!) He's a true artist at fast-talking, and equally great at any kind of humor, drama or action. In short, amazingly talented. So much so that...
Cons: ...Doctor Who would actually waste his talents. Then there's that little matter of him actually stating that he wasn't interested in playing The Doctor. Solution: He's The Master. Anyway, I wouldn't want Sherlock and The Doctor to be the same person; I need variety in my obsessions.


 

3 - Rupert Grint
24, 5' 8"; Most ginger ginger ever.
Pros: Look at him. Stop reading and look. ... That's what The Doctor wants to look like, and you know it. I have actually never seen "Harry Potter" but I saw Grint in this brilliant action comedy "Wild Target" and loved him in it. He was goofy and witty and awkward and endearing and oh-so-likable. And oh, did I mention GINGER?
Cons: At twenty-four, he is a bit too young. Perhaps the 13th Doctor will be the ginger one? (hint hint) That would give Grint time to separate himself from that "Weasley" guy too.


2 - Tom Hiddleston
6-foot-2, 32 year-old extremely charismatic god of mischief.
Pros: Charming, lighthearted personality, talented in every genre, classic British gentleman looks, authoritative presence... Hiddleston fits all usual requirements for The Doctor with perfect ease. Like many other guys, just... better. He stands out even more though, in one area I've previously left unconsidered: he respects his fans. He's always patient and gentlemanly, and those are qualities The Doctor should have off screen as well. Practically perfect in every way, and my no-brain-er top choice for this wish list.
Cons: Like Cumberbatch, I fear Doctor Who would waste his acting talents. Still, he is my ideal Doctor.


1 - The Unknown Actor
Height: Adorable. Age: Awesome. The guy born to be the 12th Doctor.
Pros: Now I'll be realistic, and really (realistically) this is the very best choice. An unknown. (Or at least someone you'd need to dig around to find.) This guy is something none of the previous of this list are; fresh. Any known actor is too safe, but a new actor will be bold and original and exciting and mysterious -- just like the show! Yes ladies and gentlemen, somewhere out there is the perfect 12th, and in Moffat I have an appropriate amount of trust.
Cons: Everyone will hate him at first. But no worries; we'll adore and love him like the crazed fans we all are later.



So there you have it -- thanks for bearing with me for all this completely pointless but absolutely fun Doctor Who silliness! Who did I forget? Who did I get totally wrong? I'd love to hear your input! If you missed my previous parts of this challenge, here they are: Part I, Part II, and Part III. And for even more fun, if you were to click here, you would find yourself reading one of the audition scripts for the Twelfth Doctor -- very helpful for imagining how your favorite actor might sound as Twelve!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Doctor Who Challenge Part III

Next to last post for the Doctor Who Challenge -- questions 12 through 19. And we're off!

12 - Funniest moments?
Really, way too many to even count, so, here's one. Anytime Eleven is embarrassed is usually hilarious.


13 - Moments that made you cry?
Not many of those -- I'm not a big crier. And when I do, it's more because of overwhelmingly happy things instead of actual sad things. I definitely welled up at the end of Vincent and the Doctor, when they bring him to the art museum, and Bill Nighy is monologue-ing about how Van Gogh was the greatest painter of all time. And then also when The Doctor and Amy come back, and Amy finds that they did change one other thing... It's happy in a sad way, and so sweet!

14 - Saddest episode?
"The End of Time Part II" when my beloved Ten regenerates.
Ten: "I don't want to go!"
Me: "NOO, I don't want you to go either!! You're my favorite!"
[regeneration]
Eleven: "Oh, I've still got legs!" Etc...
Me: "YAY, Eleven! My favorite!!"
So, not too sad then... I also found "A Christmas Carol" to be very sad and good.

15 - Favorite friendship?
Ten and Donna comes immediately to mind. They banter like there's no tomorrow, and look like they're having a blast with it. They have a special kind of chemistry you can't fake, and a relationship like that that never turns romantic is always highly appreciated by me. This is as close to romance they ever get:



16 - Favorite couple?
Oh, I have many, many of those. I am a girl after all!




 

The one constant in Doctor Who; The Doctor and his TARDIS. True love.
17 - Favorite actor?
Favorite actor... this is difficult. I can't even choose who my favorite actor in general is! How about this; I'll limit it to guest stars -- some of my favorite actors guest-starring on Doctor Who!

Colin Morgan, aka Merlin, being all dark in "Midnight."
Andrew Garfield (the latest in the role of Spider-Man) had a sweet character in a two-part-er!
Ferb of Phineas and Ferb, anyone? Thomas Brodie-Sangster also got a two-part-er.
Hugh Bonneville being all Pirate-y in that pirate episode, "Curse of the Black Spot"

18 - Favorite actress?
I'll do the same for the ladies.


Carey Mulligan, one of my all-time favorite actresses as the gorgeous girl, Sally Sparrow.
Felicity Jones in "The Unicorn and the Wasp" She also starred along with Mulligan in Northanger Abbey.
Daisy Haggard being sweet as Sophie in "The Lodger." In Sense and Sensibility, she shows she can be impressively annoying as well.

19 - Favorite writer?
Well, based on my favorite episodes, I have to say Moffat, and suppose that's true, even though he is mean to us poor fans sometimes. (Ha, sometimes!) When he took over, the show improved dramatically, but he writes so many episodes, and they're not all my favorites. I also enjoy episodes by Mark Gatiss, and all (two) of Neil Cross' episodes.


Be sure to check back in two days for the FINALE, and the last question! Allons-y!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Doctor Who Challenge Part II

 Continuing on with the the Doctor Who Tag Challenge! Questions 6 through 11!

6 - Favorite Doctors?
Ten and Eleven. Separately and equally. Reasons? Well, hair, obviously. Bowties... Converses... and awesomeness. I love the way Eleven looks down at people when he's being serious, and the way Ten jumps over things... yep. 

So obviously, I'm a little excited for the 50th anniversary special.

7 - Favorite companions?
I will always have a fondness for my first companions, Amy and Rory. They're in most of my favorite episodes, and work great with The Doctor. One thing I particularly like about them is that they're married for most of the time, so you don't have to wonder about possible romance. It's already there.

You gotta love the Ponds.

But you know... this new girl, "Clara" is growing on me extremely quickly...

I can't help it; she's too adorable!
I'm excitedly looking forward to lots more of her. 

8 - Least favorite companions? 
Oh, hard one. While most of my least favorite episodes are ones with Rose, I still like her a bunch. Donna's great because she has amazing (non-romantic) chemistry with The Doctor. Martha may be the closest out of the main companions, but I still like her, so I'm gonna say Jackie Tyler. Slightly obscure, but she really does annoy me sometimes.
 
Second place goes to Sarah Jane. I'm sure I wouldn't mind her with her original Doctor, but I don't like her with Ten.

9 - Characters you relate to most? 
I think because I watched all of Eleven and then went back to watch Ten, River's story really resonates with me. Because I watched her relationship with The Doctor more or less from her timeline. She's an amazing character in a very sad predicament.

"Hello, sweetie."

I also feel for Rory, who married way out of his league, and then has to follow his wife around on crazy adventures with some cool dude who owns a time machine. How do you compete with that? Maybe by guarding her for two thousand years? Rory may not realize it, but he is super awesome. 

So... I don't always die... but when I do... I don't?

10 - Favorite villains and villains that frightened you most? 
They are one and the same -- the more frightening they are, the more I like them.
First, the Weeping Angels. Don't blink! But at least they kill you nicely. Most of the time...


Second, the Silence. If you can't see them, you can't remember them, and when you can see them it's just as scary. Wonderful.


And third, Vashta Nerada. And I didn't like the dark before these guys came along...


11 - Least favorite villains?
Definitely, what I have dubbed "weird Daleks." Normal, classic Daleks are fine, but when they start going crazy and mixing with humans or other strange things... they're pushing the envelope towards campy.

I mean, I realize they have no concept of beauty, but really, this is too much.

Stay tuned! Part III coming in two days!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Doctor Who Challenge Part I

This is part 1 of 4 for a Doctor Who Tag Challenge hosted by Banrion An Gheimhridh! The challenge consists of twenty Doctor Who related questions, and I will answer five of them today, six in Part 2, eight in Part 3 and the last, most important one in the Finale. I imagine that by the end, you will know my opinions on the show very nearly as well as I do, and I will have probably learned a few things as well. So, with no further ado...

1 - When and why did you start watching Doctor Who, and what made you become a fan of it?
Ah, let me think back, to the summer so long ago... in 2012. Yes, I suppose I'm a relatively new Doctor Who fan aren't I? But my first taste of the Doctor came a few years before when I happened upon a re-running Tennant episode, "Fear Her." I watched from about half to the end feeling as though I had just stepped into a separate world. (In retrospect, I pretty much had.) Now skip to last year -- one rather boring summer morning I watched about five minutes of "The Empty Child" and remembered the show, which I was now vaguely aware of. The next day, my brother and I watched "Smith and Jones" and by the time it ended, I was unknowingly hooked. I realized it later when "the image of an Angel became an Angel," in "Time of the Angels" and my mind was blown. It was hilarious one second, and terrifying the next -- a true one-of-a-kind, and so heartfelt and completely unashamed. After that, my favorite summer past-time was to watch Doctor Who as I chopped tomatoes for my homemade salsa almost every morning. Once I got the rest of my family to watch them with me off Netflix, (not a hard task) things went supersonic, and we watched all of Eleven, then Nine and Ten well before the premiere of season seven.


2 - Favorite quotes?
Well, you gotta have this one: "People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly, time-y wimey... stuff." (And then must add:) "Started well, that sentence."

And this is the one I always quote to people about to enter dark places: "Almost every species in the universe has an irrational fear of the dark. But they're wrong, cause it's not irrational. It's Vashta Narada."

"This is my timey-wimey detector. It goes 'ding' when there's stuff." 

"It's smaller on the outside!"











The Doctor: "Well, that's rubbish. Who's that supposed to be?"
Rory: "It's you."
The Doctor: "Me? Is that what I look like?"
Rory: "You don't know?"
The Doctor: "Busy day!"

Pretty much every quote from "The Eleventh Hour" actually... come to think of it, every quote from "Time of the Angels" and "Flesh and Stone" as well!

River: I just landed her.
The Doctor: But... it didn't make the noise.
River: What noise?
The Doctor: You know, the... [imitates the TARDIS]
River: It's not supposed to make that noise. You leave the brakes on!
The Doctor: Yeah, well, it's a brilliant noise. I love that noise. 











3 - Favorite theme songs?
Obviously, I love, and always sing along with the main theme. It's required. But sometimes... I prefer to whistle it. I know, I'm so hardcore. Otherwise, I don't usually notice music unless it's really bad or really good, but I adore the 11th Doctor's theme -- never fails to make me smile.





4 - Favorite episodes and favorite scenes/moments?
Smith and Jones -- Ten is at his best, and I love all the running involved in this episode, (so classic!) but the highlight is when The Doctor expels the radiation out through his shoe, then takes off the other one so he won't look daft. "Barefoot on the moon!"

Time of the Angels -- "But you're just a statue... you can't move..." Scariest thing I have ever seen. Also, the scene where Amy asks if River is The Doctor's wife. Brilliant.

Flesh and Stone -- "Amy, you need to start trusting me now, it's never been more important." "But you don't always tell me the truth." "If I always told you the truth, I wouldn't need you to trust me." I loved this moment even before I knew the significance of it. (I'm a hipster!)

The Eleventh Hour -- Fish fingers and custard. Or, The Doctor's big reveal. Saving the earth, and making bowties cool! Or... everything else in the episode.











Blink -- When DI Shipton asks Sally out for drinks. "Life is short, and you are hot!"

Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead -- River and The Doctor. Need I say more?

Vincent and The Doctor -- The ending.

Hide. (My favorite of season seven.)














Day of the Moon. (So creepy, so awesome.)

The Unicorn and the Wasp. (The Doctor AND Agatha Christie!)

David Morrissey stealing Ten's thunder in the beginning of "The Next Doctor." "Allons-y!!"










When he knocks four times.

Eleven and River in "The Name of the Doctor." Oh my goodness.

Eleven's speech in "The Rings of Akhaten."


I could go on, (and on) but... I will not. Next!


 





5 - Least favorite episodes?
I'm pretty easy-going, and don't really dislike any episodes, but I'm not a big fan of Nine, and besides "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances" his episodes go rather low on my list of favorites. "Dalek" is probably my least favorite -- too serious, and too slow. Ten's early episodes are similar, but generally better; the low point in season two was probably "Rise of the Cybermen"/"Age of Steel."

Stay tuned for Part II the day after tomorrow!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Warm Bodies

What if you were undead? Inexplicably trapped in a body that no longer pumps blood. Doomed to shuffle around looking for food, and then feel guilty because you realize you eat humans. A zombie with a conscience.


Keep calm, don't be creepy, don't be creepy, and say something human.

That's R. He can't remember his name -- only that it starts with an "R" -- but he's a thoughtful corpse if ever there was one. He spends his days meandering through his airport home contemplating on how nice life must have been back before the epidemic when people actually communicated with each other, and making futile attempts to connect with his fellow undead. Sometimes he manages a word in amongst the grunts with his buddy M -- a word perhaps, like "hungry." Then they shamble away in search of brains...

Julie and her friends are survivors. They live in a safely walled off part of the city, but occasionally have to leave to collect supplies and such. They are at a hospital for that reason when R and his hungry comrades shuffle in. Cue grotesque human vs. undead battle -- no, cue cheesy romantic music and slow-mo close-up of love-struck zombie-face. Okay... cue both. R is, let's say, impressed with Julie's skills with a shotgun, but then he's distracted by some less-skilled guy shooting his shoulder. Instincts kick in and R regretfully dispatches the guy, biting his brain which causes his memories to flash though R's head -- the guy was Julie's boyfriend, and through his memories R feels a connection with Julie. He's smitten and determined to keep her safe. She makes him feel... alive.


Nora, Julie, and Perry, front and center. And other people, elsewhere.

I am not fan of zombie movies for one reason: their existence seems to be for the sole purpose of overwhelming and shocking audiences with relentless and glorified violence, gore, and horror. So you may imagine my surprise when I saw the trailer for Warm Bodies, having never heard a word about it before, and thought, "I want to see that." I didn't believe myself. Clearly, I have since been convinced and watched it, and what's more, I liked it.

It's a comedy and a romance, but is still a zombie movie too. And though it is toned down with a PG-13 rating instead of the usual zombie-R-rating, things get pretty complicated when your hero is a flesh-eating undead being. R eats Perry, and probably others before him, and there's no getting around it. It's disturbing. But here's where this zombie flick differs from others: instead of expecting you to mindlessly enjoy it, it admits that the violence is horrible. (Narrating, R even says he'd appreciate it if you'd turn away, and I complied) R is first conflicted, then ashamed and regretful of what he did as a corpse, and if that's not a satisfactory apology for the mayhem, it's at least an effort in the right direction.

In the supporting cast it's business as usual for John Malkovich as Julie's dad, and leader of the human rebellion. James Franco's younger brother Dave Franco plays Perry, and he gets more screen time, and lends more to the story than you'd think he would. Analeigh Tipton is Nora, a completely typical "best friend" for Julie. And Rob Corddry is M, who gets a bunch of jokes and a good amount of development for being a corpse and a side character. And if corpses let go of any remaining shreds of humanity, they turn into "bonies," evil, totally scary skeleton-like zombies, who are exactly the classic zombie-antagonists the film needs.


On a mission. Yes, this movie does actually have a plot.

The existence of a movie like Warm Bodies seems paradoxical. There are no two genres so completely opposite as rom-coms and zombies, yet somehow, incredibly, it works. How, I'm not entirely sure, but I can't ignore the facts: It's funny and charming, and the hero is a zombie (except they call them "corpses," instead.) And our corpse hero is interestingly the source of it all. Nicholas Hoult does a splendid job balancing the wit and the awkward sweetness with the super creepiness. You think you shouldn't like him (because he's a zombie!) but it's inevitable. Via a clever and thoughtful voice-over, we understand him, and the humanity he's managed to cling to, and we begin to root for him; to win the girl and save the human race... or to just get those words out -- he has a charmingly difficult time with speaking. 

Hoult's performance is the backbone and highlight of this film, but Teresa Palmer, who plays Julie surprised me by being very good as well. I expected a model type who is obviously way too invested in her appearance to worry about trivial things like acting, and that her character would be sappy and annoying. I was happily wrong; she is pretty, but in a realistic way, and is more typical of action heroines than romantic ones. Julie is wary at first (to put it mildly), but she and R slowly develop a light, sweet friendship. They're no Romeo and Juliet -- though their names awesomely allude to the couple, and there's a cute balcony scene -- but... oh, actually, that's my point; they're cute together, and it's fun to watch. 

Interesting fact: Palmer is Australian and Hoult is British. What is it about non-Americans who play Americans better than Americans can?

The contradicting results of these effortlessly blended genres left me in a daze. It was disturbing, then gleefully quirky. Shallowly romantic, then selflessly loving. Campy, then strangely thoughtful. A little scary, and surprisingly funny. Never forced or awkward, (except when it was supposed to be) and I'm uncertain of what to make of it. Here's one thing I do know: this movie made me think, and that in itself is good. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but not with abandon, and elements that were hard to swallow made me more appreciative of the hopeful, endearing themes of life and love. Warm Bodies is now my definition of a diamond in the rough, just like its inconceivable hero -- they are odd and unnatural, but under that cold grey skin, a warm heart beats. And in that case, Julie's view of R mirrors mine of the film; as the story progresses with lighthearted earnest, and our hero finds life again, we fall warily, absurdly, and happily in love.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Persuasion (2007)

Ah, another adaptation of a Jane Austen novel. Persuasion isn't as popular as some of Austen's other novels though. This one is more serious, dramatic, and (almost) despairing. Anne Elliot, at the ripe age of twenty-seven is resigned to being an old maid. Eight years ago she had the affections of a man, who she loved in return, but he was a nobody, and her high-ranking family would have nothing of it. She was persuaded to nullify the engagement, and Fredrick Wentworth left and joined the Navy. Now he is quite accidentally back in her life, a Captain, just as handsome as ever with a great fortune, and still not married. Will they get a second chance, or are they doomed to misunderstandings, and bitterness, secretly longing to rekindle the past?

The answer of course, is yes, to all. And that shouldn't be surprising even if you've never seen or read Persuasion before. It's a romantic drama -- what else could happen? It's not the destination after all, but the journey that we love, and with Jane Austen at the helm, you know the journey is going to be a good one.

Anne Elliot, heroine.

Persuasion is different from most of Austen's other novels in one major way; it's not very much of a comedy. It still has her wit, and there's still those moments to laugh at, but the wit is deeper -- mellower -- and you laugh very thankful that you're not in that annoying or otherwise unpleasant situation. This movie embraces all that drama boldly. The filming style is elegant and not overdone, with deep blue undertones matching and creating the mood. Simple shots let you take in the natural beauty of locations, and creative camera work and editing in the right spots embellish the story stylishly.

Interestingly, this is one period drama where I actually appreciate the men's costumes more than the women's. Not that the women's are bad at all, they are very nice and at times wonderfully ridiculous, but the men look really good and like real gentlemen in this film, and especially Captain Wentworth, though it doesn't hurt that he's actually very handsome anyway. And also acted very well by Rupert Penry-Jones -- he's a wonderful Austen hero.

Captain Frederick Wentworth, dashing hero.

They definitely got him right in the adapting process. And the rest of the cast looks good and right too. Sally Hawkins' appearance as Anne is good, she's past her bloom, but not ugly, but I don't enjoy the way she acts as much-- too timid and breathy, and it's slightly annoying at times. Anne's sisters Elizabeth and Mary are both also -- and much more often -- annoying, but they are supposed to be, so that's a praise. Anthony Head as her father, Sir Walter Elliot is brilliant. He's very good at being angry, but the way he preens in the mirror is what really gets me. Mr. Elliot is wonderfully pompous, though perhaps a bit too much, I begin to wonder how Anne could stand to be around him. As for the rest of the cast I have no particular praises or criticisms.

Anne's sisters, Mary and her husband Charles, and Elizabeth, and father Sir Walter.

The adaptation for the most part of the film is good, and follows the book well, but then near the end, as if by requirement, everything falls apart, for what seems to be no reason other than saving time. It's pretty disappointing, especially if you like the "letter scene" from the book as much as I do, and at only an hour-and-a-half, you'd think they could spare some time to make the end match the beginning and middle. But my biggest criticism has to be that kiss -- first of all, totally inappropriate for the era, but then good grief, it takes them what seems like hours to lean in, until I feel like yelling at them to just get it over with already. By then, I'm obviously kind of out of the romantic mood of the movie.

I guess it's a good thing, then, that it waits til then end to come undone; up until then I get to enjoy everything immensely, and that's exactly what I do. So much so, that I keep going back and watching it again, so I guess I must think that the good outweighs the bad. It is, after all, only about ten minutes of disappointing, to the hour and twenty of reserved, aching romance, thoughtful, real characters, and that wonderful, insightful, classic storytelling distinctive to Jane Austen's talented hand.

Twelve!