Lots on the go. What I thought would be a quiet week turned out to be very busy. Haven't had time to post anything of substance, but here's a bit of fluff for you in the form of two movie reviews and some cinematic thoughts ;-)
X Men: First Class
I'm not generally a fan of movies based on comic books. They tend to have lame plots, stilted scripts and simplistic characters. But the X Men movies have always been different. Yes, they are silly. But they are generally wellmade. The only exception for me so far has been Wolverine, which I hated.
X Men First Class is slick, fast-paced, filled with spectacular special effects and actually contains some pretty decent acting. It's fun to watch and is perfect Hollywood entertainment that doesn't require too much thinking. Of course it's not perfect - there are some daft lines, some OTT moments and the story loses momentum in parts. But it's honestly not too bad, which surprised me, especially when I saw that the character of Professor X was being played by the sweet but in my mind sappy James McAvoy. He actually did lend a touch of humanity and humour to the character. Michael Fassbender was perfectly cast as Erik / Magneto.
All in all, a not too shabby 7 / 10 from me.
I loved the book. I'm a big fan of the classics. But as long as the basic story and "feel" of the book is translated into film, I don't mind some smart editing that may cut out a few bits here and there. And that's exactly what this film did.
Instead of plodding along, following the exact path of the book, director Cary Fukunaga played a bit on the sequencing of events and cut out some details that, although charming in the book, were not essential to the plot.
Imagine my surprise though, having been suitably charmed by Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre, when Michael Fassbender showed up as Mr Rochester. Two movies with this man in one week and really - he is the only thing that X Men: First Class and Jane Eyre have in common. But more on him later...
Jane Eyre was one of my favourite movies of the year so far. The acting was incredible. How to play Mr Rochester so that he is rude, abrupt and awful yet still someone that one wants to fall in love with is always a challenge, as is the character of Jane Eyre herself - how to convet her spirit without imposing our modern feminism on that time period?
Both situations were navigated exceptionally well. The drama was intense; the landscape ideal. The chemistry between Jane and Edward is beautifully conveyed.
Once again - it's not perfect. But to me (and maybe it's because I love the book so much that I tend to be quite generous to any recreation of it), it scored 9 / 10.
On movie-going and then Michael Fassbender:
If you've read this blog for any great length of time you'll know that I LOVE CINEMA. I studied film at varsity and everything about it (aside from the celeb stalking) fascinates me. There is so much that goes into making the final two-hour movie that we watch. Everything on that film is included for a reason. Lighting, props, camera angles... they all contribute to the mood and our understanding of a film.
Needless to say, I enjoy watching a movie at the cinema. I also enjoy watching films at home, cuddled up on the couch, but for me a trip to the movies is a favourite outing. TSC and I probably watch a movie in the cinema every two weeks. I love everything from getting dressed up to go out to getting my popcorn and slushy (my movie ritual), watching the previews to plan the next films I'm going to watch and then the actual cinematic immersion experience of the big screen, surround sound and the group reactions itself.
Now here comes a rant...
I'm really tired of having my happy bubble of cinematic pleasure burst. Sterkinekor's latest catchphrase is "Your happy place". For me it couldn't be more apt. But the Sterkinkor movie theatres near me are definitely NOT my happy place. At Fourways Mall, we've had shockingly warped sound at two movies (so every bit of background music sounds like Dory speaking whale in Finding Nemo) and the most disgustingly stale popcorn I've ever tasted in my life the last time we were there. And fighting with management hasn't got me anywhere.
So we moved on to try Cedar Square. And the whole way through Jane Eyre, there was a bright green vertical stripe of light down the right side of the screen. It's very hard to concentrate on the scene with a big fat stripe down the actor's face!
Anyhoo... onwards to my comments about Michael Fassbender.
Seeing him in X Men: First Class, I was instantly struck by how much he reminds me of my brother. They have the same high cheekbones, long nose, dark hair, bright blue eyes and a sort of "hardness" about them. TSC and I chatted about it afterwards and I said how weird the resemblance is.
Then, just a few days later, we saw him again in Jane Eyre. He's a very versatile actor. But the trouble is that he's also playing the lead romantic role in Jane Eyre and he is a rather attractive man. So I found myself empathising with Jane, admiring Fassner as Rochester and feeling my heart melt, and then stopping suddenly with that "eeuw" feeling when he did something or said something that made him look exactly like the older version of my brother.
It was very disconcerting.
And, as Jeremy Clarkson would say. On that bombshell, it's time to say goodbye!
Have a great weekend, computer people.