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We Got the Schmaltz

They've seen the kind of crap we put on tv. They've heard about the fan fiction books that are essentially trashy "romance" novels with the same names as Austen's characters. They know about it, and they're catering to it. This from the Guardian:

There's nothing like a happy ending, and when the latest film incarnation of Pride and Prejudice hits US screens it will be even happier - by an extra eight minutes. After screen testing, the Jane Austen adaptation has had an extra dose of schmaltz added by the film's producers to suit transatlantic tastes.

In Britain, cinemagoers were treated to the sight of Fitzwilliam Darcy, played by Matthew MacFadyen, and Elizabeth Bennet, played by Keira Knightley, enjoying a chaste kiss. The film ends with Elizabeth's father, played by Donald Sutherland, giving his consent when Darcy asks for Elizabeth's hand in marriage.

But from next week, audiences in the US can look forward to a passionate, moonlit, and very un-Austen embrace between the two characters, with Darcy sighing his wife's name over and over again as they stand in their nightwear on their bedroom balcony.

Executives at the production company changed their mind about the final scene and left the clinch on the cutting room floor. But it was kept in for US audiences, who, a marketing executive suggested, preferred emotion to be laid on thickly.

The decision has infuriated purists and film fans alike, with a petition being launched to have the extra scene included in future DVD releases and Austen fans in the US fulminating over the "banality" of the scene.

By min | December 21, 2005, 8:18 AM | Movies | Link

B for Buckethead

Does anyone know why they didn't just get Buckethead to star in V for Vendetta?

By fnord12 | December 16, 2005, 2:00 PM | Movies | Comments (2)| Link

To See or Not to See?

What to do about Narnia? I only read the first book in the series, but i enjoyed it. And Wonderworks used to play the television production of it and i liked that quite a bit. So, when i heard they were making a movie, i was kind of excited. Then i recently learned the story is basically a mirror of the Christ myth. I guess i totally missed all that when i was 8. Here is where it starts to get a bit sticky. Not only is it a sort of retelling of the Christ thing (although how using mythical animals and magic does that really boggles my mind), but the release of the movie is being used as a Christian marketing device.

First off, i would say that the Christ myth thing doesn't really bother me. People have a religious belief, they want to use that in their works, that's fine. Second, the movie being used as a marketing tool is not that much of a problem either. At least it's plausible. It's not like when the Christians tried to co-opt the March of the Penguins into a sign that monogamy is so much part of God's design that even lowly penguins know it's the right thing to do. I'm a bit uncomfortable by it, admittedly. Not because i'm afraid of Christianity or Christians. I'm afraid of the people posing as Christians. The ones who prefer selective readings of the Bible, who take passages out of context to support their own ideals, who don't realize the Bible's not literal, and who, in my opinion, need a lesson in reading comprehension.

Here's my real problem. C.S. Lewis' stepson Doug Gresham, the producer of Narnia, is a born-again who believes abortion is "infanticide inspired by Satan". You could, as the Catholics believe, say that abortion is murder. I'd accept that view. But inspired by Satan? That's skipping down the posy-lined path of crazy talk, and i'm not sure i want to help fund speakers of crazy talk by adding to Doug Gresham's movie profits.

So there's the problem. Disney's not so much of a prize, either, but i was mostly willing to accept that they made this movie and go see it anyway. Now i'm not so sure. I'd like to see the movie because i enjoyed the story when i was younger, but Mr. ProducerMan might be one of the scary people. What should i do?

By min | December 15, 2005, 10:11 AM | Movies | Link

Bangkok Dangerous

This film was great and awful. It's the sort of movie that dredges up all the despair in you and causes it to come pouring out. That's the awful part. The great part is that it could pull you into the characters so much that you sympathize with a main character who is basically an assassin. I'll never watch it again, but if you aren't easily traumatized and you like foreign films, you should rent this one.

By min | December 8, 2005, 9:51 AM | Movies | Link

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