What I think most people (my self included) had thought was stuck in the phantom zone known as development hell the movie adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s master piece Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has risen from the ashes like a mighty phoenix. Lily Collins has been set to play the part of Elizabeth Bennett. You may remember Lily Collins from her role as Snow White in 2012′s Mirror Mirror or as Sandra Bullocks’ daughter in the Blind Side. She is also set to play Clary Fray in the much anticipated film adaption of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. The movie is set to be directed by Burr Steers who was the Director of 2009′s 17 Again and 2010′s Charlie St. Cloud. Read more at the link below to the article at Variety, along with lots of puns about zombies and the movie raising from the dead.
Pride and Prejudice just turned 200! yay! In honor NPR posted this delightful cartoon which might be the quickest adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that I have been able to check off the list. Link
What better way to celebrate the season than to watch the greatest Christmas film of all time? Some might say that It’s a Wonderful Life, A Miracle on 34th Street, or Elf is the greatest Christmas movie of all time, and those people would be wrong. Die Hard is the greatest Christmas film of all time. Case closed. That being said, I had never actually seen Die Hard all the way through, so this is my thoughts about the film having never seen it before.
We weren’t going to watch this sober now were we? Here are the rules I came up with for Die Hard.
- Every time they mention Christmas!
- Whenever we see John’s feet or we are reminded that he is barefoot.
- Every time a henchmen is killed.
- Every time that John switches out the clip on his gun or takes out a clip of his gun to check the bullets.
- A drink for each time a level of security on the safe is broken.
- Every time that Deputy Robinson shoots down Carl Winslow’s ideas or advice.
- Every time there is an explosion.
- Every time that we get a cutaway to Argyle in the Limousine.
- Someone says “Yippie Kia-Yay Motherfucker”
- Hans Gruber Dies
Pour One Out
- Every time a hostage is killed.
- Whenever John McClane is shot.
Thoughts and Opinions
Again I have never seen this movie so over all it was a great time, pretty much everything you would want from an action movie with lots of 90’s hair. I thought the pacing of information on the terrorists plans was done well. We got little tid bits along the way which was nice and left a lot of misdirection so you never knew for sure what they were up to. Too often we get all the information in some monologue all at once or it’s some crazy unbelievable twist at the very end. Die Hard did a good job of keeping the plan complex enough that they had a getaway plan but not so complex that it was off the wall crazy. Alan Rickman makes a great villain, it’s no wonder he would later go one to play Snape, he’s just too easy to hate.
My favorite part is how the cops and FBI were beyond incompetent. I get that its better if the lone guy inside doesn’t have the cops on his side but wow. They didn’t even believe it was a real hostage situation for way too long. At one point Carl Winslow’s boss is convinced John McClane is the only terrorist and that the body that fell out of the building was a suicide jumper. This is after Carl Winslow’s car has been decimated by machine gun fire and moments later the cops are fire on from every angle with guns and rocket launchers. After which Carl Winslow’s boss doesn’t then say “oh shit we are in real trouble” he just keeps on believing that it is a couple guys and will blow over. The FBI then come in to take over and plan on using attack helicopters to kill the terrorists. They then say out loud that they will probably lose 20-25% of the hostages which “they can live with”!
Some observations were:
- John McClane totally is carrying his gun on the air plane; this is definitely a pre-9/11 film.
- Definitely a pre-cell phone film, once the landlines are cut no one is able to reach the police.
- McClane recovers from his feet getting cut up pretty quickly.
- Carl Winslow got off with no consequence for accidentally shooting a 13 year old kid.
Interesting Trivia from IMDB
- This was Alan Rickman’s feature film debut.
- The German that the terrorists speak is sometimes grammatically incorrect and meaningless. In the German version of the film, the terrorists are not from Germany but from “Europe”.
- The scene where McClane falls down a shaft was a mistake by the stuntman, who was supposed to grab the first vent, as it originally was planned. He slipped and continued to fall, but the shot was used anyway; it was edited together with one where McClane grabs the next vent down as he falls.
- On-screen body count: 22.
Director – Joe Wright
Elizabeth Bennet – Keira Knightley
Mr. Darcy – Matthew Macfadyen
My goal is to be as thorough as possible when watching these adaptations so I watch the movie twice, once just watching and once with the director’s commentary. I also watched all of the extras on the Bluray Disc version of the movie and cross referenced the DVD to make sure I didn’t miss any. So I will split this up into three parts, the film itself, the director’s commentary, and the extras.
The Pride and Prejudice (2005) Drinking Game
When we watched the movie we decided to make a drinking game out of it. In order to remember when to drink we had to cut down some of them but here were our original rules.
Drink for the following:
- Mrs. Bennet mentions anything about her nerves.
- You want to punch Lydia in the face.
- Anything Lady Catherine says anything that causes you to audibly yell “Bitch”.
- Any time someone curtseys (a drink for each person, so if all five Bennet sisters curtsey that’s five drinks).
- Mr. Collins mentions Lady Catherine.
- Any time any character plays a piano.
- A proposal of marriage occurs.
- Any time a character is reading a book.
- Anytime you see a fuck ton of ribbons.
- You see a loose animal inside the Bennet Home.
Pour one out:
- When Charlotte Lucas marries Mr. Collins.
This is the only version of Pride and Prejudice I will have seen prior to starting all this blog business. I was working at a movie theater at the time it came out which means I could see any film for free. So I think I might have seen this movie at least 5 times in the theater when it came out. So in other words I am pretty familiar with it. This is the first time I have seen it though since reading the book so I was able to take in any differences and read in between the lines on a few of the scenes.
The film is great. I think all the actors and actresses did an amazing job and embodied their characters very well. From the awkwardness of Mary and Mr. Collins to the casting of Knightley and Macfadyen as Elizabeth or Darcy everyone was top notch. Pride & Prejudice purest prefer Colin Firth as Darcy, from the 1990’s miniseries (which I haven’t seen) so we’ll have to compare when we get there. In particular Judi Dench was fucking nails as Lady Catherine de Bourg. When I imagine in my mind of Lady Catherine the image of Judi Dench is automatic, she just owns that part. The only other actress that I think does as good of a job as playing an evil bitch lady is Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films. Both women own their parts so much that you get a physically angry when you see them on screen. I really liked Donald Sutherland as Mr. Bennet as well as Talulah Riley as Mary Bennet.
The cinematography is also great in this film. I think Joe Wright does a wonderful job on some of the outdoor scenes, you really get a sense of scale and contrast when they shoot the outside shots. So much of the movie takes place indoors its good to see how grand all these places really are. I also really enjoyed the ball room scenes where it is this chaotic jumble and you get to see several perspectives of characters at the same time. The movie is a solid two hours long but I feel like it moves at a pretty good pace. You feel the effect of time as some of the characters deal with feelings but it keeps the momentum of the film moving.
Comparing to the book the film shorten a lot of what happened in order to have it all fit in a two hour film. In the book when they travel it’s all ways for a few weeks at a time. You don’t quite get the impression of that in the film. They never give specifics on the passage of time so for all we know the film takes place over a couple of weeks or years. I don’t really care that they shortened some of the trips. Honestly Elizabeth’s stay at Rosings in the book felt like it lasted forever and I think the movie did a great job of distilling its essence in a few scenes. The only criticism I have of the film deal with the whole Wickham incident. I don’t think they could have cut out his relationship to Darcy since it is the catalyst that brings Elizabeth and Darcy together, however I don’t feel they did a good job of explaining his and Darcy’s relationship. They just say in the movie he was engaged to Darcy’s sister and broke it off leaving her heart broken when in the book he had boarder line kidnaped her and was on the verge of eloping. It all just comes across as muddled and you don’t get the full effect of Darcy and Wickham’s hate. To me this lessened the impact of the rain scene where Darcy proposes and Elizabeth rejects him. The Wickham situation was her biggest basis of hating him. It’s still a great scene and they do a great job of acting during it but if you have only seen the film I could see it being confusing of why she’s so mad at him. There were some other changes here and there in the film but over I think they were generally made for time and that it didn’t really affect the core of the story.
- One not in the book scene I loved was the hangover scene after the ball at Netherfield. You know that people must have been getting shitfaced even in 18th century so it’s great to see even proper ladies feeling the morning after effect.
- I really like the outdoor scene when Elizabeth is walking to Netherfield. The lighting is just gorgeous and looks amazing on bluray.
- I really like the super long fork things the servants use to place food on the table.
- The ending scene with the whole “Mrs. Darcy” part is great.
- All most every scene with Mary
- Every scene with Mr. Collins
- The scene with Mr. Bennet as Elizabeth is convincing him to let her marry Mr. Darcy.
IMDB Trivia (All this information comes from the trivia section of IMDB)
I love the trivia parts of IMDB. If you have never looked at this stuff before I suggest it.
- At the beginning of the movie, Elizabeth is shown reading a novel titled “First Impressions” – this was Jane Austen’s original title of her novel before she altered it to “Pride and Prejudice”. Additionally the text of the visible pages is readable when paused; it is the last chapter of Pride and Prejudice, with names changed.
- Georgiana Darcy did her own piano playing in the film.
- Rosamund Pike was Joe Wright’s first choice for the role of Jane. She turned down the role of Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for this film.
- Keira Knightley was preparing for her role in Domino while she was filming this, and had already cut her hair. She had to wear a wig during the last few weeks of filming and long sleeves to hide her muscles.
- The actresses who make up the Bennett family (Keira Knightley, Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone, Talulah Riley, and Carey Mulligan went to the Bennett house location, in Kent, before the crew, and played Sardines (similar to Hide and Seek in America) in order to get better acquainted with the house and each other before filming began. (That game again!!! Its in everything!)
The director’s commentary was so-so. Since it’s only the director the commentary is mostly about how this was short or how conditions were filming on this day. If you are super into Pride and Prejudice then you might enjoy it but otherwise I wouldn’t really bother.
Fun Facts learned during the commentary:
- The blackbird is representative of Elizabeth and when we hear one on screen it’s only during scenes involving Elizabeth.
- My favorite shot of Elizabeth walking to Netherfield was CGI.
- During the ball scene we learn that there is no toilet for ladies at a ball. If a lady had to go to the bathroom they would just go home for the night. Guys on the other hand would sneak out to take a leak in the woods. Which knowing that would making getting drunk at the ball difficult knowing you had to hold it in afterward the rest of the night.
- The director had Mary play her part as being in love with Mr. Collins. This was a cool perspective of Mary who would actually probably have gotten along really well with Mr. Collins. You only see it in her expressions but it’s a nice little add in there.
- This was first film for both Carey Mulligan (Kitty) and Talulah Riley (Mary).
These seem like cool tidbits but trust me, just read the trivia section of IMDB, it’s not worth watching the whole directors commentary.
I’m watching the Bluray/DVD combo version of the film so I assume the separate Bluray and DVD versions of the film are these same versions.
Conversations With The Cast
- Same as at the ball behind the scenes on DVD version, it just has a bunch of interviews of the cast and some behind the scenes
Jane Austen, Ahead of Her Time
- Talks about Bridget jones and bride and prejudice
- Discussed how Jane Austen only wrote about her own observation of society and class. This again helps to explain how the lower classes are non-existent.
- You can visit Jane Austen’s home in England.
- The prince regent requested she dedicated Emma to him. I thought this part was really interesting, I mean how arrogant does a person have to be to demand someone dedicate a book after them.
A Bennett Family Portrait
- Mostly cut from scenes on the other behind the scenes featurettes, no new information.
Pride & Prejudice: HBO First Look
- Mostly cut from the behind the scenes interviews that we see in other featurettes.
- They mentioned how the cast visited the set/home of the Bennet family which was an existing house in England. They came before the camera crews set up so they got to see it in its natural state. While there they played a game called “sardines”, I’ve never heard of it but it’s mentioned in like 4 separate featurettes and in the directors commentary as well. It must be a British thing.
The Politics of 18th Century Dating
- Kind of lame, just talks about how dancing was important to dating.
The Stately Homes of Pride and Prejudice
- You get to look at all the houses from the movie, yay!
Since twitter is all the buzz with the kids I was planning on snagging a separate twitter handle dedicated only for Pride Hard material. Naturally the first that would come to mind is @pridehard but alas it was all ready taken. For shits and giggles I decided to check out what what was actually on the @pridehard hashtag and low and behold it is actually Pride and Prejudice Related!
This is the description:
“Rob Lloyd & Kelsey Gade recreate the action masterpiece DIE HARD in the style of Jane Austen’s timeless tome PRIDE & PREJUDICE”.
Awesomeness! Too bad it looks like this takes place in Australia but if they ever come state side you can count me in. If i was going to lose the twitter handle @pridehard to anyone i’m glad its these guys.
I’ve been seriously neglecting my obligations to review Pride Material. Like Mr. Darcy vowing his love to Elizabeth I vow to my faithful subjects that I will have a new post next week discussing the 2005 Pride and Prejudice Film
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single respectable woman in possession of no fortune must be in want of a wealthy husband. It is not even slightly acknowledged, however, that some single women know how unlikely it is to find one.”
Before we can really talk about the amazingness that is this mash up of 50 Shades of Grey and Pride and Prejudice we have to talk about nerds for a minute. Nerd has for a long time has been a negative connotation, when you thought of nerds you thought of tape on glass, pocket protector, calculator watch nerd classic. It seems like it’s all ways been around and nerds have been getting swirlys in movies for as long as I can remember.
Being a nerd is actually cool now. Ever since Al Gore lifted Mjölnir (Thor’s Hammer) and created the internet nerds have been connecting with each other and sharing their nerdom and celebrating it.
That being said there are still a few things which their level of nerdom is high and so ingrained that you will be ostracized in public by even fellow nerds if you mention them. These things harken back to the olden days of nerd where there was a deep sense of shame and embarrassment about being into the thing you were in to. And fairly enough the two are divided pretty well across gender lines. The first, which is generally attributed to guys, is table top gaming, aka dungeons and dragons. There is no way around this, people will make fun of you to your face and there is simply no way you can ever talk about this without looking ridiculous. The second, which is generally attributed to ladies, is fan fiction, aka creating original stories based on other people’s material. You may not even be aware this is a thing but it is and there are hundreds and thousands of web pages devoted to this. Lots of it is pretty innocent and simply stories about harry potter’s kids, or what happened after star wars. But then there is a whole genre of erotic fan fiction where shit gets out of hand. What would happen if Ron and Harry hooked up? Google it, it’s out there.
PS: the male equivalent to writing erotic fan fiction is being like a Dexter serial killer.
And that brings us to the main event, Fifty Shades of Pride (A Mr. Darcy Interlude) By Anna Smith.
I was going to avoid trying to go through the massive amount of Pride and Prejudice fan fiction that is out there but when I saw that there was an erotic 50 Shades of Grey Pride and Prejudice mash up that was only 40 pages and free on amazon prime, I couldn’t say no. First off I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey so I have no idea how it fits into this story, but if it’s anything like how Pride and Prejudice fits in (none at all) then I’m not missing out.
It starts off sort of like real life Pride and Prejudice where out new heroine, Emily and her friend Charlotte? (I can’t remember the friend doesn’t show up again), is at a ball where she meets Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley. Instead of her over hearing them talk about the women in attendance like in real life P&P Emily over hears Darcy and Bingley talking about some whores they plowed the night before. Which I don’t think little girls who dream of Darcy being their dream man imagine him plowing a bunch of whores. But after he talking about banging whores Emily over hears Darcy mention how he doesn’t want to dance with any women there and how they aren’t tolerable, just like in real life P&P. Also there is another guy at the ball who wants to marry Emily named Dr. Samuelson who is super boring and no one likes and sounds exactly like Mr. Collins. So like we literally are all Pride and Prejudice set up at this point with a few different names and Darcy fucking a bunch of whores. Then we basically abandon all Pride and Prejudice connection from hear out. Emily owns a hunting lodge which Darcy is going to stay at. She was going to stay with her friend Mary while he’s there but all of a sudden her plans fall through with Mary and she has to stay at the hunting lodge. It’s pretty big I guess since she just hides from Darcy and his friends that are hunting and pretends to be a serving girl. Well one night she goes downstairs to get a book (her uncle has a lot of erotic books) and Darcy catches her. She leaves but he knows she was going to read erotica so the bait is set. Next night Emily is cold and goes by the fire downstairs and Darcy joins her and one thing leads to another and they go to pound town. After that it’s just a series of her sneaking down stairs so her and Darcy can bone. After a while Darcy has to leave and asks her to come with her on a trip (some more sex happens here as well). Emily decides to cut her hair and pretend to be a boy so they can travel without cause a stir. She does, they bone, and then they take a tour of Paris. They just bone a lot here, blah, blah. Then Darcy gets a letter about his sister being in trouble and has to leave at once (we are to assume this was the instance with Mr. Wickham from real life P&P. Since the ball we have completely ignored real life P&P and just been boning). Darcy asks her to wait for him as he takes care of this and Emily gets a letter that her uncle that left her the hunting lodge also forgot but left her a bunch of money so she can now live a lifestyle of traveling and such and not worry about money, the end.
So the book is really oddly paced. At first it is straight up scene for scene playing out like real life Pride and Prejudice. Even to the extend where Mr. Darcy makes some pride full comments that Emily overhears and that there is a Mr. Collins that wants to marry her. They even retool the opening line from real life Pride and Prejudice. But they drop all of that all most immediately once they get to the cabin and it’s just going to pound town. We get a little more Pride and Prejudice at the end but it’s a pretty loose “interpretation”. So I don’t read a lot of “romance” novels so I don’t know how these things typically go but our hero is completely inexperienced in sex and Mr. Darcy has to show her the ropes. She starts out as a virgin and goes from kissing Darcy to boning in 4.5 seconds. It seems like this is probably a common theme in romance novels because it doesn’t make any sense in relating to Pride and Prejudice. Emily is portrayed as a strong black woman, figuratively speaking. Her parents are dead (guess?) and she owns a house that she rents out and employs a lot of servants. She has a lot of real life responsibility and doesn’t take shit (she breaks a vase on one of Darcy’s friends who tries to assault her). However she is completely passive in her own sexuality in besides having read some erotica. Mr. Darcy is basically in charge of her learning about all her own sexuality. None of the other characters really matter in it, they show up but you have pretty much forgotten about them by the time the next boning session takes place. One thing that stuck out to me was that the servants are still basically non-people just like in real life Pride and Prejudice. We hear some about how Emily is poor (owns a working lodge and all, but still) and how she is going to have to run this lodge all her life and how sad that is. Yet there are several people that live and work to run the place who we aren’t supposed to feel sorry for?
There are actually two Pride and Prejudice / 50 Shades of Grey fan fiction books in ebook format that you can read. The other one probably isn’t good either so if you want to read one this is probably the one to get in that its short so at least you won’t waste a lot of time. It’s been interesting reading someone fan fiction (erotic fan fic at that!) but I don’t really get the appeal. It probably would have been a lot worse if there had not been the constant fucking. I’ll try to review more Pride and Prejudice fan fiction but honestly there is just so damn much and it takes a lot time so I’m probably going to stay away from it.