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Judi Dench was terrific, as were actors in some of the smaller roles. Branagh must stop directing himself - he has no objectivity where his own acting is concerned. Hermione sounded like she was just reciting her lines - the Emilia was much more memorable in three lines.
Lighting might have been okay for stage, but for film it was woefully inadequate - when there was enough light to see the actors, there were shadows cast on the scrim. Costumes were mediocre and Beyonce's folding fake baby bump was more realistic-looking than Hermione's. Ancient Sicily updated to early 20th century didn't really work and the combination of the German Christmas tree and discussions of the Oracle of Delphi was a little jarring.
I really, really wanted to enjoy this production but there were just too many problems.
Spoilers ahead. This movie was soooooo bad compared to the original series. Did the producers really think we weren't going to notice they moved production from Tennessee to the Canadian Rockies?????? Give me a break!!! Lauren Lee Smith, the girl who played Christy, was *not* Christy. She was this pretty little insipid thing with zilch talent who should never have been cast in this role. Stewart Finlay-McLennan is so chemistry-laden just on his own, that I would have thought he could have chemistry with anyone. Unfortunately, there was nada chemistry between the two of them. The scene where Fairlight died was so overwrought and hammy it was almost funny. That wouldn't have happened if they'd kept Tess Harper in the role. The actors who did stay in their roles were fine and Diane Ladd was good as Miss Alice, but the other recast actors were all just awful, the *only* exception being James Waterston, who should have played David in the series - he was quite impressive, fit the character as Marshall wrote him much better than Randall Batinkoff (I'm not knocking Batinkoff as an actor- he's very talented, he just didn't work for me as David). My advice: watch the series and read the book, but don't waste your time with this bit of dreck.
The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1971)
I enjoyed this show even more than the original Dick van Dyke show. I always found Mary Tyler Moore a little annoying - never liked her show, but loved Rhoda - and found most of the characters a little one-note (Sally couldn't find someone to marry, Buddy couldn't say anything nice about his wife, Mel couldn't say anything nice about anyone but Alan and that was fake, and Alan was bald). But I really enjoyed this, even though I only got to see a few episodes. The episode where Dick got stuck in a tree was a hoot! And I always loved Hope Lange. She never over-acted or over-reacted, but just seemed real.
Texas Across the River (1966)
I remember seeing this the first time when I was about 12. I nearly passed out from laughing so hard. Maybe it's not highbrow comedy, but in my opinion, it's still one of the funniest movies ever made. I especially enjoy Joey Bishop's "Indian" character. Watch it with your kids.
Dead Gorgeous (2002)
Better than passable
I disagree with Flickman's review. I found it very intriguing and pretty tightly-woven. While there were slow moments, I thought most of the film moved at a pretty good clip and I was quite pleased with it. I found it far better than passable.
Great job dealing with a very important issue
When I first heard about this movie, I thought it was going to be really silly, but being a huge "Designing Women" fan, wanted to watch it to see Annie Potts. I was pleasantly surprised by how well made it was. Because of the subject matter (pedophiles on the internet) I expected it to be kind of lurid and smarmy, but it really wasn't. I've seen episodes of "Special Victims Unit" that deal with the same issue, but haven't been so deeply affected as I was by this movie. I Highly recommend it and think it should be required watching for anyone with children.
For All Time (2000)
Why have I never heard of this movie before? I saw it last night and it was absolutely terrific! I only regret I didn't videotape it. I definitely will next time. This is a movie I'll want to see again and again.
This is definitely one of the better TV movies I've seen recently. The story is so uplifting and encouraging. This woman experiences so many bad things in a short period, but doesn't let it beat her down and goes on to inspire others with humor and understanding. Definitely recommended.
Sleeping with the Enemy (1991)
Spoilers re. Kevin Anderson
I actually like this movie, but I've always thought that if there were a sequel, Kevin Anderson's character would turn out to be abusive too. Something in the way he talks, always like he's trying to soothe her, almost hypnotic.
The Edwardian Country House (2002)
Absolutely wonderful experience
This is one of the most fascinating programs I have ever seen in my life! I've always wanted to go back in time and see what it was really like to be there. This program had so much to offer, both as entertainment and education and seeing how people of different "classes" interact with one another. It should be required watching for high schoolers and college history and psychology students. I've seen it four times already and will watch it many more times. I rated it ten on a scale of 1 - 10.
Harmony Cats (1992)
I love this movie!!! It made me want to give up opera and be a country singer. Lisa Brokop has a beautiful voice, the acting is great, the dialog is real, the characters are all fully-developed, the photography is beautifully done, and the music is wonderful. I had never heard of this before I saw it in 1996, but as a lover of classical music growing up in southern Oklahoma (the bastion of country music), thought it sounded interesting. Highly, highly recommended.