Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Ahh, Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Once considered so smutty it was banned for years in some countries, now it seems quite tame, really. It was never one of my favourite books—I found Sir Clifford to be rather flat, and Mellors seemed like sort of a dick—but let’s see if this adaptation makes me like it a bit more, shall we?

We open deep underground, in a coal mine. Men begin shouting and running, which is never a good thing, and there’s an explosion. Up top, our titular lover, Mellors (best known to many of us as Robb Stark), is handling a horse. He hears the explosion, sees the men running out of the mine, and rushes to help. Men are pulled out of the mine; one is dead. Mellors reports to the be-suited men in charge that some of these men are in a bad way. One of them tells him to back off, they’ll handle this.

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Review: The Imitation Game

The year is winding to a close, and you know what that means: Oscar bait season! Yes, it’s that glorious time of the year when we all try to wash the taste of the latest Transformers nonsense out of our brains and Get Serious. And nothing says ‘awards season lock’ quite like a biopic about a tortured genius front-loaded with highly respected British actors, and … Continue reading Review: The Imitation Game

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

We start off in some sort of opium-induced dream. A man stands in a burning desert, staring at a mirage-like building in the distance. Then, he’s inside a church, where a blonde woman in an orange dress walks towards the altar, where a young blonde man waits for her. Oh, god, the woman’s played by Tamzin Merchant, who played that idiotic Katherine Howard on The Tudors. I’m sorry, I’m sure she’s a very nice person, but every time I see her in something, I cringe, because she just always seems to have this blank, dim look on her face and she drives me crazy. Anyway, she drapes a black tie around the blonde man’s neck and looks back at the other guy, smiling. Blonde guy smiles too, and she hands first guy the end of the tie, which he uses to strangle blonde guy to death while she just stands there blandly. First guy stands and looks around and sees her far, far away, in a dark part of the church, and then she’s running through an upper chamber, and he wakes himself, shouting “Ned!” in his dingy opium den.

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Top Ten Onscreen Royal Romances

It’s Valentine’s Day, and whether you have plans or expect to stay in, it’s a great opportunity to kick back, pop open some bubbly and a box of chocolates, and indulge in a few good old-fashioned romances. Everyone loves a good love story, and if it comes with tiaras, so much the better, so it’s no wonder royal romances have shown up onscreen in dozens … Continue reading Top Ten Onscreen Royal Romances

Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Poster copyright Warner Bros. The Christmas break finally gave me enough time to head to the cinema for an afternoon. Our choices were either Sherlock Holmes or War Horse, and since none of us were really in the mood for the horrors of trench warfare, we went with Sherlock. As purely escapist cinema, this isn’t bad: it’s got explosions and excitement and pretty people. It’s … Continue reading Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

The King’s Speech

It’s been a while since I did a movie recap, hasn’t it? My lucky husband has just spent the last week in Edinburgh (on a job interview—fingers crossed!), leaving me behind in Douglasville with the dogs. Loneliness and jealousy set in pretty quickly, so I decided the best thing to do was to fill the house with English accents. And it worked! After catching up with Law and Order: UK OnDemand, I turned to The King’s Speech, and I thought: “oh, what the hell, let’s recap it.” So, here we are.

We start off with an ominous close-up of a giant, menacing microphone just waiting for someone to feed words into it for broadcast to the British Empire, which comprised a quarter of the world’s population at the time, according to the lead-in, which also informs us it’s 1925. Once we get a few camera angles on the microphone, we see Bertie and Elizabeth waiting for him to go out and give the closing speech at the Empire Exhibition. With them are Derek Jacobi, playing the Archbishop of Canterbury, and a few Palace suits, all of whom look tense. It’s kind of funny to see Derek Jacobi in this movie, considering he’s played a stammerer himself at least three times. Bertie looks like he wants to throw up. In a room somewhere, Adrian Scarborough, here playing a BBC announcer, introduces Bertie’s speech, as Bertie makes his way toward his own microphone like he’s hiking to his own funeral. Adrian informs us all that Bertie’s dad and older brother have already spoken on the wireless, and now it’s his turn. Bertie emerges into the stadium, which is packed with people, and he stares at the menacing red cue light as it flashes, then stays on to tell him it’s time to get started. He stares at the microphone and struggles to begin. The silence is long and awkward. He finally manages to get started, but before long he hits a troublesome “K” sound when he has to say “King” and it gets uncomfortable all over again. Elizabeth looks like her heart’s breaking for him, and the crowd starts to get restless. In reality, this speech didn’t go quite so badly, and Elizabeth wasn’t even there, but that’s less dramatic.

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Woman in Black

Daniel Radcliffe is putting Harry Potter behind him and starring in The Woman in Black, scheduled to be released in February 2012. I don’t know what this movie’s about, but I do know this is one of the creepiest trailers I’ve seen in a long time. What is it about slightly off children’s toys that make one’s skin crawl? I’m not normally one for the … Continue reading Woman in Black

Video: Top Ten Animated Costume Dramas

I’ve loved costume dramas my whole life–starting from my childhood, when I would happily watch any cartoon that seemed rooted in the past. Lucky for me, the animation studios churned those out one after the other–but which ones were the best? Here, I count down my choices for the ten best animated costume dramas. (Note: I tried to stick with the dramas that were at … Continue reading Video: Top Ten Animated Costume Dramas