Sense and Sensibility (1995)

So last week I posted my review of this film with my niece, but didn’t go into all the other parts that make up the film-costumes, set, actors/actresses, etc., like I usually do for a film review. So I decided to instead do a second post on it.

Why not?

If you are interested in the background to the film, check out my review of Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and DiariesI’m just going to start this post off by saying, I love this adaption. The writing was just amazing, the actors were fantastic, I just love it so much! So…this post is going to be about how much I care for it. And what are we waiting for…let’s get started!

Set

So I love the set of this. The houses and hills are gorgeous. I understand the desire to walk about, as how could you not with this:

One thing I enjoy about this production is there is a lot of light. I know a lot of people like it when they are more “historical”, filming indoors with candlelight, but I personally prefer to be able to see what I am supposed to be looking at. Looking at you Emma 1996 AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version. 

I had no real complaints as the homes are gorgeous, although I think the cottage is a little too lavish, I mean I wish I lived in that cottage. I always pictured in the book something much smaller.

But otherwise absolutely beautiful and watching it made me want to travel to England.

Let’s go!

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Costumes

I really like the costumes in this. I think the production paid close attention to making the Dashwoods look lovely but also show that they had fallen on hard times-making those that are wealthy have nicer things, such as Charlotte Palmer. Lucy’s clothes are even plainer in comparison

I like how the awful  John Dashwood wears a ridiculous cravat.

The only negative thing I have to say is that at times Kate Winslet’s curls look a little too harsh on her. It’s not bad, but I think that they should have relaxed her hair in a few scenes.

But otherwise I love the dresses, the bonnets, the coats, Colonel Brandon’s uniform-how everyone looks!

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On to the acting!

Mr. Palmer played by Hugh Laurie

Let’s start off with a small but amazing character-Hugh Laurie’s Mr. Palmer. This is a magnificent gem in a wonderful story. He only has a few scenes, but every second is memorable as his delivery and juxtaposition of his brief sarcasm paired with his non stop chatty wife is just perfect!

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Sir John Middleton (Robert Hardy) & Mrs. Jennings (Elizabeth Spriggs)

Sir John and Mrs. Jennings are awesome characters! And I love how Spriggs and Hardy just nailed it in how the balance-kind, compassionate and comforting with meddling, manipulation, and outright nosey-ness.

These two love the Dashwoods and just want to help them-although spending quite a bit of the time inserting themselves into their business, against the girls’ wishes. But I just adore them. I espechially love how Mrs. Jennings goes full mama bear at Willoughby when he breaks Marianne’s heart.

These two were just perfect!

For more Robert Hardy & Elizabeth Spriggs, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

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Lucy Steele (Imogen Stubbs)

Imogen Stubs as Lucy Steele was beyond perfect in this. She is so manipulative and just horribly awful. The directing and her timing. I mean one of the best parts is this:

Look at her eyes-body language, full on power movie. She is so perfectly awful, there are literally no words to describe her wonderful performance.

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Mr. Willoughby played by Greg Wise

Greg Wise is perfect in this roll. He plays a charming gentleman, the type of guy who was born with money, always had money, never thinks about anything other than what pleases him-you know the type. This type of guy has always rubbed me the wrong way as they never think about others but just take what they want. But I can see how girls can fall for him.

I think what Wise does is that he plays the role extremely well-charming, sweet,-but there are slight signs to him not being fully earnest-how he doesn’t care about Marianne’s reputation, stealing flowers from the field to bring her some instead of buying them, making fun of Colonel Brandon who has never treated him wrong, etc. Small things, but then after he breaks Marianne’s heart it makes you realize that this guy doesn’t care for others as much as he does himself. It is very subtle-but very real. Who hasn’t t one point in their life fallen for such a guy or girl and looking back sees the small cracks in the charming veneer through the whole relationship.

Clearly Wontagby

For more on Greg Wise, go to Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans: The Buccaneers, Episodes 3-5

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Fanny Dashwood played by Harriet Walters

Fanny Dashwood is one of the most vilest characters in Jane Austen and Winner of my “Who’s the Worst” contest and Harriet Walter did a stupendous job.

She treats the Dashwoods like trash, she talks smack about them constantly, she manipulates her husband into ignoring his sisters, is cruel and not just mean but diabolical in her manner. She so horrible it is almost an art form to the subtle ways she just systematically goes after people.

Harriet Walter was phenomenal in this role, I will never be able to view anyone as Fanny Dashwood but her. The lines and acting were just perfect!

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Colonel Brandon played by Alan Rickman

So first of, like my niece kept pointing out, Alan Rickman was too old for this part. He was 49 at the time, but I don’t care-I love Alan Rickman’s portrayal. He was just the perfect blend of kind, compassionate, romantic, heroic, etc. One of the best things about Colonel Brandon is that he falls for Marianne hard, but he doesn’t annoy her or crazily pursue her. He continues to be himself-brings her flowers and a book when she is ill, plans an outing (that accidentally gets canceled), visits when he is in London-the same things he would have done whether he liked her or not.

I think Alan Rickman captured that perfectly. He was never overt but displayed his care and love in the looks he gave and his body language. He can be so expressive in such little movements and moments. As said before my absolute favorite is when at the end when Marianne admits that she loves him-you can just see his relief, his love, everything in his face.

He is just perfect. And I love the way he talks about Willoughby and treats him. This man treated him horribly and not to mention what he did to his adopted daughter! But Colonel Brandon isn’t rude, cruel, or treats Willoughby like poop on his shoe like I would have done-instead Colonel Brandon is way more classy.

For more Alan Rickman, go to I Don’t Want You Far From Me: Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Edward Ferrars by Hugh Grant

So there is a lot of argument about Hugh Grant’s portrayal in Sense and Sensibility. Many feel like he is just doing the same thing he did in Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral. I don’t disagree-but I actually think it works for the character.

Edward isn’t my favorite of the Austen heroes. When I think of him I think of a man who has been dominated by others-his mother, Fanny, Lucy, etc. He’s never had a strong spirit but is bent and molded by others, never willing to stand up for himself. His mother is trying to force him into one life when he wants to be a clergyman, Lucy convinces him he loves her and that he wants to marry her when he really doesn’t know what he feels, and Fanny does all kinds of maneuvering in his life. I liked Grant’s portrayal better than Dan Stevens as I felt Stevens was too strong-willed. I mean the only time we ever see Edward really stand up for himself is when his mother threatens to disinherit him if he marries Lucy and he does it anyway.

I also like how Hugh Grant played this character and the way he says these snarky things with such dry wit.

For more Hugh Grant, go to Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

Marianne Dashwood played by Kate Winslet

Marianne Dashwood and Fanny Price are who I believe the hardest Jane Austen characters to portray correctly in media (and other adaptions). With Marianne she is young, passionate, she believes what she thinks is 100% correct and others are wrong or old-fashioned like most teenagers do. Basically, Marianne is just a teenager (Regency style but still acts like a teenager). But often when writing the character for film (or other adaption) a lot of writers and actresses have trouble with her. Often they make her empty-headed, only cares about her looks, and altogether dumb/foolish.

Kate Winslet, however, does a fantastic job. She acts like any normal 16-year old would (she was 20 at the time, like most teen character actresses are). At times Winslet’s Marianne can be rude and a bit of a jerk to Colonel Brandon, at times she just flat-out ignores him, but what teenager/young adult doesn’t act like that? Winslet is one of the few to really “get” this character. Her Marianne is sweet, passionate, romantic, emotional, and quick to judgement/react.

Not only is she able to accurately show the character of Marianne in her youthful heedlessness-but also accurately shows the despair of a broken heart and her tempered spirit in the end. I love the scene when she is listening to Colonel Brandon and she asks that he won’t be gone long-it’s only a few words, but her tone and expression evoke so much emotion. It is a fantastic portrayal.

For more on Kate Winslet, go to 25 Films of Christmas

Elinor Dashwood played by Emma Thompson

So let’s get it out of the way, yes she is too old to be Elinor. Elinor is 19 in the book and in 1995 Thompson was 36 years old. Yet, I don’t care.

Thompson wrote this amazing script and was able to portray Jane Austen in a fantastic way. She was able to blend comedy with drama-and I believe Jane Austen would have been proud.

By writing the script I think it helped her get into the head of Elinor and portray her perfectly. It can be difficult to portray a character that is logical and sensible and not have her come off annoying, cold, remote, etc. Thompson was able to show her the sensible logical person, but also give her heart–things that were done by a look, glance, etc.

For more on Emma Thompson, go to This Is Fate We’re Talking About, and If Fate Works At All, It Works Because People Think That THIS TIME, It Isn’t Going to Happen!: Dead Again (1991)

Ending conclusion:

I love this film. I just love it so much. The writing is amazing, the actors and actresses. I could watch it over and over again.

For more Sense and Sensibility, go to I Watched Sense and Sensibility (1995) With My 12 Year Old Niece

For more Sense and Sensibility (1995), go to The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries

For more Jane Austen film adaptions, go to Take a Chance on Me: Austentatious (2015)

I Don’t Want You Far From Me: Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Most Romantic Moment #14

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So first things first!

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I hope you had a great day. Whether you spent it with someone you love:

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Friends:

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Or some yummy food:

Nachos

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So this year we are doing a return to form. We are ending our 14 days of romantic moments with a Jane Austen film. In 2013 we did Northanger Abbey, in 2014 Persuasion, and this year I decided to do Sense & Sensibility (in honor again for the late Alan Rickman). 

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So I have been reviewing the book Sense and Sensibility; piece by piece; but in case you haven’t been following me or don’t know the story I’ll do a brief recap.

The elder Dashwood sisters are nothing alike. Elinor is the eldest; reserved, quiet, thinking, sensible, and thoughtful. Marianne is the middle daughter; outspoken, feeling, emotional, impulsive, and doesn’t always think things through. They live with their mother and younger sister.

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Everything changes when their father dies and the estate passes to their half-brother. They are left with very little fortune and forced to move away. Before they leave they encounter Edward Ferrars, their brother-in-law, and Elinor falls for him, yet chooses not to act on her feelings.

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In their new home; their kindly but meddling neighbors try to marry off the girls. They set their sights on uniting one of the girls with Colonel Brandon. Colonel Brandon falls for Marianne, but the constant meddling has Marianne completely turned off.

Men

Ugh

Instead she falls for he handsome and dashing Mr. Willoughby; but is he everything that he seems?

Will the girls find their true paths? Is Mr. Willoughby really a romantic hero? What is better sense? Or sensibility?

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Most Romantic Moment: Please Don’t Stay Away Long

**Spoilers**

So my favorite romantic moment from Sense & Sensibility comes at the very end of the film. Willoughby has dumped Marianne without a word:

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And married another to keep his rich lifestyle. Marianne and Elinor left the city as soon as they discovered this, but Marianne was suffering from a broken heart.

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As they journey home, they take a quick stop at a friend’s place; which just so happens to not be too far away from Willoughby’s. Marianne tries to walk there in a rainstorm, being saved by Colonel Brandon.

Col. Brandon carrying Marianne

However, she is taken deathly ill and almost dies. She recovers and spends a lot of time with Colonel Brandon. He loves to read the same things as her, loves music, etc. As they spend more and more time together, Marianne realizes that she loves Colonel Brandon.

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So my favorite romantic moment comes after one of their reading events. Marianne wants to spend time together the next day, but Colonel Brandon has to go away. Marianne tells him:

Marianne: [to Colonel Brandon] You will not stay away long.

How romantic

How romantic

I know some may feel like really? But too me I love it and feel it is so romantic because it is only a few words, but in that Marianne is able to share her feelings and let Colonel Brandon know how much she loves him. And when Colonel Brabdon hears them and recognizes the sentiment behind the words, his whole face lights up.

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AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!

Sooooo cute! I just love it. 🙂

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So that ends Romance is in the Air: Part IV. I hope you enjoyed it. It was very different this year as I added in some TV episodes and reviewed a few films most wouldn’t consider romantic. But all in all I had a great time writing these and I hoped you enjoyed reading them.

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Romantic Moment #1: I Can’t Pretend, I Have to Be: Casual Sex? (1988)

Romantic Moment #2: I Don’t Care What You Think, She’s My Girl: A Trip to the Dentist, Veronica Mars (2005)

Romantic Moment #3: Business is Business, But Your Happiness is More Important: Borrowed Hearts (1997)

Romantic Moment #4: I Want to Be Your Ideal Man: Grease (1978)

Romantic Moment #5: You Don’t Have to Say the Words, I Already Know: Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Romantic Moment #6: Even Though I’m Furious With You, I Still Love You: War Room (2015)

Romantic Moment #7: It’s Not What You Buy, But the Reason Why That Matters: Playing Heart to Get, Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse (2013)

Romantic Moment #8: I’d Lay Down My Life for You: Pocahontas (1995)

Romantic Moment #9: You’re So Sad, I’m Making This Day Extra Special: The Bikini in the Soup, Bones (2011)

Romantic Moment #10: I’m Putting You First: How to Steal a Million (1966)

Romantic Moment #11: I Want to Understand You: North & South (2004)

Romantic Moment #12: You Were Right, Let’s Get Married: Psycho (1960)

Romantic Moment #13: I’m Okay With Waiting: Fateful, Awkward (2011)

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For more on Colonel Brandon, go to A Man of Great Worth and Respectability

For more on Marianne Dashwood, go to  Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose: Super Bowl 50

A Man of Great Worth and Respectability

“[He] must be a man of great worth and respectability.

Yes, he is the kindest and best of men.”

-Sense & Sensibility (1995)

Wow, what a week. First David Bowie on Sunday and now we have lost one of the best actors to the same dreaded disease.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Oh Alan Rickman, how I miss you so. We are not ready for you to be gone from us.

Noo!

Noo!

Alan Rickman was an outstanding actor, no matter what he played you loved him. Part was his looks:

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His amazing voice:

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And his ability to breathe an incredible amount of life into these roles, so much that they seemed so real.

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So I decided to truly honor this great man, I’m going to countdown my top four favorite roles of his.

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4) Sheriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

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I know a lot of people make fun of Kevin Costner, for his lack of accent:

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But I always loved this film. And one of my main reasons were because of Rickman’s incredible portrayal of the Sheriff.

Rickman originally was courted twice to play this, but turned it down until they gave him full control of his character. And he does it so perfectly. Crazy, evil, ambitious, logical, and somehow hilarious.

Favorite scene:

Sheriff of Nottingham: Locksley. I’ll cut your heart out with a spoon.

Robin Hood: Then it begins.

Guy of Gisborne: Why a spoon, cousin? Why not an axe?

Sheriff of Nottingham: Because it’s DULL, you twit. It’ll hurt more.

And being the awesomeness that he is, he went through 10 swords in that film. Just weren’t strong enough for him.

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3) Alexander Dane/Dr. Lazarus from Galaxy Quest

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This role is from the hilarious comedy and parody of Star TrekGalaxy Quest. 18 years ago the TV show Galaxy Quest was the hottest thing on the TV. Since then, none of the actors have been able to find much other work, being forced to be their characters for conventions, commercials, etc. One day they are transported to a real alien ship by aliens who believe their show to be “historical documents” asking for their help in fighting their enemy. They are forced to work together to save these people, in a most hilarious way.

In this film Alan Rickman’s character Alexander Dane the Spockish Dr. Lazarus, is a brooding, melancholy, mess who is dissatisfied with the way his life and career have gone. Sort of like Arthur Conan Doyle hating Sherlock Holmes, Dane feels the same way about Dr. Lazarus. However, as this group has to really fight, Dane proves that he is just as herioc and amazing as his fictional counterpart.

Favorite scene:

[Quellek has been shot, and is dying. Alexander rushes to him]

Alexander Dane: Quellek? [sees Quellek’s woundThat’s not too bad. We’ll get you to the medical quarters, and you’ll be fine.

Quellek: It has been my greatest pleasure to serve with you. I have been blessed, Sir. I… I… I…

Alexander Dane: Don’t speak, Quellek.

Quellek: You’ll forgive my impertinence, Sir, but even though we have never before met, I have always considered you as a father to me.

Alexander Dane: Quellek… by Grabthar’s hammer… by the Suns of Worvan… you shall be… avenged.

A sad scene, but one of the sweetest. He hates that line, but says it to his biggest fan; knowing he would appreciate it.

For more on Galaxy Quest, go to Don’t Give Up

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2) Professor Severus Snape from The Harry Potter Series

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This is the one you are probably the most familiar with. In the Harry Potter Series, Rickman plays the crotchety Professor Snape. Truth be told, if it wasn’t for Snape and Draco Malfoy I never would have become a fan of the Harry Potter Series. And if Snape wasn’t played by Alan Rickman, nothing would have induced me to watch or read.

Snape is first portrayed as evil (as Harry suspects him) but in reality is one great, although tragic man. Hurt, abused, bullied and tormented as a youth, his genius unappreciated, the love of his life choosing a popular and way uncooler guy; he was drawn into the false inclusiveness of the Death Eaters. Accidentally putting into motion the death of his love, he turned his back on the Death Eaters and redeemed himself.

However, when a new threat emerges he not only helps Harry by protecting him; although anonymously and ungraciously by Harry, along with becoming a double agent to get Dumbledore his information.

Even more tragic, he is willing to take the place of Draco, protecting him and keeping him from going down a dark path he could not return; dying for him and his students.

Favorite scene:

[Snape blasts Lockhart off his feet in a practice duel]

For more on Professor Severus Snape, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

For more on Harry Potter, go to The Fans and the Furious

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1)Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility

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My favorite Alan Rickman role, and the best Colonel Brandon. This was actually the first film I ever saw Alan Rickman in, and my introduction to Jane Austen. I thank/blame Rickman for starting my life long obsession for the author. Thank you.

Colonel Brandon is one of the best Austen heroes. He has such a sad backstory, but still remains kind and good-hearted. When he was younger he fell in love with a girl, but his father broke them up. He went on to India, but she went down an awful life as she fell in love with a man who left her alone and pregnant. She died young, but Brandon took care of her child, raising it as his own. He then falls for Marianne, not caring that she had no fortune, but instead loving her mind and spirit. And even though she may not care for him, he still loves her from afar and wishes her well. When she is injured and caught in the rain, he carries her to safety. He is such a kind, generous, and one of the most amazing Austen men.

Even though some complain that Rickman was too old for the role, I don’t care. No one could create a more caring, compassionate, brave, kind, strong, amazing character the way he did.

Favorite scene:

[after a reading of Spenser’s The Faerie Queen]

Marianne: Shall we continue tomorrow?

Colonel Brandon: No, for I must away.

Marianne: [Worried] Away? Where?

Colonel Brandon: [Reassuring and playful] That I cannot tell you. It is a secret.

Marianne: [Pauses. Looks away, then looks back] You will not stay away long?

[Colonel Brandon can hardly believe that she cares for him. Shakes head no with smile]

 For more on Colonel Brandon, go to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

For more on Sense & Sensibility, go to Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen

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So that’s my countdown to one great man. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you will be missed and left us too soon.

Noo!

Noo!

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For more posts dedicated to a favorite artist/actor, go to Changes, Turn and Face the Strange

The Fans and the Furious

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Sorry I missed last week, I had a lot of stuff happening plus my post celebrating Back to the Future’s 30th anniversary and the 4th of July. But here we are with another installment of all things I fangirl over.

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Fast & the Furious Franchise

I remember when this film first came out. I didn’t see it in theaters as I was too young, but once they started playing it on TV I couldn’t stop watching it. I loved it!

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I would watch it mostly for Paul Walker (still sad about his death) and the awesome looking cars. I may not know that much about them, but I could still appreciate them.

So the first film stars Paul Walker as an FBI agent going undercover to bust racers who have been robbing trucks. I have to admit that I was (and still am) a huge Paul Walker fan and that was the first reason I watched it. Not ashamed.

It's Paul!

It’s Paul!

I like Vin Diesel too, but just as an actor. He reminds me a lot of my brother, lookswise.

Anyways, FBI Agent Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) has a hard time trying to infiltrate the group as it is very tight-knit and hardly ever allows stranger. Him racing against Dominic “Dom” Toretto (Vin Diesel), and completely smoking his car doesn’t help his case.

Reality Sucks

He does catch a break when he helps Dom escape the police. Being the only one who doesn’t run away but helps him out, brings him into the group.

Double double yay

As he spends more time with these guys, he really gets to know them and like them. In fact he can’t believe there is anyway they could be involved with the robberies, as his objectiveness is thrown out the window for friendship.

He even starts dating Dom’s sister.

Spoke too soon

Eventually he realizes the truth when he hears about them going into the action, and follows them to help keep them safe. When one of the racers is shot during the robbery, Brian blows his cover by calling a helicopter in.

In the aftermath the rest of the group scatter, with Brian heading out to Dom’s house to get him. Instead of taking him in right away, as Brian still considers him a friend, they have one last race.

It was a fantastic movie!

Then came the sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious.

In this Brian has been kicked out of the FBI for having let Dom go. He has been making a living as a racer, when the FBI ask him to come back and help them take down a drug-smuggler. The have an agent on the inside, Eva Mendes, but need someone to take the job as racer, and with Brian they won’t have to build a false character or worry that their guy will think the whole thing suspect. Brian agrees, but things get complicated fast. He and the FBI agent fall for each other, which is a horrible idea when the  guy you are trying to arrest is a psychopath, and another FBI agent hates his guts and is doing everything possilbe to make this hard for Brian.

It wasn’t as good as the original, but I still liked it. Paul was good as ever.

Then the third one came out, Tokyo Drift.

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I don’t know what they were thinking! You can’t have a franchise be built on an actor and then suddeny new storyline, new character, new location. This was dumb, and doesn’t exist.

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Moving on to number four, Fast & Furious, dumb name but good movie.

In this Dom and the crew are back together and once again robbing trucks. When the heat is on, they disband. However, Dom finds out that Letty was murdered. When he starts tracking down who killed her, he runs into Brian O’Conner. Brian is back to being a FBI agent again, and is trying to take down a drug trafficker. The two team up, and it’s just like old times!

Finally something GOOD!

At the end, Brian is suspended from duty and Dom is sentenced to 25 years. He never serves one as Brian, Mia, and the rest of the gang break him out.

In Fast Five, not only do we have the group heading down the Rio, (the year’s theme as tons of things took place here), but the addition of the Rock, Dwayne Johnson.

The group is supposed to do an easy job of stealing three cars from a train, but discover there is a lot more involved. Computer chips, betrayal by a friend, DEA agents, and of course fast cars. The twist end in this is a final scene that shows Letty is alive!

In Fast & Furious 6, the group is scattered, but as always can be brought back together for a mission. In this the Rock asks for Dom’s help in taking down former British Intelligence Special Agent Owen Shaw. He only agrees after seeing the photo of Letty alive. So once again the group is back together for fast cars and butt kicking.

Which brings us to Furious 7. I haven’t watched it yet as I am still disheartened by Paul Walker’s death. But I’ll see it eventually and am sure to love it too.

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Hans Christian Anderson

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I’ve talked about him before, but I’ll say it again. Just like the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson is one of the best fairy tale writers of all time.

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Also being Danish, I feel a lot of pride in my countryman.

So I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I love fairy tales. I read them over and over as a child and continue today.

Or 10th, 50th, 100th....

Or 10th, 50th, 100th….

In fact I am currently rereading Han Christian Anderson’s work.

Anyways, his fairy tales are amazing, and because he is a Christian, they all have a deeper moral or parallel that he is trying to share with children and adults.

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He didn’t write as many stories as the Brother’s Grimm, but the few he did are really powerful. Now I’m just going to list off my favorites with a brief note about them. You really should check him out for yourself.

There is the Emperor’s New Clothes, which teaches you that you shouldn’t focus solely on material objects, but need your sight somewhere else. It also shows you that people can be afraid to go against the grain and would rather stick with what’s stupid, than admit the truth.

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The Little Match Girl is a tale of a good girl living in poverty and abuse. She is wearing hardly anything, as they don’t have anything for her, trying to sell matches. To keep herself warm in the snow, she starts lighting matches, every time seeing a wonderful vision, until she sees her grandmother and is taken into heaven. It’s about dreams, hopes, and the eternal reward.

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The Little Mermaid is one of his most famous works, but I’m not going into it as I have already posted on it in The Little Moreland. The book is much better than the Disney film as it is about true love and being willing to sacrifice yourself for others.

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The Nightingale is about a Chinese emperor soon to be dying. A nightingale comes and sings him back to health. At first he wants to imprison him so that he can only sing for him and no others, but the nightingale tells him he can’t sing without freedom. He is let go and comes back to visit him. Someone makes a toy nightingale for the emperor, and soon everyone prefers this electronic and perverted one rather than the original. The real bird is banished, but unfortunately the new one breaks down from overuse. The emperor is once again sick, and the nightingale returns, causing the emperor to realize the true art was best. Not only commentary on art and artists, but original vs. new technology, the way people are willing to trade “old” for “new”, etc. There is a lot to be said about this piece.

Or story in this case

Or story in this case

The Snow Queen is probably Anderson’s longest story as it is actually divided into seven parts. Disney based Frozen on it, but it is nowhere near as amazing as the actual tale. This is the story of not only demons releasing shards of hate and evil onto the world, but of the equally evil Snow Queen. When she takes a young boy, Kay, who’s heart has been turned to ice by her and the shards; his best friend Gerda does all she can to find and save him. A powerful story of love, friendship, sacrifice, and bravery.

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The Steadfast Tin Soldier is so romantic. A tin soldier is created, but they ran out of tin so he is actually missing his leg. He falls in love with the beautiful paper ballerina, thinking she too is missing a leg like him. A toy goblin warns him to stay away, but the soldier refuses, and is thrown out the window. He does all he can to return to his love.

How romantic

How romantic

The Swineherd is one of those they get it in the end tales. In this a poor prince wishes to marry the emperor’s daughter. He sends her his finest rose and the best nightingale, but she refuses wanting the status of someone who has money to buy manmade ones, rather than something beautiful and real. She determines the prince unworthy of anything of her. He disguises himself as a poor swineherd and is able to con over a hundred kisses from her as she desires two inventions of his (a musical rattle and pot). When the king discovers this he throws her out, having been disgusted by her behavior. The prince reveals himself and also heads on his way, happy to be gone from someone who would prefer a swineherd with objects than a prince with true love. The princess is left alone to think on her bad decisions and lost status.

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Thumbelina is another cute tale about the beautiful girl only the size of a thumb and how she goes from crazy adventure to the next as she has to overcome many obstacles and creatures who want her.

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The Tinderbox is an adventure tale. In this a poor soldier is returning from war when he comes upon a witch. She asks him to go into a tree and get her a tinderbox, taking anything else he desires. When he retrieves the tinderbox and asks why she wants it, she tries to fight him and he kills her. Later he discovers that as owner of the tinderbox he can control three monstrous dogs. Now he uses his power to live well, rescue a princess, and battle a mean king.

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The Wild Swans is the last story I will write on. In this book we have a widowed king with a daughter and eleven sons who unknowingly marries an evil witch. She turns the boys into swans (by night they become boys again) and banishes the princess. After struggling, Princess Elisa ends up in the land of the fairies were she discovers that she can help her brothers if she takes a vow of silence and makes them shirts out of nettles. A prince finds her and brings her to his castle, the two eventually falling in love. They are to be married, but the archbishop is against it as he believes her to be a witch, a belief that is in his eyes confirmed when she goes to a graveyard to get nettles. They plan to burn her at the stake with her works, but as the are heading that way her brothers in swan form arrive, and she throws the shirts at them, transforming all but the youngest who is left with two wings. The truth is spoken and all live happily ever after.

The rest of his work is just as amazing and definitely worth a reading!

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For more on Hans Christian Anderson, go to The Little Moreland

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Hawk Nelson

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This was a Christian band that I got into when I was a teenager, and I have stayed a fan ever since. They gave great singers, musicians, and I loved that they still rocked out when it seemed that all music was destined to be pop and  rap.

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The only reason why I wanted to see the remake of Yours, Mine, and Ours, was because there are the band in the party scene.

Some of my absolute favorite songs of theirs are: Bring ‘Em Out, Crazy Love, Every Little Thing, Friend Like That, Live Life Loud, Love Like That, Skeleton, Take Me, Things We Go Through, and Turn It On. 

I definitely will be posting on them soon, but you should check them out for yourself.

For more Hawk Nelson, go to Fulfilling the List: A Walk to Remember (2002)

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Potterhead

Harry Potter Slytherin

Now I know Potterhead isn’t the official name for those who are Harry Potter fans, but I have been calling my friends that for years. Now this was a fandom I long tried to resist. When the books came out my parents didn’t want me to read them as they were unsure with how they presented magic and the patronus and such. Later they decided that I was old enough to make my own decisions, but by then I didn’t care. They didn’t really interest me.

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And then it was everywhere and in everything. And when things get too blown up, then I’m not really interested. And no I am not a hipster.

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I just don’t like doing things because everyone else is doing them. I’m not a hipster, I’m just old-fashioned.

So with all my friends being huge fans, and everyone I came into contact with loving it, it became almost like a game, my resisting peer pressure.

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It was funny two how they were always discussing whether I was a Ravenclaw or Gryffindor, and I had no idea what they were saying.

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I did follow the memes though, and found them hilarious. Even though I didn’t understand all of them.

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But then I met this guy and we started dating, striking a deal that for every Harry Potter film I watched, we would watch an equal amount of Jane Austen. (You can read more in What’s the Dealio)

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We broke up before finishing the series and there I was stuck at film five not really understanding what was happening. I could have just watched the films with my friends and asked them a gazillion questions, but I decided that wasn’t for me and instead read the whole series.

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I enjoyed it, and will post my whole thoughts on it later. I have a super long post in the works as a summary of all my thoughts on the subject. I’m will end with two more things, my favorite characters. One of which is Draco.

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Boy does he make me laugh.

My other favorite character is Snape.

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Not only is he totally awesome, and played by Alan Rickman, but he’s just…i don’t know perfect. He has a sad past, brooding nature, is a romantic, and all around doesn’t care what others think of him he does what he wants.

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Snape I love you. I know I’m probanly the only one, but I really wish you and Lily had ended up together and I think James Potter is a jerk.  Snape 4-EVA!!!!!

Oh, by the way I did finally find out what house I belonged to (on pottermore). I’m a Slytherin. And proud of it.

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I guess my love for Draco and Snape makes a lot of sense now. Nah, I’d probably love them no matter who I was.

For more Harry Potter, go to Heaven on Earthhearts banner

The Princess Bride

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I am a HUGE Princess Bride fan. But I actually wasn’t for a long time.

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I know crazy right? Well whenever I would flip channels on TV I would always tune in right at the end. For years I would only see the end of the film, and I didn’t quite understand it.

Every time!

This was back before everything was online so I could either buy it or rent it. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a card to Hollywood Video or Blockbuster.

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And my library didn’t have it.

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Then one year as I was talking to someone about how I had never seen the whole movie, my mom overheard and was in shock. So that birthday, guess what my present was? The Princess Bride. I watched it and loved it! From Westley,

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To Inigo,

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Even Vizzini

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And who can forget Miracle Max

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And let’s talk about the comedy of it all. From Westley never being killed but always threatened

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To the fire swamp

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There is so much to say, I just can’t get it all out.

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This is just one truly amazing film that I could watch over and over and over again.

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I loved it and had become a major fan.

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I even read the book (which is nowhere as fantastic as the movie, trust me).

In fact whenever I meet another person who loves The Princess Bride, I fangirl crazily with them.

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Just kidding. Although I do love that movie something fierce.

For more Princess Bride, go to Are You the Dread Pirate Roberts?

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That’s the truth!

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For the previous post, go to Fun & Full of Fancy

Stay tuned for part 16

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For more on fairy tales, go to If the Show Fits: Why Cinderella is Actually Awesome

For more of my music, go to Counting Stars 

The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries

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The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay & Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen’s Novel to Film

When I read the opening line of:

“IF THERE WAS ANYTHING I knew for certain, it was that Pride and Prejudice was a very stupid book and that Jane Austen was a very stupid writer, and that I would never, ever read one of her stupid books again. I was thirteen years old.”

I was hooked.

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This book was amazing! It was funny, interesting, full of Jane Austen, and behind-the-scenes extras. I could not stop reading it.

So the book is divided into three parts: Part 1: Lindsay Doran, producer; Part 2: The screenplay; and Part 3: Emma Thompson’s on set diaries.

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Part 1: Lindsay Doran

In this section, Lindsay discuses her first involvement with Jane Austen, and when reading the above quote you can see that she didn’t particularly enjoy it. Her view was changed at college, when during an English oral report, one girl told of the many virtues of Jane Austen and her novels. Lindsay told herself she would then put those books on her  reading list, but like everyone didn’t get around to it immediately.

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After Doran had an accident and was forced to remain home and stationary, she had the idea to read all of Jane Austen’s novels, out of which her favorite became Sense and Sensibility. Being a film producer, she saw the merits for turning this into a movie; but knowing that there would be a few complications. Trying to find funding for the film would be hard, along with choosing the perfect actors to portray the characters. Most of all, one would have to find a writer who could channel the voice of Jane Austen, yet make it something that the everyman could enjoy. Lindsay put it on the backburner until she discovered that writer.

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Eventually Emma Thompson was brought to her attention in the film Dead Again. With that film she discovered Emma loved Jane Austen and with the writing Emma did on her show Thompson and Doran knew that Emma would be the perfect person for the project and role of Elinor Dashwood. However, not everyone felt that way as it was very difficult for Lindsay to convince the rest of the people to take a chance on an unknown. This surprised me, as Emma Thompson is a huge star today, but then as I looked on her filmography, I realized she hadn’t made that many films at the time. In fact the biggest actor involved was Hugh Grant, who today is kind of passed over for Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, and Kate Winslet; as most fans prefer their performance in the film.

Lindsay Doran is a great writer, almost as it is is a conversation. It reads as if you happened upon her at a party and asked how did you get involved with the film Sense and Sensibility? Was it easy to bring to film? It reads really well, and is extremely enjoyable.

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Part 2: Screenplay

This part is just word for word the screenplay of the film. I really enjoyed it as it included scenes cut from the actual film, along with having every part of the dialogue, allowing you to see what you might have missed in watching it. It was a fun read for any lover of the film or book.

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Part 3: Emma Thompson’s On Set Diaries

This were really interesting as they are not only the behind-the-scene view of an actor, but the screenwriter as well. As Emma was the writer of the screenplay; we get to see her constant rewriting, agony over any cut scene or changed line, pushing of other actors to fix lines or say them a different way; along with her relationship with the director, set designers, producers, casting director, etc.

On the flip side of that, we have Emma Thompson the actor, who has to pull herself out of that writer role to become Elinor. Within this sphere she has a completely different relationship with the director, actors, set designers, makeup artists, etc. It is an interesting read as Emma herself talks about how she is straddling two worlds and has to separate herself from one when she enters the other.

She also tells fun stories of her and the cast, how the weather affected everything, the cultural differences between the English actors, American film crew & producers, and the Taiwanese director.

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All in all it was a great read for any Jane Austen or Sense and Sensibility fan. I highly recommend it and gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

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For more on Sense & Sensibility, go to It Doesn’t Exist

For more on Emma Thompson, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

For more books with a Jane Austen flavor, go to Fall For You