Wednesday, June 29, 2016

"AND THEN THERE WERE NONE" (2015) Review




"AND THEN THERE WERE NONE" (2015) Review

Ever since I gave up reading the "NANCY DREW" novels at the age of thirteen, I have been a fan of those written by Agatha Christie. And that is a hell of a long time. In fact, my fandom toward Christie's novels have extended toward the film and television adaptations. Among those stories that have captured my imagination were the adaptations of the author's 1939 novel, "AND THEN THERE WERE NONE"

To be honest, I have seen at least three adaptations of the 1939 novel - the 1945, 1966 and 1974 adaptations - before I had read the novel. Although I found some of the novel's aspects a bit troubling - namely its original title and minimal use of racial slurs, overall I regard it as one of Christie's best works . . . if not my favorite. After viewing three cinematic adaptations, I saw the BBC's recent adaptation that aired back in December 2015 as a three-part miniseries.

I noticed that "AND THEN THERE WERE NONE" was the first adaptation I have seen that more or less adhered to the novel's original novel. But it was not the first one that actually did. One of the most famous versions that stuck to the original ending before the 2015 miniseries was the Soviet Union's 1987 movie called "DESYAT NEGRITYAT". However, I have never seen this version . . . yet. Anyone familiar with Christie's novel should know the synopsis. Eight strangers are invited by a mysterious couple known as Mr. and Mrs. U.N. Owen for the weekend at Soldier Island, off the coast of Devon, England in early August 1939. Well . . . not all of them were invited as guests. Waiting for them is a couple who had been recently hired by the Owens to serve as butler and cook/maid. The weekend's hosts fail to show up and both the guests and the servants notice the ten figurines that serve as a centerpiece for the dining room table. Following the weekend's first dinner, the guests and the two servants listen to a gramophone record that accuses each of them with a crime for which they have not been punished. The island's ten occupants are:

*Dr. Edward Armstrong - a Harley Street doctor who is accused of killing a patient on the operating table, while under the influence of alcohol

*William Blore - a former police detective hired to serve as security for the weekend, who is accused of killing a homosexual in a police cell

*Emily Brent - a religious spinster who is accused of being responsible for the suicide of her maid by abandoning the latter when she became pregnant out of wedlock

*Vera Claythorne - a games mistress hired to serve as Mrs. Owen's temporary secretary, who is accused of murdering the young boy for whom she had served as a governess

*Philip Lombard - a soldier-of-fortune also hired to serve as security for the weekend, who is accused of orchestrating the murder of 21 East Africans for diamonds

*General John MacArthur - a retired British Army officer accused of murdering a fellow officer, who was his wife's lover during World War I

*Anthony Marston - a wealthy playboy accused of killing two children via reckless driving

*Ethel Rogers - the maid/cook hired by the Owens, who is accused with her husband of murdering their previous employer

*Thomas Rogers - the butler hired by the Owens, who is accused with his wife of murdering their previous employer

*Justice Lawrence Wargrave - a retired judge accused of murdering an innocent man by manipulating the jury and sentencing him to hang


Shortly after listening to the gramophone, one member of the party dies from poisoning. Following this first death, more people are murdered via methods in synonymous with a nursery rhyme from which the island is named. The murderer removes a figurine from the dining table each time someone is killed. The island's remaining occupants decide to work together and discover the murderer's identity before time runs out and no one remains.

From the numerous articles and reviews I have read about the miniseries, I came away with the impression that many viewers and critics approved of its adherence to Christie's original ending. And yet . . . it still had plenty of changes from the story. The nature of the crimes committed by five or six of the suspects had changed. According to one flashback, Thomas Rogers had smothered (with his wife Ethel looking on) their elderly employer with a pillow, instead of withholding her medicine. General MacArthur literally shot his subordinate in the back of the head, instead of sending the latter to a doomed military action during World War I. Beatrice Taylor, the pregnant girl who had committed suicide, was an orphan in this production. Lombard and a handful of his companions had literally murdered those 21 East Africans for diamonds, instead of leaving them to die with no food or other supplies. And William Blore had literally beaten his victim to death in a jail cell, because the latter was a homosexual. In the novel, Blore had simply framed his victim for a crime, leading the latter to die in prison. I have mixed feelings about some of these changes. 

By allowing General MacArthur to literally shoot his wife's lover, instead of sending the latter to his death in a suicidal charge, I found myself wondering how he got away with this crime. How did MacArthur avoid suspicion, let alone criminal prosecution, considering that Arthur Richmond was shot in the back of the head in one of the trenches? How did the murderer find out? Why did Thomas Rogers kill his employer? For money? How did the couple avoid criminal prosecution, if their employer was smothered with a pillow? Even police forensics back then would have spotted death by smothering. I understand why Phelps had made Beatrice Taylor an orphan. In this scenario, Emily Brent would have been the only one with the authority to reject Beatrice. But what about the latter's lover? Why did the murderer fail to go after him. And how did Blore evade charges of beating a prisoner to death inside a jail cell? None of his fellow officers had questioned his actions? And if they had kept silent, this made them accessories to his crime. Then why did the murderer fail to go after them, since he or she was willing to target Ethel Rogers for being an accessory to her husband's crime? 

One character that went through something of a major change was Philip Lombard. His aggressiveness and predatory nature remained intact. But for some reason, screenwriter Sarah Phelps had decided to transfer his bigotry to both Emily Brent and William Blore. The screenplay seemed to hint through Lombard's comments that if those 21 men had been Europeans instead of Africans, he still would have murdered them to get his hand on those diamonds. In fact, he went even further with a tart comment to Miss Brent by accusing European religious fanatics of being more responsible for the deaths of Africans than the military or mercenaries like himself. It was Blore who used a racist slur to dismiss Lombard's crime. And it was Miss Brent, instead of Lombard, who insulted the mysterious Mr. Owens' intermediary, Isaac Morris, with an anti-Semetic slur. I can only wonder why Phelps deemed it necessary to transfer Lombard's bigotry to two other characters. 

There were some changes that did not bother me one bit. Certain fans complained about the presence of profanity in this production . . . especially the use of 'fuck' by at least two or three characters, who seemed like the types who would use these words. Mild profanity has appeared in previous Christie novels and adaptations. And the word 'fuck' has been around since the Sixteenth Century. I really had no problem with this. Phelps also included lesbian tendencies in Emily Brent's character. There were some complaints about this change. Personally, I had no problem with it. This change added dimension to Miss Brent's decision to cast out Beatrice Taylor, when the latter ended up pregnant. Episode Three featured a party scene with the four surviving guests in which they indulged in booze and Anthony Marston's drugs to relieve their anxiety over their situation. It was not included in Christie's novel, but I thought the scene did a great job in showing the psychological impact upon the remaining characters . . . especially for Dr. Armstrong, who went into a drunken rant over the horrors he had witnessed in World War I. 

Watching "AND THEN THERE WERE NONE" left me with the feeling of watching some kind of early 20th century Nordic thriller. I have to credit both the producers, director Craig Viveiros, production designer Sophie Becher and cinematographer John Pardue. What I found interesting about the miniseries' visual style is the hint of early 20th century Art Deco featured in the house's interior, mixed with this gloomy atmosphere that truly represented the production's violent and pessimistic tale. Everything visual aspect of this production seemed to literally scream death and doom. Even the production's sound department did an outstanding job in contributing the story's atmosphere, especially in those episode that featured the storm that prevented the survivors from making an attempt to leave the island. I also enjoyed Lindsay Pugh, whose costumes did an excellent job in re-creating the fashions of the late 1930s. More importantly, "AND THEN THERE WERE NONE" was not some opportunity for a Thirties' fashion show, but a more realistic look at how British middle-class dressed on the eve of World War II. My only complaint is the hairstyle worn by actress Maeve Darmody, who portrayed Vera Claythorne. I am referring to the long bob worn by Vera in her 1935 flashbacks, which struck me as a bit too long for that particular year.

Many have complimented both Sarah Phelps and Craig Viveiros for closely adhering to the moral quagmire of Christie's tale. Each or most of the characters are forced to consider the consequences of their actions and their guilt. If I have to be brutally honest, I have to compliment the pair as well. At first I was inclined to criticize the production's three hour running time, which I originally believed to be a tad too long. But now I see that the running time gave Viveiros and Phelps the opportunity more in-depth explorations of the characters - especially Vera, Blore, Miss Brent and General MacArthur. This was done through a series of flashbacks for most of the characters. I said . . . most. There were some characters that hardly received any flashbacks - especially the Rogers, Anthony Marston, Edward Armstrong and Philip Lombard. I could understand the lack of many flashbacks for one or two characters, but I would have liked to see more for Rogers, Dr. Armstrong and Lombard. Especially Lombard. I never understood why he only had one flashback that vaguely hinted his murders without his victims being seen.

On the other hand, I was more than impressed with the production's exploration of Vera, Blore, Miss Brent, Mrs. Rogers and General MacArthur's crimes. Both Phelps and Viveiros seemed to have went through a great deal of trouble to explore their backgrounds and crimes. In the case of Mrs. Rogers, the production did not really explore the crime of which she and her husband were accused. But the miniseries did spend some time in Episode One focusing on the consequences she had suffered from her husband's crime . . . and I found that more than satisfying. I enjoyed how General MacArthur, Miss Brent and Blore had initially refused to acknowledge their crimes . . . and how the growing death count and the possibility of their own deaths led them to finally face their guilt, whether out loud or internally. I found General MacArthur's acknowledgement of guilt very satisfying, for it culminated in that famous line regarding the characters' fate:

"No one's coming for us. This is the end."

From a dramatic point of view, the most satisfying character arc proved to be the one that belonged to Vera Claythorne. She is not my favorite character . . . at least not in this production. Nor did I regard her as the story's most interesting character. But I thought Phelps and Viveiros did a hell of a job handling her character arc. Vera struck me as the type who went through a great deal of effort to hide her true nature via a respectable facade. Actually, the other characters share this same trait. Judging from what I have seen from this production, no one seemed to do it better than one Vera Claythorne. I suspect most people would be hard pressed to believe that this attractive and intelligent woman would deliberately lead a young boy to his death. Like I said, I did not particularly regard Vera as the story's most interesting character. But I do believe that Phelps and Viveiros handled her story arc with more depth and mystery than any of the other characters . . . and with more flashbacks.

While reading several articles about "AND THEN THERE WERE NONE", I noticed that many had placed emphasis on the characters' guilt and the possibility of them facing judgment for their actions. In a way, their opinions on this topic reminded me of why the murderer had set up the whole house party in the first place. Then I remembered that the murderer had also used the house party to indulge in his or her blood lust. And the killer used the guilt of the other inhabitants to excuse the murders . . . in his or her mind. This made me wonder about society's desire for others to pay for their sins. Especially sins that involved death. Is society's desire for killers to pay for their crimes a disguise . . . or excuse for its own blood lust? Like I said . . . I wonder.

What else can I discuss about "AND THEN THERE WERE NONE"? Oh yes. The performances. The miniseries featured a collection of well known actors and actresses from several English speaking countries, especially Great Britain. I must admit that I may have vaguely heard of Douglas Booth, but I have never seen him in any particular role, until this production. But I must say that I found his portrayal of rich playboy Anthony Marston very impressive. Booth did a beautiful job in capturing the selfish and self-indulgent nature of the young elite. I wish Anna Maxwell-Martin had a bigger role in this production. However, I had to be satisfied with her performance as Ethel Rogers, who had been hired to serve as maid and cook for the Owens' house party. I thought she was excellent as the bullied wife of Soldier Island's butler, Thomas Rogers. I was also impressed by Noah Taylor, who gave a first-rate performance as Rogers, who hid his brutish nature with the facade of a servile man. I only wish that Phelps had not made the same mistake as Christie - namely failing to get into Rogers' mind. I think Taylor could have rolled with such material. Miranda Richardson gave a masterful performance as the prim and hypocritical Emily Brent, who hid her own passions and sins with a stream of moral pronouncements. Her performance culminated in that wonderful moment when her character finally acknowledged her role in that young maid's suicide. One of my favorite performances came from Sam Neill, who portrayed the very respectful retired Army officer, General John MacArthur. Neill had claimed that this particular performance was not a stretch for him, since MacArthur reminded him of his own father. But I thought the actor's performance rose above that assessment, as his character not only faced his guilt for a crime of passion, but also faced the realization of his impending death.

On the surface, Charles Dance's portrayal of retired judge Lawrence Wargrave seemed like many roles he had portrayed in recent years - cool, elegant and a little sharp. But I really enjoying watching him convey Wargrave's subtle reactions to the temperamental outbursts from the other inhabitants. And I found his skillful expression of Wargrave's emotional reactions to memories of the man the character was accused of killing via an execution sentence really impressive."AND THEN THERE WERE NONE" marked the third time I have seen Toby Stephens in an Agatha Christie adaptation. Of the three productions, I regard his work in this miniseries and the 2003 television movie, "FIVE LITTLE PIGS" as among his best work. Stephens did a superb job in developing . . . or perhaps regressing Dr. Edward Armstrong's character from this pompous Harley Street physician to a nervy and frightened man by the third episode. Thanks to Stephens' performance, I also became aware that the character's alcoholism and tightly-wound personality was a result of the horrors he had faced during World War I.

Ever since I first saw 2012's "THE DARK KNIGHT RISES", I have become aware of Burn Gorman. He is one of the most unusual looking actors I have ever seen . . . and a first-rate actor. I really enjoyed his portrayal of former police detective William Blore as this slightly shifty man with a penchant for allowing his paranoia to get the best of him, as the body count rose. Although his Blore comes off as a rather unpleasant man, Gorman still managed to inject some sympathy into the character as the latter finally faces his guilt over the young homosexual man he had beaten to death. Most of the critics and fans seemed to be more interested in Aidan Turner's physique than his performance as soldier-of-fortune, Philip Lombard. I feel this is a shame, because I thought he gave an excellent performance as the shady and pragmatic mercenary, willing to do anything to stay alive . . . or have sex with Vera Claythorne. What really impressed me about Turner's performance is that he is the second actor to perfectly capture the animalistic and aggressive Lombard as described in Christie's novel, and the first English-speaking actor to do so. The miniseries' producers had some difficulty in finding the right actress to portray Vera Claythorne. In the end, they managed to find Australian actress Maeve Darmody six days before filming started. And guess what? They made a perfect choice. Darmody was superb as the cool and intelligent Vera, who is the first to connect the "AND THEN THERE WERE NONE". I thought some of screenwriter Sarah Phelps' changes to Agatha Christie's tale did not exactly work for me. But despite a few flaws, I have to commend both her and director Craig Viveiros for doing an excellent job in translating Christie's most celebrated and brutal tale to the television screen. And they were ably assisted by superb performances from a very talented all-star cast. This is one Christie production I can watch over and over again.




Friday, June 24, 2016

"X-MEN: APOCALYPSE" (2016) Photo Gallery

kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2774146

Below are images from the latest Marvel film, "X-MEN: APOCALYPSE", the sequel to the 2014 movie, "X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST". Directed by Bryan Singer, the movie starred James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Oscar Isaac: 


"X-MEN: APOCALYPSE" (2016) Photo Gallery

kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2620012


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2620013


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2620015


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2620016


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2623490


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2692957


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2693018


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2722122


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2751826


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2751828


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2753510


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2759227


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2762553


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2762554


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2762897


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2762899


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2762900


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2762901


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2762904


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2762909


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2762910


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2762911


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2764189


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2764190


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2774147


kinopoisk.ru-X-Men_3A-Apocalypse-2775199

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"JANE EYRE" (2011) Review



"JANE EYRE" (2011) Review

There seemed to be certain famous British novels that are always adapted for film or television . . . over and over again. One of those novel is Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel, "Jane Eyre". There have been twelve television adaptations and seventeen movie adaptations. That must be a world record for any literary piece. I have seen at least three television adaptations and four movie adaptations. The most recent I have seen is the 2011 motion picture, directed by Cary Fukunaga. 

"JANE EYRE" - at least this version - begins with governess Jane Eyre leaving Thornfield Hall in the middle of the night, crying. She finds herself stranded on the Yorkshire moors, until she reaches the home of a clergyman named St. John Rivers and his two sisters. They allow Jane to stay with him. While staying with the Rivers family, Jane flashes back to the events that led to her flight and meeting with her rescuers. Her flashbacks begin with her last days at her childhood home, Gateshead, as a ten year-old girl clashing with her brutish Cousin John Reed and her cold Aunt Reed. The latter sends her to Lowood School for Girls, which is run by a cruel clergyman, Mr. Brocklehurst. Jane endures the brutality of Lowood with the help of a friend named Helen Burns. After Helen dies, Jane remains at Lowood for eight years, until she leaves to become a governess for a French orphan girl named Adele Varens at Thornfield. Jane becomes acquainted with the manor's inhabitants - including Adele, housekeeper Mrs. Alice Fairfax and the manor's owner, Mr. Edward Rochester. Jane's relationship with Mr. Rochester develops from an employee/employer relationship to something more complicated and romantic. But their relationship is threatened by a secret that looms over Thornfield.

This adaptation of Brontë's novel became the second one of my knowledge that was structured differently. In other words, this production began in the middle of Brontë's tale, instead of the beginning. Fortunately, Fukunaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini’s changes to the story’s structure did not harm the story one bit. As far as I am concerned. By allowing the movie to begin with Jane Eyre’s flight from Thornfield Hall, Fukunaga and Buffini set up a second mystery within the story for those moviegoers unfamiliar with the story. The 2011 movie is not completely faithful to Brontë's novel. And this is not a bad thing. Buffini’s screenplay did not focus very long on Jane’s stay at Lowood – for which I am utterly grateful. It also deleted Mr. Rochester’s prank against his female guests, when he disguised himself as a Gypsy fortune teller. This version also featured a bit of sexual tension between Jane and her benefactor, St. John Rivers. It also eliminated any reference to the latter’s romantic feelings toward a local heiress named Rosamond Oliver. Actually, the changes to Brontë's novel did not really affect my feelings about the movie. Although it garnered a good deal of praise from many critics, "JANE EYRE"drew mix feelings from many moviegoers – especially those who were fans of the novel. This mixed reaction led me to ignore the movie for nearly two years, until my curiosity finally got the best of me and I watched it. 

I was relieved to discover that "JANE EYRE" proved to be better than I had originally assumed. First of all, the movie benefited from a solid pacing, thanks to Fukunaga's direction. Not only did Fukunaga kept the pacing lively enough to maintain my interest, but did not rush it . . . except in one pivotal scene. Despite re-arranging the story's structure and deleting some scenes, both Fukunaga and Buffini maintained Brontë's basic narrative. One aspect of the movie that I really enjoyed proved to be Adriano Goldman's photography. Although the story is set in Yorkshire, Fukunaga shot most of the film in Derbyshire. It did not matter, for I was dazzled by Goldman's work, especially in the sequence that featured Jane's flight from Thornfield Hall. I also have to give kudos to Melanie Oliver's editing for the smooth transitions between the sequences with the Rivers family and the flashbacks to Gatehead, Lowood and Thornfield Hall. But I am also a costume whore. And if there is one aspect of period dramas that really appeal to me, it is the costumes. And I might as well say it - Michael O'Connor's costumes for the movie blew my mind. I thought he did a superb job in re-creating the fashions of the 1830s and especially the 1840s. O'Connor earned Academy Award and BAFTA Award nominations for his work. Below are examples of O'Connor's beautiful costumes:

cn_image_1.size.eyre2-main 

tumblr_mlbixn2WL11rwahceo1_500 

tumblr_mj09f0MdPG1rwahceo1_500 

However, "JANE EYRE" is not perfect. What movie is? And yet . . . I would never consider this movie as the best adaptation of Brontë's novel. Since "JANE EYRE" is basically a love story about a demure English governess and her moody employer, one would expect the two leads to crackle with chemistry. Unfortunately, I never detected any real chemistry between Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. Lord knows they tried. They really tried. One of the problems is that Wasikowska had better chemistry with Jamie Bell, who portrayed St. John Rivers. I did not find this surprising, considering that the pair had portrayed young lovers in the 2008 World War II drama, "DEFIANCE". There were a few scenes from the novel that did not appear in this film . . . and I missed them. I do not recall Rochester's caustic recollections of his affair with young Adele's mother. And I felt surprised that Rochester's attempts to keep Jane at Thornfield seemed to be tinged with self-remorse. I do not recall Rochester expressing any remorse for his attempt to draw Jane into an ill-fated marriage and later, an illicit affair in the novel or other adaptations. I also got the feeling that Fukunaga and Buffini were trying to maintain a positive portrayal of him, following the revelation of his secret. And I must admit that I found Jane's return to Thornfield and her reconciliation with Rochester rather disappointing. Unlike the rest of the film, I believe this final sequence was rushed. In fact, once Jane agrees to marry him, the movie suddenly ends, denying moviegoers Jane's revelations about her time with St. John Rivers and his sisters and her marriage to Rochester. In other words, Fukunaga removed the story's epilogue, causing the movie to end in an abrupt manner.

The performances featured in "JANE EYRE" seemed to range from solid to the superb. Most of the solid performances came from cast members that did not have a particularly large role in the film - for example, Freya Parks (as Helen Burns), Sophie Ward (Lady Ingram), Ewart James Walters (John Reed), Holliday Grainger (Diana Rivers) and Tamzin Merchant (Mary Rivers). Harry Lloyd's performance as Richard Mason nearly made this list, but there were times I found myself wondering if he had been too young for the role. On the other hand, Romy Settbon Moore made a rather charming Adèle Varens. Simon McBurney gave a spot-on performance as the religious and tyranical Mr. Brocklehurst. But if I must be honest, it is a role he could have done in his sleep. I was surprised to see Sally Hawkins in the role of Jane's Aunt Reed. This is the second role I have seen her in and it is such a complete difference to the Anne Elliot role from "PERSUASION"that I am still trying to comprehend it. 

I really enjoyed Judi Dench's portrayal of Thornfield Hall's housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax. She did an excellent job in conveying all aspects of the charater's trait - the positive and occasionally, the not-so-positive. And she managed to utilized a soft Yorkshire accent without trying to hard. Jamie Bell's portrayal of St. John Rivers really took me by surprise - in a positive way. Mind you, St. John has always struck me as an interesting character, but Bell's strong screen chemistry with leading lady Mia Wasikowska contributed more nuance into the role. It seemed as if his St. John was a passionate man, who barely hid his feelings with a cool and socially correct persona. Michael Fassbender received a good deal of accolades for his portrayal of Edward Rochester. And there were times I believe he truly earned them by conveying the character's sardonic and brooding manner. However, there were times when I found his performance a little wooden. And as I had stated earlier, his screen chemistry with Wasikowska was not always that strong. But the star of this movie, in my opinion was Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre. I was not that kind about the actress' performance in the Disney film, "ALICE IN WONDERLAND". And I thought she did a solid job in "LAWLESS". But she ruled supreme in this movie's title role. She did a superb job in projecting Jane's emotions and passions with great subtlety and at the same time, conveying her character's deep sense of morality. I must admit that I found her Yorkshire accent a bit of surprise, considering that Jane Eyre came from Britain's gentry class. Despite this, I felt that Wasikowska made a superb Jane Eyre. And a part of me cannot help but wonder why Fassbender received more accolades than she. 

I would not go out of my way and state that "JANE EYRE" was the best adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's novel. It possesses some flaws that prevent me from considering it among the top adaptations. But I do feel that it turned out to be a lot better than I had imagined it would be. In the end, I cannot join those group of "purists" who have condemned the film for failing to be an exact adaptation of the novel.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Fan Perception of Ana-Lucia Cortez



FAN PERCEPTION OF ANA-LUCIA CORTEZ
I have a confession to make.  I did not watch the ABC series “LOST” from the beginning.  In fact, I did not start watching the series until (2.02) “Adrift”, the second episode of Season Two.  However, I could barely maintain interest in the show, until the Season Two episode,(2.04) “Everybody Hates Hugo”.  
To be honest, there was nothing particularly special about that episode.  But there was one scene that really made me sit up and notice.  This scene featured a moment in which Tail Section survivor Ana-Lucia Cortez punched James “Sawyer” Ford.  I cheered when that happened, because … well, I found Sawyer rather annoying.  Unbeknownst to me, Sawyer was already a fan favorite by this time and many fans were upset by Ana-Lucia’s act of violence.  
They were even further upset when she accidentally shot and killed fuselage survivor, Shannon Rutherford near the end of (2.06) “Abandoned”.  It was an accident and Ana-Lucia thought she was defending herself from an attack by the Others, following the disappearance of fellow Tailie Cindy Chandler.  Mind you, Season One (which I saw, thanks to the release of its DVD box set) featured Charlie Pace’s murder of a defenseless Ethan Rom, Jin Kwon and Michael Dawson’s beatings of each other, a fight between Sawyer and Sayid Jarrah, and Shannon’s attempted murder of John Locke for lying about the circumstances of her step-brother Boone Carlyle’s death.  But it was Ana-Lucia’s accidental killing of Shannon that pissed them off - even to this day.
But it was the seventh episode from Season Two that sealed my fate as a regular viewer of “LOST”- namely (2.07) “The Other 48 Days”.  This episode conveyed the experiences of Ana-Lucia and the other Tail Section passengers of Oceanic Flight 315 during their first 48 days on the island.  To this day, “The Other 48 Days” remains my favorite “LOST” episode of all time.  But I also noticed that the fan opinion of Ana-Lucia remained at an all time low.  
As the years passed, I never understood the fans’ low opinion of Ana-Lucia.  She did not seem any better or worse than many of the other characters on the show.  Honestly.  During my years of watching the series, I was surprised to discover how unpleasant or annoying many of the regular characters could be, including the golden quartet - Dr. Jack Shephard, Kate Austen, Sawyer and Hugo “Hurley” Reyes.  Even a borderline villain like Ben Linus proved to be more popular than Ana-Lucia.  I found myself wondering if the series’ decision to make her a leader of the Tailies made her so unpopular.  A Latina woman who did not live up to the fans’ ideal of the early 21st century white woman?  At first I had dismissed the idea … until I read this article by Theresa Basile called “Lost Season 2: What if Ana-Lucia Was a White Guy?”.  Here is the article.

Monday, June 20, 2016

"UNDERGROUND" Season One (2016) Photo Gallery

underground-01

Below are images from the WGN series, "UNDERGROUND". Created by Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, the series stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Aldis Hodge: 


"UNDERGROUND" SEASON ONE (2016) Photo Gallery

0x3


002


003


Elizabeth-Hawkes-Jessica-de-Gouw-Boo-Darielle-Stewart-and-Rosalee-Jurnee-Smollett-Bell-in-the-carriage-UNDG_110-20150804-SD_0162_R1-800x533


Underground-CATO-ALANO-MILLER-LOOKING-AT-THE-PLANTATION


26


27


31


102_001


1024x1024


1024x1025


1618-news-underground


9472ae4d760a63b0b336f4d8507ea868


121615-centric-entertainment-underground-tv-show


8361875_should-you-hop-a-ride-on-underground-_tc25fcb18


635878613769692536-undergrouind-jurnee-smollett-bell-aldis-hodge


aldis-hodge-as-noah-and-jurnee-smollett-bell-as-rosalee-in-wgn-americas-underground_wide-01337ee69e703c68694c2852912c27872e7f84e1


Jeremiah-800x439


August-Pullman-Christopher-Meloni-holding-bank-letter-with-Ben-Brady-Permenter-800x533


b103c26d1ff84dd98b24ec7992dd745e-780x520


Brothers-Tom-Macon-Reed-Diamond-and-John-Hawkes-Marc-Blucas-discuss-election-800x533


Cato-Alano-Miller-and-Rosalee-Jurnee-Smollett-Bell-in-their-city-clothes-800x533


clyde-david-kency-elizabeth-hawkes-jessica-de-gouw-and-john-hawkes-marc-blucas-meet1-jpg


dt.common.streams.StreamServer


ernestine-amirah-vann-and-john-hawkes-marc-blucas-at-macon-plantation-undg_11-jpg


Jeremiah-Johnson-Chris-Backus-surrounded-by-a-haze-of-cigar-smoke-800x533


la-et-st-underground-review-20160309


maxresdefault


MV5BMjE3MDc1ODU3MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDE1MTczODE@._V1__SX769_SY384_


MV5BMjEzNTIzNTU5Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjE4ODM0ODE@._V1__SX769_SY384_


MV5BMjIxMjAxNDczMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjgxNDA1ODE@._V1__SX769_SY384_


jussie-smollett-underground


MV5BMTY1MjMzMTU1N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTc1ODY1ODE@._V1__SX769_SY384_


MV5BODM3MDE3MzMyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTU5MDA3ODE@._V1__SX769_SY384_


tumblr_o3hbsx4zH71qlodvto1_1280


tumblr_o4x4cbsdRI1vozcf3o2_250


tumblr_o5k98j0xDP1vr70odo1_1280


Noah-Rosalee-800x439


tumblr_o45loeaWcY1u55joyo1_1280


tumblr_o47lzxwlMI1qfc062o1_500


tumblr_o65uldgexv1vr70odo1_1280


tumblr_o65uxwqQZ41vr70odo1_540


underground


Underground_Trailer-005


underground-adina-porter-600x400


UndergroundS01E03_cato


underground-episode-4-cato


underground-gallery-030316-05-L


underground-gallery-030316-09-L


underground-gallery-030316-12-L


underground-gallery-030316-13-L


underground-gallery-030316-15-L


underground-gallery-030316-17-L


underground-gallery-030316-18-L


underground-gallery-030316-19-L


underground-gallery-030316-20-thumbnail-L


underground-gallery-030316-21-L


underground-gallery-030316-23-thumbnail-L


patty-800x440


underground-gallery-030316-35-thumbnail-L


underground-noah-rosalee1


Underground-Sam-Johnny-Ray-Gill-and-Tom-Macon-Reed-Diamond


underground-trailer


Underground-Vann-Diamond-727x530


11


13


14


15


tumblr_o6044rQGQB1vr70odo1_500


underground-wgn_article_story_large


undg_109-20150731-sd_0242_r1-jpg


zeke-theodus-crane-holding-his-newborn-son-that-rosalee-jurnee-smollett-bell-helped-deliver


james-maceo-smedley-sam-johnny-ray-gill-wgn-america-underground


2


4


5


8


9


11


12


13


14


15


16


17


18


19


20


21


23


25


27


28


29


30


31


32


33


tumblr_o770985ncY1qhqwzyo1_1280


35