I watched a lot of movies last week (well, a lot of movies for me), mostly on my laptop so I could sit in my comfy chair by the cozy woodstove while I watched. And, once I started feeling better on Friday, I picked up books again and buzzed through a couple of good ones. So here’s the brief list of what I watched:
The entire series of “Manor House,” the reality t.v. show about modern people trying to live as servants and masters in an Edwardian manor house in England; all participants were required to live as they would have done in Edwardian times. I enjoyed the series, but there were a couple of aspects that bothered me. While some of the participants were heavily featured in the series, others were hardly mentioned, most notably the groom, Tristan. I would have loved to have heard Tristan’s take on the experiment, and to see more of what his daily duties were. And to see more of the horses, of course. In addition to not enough coverage of the groom’s duties, and no coverage of the third housemaid’s life, I also felt like there was something lacking in general in the series. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I finished watching the three DVD set with a sense of wanting more – more footage of what everyone’s duties were, more insights into what people thought of their new lives (apart from the soap opera dramas, which got a bit boring), and more history of people who really did live in Edwardian times in manor houses. I would have loved some primary sources, photographs and such, to give me more context.
On to a silly movie that I watched: “Bride and Prejudice.” As a Jane Austen junkie, I was worried that I’d hate this movie, a modern adaptation of the classic Pride and Prejudice, set in India, but surprisingly I didn’t hate it. It’s fun and cute, with lots of gorgeous brightly colored clothes. But some parts of the story don’t translate well to a modern telling: Mr. Wickham as a hippy-ish backpacking guy who had gotten Mr. Darcy’s sister pregnant – well, that just doesn’t work as well as Mr. Wickham the status and money seeking creep who almost gets away with wreaking the reputation of the youngest Bennett girl. And I thought the chemistry and conversation between Lalita (Elizabeth) and Will (Mr. Darcy) just weren’t crackling and feisty enough to carry the story. Not a terrible movie, though, and not a waste of time to watch.
Then I watched “City Island,” a funky, funny, cool, and insightful movie about a part of the Bronx that I never knew existed, and a family that lives there along with their secrets. If I say too much about the movie, I’ll wreak it for you, so suffice it to say that I definitely enjoyed it and do recommend it.
I started watching “The Secret of Kells” the day after my oral surgery, and had absolutely no patience for it that day; after five minutes of Celtic music and the whispering fairy voice and the animation, I gave up on it in disgust and annoyance and tried something else. Happily, though, I gave the movie another shot on another day, and really really enjoyed it. It’s smart, creative animation for grown-ups, well-drawn and conceived and totally engrossing. Once again, I don’t want to say too much about the movie, since I enjoyed it all the more for knowing nothing about it prior to seeing it.
And, last but not least, “Megamind.” I love Will Ferrell, which helped me to like this particular movie more than I might have otherwise. It’s not fabulous, and I don’t like it nearly as well as the conquerable “Despicable Me,” but it was a good way to spend the morning on Friday; “Megamind” was the Family Movie Night choice for Friday night, and I was working the door and knew I’d miss seeing about two-thirds of the movie if I didn’t preview it ahead of movie night. So it was worth seeing the whole movie, but I don’t think I’d go so far as recommending it.
And next blog post I’ll write about the books that I read…