Meghan A.'s Reviews

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Becoming Jane
Becoming Jane (2008)
Actors: Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy
Release Year: 2008
Date: 12/17/2008 2:08 ET
6 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.

As a Jane Austen fan, though far from fanatic, I found this film to be an "acurate fictionalization" of her life. I'd recommend this film to any Austen fan but I also think those without much knowledge of Ms. Austen would find it entertaining as well.

Review Date: 12/17/2008
The Company
The Company (2007)
Actors: Chris O'Donnell, Alfred Molina, Michael Keaton
Release Year: 2007
Date: 1/23/2012 10:28 ET
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Very, VERY well-done miniseries. Nominated for a pile of awards including Emmys, Golden Globes, SAG, WGA (won). The cinematography is fantastic (won awards for that too), the acting is first-rate, and the story is amazing. I actually traded my copy here and then went and ordered another copy because I ended up regretting trading mine away.

Review Date: 1/23/2012
Dinoshark
Dinoshark (2011)
Actors: Eric Balfour, Roger Corman
Release Year: 2011
Date: 1/23/2012 10:19 ET
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

OK, the dinoshark special effects are lame. Yes, the script is pretty awful (there are a number of plotlines that are irrelevant to the story and the dialogue is ghastly.) The majority of the acting can be generously referred to as inferior. The female lead is supposed to be a teacher/scientist/waterpolo coach and yet she's an idiot running around in really short shorts at a bathing suit top. It's cheesy. It's beyond cheesy. But it's SUPPOSED to be! This is a B-movie from a master of B-movies. This is a "sit at the drive-in and eat popcorn and drink your smuggled in rum and cokes when you're 18" film. The people are pretty, the scenery is gorgeous (filmed in Mexico), the deaths are appropriately gory. As a another reviewer stated, it's "awesomely awful" but in a really GOOD way : )

Review Date: 1/23/2012
Elizabeth (Spotlight Series)
Elizabeth (Spotlight Series) (2007)
Actors: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Joseph Fiennes
Release Year: 2007
Date: 1/19/2010 9:18 ET
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Often a film with many awards nominations will leave me thinking "really, this is supposed to be great film?" Elizabeth left me thinking "wow, this is really good" The acting is fantastic and the costumes and sets, while not exactly beautiful, are fabulous. Being far from an expert on the time period, I can't speak to the accuracy of the story, but it is believably written and portrayed. The only thing stopping this from being a keeper is the graphic way in which the violence of the story is shown.

Review Date: 1/19/2010
Fargo (Special Edition)
Fargo (Special Edition) (2003)
Actors: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi
Release Year: 2003
Date: 1/7/2010 8:17 ET
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.

I usually appreciate black humor, bleak humor usually works for me too...I think I just wasn't in the right frame of mind when I watched. The acting is brilliant, the cinematography perfect for the film. I just didn't laugh.

Review Date: 1/7/2010
Skyline
Skyline (2011)
Actors: Eric Balfour, Donald Faison
Release Year: 2011
Date: 1/23/2012 9:54 ET
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

I'm surprised this movie was so universally panned (other than it has Eric Balfour as the lead and people seem to simply assume that anything he is in is crap.) The acting isn't bad,in fact most of it is pretty good. The action scenes work, the CGI rocks, some of the dialogue is cheesy, but hello it's an alien flick. Were you really expecting Oscar caliber screenplay here? IMHO, it was worth the cost of the DVD and the time I spent watching it.

Review Date: 1/23/2012
Highlander The Series - Season 1
Highlander The Series - Season 1 (2002)
Actors: Adrian Paul, Alexandra Vandernoot, Stan Kirsch
Release Year: 2002
Date: 1/23/2012 10:45 ET
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

I love this series so I'm really not one to write an impartial review. That said, the first season is my second least favourite of the series (season six is horrid, don't bother with it, and this comes from a pretty big fan.) As with many series, the first half of the season flounders around. The second half of the season is much better, bringing David Abramowitz in helped immeasurably.

Review Date: 1/23/2012
Kingdom of Heaven - The Director's Cut (Four-Disc Special Edition)
Kingdom of Heaven - The Director's Cut (Four-Disc Special Edition) (2006)
Actors: Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Liam Neeson
Release Year: 2006
Date: 8/7/2009 6:03 ET
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

The Director's Cut of Kingdom of Heaven is a fabulous film. The theatrical release is awful. Why anyone would pay Ridley Scott to make a film and then cut it in half is beyond me.

Review Date: 8/7/2009
My Life in Ruins
My Life in Ruins (2009)
Actors: Nia Vardalos, Richard Dreyfuss, Alexis Georgoulis
Release Year: 2009
Date: 1/4/2010 9:38 ET
7 of 8 member(s) found this review helpful.

Earlier published reviews of this film stated disapointment that "this is no My Big Fat Greek Wedding." Well, it isn't. It's "My Life in Ruins." Romantic comedies are either more comedy/less romance (as my Big Fat...) or less comedy/more romance. "My Life in Ruins is the latter. There are some funny scenes, but for the most part, this is just a sweet romance with great scenery (mainly filmed in Spain, but beautiful anyway.) It's endearing. It's uplifting. It's fun. It's on my keeper shelf.

Review Date: 1/4/2010
National Geographic: Great Migrations
National Geographic: Great Migrations (2010)
Actor: -
Release Year: 2010
Date: 1/23/2012 9:18 ET
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.

The cinematography is great, but the script and editing aren't very good, leaving the overall product feeling quite fragmented. A solid 3 star, but it seems they tried to copy Nature's Most Amazing Events by BBC Earth and failed.

Review Date: 1/23/2012
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (Single-Disc Edition)
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (Single-Disc Edition) (2009)
Actors: Amy Adams, Ben Stiller
Release Year: 2009
Date: 1/19/2010 12:54 ET
4 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.

I think this is funnier than the first film. Less plot but better jokes and really, who watches a film like this for plot? Hank Azaria steals the show as pharaoh though none of the other performances fall flat either. Even the special features are decent. The gag reel is hilarious.

Review Date: 1/19/2010
Nights in Rodanthe
Nights in Rodanthe (2009)
Actors: Richard Gere, Diane Lane
Release Year: 2009
Date: 1/6/2010 8:30 ET
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.

I can't remember the last time a movie made me cry. I can't believe I want to put myself though that again, but this film is so well done I've added it to my keeper shelf. The story is moving and wonderfully acted and the scenery is so visually beautiful that the Outer Banks should be listed in the credits as a character.

Review Date: 1/6/2010
Pride & Prejudice
Pride & Prejudice (2006)
Actors: Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen, Rosamund Pike
Release Year: 2006
Date: 3/12/2010 9:43 ET
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.

I avoided this version because I believed nothing would ever compete with the beloved A&E miniseries. I was wrong. No adaptataion will ever truly capture the novel and I wouldn't consider this a definitive version, but it's a very good film. The costuming and cinematography are wonderful and the casting (barring two strange exceptions) is spot on.

Tom Hollander is the best Mr. Collins I've seen. His portrayal is more in keeping with how I read Mr. Collins in the novel. Most TV, film, and stage adaptations play him too over the top, farcical even. Austen is great with irony, but IMO, too subdued and subtle for farce.

Kiera Knightly does a good Elizabeth Bennet. I think she would have been better with a bit more material, but this is a film and not a miniseries so judging her against the A&E version would be a bit unfair.

I wasn't feeling Judi Dench or Donald Sutherland in their roles, odd because I'm a big fan of both, but they each seemed somewhat off...

Matthew Macfadyen's proposal is better than the one written for Colin Firth, and I like him better as Darcy! Astounding as I wouldn't have believed anyone could be a better Darcy than Firth. That's the main reason I stayed away from this version for so long. Macfadyen's Darcy seems uncomfortable dealing with anyone on a personal level and appears to need the behavioral constructs of his social class in order to relate to anyone. He managed to retain Darcy's elitism without pushing it over into snobbery (my only complaint with Firth's Darcy is that he is SUCH a snob it seemed his good qualities wouldn't redeem him, not in my eyes anyway.)

I like the overall lighter feel of this version as well. I won't throw away any of my more dramatic versions, but I'll be adding this version to my keeper shelf for those days when I'd like a little more light romance and a little less angst and drama.

Review Date: 3/12/2010
Pride & Prejudice (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
Pride & Prejudice (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) (2010)
Actors: Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen, Judi Dench
Release Year: 2010
Date: 2/13/2012 6:05 ET
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

I avoided this version because I believed nothing would ever compete with the beloved A&E miniseries. I was wrong. No adaptataion will ever truly capture the novel and I wouldn't consider this a definitive version, but it's a very good film. The costuming and cinematography are wonderful and the casting (barring two strange exceptions) is spot on.

Tom Hollander is the best Mr. Collins I've seen. His portrayal is more in keeping with how I read Mr. Collins in the novel. Most TV, film, and stage adaptations play him too over the top, farcical even. Austen is great with irony, but IMO, too subdued and subtle for farce.

Kiera Knightly does a good Elizabeth Bennet. I think she would have been better with a bit more material, but this is a film and not a miniseries so judging her against the A&E version would be a bit unfair.

I wasn't feeling Judi Dench or Donald Sutherland in their roles, odd because I'm a big fan of both, but they each seemed somewhat off...

Matthew Macfadyen's proposal is better than the one written for Colin Firth, and I like him better as Darcy! Astounding as I wouldn't have believed anyone could be a better Darcy than Firth. That's the main reason I stayed away from this version for so long. Macfadyen's Darcy seems uncomfortable dealing with anyone on a personal level and appears to need the behavioral constructs of his social class in order to relate to anyone. He managed to retain Darcy's elitism without pushing it over into snobbery (my only complaint with Firth's Darcy is that he is SUCH a snob it seemed his good qualities wouldn't redeem him, not in my eyes anyway.)

I like the overall lighter feel of this version as well. I won't throw away any of my more dramatic versions, but I'll be adding this version to my keeper shelf for those days when I'd like a little more light romance and a little less angst and drama.

Review Date: 2/13/2012
Titanic
Titanic (1999)
Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Jason Barry
Release Year: 1999
Date: 1/19/2010 8:32 ET
3 of 7 member(s) found this review helpful.

Am I the only person who didn't fall in love with this film? It's good, I gave it 3 1/2 stars, but I found it to be far from fabulous. The quality of production design is exceptional, the sets are magnificent, the costumes look fabulous, most of the acting is quite good (disclaimer: I am partial to many of the actors involved in this film) but overall the story left me flat. For me, it's one of those films where the sum is somehow less than the parts. Worth seeing, but I won't sit through it again.

Review Date: 1/19/2010
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part I
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part I (0)
Actors: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Date: 2/13/2012 6:20 ET
4 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.

This contains spoilers, though how anyone could not know these things...

I knew going in this wouldn't really thrill me. It's from my least favourite part of my least favourite book in the series. (Bella & Edward get married! The Dress! Bella & Edward go on a honeymoon! The Sex! Bella gets pregnant! Yea! I really couldn't care.) This portion of the book served no purpose except to move the story forward from "what was" to "what needs to be" in order to come to an appropriate conclusion. The whole film could have been condensed into a first act, at most a first half. Anyway, the parts of the movie that have things like 'dialogue' and 'action' aren't bad, the music-video-montage parts (somewhere in the 40% of the film range) are just ghastly. If you fast forward through all the music videos, you can watch 45 minutes of decent prequel for the final film.

Review Date: 2/13/2012
The West Wing: The Complete Fifth Season
The West Wing: The Complete Fifth Season (2005)
Actors: Martin Sheen, Bradley Whitford
Release Year: 2005
Date: 1/7/2010 8:29 ET
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Compared to most television programs, The West Wing: Fifth Season is great TV. Compared to the first four seasons, not so much. Still, I'll be adding this to my keeper shelf as it is worthy of rewatching.

Review Date: 1/7/2010
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