Lilo & Stitch Movie Review

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Review:

One of the most under-rated Disney movies, in my opinion. The wacky hijinks of little Lilo and her alien “dog” are enjoyable and often laugh-out-loud funny (“Oh good, my dog found the chainsaw”) but the action and humor disguise a poignant message about the importance of family – both blood, and chosen. “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.”

My rating: 4 Stars (4 / 5)

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Much Ado About Nothing

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Review:

Not Shakespeare’s best play, but one of my favorites due to the awesomeness of Beatrice and Benedict, one of the world’s best written bickering couples ever. Here, the pair is played brilliantly by Kenneth Branaugh and Emma Thompson, who were married to each other at the time it was made and have always had great chemistry.

The rest of the cast is also great (with one or two puzzling exceptions) and the resulting film is frothy and fun and full of beautiful, sunny Tuscan scenery to boot.

My rating: 4 Stars (4 / 5)

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Shakespeare in Love Movie Review

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Review:

Stoppard and Shakespeare is a magic combination. Witty dialogue, romance, great acting, zillions of literary allusions, beautiful costumes… what’s not to love?

My rating: 5 Stars (5 / 5)

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Emma (2009)

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Review:

I’ve only seen bits and pieces of this version of Emma – with two young kids, it’s hard to find a spare six hours. 🙁

It looks great based on what I’ve seen, but the final verdict will have to wait, for now.

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Emma (1996) Movie Review

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Review:

I know it’s fashionable to hate on Gwyneth Paltrow, but though she does seem… annoyingly oblivious to reality in many ways, I can’t join in, because she’s been in too many of my favorite movies. So clearly, if nothing else, she has great taste in roles.

Emma isn’t my favorite Austen adaptation, but it’s pretty high on the list – charming, witty, romantic, and with a host of excellent performances, of which my favorites are the delicious Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley and Sophie Thompson (Emma‘s sister) as the spinster Miss Bates.

My rating: 4 Stars (4 / 5)

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The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Review:

Okay, okay, this is not so much a movie as an experience, but word is that there’s going to be a DVD release at some point (for the video elements of it, at least), so I’ll just call it a movie.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is, as you might have guessed, a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, set in modern times and told via the medium (mainly) of Lizzie’s YouTube video blog. Various other forms of social media, including Twitter and Tumbr, also got involved at various points, as did video blogs by other cast members (most notably Lydia).

They did a surprisingly good job of updating the story to the present day, and it’s all tremendous fun, with many laugh-out-loud moments and, yes, ultimately some appropriately swoon-worthy romantic moments. Highly enjoyable.

My rating: 4 Stars (4 / 5)

You should also check out the official website, which is the easiest way to keep track of all the various videos, tweets, Tumblr posts, Pinterest accounts, etc. associated with the story.

 

Bride and Prejudice

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Review: 

Not my favorite Austen update, but fun and enjoyable, with some fantastic music and dance numbers, as you’d expect from a Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice.

My rating: 3 Stars (3 / 5)

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Austenland

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Review:

I loved the premise of Austenland (Austen fangirl goes to Austen themepark), but the execution was sadly lacking. Most of the secondary characters were ludicrously overblown, which provided occasional funny moments from actors of the caliber of Jennifer Coolidge and James Callis, but was mostly just stupid and off-putting, with none of the wit or cleverness of Austen herself.

The characterization of Jane herself was inconsistent and entirely subject to the whims of the (contrived) plot. Martin and Nobley were little better. All in all, a disappointment.

My rating2 Stars (2 / 5)

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My Cousin Vinny Movie Review

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Review:

You know how some people can recite The Princess Bride backwards and forwards? That’s what this movie is like for my family. My Cousin Vinny combines courtroom drama with culture clash, great performances, and one of the funniest scripts ever written.

My rating5 Stars (5 / 5)

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