‘Greyhound’ The New Tom Hanks Movie, Check Out The Trailer

Tom Hanks can’t seem to get enough. His new movie ‘Greyhound’ sees one of America’s favourite Kings of Hollywood star as Navy Commander Ernest Krause,

Source: ‘Greyhound’ The New Tom Hanks Movie, Check Out The Trailer

Emma (2020)

5 Kernels

Each time a movie is remade, I inwardly moan…”not another one.” Let’s face it. There have been multiple versions of Jane Austen’s “Emma” to grace the movie and television screens. Yet, after seeing this version, I must admit that talented individuals can take an old story and put a fresh coat of paint on top to give it a different and delightful color. Such is this 2020 version of Emma, directed by Autumn de Wilde. I will confess, that in all the other versions I’ve enjoyed over multiple times, this was the first to make me cry at the end.

First off, let’s talk about the story by comparing the one I loved before with Jeremy Northam and Gwyneth Paltrow released in 1996. It was a joy in its own right and well done. The new Emma has put a new spotlight on old characters, bringing them to life in a slightly different way.  Emma has more of a bite to her personality and an edge, played by Anya Taylor-Joy. Her father is more lively but still worried about drafts and people getting stick. Who cannot love Bill Nighy? Harriet is a bit more empty-headed than former ones. Mr. Elton is an absolute hoot of a character, along with his mouthy wife. Kudos indeed to Josh O’Connor for his take on Elton. Miss Bates has a bigger heart to injure by Emma’s rudeness. Wonderfully played by Miranda Hart. Frank Churchill is a bit more of an ass in character, thanks to Callum Turner. Mr. and Mrs. Weston are par for the course. Jane Fairfax is duller than dull, except that she can play the piano like none other. And then there is Mr. Knightley, who stole my heart immediately in spite of my former crush on Jeremy Northam. His mannerism, his voice, his expressions, and emotions were over the top.

This version has grit, comedy, and heart galore, and acting that is wonderful. I cannot sing enough praises for Johnny Flynn’s performance of Mr. Knightley. What a difference in how he handled the role, making him a vulnerable, love-sick man that brings you to tears as he stands at the altar with Emma about to be wed. His voice and mannerisms were spot-on Regency. The funny thing about this version is the tit-for-tat dislike between him and Frank Churchill, who barely say a word to one another for an entire hour but cast looks of dislike back and forth.

Do not expect the story to play out in the same scenes as the 1996 version, as they are all new in their own right. It takes nothing from the older version, except to give the viewers a newer perspective of where those conversations took place. Then there is the overall feel of the movie and its beauty and setting. The indoor lighting of candlelight is amazing in some scenes with no artificial hint of the modern-day. The outdoor country and country homes are gorgeous. Each detail is to perfection, like the scene where Mr. Knightley professes his love to Emma who is standing in front of a beautiful tree in bloom, in a white and green dress, with ribbons, that matches the beauty to perfection behind her. It’s what makes the movie visually stunning in scenes like these, almost taking your eyes off the characters. The costumes for both males and females are to die for, as well as the hats. The soundtrack is great from classical to quirky for each scene matched appropriately.

Oh, yes, you’ll see naked Johnny Flynn’s backside being dressed by his valet in a few quick seconds, and Emma lifting her dress to expose her bare bottom to the fireplace behind her (which bottom you do not see by the way). And a quite surprising nosebleed at the most inopportune time.

There isn’t a badly done note in this version, and I plan to see it again to enjoy it once more.  Well done!  Well done, indeed.  I hope that Autumn de Wilde decides to redo a few other Austen versions to give them a different flavor and new life. It will be a blessing for the generations to come.

 

If you want further reading, on the reasoning behind the characters and scenes, this explains a lot. “How Jane Austen’s Emma got the rock-star treatment it never knew it needed,” by FastCompany

1917 (Movie 2019)

5 Kernels

1917 is a winner and must-see movie of 2019. It’s a World War I story of two soldiers, Lance Cpl Schofield and Lance Cpl. Blake. Summoned from a sleepy moment in a grassy field, they are tasked by their commanding officer and given new orders. They must cross enemy territory and deliver a message of utmost importance.  If they fail, the lives of sixteen hundred men are at stake, including the brother of Lance Cpl. Blake.

The film is a masterpiece of cinematography, musical score, and acting that grips the audience from the moment the orders are received until they are miraculously delivered, averting a catastrophe. Directed by Sam Mendes, the film deserves its recent Golden Globe awards and no doubt soon to be received Oscars. There are cameo appearances from Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Madden, Mark Strong, and a host of other famous faces that may surprise you. Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay play to two servicemen in an outstanding performance that must have been grueling and physically challenging to film.

The filming of the show gives the audience a unique perspective as the crew unendingly follows the two men, attempting to deliver a message. You feel as if you’re running through trenches, walking in mud, crawling in mud, climbing over dead bodies, and dodging enemy bullets. Some of the scenes are so eerily portrayed, such as nighttime in a destroyed city with flares bursting overhead, that it keeps you in awe of the screen. The musical score is also riveting and so well done. Of course, there is death all around.  Young men killed in the prime of their lives. A war that some don’t understand why they are fighting. The movie tells it like it was, and reminds us that even today they are still discovering bodies buried in the mud of Belgium and France.

Highly recommend the film. As of writing this post, it has won:

  • Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Director
  • Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Director
  • Critics’ Choice Award for Best Editing
  • Critics’ Choice Award for Best Cinematography
  • Satellite Award for Best Cinematography
  • Producers Guild of Ameria Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture

If you would like to read more about the making of the film, visit ScreenRant.Com.  Also, this YouTube video with these behind-the-scene shots.

 

Vera Season 10: Release Date & Where to Watch  

Vera returns for Series 10 in 2020. Yeah!  Four episodes coming our way.  Season 10 begins airing   January 12 in the UK and January 21 on BritBox for us USA folks.  Read more below.

Source: Vera Season 10: Release Date & Where to Watch – I Heart British TV

Sanditon Won’t Return for Series 2 on ITV – Radio Times

Although now likely, ITV’s cancellation doesn’t necessarily mean Sanditon will be forever lost at sea. As Davies told us: “The American co-producers are very keen to do a second series – we’re still living in hope.”

Source: Sanditon cancelled and won’t return for series 2 on ITV – Radio Times

Dangling more carrots in front of our nose.

Sanditon (ITV/PBS) Coming Soon to PBS

5 Kernels

UPDATE: Sadly, in spite of my encouragement written below in my earlier post, ITV has decided to axe Sanditon for a second season, stating the season struggled in ratings.  It’s a shame, frankly, because ITV made a huge mistake with this fantastic potential of a new Jane Austen adaptation.  Sadly, the writers gambled on a second season and therefore left the story open and unresolved, which is now their shame and defeat.  Unless another network picks it up, I’m afraid this will go down in history as the most disappointing period drama ever filmed.  (News released December 10, 2019)

January 12, 2020, PBS Masterpiece will be showing Sanditon in the United States. It has already aired in the United Kingdom and a few other places.  Those who have watched the series are biting their fingernails, waiting for the reaction across the pond that may or may not determine an announcement whether there will be a season two.  Hold onto your hats, ladies, and gents, because the ocean breezes can be strong. So what’s all the fuss about this fictional seaside resort? Well, let me explain.

Sanditon is based on Jane Austen’s unfinished novel. She died before finishing the tale. Screenwriter Andrew Davies decided to finish it, along with other writers who worked on the script and brought it to ITV in the United Kingdom earlier this year. The result of those eight episodes has stirred a storm like none other Jane Austen adaptation on screen thanks to the number of viewers that fall into two camps.

The Jane Austen purists were aghast at the storyline, as it contained nudity (bare male behinds running into the cold waters), too many sexual innuendos, free-flowing hairstyles, and men and women acting non-Regency style. (How dare he kiss her and not propose!) The ending added to the horror of it all, which I will discuss later.

In the other camp are throngs of women who have lost all senses and become absolute fanatics about the series. If you don’t believe me, you need to check out the Sanditon Facebook fan group.  I make no judgment about their often desperate and humorous posts. They only want one thing in life – a second season. Andrew Davies had the nerve to leave its viewers heartbroken in a very un-Jane Austen like ending with no happiness in sight.  How dare he? Well, the women of Sanditon fandom will hear none of it, and they have been on a mission to hound ITV, Red Planet Pictures, the stars, the producers, and whoever they can find to continue the story.  Will they?  Apparently, no announcement will be made until after it airs in the United States. Today the following was posted from the official Sanditon websites:

“We are so happy you enjoyed your trip to Sanditon! We are setting sail for the US and won’t have news to share with you on a second series until the show has aired there. In the meantime, thank you so much for all your support and love for Sidlotte!” (Official Sanditon Facebook Page)

Therefore, it is imperative that you, the viewers, become incandescently obsessed with this show or otherwise a deep depression will circle the earth because Charlotte and Sidney have no happy ending.

So, who are these characters? What is the story about?  Is it because dreamy Theo James, who plays Sidney Parker has actually given the infamous Mr. Darcy and run for his money?  I will let you be the judge of this man who at first has no redeeming qualities. However, in period clothing and with that face, what woman can resist him in spite of his faults? And he will flash his bottom as well, that is if PBS doesn’t edit that scene out. They better not, or there will be hell to pay!  {fans self}

Now that I have regained my senses…

Charlotte, the heroine of the story, in a chance encounter meets the Parkers who invite her to Sanditon. She’s innocent, outspoken, and absolute joy of a character, the eldest of more children than you can count. Her father allows her to accompany the Parkers to Sanditon but not without warning. “Be careful, Charlotte,” he says.  “Careful of what, papa?”  “Everything.”

Yes, there is much to be careful about, because the rest of the characters will leave a lasting impression. There are the grumpy aristocratic lady and her relations that can’t wait for her to die to get her money. Mr. Tom Parker, with tunnel vision, is the town’s entrepreneur who thinks only of himself, along with two hypochondriac siblings. There’s the mysterious Sidney, his other brother, whose slight twitch of a smile will make you swoon. He’s guardian to a rich heiress worth 100,000 pounds who can be a handful. Of course, what story doesn’t have its antagonist you love to hate? You will want to strangle Mrs. Campion, who by the way is married in real life to Theo James. Then poor Stringer, the victim of unrequited love. Many other characters will come onto the screen as well.

The series is well-acted, to say the least. Theo James and Rose Williams, who plays Charlotte, are fantastic in displaying their emotions. Andrew Davies and the writers have woven symbolism throughout the tale that you won’t pick up on until it’s all over and you lean back in your chair, grab a tissue, and sob. Then you’ll begin to ask yourself, what just happened? Why am I blubbering over this show? What has it done to me? Why can’t I sleep? Why do I need to buy a pineapple? Why do I have to run off and join the Sanditon Facebook Fan Group to find solace and comfort among others around the world?

Yes, Sanditon will do one of two things for viewers in the United States.  First, the purist Jane Austen camp will complain and refuse to accept this story with all the faults they can pick out. Others will lose their senses, get lost, swoon, go gaga over Theo James, and lose sleep until an announcement comes that season two will be filmed and released. After all, the story must go on! We need a ripe pineapple! Tom Parker’s debts have to be paid but not with Eliza Campion’s money. Sidney needs to come to his senses! Charlotte needs a happy ending!

Enjoy, Sanditon. Oh, and be careful.  Be very careful, of everything starting January 12, 2020.

Virgin River (Netflix Series 2019)

3.5 Kernels

Well, from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., I binged a new series on Netflix – Virgin River. Was it a waste of time or could have I been more productive finishing my laundry and vacuuming instead?  As guilty as I felt about sitting on my rear for so many hours in one day, with occasional bathroom, kitchen breaks, and a short one-hour nap, the show obviously kept my interest.

Virgin River is a romantic series, which Netflix has already commissioned a second season due to be released June 2020. Therefore, don’t throw your hands up in the air when you reach the last episode of season one, because more is coming your way.  The show is “loosely” based on a series of books written by author Robyn Carr, another lucky author (unlike myself) whose books are being brought to life on television.

The series is about Melinda Rose, a talented nurse played by Alexandra Breckenridge, who brings strength to the leading female character. Melinda has a terribly sad past and has experienced horrible heartache, all of which she is hoping to forget by taking a job in northern California. The fictional town of Virgin River is apparently two hours from Eureka, on the California coast. However, the show was filmed in British Columbia, and the scenery is far more mountainous than the actual location depicted. There are also shots of Eureka, but they are far from what Eureka looks like. After living there for eighteen months, I can tell you much about the place.  Nevertheless, setting aside the rather unrealistic locations, it’s worth tuning into.

During the series, there are multiple flashbacks to Melinda’s life, which are slowly revealed in each episode as to the reason she has left Los Angeles in an attempt to forget the painful memories of the location. It takes time to peel back the reason behind her hurt and pain. When she arrives in Virgin River, she meets an eclectic group of individuals. First, there is the seventy-plus year-old-doctor that she is supposed to support as a nurse. She quickly learns he doesn’t want her there and is being forced to take on extra help in his sole practice as the only physician in Virgin River. Then there is the mayor of the town, who pretty much tricked her into coming, who is a character in herself. As small towns go, she’s just part of a larger group of women who knows everybody’s business and can’t seem to stay out of anything in anybody’s life. Like a dog with a bone, you’ll soon find out that she is not the most likable individual.

The slow-burning romantic interest comes in the way of Martin Henderson, playing Jack Sheridan, the owner of the town bar. He has his own past of being a vet with post-traumatic stress disorder. He hires other vets to work for him at the bar and is intent on helping those who can’t get back into the swing of things after coming out of service, all to ease his own guilt of what happened in Iraq.  He immediately feels a spark of attraction to Melinda and quickly offers to help her get settled into Virgin River. However, he has his own surprise twist waiting in the wings. Melinda is extremely secretive with him about her past, and he doesn’t understand what she has been through into much later in the episodes.

There are other sub-plots through the series and characters to keep your interest from illegal pot growers in the mountains to a woman on the run from the law with her young son. These offshoots are merely fillers in the larger picture of Melinda and Jack’s journey to wholeness. Though some of the episodes have places to yawn, overall I found Virgin River to be entertaining and will tune to the second season.

As far as the heat level, think Hallmark clean. Very little swearing. No glaring sex scenes – just kisses. I found that interesting because a few of the book reviews complain about sexually explicit scenes or too much sex. Apparently, the screenplay writer decided otherwise. Fine with me.

Netflix Criticized For Appropriating Hallmark Christmas Movie Culture

It’s true!  I was cheesed into The Knight Before Christmas!

U.S.—Netflix has taken heavy criticism for committing the sin of cultural appropriation of cheesy Hallmark Channel Christmas movies.The accusations of cultural appropriation came as Netflix users noticed an increase in the number of corny, formulaic holiday films on the service. It was obvious, some say, that Netflix had appropriated the idea for the che …

Source: Netflix Criticized For Appropriating Hallmark Christmas Movie Culture

Midway (Movie 2019)

midway4.5 Kernels

Sometimes I really don’t understand critics or what they expect. Thank goodness, I didn’t listen to them and went and saw the movie after seeing the high audience rating. I don’t think I’ve ever shed a freaking tear at the end of a war movie but I did at this one.

My father served in the south Pacific during WW2 in the army. He was fortunate to come home alive. However, watching movies like this really takes an individual into the center of the horrors of war and being able to see and deeply appreciate the brave young men who turned the tide of the war around in decisive battles like Midway.

Needless to say, the visual effects were stunning and those dive-bombing fliers were something else. What brave men! The lack of character development complained about by critics is pish-posh. They failed to apparently read the credits at the end about the real men portrayed in this movie and their character who saved our country from possible invasion had we lost. I didn’t really care about the script complaints either. What I did care about, was the reminder and deep sense of gratitude this move left me with at the end when I departed the show, thanking lives long gone.

RIP brave men of Midway.

Kris Marshall on the clamour for follow-up to Jane Austen drama

ITV’s Sanditon finished last month with a broken-hearted heroine and many loose ends. But actor Kris Marshall has confirmed that he and the rest of the cast are on call to start filming a new series.

Source: Kris Marshall on the clamour for follow-up to Jane Austen drama

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