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Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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So I saw Water for Elephants
key to the kingdom
cleolinda
...rather early in the day, because my mother's off work today and she wanted to beat the fangirl rush. Our 10:50 am audience was mostly middle-aged-or-older women with a couple of similarly-aged men--until 10:55, when four teenage girls strolled in. "Ah, the Twibabies," observed my mother. "I guess they slept in." Perhaps this is why they put the Selena Gomez trailer last and put the Two Brothers Who Are Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy Ultimate-Fighting Each Other!! trailer first. Now, why they put Mel Gibson and his British beaver puppet in the middle, I don't know. That entire array of previews was weird.

Thoughts:

This really is a beautiful movie. It's a movie that knows people are fascinated by the strange nomadic glamour of the circus as much as--perhaps more than--anything they actually see from the seats, and that this glamour was never again quite as piquant or poignant as it was during the Depression. This is a movie about finding beauty even after you've hit bottom. This movie contains the most beautifully photographed horseshit I have ever seen. Go on, quote that for the DVD cover. You can thank me later. *finger guns*

If you like Robert Pattinson: you will enjoy this. Look, I keep seeing reviews (well, not Ebert's; he gave it three stars) that say he can't act, and I just don't get that. Is it that some of these critics--both male and female, yes--so resent having to watch That Twilight Guy at all that they're not actually watching him? I'm not saying he's Olivier, but he does a really good job of conveying what the character is thinking with his eyes. He's an actor meant for closeups rather than the stage, I think. Good news, guys! This happens to be a movie. Of course, I also think Orlando Bloom is a better actor than he's given credit for, and that he turns in some really beautiful work in the last scene of the second POTC movie. Apparently the acting of young heartthrobs exists at such a high pitch that only dogs and I can hear it, or something.

If you do not like Robert Pattinson: you may still enjoy the numerous scenes where he gets his face beat in (maybe this was the connection to the Ultimate Fighting movie).

I kind of got the feeling that Christoph Waltz might have been slightly phoning it in--you get to do that, when you're Christoph Waltz--and yet he is still pretty creepifying. You're going to sit down and start watching this and you're going to be like, "What is she talking about, he doesn't seem so bad...?" Just wait.

I do question his character's life choices, though. Yeah, you've got a glamorous young blonde wife who goes around riding animals in skimpy sequined leotards. You've just hired a strapping young vet student. Let's clean him up, put him in formal clothes, and make him spend a lot of champagne-soaked time with her. I don't see how this could possibly go wrong.

There are plenty of scenes with the elephant, and yet I feel like there must be further, more substantial elephant scenes that got cut. Of course, I would buy a DVD just to see more about the animals. (How, exactly, do you train an animal to not respond to commands? Like, how do you train Tai the elephant to know that "Rosie" the elephant isn't supposed to understand them? Do you just make sure that you word the two sets of commands differently? I have many questions about this.)

I confess, there is (CRYPTIC SPOILER) a moment involving a stake where I could only imagine a particular character shrieking, "NOOOOO! I'M NOT THE VAMPIRE! HE IS!" Yeah, but do you feed the elephant whiskey? No, you feed the elephant beatings. I know whose side she's taking.

So, like I said on Twitter, it's a really sweet movie; there is some extended heartwarmingness there at the end, in fact. It's a very old-fashioned romance of a movie, and kind of a nice palate cleanser before we get into the next four months of aliens and robots and explosions.

Tomorrow: I may or may not get to see Jane Eyre. I'm going through a bit of a manic rough-around-the-edges swing again, so I'm trying to work as much (and as quietly) as possible.


ETA: My mother wants to go on record as saying that she "really, really liked it."




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I do confess that I want to see this movie just to see if Robert Pattinson can summon up another expression other than *brooding glare* (which seems to turns into *slightly constipated* half the time anyway). I miss the happy-go-lucky grin of Cedric.

I know his character goes through a lot in this movie, but please tell me he doesn't just brood throughout the whole thing, as that's the overall sense I'm getting from the trailer and commercials.

I dunno, he looks pretty broody in the commercials I've seen....

You have trained your mother well. :-) Thanks for the review. I wasn't interested in the movie at all at first, but the more I see and hear of it, the more intriguing it sounds.

Hope you feel better, and hope you like "Jane Eyre" if you go. I thought it was very good.

Movies about the glamour of the circus are right up my alley, but I'm conflicted about whether to spend money on this or go see Hanna again, because I REALLY WANT the latter to do well, and while I'm sure WfE is a nice movie, it just doesn't have a female dominated cast and baby lesbians. Sometimes you gotta prioritize, you know?

I'm very interested in this movie due to seeing the commercials a ton so its nice to hear a positive review. It makes me want to see it even more!

I loved the book, excited to see the movie. Alas, probably not happening this weekend.

The movie sounds interesting, but I've been wary, because one review (and this one) mentioned animal harm--can I ask, how bad is the animal abuse in this one?

It's upsetting in that you know it's happening, but you don't really see it. Like, you know that the elephant is getting beaten really badly, but it's inside a closed train car, and you're watching everyone else cry and/or rage over it outside. And you see the wounds being tended afterwards. It's a very gentle PG-13 movie, generally speaking, not a verging-on-R. It might be upsetting for personal reasons, but IMO, it was relatively well handled.

I had a feeling when I read the book (which I thought was just ok--I think my expectations were too high) that the story would make for a pretty good movie. I'll probably wait for the DVD, but I'll definitely see this at some point.

I wasn't blown away by the book either. It was a good story and well told, but something about it left me wondering why it was getting all this praise. Usually I keep the books that touched me or that I know will require a reread. I had no problem selling this one to a used bookstore.

The movie looks beautiful, though. I may just have to see it in the theater.

Oh, geez--I saw it in advance last night, and I didn't have trailers, but that sounds like a good thing; I don't need to see The Beaver or The Fighter 2.0 again, thanks. Even if Hardy's accent is basically flawless.

I quite agree about Rob--it's easy to forget, but when he has normal skin and normal eyes and actually smiles and laughs and has a personality, he is really very charming. I bought his chemistry with Reese, and all the scenes where he was being an adorable animal-lover totally had me grinning like a dope. Aww, R-Pattz.

Well, in the book, August's...motivation is a little better explained, kinda (hidden for spoilers, but it doesn't really change anything from the film): >>he's explicitly said to be a paranoid schizophrenic.<< So it sort of makes sense that he'd be unpredictable and want to keep Jacob unnaturally 'close' to keep an eye on him, etc. (And it only encourages my feelings that the book is way similar to Sophie's Choice, with its hardcore OT3 vibe and similar dynamic. But that's just me.)

And my audience applauded that stake part. I so knew they would. Enjoy Jane Eyre!! I quite loved it.

OKAY BECAUSE IT TOTALLY LOOKED LIKE THE FIGHTER TO ME AS WELL. I feel better now.

all the scenes where he was being an adorable animal-lover totally had me grinning like a dope

This is why I want to see more scenes with the elephant. I feel like there have to have been more.

I loved the book and I've been wary about the movie. However, my concern was more on Reese's side than RPattz because I always imagined someone more waiflike and younger as Marlena. I'll probably end up seeing it at some point anyway.

You should absolutely try and see Jane Eyre. It's definitely one of the darker versions I've see and I loved loved loved the atmosphere. Plus, then that'd make it an Inglorious Basterds weekend, and what is better than that?

I'd heard she was younger than him in the book, but it works for me in the movie--you get the feeling that August scooped her up when she was young, and life with him is aging her, and Jacob is her way out.


Sounds ace. I agree that RPattz is an actor who can actually, y'know, act.

That Beaver movie looks like an abomination. And I'm still amazed that Jodie Foster and "Get Off My Lawn!" are friends...

I just. The Beaver. I can't even. What.

Apparently the acting of young heartthrobs exists at such a high pitch that only dogs and I can hear it, or something.

XDDDDD

How, exactly, do you train an animal to not respond to commands?

I think it's more like the elephant is only trained to listen to that guy off camera- the Elephant Trainer.

Trufax: Many exotic animal trainers have their own specifically developed lingo that they use on their animals so the tourists cannot accidentally tell the elephant "fetch" or something. :P

I am told that police dog trainers tend to teach the police dogs commands in extremely badly-pronounced foreign languages for pretty much the same reason (only substitute 'crooks' for 'tourists').

I've loved this movie ever since the interview where Rob talked about the Zen-like calm he experienced when one of the elephants picked him up with her trunk and put him in her mouth. Because that boy is on ALL THE DRUGS.

I saw a picture of that! Just holding him in the air upside down, he's not like six feet tall or something, no big. It was the same elephant, IIRC. Because she looooves him. Seriously, she can't keep her trunk off him the whole movie. It's just totally adorable, the whole thing.

Of course, I also think Orlando Bloom is a better actor than he's given credit for, and that he turns in some really beautiful work in the last scene of the second POTC movie.

Oh YES. It's too bad when someone is SO pretty that the skill and subtlety of his acting is totally overlooked.

THANK YOU

It always makes me feel like a delusional fangirl--like I am literally seeing things that are not there--when I think someone's pretty good and everyone else is like, PRETTY BOY/GIRL CAN'T ACT.

On the flip side, I honestly have not spent a whole lot of time watching Megan Fox act, but so help me, if I thought she was good in a particular scene, I would say so. This isn't just about defending attractive guys.

Yeah, you've got a glamorous young blonde wife who goes around riding animals in skimpy sequined leotards.

*pictures elephant in skimpy sequined leotards*

You know, I sat there and thought about rewriting that sentence, and finally just went, "Oh, why not, someone's gonna have fun with that." Heh.

I might go watch this then, I've needed to go to the movies for a while.

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