Friday, August 10, 2007

Movies opening this week

Becoming Jane (Anne Hathaway, James McAvoy, Julie Walters, James Cromwell, dir. Julian Jarrold)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
One of my former college classmates (and a current graduate student in English literature) is absolutely fuming about the existence of this movie and the myriad insults it pays to Jane Austen, who is one of this person's favorite authors. I don't quite share that outrage, given that I am a casual Austen reader at best (I read Pride and Prejudice in high school and Northanger Abbey in college), but I do see how this movie could be frustrating for Janeites, given its sort of reductive, belittling tone about Austen's skill as a writer. As a romantic drama, it's purely mediocre, but for a certain subset of literature fans, it could really be rather offensive. Opened limited Aug. 3; wide release this week

Stardust (Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, dir. Matthew Vaughn)
My review in Las Vegas Weekly
This was actually one of my most highly anticipated movies of the summer, although I haven't read the Neil Gaiman novel on which it's based. So I was disappointed in its mediocrity; it's all over the place plot-wise, too long and too unfocused. The leads don't really play well together, and the less said about De Niro's cringe-worthy performance, the better. Enough of the elements do work, though, that it makes it even more disappointing that it didn't all come together more successfully. Wide release

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