Friday, March 28, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl did not take my mind off Battlestar

First off, congrats to all the Rita and Golden Heart finalists. Secondly, anyone else excited that Spring is close. Looking out my window, I can see hints of green amongst grey snow. It’s enough to put a smile on my face, and speculate how I’m going to spend all day outdoors the first time the temp gets into the double digits.

Also with Spring comes the new and final season of Battlestar, and to show how pathetic I am when it comes to this show, I’m as excited as a kid the day before Christmas. So much so, Dh and I are watching seasons 1 through 3 to make sure we’re all caught up.

Because of this, I’m thinking about nothing else. It’s pathetic and I’m pretty sure if I create one more post on how much I love this show, Maureen and Molly are going to hunt me down and shoot me like the lame dog I am.

So I won’t.

Saw the Other Boleyn Girl the other day. Interesting movie, and some pretty good performances. Natalie Portman is always good, even Scarlett Johansen, who can be hit or miss for me, was good. But this movie to me was a classic case of the director screwing up. The first half of the movie felt like it was two hours cut into one, by basically taking each scene and shortening it down to three sentences. Very abrupt scene starts and ends and weird to watch. Especially when a lot of it could have been combined into larger, more complete scenes.

The second issue was the only person with a clear goal in the entire movie was the Natalie Portman character, Anne Boleyn. A clear goal identified to the audience at least. Everyone knows the base story. The King of England splits with the Catholic church to divorce his wife and marry Anne. But in the movie, the man making a lot of this happen, the king; his goals were really unclear. Sure, he wants Anne in his bed, but maybe he wants a son. We’re not really sure.
Mary, the sister, wants nothing to do with any of this, but one shared glass of wine and a hazy sex scene later and she’s in love with the king and sort of annoyed when he takes up with her sister. It’s all kind of bland.

Frustrating, because in the midst of all of it, there was the potential for a good movie there and from what I’m told, the book is great.

But I don’t care, because in a week, I have Battlestar..


Kimber Chin said...

Oh, good, so I wasn't in outer space when I saw this.

That's how I felt about The Other Boleyn Girl also. The montage of scenes at the beginning was distracting and I wasn't really cheering for anyone. Just a lot of random, disconnected action.

I think the director tried to do too much. Telling everyone's story (Anne, Mary, The King, The King's first wife) over a good chunk of their lives.

And then there was the lack of car crashes (joke... sort of).

Maureen McGowan said...

You are so right about that movie, Sinead and Kimber.

I thought I didn't enjoy it because The Tudors were doing a better job of it... But you're right. If they'd made the characters' motivations more clear, it could've been great. It made little sense. As you said, why did Mary fall in love with him? And if this is supposed to be the telling of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn through the women's eyes, they totally blew that. Isn't the book in Mary's POV? Her characterization and motivations were totally missing from the film. We so didn't care about her relationship with Henry. And the King was obsessed with having a son and yet he rejects Mary just as she gives him one, making is motivation muddy. That could've been heartbreaking if we believed he was really in love with Anne at that point and believed that Mary was in love with him... But I for one, wasn't convinced of either.

And they tried to tell too much story, as Kimber says. It degenerated into a too fast paced history lesson, covering in 2 hours what The Tudors hasn't even covered in an entire season... I wonder if The Tudors will even chop her head off in Season Two?

This film left me flat.

And Sinead, you can blog about BSG all you want. Does the new season really start in a week??? I'd better get watching my season 3 DVD's.

PS. I think it's amusing that you blogged about this movie without mentioning Eric Bana. Proves how much the film and his character disappointed you because i know of your Eric B love. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I do love Eric Bana, and he's really a hot Henry the eight, but didn't love the character at all.

Kimber, so glad you felt the same way. I walked out feeling meh.. two hours so so spent.

But BSG.. I've been a total fangirl, checking interviews and articles and any other info I can get on Season 4.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I read a great interview with the Phillipa Gregory saying that the movie was a great movie it just wasn't a movie about her book. The way that book came to be is a pretty amazing story - she found a footnote about a boat named Mary Boylen, found out the woman was married to a sea captain and that she was the sister of the famous boylen and then found out she was mistress to the king and actually rejected that life. Her point about the movie was that it was hard to resist the lure of Anne's story - lots of flash and blood. Good article I'll try and find it.

Anywho - husband was gone last night and I went and rented the first disc of season three and Sinead, it was all I could do not to call you last night at 11 pm when I finished watching it. Fracking show!! That show is why I love genre fiction and I think I'll wait until my blog to talk about it. I also rented Razor to watch today -- I can watch that now, right? It's not like it's part of the storyline?

Anonymous said...

I'd love to read the book, mostly because my friend who was with me had and was hugely disappointed in the movie and how it did not do the book justice.
They spent too long on set up, establishing characters, situations and not enough on the motivations behind the big decisions.

Molly, around 11pm we were finished disc 4 of season three. We fully expect to be done tonight, so my father can continue the obsession, he hasn't seen all of season three.

It is great genre fiction, and the reason why I love genre fiction, because when it's done well, it's superb entertainment.

JKB said...

Sinead, please do me the favor of bloggin about BG. I am an utterly, utterly devoted fan, and wel, I live in Germany. So think about the fact that I cannot catch the live streaming of the online stuff NOR can I watch it until about 6-7m months later, when I get the DVDs. it's an utter, utter waste.

Of course, I have all the blogs that are Battlestar insane. If you want them, I can list them.

It frakking rocks.

Or if you want, can you email me and tell me all about it if they won't let you post it? Please please please? I am desperate here. :)

Anonymous said...

JKB, my sympathies that you can't catch the new season this week, but I saw the first two seasons on DVD and to me that's still my preffered way. If I only had the self-control not to watch when each new episode airs.

I had started a blog this week about how Battlestar, which is such a plot heavy show does the most amazing character reversal of expectations.
My favs are Laura Roslin, the quiet-spoken former kindergarten teacher, who is absolutely ruthless when she needs to be. She Ok'd the genocide of the cylons, and stole a baby. love her.
As well as Starbuck, who is the hard drinking, hotshot pilot, and also the most deeply vulnerable character on the show.

Love it. Love that they create a first impression and turn it on it's head.

JKB, I could go on for days.. or at least another blog.
Do you want to know about episodes as they happen?

JKB said...

Oh gosh, it's hard to say. In a way I don't want to know at a way I want to know every detail.

I guess I'm mostly just glad you are as obsessed as me. I'm dying to see how chief and co. tigh handle being cylons. Dying.

Hmmm, maybe you should be mysterious abt it...darnit, I can't decide! Let me come back to you :)

Molly O'Keefe said...

WHAT!!!???!?!? Oh for crying out loud - on my own blog... I didn't know JKB. I didn't know. Will have to watch faster...

Maureen McGowan said...

Molly... the same thing happened to me yesterday, but from a different source. They were showing this short feature thing about the impact of BSG on pop culture... and whammo. The big reveal about 4 of the 5 remaining cylons. Frak. I need to get watching.

Wylie Kinson said...

I'm reduced to skimming your posts for fear of BSG spoilers. I'm only on season 1!!!!

As for The Other Boleyn Girl -- the book was very good. I purposely skipped the movie once the first few reviews came out because I didn't want it to spoil the 'good book' effect.

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