Barbara Leigh-hunt

Barbara Leigh-hunt

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Pride and Prejudice (1995) Review


Excellent
Most film adaptations of classic books are inferior to the books they are based on. This is partly because the written word allows more nuance than the camera, but also because great books don't always have enough plotting or action to make great movies, and film adaptations often overcompensate by rewriting the book in a quest to make it more cinematic. The most obvious recent example (speaking of quests) is The Lord of the Rings: Peter Jackson omitted key scenes, changed others, and generally jacked up Tolkien's fanatically-loved bestseller for no good reason.

So it's an achievement when a famous book makes it to the big screen, or the small screen, intact -- and kudos must go to the A&E/BBC miniseries Pride and Prejudice for flawlessly recreating the classic Jane Austen novel. This production is as faithful to the book as Cliff notes (though at five hours long, it's not much of a time-saver -- you might as well read the book). The filmmakers fill in the off-camera scenes of the book so seamlessly that Austen might have written them herself.

Continue reading: Pride and Prejudice (1995) Review

Frenzy Review


Excellent
One of Hitchcock's final movies is also one of his goriest -- his first R-rated feature -- and most dryly funny. The story's a relatively straight-up crime drama; we know who the bad guy is from the start -- Jon Finch, playing the Necktie Murderer. But he's framed another guy for his crime spree. Meanwhile, inspector Oxford (Alec McCowen) is on the case, and when he isn't tracking down clues, he's eating the increasingly questionable cooking of his trying-hard-but-failing wife. It's Hitch's last great film (he made one more movie and died eight years later), and proof that he still had his form -- last seen put to good use in 1963's The Birds.
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