bennet_7: (TToI: Turning it all the way up to 11)
I really don't like Great Expectations. So naturally there are going to be two new adaptations of it next year.

First up we have the BBC's effort which stars Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham. The trailer is wonderfully atmospheric and contains a haunting version of "Carol of the Bells"...

...but do we need a eighteenth adaptation of this particular novel? Or a nineteenth that will be released in cinemas and have Helena Bonham-Carter as Miss H? I think not (though of course I will see them). There are plenty of other great novels that are out of copyright that have either never been adapted or haven't been done in thirty years, but instead we get the same four over and over again: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Great Expectations.

Much better news is that Peter Capaldi is joining season two of The Hour. That show just got more awesome and will hopefully help sate my longing for Malcolm Tucker and The Thick of It.
bennet_7: (I: I am Bertha try not to be Jane)
Honestly, I think we need another adaptation of Jane Eyre (this will make 22, 23 if you count I Walked With A Zombie, potentially 4 others in languages other than English) like we need another adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (11, potentially 12 if Pride and Prejudice and Zombies goes ahead) - not at all. Next year we'll also be getting our 16th adaptation of Wuthering Heights.

But, but...this new adaptation has Michael Fassbender as Rochester. Want. Badly.

Here's the new trailer.

I don't know yet what to make of Mia Wasikowska as Jane; as the character isn't supposed to be immediately appealing, it's hard to get an impression of her from a quickly cut trailer. I am glad to see that Jane's childhood is a big part of the trailer - hopefully that will be the same for the film.

But Fassy as Rochester has that undercurrent of dangerousness that I think was sorely missing from Toby Stevens' performance in the recent BBC version - he was a bit too hammy. Rochester is meant to be morally ambiguous, potentially a threat. He's never been a character that I've swooned over but he is fascinatingly complex, so yes, I'm looking forward to this.

Just checked out IMDB and the only adaptation of Vilette was in 1970 and you have to go back to 1922 to get an adaptation of Shirley. There has never been an adaptation of The Professor nor of Anne Bronte's Agnes Grey. Sure, none of those novels are as good as Jane Eyre but they're still great stories.


Dec. 31st, 2009 01:40 am
bennet_7: (GW: Does it say no smoking?)
I have not updated in ages because I've done so much writing for uni that I got a bit sick of it. But I've been watching a heap of great TV shows lately that I want to talk about even if I don't quite have time to go into detail.

Totally and completely love:

- The Thick of It. Imagine The West Wing except it's only half as long, British, a dark comedy, and monumentally profane. Like, I am not even joking about the language but it's funny because most of the f-bombs are dropped by a mad Scottish version of Rahm Emmanuel and everything is just funnier when said with a Scottish accent. You don't really need to know anything about British politics, but an appreciation for Machiavellian schemes would certainly help.

- Misfits. Everyone describes it as Skins meets Heroes and that certainly works. It's about a group of juvenile delinquents who, while doing community service, are caught in a thunder storm that gives them abilities or powers that are somehow related to their personalities. There's Kelly the punchy chav who can suddenly hear people's thoughts, Alisha the good time girl whose touch sends people into a sexual frenzy, frequently ignored Simon who can become invisible, and disgraced runner Curtis turns back time. Only the obligatory psychotic jackass Nathan appears to be unchanged but we find out eventually and it would spoil the finale to tell you.

The show is intelligent and real and because it's British it's not populated with former models. These kids can act and a couple of the characters are genuinely weird or disturbed.

Quite like:

- Cranford Revisited. Just a two part Christmas special with most of the characters returning plus a few new ones. It started out a little fluffy but then the Gaskell March of Death started up so I wouldn't be surprised if half the town died in the next episode. Still, if you have longed to see Andrew Buchan holding a small infant (and I know I have) then you get your wish.

- Doctor Who. I have such low expectations for RTD penned episodes that I generally like them ok. As usual, a rubbish plot was buoyed up by great performances. Bring on The Moff!

Good but probably won't ever watch again:

- The Thorn Birds. I bought this mini-series for my mum and we watched it all on Boxing Day and as it's 400+ minutes long and I hadn't seen it before, my mind was fried after. I thought it was good despite the fact that I didn't like most of the characters. I had no idea the relationship between Meggie and Ralph was so squicky (for those who haven't seen it, they meet when she's a child and he's in his late 20's and he acts as a father figure to her. So inappropriate!) Despite the fact that it was set in Australia, it was actually filmed in California and featured only one Australian actor so it didn't feel at all Australian to me. There was only one kangaroo! Still, my favourite part of it all is that Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown (that lone Australian actor) met on the set in 1983 and have been married ever since. The chemistry between them does sizzle.

Hope you all had a great Christmas and enjoy the New Year!
bennet_7: (1909: You can't tempt me with cakes)
I think Casualty 1909 is trying to win some 'Most Angsty Show on TV' award. Oh, the drama, it has killed me dead.

I love it to bits and I don't understand why more people aren't watching it (aside from the fact that it's a weird period drama that is currently only airing in the UK).

Official promo below:

If you are *ahem* interested in watching I can easily point you in the right direction.
bennet_7: (1909: You can't tempt me with cakes)
BBC 1 has just announced its Autumn line-up and there are quite a few shows I'm interested in. The Autumn promo can be viewed here where you'll also find a clip from the next Doctor Who special.

The press release is pretty nifty and if you click on pictures in the carousel there are clips to be watched. No mention of premiere dates yet. I'm liking:

- Emma, a new Jane Austen adaptation that is not by Andrew 'Wet Shirts' Davies. Hurrah for that! But I'm not completely charmed by the clips I've seen. I really love the Gwyneth Paltrow version - she's perfectly cast in that one. Who better to play a snobby, know-it-all patrician that Gwyneth? And Jeremy Northam is truly excellent as Mr Knightley. I am looking forward to seeing Tamsin Grieg in this new version as Miss Bates, though I can't see how Sophie Thompson's delightful performance will be topped.

- Garrow's Law. This one is a bit similar to my current crack Casualty 1909, in that it's based on real people and real cases tried at the Old Bailey in Georgian London. William Garrow pioneered the cross-examination of prosecution witnesses at a time when the witnesses received payment for assisting in a conviction. He played a huge role in creating the adversarial trial system that we have today. So yay! for more exciting social history on TV. Best of all, Garrow is being played by Andrew Buchan from Cranford and The Fixer. Lyndsey Marshal has been cast as a regular and it's a good bet that she'll be playing his fiancee/wife and hopefully she'll be cool too.

I shall probably check out Material Girl and Paradox too.

Heading back to the other side of the Atlantic, I watched Warehouse 13 from Sci Fi Syfy and was mostly bored. Still pondering 10 Things I Hate About You which I posted on yesterday. I need to watch it and discuss it with my sister or the BFF.
bennet_7: (1909: Laura does the right thing)
Nurses are all over TV at the moment. There's Nurse Jackie on Showtime, HawthoRNe (I see what you did there) on TNT, and NBC will have Mercy in a couple of months. But if you want my opinion (and as you're reading my LJ, I'm kinda guessing you do), you should be watching the BBC's Casualty 1909 which is about the London Hospital in the East End in 1909. The characters and cases are taken from records, journals, and letters so it's basically RPF if you enjoy that sort of thing, and watching the development of modern procedures is really fascinating.

Fair warning though: it can be quite gory - I find that British shows are generally more so than their American counterparts - but it's not gratuitously so. And it can be quite angsty as people die or are forced to be prositutes or they die or they have horrible untreatable skin conditions or they die.

But still, it's very good TV with lots of strong female characters and a few decent guys who manage to appreciate them (try not to get me started on the wonderful Dr Millais Culpin or we'll be here all night). There was a sort of pilot episode in Casualty 1906 which led to three episodes of Casualty 1907. It's not particularly necessary to have seen those to enjoy 1909 but let me know if you're *interested*.

Anyway, here are some icons from the first two episodes of 1909. They've really stepped up the production values this time around and it's actually quite a beautiful show.

53 icons )
bennet_7: (Iron Man: Pepper/Tony dance)
Just a quick note to say that I am not dead. I am just finishing up my BA and preparing for Honours (I was invited! EEEEEEEEE! 15,000 words on 19th century literature here I come) so things have been hectic.

Here is a list of things I like:

- Royal Pains featuring Donna's Republican boyfriend and Ax from Animorphs. Only two episodes so far but I think it has potential. I particularly like Tucker and Libby. At the very least, it's light summer fluff and I need that some times.

- The trailer for Creation a new biopic about Charles Darwin. Suck it Intelligent Design!

Things I love:

- These cookies. I made them on Sunday and have had to keep them in my room so that my brother doesn't eat them all. Of course, my brother would still eat them all if they were mediocre cookies but they are not. They are ridiculously good. I cooked them a little longer than the recipe says to and I left out the raisins because you don't mess up a chocolate cookie with fruit! Try them. Try not to eat them all.

- Glee which is charming and funny and smart and not High School Musical the TV show. Definitely the new series I am most looking forward to.

- Hugh Dancy. Again. Some more. Watched Confessions of a Shopaholic for him. Stupid book turned into a slightly less stupid movie (and the book is really stupid). Cleansed my palate by watching Dancy in Daniel Deronda which is how I first fell in love with him. Hadn't realised that Jamie Bamber was also in that adaptation.

Bamber's horrible/hilarious period facial hair under the cut )

Things I don't like:

- The weather here in Australia can not make up its mind. It's winter. Be winter-y Australia!

Things that are taking way to long to download:

- Casualty 1909 which I am watching for a) the social history and interesting turn of the century medical procedures, and b) Millais Culpin/Ethel Bennet who are AWESOME and ADORABLE and SAVE LIVES.

If you like angsty, realistic period dramas then this one is for you.
bennet_7: (Iron Man: Oh Virginia)
Previous icon dump here. In this one we've got:

30 Rock: 5
Slings & Arrows: 2
How I Met Your Mother: 5
Rushmore: 5
The Office (US): 2
Aaron Eckhart: 1
Iron Man: 4
Chuck: 1
The Secret Garden: 2
Press Gang: 5
Emma: 12
Kiss kiss, bang bang: 23

67 icons )
bennet_7: (Press Gang: Spike & the image we project)
So I haven't posted in aaaages. Sorry about that. Partly, it's because I was working a really crappy job. I'd never been so miserable and so bored and so frustrated before and I didn't want to spew all that bile into this journal - LJ is my escape from real life.

I've gotten out of the habit of posting and I've found it hard to break the silence but I really want to get back into the swing of things. Any kind of writing is good for me, whether it's a 2,500 word essay on the cult of Amun in the New Kingdom or a paragraph on what I'm watching on TV at the moment, so I'm gonna try and do the latter a bit more (I did the former last semester and once was enough).

Right at the moment even a paragraph is beyond me so I'll take a baby step and start with a list of stuff I've been doing lately:

- Cooking. I've been baking, roasting, stir-frying, boiling, and leaving-to-cool-to-room-temperature a lot and I'm loving it. I've always liked cooking but I've started experimenting more, attempting my own recipes (with mixed results). Next time I make something impressive I'll post pictures.

- Reading Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens. I quite enjoyed the recent mini-series and the book is good to but it's very Dickensian - whole chapters about characters I don't like or don't care about and I struggle with those (though this isn't as bad as Our Mutual Friend. I refuse to give up but it's slow going.

- Re-watching The West Wing. The parallels between the campaign in season 7 and recent real life have me itching to skip forward but I'm still watching season 1 at the moment.

- Watching Being Erica (it has Eric from Wonderfalls!), How I Met Your Mother (spot the baby bumps!), Gossip Girl (why can't something good happen to Blair?), The Office (really good this season), 30 Rock (not so great this season), and Scrubs (oh dear lord but do I want that teal dress Elliot was wearing in the last episode).

What about you?
bennet_7: (Lynda)
Let's have a list of things that are quite awesome:

1. After approximately a million years, Elizabeth Peters has finally written another Vicky Bliss mystery and it is being published next month. I've always preferred her Amelia Peabody series but that has gotten a bit tired and stale of late, so I'm glad she's returned to the adventures of Vicky and the very swoon worthy Sir John Smythe (my crush on this character is epic). If you have no idea what I'm talking about here are the first five books in the series: Borrower of the Night, Street of Five Moons, Silhouette in Scarlett, Trojan Gold, Night Train to Memphis (1, 2, 4, and 5 are .lit, 3 is .html in a .rar).

I just finished re-reading Night Train to Memphis and it was amazing, partly because it is quite a good book but mostly because I've now been to most of the sites in Egypt mentioned in the book. Never before have I had that experience - of having been to the place that I'm reading about in a novel (well ok, I've read a couple of books that have been set in Sydney but it's not the same). When she described the pyramids and Sakkara and Karnak and King Tut's tomb (I agree, it's a disappointment) I didn't have to imagine what it's like - I know. Now that might not seem so amazing to people who live in places they also read about but it was a new experience for me - and one I rather enjoyed.

2. I was recently overcome with the desire to re-read a book that I had loved in high school but was faced with certain problems. Like that I couldn't remember the title. Or the author. Or the names of any of the characters. I had a vague idea of the plot which is that prince in a fantasy kingdom grows up with half a body and as his faithful companions die, body parts reappear. However, if you try typing that into Google you'll get a bunch of links to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Not helpful. Still, after much searching I discovered that it's called One for the Morning Glory and it's by John Barnes. Have now ordered a copy and am hoping it's as good as I remember (because I do remember it being very good).

3. Of the things that I am watching currently, I just finished re-watching the 2000 version of Wives and Daughters which is just a lovely adaptation of Gaskell's novel. It's one of Andrew Davies more restrained works - only one gratuitous wet shirt scene and it's almost a plot point!

4. Scans of the latest Invincible Iron Man have not yet appeared, which has me gnashing my teeth with impatience. When I fall for something I generally fall hard and I don't do well sitting around and waiting for my obsessions to come to me. Luckily, Comic Book Resources has the first 8 pages up which helps to take the edge off.

5. I started the great Press Gang rewatch of 2008 and am already onto the second season. It's not that I forget that this show is brilliant but I'm always reminded of it on rewatch. While Blink, The Girl in the Fireplace, The Forest of the Dead, and Jekyll are excellent examples of Steven Moffat's genius when it comes to pacing and structure and big stories, it's Press Gang that you really need to look to if you want to know what he's going to do with Doctor Who because Press Gang is all about characters and relationships and finding your way in the world. And it's got obsession and sacrifice and blaming yourself for the actions of others.

Honestly, the main reason I'm so excited about The Moff taking over Who is because I hope that it will give him the clout to bring about a Press Gang reunion special.

Random quote:

Spike: "You don't happen to be jealous of a girl I've never even met, do you?"

Lynda: "Of course I'm jealous, Spike. I wish I was the girl you've never even met."

Oh Lynda. Oh Spike. You're my favourite.
bennet_7: (curiouser and curiouser)
Thanks to a post in [ profile] bbccostumedrama I have learned of a new mini-series of War and Peace, produced by a bunch of European TV networks.

Initially was filled with glee and that feeling remained as I looked at the pretty pictures.

I'm not the only one who finds that ridiculously hot, right?

More )

As you can see I'm already mocking, which shows that my hope for the adaptation is over. Mostly because I saw this 8 minute ad for it:

It starts out awesome with Natasha and Andrei dancing and making cute, inter-cut with scenes of war, but quickly devolves into everyone speaking English with a variety of accents (some American *shudder*) with some awful dubbing alongside, and then Malcolm McDowell shows up as Andrei's father and I burst out laughing.

The casting is so odd. Clémence Poésy is French and plays Natasha who is Russian but does so speaking English. The guy who plays Andrei is Italian. Malcolm McDowell and Brenda Blethyn are the only two English actors in the whole production but they seem so out of place, even in that ad. The rest of the cast is a mix of Russian and French but they're all speaking English. It's really weird considering that this isn't produced by English speaking countries. Maybe they wanted a more global appeal, but I would rather watch the characters speak French and Russian as they do in the book.

And yet I find myself looking forward to watching this, if only to mock.
bennet_7: (Steve Holt!)
I haven't posted in aaaaaages. Sorry about that. Life has been weird.

Item the first: Back at university. This is actually my third week and it's all just going so fast. I'm taking a unit on Shakespeare, a unit on the theory of Comedy (Moliere and the Marx Brothers, woo!) and a unit on revolutionary and Napoleonic Europe. I should really be studying right now as I have a debate on Friday. My team is arguing that pre-revolution France wasn't actually so bad ;-)

Item the second: Got a new job today. I'm going to be waitressing at one of the best restaurants in the country. Seriously. It's won that award twice. The head chef has been awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (France's highest culinary award) and he's been knighted (Chevalier Dans L'Ordre National du Merite).

Question: Should I curtsy when I start next week? Or just kiss his shoes and thank him for giving me this job?

Item the third: I was surprised to discover that three Austen novels have been turned into new mini-series: Persuasion, Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park. The official website is also up and running with trailers and galleries.

(Sense and Sensibility is in pre-production.)

Mansfield Park airs this Sunday and stars Billie Piper, James D'Arcy and Blake Ritson (I loved him on Red Cap). Mansfield Park is not one of my favourite Austen novels and I'd never pictured Billie Piper as an Austen heroine (a Dickens character sure) but I'll still be downloading it.

I'm a lot more excited about Northanger Abbey which is my third favourite Austen novel (after Pride and Prejudice and Emma) and was scripted by Andrew Davies who wrote the screenplay for the definitive and most wonderful version of Pride and Prejudice ever committed to screen (SHUT UP Keira Knightley! Go jump in a lake except don't because Colin Firth already did and it was awesome. Take your bangs and never darken my doorstep again!). Then again, Davies also wrote the 1996 version of Emma starring Kate Beckinsale which was entirely sucky and some of it can be blamed on the script. Hmm.

I'm also not much of a fan of Persuasion which lacks so much of the Austen wit. However, this version will star Rupert Penry-Jones in all his prettyness (Side-note: The new season of Spooks starts this friday for those in Oz) and Anthony Stewart Head.

Anyway, here are some pics, courtesy of [ profile] jellybeanie87, of all three productions.

Click! )


bennet_7: (Default)

February 2012



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