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Redux-Jane Eyre---and also William Hurt

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Charlotte Bronte's gothic classic of love, madness and ultimate redemption. We have no less than 6 copies available at CPL. IMDB lists no less then 23 versions, so if brooding tortured souls are your thing you might want to see if you can get your hands on some of those more obscure offerings for comparison. Or just stick with our six as several of them are mini series and offer more than a watered down 90 minute retelling of the book. Coincidentially Mel did an ealier Redux post on Wuthering Heights, by sister Emily. CPL also has a non-fiction A&E dvd on The Bronte Sisters.

Our first movie goes all the way back to 1944 and features Orson Wells as the dark and enigmatic Edward Rochester and Joan Fontaine as his timid but loyal Jane.

An A&E Home Video from 1997 with Samantha Morton and Ciaran Hinds (you'll know him when you see him- he played Julius Caesar in the excellent series Rome, Season 1 and 2---give this one a look while you're at---it's quite addictive); BBC from 1973 with Sorcha Cusack and Michael Jayston; from BBC in 1983 we have Timothy Dalton and company; and because BBC really seems to like remaking this we have a 2006 offerring with Toby Stephens, Ruth Wilson, and Francesca Annis; there is also a studio release from 1996 with William Hurt, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Joan Plowright, Anna Paquin---along with Orson, this is a personal fave.

I have always thought William Hurt an excellent dramatic actor and although this started out as a Jane Eyre post, I think I'll wander over into some of Hurt's best and kill two birds with one stone. In the 80's he was well entrenched on the A-list, being one of those movie stars who could also act. A string of hits, an Oscar nod and win on his first nomination for Kiss of the Spider woman, two consequetive best actor nominations followed---for Children of a Lesser God and Broadcast News, and then --well,not so much. Although he has managed to stay busy,he never maintained or regained his earlier status and is typically just in supporting roles these days, never headlining. And that is too bad, because this guy knew how to command the screen. Along with the aforementioned, also check out the excellent Body Heat (featured in my earlier Gotcha post); stylish Russian thriller Gorky Park; perennial favourite The Big Chill; and popular writer Anne Tyler's The Accidental Tourist. We are missing one of his best- Altered States- the 1980 movie that put him on the map- try to find this one, it's worth it. Any of these movies show you how good this guy is and why I still go out of my way to see him.

So here you are- Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, William Hurt, Rome, the Brontes and Gotcha! Hours and hours and hours of viewing.


Best Westerns IV: Seraphim Falls

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Pierce Brosnan in a western? Are you kidding? In Seraphim Falls, he's nothing like his charming Remington Steele or 007 personae. In fact, he's believable as a craggy former army captain on the run from a man determined to catch him at all costs. Liam Neeson plays his tormentor, and Angelica Huston makes an enigmatic cameo appearance, and why not? Her grandfather made a great cameo in another great western, Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Seraphim Falls is a sort of "To build a Fire" meets "Mantracker," and that's just the beginning of the movie. Add the pacing of "Dead Man" and the humor of Leone, and that's the essence of this story of the folly of revenge.

Charlie Chaplin

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Considered one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of American cinema, his numerous movies have remained hugely popular and even reached cult status worldwide for close to 100 years.

His personal life was subject to as much scrutiny as his films---he fathered 11 children with 4 different wives (his last a 17 year old to his 54); he was investigated in the 1940's by FBI chief J Edgar Hoover and the House Un-American Activities Council; his identification with the left ultimately forced him to resettle in Europe during the McCarthy era in the early 1950s.

He was ranked #10 Greatest Male screen legend in 1999 by The American Film Institute. He received a knigthhood and won three Academy Awards. He directed and starred in four of the American Film Institute's 100 Funniest Movies: The Gold Rush (1925) at #25, Modern Times (1936) at #33, The Great Dictator (1940) at #37 and City Lights (1931) at #38. The Great Dictator was both critisized and heralded for its humorous caricature of Hitler. His 'little tramp' is one of most widely recognized and beloved characters of all time. It has even been suggested that Adolph Hitler was well aware of how loved Charlie was throughout the world at that time, and this was the reason he grew the Chaplin moustache: he thought it would endear him to the people (Source: The Tramp and the Dictator).

In 1919, he and fellow director D.W. Griffith, and the silent screen legends Doulgas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford founded United Artist studio(UA), the better to control their own destinies during the emerging studio system. He served on the board of UA until the early 1950s. Regardless of the ups and downs of his personal life there is no denying his genius as director, actor, composer, song writer, coreographer and producer.

The four listed above are all excellent---also consider The Kid, a 10/10 on the sob-o-meter; The Essential Charlie Chaplin featuring 4 shorts; Charlies Essanay Comedies, volume1,2,3 (The Essanay Film Manufacturing Company was an American motion picture studio best known for its series of Charlie Chaplin comedies of 1915); Unknown Chaplin. We also have numerous books on the man and his films. Use Charlie Chaplin as your search term in our on-line catalogue to bring up everything CC, or follow this link.

Contest- True Grit Passes

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Attention all you Coen Brothers fans---and we know there are a lot of you out there---answer this easy peazy skill testing question to win a double pass to an advanced screening of the Coen's new release. That's right, True Grit - starring last years Best Actor Winner Jeff Bridges---also featuring Matt Damon and Josh Brolin. This is a remake of the 1969 John Wayne classic, and the trailers on this looks 'real fine' .

The pass is for two people to attend either Monday December 13 7:00 or Wednesday December 15 at 7:00 at Empire Studio 16 on Country Hillls Blvd and there is more than one double pass available to be won. A big Movie Maniacs thank you to Paramount Pictures for these passes.

Your question is: name any other Coen Brothers movie that CPL carries. You will need to sign on to the COMMENTS field at the bottom of this post in order to send in your answer-and don't forget to LEAVE A NAME AND PHONE NUMBER WHERE WE CAN REACH YOU AND SPECIFY WHICH DAY. Please enter only if you can attend as the more passes that actually get redeemed, the more we will be able to offer in the future.

Good Luck!


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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For many it is, for others it's just the most hectic, busy and even dreaded time of the year. Whether you want to fully particpate in the season or you would rather just watch it, check out what CPL has to offer. I did a list of my faves in 2008, so just click on this link for these previous recommendations. And to see what is new this year- and there is a lot- use Christmas DVD as your search term. There are close to 300 titles available! If Christmas is not your thing click on any of our tags on the left and bring up hundreds of other themes, directors, actors, and titles, all viewed by your bloggers and all good bets.

Leslie Nielsen

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Canadian funny man Leslie Nielsen has just died at the age of 84. His career spanned nearly 60 years and although he started as a serious actor and leading man he will forever be known for his lighter comedic rolls and his dead-pan serious delivery of absurd one liners. He appeared in many movies and during the 60's, 70's, and 80's there was hardly a television series that he did not guest on, including but not limited to: Wild Wild West, Hawaii Five-o (1970's), The Love Boat, Murder She wrote, Highway to Heaven and Due South ( all television series which CPL carries, although you will have to spend some time searching for the Leslie episode!). Interestingly, he started his career as an announcer at a Calgary radio station--- hired on the spot for his mellifluous voice.

Check out Forbidden Planet for a look at the serious actor; also Men with Brooms; The Naked Gun, The Naked Gun 33 1/3; Airplane. We have no circulating copies of Naked Gun 2 1/2.