Saturday, April 27, 2013

What's Next On My List? The Conspirator

Thank you all for your support as we have reached over 40,000 views!

First of all, I know I said I wouldn't be able to write any time soon - but I have found about 40 free minutes, so be happy! Second, I also promised the next entry to be Wreck-It Ralph. Now, I wanted to write about that because it is an awesome movie, but it is also directed to one type of audience. By that I mean that most of my readers are my Hungarian friends for whom such stories don't have the same depth because it contains things that they did not grow up with. An easy example would be my brother, who was about 12 when we lived in the US and he grew up on games that are portrayed in it - meaning he got each and every joke. I am a bit worried that those who I know read my stuff won't enjoy it as much. Either way, I will talk about it later on, but now I wanted to quickly cover a movie from a complete different genre.

This semester I have a total amount of two useful classes, one of them is a lecture by the name of USA History 1. Just a couple of weeks ago we covered the Civil War and the very first thing that popped into my mind was this movie, after the teacher mentioned that we should check out Spielberg's Lincoln (2012).
But that is not the only reason why I am writing about it. After seeing it I checked out a couple of comments on imdb and I realized that many people didn't get what the movie was about at all! And that bothered me a lot, because I am a big fan of Robert Redford as a director, so I would like to tell everyone (reading) what my interpretation of the movie was.

The story is set after the Civil War, we begin with President Abraham Lincoln being shot by John Wilkes Booth. During the night, many of his accomplices are arrested, among them Mary Surratt, the mother of one of the supposed conspirators on the President's life. She is charged with being part of the conspiracy, as her son and his friends discussed the assassination of the President, the Secretary of State and the Vice-President in her home.
A lawyer, a soldier in the war, Frederick Aiken is assigned as her defense. The movie plays a bit with the viewer, as it is one of those historical happenings that we were never able to prove properly. Surratt claims that she didn't know, but the viewer and her lawyer both must ask themselves how could she not? Things complicate when Aiken starts to believe that she isn't guilty, but it seems that the government is keen on putting her away just the same. All this with the excuse of giving people the vengeance they need for losing their President. Although Aiken seems to be able to get her a simple sentence and a chance to be given a fair trial. However, at the last minute she is charged either way and is hanged.

Now, the key words I've mentioned above are the basis of the movie: Give people a fair trial. (And with a jury, something that is also included in the Bill of Rights!) Historical movies can always be taken ambiguously, mostly because there are two sides to every story, especially if we don't have every single fact proven for sure. I will agree that the movie portrays the government as a bit of a bad guy, in comparison to the lady. But people were offended that she is portrayed as victim. Yet, when you think about it, she is: On one side her son just planned to kill the President. On another, she has never been given a chance to prove her innocence. Her son is missing and they simply needed to convict someone and she was the easiest target. At the end of the movie there is even mention of her son being arrested later on, but then let go because of insufficient evidence - or as far as I am concerned, they just simply didn't care anymore. She died, in the end, for nothing really as her being guilty was never properly proven, even though they knew her son was a conspirator. Yet, the lack of evidence didn't seem to be a problem when somebody had to be blamed.
What is wonderful about the movie is not really that you feel bad about Mary Surratt, or that you want vengeance and you agree with governments approach of the whole story. It is actually how much you are able to follow and care for the main character: Frederick Aiken. He too begins this trial believing that the person he is supposed to protect is guilty. Gradually he becomes suspicious and starts to believe her. This isn't necessarily brought on because she is miserable (and she is as we reach toward the end of the film), but because he starts to see that the whole trial is just an excuse. An excuse to give people what they want that is - seeing for example a current problem with the VP Andrew Johnson taking over and he was not a big favorite (I would like to say here, that I learned a lot about Johnson in my classes, and I very much wish to shine my knowledge, but I won't right now because it isn't important as far as the review goes). So not only it was a means of avoiding further conflict, but it also it gave sense of justice to the public. It pretty much taught the lesson that if you behave badly, there will be consequences and you cannot run from them (of course, unless you are Mary Surratt's son!).
So, all in all the most compelling about the movie was Aiken's struggle to make sure his client is given what she deserves, and in the end, she was not. Based on the reviews and comments I have read, people blamed Redford for making a murderer look like a victim. That comment is definitely arguable. First of all, whether or not you view Surratt as a victim is entirely up to the viewer. She of course lives in a prison throughout the trial! It isn't hard to feel bad for her. But in the end, there are also indications that she might be just faking her ignorance of the obvious facts. I believe that there is a very fine line between the two ends and Redford worked with them perfectly. The comment that I mentioned above is typical of people who are way too much nationalists and don't actually realize when somebody isn't trying to hurt their feelings but talk to them like civilized adults.

Let alone the fact that James McAvoy looks really sexy in this movie, it is also very enjoyable for anyone who likes crime or historical movies is going to be a big fan of this film. Keep in mind that it will leave you with questions and although many hard facts are given, still, as I mentioned above, there is an ambiguity to each character and each motivation. Not to mention the evidences brought up in trial and how Aiken shifts from the offensive to the defensive - even at the cost of his friends and his good name for protecting an alleged conspirator.

So, did I make you interested? I hope I did. I always love these kind of movies that give you reason to look up the actual history behind it. Another one of these for me was The Iron Lady (click here to read my review!), or The Other Boleyn Girl - which was presented from just one side of the three main characters and was also in big part completely fiction. But that is not bad in the sense that it made the viewer curious enough to read, do research and learn as much as they can about the source material. Now, that coming from me, who hates history as a whole, not to mention classes and lessons (for the exception of this awesome lecture!) - saying that it made me curious enough to read up on them is very big! (I also hate reading xD - I'm big on writing!)

Coming up, I need to watch a couple of movies for my exams. Among them a few classics - that I don't want to reveal because if I can't or don't want to write about them, I would feel weird about having mentioned them beforehand. What I am looking for and I do want to write about is Lincoln (2013), so even if not the next, but that review is shortly coming up! Stay tuned!
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Frederick Aiken - James McAvoy
Mary Surratt - Robin Wright
Edwin Stanton - Kevin Kline
Anna Surratt - Evan Rachel Wood
Reverdy Johnson - Tom Wilkinson
Nicholas Baker - Justin Long
Joseph Holt - Danny Huston
Sarah Weston - Alexis Bledel
John Surratt - Johnny Simmons
John Wilkes Booth - Toby Kebbell

Monday, April 15, 2013

Update, April 15

Kedves Olvasók!

    Szeretnék bocsánatot kérni, mert egy kis szünetet fogok tartani a következő hetekben. Egyrészt lassan ZH időszak lesz az egyetemen, ami az egyetlen esélyem, hogy javítsak egy kicsit a jegyeimen. Azt pedig a vizsgaidőszak fogja követni.
   Mindenesetre van egy két beadandóm, amit szeretnék majd megosztani veletek. Eléggé büszke vagyok rájuk, addig is az egyetemi írásaimat megtekintheted az ELTE oldalon!
   Mindent megteszek, hogy minél gyakrabban tudjak posztolni, de közben csoda történt. Úgy négy nappal ezelőtt elkezdtem a második nagy könyvem. Ha őszintének kell lennem, nem is tudtam, hogy van bennem még egy, de csak 96 óra telt és már több, mint 20 oldalt megírtam: Egyértelműen most ezzel kell haladnom. Drukkoljatok!
   Ne feledkezzetek meg rólam!
   Jövök hamarosan, CsorEsz

Dear Readers,

    I would like to apologize, as I will be taking a short break in the weeks to come. This is due to various reasons. One of the being the fact that end term test season is coming up at the university and the end of April is my last chance to raise some of my grades. Another would be that the exam period is not far behind from that.
    Currently I have a couple of home assignments that I will soon share with you, as I am quite proud of them! In the meanwhile, if you are curious, check out my previous works on the ELTE page above!
    I will try and do my best to post as often as I can, but a miracle has occurred in the meanwhile. About four days ago I sat down to start writing my second big book. To be honest with you, I had feared that I didn't have another one in me, but after only 96 hours I have written more then 20 pages and I definitely need to continue! Wish me luck.
   Don't you forget about me!
   See you soon, CsorEsz

Cari Lettori!

   Vorrei scusarmi con voi perché sto per prendere una piccola vacanza nelle prossime settimane. Questo é per causa di tanti problemi. Piú di tanto devo studiare, ho tante verifiche che saranno seguiti dal periodo degli esami. Aprile é la mia ultima possibilitá di migliorare i miei voti.

   Nel frattempo posteró dei compiti the ho fatto per scuola, siccome sono riusciti abbastanza bene. Ma nel frattempo potete leggere quelli vecchi.
   Cercheró di fare il mio meglio, ma nonostante tutto un miracolo é accaduto. Quattro giorni fá ho cominciato a scrivere il mio secondo libro. Non avevo la piú pallida di avere un'altra grande storia in me. Ma solo 96 ore sono passate e giá ho superato le 20 pagina. Chiaramente, devo continuare a scrivere! Auguratemi fortuna.
   E non scordatevi di me!
   A presto, CsorEsz

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Top 15 Favorite Actors

This is a list I've been meaning to do for a while, as I have been asked several times to reveal my favorites. Now, I worked on a list for several months and I got down to the best 15 actors I know.

15) Paul Walker

Paul is simply a runner up. For the exception of four or five movies, Paul has played an undercover cop who really loves his family/girlfriend in everything I have seen him in. In Pleasantville he didn't do much, and although I loved his performance in The Skulls, he hasn't shown me much yet. I am a big time Fast & Furious fan and Into The Blue is definitely one of my favorite thrillers (and not just because he is shirtless 70% of the movie!), but I long to see something new from him. Until then, unfortunately he is the last.

14) Benedict Cumberbatch

Oh, I know what you're thinking! 'She watches Sherlock!', and yes, I do. But I have been following his work for a far longer period than the people who think discovered him! Cumberbatch played Prime Minister William Pitt in my favorite movie Amazing Grace (2006), afterwards he appeared in the critically acclaimed Atonement (2007), and he was also the husband of Scarlett Johansson in The Other Boleyn Girl (2008). He had mini series and a couple of other great movies in between that are worth mentioning. The only reason why I am not jealous now that he is well known on almost every continent, is that he gets far more work done, and I was getting a bit bored with all these British things... Can't wait for the new Hobbit :)

13) Matthew MacFadyen

Many people prefer Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, which is wonderful for me, cause I get to keep Matthew all to myself :D This man's voice is that of the God's! He makes me melt in my seat. The beginning of The Three Musketeers (2011) starts with his narration and that's really the thing that gets you hooked! (click here to read my review!). I have been after his work for quite some time now, he finally got a new series since Spooks (2002). As far as great British actors go, trust me, he is up in the top 10!

12) Zac Efron

I am eternally proud of Zac for not being a one hit actor! He did High School Musical and went on to do great things. He is so low on the list simply because he is way too young in comparison to the other people I listed. Other than that I loved Charlie St. Cloud (2010), I am currently listening to Hairspray (2007), I was touched by Me and Orson Welles (2008), I laughed my ass off on 17 Again (2009) and I cried during The Lucky One (2012). I am anxiously looking forward to anything he is working on :)

11) Stephen Fry

It is easy to be a comedian. It is also easy to be a dramatic actor. To be both, is something that takes talent. This man has got it all. If you look back to an old episode of A Bit of Fry & Laurie (1987), you are surely going to die of laughter. However, take a movie like Wilde (1997) and you'll end up in tears. It was with this movie that Fry showed me how wonderfully he can go from one extreem to the other, without being over the top. He is one of a kind. Loved him Black-Adder II (1986), V For Vendetta (2005) and Bones (2007-09)!

10) Alfred Molina

This men gets it right everytime. The first thing that got me was his voice. There is a confidence in it that many actors lack. Among my favorite roles by him there is of course that of Levin in Anna Karenina (1997), Dr. Ock in Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Comte De Reynaud in Chocolate (2000), one of my favorite movies. He is one of those actors who completely makes the role his and makes you believe every word he says. Truly fantastic.

9) Tom Selleck

It is mean of me to use this picture, because Tom Selleck is just as sexy today as he was when Magnum PI (1980) was shot, but that is when I fell in love with him. :) More precisely, my mom did. Magnum was a big favorite, and the movie that locked Tom into my heart was Three Men And A Little Lady (1990). I could re-watch that movie every single day, I love it so much! And the mustache, don't get me started... (roar...) After knowing him as a playboy, a father, I also got to meet his funny side in Friends (1996). I always follow his interviews and he is one of the sweetest man on the planet! If I didn't already have an awesome dad, I would really want to adopt him :D (My mom would surely be happy!)

8) Ted Danson

Yeah, OK, this wasn't hard to guess after I revealed that I love Three Men And A Little Lady! However, I didn't grow up watching Cheers (1982), I only know the re-runs. What I did grow up with was a little movie called Made In America (1993), that is really close to my heart. Not to mention that Ted Danson is the only reason (OK, now Elizabeth Shue as well) that I started watching CSI (2012). He is great and charismatic and there is something extremely sweet in his eyes. (And I am all for the gray hair!)

7) Denis Leary

I first saw this actor in one of the funniest movies I know, Two If By Sea (1996), where he played the love interest of Sandra Bullock. The second thing I loved him in was Operation Dumbo Drop (1995), which he claims was Willem Dafoe and not him. I then got to know him from interviews, and he might not be a role model, but he is one of the funniest people on this planet! When Rescue Me (2004) became a hit, I got hooked too. That's a really great show and still up to today Leary organizes found raisers for firefighters, which I think is very noble of him. In The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) I think he played a role that was a bit out of his comfort zone, but still, he delivered brilliantly (click here to read my review!). Please, watch his two interviews on Funny Or Die (click here!), and you'll immediately understand why I love him.

6) Harrison Ford

I have a fear of snakes and I have never seen Indiana Jones, any of them! I also only watched the original Star Wars trilogy after Episode II came out. My love for Harrison comes from two movies from the 90's. The first was a remake, this is Sabrina (1995). His charming ways made me fall in love in a split second. The other movie is a big favorite of mine, Six Days Seven Nights (1998). I then watched many of his previous movies, among them of course the more iconic roles. Up to today, he cannot do wrong by me. With Morning Glory (2010) he showed me that he can even do comedy, and I got a bit tired of his action movies... I hope he'll participate in the new Star Wars movies :)

5) Tom Hanks

This man is a genius. I think my fascination goes back to You've Got Mail (1998), a movie I still watch every year. Afterwards I never refused to watch a movie he was in, and I made it my mission to watch back his old successes. Forrest Gump (1994) has a special place in my heart now, Apollo-13 (1995) is a classic, and my favorite That Thing You Do! (1996). However, it wasn't until Catch Me If You Can (2002) that I really started to appreciate the art of acting and that's when I really got hooked on Hanks' works. But I also fell in love with him as a person. He constantly appears in talk shows and proves to be one of the funniest guys on the planet, not to mention that his producer work has given us some great movies, among them Mamma Mia! (2008). Keep up the good work!

4) Rob Lowe

I'm been thinking very hard about where I first saw him. And I think my fandom goes back to the first time I saw The West Wing (1999). I watched every season and I prefer the ones that he starred in. But now, I remember! He was in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) and the villain in the awesome Wayne's World (1992). He is currently starring in the series Parks & Recreation (2009) portraying one of the funniest characters ever written on paper. This guys' smile is something that makes it worth while waking up in the morning! I look forward to any of his new projects! (I also bought his biography, it's really great!)

3) Ben McKenzie

'California, here we come!' - So, you can guess where I fell in love with Benji here. The day The O.C. (2003) got cancelled was probably one of the worst dies in my life. (click here to read my review!). However, the same thing applies to him as it does to Zac Efron - he didn't stop there. He starred next to Amy Adams in Junebug (2005), he was in a thriller-crime with Al Pacino, 88 Minutes (2007). He has also been the voice of Batman! He currently stars in a great drama by the name of Southland (2009), where he plays Officer Ben Sherman. He is one of those actors who clearly learned more about acting in a theater, but he also has the luck of being able to build a relationship with the camera. I so far loved him in everything he did, I even went as far as watching that one episode of J.A.G. where he had a 10 second scene! Not to mention, he voiced someone in the new version of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, and guess what, I saw even that! I love everything he does, and unfortunately Southland only airs 10 episodes/year - NOT ENOUGH BENJI FOR ME!

2) Ioan Gruffudd

The first time I saw the promo pictures for Fantastic Four (2005) I stumbled and asked myself, where did this cutie come from? I know him... And then it dawned on me that he was in the horrible 102 Dalmations (2000) movie. Anyway, I always loved the comic character that he portrayed and his movie only reassured me in wanting to know as much as I can about him. The following year he stared in the above mentioned Amazing Grace (2006) with Cumberbatch - playing slavery abolitionist William Wilberforce. I then managed to get my hands on his previous works, among them Wilde (1997) with Stephen Fry, and King Arthur (2004) with Clive Owen. One of my favorite movies with him however must be The Secret Of Moonacre (2008). Last year he was the male lead in the series Ringer (2011) with Sarah Michelle Gellar, but unfortunately the show got cancelled. Because of the failure of the Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer (2007), he disappeared a bit and I am very sorry to say that he barely gets any lead roles... I hope something will come soon because I miss him :)

1) Eric Bana

Oh my... this guy... he steals every single scene. Comedy, thriller, drama, fantasy: he is the best. I fell in love with him in the Hulk (2003), which admittedly wasn't a great movie... (click here to read my review!) However, I could re-watch any and all of his scenes a thousand times! I then got my hands on Troy (2004) just because of him, and when Brad Pitt killed him... well, I've hated him ever since! While waiting for Lucky You (2007), which is undoubtedly the worst movie ever made (it is boring, long, makes no sense and worst usage of a celebrity cast in history! But Eric was wonderful again, the only reason why it is worth watching!), I watched Munich (2005). That movie was creepy as shit, but I liked it very much. You also need to know that I love Henry VIII, so the cherry on top of the cake was when he portrayed him in The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) - one of my favorite movies. If it's on his imdb list, I have probably seen it and I am dying to see what he will star in next, protagonist, antagonist, side character or hero - doesn't matter, I'll be there in the theater!
_ _ _ _ _

Names worth mentioning: 
There are a couple of people who I love and always make sure to check on imdb, to see if they have anything new. However, either because I haven't seen all of their works, or simply because I can't get a hold of many of them, I decided to leave them off the list. But they are all great actors nonetheless!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What's Next On My Blog? Don't Look Now

Yes, I originally planned to give you a list of my favorite actors, but something came up! To one of my classes, I had to write a review of an old movie. I did so much work with it, but I had to cut it down to 500 words (unsuccessfully, but don't tell my teacher!), that I decided to post it on my blog instead. So we are here to discuss:

Don’t Look Now is originally the adaptation of a book, by the same title, made in 1973. This fact will be important, and I will come back to it later. It might be a bit of a spoiler, but the paper I handed in had the following title: "Don't Look Now? Don't look ever!"
The plot summary, in a nutshell, is that of a married couple (John and Laura) who have just lost their daughter in an accident. Because of a job, they spend time in Venice, where their past seems to haunt them, as John has visions of their daughter and Laura meets a pair of sisters, one of whom is psychic. The latter confesses to seeing their dead daughter. The husband has premonitions of his own, among them that of his own funeral, but not being able to accept these, he drives himself to his own death. He is killed by a serial killer loose in Venice, who wore a same kind of read coat like their deceased daughter.

Before I started working on my review, I decided to do a bit of research. I was mostly interested in other people’s reaction to the movie. They were either lovers or haters, only a couple could rightfully explain their hesitation in choosing one side or the other. One might be disappointed, but I am a hater as far as this movie goes...

It is important to know, that it is credited as ’horror-thriller’, but it is clearly a thriller. You must also know that there is an ambiguity to the whole movie, and if you don’t like plots that make you think, then you will not enjoy it.
My biggest problem was that I was not satisfied with the ending! John dies at the hand of this serial killer, but the killings are referred to a total of THREE times throughout the whole movie! I was convinced that these killings had no importance as far as the plot or the story of our couple is concerned. There was no real built up to it as it was very badly done. Honestly I was either expecting that John would be this killer (as there was indication for it) or that he would kill himself, not being able to understand his premonitions. To get how I felt, imagine that you are watching a two hour long crime with 10 characters (among them a detective), and you spend the whole movie wondering who the killer is going to be, when in the last ten minutes they introduce an 11th character who turns out to be the murderer... You'd be pretty pissed, wouldn't you? So you can guess why I was not satisfied at all with the ending, and if I don't like that, then I question the whole movie.

That said, I would like to go into detail about what was that I started questioning:
Many and many subplots didn't have an ending. I hate that. Also, the main characters didn't behave like real humans do. Let me explain with a couple of examples what I mean exactly.
After the loss of their daughter, they go to Venice, leaving their son behind. I know that the husband has to work, but their son is not mentioned again until the 53rd minute of the movie (out of 105!). I assume that (after asking my mom) you’d want to spend every second of the day with your only child after losing the other. I even came to the conclusion that perhaps that boy was just a friend of their daughters! And when he supposedly has an accident, Laura leaves immediately, of course, but when we discover that he is quite OK, she leaves him again. She spent a total amount of what, three hours with him? Is that normal? I get that he is in boarding school, but for fuck sake! Not only was she warned that Venice is dangerous for her husband, but she doesn't even want to spend a little bit more time with her son?
Another scene is the famous ’sex-scene’ that has received quite controversial comments over the years. After talking about their daughter's obituary, they end up making love. Not only it doesn't bring the plot forward, but by cutting back and forth between them making love and getting dressed, it gave me the impression that they were disgusted by what they just committed. In comparison to the amount of love and chemistry the two characters have shown, this scene completely disrupted the pace for me. Why? The plot of the story completely stops for FOUR MINUTES!
But the list goes on: another example is that of the two murders they hear about. Both time, the news of finding bodies in the water seems to cause them nuisance. Why? People usually are intrigued and curios at the site or news of a murder. These two characters for me had nothing or little to do with the natural behavior of two grieving parents. And oh dear God... Laura... at the end she is running around Venice, trying to find John. Now, if you are looking for someone in the dark, don't you usually shout their name? I've found myself yelling at the screen: "SAY HIS NAME! SAY HIS NAME!" He wasn't far away and he might have known that she was looking for him! And then she completely figures out which way to follow him... HOW? You didn't see where he went! Yes, there was an old man running after Little Red Riding Hood there, but how we would know that she understood him? Or that the one he was following was indeed John? There is no indication that he too was following someone! Also, she spoke Italian ONCE in the whole movie! Let me tell you that the movie is not enjoyable is you don't speak Italian, so do look for subtitles. But even that causes confusion, as that man was saying something about 'thief', which I assumed was directed to John, who tried to use someone else's boat to get to the little red fellow. Yet, when John closes himself and this red fellow inside a building (comments said church, but I'm not sure), he seems to be yelling of a creature sent by the devil... so he really was following the red fellow...?
And my favorite? This scene was the cherry on top of the cake! John calls up Laura while she is at home with their son. The two don't listen to a SINGLE word, the other one says. Did you ever have a conversation with someone where you just went on about your business while the other one tried to explain something? It made no sense! Your husband sounds worried as shit! Wouldn't you want to hear him out? You have been hanging around in a city with a serial killer and psychic blind ladies, for fuck sake, HEAR THE MAN OUT!
The only human like behavior was that of the grieving mother, who thought of these sisters as closure for her pains, while the stubborn male father could not bring himself to believing a blind woman, claiming to be psychic.

Having have ripped apart the main characters, let us discuss the other characters. Let's start with the priest who's church John is renovating. All throughout the movie he seems to be disgusted by the foreigner coming and being a genius in his church! Yet, he too senses when he is about to die. How? Why? There was no indication that he either cared nor, let's say, 'prayed' for him - what connection was there that would lead to him being able to guess his death? And then he gently goes back to sleep. Thank you for that, that scene was extremely useful plot-wise!
The second would be the police inspector. John goes to he police, believing that Laura was somehow abducted by those two sisters. The inspector starts to speculate that perhaps John is the killer they were looking for - his behavior resembled that of a rapist in heat, rather than a curious detective (in other words, subtlety wasn't his strong suit). And all meanwhile we had shots of the two sisters walking about in a park. Was the inspector seeing this? Why was that there?
And the two sisters? I can't really say anything about them. I found myself wondering about their past instead of the main character's future - and that's not good movie, that is not good. They were OK, but they were a subplot that was unnecessary: Laura never reached closure and John died just the same. Big help you guys were!

Oh, and Italians don't speak English. They do know (up in the North), but not in the 70's. I also was hesitant to understand why John, fluent in the beginning, seemed to have completely forgot he spoke Italian in the second half of the movie. The most truthful scene was when he met with two ladies, owners of a motel, and he asked if they spoke English, immediate response with a smile: "No."

There were a couple of elements that fall into the category 'adaptation failure', as I have found explanations for them through comments by people familiar with the book. Not having read that, it doesn't feel right for me to criticize it. I might, saying that the plot had some faults because of the abuse of the source material, but I don't know how much actually had to be cut or rewritten, so let's not go into those problems.
One last point I did want to make was a question and an error I noticed. We are meant to believe that John is only seeing this red figure, the same way he has his premonitions. But we do know that this red thing exists, so he only has premonitions. The same way he used that to try and save his daughter, why does he keep refusing to listen to them? Or is it simply that he cannot tell the difference between reality and vision? The same way he thought Laura was with the sisters when she was actually away. But then how did he figure out that his daughter was drowning? Couldn't he have simply thought that it was just a sensation and it wasn't true?
Last question, and help me understand, is when his jaw drops upon seeing the dwarf under the red hood. He thinks back at the picture he took in one of the churches from the beginning of the movie. Does his jaw drop:
1) Because he realizes he actually caught the killer on film?
2) Because he realizes that this isn't his daughter?
3) Because he realizes that this is the serial killer?
I didn't get it.
(The director also points out that she has a knife in her pocket. Were the previous murders done with a knife? Is that mentioned? And don't tell me that Sutherland couldn't beat up a dwarf that size! When she put the knife to his throat? I honestly started laughing! And at a point there was blood coming from his shoes... he was cut in the neck, so what...?). People said that when the dwarf turns toward him, that that was the creepiest thing they have ever seen... I will wish you not to make friends with old ladies who had plastic surgery, cause you'll be creeped out all the time!

I could even go as far as critizing the music and the editing, but I will not do so for one reason: My kind of generation that brought up on fast paced movies where music doesn't have as much bearing on the plot as it did back in the 70's. The fact that I disliked it on that level, won’t immediately mean, that you will too. But if you care to know, I think the music was awful. It was happy and somewhat hopeful when it had to be creepy and the moment when it was the creepiest was when John looked up at a bar's sign... wow. Really?

See it, don’t see it? Upon reading a comment, I can tell you that if you don’t like the first 10 minutes of the movie, you won’t like any of it. It was the same for me. I only first saw the 7 minutes in the beginning and I already mistook the children for a younger version of our main characters (instead of, you know, their children)! So editing? Also awful for me ... HOWEVER, being called a classic do try and check it out, but keep that in mind!

Coming up next, we are back on schedule with a list of my top 15 favorite actors! Stay tuned!
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Heather - Hilary Mason