I rented two great movies this week!

The Count of Monte Cristo with Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce, and the late, great Richard Harris.

  • A wonderful interpretation, brilliant performances and some great swashbuckling! – great bonuses on the DVD.

13 Conversations about one Thing with John Turturro, Amy Irving, Matthew McConaughey and Alan Arkin.

  • Gorgeously filmed, unique editing, great performances. Not much in the way of extras on the DVD besides the commentary track.

P.S. Another great understated, laid back film was Sunshine State - helps to be to be a John Sayle’s fan (which I majorly am).

And for you parents out there, The Count of Monte Cristo is pretty safe for a family movie. It’s not perfect, there is some violence, but not bad. The plot could get tedious for the younger kids, but the older ones should be okay with it.

Oops! I never consider kids when referring movies to folks - I think all the above-mentioned films are adult-oriented.

I saw TCoMC last week. Absolutely fantastic. I loved the way the love-revenge dichotomy was exposed. Are there any french language versions of the film?

Does the movie do good service to the book? (I haven’t read it, but after watching the movie I can not wait to complete the french-learning program I’m currently taking, so I can read Dumas’ book in its original language).

Cheers,

quasar

Both of these movies were great, and my 13 year old loved TCoMC.

It gets the basic things right, but in the book, he pushes his enemies to fiscal and reputational ruin rather then just trying to kill them. It’s drawn out (the unabridged verison is 1400 pages long) but satifying to see it all come together.

Also, in the book, Guy Pearce’s Character’s son is not the Count’s son.

As well as the actual differences in events, I found that the focus of the two were quite different. The movie was more action oriented, while the book tended more towards a less direct approach. (Which I suppose is to be expected given the changes in plot you mentioned). There are also things that were taken out of the book in order to make the movie more viewer-friendly. e.g. The Count has quite a drug habit in the books. They also changed the way the priest died, possibly due to the way it tied in with that. One thing which I don’t understand the reason for changing is that in the book he sees himself as the instrument of God’s vengeance, while in the movie he becomes disillusioned with religion while in prison.

Other than that there are a lot of minor differences, plus things that needed to be cut out from the book to keep the film a watchable length. These add up and give the two quite a different feel.

That being said, I loved both of them. They’re just very different.

Actually, that was his original intent in the movie version: Ruin their lives and expose them to the same suffering he went through. That’s what he did to the pretentious jerk that sent him to jail: He had him incarcerated in precisely the same way he was. He had no intention of killing him. Remember that when they were taking the bad away, he left a gun in the carriage for him to finish himself off if he found it more convenient than expending the rest of his life in prison. After he pulled the trigger and realized the gun wasn’t loaded, Dantes came up to him and said: “You didn’t think I would make it that easy, did you?”

The deaths of his other two enemies were more circumstantial than planned.

AAArgghhh? 1,4000??? I’m having second thoughts on reading it.

That is a shame. I found it to be a nice irony that he was unknowingly planning on disgracing his own son to exert revenge on the man who had wronged him.

I agree. The book’s take on it seems more elegant (similar to Jefferson’s Hope motivations in Conan Doyle’s “Study in Scarlet”), furthering the cause of revenge by incorporating a new dimension: Revenge as a means to bring forth divine justice. I wonder why would they posit an alternate scenario, when it does more to detract from the book than actually adding real value to the plot.

That being said, I really loved the movie. Great plot, nice twists, passionate characters and a great ending. Add it to my list of Must Buy DVD’s.

Lola

Agree about John Sayles’ slice-of-Florida-life Sunshine State.
It might be too laid back/meandering for some, but it’s worth the ride. The acting, by all, is top-knotch.
My favorite bits were Alan King and his golfing buddies, arrogant developers who regard the land as nothing more than property potential. “Nature on a leash.”

I would love a director’s cut of Count of Monte Cristo

I was watching it with my friend and said, “This beginning of the movie feels rushed, as if they had to re-edit it.” I learned from the director’s comments on the DVD that that is the case exactly.

Their original cut took more time introducing characters. The original cut starts in the current movie when he goes to prison, which is exactly when the movie starts getting excellent.

I love The Count of Monte Cristo too. I thought the acting was really good, that they picked the right actors for the right parts (James Frain is good as an evil dude) and overall that it was just interesting.

13 Conversations was okay. My parents found it really boring and so did I, but only in parts. I found the way it all came together pretty cool but it took too long to do so.

I love The Count of Monte Cristo too. I thought the acting was really good, that they picked the right actors for the right parts (James Frain is good as an evil dude) and overall that it was just interesting.

13 Conversations was okay. My parents found it really boring and so did I, but only in parts. I found the way it all came together pretty cool but it took too long to do so.

Apologies for the double post, it wouldn’t go through.

Maybe it’s because Monte Cristo is one of my top 5 books (probably number 1), but I thought the movie was terrible. It didn’t do justice at all to the book. The intricacies, the dichotomies, the character devolpment, the suffering that Edmund goes through, the lengths that he goes to in order to reward/punish those who deserve it, none of these were brought to bear in any way that does them justice.

Yeah, I know it would be one long movie if they did that, but if you aren’t going to do something right, then don’t do it at all. Sorry if I brought any one down, I just had to get that off my chest.