ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: THE CONTINUING STORY
|From Continuing Story: what viewers wanted to see|
So I rewatched it, and wow, this is a horrible film. It's not horrible the way 80's sitcoms are horrible--kind of silly and dumb and kitschy all at the same time.
It's just bad.
I should state at this point that I have not read any of Montgomery's books. I *might* have read the first one, but if so, I barely remember it. So I'm not speaking from the point of view of a purist who feels betrayed because Sullivan didn't use the later Montgomery books (although considering how awful this film is, I can understand why the purists were so upset).
The fundamental problem (and the tie-in to "substanceless") is that none of the issues raised by Sullivan's script are paid off, creating a movie that is ultimately NOT about becoming a doctor or writer in New York City; NOT about living on Prince Edward Island; NOT about a spy-network; NOT about getting married; NOT (even) about adoption (though it comes close).
It IS bizarrely enough about Anne almost having extramarital relationships with some writer guy, Diana's husband . . .
So much so, that I think Sullivan just couldn't drop his fantasy of all the men Anne might possibly end up with--in his hands, she becomes a sort of clean-living femme fatale. This week, she could end up with a German fighter pilot! Next week: the pool boy!
A bucolic female James Bond.
Of course, this means that Sullivan utterly failed to understand why people liked his first two films to begin with. Imagine if Andrew Davies (of Pride & Prejudice, the series, fame) wrote a sequel in which Darcy nearly had an affair with Anne de Bourgh. Or Jane. Or Mary!
I will do Sullivan the courtesy of believing he was clueless when he produced Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story rather than cynically trading on the nostalgic wholesome aura he produced in the first two movies (just so he could make a film about WWI).
THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
This film can be summed up in one line: "Man rescues his lover from danger--more than once."
Okay, that's it.
Yes, yes, there's a French & Indian War going on, and it probably is all very historically accurate. But the historical context is only as relevant as it creates conflict for rescuing man. The final scenes aren't determined by the historical events; they are determined by rescuing man's need to rescue.
Think Titanic, only The Last of the Mohicans is a way better movie.
(2) Everything and everybody is so gosh darn beautiful.
However, 1/3rd of the way through a recent rewatching of this movie, I said, "Good grief, these people are all gorgeous."
Seriously gorgeous. Everybody. Even when they are covered with grime and blood.
This is truly a big-screen, theater-worthy film--especially since I spent the remaining 2/3rds of the movie going, "Wow, wow, good grief, wow."
Plot? There's a plot? Whatever. Just look at that scenery!