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I think Channing Tatum is a good actor and I’m almost not embarrassed to admit it….

Last night I watched “Dear John” and a couple of days prior to that I watched, “The Vow”.  It’s been a while since I saw a film with Channing Tatum, the last one being “Step-Up” which I really enjoyed and should probably be a little more reluctant to admit to.

It’s been interesting reading about him on gossip sites with the general consensus being that: he’s hot (agreed), a terrible actor (disagree), but a lovely bloke whose down to earth, humble and keen to learn how to become a better actor.  Sadly I’ve not met him, but based on the interviews I’ve read, he certainly comes across this way, so either it’s true or he’s a better actor than he gets credit for.  Watching “Dear John” last night, made me think the latter is true, which is not to say he’s faking his interview persona, just that on the whole, this film is pretty bad, which only serves to emphasise how good his performance is in contrast.

For those who’ve not seen it, “Dear John” is your usual boy meets girl love story, with Tatum being a US Soldier (John), who whilst on leave meets Seyfried (Savannah) and over the course his leave, they fall in love.  As he has to return to duty, they continue their relationship primarily through letters for a few years until Savannah meets someone else.  But fear not readers, the story doesn’t end there although to reveal more, would spoil it  for those wish to see it in spite of reading this review.

What I didn’t like about the film was that: Savannah was all but a saint; the writing was weak; and the film just felt a bit too tortured and angst ridden.  I understand it was supposed to be sad, but a few comic moments could have lightened it up a bit and provided some welcome relief from the general sense of melancholy.

What saved the film for me was Seyfried and Tatum’s performance.  Seyfried did a good job of portraying a character whose so perfect she’s irritating, yet I didn’t hate her.  Tatum’s performance was particularly good in how understated his delivery was.  His character wasn’t necessarily the most vocal, so a lot of feeling was conveyed through eyes and facial expressions. I think Tatum did a good job in this respect;  he demonstrated subtlety in conveying emotions and gave a restrained but sensitive performance non-verbally, which was just as well considering the script.

And as for “The Vow”, well if I ending up marrying someone like that I wouldn’t have any complaints, amnesia or no amnesia.  Again, I thought he gave a solid performance; his love and passion for his wife felt completely genuine, so his pain felt real and authentic.  I really hope that he’s around for a while because he’s definitely one to watch.

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Jane Eyre

I saw Jane Eyre last week, which stars Michael Fassbender as Rochester and Mia Wasikowska as Jane, and is directed by Cary Fukunaga.  It was good in a lot of ways; beautifully shot, good acting blah blah blah, but somehow, it left me feeling vaguely unsatisfied, mainly because it ended too quickly and easily for my liking.

Warning: the synopsis below contains spoilers unless you’ve read the book in which case none of this will be a surprise. 

Jane’s all broken hearted after Rochester tried to commit bigamy with her and almost dies in a desperate attempt to escape him.  She gives it a year whereby she manages to survive and gets a job in a village school as a teacher, has a bit of a non-romance with Jamie Bell’s character, St John, (although from the way his name is pronounced in the film I thought it was Sinjin but I realise now that this was due to their rubbish Yorkshire accents) and then one day, she hears Rochester’s voice calling her across the moors.  Jane says adios to St John whose a bit annoyed because he thought he was in with a chance, and she goes back to find Rochester.  He’s now blind but she forgives him and they presumably live happily ever after although you don’t really get to see that bit because this is where the film ends.

As mentioned above, I felt that the ending came about too abruptly and swiftly considering all the torment Jane had been through.  Both Jane and Rochester had suffered enough so you think I’d be pleased they got back together, but it just felt a bit rushed, almost like Fukunaga realised he had used 2 hours portraying how awful her life was and thought, “Oh gosh is that the time?  Well I’ve got 2 minutes and not much budget left to give Jane the fairy tale ending we’ve all been waiting for.”

In some ways, Fassbender’s portrayal of Rochester irritated me as well.  On the one hand, although I think Fassbander seems suited to the role as he is a handsome chap and played Rochester with the required magnetism and charasima, I also thought he seemed a bit of a d-ck at times, unnecessarily so.  For example, in the scenes when he was mocking Jane, I think he was supposed to come across as being sardonic and cynical, but instead came across as arrogant, patronising and condescending.  I guess I was disappointed because I wish I could have fallen a bit in love with him, like I did with the book, but sadly that wasn’t to be the case with Fassbender’s version of him.

Overall, it’s ok, watchable, safe to watch with older relatives, but personally I think better versions have been made such as any of the ones by the BBC for example.

Toddlers and Tiaras

It’s not often that I read Perez Hilton’s blog anymore, but whilst looking for something else, I came across this.

Is this royally screwed up or what?  I admit, it’s fascinating tv and compulsive viewing in a car-crash, I-can’t- believe-this-is-really-true, kind of way, but shaving a little girl’s legs, giving her a fake tan, and making her up to look like a 20 year old; how an earth can these mothers not see that what they’re doing is wrong and creepy?

Maybe I’d have to watch more of the show to understand the thinking behind it all.  But even if I understood it, I still don’t think I’d be able to agree that it’s ok and normal.