Quibbles -- Questions -- Kudos

(listed in alphabetical order)

J to Z
Alan Rickman Movies
JANUARY MAN, THE (1989)
Premise:  There's a serial killer on the lose and the mayor and chief of police are under pressure to stop whoever is killing women in high-rise apartments.  In their scramble to appease the public, they bring back maverick cop Kevin Kline, the same one they had used as fall guy for one of their dirty deeds.  But what are they to do, with their political asses on the line. 
Comments:  Judging from the credits, I didn’t expect to see too much of AR in this film, but was pleasantly surprised.  Is it heresy to call Mr. Rickman cute?  Ah well, a heretic I’ll be … here he is cute cute doubly-cute, playing Ed, Kevin's friend and neighbour, an artist who paints nudie girls but is no slouch at the computer (and helping to catch bad guys) either!  Against all expectations, I enjoyed this film.  Just one Major Quibble:  Be careful not to choke when Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio tells Kevin Kline she's 23 years old (and I'm the Queen of Sheba!).  Good golly, her 23rd birthday's ancient history, considering it happened a decade before!  The casting director's eyes want checking (reminds me of
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
JUDAS KISS (1998)
Premise:  Quirky scam artists graduate to kidnapping (they figure one big score, then they can live happily ever after), but things start to go very wrong when they are forced to kill a witness who happens to be the wife of a powerful senator.  But nothing is ever what it seems.  No wonder equally quirky cop (AR as Detective David Friedman) wants to get as far away from this case as he can because he smells a rat that he suspects will come back and bite him in the rear.
Observation:  Not quite a quibble, more amusing than annoying, but Emma Thompson and AR's attempts at faking New Orleans (Southern) accents meet with only mild success.  Oh my.  However, as we're talking Alan Rickman here, for once I'm NOT gonna moan about hiring actors with the wrong accent -- he can talk in fake Swaheli for all I care, I'll still listen!
Quibble/Unanswered Questions:  Ben Dyson (Greg Wise, the sad loser Willoughby from 'Sense and Sensibility) and Patty Hornbeck (Beverly Penberthy)?  For anyone to believe that, if would have been necessary for the film-makers to have "treated" their audience to extensive character development (i.e., what dark Freudian forces are at work here???).  Unless there was something here than we were never allowed to glimpse (money? power? just plain kinky? what????).   Aarrrggggghhhhhh ... I'm too picky!!!!!!!!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MICHAEL COLLINS (1996)
Premise:  The story of Michael Collins (Liam Neeson), the "Lion of Ireland,"
founder of the Free Republic of Eire in 1921 after leading the IRA against the
British overlords.  Definitely a film that drives home the insanity of the situation in Ireland, and the power of a few determined people.
QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER (1990)
Premise:  Despicable landowner (AR as Elliott Marston, owner of Marston Waters ranch ) hires a sharpshooter (Tom Selleck) to assassinate Aborigines who stand between him and his plans.  But Selleck's character does the noble bit and ends up being the hunted.
Comments:  Wouldn’t have watched this piece of dreck if it hadn’t been for AR.  Who managed to make the most of what he had to work with and made the experience bearable (even funny and enjoyable, but only while he was on screen).
Viewing Advice:  Have remote at the ready and fast-forward over the long stretches not involving Mr. Rickman.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
RASPUTIN (1996)
Premise:  The true story of the strange monk with apparently supernatural powers who insinuates himself into the family of the last Tsar of Russia and wreaks havoc.
Comments:  Alan Rickman is the definite Rasputin!  He brings a legend to life ... and breathes new life into a story that's been told over and over and over.  A must-see!!  And get ready to hyper-ventilate!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MESMER (1994)
Premise:  Real life story of Franz Anton Mesmer, the physician from Vienna who gave us the word "mesmerise" and raised quite a few eyebrows and hackles  with his unorthodox approach to the healing arts.  For then as now, the medical profession is extremely resistant to new ideas and fresh approaches.
Comments:  I can't even conceive of anyone but Alan Rickman playing this role.  Loved it, utterly totally loved it (just for Alan, the story could have been told a lot better).  Fortunately, they dispensed with phony  accents.
Observation:  Judging from the empty looks one gets when mentioning "Mesmer" seems that only Alan Rickman fans (and a few extra-bright psychology majors) know who the man is :-)
TO BE CONTINUED

Quibbles, Page 1
Premise:  Kevin Costner's idea of the legend of Robin Hood.
Comments:  Having Kevin Costner associated with a movie really is the kiss of death (just when is the last time he put anything watchable onto celluloid?).  Rather can cutting Mr. Rickman's scenes (the vanity of that guy really knows no boundaries -- a severe case of "pinky dick" ??), anyway, he should have been on his knees thanking Mr. Rickman for saving what little was saveable of this stinker.  AR appears born to play the Sheriff of Nottingham, and definitely lends watchability to what would otherwise have been just plain unbearable.  It's good fun to watch him having fun ( he's nothing less then brilliant!!!).  
As if the
quibbles mattered, but here's a couple anyway:  Is it just me, or was Christina Slater utterly miscast?  And for the "here we go again" file, we have Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, by now at the "ripe old age" of 33, being passed off as Maid Marian.  In Robin Hood's time, the only unmarried female that age was found in a convent (or widowed).  According to Legend, wasn't Maid Marian supposed to be about 18?  Maybe there are actresses who could have pulled this off; MEM isn't one of them.  But what does it matter.  You DID buy Kevin Costner as Robin Hood, didn't you?  Sure you did <g>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ROBIN HOOD, PRINCE OF THIEVES (1991)
THERESE RAQUIN (1980)
Premise:  A convoluted tale of lust, adultery and murder.  For American viewers, Masterpiece Theatre at its finest!
Haven't seen it yet, but the DVD is on order.  Unfortunately, AR's part doesn't seem all that big from the description.  Ahhh, if only he had been cast in the role of the murderous lover (were I married and an Alan-Rickman-shaped Laurent showed any interest in me, well, my husband should have to worry).
Update:  WOOO HOOOO  .... I finally got the 2-DVD set ... now all I need is time to watch it ...
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (1995)
Premise:  Inheritance rules being what they were "back then," a mother and her
daughters are left pennyless as the husband dies.  Now they must they rely on the
kindness of strangers for their upkeep.  Then love winds its way in convoluted
circles until everyone gets what they deserve. 
Comments:  If you like period pieces, especially ones that are true to their source
material and manage to resist the temptation to introduce a modern sensibility to
the story (thereby destroying the sense), then this is the movie you can lose your-
self in and just dream dream dream … of Colonel Brandon, of course :-).
Quibbles:  While the rest of the cast are at ease with their roles and their costumes
(as if they had been born into them--can you really think of anyone more dashing
than Coloned Brandon?????), ever notice how uncomfortable Hugh Grant looks in
period garb?  While he’s great at looking uncomfortable in his own skin wearing
modern clothes, here I just wanted to shout “ditch the jacket with the murderous
collar already, dude!”  Also, am I missing something or is there really no chemistry
at all between Hugh and Emma Thompson?
Observation:  If this movie doesn't make you fall in love with Alan Rickman (not even
a little bit), check your pulse ... you might just be dead!!!!
----------------------------------------------------------------
TRULY MADLY DEEPLY (1991)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
those movies from the 50's where teenage roles were cast with 30-year-olds).  And someone please tell her there are excellent products available to bring the frizzies under control.
Observation
:  Suspension of disbelief is also required for enjoyment of the action – police investigations just don’t work that way.  But since suspension of disbelief is a major component of the movie-going experience in general; and since we have lovely Alan Rickman thrown into the mix, well ... who cares *g* 
KING OF THE HILL (episode: "Joust Like A Woman") (1997)
The greatest voice in the world guest-voicing on a (pretty darn good, IMHO) animated show about rednecks and women who just know how to handle them.  Eventually.  Alan gives voice to the "King", the despotic, women-dissing "ruler" of a Renaissance-themed amusement park.  With a "really good" British accent, as Hank Hill remarks.  Only in the end, after Peggy Hill knocks him off his horse (literally and figuratively), does the King revert to his Texas drawl.  Don't miss it if you get the chance, it's hilarious!!  The cartoon figure is sooooo Alan!!!
Observation:  Ahh, the chink in the shining armour of my favourite Knight (see also Observation under Judas Kiss):  Southern accents just aren't his forte.  But who cares, a voice is a voice is a voice is Alan Rickman ... in whatever accent or language he delivers *shiver*  Excuse me as I go fan myself...
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Premise:  Young woman (Juliet Stevenson)  is absolutely heartbroken at the death of her lover.  Until one day  (in one of the most romantic scenes ever put on film), Jamie comes back.  As a ghost who can actually be seen, heard, touched (hey, does that make him a 'hard-light' ghost?--sorry, just a little "Red Dwarf" humour).  But before long, things start to go wrong.  Subtly at first, but the situation gets progressively worse for Nina.
Comments:  Much to my embarrassment, I have to admit that at first viewing, this film went right over my head.  “How could she,” I sobbed as I watched Nina walk off with the “other” guy, this interloper (how dare they!), while Jamie the ghost, sad and forlorn at the window, wipes a tear off his cheek.  But then there’s that little smile.  And all of a sudden, it dawned on me what his coming back had been all about.  So up up up on my “favourite” list it went.
Quibble(s):  Absolutely NONE.  Well, OK, did the new guy in her life really have to be such a dweeb????
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Observation:  One of the most beautiful love stories ever put on film.  Before you get the urge to waste your time on "Ghost" give this movie a try.  TMD is the film that "Ghost" wanted to be but failed at.  Miserably.
Btw, if this one doesn't touch you (
i.e., if you're not crying at least once, preferably from beginning to end) ... lay down immediately, because you are dead!!!
DISCLAIMER:  Images on this and related pages copyrighted to the original copyright holders.
No infringement intended, they are used to pay homage to this wonderful actor.
ENTRANCE PAGE (Alan)       CONTENTS (Alan)      CONTENTS (my homepage)