Sunday, April 24, 2011

Water for Elephants - A Review

This weekend, ML had all sorts of adult shit planned for us--cleaning the house, weeding the lawn, preparing the garden so we can plant all sorts of awesomely yummy vegetables that our special-ops, ninja deer will somehow find a way to eat. I was all for this weekend of drudgery, until Snarkier Than You mentioned she was going to see Water for Elephants and she was gonna do it whether I was with her or not.

Our garden is going to look like fucking Fort Knox by the time we're through...

Around noon on Saturday, I kissed ML on the cheek as he stood in the kitchen, wearing a confused expression and a pair of rubber dish gloves, and hustled out the door and hopped into the STY's car.

Because there was no fucking way she was watching WfE without me. Fuck being a responsible adult.

I have to admit I was a little surprised that the theater wasn't very full when we arrived but it was a matinee on a holiday weekend. Another thing I didn't expect was that most of the people who were in the theater were actually older women and couples (and the stray single guy)--there weren't very many teenagers at all.

STY and I whispered and snarked our through the million coming attractions (I am so fucking glad I will never have to sit through that goddamned Letters to Juliet preview EVER again) and then it was go time. Except... well, it wasn't. Apparently the guy who presses play in that little room in the back went out for a smoke or had to take a shit or something because we all just sat there, staring at a frozen screen for a few minutes until the women behind us started plotting a revolt. I swear its impossible for STY and I to actually go to the movies without some kind of issue. At least this one didn't end in me yelling at some pimpled teenage boy.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. I thought the cinematography was great and the costumes realistic. It was really a very visually stunning movie. Of course, that might have had something to do with the Pretty himself. If anyone asked me if they should go see this movie, I would respond with a resounding "yes."

Tai the elephant and Christoph Waltz really stole the show. As the brutal but charismatic August, Waltz really commanded every scene he was in. Tai was just such a beautiful, endearing creature she nearly broke my fucking heart. There was definitely some real affection between that pachyderm and both Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon.

I was pleased that the movie stuck relatively close to the book, with only a few necessary variations.

Early on, STY had told me that she didn't really think that Reese and Rob had a whole lot of chemistry. After watching WfE, I have to agree with her. There was just something off and a little boring about the love scenes between the two. Those scenes would have been much more fiery and hot if I had been his costar instead of Reese.

Uh huh. Sure.

Now on to Robert Pattinson.

He did a good job. In the scenes he played with Waltz, I think that Christoph Waltz tended to overpower RPattz and it was sort of apparent that RPattz needs a little more work to become a stronger actor, which is totally understandable. After all, he is still young; he has a lot of amazing energy and talent. I'm not worried.

Or maybe I was just completely distracted by how obscenely attractive Robert Pattinson is because, holy shit people... he was beyond s-m-o-k-i-n' in this movie.

At the end of the day, I really loved this movie. I will admit that originally I became interested in this movie only because I was looking for something to pass the time until Breaking Dawn finally comes to the theater. However, Water for Elephants is a wonderful story of following your heart.


  1. Great review, JJ. I'd expect nothing less than for you to leave ML to that adult ell, since falling down this rabbithole, my garden is NEGLECTED. permanently.

    I will be first in line when this movie comes out in New Zealand. A friend downloads movies *shhh* all the time, and I was so tempted to ask him to *cough* obtain it for me, but I am now determined to stick it out until release day to see the Prettah in all his largescreen glory.

  2. I never thought I'd say this...but Twitarded seems like the appropriate venue to voice this particular opinion (considering it involves poop). So here goes!

    I would just like to say that I have never been turned on by a man shoveling manure in all my life...until now. Enter RPattz...Sweaty, Dirty RPattz. UUUNNNFFF!!! I'm fairly positive the theater is going to have to replace the seat I sat in Friday night.

  3. Nice review! I saw WFE on Friday and really enjoyed (most of) it. Like you said, visually stunning. And Christoph was just a powerhouse. Amazing.

    I was kind of bored with Reese/Rob's love story, but damn they looked good. The costume designer gets top marks from me! I did get pissed about Marlena's backstory...WTF? Was it really necessary to give her a completely different past than in the book? I mean really?! And why, why, WHY couldn't you just get him to say "Please let me touch you" ????

  4. I saw it Friday afternoon with IGiveUp & loved it! Rosie a.k.a. Tai is a real sweetheart.

    @ TwiNurse02 - Sweaty, Dirty RPattz...UUUNNNFFF indeed!!

  5. great review JJ! I saw the movie twice (Fri and Sat) and loved it! the 2nd showing i went to had a LOT OF old people in it (like 70,80 year olds)...

    damn, he made shoveling $#%@ look hot! he really dirties up really well! there is a shot of him wearing some long combat boots - he should wear those more often! the costumes were great.

    the sex scene was a total disappointment. no nekkidness at all. at least the one in 'remember me' was hotter.

    whoever worked the camera on rob in this film should get a fkg oscar! he looks great at any angle and in anything!

  6. I'm so bummed that I've only seen it once cuz of my damn busy, Easter weekend. I neeeeed to see it again soon because I'm pretty sure I forgot everything. It really is hard to focus on the other characters and overall story when Rob looks THAT good! Damn him.

  7. JJ,I agree with you except for the part about Rob not being strong enough in the scenes with Waltz. Wasn't that just more a factor of their characters? Jacob, fresh out of college and new to the hardships of life; August, an abusive brute who has no respect for human life and thinks you can beat animals into cooperation. I think Rob carried this movie (or am I just that biased?).

    I went Friday night and was surprised that most in attendance were likely children of The Depression. I guess the teens went to see that Madea crap. WFE came in a respectable third place, though. It's a tough economy, I guess people would rather pay for something that makes them laugh.

    @TwiKiwi50 - Nothing can beat seeing Rob on that giant screen. It will definitely be worth the wait!

  8. Rob looked so hot in this movie. Unbelievable. I thought he did a good acting job, very proud. *sniff*

    Waltz rocked. Reese looked beautiful. I thought the sex scene was sweet, not as breathy as the trailer had us believe though.

    Overall, a definite must see...even if just for the shoveling manure scene. Seriously.


  9. Frankly I just can't wait until people get their hands on this footage and start posting awesome stuff on youtube... [cue poop-shoveling scene!]

    : )

  10. Great review....I agree with the comments....geez we're a smart bunch!

    Rob was totally smokin' hawt...dirty, clean in the tuxedo...I think I died just a little bit when they were dancing....I want Reese's costumes..all of them even the crazy jodphurs! As for Rob in the boots and suspenders...UNF.

    I went to the movie with a friend who is fully aware of my Robsession, but she was on the fence...well, I heard her gasp a couple of times when he came on-screen and as we left the theatre all she said was "I totally get it now."

    He looked like a movie star!! Our little boy's growing up and I'm so proud! Hope for only good things to come and many more years of sitting in the dark with him! Now, I guess I have to get back to real life *sniff*!

  11. Great review!

    I agree that Christoph did tend to overshadow Rob in their scenes together and I didn't seem to have the same reaction as others when it came to Reese and Rob's chemistry... it left a bit to be desired.

    I think Rob did an amazing job when it came to his time with Rosie on screen, did you notice her trunk was always up in his crotch? Can you blame her? He seems to do his best acting when he is alone. His expressions are always perfect and he can get through to you more with a look than words. That's why I think he's going to blow everyone away with Cosmopolis... if they do the script right.

    Every time Rob got teary eyed so did I. And Hal Holbrook had me a blubbering mess.

    Rob shoveling shit in that wife beater was sooooo fuckhawt!

  12. I loved this movie but I gotta say...Rob & Reese seemed more like friends. It's understandable since she is 35 and has once played his MOTHER. She just didn't seem that into it. Reese was beautiful though. Rob was great but he still needs more time to grow. I think if he hangs in there, than 10 years from now he will be fantastic. :-)

  13. Went to see it Saturday night with "My After Car" and our men. As far as I'm concerned, you can just screen 2+ hours of Rob smoldering on screen. His face is so expressive, he needs no words to act. I just love, love, love that face ( & the rest too). Reese was okay if you like beautiful, petite blonds.

  14. Not.Enough.Wifebeater.Rob

    The End

  15. Thank you for writing an honest review! I was on some boards this weekend with folks gushing about this movie (and Rob) like it was the next Gone with the Wind. Uh, no. I thought the movie was enjoyable; I thought Rob did fine (and he sure looked beautiful!). I thought there was ZERO chemistry between him and Reese. And by the way, thanks Reese for talking about his snotty nose ...that's all I could think about during their love scenes.

  16. As with any book I love, I always wish they could have included everything in the movie ;) But since that's not possible, I think what they did include was really good. It was really beautiful-looking and the acting was superb all-around in my opinion. If I get lost in a movie and want to watch it over again right away -- that is a "good" movie in my opinion...

    My only "wish" was that they left in the scene between Jacob and Barbara ;);) Let's hope for it on the DVD!

  17. I saw the movie twice last weekend. Like most of you on this board, I thought Christoph's performance was right on the money. I was so overwhelmed by how hawt Rob looked on screen the first time, I had to see the movie the second time to form an opinion... ha ha... I thought he was excellent, holding his own, expressive with every emotion. I see his nostrils flaring with rage after watching August abuse Rosie; how gentle and loving his eyes were toward Malena at all time... For Reese, I was disappointed as she was so cold on her part. In the book, Malena falls for Jacob the first time she laid eyes on him and took lots of risks to be with him. It was not conveyed that way in the movie.
    Overall, I was satisfied. Very happy to see the movie is getting a respectable $17.5M for the weekend.

  18. Even if this movie doesn't do incredibly well at the box office, they're going to end up selling a bazillion dvds for our [ahem] "private viewing needs" so i'm not worried!

  19. "However, Water for Elephants is a wonderful story of following your heart." And that is exactly what you did when you chose the movie over the garden - good for you!

  20. I saw it friday afternoon, and it was filled with teenagers AND Oldtimers... It was pretty equal on both ends with a few people around my age... I really liked the movie, but to be honest, I would have liked watching Rob do anything at this point! I am just that starved to see him!

  21. I loved the movie, too...thought it was a great job all around by everyone. I am completely in awe of Christoph Waltz--he's incredible. Hal Holbrook is heartbreaking as old Jacob. As far as Reese, I did not feel that she played Marlena coldly or stand-offishly; I wrote on another board that I felt she was playing a woman in an abusive, controlling relationship and so she is always a little restrained. I still felt a connection between her and Rob--understated and controlled though it might be, it is still there. Nothing like between him and Kristen, but nothing will ever be as good as that. Rob did himself proud as Jacob--his acting is solidly improving and he is very believable. The cinematography alone is breath-taking in places, and the score is beautiful...if you haven't yet, get thee to a movie theater and see it!! It's worth it. I'm already planning my second trip to see it.

  22. I am so sorry to have to say this, but I didn't get the crazy butterflies from this movie like I thought I would. I was super-excited to see it, and of course it was vivid and lush and beautiful (as was Rob), but Reese as Marlena fell SO flat for me that I couldn't get past it. Should have been someone ten years younger and much more serious in that role. Reese is extraordinary playing roles like Elle Woods, and she does light, airy comedy like a champ, but this was SO not her role and the chemistry between her and Rob was nonexistent. Sad, sad, sad.

    That said, I'm going to see it again this week. Screw the chemistry, I want to see the Pretty!

  23. I agree with everything you said JJ. I'm just coming back from the theater, and while I really did enjoy the movie, I think there are a few things they could've done better, but I won't go into details because you've pretty much covered it all.

    I must, though, mention that I was pleasantly surprised by Rob's American accent. He has been really working at it. Or so it seems. His acting has improved as well. And, of course, his adorkability was... well, adorable. I'm definitely starting to like him better as Jacob than as Edward. :D

  24. Oh, and I just noticed the new banner - it's awesome. :D

  25. Holy fuken sexspenders & boots, Batman! I 'bout slipped out of my seat during both those scenes. And it was nice to see that smile again & again.
    As for the film, I enjoyed it very much, but it could have been so much better. Especially in the romance department. How can someone not even FAKE being in love/lust with him? Major fail.
    But it's easily re-watchable. It'll make a great addition to the RobPorn video collection.
    I'm enjoying the book now. I saved it for after, so I wouldn't be disappointed in the film. I've found that to be a better pattern that book followed by movie.
    BTW, TONS of blue hairs in my showing as well. Odd.

  26. Great review JJ! I LOVED the book and I liked the movie. Tai and Christoph stole the show. And if things don't work out for Rob & Kristen, Rob can run off with Tai because they had wonderful chemistry - because Rob and Reese were not awesome together. I adore both of them and I thought they gave solid performances, but they just didn't click.

    And I loved the fact that I was one of the youngest people in the theater!!!

  27. @TwiNurse02 - Clearly, this is the perfect place to discuss the hotness that is RPattz shoveling the manure because most of us agree.

    @Dangrdafne - LOL! Yes, I did follow my heart. Of course, ML scheduled a drop-off of 2 tons of soil for Thursday night so guess who is going to be out there helping him to shovel that dirt? Payback's a bitch...

    Thank you all for the comments!! xoxoxo, JJ

  28. Just imagine Robowski shoveling the poop... I mean dirt with you ;)

  29. I haven't seen it yet, going tomorrow, I know I'll love it. Interesting that most of you didn't see any chemistry between Rob and Reese, I'm not at all surprised, I always felt she was wrong for the part. I hadn't thought about this before but maybe the reason there are so many 'blue hairs' going to see it is they were born during the depression and probably were taken to the circuses like Benzini Bros. I'm sure it would have been a major event in their lives at the time.

  30. "I am so fucking glad I will never have to sit through that goddamned Letters to Juliet preview EVER again"
    Amen! To this!

    Agreed! I thought it was a great movie! The Pretty did a lovely job, and can we all have a moment for the Tittty Tassel! ;)

  31. Great review JJ! You hit all my hot spots.

    Ditto on the Letters to Juliet. They even force it on you on the damn DVDs!

    Am not surprised by the lack of chemistry between Reese/Rob. For one thing, she played his MOM in Vanity Fair. For another, we're spoiled by Kristen/Rob chemistry we've witnessed. Real question is, did Rob/Javier have more chemistry in Little Ashes?

  32. I totally agree JJ... Sometimes I feel like who cares if he ever gets to be a great actor - he's just so FUCKING PRETTY to look at, I could just die. But because I love him so, I am rooting for him to become an amazing actor. And for him to choose his roles carefully. And for him to get nekkid in every movie he's in from here on out. Is that too much to ask for?

  33. @ track 10- thank you for mentioning the tittie tassel! (aka pastie). i'm shocked no one mentioned it until now. i thought that was hilarious. can you imagine Rob having to walk around on set like that? makeup on, tassel billowing in the breeze, cigarette dangling from his perfect lips...

    i agree that Christoph was incredible. i'll never be able to like him because he played August so well, and he was such a despicable man. i didn't read the book, but it sounds like there was more UST than in the movie. it would have been nice to see more of that. i liked the movie though, and am recommending it to others.


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