New Movie Hot Seat:WFE

22 Apr

Welcome to New Movie Hot Seat where each Saturday we will review new films that’s opened in theaters this week.  We will have a live debate discussing the pros and cons of one of the newly released films, then vote if it’s worth the money. Also, each week we will put up a poll for consumers to vote on, which film we will put in the hot seat and debate next.

However, given this is our first week of unveiling this new social event we’ve selected Water for Elephants to start us off. So if you plan on seeing Water for Elephants, which opens today in the US. Join us tomorrow! However, for those of our International friends and visitors (where this film has yet to be released) there will be spoilers

The live debate will begin this Saturday: 4/23/ 2011 @ 3pE/8pUTC

Please join us!!

Due to a tie among voters we will be putting two films in the HOT SEAT this Saturday-Fast Five and Hoodwinked Too.

185 Responses to “New Movie Hot Seat:WFE”

  1. Littlebells April 22, 2011 at 1:08 PM #

    THis is so awesome! Thank you OB and Lurker for doing this! It’s like the best Book Club ever!!! 🙂

    I have no idea what these movies are about so I will google them before I vote.

  2. littlebells April 23, 2011 at 1:49 PM #

    I won’t get to see WFE today, but once I do will I still be able to answer those questions and give my review?

  3. Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:07 PM #

    Hi everyone!

    • ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 3:11 PM #

      Hello Lurker!

  4. Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:09 PM #


    • ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 3:11 PM #

      And hello Open Book!

  5. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 3:10 PM #

    Hello to any new visitors and our regulars!

    Welcome to our discussion on the just released Water For Elephants.

  6. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 3:12 PM #

    Shall we begin?

    Describe the audience at the theater where you saw the film. Was the theater full or half full? Please do not give out your location.

    • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:14 PM #

      The theater I attended was half full. The audience were mainly adult female and adult males.

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:15 PM #

      The theater for my showing was less than 1/2 full. The makeup of the audience was 100% adults and mainly females. There were a few men there who appeared to be along with wives or dates.

      • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:20 PM #


        Wasn’t the show before then sold out and u had to go to a later one?

        • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:21 PM #

          Yes, the showing at 745 was sold out so I had to wait for the 1015p show.

          • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:24 PM #

            Was the movie theater big or small?

            • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:25 PM #

              The theater itself is big 16 screens however, its the only one around for a good distance.

          • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:19 PM #

            I bought my tix on Fandango on Wednesday just to insure I got in.

  7. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 3:18 PM #

    Did you go alone or with someone?

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:20 PM #


    • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:20 PM #

      Went alone.

      • ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 3:23 PM #

        Lol, so brave! I have to drag someone with me!

        • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:24 PM #

          Nah, no big deal. You sit in the dark anyway!

          • ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 3:26 PM #

            True! I may have to end up doing that anyway.

            • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:28 PM #

              Well you know, you don’t have to negotiate the butter/no butter discussion on the popcorn!

              • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:35 PM #


        • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:25 PM #

          Please! I typically go the first time alone because I’m so critical no one wants to go with me. LOL!!

          • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:27 PM #

            Do you talk during movies? Dang, not going with you!

            • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:31 PM #

              No actually it’s really after. That’s when people run because I won’t shut up. LOL!!

          • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:15 PM #

            LOL me too. I was so mad when i first went into the theater. It was only me, my mom and two other women. The theater was not in half full when everyone finally settled in. My mom was mad that I made her show up over an hour early because I thought there was going to be a really long line. Didn’t see one person under 25 in there.

    • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:18 PM #

      I went with my mother.

  8. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 3:24 PM #

    What time of day did you see the film?

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:25 PM #

      1015p last show.

    • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:26 PM #


      • ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 3:31 PM #

        I’ll probably see it in the afternoon too.

        I really wish there was a cinema in my town. I hate having to travel to nearest.

        • ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 3:43 PM #

          To the nearest! Sorry!

          It’s only good when I can meet up with a friend who lives near one.

    • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:16 PM #

      I went to a 6:45 show.

  9. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 3:28 PM #

    How did the audience respond to the film?

    • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:32 PM #

      The row in front and back were yelling then sniffling after August beats Rosie. Some people clapped when Rosie finally got her revenge on August. There were sighs over the black and white stills. At the end some people clapped and said the film was lovely.

      • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:34 PM #

        Wow my audience was dead then! LOL
        or it was just too late! LOL

        • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:37 PM #

          I notice midnight shows are usually mellow.

      • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:17 PM #

        No one made any comments but everyone got a good giggle when Rob came out of the trunk.

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:32 PM #

      This was pretty interesting. There were a some chuckles in some key places with Christoph, otherwise pretty quiet during the film.

      At the end, I heard several comments that they felt it stayed true to the book, and a number of people in front of me stayed to watch the credits (older than me) and did the ‘ah, that was Hal Holbrook!’

  10. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 3:35 PM #

    Do you think the film lived up to Gruen’s Bestselling Novel?

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:36 PM #

      Yes, absolutely!

    • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:20 PM #

      Yes definitely!

  11. Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:38 PM #

    Yes and No. Yes, I thought LaGravense and Lawrence did an excellent job blending Uncle Al and Augusts’ character together. However, the longing and urgency (between Jacob & Marlena) were better developed in the book than in the screenplay. Perhaps adding the scene where Marlena finds out she’s pregnant would have added more urgency and drama to the film.

    • littlebells April 23, 2011 at 3:44 PM #

      I do find it is difficult to get the relationships developed in movies because there is so much more story going on. There just isn’t enough time.

      • ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 3:46 PM #

        Welcome Littlebells!

      • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:48 PM #

        Yes! I think it’s about choices regarding what u want audiences to walk away remembering. I think in the end with this film they made the right choice given they had an elephant starring.

    • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:21 PM #

      I agree. I didn’t get a sense of urgency with the hotel room or her wanting him to be there.

      • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 11:23 PM #

        Hi Paris!

        What could they have done differently?

        • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:35 PM #

          Well they shouldn’t have had Marlena jump with Jacob off the train. That lost the sense of urgency right there.

          • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 11:50 PM #

            I agree that did not make any sense!

            They should of had Marlena leave August after he beats Rosie. That way they could have developed the longing between the two. I wonder if they decided it was impossible to make a love story when u have an elephant starring. How can u avoid not having every scene be centered around Rosie. She just so lovable!

            • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:56 PM #

              I know! I loved the scene where Camel, Jacob and Rosie are all in the car and Jacob is speaking to Camel in Polish. She followed his commands. So cute! That’s another thing that bothered me. I never knew what his parents said to him. I know they were trying to strive for authenticity however they should have translated the polish.

              • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 11:59 PM #

                I know R speaking polish seemed very natural. But yes having subtitles would have helped!

                • Parisienne April 24, 2011 at 12:02 AM #

                  Their sex scene was way to long. IMO for a pg13 film. I know it was shot practically in the dark. All they had to do was have them kiss then Rob or Reese shut the door. I was thinking do we really need to see this? They’re not even doing thing.

                  • Parisienne April 24, 2011 at 12:02 AM #

                    I always wondered which scene he was sick in when he had to kiss Reese.

                    • Open Book April 24, 2011 at 12:10 AM #

                      LOL! I was wondering about that too.

                    • Parisienne April 24, 2011 at 12:12 AM #

                      Maybe it was the scene in the dark. He never sounded congestedd though.

                  • Open Book April 24, 2011 at 12:08 AM #

                    I agree the sex scene was way too long and not enough foreplay. Not having any foreplay is a really bad idea for a chick flick. LOL!!

                    • Parisienne April 24, 2011 at 12:09 AM #

                      LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! I know an adult movie with Rob and no foreplay. I should have asked for my money back. :–)

                    • Open Book April 24, 2011 at 12:14 AM #


                      Well Paris I’m going to call it a night!

                      Have a nice holiday!

                    • Parisienne April 24, 2011 at 12:15 AM #

                      Have a good night and you too!

                    • littlebells April 24, 2011 at 12:59 AM #

                      Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!! 🙂 foreplay = hooray!!!

                      Paris, enjoying your comments.

  12. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 3:40 PM #

    What did you think of Richard LaGravense screenwriting? Do you think the dialogue should have been more reflective of the 1930 period slang and accents used back then?

    • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:42 PM #

      I thought he did a good job. Yes, it could have been stronger but it laid a nice foundation. Adding the period slang and accents would have added even more authenticity to the film. But the production, costume, lighting and cinematography was so well developed you barely missed these little
      mishaps with the dialogue.

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:45 PM #

      I thought he did a pretty good job of compressing the story into the key points and no I think the dialogue and slang might not have added much. I do think that there were some timeline things that felt off, maybe that was due to editing? The pieces between Jacob and Marlena never felt like they went far enough, so it felt like a leap to hear ‘i love you’.

      • littlebells April 23, 2011 at 3:49 PM #

        As in their time together was never long enough to get to the right point in the relationship to say, “I love you”?

        • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:52 PM #

          I only got the vibe from Jacob that he was ‘saving marlena’ and from her she said twice ‘we are friends’ so it seemed out of place to get to ‘I love you’

          • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:23 PM #

            I agree. I hate it when a storyline is not fully developed.

      • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:49 PM #

        So true!!

  13. littlebells April 23, 2011 at 3:42 PM #

    Argh! Can’t wait to go see it!

    Lurker, I would have had to have been on a Mountain Dew IV drip if I had gone to see it after 10pm! haha!

    • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:44 PM #

      LOL!! Hi LB. That’s funny…

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:46 PM #

      I like the new ‘white citrus’ one!

      • littlebells April 23, 2011 at 3:49 PM #

        Mmhmmm! 🙂

  14. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 3:47 PM #

    What did you think about the climax of the film? Did it work well or was it too confusing and quick?

    • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:50 PM #

      Way too confusing! I think seeing the workers rise up against August for not paying them should have been explored more. When the animals get released the rebel’s motivations were not depicted at all.

      • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:10 PM #

        I was confused at that as well. I think the scene where August talks about not paying the workers should have been inserted there instead of at the unveiling of Rosie.

        • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 11:20 PM #

          That would have been perfect!!

  15. Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:50 PM #

    No the climax of the film was fine I like the movie version of the stampede better, needed more Hal Holbrook to wrap it up though. He was great at the end.

  16. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 3:52 PM #

    What did you think of the chemistry between Jacob and Marlena?

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 3:57 PM #

      Marlena comes off as an experienced woman, who pulls back from getting the ‘love story’ started. Jacob was very reserved and only makes the one pass toward her after they leave the speak easy and that felt rushed. The hotel scene never had any lead in – like I would have expected Marlena to be crying and him doing the comforting thing and you know where that leads. Didn’t happen in the movie.

      • littlebells April 23, 2011 at 4:05 PM #

        I wonder why…..

      • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:05 PM #

        How could they have fixed this? Meaning what scenes should they have added from the book?

        • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 4:11 PM #

          @LB ? maybe it hit the editing floor?

          It got the voyeyeur thing from Jacob, that makes him long for Marlena. However, she had a great lead in to reciprocate at the table where she was sewing instead she played it off like nothing happened instead of going down the ‘forbidden’ romance thing.

          • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:15 PM #

            Do u think the scene where she comes onto Jacob after she puts August to bed was odd?

            • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 4:21 PM #

              No not really, she was looking for comfort. I could see that.

            • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:08 PM #


              I didn’t really think that was an odd scene. Something similar happened in the book if I remember correctly. Also I think she was looking for someone to take care of her.

          • littlebells April 23, 2011 at 4:20 PM #

            Sometimes I think things don’t happen because…ah geez, let’s see if I can make my thoughts clear…most of us have read the book. The folks making the film have more than likely read the book. I think sometimes we leave out tiny, important nuances because we already know them and think everyone else will too. Therefore key points that would have made a story line more clear get lost. Does that make ANY sense????

            • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 4:22 PM #


              I think there’s a line between ‘romance’ and ‘rescuer’. In the movie I got the ‘rescuer’ thing not romance thing so much.

              • littlebells April 23, 2011 at 4:25 PM #

                bummer, but at least they have chemistry!

              • Parisienne April 24, 2011 at 5:12 PM #

                I got that too. I also got that she was grateful to him so she just slept with him.

            • ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 4:26 PM #

              Yes it does.

              You also have to factor in the time length and what test audiences thought too. Scenes can be added or cut for those reasons as well.

        • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:27 PM #

          I didn’t understand how August “caught” them doing the gestures with her touching his neck and all that. Was it when they were all congratulating him in the tent and she asked him to bring Rosie over that night? I know she hugged him but I didn’t see anything romantic about it. So that scene with August, Jacob and Marlena felt awkward.

          • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 11:37 PM #

            Well I think August started becoming paranoid after he beat Rosie and Jacob walked in the train car with the bull hook. Also, August suspected something between the two after the night out at the dance club.

            • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:41 PM #

              oh that’s right. He thought Jacob was going to beat him. Didn’t he say something to Jacob after that in the essence of if someone would have touched Marlena he didn’t know what he would have done?

              • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 11:57 PM #

                Yes! He was sort of warning Jacob. Also, he begins to ask what he was planning to do with the bull hook. Honestly, I think they should have kept the scene in the book of her being pregnant. But I guess the timeline would have been even more difficult to figure out.

                • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:59 PM #

                  I don’t think the timeline would have been that hard. Jacob says at the end that they had their first child at the end of their first season with Ringling. I loved the photos with the kids and showing them as a family.

                  • Open Book April 24, 2011 at 12:03 AM #

                    Yeah! I know I think it really would have made the audience invest in there relationship if they were wondering if the child survived after August try’s to strangle Marlena at the end.

                    • Parisienne April 24, 2011 at 12:05 AM #

                      I agree. That scene was almost laughable though. IMO, Rob wasn’t even trying with the “Rosie, no.” that he gave. He should have screamed it.

  17. Open Book April 23, 2011 at 3:56 PM #

    I thought it was pretty good not bad. If the script included those scenes mentioned above, it could have been much richer. However, u did feel empathy for Jacob and Marlena. I will say the change in Marlena’s background and her hard upbringing made it easy to see why Jacob felt comfortable opening up to her.

  18. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 4:00 PM #

    Who’s performance was the most memorable and why?

    • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:02 PM #

      Hal Holbrook tearfully pulls you into the story and leaves an impression on your heart at the end. CW was the perfect villain u could love and hate at the same time, very unpredictable. Last but not least Tai/Reese & Tai/Rob they were so lovely together. Reese was so AMAZING doing her acrobatic maneuvers with Rosie; she really made you believe she was the star attraction!!

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 4:04 PM #

      Two stood out for me.
      Camel, as he takes Jacob ‘under his wing’ and we get a lot of dialogue from Camel who effectively gives the old timers circus life to Jacob.

      August, can the manic character have been played any better by Christoph? Total Jekyll and Hyde almost instantaneously he could turn it on/off. His interactions with everyone on screen he really delivered.

      • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:08 PM #

        Yes! Camel and Jacob were great together. Love that scene between the two where he takes him to see August.

    • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:29 PM #

      They were all great. Hal Holbrook really wrenches the gut and I had a few tears. Christoph is an awesome villain but I kept wanting him to become meaner like Hans Landa. Rob was awesome although I don’t remember Jacob being so emotional. Reese was great too but she came off as to strong. I noticed they changed Marlena’s backstory too.

      • littlebells April 24, 2011 at 1:10 AM #

        Ok, why are we making female characters so strong when they initially aren’t? And I’m not saying the characters are wimp, but why is there the need to make them stronger than they were originally written? I think its okay to be vulnerable and not appear weak. I don’t know…it’s late and I’m just babbling. I guess it just bugs me because when you do things like that your counterparts have to play off you differently (you know who I’m taking about).
        Note: this comment does not deter from Jacob and marlena’s chemistry.

        • Parisienne April 24, 2011 at 5:10 PM #

          Honestly, I don’t know why they make the characters emotionally stronger than they actually are. Perhaps they are afraid to show a vunerable, weak woman in today’s society?

          As for SWSNBN, that’s the only thing she can play. Perhaps with her money, she can afford an acting coach? Then again she’s just so good she should just retire and teach. I always believe in passing on one’s knowledge of one’s craft.

          • littlebells April 24, 2011 at 6:17 PM #

            Snap! LOL!!!!

            • Parisienne April 24, 2011 at 10:20 PM #

              LOL I just call it like I see it.

            • Parisienne April 24, 2011 at 10:22 PM #

              Did you see the movie yet?

  19. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 4:08 PM #

    How did you walk away feeling after seeing this film? Happy, sad or reflective!

    • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:11 PM #

      I would say reflective. I found myself thinking about the scenes in the beginning when Jacob first hops the train. I love the scene where he first meets August. Also, the scene where they first meet Rosie, R is such a natural with Rosie u really believe he was a vet student.

      • littlebells April 23, 2011 at 4:23 PM #

        I like these types of movies. I think i reflect too much at times, but I think it’s important to do. How else do you learn and pass your knowledge on?

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 4:14 PM #

      Reflective. It makes you think about the choices you’ve made in your life and how one decision changes things.
      Hal Holbrook delivered a tear jerking performance at the end. Sort of gave me that same ‘end of the road feel’ I had at the end of Titanic.

      • ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 4:15 PM #

        Note to self. Remember to take tissues!

        • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 4:18 PM #

          Take a tissue if you cry easy. I’m a softy, I cried.

        • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:21 PM #


        • littlebells April 23, 2011 at 4:22 PM #

          For sure and to absolutely go by myself the first time. I have no qualms about getting blubbery in a movie theater. 🙂

    • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:31 PM #

      Reflective, happy. Reflective because I was trying to explain differences between the book and the movie and happy because I thought the film was tastefully done. Although you can tell that Rob got on best with Tai. He honestly looked so comfortable.

  20. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 4:15 PM #

    What compelled you to see this film?

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 4:17 PM #

      I read the book before I had heard it was being made into a movie. Its a great story and the fact that the elephant was so centered in the book I had to go see the elephant!

      • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:23 PM #

        Did u read the book when it first came out? How did u hear about WFE novel?

        • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 4:27 PM #

          A couple of years after it came out. I found it on Oprah’s book recommendations before going to the book store.

    • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:19 PM #

      The actors involved got me interested, then I read the book and I became that more intrigued. I love some of the 1930’s circus films so I thought this film would be fresh and new during a time of CGI, sequel action films being produced in mass by Hollywood.

    • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:32 PM #

      I read the book and also think the film had an extraodinary cast.

  21. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 4:22 PM #

    Would you see this film again and why?

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 4:25 PM #

      Yes, however, I think this film has a lot of nuances in the cinematography and set design that can only be appreciated on the big screen. Did anyone catch the Brooklyn bridge in the background and the Empire State Bldg? Its a big, real set, with real tents and real animals and it is very big on screen.

      • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:29 PM #

        Great! Point Lurker. You have to see a film like this on the Big Screen because there’s so many visual details that would get lost on the small screen.

        • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 4:36 PM #

          Definitely a film worthy of the blu-ray !

          • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:38 PM #


    • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:26 PM #

      Yes, I intend to go with a couple of friends this weekend. If I really like a film I usually see it twice in theaters. With this film I found myself thinking about Rosie (the elephant) and how amazing Reese and Rob were with her. Also, the production design, cinematography, costumes, lighting and music score was so beautiful and really transported you back in time. The next day I was thinking about the first scenes after Jacob hops the train. It’s just so exciting because R does not over dramatize, which some would expect. Instead he plays it slow and easy, very innocently allowing audiences to catch their breadth. These little subtleties were seductive in getting you to invest in the character long-term.

    • Parisienne April 23, 2011 at 11:33 PM #

      Yes because it offers an escape and i’m going again on tuesday.

  22. littlebells April 23, 2011 at 4:26 PM #

    I’ve loved reading your comments, ladies! Insightful as ever. 🙂

    Before I leave, I have a random question: will you let us know which film we are to watch this week, by the end of the day?

    • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:30 PM #

      Do u mean from the poll? If so Yes!

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 4:30 PM #

      Well I sort of answered that above, not really.

  23. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 4:27 PM #

    Did you think the romantic scenes lived up to the book?

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 4:31 PM #

      Sorry the above reply is in the wrong place.

      Not really.

    • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:35 PM #

      The scenes with Rosie out shined the book. The love scenes with Reese and Rob could have been more dramatic. IMO: This film was a story of two people who love animals finding each other. I think they really captured that well but the book had a much more passionate love story between two people who love animals.

      • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 4:39 PM #

        Rosie what can you say? She was a scene stealer! I wished there was some dialogue with Jacob and her when she walked over to get lemonade on her own.

        • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:43 PM #

          That would have been great! So now tell me after seeing this film do u want to visit Have Trunk will Travel?

          • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 4:48 PM #

            Totally want to go there! Yes!
            However, I am determined to go see the IMAX film we talked about last week with the baby elephants and Daphne Sheldrick.

            • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:50 PM #

              Yes! I liked to see that as well.

        • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:46 PM #

          I guess it’s hard to avoid an elephant in the room?

  24. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 4:34 PM #

    Last question!

    Would you recommend this film to our audience? If yes or no please explain why?

    • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:37 PM #

      Yes! I think it’s a nice escape and worth the money. I think the negative reviews by some film critics, which claim the movie made the depression look too nice instead unpleasant. Fail to realize this is told from Jacob’s perspective in loving memory of his wife. So of course reality would be romanticized and he would remember his wife as this angelic creature, not as some dame.

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 4:41 PM #

      Definitely would recommend!
      With all the CGI heavy films it’s nice to see something original and still be unique. Not many films are made like this anymore and the story is big enough to hold up.
      You will like it if you go see it!

  25. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 4:44 PM #

    Are there any more questions or discussion points anyone would like to talk about?

  26. Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:48 PM #


    Although I know this answer. What does Water for Elephants mean?

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 4:50 PM #

      Its a play on the fact that some claimed they worked on the circus and their job was ‘carrying water for the elephants’ because they drink so much water. Its a tongue and cheek reference to someone who didn’t work for the circus.

      • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:52 PM #

        Thank U! Well said!

  27. Open Book April 23, 2011 at 4:53 PM #

    Ozzie & LB-

    U will have to come back and give us your review.

    • ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 4:58 PM #

      I definately will be back to post my thoughts!

      • Open Book April 23, 2011 at 5:00 PM #


        So I have no further Q.

      • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 5:01 PM #

        I can’t wait to hear your reviews too!

  28. ozzie20 April 23, 2011 at 5:04 PM #

    OK, I think that draws us to the end of our live discussion! Thank you all for your comments.

    For our visitors, please feel free to post your thoughts later when you’ve seen the film.

    A good night to all our regulars and visitors!

    • Lurker April 23, 2011 at 5:09 PM #

      Thanks Ozzie!

  29. comic relief April 25, 2011 at 6:57 PM #

    I went to see “Water for Elephants” and I had a good time. Just as RPatz say’s (in interviews) yeah it was a classy, it was old fashioned; yep that it was. But what one doesn’t see without seeing the film is how well integrated the over all package was. How well things like vistas, landscapes, and other cinematic backdrops can add time, space, and gravitas to scenes. Because it’s a period film we expect that production design will take us to another world. Getting a sense of how people saw themselves can be a hard psychological space without having markers to distinguish how people responded to there environments as well. All those aspects were very special and are hard to find today and frankly are hard to forget once you have experienced them as audience member.

    What I didn’t like was the shortage of dialogue for either Reese or Rob, seemed like the whole story was told in half and partial sentences. This aspect left the characters undefined at least in regard to what they appeared to be experiencing. I had a number of “Oh-yeah” moments where I realized that then expressed dialogue might have defined a character’s earlier perspective.

    As always Reese was fantastic, I don know what critics are saying.

    Here are some personal Rob appreciation points.

    If things go well, I’m pretty sure that people will call “chick flicks”: “Pattinson flicks” for the ways in which he shows such commitment and appreciation for these efforts. If someone says it’s a John Wayne movie most people think a western is being discussed. I would not be surprised if Rob ended up having this influence, because he doesn’t do them in the mechanical way that we see with so many of the actors acting opposite Jennifer Aniston or Julia Roberts.

    This will sound silly but it’s really the most sincere compliment I can offer. NOBODY BUT NOBODY TAKES AN ASS WHOOPPING like Robert Pattinson. And it’s a joy to behold. Actually it’s an art that no one else has mastered, and no one was grinning bigger than me when they cut to him on the floor of his hotel room with his face covered in bruises and cuts. Honestly you get bored with all of Tom Cruise’s, Matt Damon’s, Vin Diesel’s choreographed fights scenes where of course they come out victorious. Real fights are ugly and it takes an artist to demonstrate that they don’t all end up in your favor. Real men get their Asses beat. Keep it up Rob and I‘ll keep paying to see it.

    • Littlebells April 25, 2011 at 8:08 PM #

      hahaha! Yeah Rob, keep getting your a$$ kicked! hahaha! I loved your comments CR!

      I am working very diligently to get a sitter for a 7pm showing tonight (fingers and toes crossed). If I don’t see it tonight, FOR SURE TOMORROW!!!!

      Ugh, I’m not looking forward to lack of dialogue between the two co-stars. I realize when movies are made there is a story that needs to be told and you can’t make a 5 hour movie, but come on!!!! Give love scenes or a budding romance some more dialogue. It bugs me every freakin’ time.

      Again, great review CR. 🙂

    • Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 3:27 PM #


      I totatlly agree with your assessment of the film. I think the overall package was fantastic. I think that Rob has many more films to put under his belt before he can be considered the next John Wayne but I understand what you are saying with that comment. However, I don’t like to see actors get pigeon-holed into one type of character. I think that Rob has quite a range of skills as an actor and it would be interesting to see him push the envelope.

      You are right, Pattinson can take an ass whooping. I appreciate the fact that he made the fight scene look real and wanted to see a little more of what Jacob would do to protect Marlena. Honestly the motel fight scene was ridiculous. How did the bad guys know where they were? It didn’t make sense that they would come busting through the door.

  30. comic relief April 26, 2011 at 12:55 AM #

    Little Bells,

    I hope it did not appear that I was laughing at Rob. I really meant what I said as a compliment. It is easy to see other celebrities as insecure because they always have to win their staged fights. We as the audience, who are familiar with gore fests like ultimate fighting championships know fights frequently go badly and ugly regardless of the participant’s intentions.

    For this reason, I assume Robert is game for a lot more realistic presentation of real world violence; that in the long run is better for all of us. Though I heard he fought for more resistance as a combatant, his critics do not mention this overall realistic presentation stance yet this commitment takes integrity, guts, and artistry to pull off. His performance was greatly appreciated.

    I don’t know whether my feelings are in the minority regarding the dialogue. Some critics were critical of him in regard to some of the acting, but the dude didn’t have any dialogue. When you see the film you’ll see it’s a fairly hard story to tell with looks and a lot of summarized speech. Sometimes I just did not believe motivation could be perceived. Open Book discussed the lack of period dialogue. I just didn’t think there was enough of it at all. I’m used to hearing more of him and Reese in other films period.

    By the way Reese was appropriately authoritative throughout; an interesting set of choices for an actress; and I suspect this is the reason many women responded favorably. It was great to seeing Rob act opposite an actress every once and a while. Waltz is just scary, and it seems people (including myself) love this about him.

    Sorry I really talk too much. Little Bells, I can’t wait to hear your assessment. Hope you had luck with that sitter.

    • Lurker April 26, 2011 at 11:01 AM #

      Hi CR!
      Regarding lack of dialogue, I have to agree with you there were some scenes I think could have been enhanced with more dialogue. In fact, even a voice over from Jacob about what was going on could have worked. I noticed it too!

    • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 1:42 PM #

      Oh, no, CR, I knew you weren’t making fun of Rob. 🙂 I agreed whole heartedly with your comments about real men getting beat up and having something to show for it. I just loved how you wrote those last few sentences.

  31. Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 1:51 PM #

    (Psst…so what’s the verdict? Fast Five or Hoodwinked Too!?)

    If the baby sitter falls through, hubs is staying home. He’s supposed to go to the movie with me, but hell or high water, I’m GOING!!!!!! This is for you, Ozzie!!! 🙂

    • Open Book April 26, 2011 at 2:17 PM #

      Hi LB!

      I put the results at the very bottom of the poll. Given it was a tie. We are going to put both films in the Hot Seat on Saturday. This should be fun.

      • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 3:04 PM #

        Note to self: read everything. duh!

        Ok, since funds are tight, I’ll pick Hoodwinked Too! Woohoo!!!!

  32. Parisienne April 26, 2011 at 3:10 PM #

    hi LB!

    • Littlebells April 26, 2011 at 3:49 PM #

      Hola, Paris!

  33. Littlebells April 27, 2011 at 12:57 AM #

    *taps microphone*

    At the end of a film, have you ever burst into tears because what you have just experienced is so beautiful and overwhelmingly grand that no words in an earthly language can do your emotions justice?

    (I promise to review as soon as I come down from my seratonin high. I still can’t believe the movie is over. When can I go back????)

  34. Littlebells April 27, 2011 at 12:35 PM #

    Goodmorning all,

    I am finally able to give my review. I was thoroughly, and undoubtedly impressed, awed, and touched by this film.

    Let me first say in the beginning scenes when the banker is talking to Jacob and he says that his parents shouldn’t have wasted their house and occupation on Jacob’s schooling, my husband said, “That guy’s a dick.” Also, when Jacob is walking past all the animals my husband said, “That is so cool.” And towards the end when the stampede happens and August is choking Marlena, my husband was squeezing my hand. He also squeezed it again with Hal talking about being home with the circus and the b&w montage. This from a big, old, tough cop. He was a sack of fluff. 🙂

    There were about 100 people in the theater and split 50/50 male and female.

    Wow. Just wow. Gorgeous. I loved watching the tent go up. I loved the close ups and wide shots. Everything was perfect. Rodrigo Prieto did an outstanding job.

    Spectacular. Down to the detail! I loved the gritty and the glamorous. JW did a smashing job.

    Hal–I was in tears the first 5 seconds. I knew it. He was deeply moving and so authentic. When he looks at that picture Charlie has of Marlena and August, I lost it again.

    Christoph–is there anything that man can NOT do? I loved his interpretation of August because you saw the rough and crazy side of him, but he also showed you his very vulnerable, survival-mode alter ego.

    Reese–you know, I truly did love her Marlena. I know we talked about how she seemed stronger than the book Marlena, but I did see a soft side to her. Reese did a great job of allowing you those moments when her guard was down and why she put on a strong front.

    Rob–Rob, I have to hand it to you. You left all traces of Rob and Edward at the studio doors. From the minute I saw him, he was Jacob for me and I never felt I was watching Rob. There were a few recognizable mannerisms, but that was true of the other actors as well. It didn’t hinder the performance though. I am very proud of Rob. This is a huge stepping stone and he held his own with his fellow co-stars. I really dread BD and hope it doesn’t cast a dark cloud over the enormous progress he has made.

    Rosie–Where can I buy an elephant? Seriously, I want one. She was beautiful and her eyes got me every. single. time. She was perfect and I loved the scene where she moves her stake to go drink lemonade and then goes back. That’s my girl! Of course her final scene was pretty darn epic too.


    I truly felt Richard LaGravenese did a beautiful job translating the book to film. I know parts were different or changed, but it has been over a year since I read the book and I don’t remember the small facts. I also went with a man who has never read the book. When I dragged him to see Twilight, obviously he had never read the book, but he was constantly asking me questions. Things didn’t make sense to him and to be honest, they didn’t make sense to me either. I kept thinking, “Thank goodness I read the book or I would be so confused!” As soon as WFE started I turned to the hubs and said, “Do not ask my any questions during this movie!” When it was over, he didn’t have any. LaGravenese did a marvelous job of giving you enough information that you didn’t wonder “Why this?” or “Why that?” The gaps between the book and movie were seamless for me.

    I know we had concerns and comments over the love scenes and the relationship developing between Jacob and Marlena. Honestly, I was surprised that I felt ok with how things played out. I realize there wasn’t much dialogue, but what they had seemed to work with the glances and looks. I did feel Marlena’s desire for Jacob the way she looked at him when they were close together. Also, you could sense time passing and that Jacob and Marlena worked together often so even though we didn’t hear the dialogue, it was happening. They were getting to know each other by spending time together. I actually did enjoy their sex scene. I felt what we saw was appropriate with the tone of the movie.

    The b&w montage at the end was the nail in the coffin for me. With my little kids being in the same age bracket, all I could think of was them, how happy I was Jacob and Marlena were together and the water works continued to run. Then it ended, and I had to start doing lamaze breathing. I’m completely serious. All my emotions seems to come together at that point and if I wasn’t careful I was going to walk out of theater with people wondering, “Why the heck is that woman sobbing? Is she hurt?”

    I only had 3 things that bugged me:

    1) When Marlena and Jacob jump, she doesn’t get one single scratch and her dress was still perfect. They were going at a pretty good clip, so I was all, “Hmmm????” Hubs noticed that too.

    2) After August punches her in the face, she doesn’t have a black eye. That was a great punch too.

    3) I don’t think there was a point to bring up Walter, Jacob’s son. It didn’t go anywhere so I think it would have been ok never to have mentioned him. I get why they did, but it’s a part of the story you should explore a bit more or not have.

    Other than those 3 things, I give this movie 6 stars on a 5 star scale!!!! I’m planning on seeing it again as soon as possible.

    I know I have left out a ton of thoughts, so please ask me any questions!!! 🙂

  35. Littlebells April 27, 2011 at 12:37 PM #

    Oh my gosh. I just wrote the longest comment ever with my review and it didn’t post.


    • Lurker April 27, 2011 at 12:53 PM #

      I gotcha covered! 😉

      • Littlebells April 27, 2011 at 1:08 PM #

        Oh Lurker, you are my hero! I about punched my computer and that would have cost a ton of money. I am sending you a plate full of brownies via cyberspace! 🙂

  36. Lurker April 27, 2011 at 1:13 PM #

    @LB – so was the theater full of adults?

    • Littlebells April 27, 2011 at 1:29 PM #

      Yes and the majority were in their 50s and 60s. we were one of the younger couples and we are in our 30s.

  37. Littlebells April 27, 2011 at 2:45 PM #

    I also want to add I loved how Christoph didn’t budge at all when the lion roared (when they were feeding them lunch). Someone who was around lions that much wouldn’t budge either and it really made me believe in his character.

    I also liked that I could see the actors “thinking”. I liked that I could see them thinking as their character. It gave more life, IMO. For example, I liked that I could sense Jacob coming up with a plan when he was in the train car with Marlena and Silver. They weren’t just actors creating roles, they were living, breathing people and aside from some idiots out there, all people think. Did that make any sense whatsoever. I’m not doing so well with my verbage…

    • Open Book April 27, 2011 at 4:46 PM #

      Great! Great! Review LB!

      So were their other people sniffling with u?

      Don’t be ashamed about crying. I kinda got chocked up too in the very beginning with Hal.

      Did u and your husband go in the evening?

      How big was the theater?

      • Littlebells April 27, 2011 at 5:03 PM #

        You know, I didn’t even pay attention to the other folks, but I’m going to guess and say yes!

        We went to the 7pm showing. It was a fairly good turn out for a Tuesday night, IMO. Our theater was pretty decent sized. It was in one of the larger theaters. I’m getting some “me” time this afternoon (hubs is dirt biking tomorrow), so I am really TEMPTED to go see the 4:40 showing. 🙂

        I wasn’t as reflective when I left the theater as I was happy that Jacob got what he wanted in the end. I loved that b&w montage and thought that was a fantastic way to end the movie.

        I will definitely buy the DVD.

    • Parisienne April 27, 2011 at 9:14 PM #

      That made complete sense. I sensed it too. and yes Reese did get her dress dirty when she jumped from the train. Just her left butt cheek and it wasn’t very much dirt so it was still a little unrealistic.

  38. Parisienne April 27, 2011 at 9:12 PM #

    I went and saw it again!!!!!!!!!!!! Loved it. I did notice alot of inconsistencies this time with make-up and such. Everyone clapped when Rosie hit August over the head. 🙂 Went to the 4:25 show. Only about 10 people in the theater. There was one young person in the theater, she was about 10 and her mom made her leave the theater during the hotel “sex” scene. Which I thought was really cute. She kept apologizing to me everytime she passed me.

    • Littlebells April 27, 2011 at 9:42 PM #

      haha! That’s awesome! I just got back from seeing it again, too. 🙂

      Ok, I have to make an ammendment to 2 of my 3 complaints:

      1) she did have a bruised cheek but it was gone by the next night. Soooo….


      2) I got the Walter bit.

      Good eye on the bum cheek, Paris! I looked and still didn’t see anything. Even my husband said, “She would have serious road rash.”

      And my apologies for not recognizing James Howard (composer). The music is the glue that pieced everything together. I love the theme played throughout, especially the beginning and end, because it is very child like. It created the sense of wonder, awe, and fantasy: just what a circus is. Howard truly created music that pulled you in and took you away.

      My theater had about 30 people: some couples, a few loners like myself, and 4 teens who sat below me. The first time they kissed and in the sex scene I could hear them giggling under their breathes. It was actually pretty funny.

      Tears made their appearance at the same points, so kudos to them for not letting me down. Held it together better this time around. I’m such a sap. I don’t know if I should be embarrassed or not. Again, I’m going to say that the b & w montage is one of my favorite moments.

      And Paris, I wish I could give that mom a hug. Seriously, I know too many 6 and 7 years olds who watch worse and their parents don’t give two cents.

      Alright. I”m done.

      • Parisienne April 27, 2011 at 9:53 PM #

        I know! I wanted to applaud her. One does not see many parents like that these days. That’s great parenting right there. I caught the Walter bit the first time. Why do you think though that his children wouldn’t let him live with them? That’s just very sad.

        • Littlebells April 28, 2011 at 10:38 AM #

          Good question. I’m going to assume normal life. Spouses don’t want to take care of their in-law’s, no one wants to do it, or they are too busy with their own families. I forgot how old Jacob is in the end. When he says Walter is 71, I was like, “Whoa, I forgot about that!” And more than likely if Walter and hsi siblings are old, that means the grand kids would be the ones taking care of their parents and Jacob. At this point in time, meaning today, most kids don’t care for their parents. It’s that saying, “One mother can take care of six children, but six children can’t take care of one mother.”

      • Parisienne April 27, 2011 at 9:55 PM #

        the b&w montage was my fav too. I finally noticed that Rob looks his age/a little older. Don’t be embarressed. Its cool. 🙂

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