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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)


Athena
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Based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Seth Grahame-Smith that parodies the 1813 British novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The film is directed by Burr Steers, who wrote the adapted screenplay, and stars Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote, Douglas Booth, Matt Smith, Charles Dance and Lena Headey.

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The film just did not work for me. I like that they actually gave the female characters a background in combat training. Even taking the time to show us the sisters engaging in tactical training. So it was to bad they did not shoot the fighting scenes well. Shooting them well would have made a big difference to the movie effectiveness. As it was, there was only one fight scene shot at least decently, which Lizzie happen to emerge victorious, with her superior Shaolin training. But it could have been shot much better. All the elements were there to make a really good movie. However the fight and battle scenes were shot so poorly that it greatly diminished the film.

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I saw the previews for this in the movie theater and everyone was laughing, including myself.  Was this supposed to be a comedy?

 

Yes. The books are all parodies. It's at least suppose to be silly and fun.

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Saw this Thursday and it was a decent way to kill two or so hours, but it wasn't as good or fun as I hoped it would be.  I felt like it kept getting this close to it's full potential, but something was holding it back.  It never felt like it fully embraced what it should have been: a batshit crazy mixture of Pride & Prejudice and crazy zombie shit.  Some of it might have been the rating.  I'm not someone who automatically thinks PG-13 hampers a film, but it felt like any zombie carnage was harmed here.  It was just weird whenever they would be killing zombies left and right, and there was barely any blood splatter.  And the direction of all those action scenes was pretty weak.  The only action scene that even worked somewhat didn't even have zombies (Elizabeth vs. Darcy.)

 

It was fun seeing the cast full of well-known British actors: both Lena Headey and Charles Dance, Jack Huston, and Matt Smith was especially a hoot as Mr. Collins (probably because he pretty much played him the same way he played The Doctor.)  Never seen Lily James before, but I thought she was actually really good as Elizabeth, and at times better then the material.  Extremely gorgeous too, which made Mrs. Bennet's putdowns even more hilarious and unbelievable.  Hopefully, she'll get better projects soon.

Edited by thuganomics85
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The Elizabeth and Darcy fight reminded me of the sword fight from Zorro with Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Which was shot better and way more sexy. As for looks, both Jane and Elizabeth were both exceedingly beautiful women. So I love the running joke of Elizabeth is almost as Beautiful as Jane.

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The movie looked like it was trying to be serious, but seriously, I'm over the whole zombie apocalypse thing.

That's what I was wondering when I asked if it was supposed to be a comedy because I was confused looking at the promo.  It looked like it was supposed to be a serious zombie movie during that period, but the audience I was in thought the promo was so bad that we were laughing.

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aw this Thursday and it was a decent way to kill two or so hours, but it wasn't as good or fun as I hoped it would be.  I felt like it kept getting this close to it's full potential, but something was holding it back.  It never felt like it fully embraced what it should have been: a batshit crazy mixture of Pride & Prejudice and crazy zombie shit.  Some of it might have been the rating.  I'm not someone who automatically thinks PG-13 hampers a film, but it felt like any zombie carnage was harmed here.  It was just weird whenever they would be killing zombies left and right, and there was barely any blood splatter.  And the direction of all those action scenes was pretty weak.  The only action scene that even worked somewhat didn't even have zombies (Elizabeth vs. Darcy.)

 

 

I thought the actors did a great job, but the movie did not embrace the unique craziness of the concept.  When Mrs. Bennet tells Jane to go out without a carriage, so she would be asked to sleep overnight, it seemed so stupid, knowing the woods were filled with zombies.

 

Also, the Zombies were sentient?  They could converse, set traps, and not eat human brains if given something else.  So, why not try to live with them, if possible?

 

Did anyone else find Mr. Darcy's voice annoying?  It was so scratchy.

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...and Matt Smith was especially a hoot as Mr. Collins (probably because he pretty much played him the same way he played The Doctor.)

Between this and some comment Moffat made about Smith basically being the character he played as the Doctor, I'm beginning to wonder if he can act at all, or if he just skates through every role on awkward charm.

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I saw this today and thought it was quite entertaining, really a hoot (though I agree that it didn't quite reach its full potential). Lily James and Bella Heathcore were oddly but utterly PERFECT as Lizzy and Jane. I've always found Douglas Booth weak and one-note, but that one note worked for Bingley, so he was decent. The guy playing Darcy--I don't know that I think he was that good, but he was what the movie needed, if that makes sense.

I might be alone in this, but I thought Matt Smith was funny to a point and then he just became tiresome. Less would've been a bit more there. Disappointingly, Lena Headey felt really off except for her last scene.

The world-building was surprisingly pretty strong.

I don't think I'd pay to go see it in the theaters again but I'll definitely rewatch on Netflix.

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One must give credit to UK actors who can just commit to playing the dumbest things straight. Must be all that panto training. I think American actors would be too winky or fourth-wall-breaky in material like this. I liked it!

I recognized several of the costumes worn in other Austen adaptations, so we know they saved some costuming dough. Except Darcy's leather coat, that is. Nice touch, that. (Although it wouldn't have surprised me if SR had busted out some Ian Curtis "Control" in that coat.)

To my eye, Smith was playing Mr. Collins with a lot of homoerotic undertones. His physical responses to Darcy were unexpected in that regard. I think it's fine as a take on the role on general principle, and he seemed to have fun doing it.

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On 10/31/2016 at 0:27 PM, attica said:

One must give credit to UK actors who can just commit to playing the dumbest things straight.

That was a problem here, for me. Don't be winky, sure, but have a sense of humor about it (like Alan Rickman in Robin Hood POT).

I didn't last through the whole movie; I tapped out halfway through, and it was a chore to make it that far. It really did seem like it was trying to be a Serious Zombie Movie instead of embracing its ridiculous premise. Lily James has never been likeable in anything I've seen her in and she's a pretty subpar Elizabeth. The less said about the actor playing Darcy, and his chemistry with James, the better.

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  • 2 months later...

Oh god I thought this was horrible. I didn't last the entire movie. A lot of people said this was a parody but no one in the movie was in on the joke.  Darcy was just horrible. He had NO concept how to do snobby. And played Darcy like an emo-introvert.  I was embarrassed for Lena Headly. 

The most ridiculous scene was the proposal where they get into a fight and Elizabeth actually engages in physical combat with Darcy. Ridiculous. 

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On 11/2/2016 at 11:44 AM, slf said:

 It really did seem like it was trying to be a Serious Zombie Movie instead of embracing its ridiculous premise.

That was kind of the problem with Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer. (Seth Grahame-Smith's other book-turned-movie.) The movie took itself waaaaaaayyy too seriously. Although it kind of worked in a campy fun way because the actors did their best to sell it. That did not happen here.

The producers should have taken their cues from Warm Bodies.

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  • 3 years later...
(edited)

Caught this; fastforwarded a bunch.

Yes, they needed to have more fun with the concept. I think they were hampered down by trying to include specific P&P scenes and dialog - and having many of those not adapted to the zombie theme. Darcy was bad, but I don't think that was all on the actor. Lizzie vs. Darcy fight was... a choice.

The one thing that was funny was Darcy randomly diving into a pond as a reference to that other P&P production.

Edited by Trini
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On 4/7/2020 at 4:00 PM, Trini said:

Yes, they needed to have more fun with the concept. I think they were hampered down by trying to include specific P&P scenes and dialog - and having many of those not adapted to the zombie theme. Darcy was bad, but I don't think that was all on the actor. Lizzie vs. Darcy fight was... a choice.

The one thing that was funny was Darcy randomly diving into a pond as a reference to that other P&P production.

I dunno, I liked that they kept Darcy's clumsy attempt at a marriage proposal intact while they were fighting. It's difficult enough to convince a girl you like her once you've insulted the hell out of her; try it when she's throwing a coffee table at your head.

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