Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Heathcliff (1997)

Year: 1997
Rated: NR
Run Time: Too fucking long.

Cliff Richard as Heathcliff
Helen Hobson as Catherine Earnshaw
Darryl Knock as Edgar Linton
Sara Haggerty as Isabella Linton
Jimmy Johnston as Hindley Earnshaw

First Viewing - February 7, 2010 on Youtube.

It physically pains me to even type this. I would rather just drink heavily until I forget that I spent two hours of my life watching this...this...all mighty ass raping. But there is not enough alcohol in the whole state of Montana to make me forget. In fact, drinking the necessary amount to make me forget would kill me and then you, dear readers, would never know to stay away from the most atrocious adaptation of Wuthering Heights to ever haunt celluloid.

A few weeks ago while I was writing my Wuthering Heights: The Other Versions blog, I realized that one of the random musical versions of WH was actually filmed. While searching for an image, I discovered that the whole damn thing was on youtube. It couldn't be that bad, right? Maybe it would be kitschy and adorable like Thumbelina. Or hell, maybe it could be good. Who was I to judge?

I do not simply have the strength to do a full WH review of this movie. There will be no handy-dandy individual sections on the costumes (Regency! WHAT THE FUCK?), the sets, the music (oh, God, I am feeling weak with remembrance), or what I liked or disliked. (BECAUSE I FUCKING DISLIKED EVERYTHING!) And the characters....[Jordyn pauses to inhale and exhale deeply]...don't get me started.

First off, let me give you a little background information. There's this singer from Britain named Cliff Richard. I had never heard of him till this week. At age 55, he got it into his head to play Heathcliff. Since he's TOO FUCKING OLD, he financed a whole musical production on his own. They put it up in Britain, then taped it. This is what I saw.

By the way, did I mention it's called Heathcliff? No, not Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff. Get it right. Because that's what the whole story is about, right? There aren't any other characters, right? Fuck this shit.

Basically, the play starts with some stock footage of the Moors and some kids running around with each other. Then it's Cathy's funeral. Then Heathcliff remembers everything. The story goes in a semi accurate direction, hitting important plot points but then taking 10 minute tangents to sing an awful song.

Let me try to describe the music to you. It's like if Andrew Lloyd Webber and Michael Bolton decided to write a musical. On the night of their writing session, they ate week old egg salad sandwiches from a vending machine belonging to the devil. But instead of postponing their writing session, they powered through that diarrhea infused night and gave birth to this.

Actually, the music was written by John Farrar who wrote at least two good songs ("Hopelessly Devoted to You" and "You're the One That I Want" from Grease). And the lyrics were written by Tim Rice. Yes, Sir Tim "Aladdin/The Lion King/Aida" fucking Rice. What the fuck? How can this be bad? I really blame the actual music...but the lyrics are no blue ribbon winners either. It's like Tim Rice decided that he would throw out the first thing that popped into his head and keep it. That, or this was punishment for losing a bet.

Here are some examples of the songs: "Gypsy Bundle." "Gambling Song." "I Do Not Love You Isabella." I was praying for death when a group of women were inviting Cathy to "Thrush! Cross! Grange!"

They cut out Nelly, just fyi, (GRRRR) so after Cathy shreiks "I! AM! HEATHCLIFF!" to herself, Heathcliff is plugging his ears and running away. We are then treated to a twenty minute interlude where we see Heathcliff gain is fortune by dancing in Africa, India, and China.

My issues with this pile of shit are insurmountable. There is absolutely nothing about it that I enjoyed. All right, I take that back. When the cast isn't stabbing our ears with the horrible songs, they exchange dialogue that is actually from the book. Woo. Hoo. I think this is just pure laziness though. There was too much work to be done with the singing and choreography.

What's most entertaining to me is that I used to think WH '03 was a bad musical version. Heathcliff makes that look liked fucking Les Miserables. Which is ironic, because this turd is trying to be Les Mis but failing tragically. This is just the product of some selfish fucker wanting to play the "greatest role of all time."

Perhaps the most ironic thing about this whole all mighty ass raping, is that it had fans! It made money! It ran for a year and broke all sorts of records in Britain! The greatest injustice is that this is available to the English speaking world (via Youtube) and yet, some of the rarer, more interesting versions will never be seen again.

My word to everyone: stay away. Far away. This is literally the worst thing I have ever seen. And I've sat through several Razzie winners...and Date Movie. This movie/play/piece of shit personally offends something I dearly love and care about and therefore, constitutes such a title. I hope I never see anything as bad as this as long as I live.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Wuthering Heights: The Other Versions

I promised you I would go over all the other versions of Wuthering Heights, so here they are. Admittedly, I've seen some of them. Others I will never have the opportunity to see. No one will, unless you speak multiple languages and have one of those amazing multi-region DVD players....and connections with foreign television studios that will give you access to their archives.

1920: The first known film adaptation. It is unknown if any copies exist and the Brontë Parsonage is currently searching for a copy. Apparently, this version tells both generations and had four actors portray Heathcliff. It was directed by a guy named A.V. Bramble who also directed a silent version of Charlotte Brontë’s novel Shirley.

1948: BBC staged live version. Not filmed. Both generations.

1950: A Studio One one hour production starring Charlton Heston. This one is actually available for viewing on a compilation DVD of other Charlton Heston things. So, honestly, I’ve seen this one but I didn’t want to do a review on it because it is not worth it. It was a very bare bones production and poor quality. It’s available on Netflix but I’m warning you now, it’s shit.

1953: BBC version. There is no recorded version. Apparently, Richard Todd showed up at the BBC wanting to play Heathcliff so this was shat out in a week.

1954: “Abismos de Pasion”. A Mexican version that allegedly shows the true darkness and dysfunction of all the characters. The names have been changed/translated but is essentially the same story.

: TV version.

1956: “Cime Tempestose”. An Italian television version.

1957: Another TV version.

1958: TV version that has Richard Burton as Heathcliff, Patty Duke as young Cathy, and Rosemary Harris (Aunt May from Spider-Man) as Isabella. Why isn’t this version available? It has stars!

1962: A BBC remake of the other 1953 BBC adaptation. This version exists in the archives and could be released on DVD…hopefully some day soon.

1963: “Cumbres Borrascosas”. A Peruvian television version.

1964: “Cumbres Borrascosas”. A Mexican television version.

1966: “Olymeyen Ask” a.k.a. “Immortal Love” . A Turkish version.

1967: “O Morro dos Ventos Uivantes”. A Brazilian version. 

1968: “Les Hauts de Hurlevent”. A French television version. It has been released on DVD in France.

1970: "The Semaphore Version of Wuthering Heights". A sketch on Monty Python where Heathcliff, Cathy, and Edgar communicate with one another with semaphore flags.

1973: “Vendaval”. A Brazilian television version

1976: "Cumbres Borrascosas". A Venezuelan television version with both generations.

1979: "Cumbres Borrascosas". A Mexican television version.

1988: "Arashi Ga Oka" a.k.a. "Onimaru". A Japanese film version that, from what I can find on the internet, changes the setting to medieval Japan and also changes the plot. Basically the Cathy character is supposed to leave the village and become a priestess, but to stay near Heathcliff, she marries a member of the rival family. Then there is great debate over Catherine being Heathcliff's daughter. I believe this version has been released on DVD in France and Japan. Clips exist on youtube.

1991: "Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit" a.k.a. "I'll Wait For You in Heaven". A Filipino film version.

1998: "Mastura". A Malaysian television version.

2002: "Sparkhouse". A BBC miniseries of a modernized, gender role reversed version of Wuthering Heights. It's rather strange and not a direct adaptation. Carol (Heathcliff) and Andrew (Cathy) were not raised together, but still childhood sweethearts. There was a little bit of a star crossed  lovers thing going on. Sarah Smart (who played Catherine in WH '98) plays Carol, so that is pretty interesting.

2004: "Cime Tempestose". An Italian television version. I have seen clips of this on Youtube with English subs, but they have since been removed. It looked fucking awesome and I would give my left big toe to get a copy of this version. It's set in the 1840's but I don't care.

2007: "The Promise". A Filipino remake of "Hihintayin Kita Sa Langit".

Hopefully, there will be more to come!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wuthering Heights (2003)

Year: 2003
Rated: PG-13
Run Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

First Viewing - 2007 on Netflix.

Adaptation Accuracy/Dialogue - You thought I had done every version didn't you? Ha! Certainly, there are many, many, many more adaptations of Wuthering Heights that I have never seen and probably never will see...but I saved this one, the modernized updated version for my last full review. (I will shortly be going over all those versions I have not seen. Get excited!)

But right now, the task at hand is reviewing the 2003 MTV version of Wuthering Heights. Like I said, it's a modernized adaptation like O (the Josh Hartnett Othello) and 10 Things I Hate About You (The Taming of the Shrew as a teen comedy) so much of the book's dialogue is entirely missing. Actually, all of it is missing. I think the only line that is directly taken from the the book is "I am Heath" and even that is changed...obviously.

Because this version is so different from the others and I'm sure you're just dying to know how this classic of English literature could be transposed to our era, I will give a detailed plot synopsis as well as my usual analysis.

The movie begins with Cate (Cathy) narrating how her mother left her when she was young and that her father (referred to as Earnshaw by everyone, even his kids) raised her and her brother, Hendrix (Hindley) at "The Heights", a lighthouse on the coast of what I think is supposed to be Southern California. During a storm, Earnshaw is making repairs on their house and then goes out to get nails or something and finds Heath (Heathcliff...duh) and takes him home. Cate likes him, Hendrix hates him. Cate and Heath spend time frolicking on the beach, grow into teenagers and fall in love.

I should mention right now that this adaptation is kind of a musical. No, not a let's-start-singing-in-the-middle-of-our-conversation musical. Heath is an (apparently) extremely gifted musical genius. Hendrix has aspirations of being a musician, but is very bad...making his name quite ironic. Earnshaw gives Heath a makeshift recording studio where Heath spends his time honing his craft...so we get treated to many songs, most of them mediocre with the exception of one in my opinion. (It's made by MTV people, what do you expect?)

Hendrix is fed up with his father's favoritism and goes to a "punk rock" club where we get our first glimpse of Isabel (take a wild guess) who he seems to have some interest in and shows her by force kissing her. She rejects him and ends up screwing the lead singer of the bands in the parking lot. Hendrix is already a wild partier, so alcoholism is present from the beginning.

Soon after that, Heath's motorcycle breaks down near the Linton's home (not given a formal name in this version). Cate is curious and checks it out. There she meets Isabel and Edward (because Edgar is too much of an old man's name). Edward is immediately entranced with Cate and Isabel is hot for Heath. Heath is pissed that Cate would rather be in anyone's company but his and she agrees to leave, but not happily.

Eventually, Heath and Cate have sex, but she is disturbed by how possessive he is. Cate runs away to the Grange where she meets up with Edward playing his cello. Before the two can have a conversation, Heath arrives with the news that Earnshaw had a heart attack. He later dies and due to patrilineal leanings, Hendrix gets everything. (For a modern adaptation, WTF?) He threatens Heath into living in his music studio, which has been raped of its equipment. The two get into a fight, and to keep Heath from killing Hendrix, Cate hits him with a shovel and he runs off.

Cate drives off and gets in a car wreck, Edward finds her and brings her to his home. While there, Cate refuses to let anyone know where she is and she is nursed back to health by Edward's loving hands. He admits to be in love with her and she lets him kiss her. Meanwhile, Hendrix throws a party at the Heights when Heath returns. Isabel takes him to her house to see Cate in the comfortable, rich world of the Lintons. Heath leaves after Cate admits she doesn't want his love anymore.

Isabel picks Heath up and offers to let him live with her at her boarding school (wtf?). In her HUGE room, she buys him a bunch of music equipment and Heath's musical genius is blooming once again. Isabel finally seduces Heath at the same time Edward proposes to Cate. She accepts.

Isabel releases Heath's music onto the internet thinking if she makes him a star, that he will finally love her. He does become the hottest thing in music, but he is still very much in love with Cate. He takes the money earned and buys the Heights from the bank, after Hendrix lost it. Cate marries Edward but has a panic attack before leaving on the honeymoon when she sees Heath's CD.

Cate sees that Heath is at the Heights through Edward's telescope and goes to see him, resulting in them having sex. Edward discovers them the next morning. Eventually, Cate finds out she is pregnant and ends her affair with Heath, not wanting to complicate her child's life. She is ordered on bed rest and Edward flips when she is out of bed. He shakes her and threatens to kill her if she sees Heath again.

Cate goes into labor and travels down to her and Heath's cave (because that is so safe and plausible!) and summons him. He finds her, carries her to The Heights, and gives birth to her daughter. Before she dies, Cate tells Heath the baby is his. Heath then raises little Cate, while Cate's ghost stays around The Heights...forever.

Heath - (Mike Vogel, age 24) Possessiveness is not romantic. Not now, in this modern day, therefore, Heath seems like belongs in a lifetime movie sometimes. The character also overacts a bit too much and it gets to be distracting. I think his good looks let him get off as being a jerk too easily.

Cate Earnshaw - (Erika Christensen, age 21) Cate is definitely more sympathetic in this version. Heath is very posessive, and to our 21st century sensibilities, we understand why she would want to break free. A lot of her haughtiness and childishness is missing, so it doesn't really feel like Cathy. Plus, when she actually has a physical affair with Heath, that loses points.

Edward Linton - (Christopher Masterson, age 23) He's kind of a creep. He watches Cate through a telescope long before he ever meets her. But overall, he loves her and the little lapdog as always. However, at the end, when he shakes pregnant Cate, that is just unforgivable, making him the most villainous Edgar ever.

Isabel Linton - (Katherine Heigl, age 25) With Isabel, we have an entirely new character. She is rich, spoiled, bitchy, manipulative and a whore. At first, she just wants to bang Heath for the sake of it, but after living with him, her attraction turns to obsessive love and it consumes her. Her journey is the most fascinating. But then she disappears after informing Heath of Cate and Edward's marriage. What happened to her?

Hendrix Earnshaw - (Johnny Whitworth, age 28) He started out good. His actions were justified, but again, we have no Frances and his alcoholism is blamed on his lack of fatherly love. Like Isabel, Hendrix just kind of vanishes after Heath buys The Heights. Maybe he and Isabel finally hooked up.

Raquelle - (Aimee Osbourne, age 20) This is Isabel's friend who's around for some of the action. Honestly, she is not important at all. But she was on the poster, so someone apparently thought she was.

Costumes/Character Appearances - As a modern adaptation, the clothes actually don't wreak of 2003. Cate's are very bohemian, which I enjoy. Hendrix is punk. Isabel is slut. Edward is prep. And Heath wears jeans.

Interestingly, both Heath and Cate are blonde. Edward is too, while Isabel has streaked hair. Being modern, that doesn't really bother me. I get what they were doing with the whole beach thing.

Sets/Filming Locations - Well California is an interesting setting, surely. I think it was really filmed in Puerto Rico or something. But I think the storminess of the ocean worked well in place of the wily, windy moors. I love the idea of making Wuthering Heights a lighthouse, but the one used in the movie was too new and nice looking. It was supposed to be a piece of shit Earnshaw has to repair all the time. It looked too modern.

Music - So this whole thing was the brainchild of Jim Steinman, who is one of Meatloaf's producers and writes those songs with the really long titles like "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)." Some of his songs are used and some are original. Most of them are forgettable and superfluous. However, I love "I Will Crumble", the main theme used throughout the movie.

Overall Likes - Proper mood captured; Isabel's character change; Lighthouse; Hendrix not so one dimensional; "I Will Crumble"; Isabel begs Heath for sex; Edward becomes a dick; Cate's death; "Don't you want to know where I came from?"

Overall Dislikes - The music; Raquelle; Overdramatic in places; Long musical sequences; "Why isn't your heart beating as fast as mine?"; Pregnant Cate climbs down into the cave;

Final Thoughts - Obviously, it is not the best adaptation. Nor is it the best movie...or even the best MTV movie. Okay, maybe it is. I'm not sure what other MTV movies there are. It's mostly a guilty pleasure for me because I know how truly awful it is.

I like when classic literature is updated. It simply fun to see how they get over contextual issues. I don't think if Wuthering Heights was really set today that Earnshaw would leave everything to Hindley. It would probably be split evenly between the three of them. Now, maybe he would get the house...but not everything.

Anyway, I first ordered this movie on Netflix when I was trying to see all available adaptations. At first this one appalled me, and my friend Hannah was drawn in to the awfulness. But by the end, we were both crying. I don't know why, and I'm ashamed to admit it, but MTV's Wuthering Heights, is the only one to make me cry and it always gets the biggest emotional response out of me.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wuthering Heights (1998)

Year: 1998
Rated: NR
Run Time: 1 hour, 53 minutes

First Viewing - February, 2008 on DVD.

Adaptation Accuracy/Dialogue - Maybe it's my favoritism for 90's era film making, but WH '98 seems so quickly paced in comparison to other versions without cutting any of the important scenes. In normal fashion, Lockwood shows up lost and is introduced to the odd inhabitants of the Heights. He is treated to the vision of Cathy at the window, and then we are inexplicably cast back 30 years in the past. (Why is the use of Nelly telling the story so infrequent?)

In this version, we have a definite focus on Cathy and Heathcliff, until her death and then, surprisingly, we get a decent amount of time of Catherine and Hareton. The dialogue is fairly accurate, however many scenes are omitted, shortened or otherwise changed for not explicable reason. Other scenes where the dialogue is uncertain (such as Heathcliff and Cathy out on the wily windy Moors and Heathcliff romancing Isabella) are particularly fanciful, but enjoyable.

Heathcliff -(Robert Cavanah, age 33) He looks odd to me. There's just something about him that doesn't sit right as Heathcliff. He doesn't evolve any and his transitions from stable boy to gentleman to manipulator to madman are too smooth and rather non-existent. It's almost as if Cavanah was going to do what he wanted with the character regardless of the director's wishes...I'm surmising of course.

Cathy Earnshaw - (Orla Brady, age 37) Way. Too. Old. 37? 37? Really? You would have me believe that there were no brunette, British actresses between the ages of 18-25 available in London around the filming of this movie? Ugh. All right, now that my ageist rant is out of the way, Orla Brady doesn't do a bad job. I like her more than other Cathys but am still disappointed that she portrays the character as a woman vs. a teenage girl. Luckily, she is only in half the movie.

Edgar Linton -(Crispen Bonham-Carter, age 29) I like this Edgar, particularly in the second half. Edgar is just much more likable as a father. Although not the most sympathetic overall, I think he does the best he can with the material given.

Isabella Linton - (Flora Montgomery, age 24) This Isabella is rather strong willed and temperamental compared to what she is supposed to be. However, it gains a different kind of  sympathy for her character knowing how unhappy she is being a single woman and watching her brother as a happily married man. Because of these character changes, you think perhaps she and Heathcliff might make a good match...but that is not how the story should go.

Hindley Earnshaw -(Ian Shaw, age 29) Well...drunken Hindley. Is there anything more to say? No more different, no more special than any other portrayal of him.

Frances Earnshaw - (Catherine Cheshire, age unknown) You can tell that this Frances loves her Hindley. It's a subtle performance and she's ever present in the background witnessing the events. You can see why Hindley goes off his rocker when he loses her, because she actually has a personality.

Nelly Dean - (Polly Hemingway, age 52) You know how I feel about old Nellys.

Hareton Earnshaw -(Matthew Macfayden, age 24) You might recognize this actor from 2005's Pride and Prejudice where he played Mr. D'Arcy. But I prefer him as Hareton. Most of his performance is in his face. He is quiet as Hareton should be, but he conveys all the right emotions. Plus, I love his deep, low voice. It adds to his supposed "dumbness" but does not make him seem too dumb.

Catherine Linton -(Sarah Smart, age 21) Hands down, my favorite Catherine. This little blurb will never give Sarah Smart the justice she deserves. I just love how much passion she puts into her performance and she doesn't take any of Heathcliff's shit. I believe her in everything she says and does and I'm so sad the movie didn't take more time with the Catherine/Hareton side of things.

Linton Heathcliff -(William Mannering, age 21) Meh. He is small and sickly looking, that's pretty much all that is needed with Linton.

Joseph -(Tom Georgeson) He says very little and I enjoy that!

Lockwood -(Peter Davison) Lockwood shows up and then very promptly disappears like in nearly every version. He is fine. No complaints here.

Costumes/Character Appearances - Despite the generations having drastically different costume silhouettes, the clothing for the 1780's is used throughout. Although this would normally bother me, it is unlikely that the people of Northern Yorkshire were up on the latest fashions. The fact that young Catherine doesn't have an empire waisted gown is the least of her worries.

Age is the underlying issue. Edgar should be blonder. And Hareton should be darker. Catherine's blonde curly wig is a bit much at times, but I like it, even as unlikely as it is for it too look that nice all the time. I really like the the Christmas dinner scene with the very dark Catherine, the very blonde Isabella, and with Frances in between. It was very visually interesting.

Sets/Filming Locations - Uh, they're fine.

Music - Pretty damn good, actually. However, it's a little too sweet and not dark enough.

Overall Likes - Dual generations; Introduction to Catherine and Hareton; Cathy and Heathcliff as children; Frances; Heathcliff feeling up Cathy in the barn; Isabella's strength; Cathy informs Heathcliff of her pregnancy; Crazy Cathy; Pregnant Isabella; 2nd generation Edgar; Sarah Smart's Catherine; Catherine and Hareton's romantic development; Hareton pulling Catherine away as Heathcliff screams for Cathy; Basically all scenes of Hareton and Catherine; "I will not."; The first kiss.

Overall Dislikes - Old Nelly; The spittle on the kiss...ew; Lapwings...yes I know it happens in the book; Rushed "I am Heathcliff."; Heathcliff and Isabella's wedding night; No "Then you won't be my friend?" scene;

Final Thoughts - My favorite part of Wuthering Heights (1998) is Hareton and Catherine. Their love story is so often downplayed that I loved to see a version where it is given the attention it deserves. However, there were a few scenes cut that I would have loved to have seen these actors do. Such as their first meeting, or when  Cathy asks Hareton to read his own name, and the scene where Catherine offers to teach him to read as a peace offering. Oh well. Even where there are movies with these scenes, they do not have the depth and chemistry present between these two actors.


Wuthering Heights (2009)

Year: 2009
Rated: NR
Run Time: 3 hours

First Viewing - January, 2009 on PBS.

Adaptation Accuracy/Dialogue - Usually, in Wuthering Heights adaptations, the movie begins one of two ways. 1. Lockwood shows up and the story unfolds after Cathy haunting him at the window, such as in the '39, '78, '92, and '98 versions. Or 2. The story just starts out of no where like in the '67 and '70 versions. But WH '09 is kind of a mindfuck. I warn you now, if you have never seen a version of this book before, avoid this one until you are well aware of the story.

It begins with Heathcliff (apparently near the end of the story) flipping out because Cathy is calling for him. Then it to the second half where Edgar is escorting Linton to Wuthering Heights. Catherine does her usual secret letter writing thing and then she and Nelly are trapped in the house. To pass the time, Nelly fills Catherine in on the story of her parents and their relations to Heathcliff.

As soon as Cathy dies, we resume the first story with Catherine, Hareton, and Linton. It's odd. I get why they did it because, generally, the second generation is considered to be boring in comparison to the first. But, to real fans like myself, it's unsettling.

Along with the weirdass retcon order of events, there are several character and dialogue changes FOR NO GODDAMN REASON!!! Take for example, the iconic "I am Heathcliff" scene. Half of the dialogue is spoken directly to Heathcliff. The other half to Nelly, but Heathcliff is already gone by the time she says it would degrade her to marry him...if she even says it...I'm not sure if she does.

Also, Cathy and Heathcliff have sex...which I HATE!!! The said mutual deflowerization takes place after Cathy returns from her stay at the Grange but before she agrees to marry Edgar. Historically, this just doesn't make sense. Cathy, especially on her high horse about her reputation, should no better to have sex with Heathcliff. Plus, it kind of cheapens their relationship, if you ask me. And then poor Edgar, who assumes she's a virgin, offers to sleep in another room on their wedding night, because Cathy's "too tired." (Although after Heathcliff returns the next day, he makes sure to bone her good).

There are so many changes in this version that it's almost as inaccurate as the 1939 version. However, it's definitely more enjoyable to my 21st century sensibilities. However, with it being three hours longs, it should cling to it's original source material other than write a whole new story.

Heathcliff - (Tom Hardy, age 32) I really like this Heathcliff. He brings some much needed humor to the character. Mostly, this is done through sarcasm rather than slapstick jokes. I think he's very good in all three Heathcliff eras, which has so far been a rarity. Kind of like Anna Calder-Marshall's 1970's Cathy, Hardy makes some weird character choices, but they are mostly ignorable.

Cathy Earnshaw - (Charlotte Riley, age 28) She's feisty, I'll say, and lacks maturity, so I guess I like her fine. She's not my favorite, nor my least. Altogether she is passable. I imagine she acted Cathy the way the director wanted.

Edgar Linton -(Andrew Lincoln, age 36) This is probably the most handsome Edgar. He is, actually, supposed to be better looking than Heathcliff. (That's one of Cathy's reasons for loving him, after all.) He is stronger than other Edgars, and isn't as pussy whipped. He threatens to throw Cathy out of the house if she doesn't give up Heathcliff...until she admits she pregnant.

Isabella Linton - (Rosalind Halstead, age 27) She's too pretty, and too strong. I always imagine Isabella shier, and in this version she's much to brazen. Also too old, but otherwise okay. She actively pursues Heathcliff instead sitting in her parlor shooting him come-ravish-me looks. One of the saddest scenes in the movie is when Heathcliff is consummating their marriage. She tries to kiss him...and then he tells her to not look at him. Ouch. To add insult to injury, this Isabella tries to win her brother's sympathy by telling of her pregnancy...but he still disowns her.

Hindley Earnshaw -(Burn Gorman, age 35) Hmmm. It seems like they were trying to do something different here, but just couldn't quite manage. I supposed I had more sympathy for Hindley than usual, but not quite.

Frances Earnshaw - (Sia Berkeley, age 24) This Frances is really, really perky. Too perky. Irritatingly perky. But she loves Hindley...so...

Nelly Dean - (Sarah Lancashire, age 45) Do you see this picture to the left? Of course you do. Do you see the dull, lifeless expression on the actress's face? Yes...well...imagine that through the WHOLE FUCKING MOVIE!! This is by far, the worst Nelly ever. Not only is she old, she has no personality. She says every line with the same inflection. She is a plot device, not a character. She sucks!

Hareton Earnshaw - (Andrew Hawley, age 24) All right, I love this Hareton. He's very cute...too cute. I like cute faces vs. handsome faces, so it pains me to admit that Hareton should be handsome instead of cute. Anyway, he gets the character and I always cry at the end when Hareton discovers Heathcliff's dead body. I don't know if I should claim him as my favorite with having so much of my admiration coming from his appearance.

Catherine Earnshaw - (Rebecca Night, age 24) My least favorite by default. She, like this Nelly, also recites her lines in all the same tones. She's a young actress which helps, but she's a bit too uppity...and she lacks chemistry with Hareton.

Linton Heathcliff - (Tom Payne, age 27) I like this Linton. Yeah, he's a whiny little wretch, but that's how he should be.

Joseph -(Des McAleer)He has some humor so that's good.

Costumes/Character Appearances - Remember how in WH '39, they used costumes from the 1840's and how it didn't make any sense? Well in this version, they decide to put the first generation in Regency wear, (because everyone loooooooovvvvvvvvvvves Jane Austen right?) And the second generation gets something resembling the late 1820's. Ugh...whatever.

I like Edgar's handsomeness, but he's too dark as is Isabella. Hindley way too old. Hareton, too cute. And why the fuck is Catherine brunette? Stick on a blonde wig!

Sets/Filming Locations - Wuthering Heights, as a house, is just too damn big. The mansion in the 1992 version is also gothic, but smaller. This house is just too impending.

Music - There are some weird Indian flutes and then guitar music that belongs in a Starbucks, but it has some enjoyable motifs.

Overall Likes -Dual generations; Addressing if Heathcliff is Earnshaw's bastard; Heathcliff's humor; Heathcliff coming back on Cathy's wedding day; Isabella's journey; "Don't look at me."; "You poor wretch, your pride cannot blind God"; Catherine saying no one will love Heathcliff; Hareton and Heathcliff discussing love; Hareton crying over Heathcliff's body; Heathcliff and Cathy's ghosts staying at the Heights.

Overall Dislikes - Wrong costumes; sucky Nelly; Sex; Disjointed dialogue; Perky Frances; Old, crotchety Hindley; Cathy wandering the moors in her nightgown (didn't happen!); No dialogue during Cathy's death; Heathcliff's suicide.

Final Thoughts - For the most recent version of Wuthering Heights, I had a lot of expectations. Honestly, I enjoy movies from the 90's to the present most, so a modern treatment is the best for me. Overall, I was disappointed with many of the changes to the plot and some huge character discrepancies.

I do like this version. It has some tremendous faults but also some very memorable scenes that I'm glad this version dared to show. I feel that Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley have good chemistry. The bulk of the story focuses on them, of course. The story knows it is epic and classic and decides to "print the legend" rather than what the original text says. The scene where Cathy wanders around in her nightgown in non existent in the book, but people assume it's there due to pop culture legend.

I probably would be more disappointed if it weren't for yet another version of Wuthering Heights being in production. It should be released sometime this year. Hopefully, they don't Twilight it out too much.