Excerpt: No one would deny that film is an inherently visual medium. Character, plot and dialogue may be the bedrock that makes a movie work, but the visuals are the funnel their stories reach us through. It's not an accident that many of the best directors come from an artistic or photographic background; the ability to think visually and produce beautiful images is essential.
Excerpt: Another in the increasingly inbred line of romantic melodramas to spring from the fertile loins of Nicholas Sparks, Dear John is as inspired as its title, a reference that originated with the scores of break-up letters sent to soldiers deployed overseas during World War II. Director Lasse Hallström certainly brings the pastoral pretty to the first 40 minutes of this story of a young couple -- a Green Beret and angelic deb played by Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried --...
Excerpt: The Film When a long distance relationship develops between a soldier on leave and a southern college student on break in the pre- and post- 911 world, it's only a matter of time and a series of letters before the actual "Dear John" letter arrives, and this scenario provides the plot for Dear John .
Pros: Actors: Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried, Richard Jenkins, Henry Thomas, Director: Lasse Hallstrom, Audio Languages: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Subtitles: English SDH, Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1, Number of Discs: 1, Rating: PG-13, Studio: Sony Pictures, Release Date: May 25, 2010, Run Time: 108 minutes, List Price: $34.95, Extras: Alternate ending Outtakes Deleted scenes A conversation with Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried and Lasse Hallstrom Transforming Charleston Mil...
Excerpt: Dear John tells us something about lost love. Let’s say the girl you thought was “the one” decided to marry someone else while you were away. Shucks, right? Well no, not according to Dear John . All you need to do is wait for her husband to fall terminally ill with lymphoma and make your move. Que happy ending… or at least a slightly sleazy one.
Conclusion: Is 'Dear John' a great film? No. Is it even a very good film? Well, no, it's not that either. In fact, it's one of the more offensive movies I've seen in a long time (moreso than, say, 'Antichrist,' and a lot less fun). With its simplistic views on life, war, and love, it just really rubbed me the wrong way. That said, this is an impressive looking-and-sounding disc, and it has a healthy (if not exactly noteworthy) collection of special features.
Summary: I Promise . Romance sells. Stephenie Meyer know it, Nicholas Sparks knows it, and Hollywood knows it. And that's what makes Dear John so intriguing. Billed as a Romance but delving into so much more, the latest Nicholas Sparks novel-turned-film isn't just another garden-variety and overly-mushy happily-ever-after Romance. It's built around a seemingly unbreakable bond of love between two people, but the greater story is something else altogether.
Excerpt: I understand that according to the press notes, Dear John is not in fact a four-hour epic. But when I was in that theater, watching Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried make virginal moony eyes at each other, I swear to you I felt time stop. More than just a goopy weepie with an overload of twee songs on the soundtrack, Dear John is a test of your will and resolve; it will spend almost two hours trying to convince you that you are not nearly as good a person as these two...
Excerpt: Reduced to its basic elements, the romantic fiction of Nicholas Sparks reads like a generic personal ad: “Single white character loves sunsets, horses, full moons, and walks on the beach. Terminal illness inevitable but bittersweet.” Just a few minor tweaks away from other gauzy Sparks adaptations like A Walk To Remember and The Notebook , Dear John offers the legal minimum number of changes required to let it be considered a different movie.
Summary: While there's no questioning writer Nicholas Sparks' ability to boost Kleenex sales, cinematic adaptations of his work have been somewhat of a mixed bag. Whilst Message in a Bottle showcased Kevin Costner at his best, A Walk to Remember was a film to forget (save Mandy Moore) and Nights in Rodanthe seemed like an eternity in purgatory.