Excerpt: After his parents are killed in a car accident leaving him penniless, veterinary student Jacob Jankowski (Robert Pattinson) runs off and joins the Benzini Bros. Circus. Once their sadistic owner and ringmaster August (Christoph Waltz) learns of Jacob's veterinary background, he hires him to care for the animals, though Jacob has an eye for August's wife and the circus' star performer Marlena (Reese Witherspoon).
Excerpt: Jacob (Robert Pattinson) has just suffered an intense tragedy, as his parents were killed in a brutal accident. He soon learns that his father had gone into immense debt in order to finance his education, as Jacob had been studying to become a veterinarian. This means that debt has now become his, adding even more burden to his tragic situation. He decides to make a new life for himself, one that starts by hopping on a freight train, or so he thinks.
Excerpt: After Jacob (Robert Pattinson, Twilight ) loses both of his parents, he decides he needs a fresh start. Impulsively, he jumps aboard a train and lands a job shoveling manure for a circus. During his time there, Jacob meets the sadistic ringmaster August (Christoph Waltz, The Green Hornet ) and his lovely, quiet wife Marlena (Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line ).
Conclusion: 'Water for Elephants' is, in my humblest opinion, a good film, but it's not a great one because I wasn't able to connect with the love story between the two lead characters. However, this quality adaptation looks marvelous in high definition, sounds wonderful, and features terrific performances from Christoph Walz and other character actors. Definitely not a must buy for those who have not seen the film or even fans of the book. I would say give it a rent first.
Excerpt: The Movie Jacob (Robert Pattinson), an affable lad from a loving home, is just hours from realizing his dreams of earning his veterinary degree from Cornell and taking the world by storm, when fate cruelly intervenes and it all goes up in smoke. Lost and alone, he hits the road, jumps a train, runs off with the circus and learns the ropes. Hmm, did I miss any clichés there? If I did, trust me, they await you in Water for Elephants .
Conclusion: Perhaps the best way to sum up the problems with Water for Elephants is to state that the chemistry and emotional pull between Pattinson and Tai, the elephant portraying Rosie, is far more visceral than that between Pattinson and Witherspoon. Water for Elephants assumes that the novelty of a circus setting will be enough to distract viewers from the tired story at the center of this piece, but that assumption is only partially true.
Excerpt: There was a very good movie to be made out of Water for Elephants , Sara Gruen's period novel that was thick on atmospherics and melodrama but thin on character development. It would have required some tweaking, some bold choices from screenwriter Richard LaGravenese in his adaptation, and most of all a willingness from all involved to liven up these characters as more than glamorous paper dolls in the Complete 1931 Circus Set.
Excerpt: Whatever magic was included in Sara Gruen's 2006 novel, "Water for Elephants," has not made the arduous journey to the big screen. An excruciatingly labored and uneven melodrama, the cinematic incarnation of the best-seller takes a vivid tale of romance and revenge and bleeds it dry of tension, electing to hang tight to a trio of miscast actors instead of developing the rich world and characterizations of the story.