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Thread: Princess Ka'iulani

  1. #26
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    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    FM - for once, and this may only happen once in our lifetimes - I totally agree with your whole post.
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  2. #27

    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Indeed, it's a stinker all right. The best thing it could do is to steer someone towards further learning of REAL Hawaiian history.

    The one thing that surprised me, however, is to learn that the Princess's engagement to Clive Davies may have a factual basis after all. A biographical writer friend tells me that she has been in touch with (a) one of the film's historical consultants, and (b) an historian connected with `Iolani Palace. They confirm that there are letters in the archives that congratulate both parties on their engagement.

    All along, I assumed that was a made-up storyline --- since there are so many "tweaks" of history in the film, for the sake of cinematic interest. The electric lighting / attempted takeover / rushing the Princess to England for "safety" events all in one evening, for example, when the approximate "real" events occurred at different times over a period of about two years.

    Another inaccuracy was the Princess being away in England at the time of the Bayonet Constitution; she was in Hawai`i when that happened.

    But at least the mele that was sung to her on the beach was likely to have been one from that era (sung in the film by Blaine Kia).

    Ocean Ka`owili played Kalakaua well, though I understand Palani Vaughan was first approached for the role, and declined due to the liberties the filmmakers intended to take (in the first draft of the script); but considering his personal history, using Chinky Mahoe as a consultant and in an on-screen hula role might not have been a good move.

  3. #28
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    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    Princess Kaiulani has languished at the box office.
    Wow! It's been out almost a month and has barely earned $600,000, and it cost $9 million to make.
    I'm thinkin' that the producers/investors just needed a tax writeoff.
    .
    .

    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

  4. #29
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    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Life imitates Art...or something like that. So the star of the movie is arrested in real life!
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

  5. #30
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    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by LikaNui View Post
    Wow! It's been out almost a month and has barely earned $600,000, and it cost $9 million to make.
    I'm thinkin' that the producers/investors just needed a tax writeoff.
    I think if they made a Disney Animated version of that same movie it would have been a blockbuster.
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

  6. #31
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    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by Menehune Man View Post
    [...]
    It was more of a 'date' movie than documentary. We enjoyed.[...]
    It was never billed as a documentary. It's a historical DRAMA, not a documentary. I enjoyed it, too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    Bob Jones gives his take on the movie in MidWeek.
    I posted on Facebook that I felt Bob Jones was way out of line with his review. It reeked of vindictiveness rather than a review of a movie he didn't like. Almost sounded like he had to pay to see the movie rather than receiving a comp ticket or DVD! I don't mind reading a negative movie review but Jones was way out of line.
    [...]
    To add insult to injury, the historical liberties that were taken in the vain attempt to make the movie more commercial has resulted in a product that misinforms and distorts the actual events re: Ka'iulani's life and the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy to those who are curious enough to rent and seek out this film on DVD in the years to come.
    Once again...it's a drama, not a documentary.
    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
    [...] but considering his personal history, using Chinky Mahoe as a consultant and in an on-screen hula role might not have been a good move.
    Gotta completely agree with you there!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by LikaNui View Post
    Wow! It's been out almost a month and has barely earned $600,000, and it cost $9 million to make.
    I'm thinkin' that the producers/investors just needed a tax writeoff.
    I doubt that. Production is always looking for a success.

  7. #32
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    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Sounds like a $5 bargain bin DVD at WalMart soon...

  8. #33

    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    I think if they made a Disney Animated version of that same movie it would have been a blockbuster.
    Maybe, but think about it. Wouldn't a Disney-fied production require a happy ending? How the heck are you going to do that on a life story about Ka'iulani?

    Unless you say to hell with any pretense of historical accuracy and have her be crowned the queen, get married to Clive Davies, and (oh yes!) create some talking animals to be her best friends.
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  9. #34
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    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by LikaNui View Post
    Wow! It's been out almost a month and has barely earned $600,000, and it cost $9 million to make.
    [...]
    Just to put it into a little bit of perspective...it's not in nationwide release. It's in limited release and has averaged 40 theaters during the past month. Keeping that in mind, I don't know if $600k is good, bad or somewhere in between.

  10. #35
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    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    Maybe, but think about it. Wouldn't a Disney-fied production require a happy ending?
    You mean like Bambi?

    I saw the film when it first opened here. The historical inaccuracies don't bother me much at all because as has been pointed out, this is a drama, not a documentary. What offended me was what I consider lazy film-making. How many shots of the princess gazing ponderously up at the sky (or out at the ocean, or across a field, or...) did the writers think we could endure before rolling our eyes in annoyance? There are clever (but out-of-place) transitions that do little but call attention to themselves. Most of the acting is second-rate, 'though I think Q'orianka Kilcher and Will Patton do pretty well. I understand the desire to put as many local people in this film as possible, but supporting characters who can only sorta act don't support the film very well at all.

    Any historical liberties that serve the story seem in this case to be worth it. The storyline itself is compelling; one just wishes that the film-makers had cared enough about it to support it adequately. This could have been quite a good movie.

    PS: Now that I've seen it, I completely agree with PZ. The Barbarian Princess is a much, much better title. Lame of the producers to cave.
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  11. #36

    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    Maybe, but think about it. Wouldn't a Disney-fied production require a happy ending?
    Quote Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
    You mean like Bambi?
    Bambi had a sad ending? Really??? AFAIK, the ending of the movie saw Bambi and his mate giving birth to twins.... and then, happily ever after.

    If by chance, you're referring to Bambi's mother getting killed,.... that was in the middle of the movie, Scriv.

    Quote Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
    The Barbarian Princess is a much, much better title. Lame of the producers to cave.
    If nothing else, a title that didn't have the name of the princess have made all the historical liberties easier to accept.
    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

  12. #37
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    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    If by chance, you're referring to Bambi's mother getting killed,.... that was in the middle of the movie, Scriv
    What? Really? Dang. I guess it's been a while since I've seen that one. Remember that episode of Friends where Phoebe finds out that her mom made her stop watching sad movies at points just before the movies turned sad? So she thinks Old Yeller is a happy movie? Maybe my mom did the opposite and stopped movies just before they got happy.
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  13. #38
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    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    I think Disney should do one on the overthrow. Kids need to know the facts of Hawaii's monarchy in ways they can appreciate it. Sad ending? Maybe but like in Star Wars, Hawaii's future is still very much a cliff-hanger that exudes Sequel!

    Or make a TV mini series like Roots! Take it from the missionary days right up to modern day Hawaii with activism riding along every historic turn in Hawaii's history! Include the plantation days and the rise of business commerce. Add the Apology from the US Government to the Akaka Bill in ways that both sides are presented. Oh man I'd buy that DVD series in a heartbeat!
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
    [...] What offended me was what I consider lazy film-making. How many shots of the princess gazing ponderously up at the sky (or out at the ocean, or across a field, or...) did the writers think we could endure before rolling our eyes in annoyance?
    Possibly some of those shots were written into the script but, ultimately, the director has the power to add to or change them. Sometimes they're filmed as insert shots to use for various reasons...or not use at all. In the case of this movie the writer and director are one and the same! This film is Mark Forby's directorial debut.
    There are clever (but out-of-place) transitions that do little but call attention to themselves. Most of the acting is second-rate, 'though I think Q'orianka Kilcher and Will Patton do pretty well. I understand the desire to put as many local people in this film as possible, but supporting characters who can only sorta act don't support the film very well at all.
    With all due respect, Scriv, I'll disagree. I walked in to the theater expecting to cringe...and I didn't. I was pleasantly surprised by the acting.
    Any historical liberties that serve the story seem in this case to be worth it. The storyline itself is compelling; one just wishes that the film-makers had cared enough about it to support it adequately. This could have been quite a good movie.
    I don't believe there was any lack of caring or support (except for a somewhat small budget). Filmmaking is a creative process and everyone involved brings their ideas to the table. Sometimes those ideas work and sometimes they don't. It's the proverbial crap shoot!!! Bigger budgets allow for bigger ideas. Considering that PK was filmed in Hawaii, England, Washington DC and New York and was a period piece...egads, $9M is nuthin'!
    PS: Now that I've seen it, I completely agree with PZ. The Barbarian Princess is a much, much better title. Lame of the producers to cave.
    I also agree. There are references to "barbarian" in the dialogue that would've more than justified sticking with the original title.

  15. #40

    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    I just saw the tv ads for the movie. Did the real Princess Kaiulani have that accent?

  16. #41
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    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by Walkoff Balk View Post
    I just saw the tv ads for the movie. Did the real Princess Kaiulani have that accent?
    hard to say....but when Cecilio Rodrigues started singing Jawaiian, he walked around town with a Jamaican accent for a while. Life imitates art.
    Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

  17. #42
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    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    I don't believe there was any lack of caring or support (except for a somewhat small budget). Filmmaking is a creative process and everyone involved brings their ideas to the table. Sometimes those ideas work and sometimes they don't. It's the proverbial crap shoot!!! Bigger budgets allow for bigger ideas. Considering that PK was filmed in Hawaii, England, Washington DC and New York and was a period piece...egads, $9M is nuthin'!
    I actually admired that they shot on location in all those places. That was one sign that they cared about certain details. But let me ask you (and I'm asking in all sincerity because I respect you and your opinion):

    -- minor spoilers here --

    When the princess gives that press conference, and as the reporters (one of whom is Michael W. Perry!) are turning away, they're muttering things aloud. Stuff like, "Well she's certainly no barbarian!" and "That was well spoken!" It's that buzz of a group of journalists you see in Bugs Bunny shorts, and it's a cheap, easy way to indicate to the viewer that the princess's eloquence has won over the writers. Never mind that (a) you see that scene a thousand times in movies they don't make anymore, movies in which rebellious teenaged boys say things like, "What's it to ya, mister?" and (b) that scene has never existed in real life. Did you find that a satisfying, reasonable scene in a movie written for today's audiences? I thought it was lazy. I thought it relied on old conventions that certainly do the job but do it in a way that required (a) no thought on the part of the writer/director and (b) a lot of forgiveness from the audience.

    All by itself, that scene is not enough to make it a bad film, but it's one example of what I considered an insult to my intelligence as a film-goer, and I'm not that intelligent a film-goer. Added to the several other scenes I thought were almost as bad, it just really was too much for me to look past. Did you not feel the same way?
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  18. #43
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    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
    [...] Did you not feel the same way?
    Not really. I felt they were legitimate comments that could've been uttered under those circumstances. IOW, reality. I consider you a wonderful, intelligent writer, albeit not screenplays, so, out of curiosity, how would you have liked that scene to play out? Did you mean that scene "has never existed in real life" as in the Princess' life? Or, that journalists never react that way? While I'm not a journalist I certainly have made my share of mutterings at the end of listening to someone speak!!! And, the older I get the more I mutter!

    I sure hope the Bugs Bunny cartoons my dad wrote had way more humorous mutterings!

  19. #44

    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
    easy way to indicate to the viewer that the princess's eloquence has won over the writers. Never mind that (a) you see that scene a thousand times in movies they don't make anymore, movies in which rebellious teenaged boys say things like, "What's it to ya, mister?" and (b) that scene has never existed in real life. Did you find that a satisfying, reasonable scene in a movie written for today's audiences?
    They should have use dialogue such as "Hey Howzit or Ainokea" to give the film a more modern feel.
    If the main character spoke with a British accent. Keira Knightley would have been more of a box office draw.
    Last edited by helen; June 7th, 2010 at 11:36 PM. Reason: fixing the quote tag

  20. #45
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    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by Walkoff Balk View Post
    [...]
    They should have use dialogue such as "Hey Howzit or Ainokea" to give the film a more modern feel.
    If the main character spoke with a British accent. Keira Knightley would have been more of a box office draw.
    WB...wotchu talkin' about?!

  21. #46
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    Default Re: Princess Ka'iulani

    Saw this movie today at the Ward Theatre.

    Some things didn't make sense like the princess's father not introducing the Davis family to her when they arrived at their home in England. At first I didn't know if they were related or not and it took a while for Clive and Alice's name to be said in the movie.

    I was remembering that a subtitle came out and said it was 1889 when Princess Ka'iulani threw the switch to light the city of Honolulu and then later on when the King was forced to sign a document that piece of paper said 1887.

  22. #47

    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    Just to put it into a little bit of perspective...it's not in nationwide release. It's in limited release and has averaged 40 theaters during the past month. Keeping that in mind, I don't know if $600k is good, bad or somewhere in between.
    I'll be like the outspoken child in The Emperor's New Clothes and simply call it as I see it. This movie is a box office flop. Even with the bar for success being set low with its relatively modest production budget of $9 million, Princess Kaiulani hasn't even recouped a tenth of that amount in domestic gross nearly a month after the release date.

    And yes, the movie was a commercial dud, even with the limited screening taken into account. Princess Kaiulani grossed $186,995 in 33 theaters on its opening weekend. As a comparison, Paranormal Activity (which was not given a nationwide release in its first few weeks) was able to gross $532,242 in 33 theaters on its second weekend.
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  23. #48
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    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    I'll be like the outspoken child in The Emperor's New Clothes[...]
    You were certainly more tactful than Bob Jones!

  24. #49

    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    You were certainly more tactful than Bob Jones!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LM5MKSZwgQ
    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

  25. #50

    Default Re: Princess Kaiulani

    Quote Originally Posted by tutusue View Post
    WB...wotchu talkin' about?!
    Why they no talk pidgin in da movie?

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