7 Film Reviews – Quite a Variety

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As a kid, I didn’t watch very many movies. My parents weren’t big film or movie buffs, so I didn’t see most of the popular flicks. I am an only-child and spent more of my time reading or thinking. Over the years, I’d catch maybe one movie per month, but I was more a TV sitcom watcher. Then, when it rose to over $225 per month, I canceled cable last month. I now only watch shows when they show up on Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon after the season is over. For some reason, I’m just about caught up on everything and had a lull in my television viewing time. W and I decided to pick a few movies and managed to catch seven (7) in the last two weeks, which is quite rare for us. We’ve been to an actual movie theater twice in the last two years. I thought I’d share my opinions on these movies since they range from love story to biographical account and comedy to thriller. A few were converted from books, too. Here goes…

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CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

  • I saw the book all over Goodreads. My friend, Medhat, told me I needed to read the book and watch the movie. A few other friends kept talking about how the guy from Arm & Hammer products was in it (I had no clue what they were talking about). So… we caved last weekend and watched the movie even though I hadn’t yet read the book. I’m a bit sad I did this in the wrong order, which is rare for me.
  • Loved it! So many great scenes from the emotional drama to the potential for something to be requited or unrequited. It also takes place in Italy, and I’ll be there for 2 weeks next month, so it is quite fitting. I shed a few tears at the end. I saw myself in a few scenes. I didn’t realize at first that it took place in the 1980s and kept wondering why it was so risky for them to be together. Sure, there was an age difference, but it wasn’t too many years apart. That’s when I picked up on the time period. Oops! Sometimes I’m a little dense or have tunnel vision when I get focused on the story or backdrop.
  • Definite recommendation. Must read book first. Says so much about how we should live our lives rather than how we do live our lives.

callme

 

FUNNY FARM

  • A ~30ish guy quits his job and moves to the country with his wife to be a writer. I don’t have a wife and I haven’t yet moved to the country, but this could be me! W thought I’d enjoy the film, but I secretly believe it was a way of saying “why do you want to move to the country?” since I keep casually dropping heaving and unloading hints.
  • Chevy Chase is always funny. It’s a bit overdone at times, but if you like this sorta thing, it’s pretty solid. It’s also from about 25 years ago and comedy is much different an entire generation later.
  • A definite recommend for book lovers and writers. If you like silly and stupid humor, it’s also a barrel of laughs. And if you like the concept of small towns, married life issues, and real estate, you will adore it.

farm

 

LAST CALL PITCHES

  • I love movies where the cast sings. I saw the first two which meant I had to finish out the trilogy. And John Lithgow had a guest star role. It has to be fantastic, right? Oh… well… what’s that rule about the third film always being the letdown? I think I fell for the trap again.
  • It wasn’t exactly bad. But it wasn’t good. I loved many parts of it. But none of the male cast returned, so I felt a bit of a disconnect. With the premise being the girls all broke up with their boyfriends, it sorta made for a different type of movie. I’m totally good with the all-women focus, but it felt a little too formatted and formulaic in how it came together.
  • Add in the wacky premise of a USO tour with a famous rap artist, and I just kept looking sideways at the TV and W. What are we watching???
  • If you watched the first two, you should see it. If you’ve never seen these movies, please don’t start with this one. It won’t make you see the awesomeness of the original.

perfect

 

IT

  • Another case of not reading the book first. It always happens that way for me with Stephen King. I’ve never read his books. I’ve seen some of his movies. I caught a few minutes of the original It (TV show or TV movie, I don’t remember). I love scary movies. I wanted to feel my heart thump and my skin crawl. It didn’t happen. It was a bit of a letdown from the fear-factor. I laughed at Pennywise the Clown’s antics. There were a few scenes where I was a tad nervous, but on the whole, it was just an okay movie for me.
  • The camaraderie with the kids and actors was strong. The balance between story and visual art was really great. The underground scenes were stunning. And I hear there’s either a second part or a continuation? I need to look up more about this and maybe read the book in between. I didn’t dislike it, but it just didn’t wow me like I’d hoped.

It

 

DARKEST HOUR

  • I’m a huge monarch and royalty buff when it comes to the historical aspects (not the soapy drama components in today’s world of ‘what are the royals doing?’). I’ve studied most of the UK throne changes and adore the Tudor, Elizabethan, and Victorian periods. But I hate politics of any sort. So, I wasn’t sure if I’d like this one… but I definitely did! I watch The Crown regularly and enjoyed John Lithgow in the Winston Churchill role, so I assumed I’d like this movie.
  • Gary Oldman is amazing! I loved him in Harry Potter, but this was fantastic. I forget how versatile and adept he is at truly becoming the role. It’s a heavy film, and there are a lot of political machinations going on behind the scenes, but well worth it. It’s a highly recommended suggestion from me. It even has Rose from Downtown Abbey in it, which made the film even more interesting.

darkest

 

THREE BILLBOARDS

  • I knew very little about this one. It did not look interesting. And although I do like Frances McDormand, I wasn’t keen to watch it. But it was the best of the choices one night, so we gave it a chance. And all I can say is… I am an idiot for thinking it wouldn’t be an amazing film. Wow, it completely took me by surprise and falls into one of those films that actually made me change my opinion of a character I severely hated to someone I really liked.
  • I’d love to talk about the ending. But I’d be spoiling it. The best way I can liken this movie is to say… imagine there’s an event that happens resulting in several people being pit against one another in a small town. All this stuff happens, but you don’t know because you’re just hearing the story months or years later. And when you hear the story, you only hear parts of it. You never actually know the full story. And you have to decide or judge for yourself the difference between right and wrong.
  • I loved this film and am a bit amazed and angered by the ending all at once. The acting was top notch. There were so many scenes were I wanted to get my shotgun and poke the barrel at a few characters myself – just like what happened in the film. But I don’t own one, so that wouldn’t work. Instead I just grunted and had another Jack Daniels & whiskey. It served its purpose. I definitely recommend this movie, but go in prepared — it’s psychological and you won’t get all the answers you want.

3 billboards

 

ME BEFORE YOU

  • I read all 3 books. I held off on watching the movie so I didn’t get corrupted in how I pictured the characters. The film was beautiful. It brought to life many of the fantastic scenes in the book that made me love the characters, drama, and pain. Casting was pretty strong, but I definitely feel the book captured the emotions better than the film.
  • It opens up so many questions about life and trust. What’s fair versus dealing the hand you’re given. Love comes in many forms. Jojo Moyes is a wonderful author. I need to read more from her. I’ve only seen a few episodes of Game of Thrones, but the actress who plays Lou seems quite versatile in her roles. I loved seeing the actress who played Queen Victoria, Jenna Coleman, in a different type of role. And the actor who played Neville Longbottom in Harry Potter – he’s all grown up.
  • If you’ve not seen it, please be sure to read the first book before seeing the movie. It will make you have a stronger connection or attachment to the story. It’s a tough one, and the ending is definitely controversial.

me before you

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93 thoughts on “7 Film Reviews – Quite a Variety

    LynnHammondauthor.wordpress.com said:
    April 11, 2018 at 9:32 AM

    Me before You is awesome. I watch it and still cry

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 11, 2018 at 9:51 AM

      I do love the whole book series. Have you read it, too?

      Liked by 1 person

        LynnHammondauthor.wordpress.com said:
        April 11, 2018 at 9:55 AM

        Yes. The beginning of the second book I was sweating lol but then everything was fine but how about the surprise about the sibling

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        April 11, 2018 at 9:57 AM

        Yes! I really enjoyed book 1. I liked book 2, but not as much. Book 3 brought the best parts back, and it was quite a surprise. Never expected, but rounded out the family.

        Liked by 1 person

        LynnHammondauthor.wordpress.com said:
        April 11, 2018 at 10:29 AM

        It did. I love reading the book and then watching movie … Book is always better

        Liked by 1 person

    Mama Cass said:
    April 11, 2018 at 9:44 AM

    How fun! My other half and I have movie date night once a week. Sometimes they’re awful, sometimes awesome. But the popcorn, whiskey and company are always top notch. We normally do Netflix. Love Schitts Creek, Wentworth and Orange is the New Black, for series, btw.

    Watched funny farm in the 80s. Loved all Chevy Chase films. We have had Call Me By Your Name on the q for a while, and after reading your review, I’m pretty sure we will be watching that one thus week. Great and fun blog as always, superman. Hugs!!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 11, 2018 at 9:53 AM

      You do it the right way! Schitt’s Creek is fantastic. That’s one I miss by giving up cable, but when the season is over, I can download it.

      Call Me By Your Name feels so much like a ‘foreign’ or ‘indie’ film (and maybe it is, I didn’t check), but it was very immersive. If you like those kinds of films, it will be an amazing viewing.

      Like

        Mama Cass said:
        April 11, 2018 at 9:57 AM

        Schitt’s is on Netflix ! And yes we actually prefer indie and foreign and Sundance films. Oh look for lion woman, great movie too

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        April 11, 2018 at 9:59 AM

        Thx for the heads up, I will definitely take a look.

        I’m all caught up on Schitt’s Creek thru Netflix last season. I hope they post this current season when it ends. I don’t want to wait until next year! LOL

        Like

        Mama Cass said:
        April 11, 2018 at 11:38 AM

        I know ! It’s an entertaining and annoying show. It’s so easy to binge

        Liked by 1 person

    The Cozy Pages said:
    April 11, 2018 at 10:10 AM

    You’re turning into a regular film buff! Insightful reviews. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 11, 2018 at 10:12 AM

      Ha! I’m not sure about that, but I appreciate it. I thought I’d try something different on the blog. I didn’t have the energy to do a full post on each one, so I thought maybe just something light and what worked and didn’t work. I’m trying to get motivated to finish up the new segments blog posts. So much to do! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    LA said:
    April 11, 2018 at 10:30 AM

    Loved call, 3 billboards and darkest hour!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Nicole (Read. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.) said:
    April 11, 2018 at 10:32 AM

    I felt the same way about Three Billboards! I didn’t expect to like it much at all and wound up entranced by the story and acting.

    Liked by 1 person

    thebookwormdrinketh said:
    April 11, 2018 at 11:55 AM

    You JUST saw “Funny Farm”?? Man, you’ve been missing out! Lol! I haven’t seen that movie in ages.. I’ll have to re-watch it now. 😄
    Also, speaking as someone who is not a fan of Stephen King’s writing but, who loves his ideas… You did just fine watching the movie first! The book is over 1000 pages, is VERY unnecessarily wordy, and contains a child orgy.. Since Stephen King always has to include something awkwardly sexual in his novels.

    Liked by 1 person

    scr4pl80 said:
    April 11, 2018 at 12:14 PM

    Really liked Three Billboards. Talk about never give up! Haven’t seen this It but I saw the original. Don’t know why I’m resisting this one. I have the book so maybe I’ll read it. Fell asleep during Darkest Hour. I wanted to like it but couldn’t get into it. Maybe if I watch it earlier in the day when I am fresh instead of at night after a busy day. Nice reviews, Jay. Been missing your regular posts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 11, 2018 at 12:38 PM

      I miss it, too. Probably next week. I have all 3 segments drafted, but book marketing this week has taken precedence. 🙂

      If you’re a Churchill fan, give it a chance. If not, I can understand falling asleep! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    theorangutanlibrarian said:
    April 11, 2018 at 2:33 PM

    Ooh I’m really looking forward to Call Me By Your Name- really glad you liked it! So cool you’re going to Italy 🙂 Whereabouts are you going? I really need to watch Darkest Hour at some point. I really loved the film version of Me Before you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Beware Of The Reader said:
    April 11, 2018 at 2:58 PM

    I loved Me Before You (book and movie) The Darkest Hour (Gary Oldman was fabulous) and I plan on watching Pitches with my daughter (we love this series, we love Glee we love Step Up…. well you get it). Now 225$ per month?!!!! Wow! It costs us around 18 USD par month here.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 11, 2018 at 4:12 PM

      I hope you enjoy Pitches. The music was great! Glee rocks. I miss it. I totally get it now.

      Cable / Internet was $225 up until February. I reduced it to internet only which is $70 and then I added Hulu for $12 to get some TV shows next day. Otherwise I use Amazon or Netflix. That’s a good price, I’ll take $18!

      Like

    booksandstuff431 said:
    April 11, 2018 at 3:13 PM

    Yep! You’ve should have definitely read Me before you and IT first 🙂 Great list.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 11, 2018 at 4:13 PM

      Thanks! I was lucky enough to catch Me Before You as a book first. It was It and Call Me that I saw first instead. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

        booksandstuff431 said:
        April 11, 2018 at 4:30 PM

        Oh my bad, sorry 🙁. Hope you get a chance to read IT. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        April 11, 2018 at 4:34 PM

        No worries, I bounced around a lot in that email! I’m definitely planning to pick up some Stephen King books this summer to catch up.

        Liked by 1 person

        booksandstuff431 said:
        April 11, 2018 at 4:37 PM

        Awesome! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    Heidi M. Simone said:
    April 11, 2018 at 3:32 PM

    I haven’t read Me Before You yet, but I watched the movie. Let me just say that I was not happy…actually, I was probably somewhat mad about the ending. :/ The rest look pretty good, but I don’t think I’ve watched any of the others. I’ll probably add a couple to my to-watch list. Thank you for the suggestions!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 11, 2018 at 4:13 PM

      It’s handled much more obviously in the book, so you are better prepared for it, though it’s still a shock that’s how it happened.

      Liked by 1 person

        Heidi M. Simone said:
        April 12, 2018 at 2:10 AM

        I’ve been debating on reading it, but I did wonder if there’s more given in the book. Would you recommend that I read it?

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        April 12, 2018 at 6:45 AM

        There is a lot more in the book. Especially about his decision. Her life with the boyfriend. The sister. The places she takes him to change his mind.

        Liked by 1 person

        Heidi M. Simone said:
        April 12, 2018 at 7:00 AM

        Hm…okay. I’ll add to my TBR list again and will pick it up at some point. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        April 12, 2018 at 7:02 AM

        Hope you like it!

        Liked by 1 person

    deesradreadsandreviews said:
    April 11, 2018 at 4:57 PM

    I love this post. Great selection of movies! I LOVED Three Billboards though like you, I wish I had a few more answers.

    One of my favorite scenes:

    Like

    I remember really enjoying Funny Farm when it first came out. I think my favorite movie of his though is Foul Play (1978). Although to be honest that may have more to do with Goldie Hawn’s role as a librarian who’s lethal with her umbrella and the insane car ride through San Francisco. 🤣

    You should definitely read “It” before the movie sequel comes out. It may come off a bit dated, but it’s such a King classic!

    Liked by 1 person

    Martie said:
    April 11, 2018 at 5:37 PM

    I loved “Call Me by Your Name,” “Darest Hour” blew me away. And I even enjoyed “Me Before You.” I say “even” because I’m not a romance buff, but it was so well done how could I not like it.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 11, 2018 at 5:42 PM

      Definitely… it had a strong plot and emotional / cultural issues to consider, so it wasn’t just guy / girl or whatever type of couple got together and had issues, etc. It was so well-rounded.

      Liked by 1 person

    Christy B said:
    April 11, 2018 at 6:15 PM

    I cried when I saw “Me Before You”! I haven’t read the book… yet.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 11, 2018 at 6:16 PM

      It will hit you even harder! Got your email just now too. Will revise and send back tomorrow! Thx.

      Liked by 1 person

    mistysbookspace said:
    April 11, 2018 at 6:32 PM

    Great post Jay. I want to watch Call Me By Your Name. I came close to watching it but I talked myself out of it because I really want to read the book first.

    Last Call Pitches is another one that I want to watch but I haven’t yet. I enjoyed the first two and I love musicals. I’ve see a few videos on YouTube so I don’t have high hopes for it especially not now after reading what you thought of it.

    It is one that I caved in and watched it before I finished the book. I did read the first 250 pages of the book but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I hate clowns but I managed to watch it without closing my eyes and looking away too much.

    I absolutely loved Me Before You as you already know. I will say I cried more watching the movie then I did reading the book though but I loved both the book and the movie. I still haven’t continued on with the series though oops!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Didi Oviatt - Author said:
    April 11, 2018 at 6:32 PM

    I really need to watch Me Before You… I LOVED that book!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 11, 2018 at 6:34 PM

      Took me a while but finally did. Worth it.

      Liked by 1 person

        Didi Oviatt - Author said:
        April 11, 2018 at 6:39 PM

        Funny story. My husband rented it for in the red box. (he NEVER gets flicks. EVER) He was trying to be sweet, but little did he know I hadn’t read the book just yet LOL… He walked through the door with it, and I sent him right back out to return it. Ask me how many flicks he’s offered to watch with me since :/

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        April 11, 2018 at 6:39 PM

        Oh that’s awful. No winning either situation. Poor guy.

        Liked by 1 person

        Didi Oviatt - Author said:
        April 11, 2018 at 6:42 PM

        LOL right? He got an A for effort, but refuses to get flicks after that… But, I still think it was worth the shut down. I mean, I HAD to read the book first, it’s just one of those stories that a movie first scenario may have ruined the whole thing.

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        April 11, 2018 at 6:43 PM

        Total agreement. Now you’ll have to do something extra nice for him and then reset the balance. Ha

        Liked by 1 person

        Didi Oviatt - Author said:
        April 11, 2018 at 6:48 PM

        hmmmmm you could be right!

        Liked by 1 person

    Rae Longest said:
    April 11, 2018 at 8:51 PM

    I enjoyed reading all these reviews. I haven’t seen any of the films, but plan to watch The Darkest Hour. Some (Like IT and You Before Me (Do I have the title right?)) I wouldn’t want to spoil the book by watching the film. I scared myself silly reading IT, and would be afraid of being literally scared to death (after all, I am 73 and prone to heart attacks and strokes LOL) by a film version.

    Like

    Manuela said:
    April 12, 2018 at 12:07 AM

    Thanks! I’m going to check a few of these out.

    Liked by 1 person

    tylerus said:
    April 12, 2018 at 3:49 AM

    As an only child, I too didn’t have much opportunity for movies as a child/teen. Made up for it later in life. Now, given time constraints, I’m once again in the same boat. I have a lot of catching up to do. Thank you for the reviews; I’ll definitely be adding a couple to the [long] list.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 12, 2018 at 6:45 AM

      Happy to help but also sorry to add to the TBR or TBW. 🙂 I know that feeling.

      Like

    Jenn @ Bound to Writing said:
    April 12, 2018 at 9:09 AM

    I really need to watch Last Call Pitches. I’ve seen the first two movies, and although I’ve heard this one isn’t the best I still need to finish the series.

    Liked by 1 person

    dtills said:
    April 12, 2018 at 1:04 PM

    I have only seen a couple of theses on your list, but will never forget “IT” 😬. I am not a horror fan, I like action and love a good fight, but not terror!!

    Liked by 1 person

    AJ said:
    April 12, 2018 at 11:11 PM

    Wow that was marathon watching!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 12, 2018 at 11:26 PM

      Yes. Kept me busy all week long. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        AJ said:
        April 13, 2018 at 12:10 AM

        That’s a nice way to be busy, though I’m not sure I could do that all the time

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        April 13, 2018 at 6:58 AM

        Agreed. Need more active things and a change of a pace!

        Liked by 1 person

    Darque Dreamer Reads said:
    April 17, 2018 at 3:44 PM

    I really wish I had loved Three Billboards, because it was great seeing the town we moved from in NC, but for me it was entirely too many curse words, and the plot fell a little flat. I honestly thought it was supposed to take place in the 80’s too, and was surprised it was modern day. Did you recognize anything when you watched it though, from your drive through the Smokys?

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 17, 2018 at 3:47 PM

      I do agree with you on the cursing. I don’t really mind it in things I read or watch, but it was very excessive. And the ending was definitely not what I wanted for the plot. But the way things shifted really interested me. I actually didn’t pick up on it! I’m bad like that tho, I don’t often make the obvious connections. I didn’t realize that’s where it was either. Oops!

      Liked by 1 person

        Darque Dreamer Reads said:
        April 17, 2018 at 4:36 PM

        Oh, I curse like a sailor, lmao. So, for me to feel like it was too much cursing is pretty bad, haha. I wasn’t a fan of the ending either.

        And, yeah, most of it was filmed in Sylva and Maggie Valley. A lot of people got to meet Woody and said he was super nice and patient. Frances wasn’t so nice, and Peter slammed his trailor door in a fan’s face 😦

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        April 17, 2018 at 5:31 PM

        Wow. I can’t say I’m shocked at some of their behavior. Clearly wrong to be so rude!

        Liked by 1 person

        Darque Dreamer Reads said:
        April 17, 2018 at 5:56 PM

        Totally. I have more respect for Woody now though. There were some great videos and pictures of him with fans. All the buildings in the movie were downtown Sylva, and they showed the courthouse where we got married. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    The Auditor said:
    April 21, 2018 at 8:53 PM

    Good reviews mate. I’m planning to start reviewing films on my blog. I’ve recently compiled a list of my Top

    Liked by 1 person

    Karina Pinella said:
    April 29, 2018 at 6:45 PM

    I’ve seen most of these and I truly liked Darkest Hour. Excellent film!

    Liked by 1 person

    charlottexvl said:
    April 29, 2018 at 7:10 PM

    I totally agree on the ending of Three Billboards. I left the cinema totally confused and philosophizing about life.

    Liked by 1 person

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