TV & Film Review: Biography

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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