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The Great Gatsby Movie (Movie From A Banned Book)

Gatsby movie

The Great Gatsby:  is a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his quixotic passion and obsession for the beautiful former debutante Daisy Buchanan. Considered to be Fitzgerald’s magnum opus, The Great Gatsby explores themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval, and excess, creating a portrait of the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties that has been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream.

 

The Great Gatsby is on my TBR for Banned Book Week, but honestly I do not know if I will get to it this week… it is the last one on my list.  Last night I rented this movie for three reasons… 1) I had not seen it yet.  2) If I can not get to the banned book, I can watch the movie based off the banned book, 3)I needed a good look at the parties… there is a little something up my sleeve I am thinking about.

 

The movie is powerful.  Having never read the book, I was looking up information on the story online while the movie was on.  It is an incredible love story, which is normally not my thing but I was caught up in this one.

I found it sad to learn that the original printing of this book the book sold only 20,000 copies.  Published in 1925, Author Fitzgerald did in 1940 feeling the book was a failure… sadly, he never knew what it would become…

During WWII the book had new life breathed into it.  It became high school curriculum and went on to stage and film adaption.

My take away is that this is a beautiful telling and I personally am anxious to read the book.  I recommend you take the time to experience this movie made from a remarkable classic.

 

So why the banning? 

1aAccording to the American Library Association, The Great Gatsby was: “Challenged at the Baptist College in Charleston, SC (1987) because of ‘language and sexual references in the book.'”

The elements that have been cited for reasons for challenging or banning the book in the past are also essential to Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age setting. (Apparently some feel the 20’s best be forgotten…)  Jay Gatsby is a bootlegger, bad boy.

Her – The Movie (my thoughts on loving your phone ;) )

Her, Joaquin Phoenix, Book Journey, movie

Futuristic 2025:

Theodore Twombly is a relationships nightmare.  He spends his days at his job where he write letters for those who have the inability to write beautiful things to give to their loved ones – ie… anniversary, birthday, romance, break ups, etc…   As Theodore is going through a divorce, his evenings are then spent with fast food and a virtual game that he is fully engaged in.  Everywhere he goes, everyone is engrossed in themselves through their own conversations with their phones.  Talking to other people seems to be a thing of the past.

One day he sees an ad for an artificial intelligence “assistant” who will manage your appointments through your phone and basically make your life easier.  Theodore signs up and then goes through a series on prompts including choosing the voice of his new assistant….

Meet Samantha (voice by Scarlett Johansson).  Theodore is impressed that Samantha will become more intelligent as she learns what he is like… she picks up on his habits, reads his emails to him and responds to them if he asks, she cleans up old computer files in a snap, reminds him of appointments, and becomes a companion when he is alone or just wants to talk.  The more they talk… the more Samantha’s intelligence grows.

As Samantha starts to take over Theodore’s world, they seem to fall in love.  Samantha is always there for him, engaging him, prompting him to be better…. what more could Theodore want?  As their fondness for each other continues, Samantha finds it harder to accept that she can not be a physical presence in Theodore’s life, wishing she had a body that he could physically touch and that of course, she would be able to touch him as well.

Of course – a relationship with a piece of software is…

complicated.

Theodore’s soon to be ex-wife finds out about Samantha and accuses Theodore of being someone who can not handle real human emotion so of course he would date his computer.  Theodore is left conflicted, wanting a physical relationship, yet wanting it to be with Samantha.

 

My thoughts….

I was never really interested in the movie Her.  The previews seemed weird…. yet I have to admit a bit of intrigue mainly because I could actually imagine this really happening.  In today’s world of electronic assistants, on-line calendars, and reminders, talking to our phones for information on restaurants, directions, what a word means, etc… really – how far off from this “companionship” could we be?

It was friends telling me the movie was actually good, that brought to renting this movie on a cool evening where I did not want to sit on my deck with my coffee and a book… and so, I watched it.

So….

first up…

what is with the men’s pants?

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Seriously?  They all had these high wasted “comfy pants” like stretch material.  And none of the guys in 2025 are good-looking…NOPE.   in fact it looks as though the style has gone backwards and it almost has a seventies feel to it.  If this was the choice of men in 2025 my relationship status would be SINGLE.

I am off topic.

The movie held my attention but I by no means loved it.  I never “bought” the romance between Theodore and Samantha, and even through what was considered the emotional parts… I never connected with the love for ones phone.

In fact, as the movie ended… I felt that I had more emotions when Tom Hanks lost Wilson in the movie Castaway…

 

 

 

Wilson!!!!  Yup…still makes me tear up.

 

So overall… I am glad I rented this one from Redbox and paid a buck and change to see it rather that an $8.50 movie ticket plus soda and popcorn.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Did you see Her?  What did you think? 

Is it freaky crazy to think that this could really be in our future? 

Is it freakier still to think that this could happen in present time? 

Don’t we already connect to artificial intelligence through video games, and our computers and phones now? 

How far off are we from thinking these created voices and people are real to us? 

The Fault In Our Stars Movie

The Fault In Our Stars, John Green, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

Certainly by now you must have heard of The Fault In Our Stars by Author John Green.  And if not the book, surely the movie.  I was told that whatever the first John Green book I read would be my favorite.  I will never know if that is true because my first John Green book was The Fault In Our Star and is my favorite.  And while I have read all of his books (and enjoyed them), I can not imagine that if I had read any of the others first that they would have trumped my experience with this book.

I can not even put into words where this book took me… to attempt to understand, you would have to read my review of the book from April of this year; or my review of the book from July 2012.  Yes I have read and reviewed it twice.  I liked it THAT MUCH. :)

This week, on June 6th the movie was released (SQQQUUEEE!!!) and myself and my wonderful friend Amy went to see it:

I…

loved it.

Shailene Woodley who plays Hazel (and also plays Beatrice in Divergent!) is fantastic.  She is witty and sickly and plays her role well.  Ansel Algort (also in Divergent!) makes for a wonderful Augustus as well.  Truly, these two just make a wonderful team.

IMO, the movie played close to the book. There are some lines that just made my heart leap because I knew them from the book.  Of course, as in all book to movie renditions, there are always slight changes or leaving out, and I sadly missed a scene from the book where Hazel and Isaac are playing the video game at the end after Isaac can no longer see and the voice commands they shout at the game.

 

My thoughts?  See the movie but read the book first.  The book is of course where you fall in love with these amazing damaged characters; the movie… will just reinforce your love.

Our book club is reading this book now and will be reviewing this week. I look forward to hearing their thoughts on the book and yes, even though I have reviewed it twice here, I will review it again from a Book Club perspective.

 

Movie up people… do not miss out on this one.

Movie Review: Monument Men

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Last weekend for Valentine’s Day Al (hubby) and I went to the movie Monuments Men.  While normally anything has to do with war would be a thumbs down for me, the great movie trailer and the all-star cast had me curious.  It also helped that I had recently read about the Monuments Men while readingThe Roses Underneath by C.. Yetmen).  I am ashamed to say, prior to that reading, I didn’t know such a  group existed.

Monuments Men is about the very real group of Men that were tasked during WWII to go into war-torn areas and save the most important pieces of art and culture of our time.  As said in the movie,

If you destroy their achievements, their history, it’s like they never existed.

"The Monuments Men" - Los Angeles Photo Call

If you are thinking Monuments Men was a cushy job (in reality or in the movie) think again.  These men put their lives at risk right alone side others who fought in the war.  Lives were lost and art was saved….  all in all a brilliant enlightening movie.

 

Now… Monuments Men is not getting the best rating.  Said to be an “aw shucks buddy” type comedy, directed and acted in by George Clooney, it is falling into some poo ratings.  My husband while liking the story of the Monuments Men, was not as impressed with the movie as I was.  Honestly, I may be an easy sell… teach me something new and I want to know more.  Now I want to read the book, Monuments Men by Robert Edsel.

I hope you will give this movie a try.

 

Labor Day Movie Review

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Earlier today I posted about the Bookies getting together this week and going to see the Labor Day movie together.  It really was a lot of fun.  Thirteen of us who had read the book gathered for a chance to see the movie.  This review is my thoughts on the movie.

 

Kate Winslet is wonderful in the role of Adele, a single mom who has been scarred deeply by love.  When she meets Frank, an escaped convict, while making a rare trip to the store for supplies, he leaves her little choice but to take him with her.

Frank (Josh Brolin), is just looking for an escape from a crime that he says was an accident.  While he comes off as frightening at times, he is really just looking to start living again, and soon it is apparent that this life may be with Adele and her 13-year-old son Henry.

What starts out as what appears to be a hostile take over of Adele’s home, turns out into something very different indeed as both Frank and Adele find comfort in each others inability to be a part of the bigger world outside the front door.

 

 

 

I am pleased to say I really enjoyed Labor Day.  I was a little uncertain as I struggled with Adele’s passiveness in the book – but found her to be a stronger woman in the movie and a little more protective of her son.  Both book and movie (IMO) move along a little quickly for a 5 day storyline.  I would also say that some of the flashbacks in the movie are a bit confusing, even though I had read the book and knew what they were about.  I imagine it would be even harder to follow if you had not read the book. 

Labor Day is still a movie I would recommend.  There is some inner depth and hurt in both the main characters that is revealed in such a way that you suddenly understand that this is not a scary movie, but a love story unfolding. There are some wonderful elements to the movie and it is a story line I have not seen done before which is almost always refreshing.

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Book VS Movie

Both book and movie were very close and I liked that.  As I had just recently finished the book, it was still fresh in my mind to pick up on any differences, the differences I noticed were few and in some cases added to my enjoyment of the movie.

What I liked:

Adele comes off as stronger in the movie than in the book.  Not too strong but enough to know that if she had to she would do what she could to defend her son. I preferred movie Adele.

Henry, as I shared in my book review has a bit of a teenage boy obsession with girls and sex. I just didn’t want to read all those details.  I was happy to see that in the movie while they do show he thinks about girls…we did not have to see anything beyond his thinking about them.

What I didn’t like

Frank has more of a frightening presence in the movie at times.  It almost made me wonder if in the end…how innocent was he?

Missing character.  There is a grandmother in the book that plays a short but significant role.  She is not in the movie.

There are subtle differences in the end results, nothing big… nothing disappointing, but tiny tweaks. 

My Labor Day Book Review

Captain Phillips – Movie Review

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In 2009, Captain Richard Phillips, while taking his crew into international waters is hijacked by a small group of Somali Pirates who board the massive ship.  This is the first American ship to be hijacked in over 200 years.

 

Holy smokes.  I went into watching this movie having no knowledge of the ship or of Captain Phillips.  Sometimes I amaze myself how little I know.  :shock:

The movie is powerful.  It is fast moving and anxiety creating.  I was on the edge of the couch while watching as the Somali pirates led by their leader, Muse, took over this massive ship.  I could not even believe that these 4 pirates in a small motor boat were able to overtake such a massive ship – but they did.  I was amazed that the crew was unarmed. And it is a true story.

If you are looking to watch something AMAZING this weekend I highly recommend renting Captain Phillips.  I will most definitely be watching this one again.  There is also a book (YAY!) called Captain’s Duty.

 

Movie Review: JOBS

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Always fascinated with movies about people who have done amazing things (IE.  I am a huge geek for the Social Network movie about the creation of Facebook), I had to see the movie Jobs.

Jobs is the story of Steve Jobs and his creation (yes yes… I am aware he didn’t do it alone) of Apple computers.  This is a fascinating story because much like what Mark Zuckerberg did for social networking, Jobs did for computers and putting them into our homes – as well as I Tunes, I Pod, I Pad, I Phones…

I feel Ashton Kutcher did an amazing job as Jobs.  If you see the movie (and I hope you do) watch Kutcher’s walk… he has it right down as Steve.

I enjoyed the movie thoroughly was fascinated by the early years how Apple came to be and while Steve was not necessarily the brain that put it all together, he was (and is) the heart and sole of Apple and what I believe made it what it is today.

I listened to Steve Jobs on audio a while back and really enjoyed it.  I have to say I got more out of the audio then I did the movie.  The movie, sadly seems to be unfinished.  Towards the end everything seems to rush together, you see him with his daughter but you have no idea how that came to be… there is a woman in his life and I am not sure who she is, he walks back into Apple makes some big changes and before we even get into I Tunes, the personal computer, I Pod…. it is over.  Ending on a cliff of what is next.  Sure, most of us know what happened next but still…I feel Steve’s story was incomplete and they do not even elude to his death or the cause.

This one probably about a C- rating from me and for that… I am sad.

Catching Fire – The Movie

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On the evening of November 21st, 2013 I was thrilled to go to the opening night showing of Catching Fire.  Catching Fire is the 2nd book in the trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  My review of the book is here. 

Catching Fire is the continuing story line from The Hunger Games.  Now Katniss and Peeta are living back in District 12, still pretending to be in love when in front of the cameras and about to go on tour of the districts as is their duty as the winners of the last Hunger Games.  President Snow has a strong disliking for Katniss, feeling that her heart and her fire for what is right could bring on an uprising, he keeps a close watch on her and monitors what she can say and do when on screen and in front of the people of the districts. In the midst of this battle of Katniss and Snow, a plan is developed that all the tributes will enter the Hunger Games as a “Quarter Quell”, a twist to the 75th anniversary of The Hunger Games. 

And this is when this movie really comes alive.

Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawrence shows such appropriate emotion throughout the movie that I could not help myself but feel anger when she felt anger and yes, cry when she cried.  (Way to go new director Francis Lawrence!

As the tributes from all districts prepare to go back into the games, Peeta and Katniss are sure that there is no way they will allow for two victors again.  Love or just deep friendship, the two struggle with how they will handle this when the time comes.

Cinna, the creator of the costumes that both Peeta and Katniss wear comes up with an amazing dress for Katniss, which if you have read the books… you know… well…. we will save that for the spoiler page ;)

All in all I found this movie to be even better than Hunger Games and that surprised me.  Of the books, Hunger Games was my favorite and they went down from there. Not that I didn’t still enjoy them, just that was the order they fell in for me and so I did not expect this movie to be loved by me to the extreme that it was. 

If you are a fan of the books, do not miss out on seeing this one on the big screen.  I am pretty sure as soon as I can find someone to go with, I will be seeing it again.

Want to talk about the movie in a bit more detail?  I have wheeled the Spoiler Button out of storage so we can do just that!  If you HAVE seen the movie, join me in the spoiler room to discuss what we loved, what we didn’t, and everything in between.

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Safe Haven (Movie Review)

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Katie (actress Julianne Hough) has had enough of walking on egg shells whenever her husband, Tierney (David Lyons), is near.  The abuse both physical and mental raises to such a level that Katie fears for her life.  One night she decided there is only one thing she can do.

She runs.

After cutting and dyeing her hair, Katie seeks shelter in a small North Carolina town where townsfolk are curious about this newcomer who keeps to herself and has rented the small home in the woods on the outskirts of town.  Alex (Josh Duhamel), a widowed store owner seems particularly curious about Katie, as she turns down any offer of help he gives for home improvements or transportation.  Eventually Katie befriends another single girl named Jo who lives not far from Katie and becomes a kind of confidant. 

But as Katie is starting to relax into her new life, Tierney has not given up on looking for his wife and the longer it takes to find her the angrier he becomes.  Practically psychotic with thoughts of her with someone else he finds a clue that sets him in the right direction.

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Holy awesomeness!  When I read Safe Haven a few months back, I was so impressed by the book that I was nervous about the movie not living up to it.  I need not have feared.  Once I put this DVD on, I stopped everything and just watched. 

Safe Haven was beautifully done, and while you may think you have it all wrapped up in a neat “Sparks like” bow you will (oh yes you will!) find yourself blown away by a plot twist that is ovation worthy and really took me for a loop – yes, even after I had read the book.  I loved this movie.  The acting was well done, I was fully engaged in the story line – Tierney was every bit of whacked out creepy that I felt he should be for a crazed abusive nut case husband (think Sleeping With The Enemy creepy… and then double it). 

I hope you will consider renting or purchasing this movie.  Not only is a good cold evening chick flick, it also would make for a good couples or girls night in showing.  I was impressed and I will definitely watch this one again.

 

Thank you to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

for the review copy of  this movie in exchange for an honest review.

The Chocolate War Book VS. Movie

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Jerry Renault is sent to a Catholic school after his mom has died.  The school is very strict and has a yearly chocolate sale that all students are EXPECTED to participate in.  Brother Leon gets it in his heard that the school can bring in a lot more money if they double what they sold the previous year making it 50 boxes of chocolates sold by each student. 

Jerry finds himself mixed up in an encounter with the schools “gang” called the Vigils and he is instructed not to sell chocolates for the first ten days of the sale.  Jerry complies and creates a very annoyed Brother Leon when Jerry does not do his part.

The real kicker is that after the ten days, Jerry decides he has had enough of people telling him what to do and when to do it so he continues to refuse to sell the chocolates on principle.  It should be a choice to sell.  Not an order.  By doing this Jerry creates an uproar in the school of support that angers the Vigils who feel this is like a slap in the face to their control of the school.  As time passes the Vigils work hard to gain control pushing kids to sell their chocolates making Jerry an outcast and eventually leading to what is referred to as the chocolate war.

 

I read this book this last October for banned book week.  The book was banned due to the strong content, language, and deemed unsuitable for the age group it was written for.  Of course, I loved it. There is a powerful message within The Chocolate War.

The movie, made in 1988, was well done.  Ilan Mitchell-Smith does a good job of portraying Jerry, a boy who appears meek on the outside but has a strong sense of right and wrong on the inside. The head honcho for the Vigils, Archie (played by Wallace Langham, now on CSI) was also very good at his role.  I felt the same emotions watching the movie as I had reading the book.  I felt unsettled and angry at times.  And in the end, neither the book or movie leave you with a feel good “all is well” feeling… you know.. that there is more to be done, and in this case, that is an ok and appropriate feeling.

I would say I enjoyed them both just about equally.  The book was one I have wanted to read for a while and I was glad I finally got to it.  The movie, was the big finale for me, to see it after reading it was perfect.  I feel I can talk about The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier with some knowledge and opinion.

If you get the opportunity, I recommend reading The Chocolate War and then treating yourself to the movie.  Perhaps maybe, for this next Octobers banned book week?

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