Another Movie Binge
Over the last several nights, I've been on a movie binge. I do this several times a month when I need a break from the series that I binge or I'm in between series. So this past week, I watched movies I wanted to go to the theater to see but never found the time to do it. You may feel differently about these movies than I did, but here we go!
The love story between Hazel Grace and Augustus is captivating, heartbreaking, and poignant. Two teenagers who've both faced or are facing cancer battles find something unique in one another that draws them together.
If you're looking for an emotional movie, Based on the bestselling novel by John Green, The Fault in Our Stars doesn't disappoint. You'll laugh, cry, and rage against the inequality of life. But you won't stop watching. At least, I couldn't. It was a truly memorable movie, although, I'm not sure it's one I could watch more than once. Watch it and see for yourself!
Imagine falling in love with someone you can't touch. In fact, you have to stay at least five feet apart from them or you both could die. That's what Stella and Will endure. Two cystic fibrosis patients in the same hospital, they meet, fall in love, and share a beautiful love story that is both heart wrenching and inspiring.
Five Feet Apart is more than just about love. It's about sacrifice, challenges, and living your best life despite them. Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson are both strong-willed, determined (about different things), and ready for different lives they can never have.
This movie stayed with me long after it was finished. I'm not sure I'll watch it again, but then, I won't have to because I'll never forget it.
I'm still on a binge and am looking forward to two more movies this week that I've been wanting to see. What about you? What movies have you binged? What are your favorites?
If you follow any of my social media accounts, you already know how much of Downton Abbey fan I am. I've seen all six seasons a lot more than once, and so when the details of the movie were released, I could not have been more excited.
The movie opened on September 20th, and I bought advance tickets for the same day. And for two, what seemed like incredibly short hours, I immersed myself in the 1920s again with the familiar characters I've grown to love. And I don't regret a moment of it. In fact, I'll probably see the movie again before it leaves the theaters.
I've written a full review of Downton Abbey that you can read, but I wanted to share with you all here that this is, by far, the best return Julian Fellowes (the creator of Downton Abbey) could have given us. If you're a fan of the show, you don't want to miss the chance to see this on the big screen.
I am a sucker for movies based on true stories. I actually didn't know that this one was based on Eric LeMarque's story when I pulled it up in my queue on Hulu. Eric LeMarque is a former hockey player who got involved in drugs and spiraled out of control. He had to lose his way to find it again. His story is heart wrenching, fascinating, and inspiring.
The movie stars Josh Hartnett and Mira Sorvino who plays Eric's heartbroken, faith-driven mother who only wants to see her son have hope again. Josh Hartnett as Eric is convincing as a drug addict who only cares about the adrenaline rush which is why he's addicted to snowboarding as well as meth.
LeMarque gets trapped on a mountain in the Sierras for eight days after getting lost in a whiteout while snowboarding. That's where the main scope of this story starts, and while I really liked Hartnett's portrayal, the mountain scenes went on a bit longer than necessary, in my opinion. There were long minutes of watching him crawl through snow, and I would rather have seen more of his mother. When she came into the picture, determined to find her missing son, the story really picked up.
Much of LeMarque's childhood is told in flashbacks, and it's his determination not to fail, brought on by his father's constant demands, that pushes him to survive while his body is dying. Hartnett's acting is spot-on as a man who is alone on the mountain in frigid weather with no one to talk to. He manages to overcome fear and loneliness and detox from a powerful drug while drawing on strength reserves he probably didn't even know he had.
There are few secondary characters in the movie which is a shame. I would have loved to have seen more of LeMarque's story before his time on the mountain, and his interaction with others would have given the story more to work with.
In a lot of ways, 6 Below reminded me of Castaway with snow. There are a lot of scenes that lag, but they didn't lead me to turn off the movie early. I watched through to the end and was able to see the real Eric LeMarque's new life after nearly dying on the mountain. He's making the most of his life now, and for that reason, I do recommend this movie if you enjoy inspirational journeys of overcoming addiction and survival in the darkest of circumstances.
Must-See Period Drama Movies
I've been on a period drama, movie-watching kick the last few nights (probably because I'm impatiently waiting for the Downton Abbey movie) and am so glad I found these!
I'll admit; I've never read the book, but there was something about the movie that made me put it on my watchlist at Netflix. It's been there for quite some time until I finally decided to just watch it. And wow.
First, I adore Lily James from her time as Rose on Downton Abbey. She was just as perfect in this role, and her chemistry with all of the other characters, including Penelope Wilton (also from Downton Abbey) was spot-on.
This movie is set shortly after WW II comes to an end and explores the aftermath and the devastating effects on the people left behind. It's a stunning production and good enough for a second watch!
And I thought the 1995 version with Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman was my favorite. It has now been eclipsed by this 2008 version!
It, too, stars a Downton Abbey veteran, Dan Stevens, as Edward Ferres, and he brought such emotion to the character in spite of his stoic presence.
The overall acting in this movie captivated me. There wasn't one wrong choice of actors in this mini-series, and the settings were incredibly beautiful.
I think my favorite thing about this movie was getting to see the marriage proposal between Edward and Eleanor instead of knowing about it off-screen. It was simplistic yet beautiful. This is another movie I've added to my will watch again list!
I'll admit that this movie captured my attention because of Matthew Goode, who is one of my favorite actors. He also starred on Downton Abbey (I'm sure you're seeing a trend here).
Another period drama, The Imitation Game is a 2014 movie that is set in flashbacks to WWII and in the current time of 1951. It also stars Allen Leech, Keira Knightley, and Benedict Cumberbatch who has a divine voice.
I wasn't sure if I'd like it which is why I've put off watching it, but I'm happy to say I was wrong. Matthew Goode plays a charming cad who loves the ladies. Allen Leech is a man of mystery who comes across as a peacemaker. Keira Knightley is a woman trying to make it in a man's world, and Benedict Cumberbatch is an awkward man who's never really fit in anywhere until he helps England win in the fight against the Germans.
If you love period dramas, I encourage you to get the popcorn ready and settle in for a couple of nights of these unforgettable movies!
I went to see Breakthrough preparing for a movie about a miracle, which is exactly what it is. Fourteen-year-old John Smith falls through the ice and is underwater for fifteen minutes before CPR was started. Miraculously, he not only survives the traumatic event, he does so without any cognitive defects. Even leaving it at that, it's a great movie, but there's so much more to it.
There is, of course, a strong faith element present in the movie, but along with that comes a story of acceptance, of community, and unity.
Acceptance—Joyce Smith (portrayed by Chrissy Metz) doesn't like the new pastor who is portrayed by Topher Grace. She struggles to accept the changes in their church after his arrival and struggles to accept him as the head of the church. It's only when Joyce's son, John, is injured that she comes to realize how deeply the pastor truly cares about people, including those who don't like him.
Community—From the business owner who called 911 to the healthcare professionals at both hospitals, it's clear that had one person, one cog in the wheel, so to speak, been missing, John Smith might not have recovered. The lines of communication were open and strong, and this town meant business. They worked together flawlessly to save a young boy's life
Unity—The entire town comes together to not only pray for John's recovery but to take care of the Smith family as they spend their time at John's bedside.
Breakthrough is about so much more than a miracle. It's a snapshot of a town filled with dedicated, caring people, those who go out of their way for others. In reality, the movie is a wishlist for the world.
First Man Equals First Fail for Me
The trailer pulled me in the first time I saw it. I couldn't wait to see this movie...until I did.
London Has Fallen Movie Review
I saw London Has Fallen this past Saturday, and since I was a big fan of Olympus Has Fallen, I had high expectations. I'm so glad the writers and actors did not disappoint.
Gerard Butler slips right back into the role of Secret Service Agent, Mike Banning, and makes it actually believable that one man could take on an army nearly all by himself. Both determined and brutal, he portrays equal parts killer and protector effortlessly.
Though I do wish there had been time to focus a little more on his home life, I understood the need for brevity to focus on the action which brings me to my next point. There is no lack of action in this movie, and some might say there's too much. I don't think so, although, I think some scenes could have been tightened so as not to go on as long. That really is my only complaint except for the lack of affection between Mike and his wife. I just didn't feel the connection there, especially when Mike was leaving to fly to London.
I really enjoyed the banter between the President and Mike. Butler and Eckhart have great chemistry (which eclipsed what Butler and Rhada Mitchell had), and Eckhart plays the role of the Commander-in-Chief very well. Even in the midst of chaos, these characters brought wit to the story line, and the entire audience was laughing at some of the lines coming from Mike Banning.
There is a surprise death I wasn't expecting, but I won't say any more about it as I don't want to spoil it.
Overall, I'd definitely give the movie an A, and I hope Mike Banning returns for another story!
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