Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday Flicks: Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express
Rating ★★

What It's About
Detective Poirot is finally retiring. Taking a train from his last case, he's looking forward to a relaxing journey reading Dickens but he boarded the wrong train. A murder takes place and it becomes apparent that the murderer is still on the train, Poirot must come out of retirement to solve the murder but this will be the strangest and most difficult case he's ever worked.

There was so much buzz about this one, am I right?! At first I thought it was because it has such a large and famous cast but then, silly me, I realized it was based on a book. An Agatha Christie book. Sorry. I never read her books. I couldn't get into them. Anyways, After realizing why it was so popular I decided to give it a try; I like a good mystery, after all.

And it definitely was a mystery. I tried very hard to guess what was going on but they did a very good job of keeping you guessing (if you hadn't already read the book) and I appreciated that. Of course, now I'm trying to figure out why you'd want to see this one if you read the book. If I hadn't been guessing what was going on the whole time I might have been bored.

I did guess what was going on, right before the big reveal but maybe that's what I was supposed to do. And what a strange reveal it was. Suddenly this murder mystery was trying to be all important with a moral question presented. Meh. I wasn't blown away.

The cinematography in this one was beautiful! Seriously. I wouldn't be surprised if it gets nominated for an Oscar for that or at least costume design. It was a feast for the eyes. I loved it.

 Kenneth Branagh was a delight as usual. He was quite funny and you could tell he brought his personality into the directing.

All in all, I only found this one pleasing to watch for its cinematography. The mystery had me guessing but when all was revealed I was just left with a lot of questions.

Let's Talk
This movie really made me want to take a train ride on this kind of train minus the murder. Do these kind of trains even exist anymore? If not, I'm sad.

While I want to tell you to see its beauty on the big screen, you should probably just Redbox it or wait till it's on Netflix.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Review: Fiendish

Title Fiendish
By Brenna Yovanoff
Genre YA Supernatural/Paranormal
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

When Clementine was a child her mother and aunt dabbled in dirt magic, making cures and small spells for the local folk, but when strange things started to happen the towns people panicked. Clementine's home was burned to the ground and her mother was killed. Clementine was kept safe by magic but was locked in the cellar; trapped by willow roots and silenced she stayed that way for ten years, until a boy sets her free. Now she must come into her power and find out what happened in the past so she can save the future.

First Sentence
When I was little, everything twinkled.

I've only read one other book by Yovanoff and had only luke-warm feelings about it so I went into this one with pretty low expectations. Maybe that's why I ended up loving it so much.

The twisted magic of this one lent to a great atmosphere to start off with. Everyone in this crazy little town had a dark side that disturbed me. I think that's why I loved Clementine so much! She was so sweet and kind and forgiving and not in that annoying, too-good-to-be-true way. She was genuine and I adored her.

The story had me intrigued from page one. I wanted to know what in the world was going on. Were the fiends really bad? How did Clementine end up trapped in that cellar? Would the young teens be able to come together with their collective powers and stop another Reckoning? I wanted to know. I actually cared. It was great to be so invested.

I loved the satisfying ending and I love that Yovanoff writes stand-a-lones.

 Should you read it
 If you're looking for a exciting and unique page turner give this one a go.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Review: Haunting Violet

Title Haunting Violet
By Alyxandra Harvey
Genre YA Supernatural/Paranormal
Rating ⭐️

Violet's mother has been masquerading as a medium Violet's whole life. They've worked their way up to being invited to a country estate for a spiritualist party. But when Violet starts actually seeing ghosts she wants nothing to do with them. The ghosts won't leave her alone, though and Violet finds herself dragged into the mystery of a murdered young girl.

First Sentence
A lady does not dance more than two dances with the same gentleman.

Oi! This one has been on my shelf for a long time. I finally decided to pick it up and proceeded to be incredibly disappointed.

I'm not sure if it was a mood thing or what but I had zero patience for the amateurish feel of the writing in this one. I actually thought it was a debut novel, it felt so unpolished, but, nope, the author has written lots of other books. Several of which were published before this one. Could have fooled me.

I also think I was expecting a more modern day setting but this takes place back in Victorian times. Maybe Edwardian times. I'm not sure. That little detail escaped my notice, like most of the details in this one. Yay! Maybe I won't remember how bad it was for long.

Filled with all the YA cliche's of its day I found this one trite and boring and had to give up half way through and skim to the end. Even the skimming was bad. I should have just set this one down 20 pages in when I could tell we weren't going to get along. Oh well.

Should you read it
I think my dislike of this one is personal. So go ahead and give it a shot if you think it's your cup of tea. Just don't expect me to show up to that tea party. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday Flicks: Thor Ragnarok

Thor Ragnarok
Rating ★★★★

What It's About
If you've been hiding under a rock it's time to come out. Come on, it's ok. Out you come. There's a good boy! Alright! I'm done. So anyway, I'm assuming you know all about the Marvel Universe and their movies. I love how they all fit together, don't you? This one follows Thor as he discovers he has a sister. A sister that was so power hungry and crazy that their father locked her away. But she's free now and back to her old ways of power mad controlling! It's up to Thor to stop her....without his hammer. Eeeep!

 I got to see this one opening weekend because my awesome friend Jenni had a spare ticket. Thanks Jenni! I'll be honest. I've only see the first Thor. I know! Sacrilege. But I have seen the Avengers etc so I wasn't completely lost. Now I don't know if I'm just remembering wrong or if they took a different approach to this movie but it was hilarious! Way funnier than it's predecessors. And I don't mean silly little jokes here and there amidst some serious action. I mean a laugh a minute, not taking itself too serious funny. I loved it!

And the story was fun too. I liked watching Thor figure out who he really was without his hammer. I loved all the Marvel cameos and the newcomers were great too. It was such a fun ride! If you're a Marvel fan and a fan of 80s videogames this one will be right up your alley.

My only beef with the movie, the reason it's a four star instead of a five, is I felt it was a bit long. Now if you're loving a movie or book so much that you don't want it to end then length is great. And I was loving this one but it was crowded and hot in the movie theater and enjoyable or not, it had a few unnecessary things that could have been cut in my opinion. Still, it's totally worth the watch and I guarantee you'll laugh your head off. Go see it!

Let's talk
    Chris Hemsworth fan? Cause I am. Damn!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Review: The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Title The Girl Who Chased The Moon
By Sarah Addison Allen
Genre Adult Magic Realism
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother’s life. Such as, why did Dulcie Shelby leave her hometown so suddenly? And why did she vow never to return? But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew--a reclusive, real-life gentle giant--she realizes that mysteries aren’t solved in Mullaby, they’re a way of life: Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor bakes hope in the form of cakes. (From Goodreads)

First Sentence
It took a moment for Emily to realize the car had come to a stop.

I needed another Allen book in this crazy depressing time of my life so I downloaded the audio of this one and listened while cleaning house and raking leaves. It was a life saver. 

I feel like this one isn't talked about as much as some of her others so my expectations were low. I thought it wasn't going to compare but I actually ended up really liking it. It was as sweet and enjoyable as Julia's cakes. (character in the story reference) 

I loved all of the characters in this one...mostly. One of the love interests annoyed the hell out of me (typical) but other than that I found the characters relatable and endearing. I also liked the story of this one. Allen's books can be a little light on story but this one held my interest and I wanted to know how everything unfolded.

A wonderful comfort read. If you haven't read Allen you need to.

Should you read it
Yes, A great Allen book to begin with if you haven't read any of her books.