Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I am very late getting to the party with this movie.  The book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling was advertised as a guide, a textbook of sorts that related to the Potter stories.  At the time I didn’t have an interest in the books as there wasn’t a story line.  I was a straight up Harry Potter fan and this prequel, such as it is, just didn’t appeal.

So now I am just getting around to seeing the first movie.  Loved it!


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has a few stars you may be familiar with Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton and Johnny Depp.  I loved the characters Queenie and Jacob – I’m happy to know they will be in the second movie.

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Now I have to wait for the next movie, The Crimes of Grindelwald where Jude Law stars as Albus Dumbledore.  Looking forward to that one.

Sharing with Joy’s Book Blog for her British Isles Friday event.

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C.B. Strike series vs Books

My husband and I both look forward to the newest books in the Cormoran Strike series so we were delighted to learn a TV series was in the works.  As usual, we had to wait for the library to get the DVDs in since we don’t have an internet feed at home.

Hands down, we enjoyed the books more.  Season 1 in the TV series, The Cuckoo’s Calling, was very good.  It pretty much followed the book and I was happy with the actors portraying Strike and Robin.

strike

Last night we started watching season 2, The Silkworm, and it was rather confusing.  Honestly, I don’t know how anyone who hasn’t read the books could keep up with what was going on in The Silkworm.  The Cuckoo’s Calling had three episodes so perhaps that made a difference.  The next two stories have only 2 episodes.  There is so much information and character development in the books that I don’t think a 2 hour television session could do them justice.

We won’t be watching Career of Evil as that was a large and detailed book, two episodes can’t possibly cover it all without a sense of confusion, in my opinion.

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Recently we finished the book Lethal White which I found to be outstanding.  That was a big fat book.  If that one airs as a separate show we may give it a watch, hoping it’s more than 2 episodes.  So much to cover there.

If anyone else has read the books and watched the series I would be interested to know what you think.

Sharing with Joy’s Book Blog for her British Isles Friday event.

BriFri

Ernest Shackleton

shackletonOne thing that attracted me to this movie was it is a true story about  Sir Ernest Shackleton.  In 1914 he set off on an Antarctic expedition, something he probably shouldn’t have survived but he did.  But not only did he make that epic journey, he kept his entire crew alive after their ship was destroyed in ice.  The worst possible conditions anyone could conjure and they survived.  Barely.

The lead role was played by Kenneth Branagh. Most recently I have watched him in Murder on the Orient Express and of course I am fond of his role in the Harry Potter series.

It’s a total of almost 4 hours and I believe this could’ve been cut short if they had spent less time focusing on his fundraising and more time on the actual journey. They was a bit about his wife and his mistress, as well as conversations those women had, which I thought had no place in film. You could’ve replace that bit and told us more about what happened at the end. While it’s an amazing story it seemed at the very end they had to hurry to wrap it up.

I just read that Tom Hardy will reprise the role of Shackleton, read that HERE. So far any movie I’ve seen Tom Hardy has been a hit with us.  OK, the exception would be the movie This Means War with Chris Pine.  Hardy will be amazing in this role.

Again they could’ve spent more time telling us what happened to Shackleton‘s men, his other explorations and how he had ended up having a heart attack.  Also I would ahve liked to know more about the crew of the Endurance rather than wasting time with some of the fund raising and the scenes with his mistress.

If you’re in the mood for a true story about an epic journey to explore Antarctica then I would suggest this film. I think there are other versions but our library happened to acquire this one.  It was made in 2002.

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday

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Murder on the Orient Express {Meh}

We watched this recently and didn’t find it remarkable.  I wish the other characters had more time to develop. Branagh didn’t work for me as Hercule Poirot. Loved him as Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter but Poirot wasn’t a good role for him. (in my humble opinion)

gilderoy-lockhart

It’s amazing you can gather such acting talents as Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz (they managed to dowdy her up!), Derek Jacobi, Michelle Pfeiffer (LadyHawk 🙂 and Olivia Colman and it doesn’t grab you.  ( I loved Colman’s character Ellie in Broadchurch, just FYI)

Maybe that’s just me but…this movie was one I looked forward to but found a bit dull. I have a British series called Peaky Blinders at the library so I will give that a go next week.  So far the big winner for British shows has been Taboo with Tom Hardy.  Let’s see how The Peaky Blinders work for us.

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday

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British Movie Nights #BriFri

We’ve been enjoying some British movies lately so I thought I’d give the roundup for Joy’s British Isles Friday.

Taboo is a series recommended by a friend in Wales.  Of course it takes a while for these shows to arrive in the U.S. and without streaming ability, I patiently wait for our excellent library to acquire the DVDs.  This show stars Tom Hardy and he is excellent in the character of James Delaney.

“James Delaney, believed dead, returns to London to attend the funeral of his father, Horace. Other than owning a small part of the west coast of North America, Horace has left nothing of value. The land, Nootka Sound,  is in dispute between Great Britain and the United States, who are at war. The East India Company had an agreement to buy the land from Zilpha Geary, Delaney’s half-sister, but Delaney knows the war is coming to an end, greatly increasing the value of the land, and scorns their offer.”

I read a description calling the show a “slow burn” and that is so true.  There is action but it’s a slow build up and lots of intrigue.  Very dark production.

The Full Monty – what can I say?  It’s a fun romp with lots of music, an off-beat comedy where you can see Robert Carlyle and Mark Addy in their youth. Definitely a wine night.

The Darkest Hour was one we’d looked forward to since seeing a preview.  Can you believe that was Gary Oldman?  I read it took 4 hours to apply the makeup and “fat” so he looked the part.  The speeches were well played out, such a vivid portrayal of Churchhill.

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I looked up some of the events, such as that train ride with the “common folk” of London, to see about accuracy.  Yes, liberties were taken but I thoroughly enjoyed the film and recommend it for history buffs.  Good acting here.

That’s it for our “BriFri post about movies.  I am finishing up The Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda Owen and will have book talk next Friday.

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday

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How I Live Now {The book and movie}

howIliveBook

How I Live by Meg Rosoff.

In the book, fifteen-year-old Elizabeth (who goes by the name of Daisy) arrives in England from America to stay with her Aunt Penn and her cousins, Osburt, Eddie, Isaac, and Piper .  Her aunt and cousins live on a farm in a remote area of the U.K.  Daisy gets a little homesick at first but then falls into a happy life with her family.  Despite them being cousins, Daisy and 14-year-old cousin Edmond fall in love.

Here comes the twist – World War Three is about to break out and enemy troops surround the farm.  Unfortunately Aunt Penn had been traveling and now can’t get back to her family.  Sounds like a tense book with a dystopian theme.  I haven’t read it yet but I did watch the movie.  This book won the 2004 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.

The movie, I was told, took a few liberties and changed a bit of the plot.  That happens all the time though, it’s usually just a similar story line from the book.   Daisy, a neurotic and anorexic American teenager, is sent to the English countryside for the summer to stay with her Aunt Penn and her cousins, Eddie, Isaac, and Piper.   The movie eliminated the character of Osbert and made Eddie the oldest.  When she arrives in England there is tight security due to  terrorism, reports of a bombing in Paris.

As in the book, Daisy falls in love with Eddie but the character development is different.  Eddie has mystical connection to animals, hawks landing on his arm and other almost spiritual interactions with wild creatures.  Not weird, just a strange connection.

As it turns out Aunt Penn is an expert in terrorist extremist groups and has to leave for a meeting in Switzerland.  This is the beginning of WW III.  In her absence the children explore the woodlands surrounding the farm, unaware of the enemy troops about to converge on the farm and that part of England.  Aunt Penn’s expertise would come in handy now but she’s stuck in another country and can’t help.

A nuclear bomb is detonated in or near London killing hundreds of thousands. Martial law is imposed, electricity goes out, troops descend and they are left to defend, hide or flee.   This was filmed in England and Wales.

I enjoyed the movie and you can’t go wrong with Saoirse Ronan. I have so many books lined up for this month so I know I won’t get to this book yet, but I would like to compare the differences,

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday

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Lonely Planet bring us a Film and TV Locations book

Our local library recently acquired this book and on a whim I checked it out.  What a cool book! It gives the locations of more than 100 movies or TV shows.  Did you ever wonder where King’s Landing in Westeros, from Game of Thrones was filmed?  It’s in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

The Martian, one of my favorite movies and books, was filmed in Jordan on the red sands.  Don’t you think of red sand and Mars?  Perfect.  The Kellig Islands in Ireland are seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  So many perfect fantasy settings are actual places and it’s fun to browse through this book.  It also gave me ideas for movies I want to see coming up.

This book is from Lonely Planet.