Movies: Month(s) in Review {December 2017/January 2018}

Happy February, y'all!

I don't have much by way of an introduction, but I would like to point out Cordy's Lovely Blog Party, which is going on the whole month of February!  I'll be posting a few things for that later in the month, so stay tuned.  Click the picture on my sidebar to go to Cordy's announcement post! >>>

And now, my December/January watches.

A Tale of Two Cities (1935)

This was very good.  Ronald Coleman was excellent as Sydney Carton (*sobbing*), and as far as I can recall it seemed to follow the book fairly well.  I was not super on-board for their version of Lucie, though -- she seemed a bit ditzy. :-P

Houseboat (1958)

I thought this was really good, and surprisingly deep.  The dynamic between all the characters was very well-done, and I loved the way the movie focused on the individual relationships of Tom and Cinzia with each of the children.

It Happened One Night (1934)

Okay, so I really wanted to love this, but . . . I mean, it's never technically shown that Ellie's husband is cheating on her, so . . . though I loved the banter and chemistry between the two leads, it was still basically adulterous?  So that's a bummer. :(

Kate & Leopold (2001)

Eck.  Wasn't impressed. :-P  Despite how much I like the two leads, this story didn't do it for me.  I don't like time travel-ey stuff in stories, so that's probably the main reason why.  There was also one part that was a little ambiguous -- you couldn't tell if the two characters had spent the night together or not, but it was "mighty suspicious," as some would say.

I did like the part when Hugh Jackman was singing one of the songs from The Pirates of Penzance, though. ;D

Logan Lucky (2017)

This was surprisingly entertaining, actually. xD  Channing Tatum and Adam Driver were really funny as brothers, and Tatum's relationship with his onscreen daughter was cute.  (I'm sure there was a little bit of content, but I don't remember it being that bad.)

Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

OKAY SO THIS.  *deep breath*  Mmm.  I have some Strong Feelings.

First of all, from a technical standpoint, yes, this movie is outstanding: the acting is flawless, the visuals are stunning, and so-on and so-forth.

BUT.  But but but.

I have a pretty huge issue with the moral message of the conclusion of the movie.  People who want to watch this movie and don't want to know what happens, skip over this part.  I'll cushion it with pictures (because, again, the aesthetics are On Point) so that hopefully nobody will accidentally see anything they didn't want to see.

So, basically, Poirot decides that because Ratchett/Casetti wreaked such awful, awful pain on all these people, their gang murder of him was somehow "okay-ish"?!


Please understand, I'm not trying to downplay the horrific-ness of what Casetti did.  I'm not trying to be callous or unfeeling toward the truly heart-wrenching pain these people endured because of his actions.  It's terrible, it's awful, it's heartbreaking.  What Casetti did was not okay.  BUT, what the other characters did in retribution was not okay either.  It was depraved.  

Revenge is never right (no, not in The Princess Bride or True Grit, either, but I'll talk about those in a minute).  Did Casetti deserve to die?  Yes.  Does every human being, technically, when weighed by their sins against Almighty God, deserve to die, too?  Yes.  

I'm not trying to make this into an argument against the death penalty and things like that -- that's a whole other conversation that I'm not interested in having at the moment.  My point is that it's a seriously messed up message that tries to say that if you've suffered enough at the hands of another person, it's okay to round up a gang of other victims to murder that person while he sleeps.  

I also realize that this may sound hypocritical of me, since I like True Grit and since The Princess Bride is one of my top three favorite books ever.  Well, I've actually "wondered" about TG for quite a while.  I'm not comfortable with how the entire story is basically a story of revenge.  I do, however, love the Western-ness of it and the characters.  As for TPB, again, Inigo's obsession with revenge is not okay.  One difference I see with TPB, though, is that there wasn't really another way to bring the Count to justice, that I can see, whereas in Murder, there definitely was.  Still, I recognize that maybe my love for TPB is inexcusable if I'm to be so hard on this story.  Maybe.  If that's the case, I hope God will work that out for me, but I think there's a difference.  (For one thing, 12 against 1 -- when 1 is asleep -- is a bit different than 1 against 1 when both are alert and on an equal footing.)

Plus, as my mom pointed out, do these people really think this will help?  The scene in flashback is heartbreaking, because you can see all the pain and anger and brokenness driving people who would not ordinarily be killers to commit gruesome, vindictive murder.  And it's terrible, but it's still wrong.  They are still responsible.  And they think that claiming this man's life because he destroyed an innocent, joy-giving child's will help them heal in some way.  But I venture to say, along with my mom, that it will not.  The widow was still ready to kill herself afterwards, wasn't she?  Her life was still as broken, as empty.  

The pain that these people endured is truly, truly heartbreaking, and the movie does an excellent job of conveying that -- "the fracture of the human soul," as Poirot said.  I just wish that it had also clarified that the way they went about trying to gain healing and closure and justice was wrong.

Revenge does not help.  Revenge is not right.  

But enough of all that.  Let us move on. :-P

Spotlight (2015)

I thought this was fascinating.  It was sobering and sad, obviously, but so, so good, in my opinion.  The actors nailed their roles.

I do wish that the filmmakers had been a little bit more intentional about clarifying that not every Catholic clergyman is like those in the story, though.  And I'm not sure about the whole "this came from the top down" idea.  But still, overall, definitely worth a watch, as long as you understand that there is a lot of strong language/taking God's name in vain and some relatively detailed accounts of victims' experiences.

Summer Magic (1963)

So I didn't love this, I have to say . . . I don't think the musical element worked super well with this one -- I think maybe if they had kept it to just one or two of the songs, it would have seemed more natural. But the characters were cute. :D

The Great Escape (1963)

I think I might have enjoyed this more if it hadn't been for the fact that I watched most of it pretty late at night, and we kept thinking it was over when we really had about another hour to go. :-P  Still, the acting's great.

The Greatest Showman (2017)

ASKFLAJAHSGKL.  This movie is darling and the two couples are <3 and the music is fantastic and go read Natalie's review because it's awesome and I agree with practically every word.

The Last Jedi (2017)

Me: *has a lot of Feelings*

So many, in fact, that I don't feel like organizing them into thoughts for this post.  Suffice it to say that I liked it a lot.




    First off, some of these sound like really good movies.

    Next, we will talk about MotOE. So.... I completly agree with you!!!!!!!!!! I really liked it because of the actors, and the settings, and the music. The thing is though, they didn't do it as well as Agatha Christie wrote it. If I remember, (if you mind me telling you, skip this part) Poirot said he had come to two conclusions. 1. A stranger who had been cheated by Rachet (Is that it? I can't spell today.) came onto the train and murdered him. 2. That everybody on the train had been a part of it, and all that etc. etc. like in the movie. No one says anything, and Poirot says after some thought, he is going with conclusion number 1. So you don't really know what the true story is. My memory might be faulty though. But in the movie they picked which one it was, and revenge is completely wrong. Like you I have for a long time loved TG, and TPB, so I might be a little biased there, and I also really love the book MotOE, so I might be biased there too. You just have to know that it is completely wrong, and it won't help with the pain, and I wish that the movies said that.

    Next, WE NEED TO TALK STAR WARS. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AFDSAKGLSDKGLKJ!!!!! I loved it absolutely, please tell me all you think of it!!!! (THAT GIF!!!! XD )

    I am so jealous that you saw The Greatest Showman, because it looks amazing! ;)

    The best movie I saw for the first time in January was Bringing Up Baby. It was hilarious!!

    Have a fabulous day, Olivia!!!!

    1. *Ratchett

      Annnnnd I would love to see that version of AToTC because it is my favorite Charles Dickens book.

    2. NO NEVER!! Tired of you, indeed. *huffs*

      Oh, that's interesting! Yeah, I haven't read the book yet. But I know -- it's a tricky situation. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)

      OKAY YES!! Okay, so, I really loved it when I watched it, and I didn't really see any problems with it (I mean, the thing with Leia was a LEETLE corny). And it made me actually like/tolerate Kylo/Ben. And REY IS SO FREAKING AMAZING I CAN'T. And I loved Poe soooo much in this one. PLUS LUKE!!!! My brother is one of the people who really dislikes it, though, and listening to his perspective, I've started to wonder if maybe I need to watch it again and see if my opinion changes . . . But I kind of hope not because, like I said, I really liked it. :D (The only thing -- other than Leia and the lack of explanation for WHY that Certain Person Died -- was that I was not a fan of the whole Rose/Finn thing?? I mean, I'm torn about whom I want Rey to end up with, but even so, I just . . . was not shipping Rose and Finn like AT ALL?? I don't know. What did you think?)

      You'd love TGS!! :D

      Oh, Bringing Up Baby! I love that one, too! "In fact, in quiet moments I'm strangely drawn to you, but -- well, there haven't been any quiet moments." xD

      Aww, thank you! You too! :D <3

      p.s. Yes, you should try it, then!

  2. Murder on the Orient Express, The Greatest Showman, and the Last Jedi are all ones that I adore. I definitely agree that "the end conclusion" (for those who don't want to see spoilers in the comments XD) was wrong, for sure. BUt I also can understand where all these people are coming from (though of course I still think it was horrible, but if I tilt my head and squint my eyes, I can understand the pain and torment that would drive a person to do something like that).

    1. Yes! Oh, definitely -- I definitely UNDERSTAND where the people were coming from, and what they'd been through was truly awful, and what Casetti did was truly awful. But, like you said . . . it just still wasn't RIGHT.

  3. I loved The Greatest Showman! Do you know what I remember about Houseboat? The song Cinzia teaches the children. Even years later I can still sing it. Cary Grant is my all time favorite actor.

    1. Same, Brittaney!

      Haha, yes! That song really won't leave your head. Cary Grant is one of my favorites, too!!

  4. I love 'It Happened One Night', 'Kate and Leopold', and 'The Great Escape'! Awesome movies one and all.

    1. Glad you enjoy them, Lissa! Thanks for the comment. :)

  5. Oh, I love these posts. :D

    I have seen four of these movies:
    Murder on the Orient Express - That's a good point. I really liked the movie, because, as you said (aside from the message) it was pretty much perfect. (Also, I tip my hat to Kenneth Branagh who directed the movie AND PLAYED THE PART OF POIROT.) I was amazed at how well done the plot line is. And to be honest, I'd never really stopped to consider the message of it - I was more intent on solving the mystery. :P I was interested to hear your thoughts, and I agree with them. It wasn't right. Revenge doesn't make things right. I understand why they did it, but yes, I still feel like they aren't going to go and live their lives peacefully. What did it give them? The knowledge that the man they hated was no longer alive. It would never truly heal their pain.
    The Great Escape - Such a classic movie! I LOVE it. And the cast is gold. :D
    The Greatest Showman - <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
    The Last Jedi - !!!!!

    Out of the others... Summer Magic looks quite appealing, just because my family loves Hayley Mills. ;) Also Logan Lucky looks kinda funny because I like Channing Tatum and Adam Driver and seeing them combined in a light-hearted film would probably make me happy. XD

    And I've only seen one film that I can think of for the first time, recently...
    "Man on a Ledge". It was pretty good! Perhaps I have a soft spot for Jamie Bell, Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks, but IT'S STILL A GOOD MOVIE. :D Of course, it's not a light-hearted film - it's a thriller. Basically, there's a man standing on the edge of a skyscraper, threatening to fall, but he's not suicidal, and you're figuring out the whole movie as to why. It's quite intense, and quite intriguing!

    1. Wawww, thanks. :D

      MotOE - Thanks! Yeah, I don't know. I just had a very strong reaction to it, I guess. I mean, you're right -- it's definitely understandable, and it's heartbreaking, it just -- yeah.

      TGE - I loved the cast, too! Three actors from The Magnificent Seven! :D

      TGS - Quite. ;)

      TLJ - Quite, again. ;)

      It was fun to see Hayley Mills again! And yeah, I feel like you'd kind of like Logan Lucky? I mean, it's quite silly, but it's fun to see those two actors together in a light-hearted story, like you said.

      DAAAWWW THANKS. I don't know if I'll write a review, but I appreciate it. ;D

      Wow, that sounds intense! Don't know if I could handle it . . . heehee. ;D

      Thanks for the comment, m'dear! :)

  6. 'A Tale of Two Cities' is AMAZING. I love so many things about it, but mostly Ronald Coleman as Sydney. He did such a great job. <3

  7. Ahhhhhhhhh, The Great Escape <3 <3 <3 One of my favorite movies, but not one to watch when you're tired, it's true.

    Really enjoyed your comments on Murder on the Orient Express! I haven't seen it yet, but I've read the book. Good food for thought. (Also, it's been over a year since I read it, but isn't Mattie Ross intending to capture Tom Chaney and bring him back to face the consequences of her father's murder, not go murder him herself? She takes a long a federal lawman for that very purpose, right? Or am I forgetting that she actually was just planning to go get vengeance?)

    BTW, I nominated you for The Liebster Award :-) Play if you want to!

    1. Haha, indeed. ;D

      Thanks! (Right, she wasn't planning to kill him herself -- she was just determined that he die, and she was determined that he die for her father's murder, where he murdered him, not anywhere else.)

      Aww, thanks! :D

  8. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . . movies! :D

    Dang, girl. And people try to say Agatha Christie's stories aren't 'deep' or whatever. OH THEY'RE DEEP, ALL RIGHT. *nods with great pleasure because #foodforthought*

    I agree with you. Revenge killings are wrong.

    I don't think there was actually a "legal" way to bring Casetti to justice for that murder, though. Because he was a mobster--with the level of corruption in the American justice system at that time (and that's where the case had to be tried, because it took place in America), there would have been NO WAY he would be convicted, much less executed; even if they could convince the judges to reopen the case. No possible way. If he was going to die for his crimes--it had to be extra-legal. Just like in The Princess Bride.

    That doesn't make it morally right. In either story. But it does help explain why the characters did what they did--both these 12 people, and Inigo Montoya.

    I don't believe Agatha Christie was necessarily trying to say it was RIGHT, though. Just that we are not in a position to judge them? I think that was the conclusion Poirot ultimately came to--not "this is morally good," but "I am not the one to judge it."


    The Greatest Showman was A-MAZE-ING. "Rewrite the Stars" was just . . . aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaghhhhhh, my heart.


    <3 <3 <3

    1. Precisely, old sport! :D

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I didn't know that about the court system of that time. That's a tough pill to swallow. I suppose I'll have to take your word for it, though, since you're the one who would know. ;-P Perhaps I'm wrong about it, then. I don't know. I still feel Very Strongly about it, heh. :-P And they weren't even willing to TRY to give him a fair trial.

      Yes, it's definitely understandable, just not necessarily right. I don't know, I just felt like, though we're definitely not in a position to judge people, there are definitely times when we HAVE to judge actions and hold people accountable for them. But, on the other hand, it could be argued that that's precisely what they were doing to Casetti. I don't know, it's a messy situation. :-P

      ANYWAYS. Like you said. ;D Thank you for your thoughts, again!

      YES IT WAS GIRL. Yes, it was.

      AWW YAY. I am happy for you. :)

      <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  9. Murder on the Orient Express is such a complicated story! I enjoyed the movie a lot as a Agatha Christie fan and as a Kenneth Branagh fan but yeah.... I don't think Agatha Christie wants you to condone what you did... maybe more pity them? I'm not sure.
    I grew up watching It Happened One Night and I LOVE it! There's a lot of bantering and all between the two leads but it's always clear that their relationship is intentionally chaste so I had no problem with it ever. I'm a little surprised now that my parents let my siblings and I watch it as kids just because we might not have been able to distinguish but apparently we did an ok job.

    1. It is, Lois! Whew. Very complicated. Well, if that's what she wanted, she did accomplish that -- I certainly felt pity for them! I mean, it's awful. Everything about it.

      I loved the bantering and chemistry between the two leads in IHON! I guess, just, it ended in her divorcing her husband so she could be with the other guy when there wasn't any definite adultery on her husband's side . . . I don't know. It's just a thought I've been mulling around -- but sometimes I think I might overthink these kinds of things in movies. I don't know, heh. :-P

      Hope you're doing well, Lois! Can't wait to meet your little hobbit. :)

  10. I LOVE Ronald Coleman as Sydney Carton. :')

    Awww, Houseboat is so fun! I'm glad you liked it. I like Summer Magic quite a bit, but I agree--the music doesn't seem to fit. (Plus I wasn't super impressed with Hayley's "hero" at the end and if the hero of a story isn't to my liking I tend to not the like the entirety of the movie as much. :P #beinghonest)

    I LOVE the Great Escape but I totally get that "watching a movie late at night" thing. It can totally ruin a good movie, sometimes.


    Again totally relate to the "not feeling up to summarizing my thoughts" thing. :D

    1. He was so good. *sniffles*

      I really did! Yeah, I loved Hayley Mills in SM, it just didn't seem QUITE there for me. ;-P (Hee, I liked him, but I did wish there'd been more of, well, a DEVELOPMENT for their little romance. Haha, I completely relate -- that has a big bearing on my enjoyment of a movie, too. :-P)

      Haha, yeah, it wasn't the BEST circumstance for watching it . . .

      BECAUSE IT DESERVES ITTTTT! Yes, it was wonderful. :D

      Haha, the struggle is real. :D

  11. Ah, I wish I could read all of your thoughts on Murder on the Orient Express, but I can't because I don't want to spoil it. :) I still really want to see it though. I will come back and read this post again when I have!
    The Greatest Showman was great, though!

    1. Aww, thanks, Amaris! I'd be interested to hear your thoughts if/when you watch it! :D

      Yes, wasn't it??


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