My 2 Cents… The Jane Austen Book Club

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JaneTitle: The Jane Austen Book Club (2007) 
Director: Robin Swicord 
Writers: Robin Swicord (screenplay) and Karen Joy Fowler (book) 
Stars: Maria Bello (Jocelyn), Emily Blunt (Prudie), Kathy Baker (Bernadette), Amy Brenneman (Sylvia), Maggie Grace (Allegra), and Hugh Dancy (Grigg)
Genre(s): Comedy/Drama/Romance

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★
Cinematography: ★★★★
Story: ★★★★
Acting: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (4)

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BLURB:
Six Californians start a club to discuss the works of Jane Austen, only to find their relationships – both old and new – begin to resemble 21st century version of her novels.

STORYLINE:
The Jane Austen Book Club explores Austen’s adage that general incivility is at love’s essence. Sylvia’s husband dumps her for another woman, so Bernadette and Jocelyn organize a book club to distract her. They recruit Sylvia’s daughter Allegra; Prudie, a young teacher whose marriage may be on the rocks; and Grigg, a sci-fi fan who joins solely out of his attraction to Jocelyn. The six book club members read and discuss one Austen novel per month. While Jocelyn attempts to peak Grigg’s interest in Sylvia, she fails to see her own interest in him rising. Allegra falls in love with a woman she meets skydiving. Then, after unexpected heartache she is able to mend her heart through a new relationship. Prudie contemplates an affair with one of her students and may take things a little to far. Sylvia’s ex-husband keeps popping back into her life and eventually tells her he still loves her. By the end of the movie, the truth about each of our characters is revealed.

MY 2 CENTS:
I’m not going to lie, this is a chick-flick. I love a good romantic comedy chick-flick every now and then, but they are not my typical go-to movie. With that said, as an author and an avid reader, I LOVED THIS FILM!

The cast is amazing… In fact, I really can’t image a better cast. With Emily Blunt, Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman, and Kathy Baker taking the lead, this movie was destined to be a success. And a story line that manages to infuse the characters’ lives with pieces of Jane Austen’s fictional world is just plain fun.

Like most chick-flicks, this film isn’t about wowing the viewers with amazing cinematography and extraordinary special effects. This film relies solely on the dialogue and the actors’ abilities to communicate their emotions to the audience. The character development within each relationship as well as individually gives the viewer so much to watch, explore, and relate to. Of course, not everyone will be able to relate to every character… but that is the beauty, there is a character for everyone.

I believe that if Austin were alive today, she would be proud of the way this film utilized her themes and wove them into the lives of the characters beautifully.

Watching the film, you get a sense that Karen Joy Fowler, author of the book ‘The Jane Austin Book Club, truly has a passion for and understands Austin’s books. Although I have not yet read ‘The Jane Austin Book Club’ I do intent to add it to my ‘To Read’ list. I think that anyone who admires Austin’s books will enjoy this film.

If you have watched this movie (or read the book) please comment below and let me know what you thought of it. If you haven’t seen the movie, but are intrigued enough to watch it, then I challenge you to watching and then come back and let me know what you thought.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:
“Let us never underestimate the power of a well-written letter.” ~ Bernadette

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You can watch the official trailer here:

My 2 Cents… Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Maze RunnerMaze Runner: The Death Cure – Young hero Thomas (played by Dylan O’Brien) embarks on a mission to find a cure for a deadly disease known as “The Flare”.

Let me start by saying that I LOVED the first movie in this series. With that said, I sat through this movie going, “Wait, what? Did I miss something?’ I felt completely lost, as if huge chunks of the story had been left out – skipped – or just deleted in editing.

Sure, there were some pretty awesome action sequences, but the story left me feeling disappointed and counting the minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.

Side note… Barry Pepper (as Vince) was awesome! Seriously Barry, where have you been? Hollywood needs to cast you more!!!

Watch the official trailer here:

My 2 Cents… Upgrade

UpgradeUpgrade – Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey (played by Logan Marshall-Green), a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem (voice by Simon Maiden).

I wasn’t expecting any more than an action-packed movie along the lines of the Bourne movies (which I loved), but I ended up loving this movie for a completely different reason. It’s not all action and drama! It’s filled with laughs, which considering how dark the film is was very unexpected. Leigh Whannell, the film’s director, has packed this film full of drama, shock, action, and even some heartbreak. There’s never a dull moment as the film has you on the edge of your seat the entire time!

I can’t end this review without saying that Logan Marshall-Green was perfectly cast. PERFECTLY cast. He made the characters inner struggle believable in exactly the way this film needed. You feel for his character, you’re angry with him, grieving with him, and want him to win even if it means doing unspeakable things.

Watch the official trailer here:

 

My 2 Cents… All I See Is You

all I seeAll I See Is You – A blind woman’s relationship with her husband changes when she regains her sight and discovers disturbing details about themselves.

Ok… wow! This movie did not go the way I expected it to at all! I’m glad I didn’t look at the IMDB reviews before deciding to watch this movie. Directed by Marc Forster, the subpar 5/10 rating given as an IMBD viewer average did not at all reflect my view of the film.

I felt like Blake Lively did a wonderful job playing the blind unsuspecting woman in love and pulled no punches when she regained her sight and took back her Independence. Jason Clarke, as the husband, was loving and caring, but we quickly find out he has a lack of confidence and possible abandonment issues that lead to a dark side I didn’t expect to see. He plays the jealous, suspecting husband perfectly.

Recommendation – take the time to watch! When you do, let me know what you think.

Watch the official trailer here:

 

My 2 Cents… Nostalgia

nostalgiaNostalgia – Directed by Mark Pellington, Nostalgia is a mosaic of stories about love and loss, exploring our relationship to the objects, artifacts, and memories that shape our lives.

I knew nothing about this movie when I hit play, sitting on the plane waiting for my flight to take off. I had no expectations other than to be entertained. I felt like the cast held up their end of the deal… they were beautifully tragic. Although it was an extremely talented cast (Hugo Armstrong, Shinelle Azoroh, Annalise Basso, Ellen Burstyn, Arye Gross, Jon Hamm, Catherine Keener, Lindsey Kraft, and so many others), but unfortunately, the story/script left little to be desired (for me). I’m still trying to figure out the film’s message, other than ‘what’s important to you is junk to everyone you leave behind when you die.’

I can recognize that there were some though-provoking concepts/topics brought up in the film, but it was to spliced and diced to make a coherent film.

Just my two cents. If you saw it, what did you think?

Watch the official trailer here:

 

My 2 Cents… Blade Runner 2049

blade runnerBlade Runner 2049 – A young blade runner’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford), who’s been missing for thirty years.

I can’t say I loved this one, but I definitely enjoyed it. It had the gritty feel of the original Blade Runner and Ryan Gosling was perfectly cast as ‘K’! With that said, the computer graphics really bothered me, pulling me out of the film and back to reality all to often. I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for Harrison Ford’s character, Rick Deckard, to make his appearance. When he did – the story blended the two films together perfectly. I was excited, devastated, angry, and a slew of other emotions as K learned the secrets the film has to offer.

The ending definitely leaves the door open for another sequel. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but that’s Hollywood for you… if it’s making money keep squeezing it!

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Watch the official trailer here:

 

My 2 Cents… Breathe

BreatheBreathe – The inspiring true love story of Robin Cavendish (played by Andrew Garfield) and Diana Cavendish (played by Claire Foy), an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. Their heartwarming celebration of human possibility marks the directorial debut of Andy Serkis.

WOW… Just WOW! Everything from the script (written by William Nicholson) to the casting, to the set and the costumes, to the soundtrack was beautifully constructed to work seamlessly together. I can’t say enough about how much this film touched my heart and spoke to me not just as viewer but as a member of a society that all to often forgets about the small pleasures we can find in each and every day.

This film brought out all the feels… laughter, shock, tears of joy, and yes… tears of sadness and grief. Even if your life is nothing like the ones portrayed in this movie, you’ll be able to relate to them on some level simply by sharing the act of breathing.

Have you seen it? If so, what did you think?

Watch the official trailer here: