Wonder Showdown: Book vs Movie

Wonder Showdown: Book vs Movie

 
Way back in 2013 when I read the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio, I said that I hoped there would NEVER be a movie made from this book. Why? Because there is NO way. EVER. to capture the feelings, attitudes, and emotions from this book. No way. There is no way that a movie could ever live up to my expectations for this book. And part of what made it so good was that your mental picture of what Auggie looked like was so important. If the character’s face on the movie screen didn’t live up to what you saw mentally, would it be as good?
 
Well, here we are now in 2017, and they did make a movie. Tough choice! Do I go or do I not go? My husband actually made the choice for me by purchasing tickets. So I went. Begrudgingly, I may add. Or, maybe hesitantly. So, you may ask, “What was the verdict?” Surprisingly, I actually really enjoyed the film! Keep in mind that I read the book over four years ago now, so it’s been long enough for me to forget all the little details, but I think they did a great job of capturing the feeling and emotion of the book. Does it have all those little details? No, it doesn’t, but I did not leave feeling let down or disappointed. I left feeling inspired and uplifted. I feel like they captured the most memorable moments in the book that I remember, and that overall they did a very good job. Was it perfect? No, and if you read the book yesterday you may have a very different opinion, but overall, I was impressed! The acting was really good; I was skeptical about Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson together, but I think they did well together. And Jacob Tremblay, who played Auggie, did an excellent job! Was it as good as the book? Nope, it wasn’t, but it was well done, and I would recommend it. It’s inspirational, and it has the morals, lessons, and attitudes that made the book so good. We definitely need more media like this! 
 

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your opinions of the movie and the book! Please comment below!

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
First Place!!!!
Wonder movie poster
Second Place

The Last Descent (Movie)

The Last Descent
(Movie)
Blurb:
“When John Edward Jones climbed down into Nutty Putty Cave in November of 2009 he wasn’t prepared for the adventure ahead of him. As he explored a lesser-known area of the cave, he slid down into a narrow impasse 10 inches high and 18 inches wide. Stuck upside down for over 28 hours, John was left with few options but to call for help. The unique topography and geological makeup of Nutty Putty cave created intense difficulties for the rescue team that risked everything to save John’s life. Over 150 feet below the surface and the end of over a thousand feet of tunnels, a unique friendship is formed as John and his rescuers share their lives, loves, losses and dreams. As the rescue attempt proceeds John unfolds the turns in his life that show what is most important, and he tells the story of a love worth risking everything for.” 

My Review:

I remember hearing about this story several years ago in the news. I cannot imagine being trapped underground in a cave, upside down and unable to move. That would be awful! Consequently, some of this movie is difficult to watch. You know what is going to happen and so you find yourself yelling at the tv (I watched it on DVD), telling him to stop. It doesn’t work, unfortunately, he gets trapped. The story of John and his wife is so sweet and touching. It’s a little cheesy in parts, but it’s a good love story, what do you expect? And then comes the part about the rescuers and their attempts to help John. There’s no cheese there, only hard work and dedication. I’ve been in a couple of caves in my life, but they’re just the big ones with stalagmites and stalagtites, and they have tour guides that walk you through. I’m definitely not adventurous enough to go into the really crazy caves! And this movie definitely doesn’t change my mind! The acting is well done, I thought. John’s character did a really good job. Like I said, there may be a few cheesy parts here and there, but overall it is well done. The story flows well and just pulls you in. There are some really good morals and lessons in this story. I love how John expresses the importance of family and faith. Definitely take your kleenexes! I’d say 3.5/5 stars.

View the Preview Here:

Rating: PG (There’s no profanity or “intimacy,” except for some brief kissing. There isn’t any violence either, but the man is stuck upside down in a cave for over 24 hours, and it’s difficult to watch him suffer.)

Recommendation: 13 years-old and up. I know my 11 year-old daughter would not want to watch this movie, and I wouldn’t want her to. I’d be fine with my 13 and 15 year-old sons watching it. I know it says it’s PG, not PG-13, but it’s quite deep and a little too much for those younger kids.

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this DVD in exchange for my honest review.

(P.S. It’s not too late to order this for Christmas!!)

Just Let Go

I know, I know!!! I take a little break from blogging because I’ve been working full-time at my kids’ school (My daughter’s teacher had a baby, and she asked me if I would teach her class during her three month maternity leave.), and I review a movie! Well……it’s a good one, what can I say?? I still have two weeks left to teach full-time, and then hopefully things will get back to normal around here. I’m a woosy. I don’t know how moms work full-time permanently. It’s insane! Kudos to you all, I have a huge appreciation for all you do!
Just Let Go (Movie Review)
Have you heard this story? It’s an amazing story. Be prepared to cry. Seriously. I heard about this story long before the movie came out; I remember hearing about it in the news, and I couldn’t believe it. What Chris Williams went through is heartbreaking. And yet, he found the courage and inner-strength to forgive. It’s a very powerful message! Instead of writing a quick blurb for you, I’m posting the movie trailer and then another movie that briefly sums up the entire story. 
Here’s the movie trailer:
And here’s the other brief movie about this story:

The focus of this movie is learning to forgive. It shows us that even when life is hard, and things happen to us that are unfair and awful, forgiveness will give us peace and allow us to move on in our lives. Forgiving those who hurt us allows us to be free. This movie is so inspirational. Whether you are a Christian or not, this movie will touch and inspire you to be better. I actually saw this movie the night of the Fathom Event, and I was amazed at the ability Chris had to forgive. The bonus features include the discussions by Delilah from that night, and the forgiveness challenge by Desmond Tutu. 
This movie is rated PG-13 for accident images and thematic material. I took my 14 year-old son with me when I saw it at the theater, and there were some parts that I thought were a little much for him. I was a little uncomfortable with him there, but at the same time, it’s such a good message, and I was glad that he was able to see that. I hope he can learn the lesson of forgiveness now. He was emotional as we left the theater, and I think even though some parts were difficult to watch, the benefit of the lesson outweighed that. The movie is 106 minutes long. I highly recommend this movie!

Believe

Believe (Movie)
(This movie summary is taken from an email the publicist sent me.) “In the early 80’s the legendary Manchester United football manager Sir Matt Busby helps a wayward boy fulfill his dream.
Having lived with football all his life and survived the tragic 1958 Munich plane disaster in which 8 of his promising young players were killed, Matt, still haunted by the ghosts of the “Busby Babes” comes out of retirement for one last coaching challenge, to transform a young group of scallywags into a dream team to compete for the upcoming Manchester United Football League Cup.
A funny and touching family film, Believe tells the story of how Matt is finally healed, while continuing to inspire generations of dreamers and leaving the world’s greatest football team as his legacy.”
I know what you’re thinking……a movie??? Yep! I do occasionally pull my head out of my books. This time it was because I was invited by Deseret Book to attend a media screening for this upcoming movie “Believe.” Well, it’s a soccer movie, and I feel like I live on the soccer fields with my kids these days, so I thought it might be fun. I grabbed my amazing sis (Yes, amazing. She got all the talent. Here’s her site, you should check it out: http://www.crookedpinkie.com/) to come with me, and guess what? It was the two of us and two other guys in the whole theater. Hahaha….it was as if they played it just for us. 
There are a lot of inspirational sports films out there. My husband and I just went and saw this football one a couple of weeks ago. They’re all very similar, right? You have the underdog and then you have the bullies. You have either an old famous coach or a brand new coach. You have some sports. You have some drama. And then you have success. Well, the only thing different about this movie is that it involves children’s sports. I thought it was cute. I liked the coach’s character, and thought he did a good job. He was into it, but it wasn’t over done. He was believable. I also liked Georgie’s character. He is a really cute kid, and I thought he did well in this movie. He was realistic and not too cheesy or unbelievable. He was likable even though he did some not very likable things. Coming from a mom’s perspective, I thought the mother in this film did a good job. I think I would have reacted in the same way that she did. I liked that the education part of it was so important. I liked the relationship between coach and players. There was some humor and some drama, some cheese and some inspiration, and overall I liked it. It’s predictable, and yet still enjoyable. I liked it, but I think my 12 year-old soccer player would love it. I am going to suggest to his coach that the team go see it together, because it has a good message of believing in yourself and dreaming big, then working hard to accomplish your goals. 
The film takes place in England, and there are some times where I thought the British accents were difficult to understand. Also, I thought that there were some things that could have been explained or developed more, but overall I enjoyed it. It’s clean so it’s kid-friendly, which is fabulous. It would make a great team building activity for all those soccer teams out there. 
Rating: PG
Recommendation: I’d say 6 and up. The six-year-olds might be a little bored, and may not understand everything, but I think they’d at least sit through it. 
Disclosure: I did receive a free ticket to go see this movie in exchange for my honest review.
Here are some links in case you want to know more about this movie:

Or you could watch the trailer:

Ephraim’s Rescue (Movie)

 
 
Ephraim’s Rescue (Movie)
 
(Synopsis taken from the press kit)

“From T.C. Christensen, director of the sensational pioneer film, 17 Miracles, comes the heroic true story of a simple man who was called to do the work of angels. Ephraim’s Rescue relates the story of Ephraim Hanks: a rescuer of the Martin Handcart company.

Follow Ephraim as his adventures lead him to join the LDS Church and ultimately to one of the most heroic rescues in American history. With a unique desire to help and strengthen others, Ephraim learns that each choice we make can prepare us for what lies ahead. He discovers, through it all, that decisions determine destiny.”

This is a first. I haven’t ever reviewed a movie before, so we’ll see how this goes. I was invited by one of the companies I review for to go to a prescreening for this new movie “Ephraim’s Rescue.” It is  being released in select theaters on May 31st. Even though it’s a movie, and I review books, I decided to take a (very short) break from reading and  go see the movie. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Overall, I mostly enjoyed it. It is religious in nature. It centers on a man named Ephraim Hanks, and it goes through some of his life and the experiences he had during those times. I know they tried to fit a lot into the 2 hours, but I would have liked to have seen more about his early years. It shows how he came to convert to a new religion, and what happened when he dedicated his life to living that religion. The culminating moment is when he helps to rescue a group of people traveling with handcarts across the plains. These people left too late in the season, and then were faced with an early winter. They buried many of their friends and family along the way, and those who were still alive were barely hanging on. Many of them didn’t have shoes and walked through the snow in bare feet. Their food supplies were completely gone. Even though the conditions were awful, Ephraim risks his own life to get supplies and aid to these people.

The storyline was a little hard to follow in parts because the time periods and places kept switching. At times I was confused about who was who in which time period, and how it all fit together. They switch from Ephraim to a family in England, and although they do eventually come together, I thought there would be a much greater connection than there was. I’m not sure why they spend so much time talking about the background of this other family when there isn’t a greater connection with the two families. There was a part about a man in a suit on a ship, and Ephraim says it was a huge turning point in his life. I may not be very smart, but I didn’t understand that part at all. I did not see how that could be a life changing experience. Some of the actors did a very good job and were believable, and others didn’t convince me at all. There were some funny and lighthearted moments, but there was also a lot of sadness and devastation. I also felt that even though they tried to stay away from the cheese, there were some very cheesy parts. One thing I didn’t like was that there were some very personal, intimate, and sacred experiences that I didn’t feel comfortable watching in a movie. Those moments felt too personal and I felt they could have described them without showing all the details. There were some really good lessons in this movie, though. A lesson I liked was that the experiences we have in our lives prepare us for moments in our future. We can take those experiences and be ready when those moments come, or we can let them pass us by and be unprepared when those future moments come. The lesson is to grab ahold during those times of preparation and be ready when the time comes.

I couldn’t find a rating for this movie, but I think I’ll allow my 11 year-old, and maybe my 9 year-old, to watch it. I wouldn’t go younger than that. There isn’t any profanity. There is one little kiss (that kind of surprised me), and there is a lot of devastation. There is a lot of death, frostbitten and gross toes and feet, and physical ailments. I think it would be really good for teenagers to watch. I think a lot of teenagers today think they have it rough if their cellphone is taken away…..they have no idea what people went without and the hardships they encountered. It made me thankful for all that I have.

Rating: PG+ (Death, physical hardships and ailments)

Recommendation: 9 and up at the youngest.

Disclosure: I did receive a free ticket to this movie in exchange for my honest review.