Easter Break Update + Short Movie Reviews

I’m back from my hiatus! This is just a quick update about what I did during my 4-day holiday break. 🙂

I went home to the province and spent the last days of the holy week with my family. Being a predominantly Catholic country, the Philippines observes Holy Week and the government even made Maundy Thursday, Black Friday and Black as national public holidays.

Coming from a Catholic family, it already became a family tradition to attend some activities during the Lent. Every Maundy Thursday we always attend the procession around our town observing the Way of the Cross and every Black Friday we attend the late-night Easter vigil in our church to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The silence and solemnity in the air is what I always look forward to whenever I go home during the holy week.

PicMonkey Collagesadasda

You might think that I did read a lot during my break but sadly, no. I spent most of my time sleeping. My books are begging me to read them but my bed wins every time I pick up a book. 😀 It’s a shame, I know, but I guess my mind really was just not ready for reading and just wants to rest. I was planning to read and finish The Wrath and the Dawn, which I was planning to buddy read with Abby of The Panda Book Blog but no, I failed. I was glad though that I was able to finish Room by Emma Donoghue which I started reading mid-March and I only managed to finish last Sunday.

Aside from finishing Room, the only other somewhat bookish thing that I did was to watch movies that were adapted from books. Like what the title suggests, I’m posting short movie reviews for the these films that I watched during my break. I already read the books where each of the movies were adapted from. Basically, that’s my rule before I watch a movie adapted from a book, I have to read the book first before watching the movie.

MV5BMTc2MTQ3MDA1Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODA3OTI4NjE@._V1_SX640_SY720_The Martian
Running time: 2h 24min
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
Director: Ridley Scott
Release Date: 2 October 2015 (USA)
Writers: Drew Goddard (screenplay), Andy Weir (book)
Stars: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig
Awards: Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (2016 Golden Globe Awards)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical for Matt Damon (2016 Golden Globe Awards)

Movie Synopsis: During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crew mates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. (20th Century Fox via IMDB)

My Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

My Movie Review: I have to be honest, I enjoyed the movie more than the book. It’s not that the book is not good, it’s just that I find the movie’s simplistic approach of telling the story’s science-driven plot easier to understand which made me more appreciate the drama and comedy that the film wants to relay. When I read the book, there are too many technical terms that I find to be so overwhelming which took away some of my reading pleasures.

The movie veered away from too much of the science-y theories and calculations that populated the book. The movie used its pacing instead to show and explain the processes towards Mark’s survival. The movie perfectly balanced out the thrilling action and emotional drama while at the same time still making sure that the movie’s geeky stuff is still intact. The director really made a good job in putting up a still detailed movie from a book that requires a lot to be pulled through. I will no longer comment on the actors and actresses performances and the movie’s cinematography because they are all directly on-point adding to the movie’s total entertainment value.

There were parts of the book though that I was expecting on the movie but yeah, like all the other book-to-movie films, we can’t expect everything on the book to be shown on the movie. The movie became very successful, like what the book did, in portraying the will power of the humankind against to overcome unforeseen dilemmas.

Verdict: 4/5

The-Fifth-Wave-War-PosterThe 5th Wave
Running time: 1h 52min
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Release date: 22 January 2016 (USA)
Writers: Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner (screenplay), Rick Yancey (novel)
Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, Matthew Zuk, Gabriela Lopez

Movie Synopsis: Four waves of increasingly deadly attacks have left most of Earth in ruin. Against a backdrop of fear and distrust, Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. As she prepares for the inevitable and lethal fifth wave, Cassie teams up with a young man who may become her final hope – if she can only trust him. (Sony Pictures Entertainment via IMDB)

My Book Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

My Movie Review: I enjoyed the novel so when the movie adaptation came out, I was very excited to go watch it but because of schedule conflicts I was not able to do so. So when I was looking for movies to watch during my holiday break, I made sure to include this one.

For me the movie is just okay. Maybe I was just expecting too much from it and some of my expectations was not fulfilled. I remember the book for being a gripping tale of a girl trying to make her family intact during an alien invasion and I was not able to totally feel that while watching the movie. I remember the book giving me an edge-of-your-seat experience but I was not able to feel that too in the movie. Some parts became too flat that if you did not read the book, you won’t be able to understand what’s happening.

I was not also emotionally moved on the parts that I was expecting to be moved. I felt like some parts were too forced and unrealistic and there are some parts in the book that shouldn’t have been changed or left out.  The love story aspect was not also that developed for me making it hard for me to connect and  buy it. Some secondary characters that I was expecting to be given some spotlight to add spice where only given a line or two. The character’s relationships with each other were not totally established. Despite the efforts of the actors and actresses in the movie, I felt like something is missing. I believe that the movie was too short to give justice for a very bulky book. The essence of the book was left out. What is commendable though about the movie is its good cinematography and special effects.

Hopefully, if the sequel of the movie materializes it will be better.

Verdict: 3/5

Running time: 1h 58min
Genre: Drama
Release date: 22 January 2016 (USA)
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Writers: Emma Donoghue (screenplay), Emma Donoghue (based on the novel by)
Stars: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridgers
Awards: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for Brie Larson (2016 Oscar Awards)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for Brie Larson (2016 Golden Globe Awards)
Best Leading Actress for Brie Larson (2016 BAFTA Awards)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for Brie Larson (2016 Screen Actors Guild Awards)

Movie Synopsis: A kidnapped mother and son escape from a room in which they have endured imprisonment for the entirety of her son’s life. Upon breaking free from its confines, they experience a dramatic homecoming; provoking insight into the depths of imagination and the extent of a mother’s love. (IMDB)

My Book Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

My Movie Review: From the heartfelt and impressive acting to how masterfully beautiful the book was adapted, I am out of words to describe how beautiful this movie is. The movie for me became very successful in mimicking the book’s soul. I like how the movie made me feel the things that I felt while reading the book. The absorbing connection between a mother and her son trapped in a room for 7 years was brilliantly portrayed. Their connection in the movie, like in the book, was given the right amount of treatment so as not to overwhelm the readers to the point of having it become too overly done and annoying.

The emotions given by the movie are so raw and natural that it perfectly suits the story line. I was immediately drawn to it. Unraveling the story from a five-year old who was raised at a 12 x 12 room without no idea that there is a bigger world outside, made the movie even more gripping. I believe that it helped that the author writing the movie’s screenplay really helped in making the movie have the same sentimental feel as the book.

The movie was able to portray and encapsulate the book successfully in its entirety without leaving any important parts that could take away some of the book’s essence. This is one of the rare times that I can’t decide whether I enjoyed the book more or the movie.

Verdict: 4.5/5

How was your Easter break? I hope you all had a great time. What books have you read? Were you like me who was not able to read that much and watched movies instead? Have you already watched the above movies? Let me know your thoughts. 🙂

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