Movie 411: Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Director: Mel Gibson

Screenplay: Robert Schenkkan (TV stuff) and Andrew Knight (TV stuff)

Released: November 2016

Genre: Action/drama

Rated: R

The hook: History! And “based on actual events.”

In Summary: Hot-headed Desmond Doss learned a hard lesson at an early age, that unchecked anger is dangerous. He vowed to never hurt anyone and that includes using weapons. But then war happens and the desire to serve his country pulls him to enlist which tests his beliefs when he is ridiculed for not wanting to fire a weapon, even if his intent is to be a medic. 

Random thoughts: 

I was hesitant to give this movie a shot only because war movies tend to be intense and I really shouldn’t be doing intense right now. But curiosity got the better of me. One, because it deals with historical events and two because it’s based on a true story which takes place during historical events. And three, I love a story where the one who gets picked on gets to throw it back in his aggressors face. And this one was a big one. 

The Plot:

Since it’s based on actual events, scratch creativity and originality. I appreciate the screenplay though. Dialogue, scene setting, story progression, all was well done. I think movies covering historical events and the story is based on actual events, a certain blend and balance needs to happen for a movie so the movie isn’t too heavy, but displays a seriousness not to be taken lightly. I think Schenkkan and Knight did a good job with this and Gibson executed it well.

and Presentation:

As I mentioned, I think Gibson did a great job executing the script. He captured the moments that really brought the story to life–the hostility towards Doss because of his beliefs, the ridicule, and embarrassment he had to endure because he refused to use/carry a gun. The relationship, and hardship, with his family and the love that grew from a chance meeting. I think the cast did a great job as well. Garfield held the role well and did a good job capturing the tension between his father (Mr. Anderson) and himself, the love between Dorothy (Teresa Palmer) and himself, and his military unit. Vaughn (Sgt. Howell) and Wellington (Capt. Glover) did a great job being the hard@*S and jerks who singled Doss out among his fellow soldiers. Well done.

Verdict

I wouldn’t add this to my library only because war movies, while some are really good, can be too much for me. Enough so that I don’t think I’d choose to watch it again. If someone suggests it or if it happened to be on television, I may stop to watch parts of it, but I don’t think it would be worth my investment.

However, the story has a great plot, great tension, and growth and worth seeing at least once.

Progress Report: The past nine months

With the year close to its last quarter and the fact that I haven’t been as diligent with posting this year, I decided to give an overall general progress report on some of the books, tv, and movies I’ve checked off so far.

Let’s start with TV.

Television

  • Scorpion: I slacked off with Scorpion! By the time school and life had settled down enough for me to notice that I hadn’t watch Scorpion in a while, CBS had closed access to two episodes. Two! Sighs. Of course, I can’t watch the unlocked ones without watching the missed episodes first so I’m stuck until I can get access to the rest of the season.
  • Big Bang Theory: My goodness! Did you catch that season finale?! I can’t wait to see where this is going come the next week or so when the series premieres start happening.
  • Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries: I am so far behind it’s going to take me awhile to get back to it.
  • The Heart of Dixie: I finally got the courage to finish it. I was apprehensive to go any further once one of my favorite couples … even when I knew it would work out … yeah, well, I got over it and pressing forward! 
  • Shooter: Binge watched season one and love it! I’m very curious to see how this show will keep running.

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p style=”text-align: center;”>Movies
Going back to the last five movies I watched …

  1. Sing– cute if not a little predictable, but it doesn’t surprise me that it was. Plus, it didn’t take away from the entertainment. Rating: to borrow or Netflix it
  2. Hacksaw Ridge – still can’t decide what I feel towards this one. I enjoyed the story, the acting was good, the effects were good l. I guess there just isn’t much to it really. Rating: Netflix it
  3. Dunkirk – glad I got to see this in theaters because I really liked it since it covered an event I didn’t know about. Rating: Netflix it
  4. Valerian – loved it. Rating: Add
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – gotta say, I enjoyed this one. Rating: Add 

Books

So much to say here, but for now, out of the 61 books I read, here are my top five picks so far this year:

  1. The Battlemage (Summoner #3) by Taran Matharu – final installment. It was awesome!
  2. The Knight and Moon series by Janet Evanovich – pleasantly surprised and can’t wait to see where it goes
  3. The Cinder & Ella series by Kelly Oram – absolutely love this duology. I must have reread their story and revisited their world about four times now.
  4. The Duff by Kody Keplinger – the rare occasion I can’t separate the book-to-movie relationship. The book was so much better.
  5. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – so good

There you have m it. Progress report in a nutshell. Some of these are pegged for a more thorough review so stay tuned. 

Reading Goals: Almost there!


I’m sincerely impressed to be that close to reaching, and by the looks of it exceeding, my goal. I know the GoodReads Challenge isn’t the most creative challenge, I still feel like that’s pretty cool. 

Now, I know I’ve read some novellas and GoodReads counts them but I don’t. Not really anyway. And I know manga barely makes it as a book (at least in my perspective. I’m harder on myself when it comes to reading and set my standard at two manga per book). So I plan to exceed my goal of 65 books by reading at least 72 books to offset.

And I’m getting way to analytical. 

Yay me at being close to the finish line! 

Book Quotes: Life is not a puzzle

Life is not a puzzle to be solved. It is an adventure to be savored.

~Chronicles of Nick: Infamous~ Sherrilyn Kenyon

If you haven’t checked out this series, you should. Even though I’ve fallen behind 😜.

Is it seriously September already? (2017)


Like, seriously? September? Jeepers.

And talk about checking out. I really checked out, huh? Did a “Summer Holiday: Day 1” and didn’t really come back the rest of summer. I can’t say that I’m back to my regular routine just yet. Truthfully (and I may have mentioned this), I came -|this|- close to throwing in the towel and signing off blogging for a while. Life’s been kicking my butt lately and with my focus on school (since I’m -|this|- close to graduating with a BA in European History, boo-yah!) it’s been kicking my butt double time. 

But (and I may have mentioned this too), I just can’t do it. Give up blogging? gasp Never! Dramatic? Absolutely. But I haven’t given myself good enough reason to quit it so . . . onward!

With more than half the year gone, however, one has to wonder where to go from here. At least, I do. Wonder that is. As far as blogging goes. That is. So as usual, I’m moving onward with no plan in particular, but then again, a plan is so restricting (a half joke here because plans do come in handy, when you stick to it, which I do–honest!–about 60% of the time and really, I have a hard time with the follow through . . . anyway!). 

[Yeah, I had a whole other paragraph and stuff written and then I switched to my phone, hit update on accident and it erased everything I typed. Ugh! Ah well. Moving on . . . round two —>] That’s never stopped before though, eh? Not having a plan. Or at least, not sticking to a plan, or, I mean, following through with a plan. 

I do have to get back into practice though. Posting that is. NaBloPoMo is right around the corner. November will be here in no time. May as well get back on it, right? 

So, here I am, 411 Junkie, making the most of the last four months of 2017! (Four months! Can you believe that? 2017 is more than halfway gone! Just 17 weeks until Christmas! Jeepers . . . )


 

Book Review: Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich

Book Review: Curious Minds by Janet EvanovichCurious Minds (Knight and Moon, #1) by Janet Evanovich, Phoef Sutton
Published by Bantam Dell on August 16th 2016
Pages: 322
Goodreads
four-stars

Summary:

Babysitting an eccentric billionaire isn't high on anyone's to-do list, especially when you have a degree in business and a degree in law from Harvard, yet that is where Riley Moon finds herself. After landing her dream job at one of the most prestigious banks, the first task her boss gives her is to assure one of the bank's VIP clients, Emerson Knight. That is money is safe with them.

Only it isn't. When Emerson demands that Riley take him to see his gold, literally to see his gold, it starts off a chain of events that throw these two together on their own conspiracy theory adventure.

I have to admit. I am pleasantly surprised by this book and this new series. In my preview (here), I was reluctant and didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t finish Wicked Charms (as mentioned, though, I’m determined to return to it someday to give it a proper second chance).

The narrative moved right along at a steady pace. The events unfolded smoothly and didn’t distract from the story. In my experience reading Evanovich, her writing is never really dense nor does it need intense concentration. Curious Minds is no different. It’s light, playful, and a quick read. One may argue that it is too simple because there were times when I couldn’t believe how fast the story was reading, but it works for me.

I think Knight and Moon are perfect for the backdrop of this series. To be honest, I’m only familiar with one other Evanovich series and that one deals with more of a paranormal investigation so I like that this is kind of contemporary mystery-slash-action-adventure.I like that it is an independent investigation and not within any type of crime solving entity like the FBI or similar. Kind of a rogue operation.

Five things I like about this series:

  • Knight and Moon gives off this fun vibe. They work well together.
  • I love their banter.
  • The mystery part of the story wasn’t complicating.
  • It was an easy read so I wasn’t interrupted with any philosophical or intense contemplation in order to get the story.
  • It kept me engaged. I didn’t get bored.

While this story wasn’t an “Absolutely loved it!” I like it enough to read the next one. I requested it at the local library so I can’t wait. I also would contemplate adding it to my personal library. I’ll have to read the next one, though, to give it serious thought. It will be disappointing if I invest in the series only to be disappointed by the third book. But Evanonvich and Sutton have convinced me enough to put them back on my radar. I may finally be brave enough to give Wicked Charms its second chance I keep promising.

four-stars