To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Movie Review

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IMDb: Lara Jean Covey writes letters to all of her past loves, the letters are meant for her eyes only. Until one day when all the love letters are sent out to her previous loves. Her life is soon thrown into chaos when her foregoing loves confront her one by one.

This novel by Jenny Han turned Netflix movie is phenomenal. As a romance writer, I love a good love story. I typically go for the steamy stuff, but this young adult high school romance is wonderfully done. A real life scenario between siblings plays out perfectly, and I found myself envying the sisters symbiotic relationship. Even though there is fluff to this movie that fills the romantic in me with the appropriate amount of awe inspiring moments, this book turned movie tackles tough issues most teenagers traverse like cyber bullying, emotional angst, and finding out who you really are.

I love Lana Condor! She’s a beautiful woman and fills this role perfectly. Her facial expressions are so slight throughout the various scenes emotional appeal, but they hold a huge impact. Don’t even get me started on Noah Centineo! That man is gorgeous! My new actor man crush. There’s a scene where he comes off as cocky with this smirk that makes me melt.

An easy watch, suitable for all ages. I have watched it several times over now and even find myself turning it on for the background noise. You won’t be disappointed. (Don’t tell him I told you, but even my husband enjoyed this movie!)

Movie Review – “Lone Survivor”

Now, before I get into the actual review, I would just like to put a disclaimer that I typically do not like “war” types of movies, but because this was based on a true story/book, I really wanted to watch it. Plus, I really like Mark Wahlberg as an actor.

OK, review.

Lone Survivor was based on the life of Marcus Lutrell and his fellow service men during the “Enduring Freedom War” in Afghanistan, but specifically one mission “Operation Red Wing”. As the title shows, out of all of his fellow “brother’s in arms”, Marcus was the only one to make it out of the mission alive.

Before I go any further, I would like to thank every man and woman who has served in the military. Your courage, honor, and sacrifice can never be compared or repaid, but you are the people who keep this country “the land of the free”, and without you, we would become just like the countries you are commanded to be in so far from home. Thank you for all you do.

Back to the review.

The movie was about two hours long which I felt to be perfect. There is a lot of comparison to Saving Private Ryan with this film, but I just don’t see the correlation. Saving Private Ryan, albeit a good movie, was very drawn out and a work of fiction; this, my friends, is no fiction. This is the real life account of Mr. Marcus Lutrell, and he left nothing to be desired in his book and in this movie. I do not believe the movie could have been stretched out anymore than its current run time without losing the strongest emotion it brought with it. Watch it to find out which I’m talking about, but based on the title, I’m sure you can guess.

The movie’s cinematography was very well done; there was no guessing as to what was going on, or what anyone was thinking within it. What hurts me is the idea that I had never heard of this operation before, and am sad to say, I don’t remember the names of these gentlemen ever being mentioned. The idea that anyone can go through what Lutrell, all those that made the ultimate sacrifice on that mountain top, and their families back at home, went through, and I’m sure are still going through, breaks my heart.

Mr. Marcus Lutrell, I applaud you for the amazing work you have done with this book and film, and I can’t even imagine what you went through in order to put it all down on paper for the world to see, but thank you. Thank you for sharing not only your story, but the story of all those “frogmen” who gave their lives that day. (Lutrell makes a cameo on the movie, also, which I have no clue how he felt while doing so. I don’t know if I could handle it, but as a Navy Seal, I know this man has a stronger heart and mind than most in this world. Watch the movie, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.)

And to anyone who feels that this movie is just war propaganda, or as a very unintelligent critic said about this movie being “pro-war” and too violent, just what do you think these men and women are required to do over there in the mountains of a foreign country where most everyone hates you in order to get home to their loved one’s? Quoting Lutrell’s response, “No one is pro-war. Nobody wants war. It’s the most horrible thing in the world.”

Thank you, Mr. Marcus Lutrell and all of his fallen comrades, and I hope you know you all have this countries deepest gratitude.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Movie Review

Now I know I have done a lot of movie reviews lately, but this one is a must! I read the Hunger Games trilogy about two years ago now, and I love the story behind these books. It was my first adult adventure into the more sci-fi-ish genre, and I was not disappointed. (I read Ender’s Game when I was a young teen, but I don’t think I really grasped the concept of the books. Definitely worth a re-read, but I digress.)

Let me start out by saying that the first movie, The Hunger Games, for me was good, but not to the caliber that I was hoping for. So much was left out that it felt like a scratched CD, skipping vital scenes that built up the relationship between Katniss and Peeta, so with the story line of this first movie, I wasn’t really impressed.

Not to mention Jennifer Lawrence didn’t seem like an experienced actress, almost KStew status throughout all of the Twilight Saga. I just didn’t get the feeling that she really connected to the character or the story behind her. There should have been at least one scene off the top of my head where a friend dies in the games that I should have been in tears. I was sad, but I wasn’t sold.

My overall rating for the first movie was about a 3, but my love for these books is what made me hopeful for the next movie.

Now, Catching Fire.

For an adaptation, I was extremely happy with this movie! I absolutely loved it! J. Lawrence really has become a great actress, connecting to her emotions as the character. She really had me sold on so many scenes that I actually cried in the theater! Definitely an amazing performance leaving me with goosebumps!  There was one scene where Katniss, JLaw, has a mini break after someone comes back from being unconscious, and she is literally shaking through the entire scene! I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house! Don’t get me wrong, all of the actors of the movie were beautifully cast, but she stole the show, as it should be for any main character.

The fight scenes and setting were beautifully done, all of the “future technology” aspects seemed realistic. CGI really didn’t take a toll on the movie like a lot of fantasy/sci-fi genre movies do. Costumes, make up, the whole nine yards was perfect for this tribute (pun intended), especially the dresses Katniss wore for the beginning of the game! Perfectly designed to match the book!

Catching Fire was a fantastic movie and a great adaptation. There were a few things left out, and I wish they would’ve played up certain aspects a bit more, but a movie can only be so long! I would give the movie a 4 – 4.5! A must see!