Monkey at the Movies: Another Roundup!

 

monkey at the movies 2

Oh boy I have some controversial opinions to share today… so in honour of one of the movies on here I’ve split the reviews into likes and dislikes (or salty and sweet 😉 ) How about we jump into the movies I wasn’t so crazy about first, shall we?

guernsey literary

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society– well the good thing about this movie is if you haven’t read the book, you can after watching this film, cos they’re two separate entities. My main contention is that the main character is not the same character as the book. I don’t know why so many strong female heroines from books are translated into “seen and not heard” types in movies (though I can guess a few reasons). It’s like they took all her personality traits and flattened them into her saying that Anne Bronte was “ahead of her time” (someone was looking for feminist brownie points). The way I’d describe Juliet from the book is vivacious, headstrong and decisive. Here she’s a shadow of that character- whose main role in the movie (spoilers) is to say yes to an engagement she never agrees to in the book, so that she can break her word later. Making the character more flaky *is not* an improvement. Other than my serious frustration in this department, I felt the movie lacked tension. There were a couple of components from the book which really could have been utilised to create that here. Also, I recognise that translating the letter element from the book to screen would have been tricky- yet (as you’ll see from other movies on this list) stylised elements can truly elevate a film and it was a missed opportunity to not do that here. What saved this movie for me was a couple of outstanding performances- especially from Tom Courtney and Penelope Wilton (every time the latter was on screen I ended up in tears). The child that played Kit was also truly sensational. In fairness, this isn’t the worst book to movie adaptation out there- but I adored the book and this could have been so, so much better.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

walle

WallE– wow what a pessimistic view of humanity. I have to admit to being somewhat disappointed with this movie too. I’d had it hyped for years in my head- which I didn’t worry too much about cos Pixar films usually live up to expectations. This was obviously a message movie- and that’s not such a terrible thing- but the delivery was a little off. Personally, I think things like humanity floating off into space and turning into War-of-the-Worlds-style-Martians seems a bit silly- especially when you consider that along with the rise of laziness, there’s also an increase in fitness fanaticism. And yes, I know it’s a kid’s movie (I’ll agree the robots are cute and it’s mostly enjoyable), but since it delves into the sci fi region, I couldn’t help but compare it to other things in the genre. For me, Pixar’s foray into this area left a lot to be desired. Let’s see how they did with the sequel to one of my favourite properties…

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

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incredibles 2

Incredibles 2– yeahhh I wasn’t happy with this either. Not only did it regurgitate the original- but it also took out the satire! Which makes it a bad remake. It’s quite disappointing after such a long wait. The plot felt unsatisfying from beginning to end- particularly as it reversed all the character growth from the first movie. It did make me laugh though and (with a few tweaks) could have been titled Jack Jack Attack 2 and then I’d have enjoyed it. Sadly, there were just too many unconnected strands and the story was lacklustre at best.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

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mamma mia 2

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again– this is here just so you can all see the full range of my capacity to be a grumpus 😉 It’s hard to determine whether I shouldn’t have watched this or if this movie shouldn’t exist. Probably both. There’s no two ways about it: the story sucks. It’s a rehash of the first movie- only even more ridiculously contrived. The music is (mostly) still good- though for the most part you’d benefit a lot more from listening to the old tracks (*why on earth* they chose another person with a grating voice to play younger Pierce Brosnan is beyond me!)  I guess it’s good fun seeing Cher singing Fernando- though surely you can just watch a clip of that?

Rating: 1/5 bananas

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Gosh I’ve gotten salty here…

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Let’s move onto the movies I got more out of:
amelie

Amelie– it took me *years* to watch this movie- while this is considered a classic, I’d also met enough people that didn’t like it. And to be honest, I get why. This is film of likes and dislikes. Naturally, I had my own likes and dislikes for it:

Likes:

The intricate little tales of every person Amelie meets.

How funny it could be at times.

A lot of the motifs.

The romance!

Dislikes:

There were some icky elements (like Amelie’s conception) I could have done without…

And that’s it! Initially I was on the fence about the stylised element to the movie- but by the end I thought it worked really well. Ultimement, je l’ai aimé (and that’s all the bad French you’re getting!).

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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the firm

The Firm– while not a perfect movie, it is a really entertaining thriller. It does stall at times, so the pacing isn’t always perfect, however by the end I was utterly gripped (so much so I missed some police drama going on outside my window… #LondonLife). The music in particular works to add tension and fits the dramatic tone. Definitely recommend if you’re into this genre!

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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citizen kane

Citizen Kane– atmospheric and artistically shot, I don’t know what I could say about this *fabulous* film that hasn’t been said already. What a story! It’s so simply a mystery- and yet it is told in such a way that there are layers upon layers of complexity here. I loved how it told the story over and over again in different ways- returning to the beginning of the movie by the end. Every little detail adds to the movie- the echoes, the use of space, the endless corridors. It’s a visual masterpiece. It’s psychologically fascinating piece. The acting is sublime- you can see the actors thinking and emotionally manipulating the scene. I became obsessed with finding the answers and couldn’t have been more satisfied with the ending! Definitely watch this movie if you want to find out who is Rosebud? And more importantly- why does it matter?

Rating: 5/5 bananas

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And that’s a wrap! Have you seen any of these movies? What do you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

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75 thoughts on “Monkey at the Movies: Another Roundup!

  1. Bookstooge says:

    Bummer to hear that about Incredible 2. I really enjoyed the first one and have put off watching 2 just in case I had experience like yours. Will probably keep putting it off now.

    I enjoyed Citizen Kane when I watched it but it wasn’t the kind of movie that I ever plan on re-watching.

    I never watched the Firm but I did read the book and it showed me why Grisham is a best selling author.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    It is frustrating to anticipate a movie from a favorite book and have it disappoint. I read the Guernsey book in book club and later heard from other book clubbers how great the movie was. The mc was not the girl from the book! We forget movies only show the broad strokes of a book. ☹️ But I do love seeing the visuals of a book! ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gemma says:

    I liked Guernsey but I like the actors- didn’t even really think about Juliet though I was surprised how much they left out with Elizabeth’s character and essentially telling her fate not showing us. It was like they took a cut to the emotional resonance of her entire story so why bother with her?
    Incredibles 2 felt like two movies. Loved the stuff with Mr. Incredible and the family not so much Elasti-girl.
    Better luck with your next batch of films!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kat Impossible says:

    Okay, we need to talk about Guernsey and Mamma mia 2 haha
    Guernsey first: I,too, loved the book to bits, so I totally get what you mean. My quarrels with the movie where more about the Kit storyline though. In the book she chose Kit. End of story. In the film Kit sort of came with the dude she was falling for and she happened to get along with her. It broke my heart that that different kind of love was completely erased. I know it has to do with the condensed time line but still. Oh well, I liked the movie a lot regardless. It had so many actors I adore.
    Now about Mamma Mia 2: that movie literally made no sense. It openly contradicts several statements from the first movie. There’s the thing that Donna’s friends never met any of the guys before in movie 1 but there was clearly the whole Bill jealousy established in the backstory now? Also, in the first movie Donna seemed to reference that she had a very conservative mother who might be dead??
    Anyway, fell in love with Josh Dylan and watched the movie twice anyway hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sharon Bonin-Pratt says:

    A film audience is not the same as a book audience. Writers, most anyway, hate the movies made of their work but many don’t know how to promote box office sales. A book potentially has a very long shelf life; a movie is a flash in a one or two month pan – then the fire goes out and only the hardliners who see the same movie over and over again are in line buying popcorn. And of course, it’s the concession sales where theaters make much of their income. I’m not defending poor adaptations, just recognizing that readers are from Venus and movie buffs are from the sofa, and the whole movie business knows it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Yeah that’s true. And that’s a fair point. hahahahaha I can really understand that! It makes a lot of sense when you put it like that 😉 To be honest, I could tell from the movie that they decided to make a regular rom com, rather than try and reflect a genuinely complex work of literature. Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Krysta says:

    I’d heard good things about the book Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, but hadn’t realized there was a film! I guess I can pass, though. Also: confession. I’ve only seen the first few minutes of Wall-e and parts of the first Incredibles film. Oops.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Norrie says:

    Oh, i hate when they make a movie out of a book and disregard everything the book was about.
    I’ve seen The Firm, but not recently. I think i liked it, but don’t really remember any details.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Belle says:

    I’ve been meaning to watch Amelie for so long now! After reading your review of it, I think I’m finally going to sit down and watch it this weekend! Also, I’ve *heard* of Citizen Kane, but never knew that it was a mystery. It’s storytelling style sounds like something up my alley, so maybe I’ll binge it after Amelie 😂.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. daleydowning says:

    I enjoyed Amelie years ago, but I also can see where it isn’t for everyone. And I had BIG issues with Wall-E, too — to say I felt bad for the little robot, all alone in a wasteland, is an understatement…and then to see all the literal fat and happy slobs being taken care of on a ship, no worries, no responsibilities, no consequences…grrrrrrrrr. Both of my kids have watched that movie once, and then never again, and they were rooting for the robot the whole way.

    Like

  10. L. Stevens says:

    The only one I disagree with you on is WallE. If you spend enough time in America, you can appreciate how horrifically spot on this movie is for us. Just walk through a furniture store and see how big some of the recliners are.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Madam Mim says:

    I hated the Guernsey movie… hated it! The book was gorgeous but the film was huge yuck for me! Wall-E was ok, but it was a bit depressing!I’m just going to say it, your reviews of things you don’t like are too funny! I know it’s the little mean person inside of me talking… but it’s TRUE!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Gosh I’m so glad I’m not the only one!!! It feels like everyone that hasn’t read the book loves it- but I just can’t understand it cos I really wasn’t feeling it at all! And yeah I get what you mean. Thanks so much!! hahaha!!

      Like

  12. CJR The Brit says:

    Mama Mia 2. I went with my Mum and then shouted at her after as she didn’t tell me it was going to be sad (she saw it before!) I went expecting a happy clappy sing along but instead I got through a packet of tissues!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Samantha Duffy says:

    I actually agree with you about Incredibles 2. My brother was really mad at me for saying I didn’t like it, but I just really didn’t. I mean yeah there were parts that made me laugh but it definitely didn’t feel as good as the first one, and after all this time? I was disappointed with what they put out.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sarah says:

    I loved Amelie!! 😄 And it’s been such a long time now that I’ve watched it – almost a decade I think – aargh! I’m old enough to think in decades instead of years now!!! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Sophia Ismaa says:

    Lesson: great films should be left well alone. Except for Toy Story.

    Okay, I think I may need to watch Citizen Kane one day, but ever since Rachel and Joey trashed it on Friends, I’ve been very reluctant.

    And btw, this is so strange, I got a referrer from the strangest search: fake boyfriend theorangutanlibrarian. Do what you will. Either it’s a post or someone is really curious about your personal life. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      hehe very true!! Toy story is the exception, not the rule

      oh gosh, I don’t remember that- now I feel like a bad friends fan, I should probably go rewatch it for the billionth time (even if the joke probably just went over my head cos I didn’t know what citizen kane was 😉 )

      hahahahaha that is… weird. I do like that trope… but I don’t live in a romance novel?! So bizarre 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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