Archive | July, 2018

‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (2017) Movie Review

3 Jul

Movie Poster via Wikipedia

I won’t lie, I watched this movie because I didn’t have time to finish a book and write a review here for you all. I’ve been wanting to see this one for a while so it was a good kick in the pants to finally rent it and watch. I figured that anything with Johnny Depp and Kenneth Branagh would be worth seeing.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

All of the characters. I remember getting many of them confused while listening to the audiobook. Being able to see a face to go with the name was beyond helpful and made the movie much more enjoyable.

The train. It was so beautiful! I’m contemplating a train trip in the next few years and I’ll be sadly disappointed if the train doesn’t look like that. My husband says I’m going to be sadly disappointed by Amtrak.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Dr. Constantine. I honestly forgot about him until reviewing the original book. His absence was very minor and not a bit loss for the film. I thought it was good to reduce the number of characters, even just a little.

Dr. Arbuthnot. Here’s how they got away with it so well. By making Arbuthnot a doctor, they were able to use his skills in that field and fill in anything missed. Sly. It was also interesting that they decided to add some racial diversity with the casting. I thought it was great to address racial tensions at the time of the story with him.

Cover image via Goodreads.com

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

I honestly can’t think of anything that was left out. It seems more was added to round out the run time of this movie. Granted, it’s been a while since I read it so I may have forgotten.

Things That Changed Too Much

Too much action. Chasing McQueen on the bridge and Mrs. Hubbard being stabbed were just a bit too much for me! The murder was gruesome enough for me and I didn’t need the added suspense. Maybe someone who didn’t know how it ended would feel differently, but I wasn’t a fan.

The ending. Spoilers in this one! But seriously, Poirot telling them to kill him so he won’t reveal his secret? Really, that was too much. As was Hubbard/Arden sacrificing her life. It was too dramatic for me. The book had a degree of calm to it despite the tragic situation that the movie seems to have tried to avoid at all costs.

Interestingly, I can also compare this movie to the BBC Poirot episode on the same book. I honestly liked the BBC version better. It was true to the book and didn’t deal with over-dramatics. I also liked the portrayal of Poirot better. Branagh’s version was a bit too comical and not a world-renown detective for me.

I’m buckling down with my reading with the sincere hopes of getting you a book review next week! I don’t want to be watching movies over and over to have something to talk about. Though, it is very relaxing. Reader, have you seen the 2017 Murder on the Orient Express movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Challenge Update, June 2018

2 Jul

This was a rough month for reading. School took over and my books have me stuck in a bit of a rut. I’m hoping July can turn that around as I’m traveling and have dedicated reading time on the planes. Well, hopefully, that will be the case. You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in June:

A Walk in the Woods // Bill Bryson (5/5)

Yep. That’s it. I’m embarrassed to type this. I’m in the middle of many books but I’ve really fallen behind the curve this month and not been able to dedicate much time to reading. It’s really hitting me over the head now that things have slowed down. Wow.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

7/12
No change this month. I’ll start looking at books that will help me round this one out pretty soon. I usually start purposeful picking after the summer’s over to finish without much stress through the holidays.

Goodreads Challenge

24/55
I went from ahead to three books behind! This is literally the worst status I’ve ever had in my four years of doing this challenge. I’m really determined to make up some ground now. I don’t want to be behind again next month!

Book of the Month

With no competition, the winner this month is clearly A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson. This book was really enjoyable and would likely have been my pick with some other contenders. The story was well told and had a good mix of memoir and fact. I’ve enjoyed my Bryson reads so far so there are likely more coming.

Added to my TBR

Same as last month, I’m at 96. I’m a bit proud of that but I added more books than I finished, which is probably a terrible thing for someone trying to shrink her TBR. I’ll get over it.

  • Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. I found out this is set in Iceland and I’ll be visiting this summer. If I can read it before I go, that’d be great, but I’m excited to just enjoy it anyway.
  • Artemis by Andy Weir. I’ve been talking about how good Weir is lately so it just makes sense that I have to add his latest to my list. I know I can’t compare the two, but I know I will anyway.

Personal Challenge

I used these monthly posts to keep myself accountable to my personal goals for 2017 and I’m excited to do that again this year. You all were so supportive before.

  • Graduate and keep my 4.0- I got my final grade over the weekend and I got an A for the summer semester! One more class to go this fall and I’ll be done!
  • Travel to Europe with my husband- Everything is booked and bought. We’re leaving next month and I’m ecstatic! I’ll post when I get home.
  • Complete a race per month- I had my first triathlon of the summer this month. It went OK. I’ve been struggling with calf cramping and it hit me in the middle of the bike. I still had a PR on the course, but I felt I could have gone faster.
  • Complete a 2018 Weather Blanket- I’m caught up through May but I’ve got to do this month. I’ll get to it on a dull evening.

How are your challenges going so far? I hope you’re off to a good start If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge for 2018, it’s fun!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!