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‘The Light Between Oceans’ Movie Review

22 Jun

Movie Poster via The Movie DB

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a long time since I read The Light Between Oceans. It was about two and a half years ago that my book club read it and I fell in love with the title. I’ve already written a book review and a book club reflection on the title which have become top pages on this blog. Now that my class is winding down, I wanted to start watching come movies I’ve missed and this was at the top of the list. I don’t remember too much of the book, but here’s my best shot at remembering it!

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Janus. I imagined the island as very small when reading the book. It could have been in reality but seeing it as a larger island really helped me. The house and infrastructure on the island were a lot more developed than I’d thought of, too. It’s crazy to believe that the house and stairs were built by, probably, one man a few lightkeepers before Tom. Today, it would take a whole team to do that!

Isabel. Alicia Vikander did an amazing job with this character. It was easy to see how she was able to manipulate Tom into keeping baby Lucy. Part of it wasn’t manipulation, just her pure joy at having a baby around when she’d lost one. Tom loved his wife dearly and was able to make her happy. Happier than tuning a piano could ever make her.

 

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Simplifying Tom’s past. I didn’t remember how complicated his home life had been until I read through my earlier posts on the book. This was completely glossed over in the book, removing any mention of siblings and saying only that his father was abusive and unloving. I think this was more than enough. Tom’s quiet and desire to be alone was explained by his time in the war and for me, that was more than enough.

 

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

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

 

Forgiving Bluey. I forgot about this until I reread my review, too. There’s a lot of stress on forgiveness. Frank is big on forgiveness and Hannah tries to be forgiving to act how she knows her late husband would want her to. She forgives the Sherbournes for not telling her sooner. There were a lot of parallels between Frank and Tom, one of which was Tom’s ability to forgive Bluey for turning him in. I would have liked to see this and I wonder if it was a deleted scene.

Things That Changed Too Much

Less time spent with Hannah. Maybe I remember this wrong but I recall a large part of the book taking place back on the mainland with the legal battle going on and Lucy-Grace shunning Hannah. I thought this time was compressed too much in the movie because there was a lot of change going on in the characters during this part.

 

I only wish I’d seen this sooner. It was a really good watch. Reader, have you see The Light Between Oceans 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!

‘Murder on the Orient Express’ TV Show Review

15 Jun

Image via Fanart

I’m forever going to watch the BBC editions of Christie books after I read them. This is such a treasure trove of good TV! I’m looking forward to the new Murder on the Orient Express movie due out this year, but I thought I’d watch the Agatha Christie’s Poirot version first. It was a good thing to do with my Sunday afternoon!

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Seeing the cast. There were so many names that I was getting Schmidt and Ohlsson confused for a lot of the book, but seeing them in the show made it a lot easier to keep them separate.

The train set. It was so beautiful! Now I want to take a trip on a trans-continental railroad like that. It must have been very costly but I feel like it would have been worth it as well.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

The simplified plot. Taking out the pipe, finding the kimono, and everyone writing down their addresses was fine by me. I got lost in the details in the book so having it simplified this way was great for me to follow along better. Even though I knew the outcome, it was fun to watch the details unfold!

The money. I think this gave the murder a slightly more believable feel to it so it was a logical add for me. The senseless murder with no motivation, the original set up, was too easy to see through.

Stoning in Istanbul. My husband and I agreed this was a better way to be introduced to Debenham and Arbuthnot. Being on another train when we met them was a bit much. It also flashed back to Debenham’s being beaten up.

Cover image via Goodreads.com

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

 

No Hardman. I don’t get why he was taken out. How hard would it have been to add another character? There are already so many that I don’t think it would have really mattered. It gave Dr. Constantine a weak connection at best.

Things That Changed Too Much

Poirot’s anger. This was the biggest change to me. First, it brings in religious righteousness, which was something the book had none of. Second, it was a stark contrast from the man in the book. It seemed in the end that he was passing judgment and had the final say in matters like he was sentencing them instead of the jury passing judgment. I did really like the shot of him walking through the group to the police, but that doesn’t mean I liked how he was portrayed.

Not questioning each person methodically. This is how Poirot functions! He’s methodical and follows a process. By not questioning each person on the train in turn and setting up a questioning process, I thought it was a big deviation from the character of Poirot and made it frustrating for me.

It will be interesting to see how the feature film version changes things again. I’m glad I watched this one first. Reader, have you see the Murder On the Orient Express episode? 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!

‘Snow Flower and the Secret Fan’ Movie Review

4 May

Movie poster via IMP Awards

I wouldn’t have known to look for a movie of this book if it hadn’t been brought up when I went to hear Lisa See speak. She mentioned Hugh Jackman’s singing scene so I was ready for something completely different from the book I read. I enjoyed the movie despite its obvious differences but I’m still going to the old adage that the book was way better and had a lot more depth to it that the movie lacked. The story-within-a-story premise was nice but detracted from the historical story.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Using the same actresses for past and present. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t notice it right away. It took me about twenty minutes from when the combined narrative started to recognize Snow Flower as Sophia. The makeup for Nina/Lilly was really good and I didn’t see it right away. I thought it was really cool to see the projection of Sophia and Nina’s relationship into Snow Flower and Lilly’s story.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Minimizing the time on the mountain. This time was a bit overextended in my mind. The book spent a lot of time on it because the Sworn Sisters became a big part of the story and this is where we met them. Her son’s death was the most significant thing that happened during this period but without the background of the second son being so favored in Snow Flower’s family. I understand See wanted to bring historical events into the book, but it didn’t move the plot along as much as I would have liked.

Cover image via Goodreads

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

The extent of Snow Flower’s family loss. She says her father is an opium addict but doesn’t talk about the losses her family suffered because of this. She doesn’t express her shame as deeply as she had in the book and feel the loss of her mother as profoundly.

Auntie Wang. There’s a parallel aunt character in the modern setting, so why was it glossed over that Madam Wang was Snow Flower’s aunt? It seems this might be something that was removed late in the game because it was really well set up.

Things That Changed Too Much

Mother-daughter relationships. The book focused a lot on ‘mother love’ and how a mother shows love for her daughters by binding their feet and how much both girls loved their children. We get a taste of this with Lilly during the plague, but it’s a lot less than we get in the book. The strained relationship between mothers and daughters was really sad to me in the book and I wish it had made the movie.

The bath house. I was confused why this was brought in. Sophia missed her father so she dressed as a man to visit his bathhouse and hid family heirlooms there? It’s a stretch to think she could make it into the locker room! I wish this had been taken out, it was really contrived and I didn’t think it added anything to the movie.

The wedding scene. When Snow Flower comes to her cousin’s wedding and runs into Lilly, it was one of the most emotional scenes in the book. Snow Flower tells Lilly how lost and abandoned she feels and Lilly retorts about how Snow Flower broke a promise. It was stressed that Snow Flower comes with Madam Wang and not her Sworn Sisters, yet the movie has her show up with the women. It glossed over a moment I felt was really pivitol in the book and it upset me.

The movie tried to add a lot in a place I didn’t think it needed to. I wish they’d stuck to the historical plot line without trying to make it more relatable. Reader, have you see the Snow Flower and the Secret Fan 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!

‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ TV Show- Full Review

1 May

Image via Flickering Myth

Last week I posted about my thoughts on 13 Reasons Why after getting halfway through it. I listened to the audiobook a few years ago and was shocked that it was being turned into a Netflix series. At the time, I felt the book was trying to justify suicide and I still feel that way. Suicide is not an option when things get bad and I felt telling Hannah’s story the way the writers did made it seem like Hannah had no other option. Unfortunately, this show was sickly addicting and I sped through it over the last week and I want to share some thoughts.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Examining how Hannah’s tapes affected others. In the book, Clay is so impacted by the tapes and they’re hard for him to listen to. It’s good to see that this happened to others, too. Maybe this went a little too far, which I’ll address later. Suffice it to say I don’t think Justin would have come away from the tapes without feeling affected.

Skye and Tony. It was nice to see that not everyone at the high school negatively impacted Hannah’s life. Thought I couldn’t help but feel they might be a set up for a second season, it was nice to have characters who were not on the tapes show up in the story.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

The lawsuit. I can understand it. If the school really was as negligent as the tapes claim, it’s deserved. I don’t think the school can be wholly to blame for not recognizing the signs, but I think they did play a part. I think the lynchpin of their case was something they didn’t have at first (the tapes) so I’m not sure how they planned to win that case, but I got it.

Not giving the tapes to Bryce. This made so much sense. If Bryce got the tapes, there’s no way he’d pass them on. When he didn’t, Tony would have been released them and everyone’s secrets would be out. Granted, they were getting out anyway but at least the way the show ended, the students had some control over it.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

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

Changing the suicide. I don’t see a reason for this at all. It was the only scene I couldn’t watch and I think for anyone who knows a person who’s committed suicide or is squeamish (or both), this was really hard and felt uncalled for. Hannah took pills int he book if I’m remembering correctly and pill overdose is a much more common method of suicide for women. I don’t understand why the writers felt it was appropriate to change this.

Things That Changed Too Much

Sequel set up. The show displays on Netflix as ‘Season One.’ The way it leaves off, there’s a lot of room for another person’s story. Alex is in critical condition, Tyler is amassing guns, and Justin seems more suicidal than Hannah. (Side note, I have a theory that Tyler might have shot Alex, but that’s a different story.) We’ve gone through thirteen stories of how these characters were destroyed by Hannah’s death. Why would we want to go through another season of ‘Thirteen Reasons why Alex shot himself’ or ‘Thirteen Reasons why Tyler went on a school shooting spree.’ I think it’s ridiculous to set this up, even if it doesn’t happen.

Jeff and his death being swept under the rug. I get that Jeff’s death was supposed to come as a surprise, but it made everyone at school seem like jerks. They’re falling apart over Hannah and building a memorial to her while Jeff passed away a short while before her and no one is mentioning it. His parents seem apologetic about their son’s death! It’s really despicable and it made me even more upset with the school and if anything gave the Bakers something to root their case in. The school was too reactive and obviously not proactive.

There were some other things that bothered me that don’t fit into these categories. First of all, where do you have to live where school starts late enough to have breakfast at home with your parents after your mom goes for her morning run? Do they start at noon? And where are parents so chill about school-night sleepovers and unchaperoned parties? I was in high school ten years ago, but I don’t think things have changed that much! And what school that size has only one counselor. We had four and my high school was nowhere near that big! There was a lot of ‘suspension of disbelief’ that was hard for me in this series because Liberty High was so different from my (now closed) high school. It kept me out of the story.

I’m not sure what I’ll do if another season comes out. Having a way to teach teenagers to deal with mental illness is great but I don’t think this is the way to do it. Reader, have you see the Thirteen Reasons Why show? 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!

‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ TV Show- Half Way Review

24 Apr

Image via Flickering Myth

So, I was initially VERY against the Thirteen Reasons Why show. I still am, I’ve just weakened my position. I read the book and was really disturbed because I felt the author was trying to justify suicide. If your life is as bad as Hannah Baker’s, then killing yourself makes sense. What a terrible message to send to teenagers! The book made me really mad and I told everyone who would listen that I felt that way. I still will. I decided to watch the TV show out of a sick sense of ‘having to’ do it. I read the book, I wanted to see how it was changed to a show. I’m still very against the message and understand it’s almost worse (from a psychologist point of view) in a visual form. I wanted to give my thoughts at the halfway point, having just watched episode 6. I’ll come back with another review after the entire show.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Unlike the book, the characters stay involved after their tape is over. In a few of the tapes, I felt like the character wasn’t really that important in the end because their impact was there and gone. In the show, we’re really shown how this person is changed from Hannah’s death and the tapes. They continue to be important and even grow in importance. I thought this was well done.

How Hannah reacts to being groped or slut-shamed felt very real to me. It can be shocking that someone would do that and I felt her frozen reaction was justified and realistic. It wasn’t a weakness on her behalf, it was real.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

I imagined the town the action took place in to be very tiny! It seems that way at times because the characters all run into each other and they’re only now getting a Wal-Mart equivalent. However, the town’s so much bigger than I imagined! It’s big enough for Clay to ride through suburbs in every shot he’s on his bike and be ‘on the other side of town’ after a long ride. I guess I was thinking small town surrounded by farms, my midwest idea of a small town. Did anyone else struggle with this? Oh well, it works better as a bigger town with the difference in socioeconomic class of the characters.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

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

Hannah’s narration. After Tyler’s tape, we don’t really hear Hannah talking anymore. We get a bit, but her telling us a story has disappeared. I think the way the show is doing it is fine, but I wish it would stick with one method or the other: all voiceover or very minimal. The switch back and forth is weird.

Things That Changed Too Much

The ‘let’s get Clay’ mentality! I’m really hating it. Some of the characters, you got the idea from their tapes that they were sorry or would have tried to make things right, but having them now trying to ‘take Clay out’ or ‘get him’ in any way is infuriating. Alex is the most frustrating for me. He’s obviously going through a depression that’s likely worse than Hannah’s, and no one is noticing.

The parent’s point of view. This is heartbreaking and I really struggle with any scene the Bakers are in. Adding Clay’s mom as the prosecuting attorney is even worse. It’s sending me a mixed signal about the attended audience for this show. It seems more geared toward adults than teens and I think that’s rightfully so.

Please, no spoilers for the end! I’ll get to it soon with my semester ending today (!!!) and my husband taking a trip out-of-town soon. Reader, have you see the Thirteen Reasons Why show? 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!

‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ Movie

13 Apr

Movie Poster via To Hollywood and Beyond Wiki

After FINALLY finishing Library of Souls, my husband and I figured it was time to pick up the movie based on this series, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I actually watched it a few days before finishing the book and I was afraid I’d ruined the book for myself. They were so different it didn’t make a lick of difference.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Hollows. Really, this is about it. I was excited to hear Burton was doing this film, but I think this was his only add to it visually. The book was already so visual that there wasn’t much more to do. The Hollows were a little reminiscent of Jack Skellington so it even gave the impression he was copying his previous work. Regardless, they worked well. Except for the CG error when their pinstripes showed up while covered with cotton candy. That was dumb.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Fiona talking. I didn’t understand why her character was silent in the books. Having her talking and walking around was fine with me. She was completely different from what I imagined and much younger, but oh well. And she didn’t have an adorable love with Hugh but again, I could live without it.

Shortening the series to one movie. If you’ve read my reviews, you know I thought the series was meandering and far too long. This shortening was awesome. The ending was also much more satisfying than the end of the book series.

Switching Emma and Olive’s powers. Because honestly, Olive’s power was pretty useless and Emma is pretty useless so it didn’t really matter.

Olive being older. With her having the fire power, I can see why it’s easier to portray her as older. A 6-year-old with fire hands would be a bit terrifying.

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

Number of Hollows and Wights. In the books, there were hundreds and that’s why they were scary, they were all over the world. The movie portrayed it as just a small number, about 10 or so, and a few of them were wights already. That’s a lot less scary and I felt like I wouldn’t be as terrified of something where there are so few and some of them aren’t invisible anymore. Especially watching this after reading the third one, the numbers seemed way off.

Emma and Jacob’s creepy relationship. I mean, it was still there, but it wasn’t clear that Emma and Jacob’s grandfather had been together. Which gave it an ‘ick’ factor that wasn’t brought through in the film. Their relationship was really flat, anyway. She wasn’t appealing enough (in my opinion) to give up life for and there was no time for them to develop a relationship that would attract him at all.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Things That Changed Too Much

Miss Peregrine being young. Ugh. This was too much for me. Miss Peregrine was an older woman in my head and would have been a better role for Judy Dench where she didn’t get killed off right away. Young Miss Peregrine was wrong.

Hollow v. Skeleton Battle. The most epic battle of the whole movie is completely CG and takes place in front of a bunch of Normals? Really? This is so off from the series that it was annoying. And it kept all of the characters out of the climactic battle. That’s poor pacing.

Emma’s air power. Where did this come from? And how did it work? She could make the room of an underwater ship air-tight? And if she can blow enough air to raise a cruise ship from the ocean floor, why can’t she produce enough air to hold off a wight for a decent amount of time? I just don’t get it.

Changing the past. So Jacob and his friends are able to change the past enough that Abe doesn’t die? That was odd to me. Plus, the movie left Jacob abandoned in January 2016 London and he would somehow have to make his way back to Florida and it would see there would be two of him once he got there. So how did that all play out?

I heard this movie didn’t do well in theaters and I can see why. It’s riddled with plot holes and doesn’t seem to have attempted to capture the book fans. Reader, have you see the Miss Peregrine 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!

‘Affinity’ Movie- Still really good and creepy!

16 Mar

Image via MoviePosters2

I read the book Affinity for my book club way back in October of 2013 but my interest in it was recently rekindled when someone commented on my book club reflection for the book. I found out there’s a movie version! And my library owns it! It’s been a while since I read the book, but I wanted to see what the movie had to offer. I don’t remember all of the details of the book but I’ll do my best here to compare the two.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Seeing Peter Quick. I won’t say too much, but I think the final scene with Peter was much easier to follow than the book. I struggled to see the crime scene while reading the book but seeing the film made it a lot clearer how everything was playing out.

The locket. I think I missed the connection with the locket when I was reading the book initially and had to have my book club point it out to me. Being able to see the physical object helped. I’ll add here that seeing other things that were connected was much easier in the film.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Margaret seeing other visitors. It was always clear that Margaret was only seeing other women to appease the matrons so taking that out of the movie was just a way to cut filler. I did think it made Margaret a bit more suspicious, though. She was obviously spending far too much time with Selena and I think more would have been done to stop her.

Less focus on the Spiritual Society. I remember the library playing a bigger part in the book and feeling like the book was a bit off course during those parts. It seemed like a distraction from the action and main plot that wasn’t really developing Selena well. I was fine with the minimized role it played in the movie.

Image from Goodreads

Affinity by Sarah Waters

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

This part is hard to write so long after reading the book. I do remember a big focus on wearing mourning clothes and while Margaret keeps to the black, it’s never brought up or mentioned which I thought strange.

Things That Changed Too Much

Theophilus. I don’t remember him from the book, but maybe that’s time fading the story. I remember the romance between Selena and Margaret, but I don’t remember him. Maybe it was played up a bit in the film? The actor made the part very memorable.

The ending. While the voiceover mirrored the text, you really had to read into the meaning of the words to understand what Margaret was doing (I’m trying so hard not to give too much away for anyone interested!). In the film, it was a little too obvious. I felt like something I had to dig for was just given to viewers.

Having such a long time between the two has really dampened my memory of the book. I remembered the big points, but picking out smaller changes has been hard. Reader, have you see the Affinity movie? What did you think? Was it close to the book?

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!

Books Becoming Movies in 2017: What I’ll read and what I’ll pass on

7 Mar

I’m sure I’m not the only person who likes to read the book before seeing the movie. I love being able to compare the two and come to the ultimate decision that the book is better. (Does anyone ever disagree?) Using this and this articles, I’d like to present a list of books that I’m either going to hurry up and read or let the movie woo me without preconceived notions.

The Zookeeper’s Wife (Diane Ackerman, March 31)- Pass. I might as well write a whole post about how sick I am of books about being the daughter or wife of someone noteworthy. This is me on my feminist soapbox at it’s finest. I’ll consider it for next week.

Wonder (R.J. Palacio, April 7)- Pass. My husband is reading this one now and I don’t want to make him wait to read it. I’ll go to this one, but I don’t want to create a picture of Auggie in my head and have the moviemakers ruin it.

The Circle (Dave Eggers, April 28)- Read. I have this on my shelf and realizing it will be a movie starring Emma Watson is making me think it will be the next one I pick up!

The Dark Tower (Stephen King, July 28)- Pass. This isn’t my genre per say and I’d rather watch an action plot than read one. Sounds like it will be worth seeing, though!

It (Stephen King, September 8)- Pass. No horror necessary for me, print or film! I heard Will Poulter was playing Pennywise and I was excited about that, but the article I read gives another actor. Now I have no reason to see it! (Ha, pun)

Let It Snow (John Green and others, November)- Pass. Just proof anything with John Green’s name on it is selling like wildfire. Can we get a movie of Looking for Alaska first?

Murder on the Oriente Express (Agatha Christie, November 22)- Read. With Kenneth Branagh playing Poirot and Johnny Depp on board, I can break into another Christie novel. I just added this to my Hoopla Wish List.

The Nightengale (Kristin Hannah, TBD)- Maybe. My book club has contemplated this one for a while and if we read it, great. If not, I’ve read enough WWII dramas to last me a while.

The Glass Castle (Jeanette Walls, TBD)- Already read, can’t wait to see it! What a moving book and I hope it will be a touching movie as well!

Live by Night (Dennis Lehane, already out)- Pass. I saw the preview for this and I really want to see it, but I don’t think I’ll go back and read the book first. It looks too good to wait too much longer!

50 Shades Darker (E.L. James, already out)- Already read it, will not see it. I didn’t see the first one because I think it’s a cheap money grab and it’s not something that needs to be on-screen. Plus, the book was horrible and I don’t want to endorse it any more than I already have.

Jumanji (Chris Van Allsburg, July 28)- Already read, will see! I just watched the 1995 version a few weeks ago and remembered how much I loved it. It would be great to see what they can do with 20 years of film magic!

A Wrinkle in Time (Madeline L’Engle, July 28)- Pass. I feel like I missed my window to love this book and movie so I’ll pass.

The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath, TBD)- Maybe. I read this book a while ago and I didn’t appreciate it at the time. If the movie gets good reviews, I’ll probably see the movie, but I won’t re-read the book first.

Any of the ones I’m passing on you want to sway me on? I’m really excited to jump on a few of these now.

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!

‘The ABC Murders’ on Agatha Christie’s Poirot (TV Show)

28 Feb
Image via Fanart

Image via Fanart

One of the things I love about WWW Wednesday is when I learn something new from the bloggers. Huge thank you to 4thhouseontheleft for letting me know there was a television series of the Poirot mysteries! I was able to watch the episode of The ABC Murders when I was home sick last week.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Sticking to the book. I was ready for some serious deviation in this show, but I was happily surprised. The writers did an amazing job of sticking to the plot and not cutting any major element. I kept smiling while I was watched it because I was so pleasantly surprised!

 

Poirot’s speech pattern. I’ll admit that reading Poirot in Spanish and having him inject French phrases was a little off-putting. I wasn’t ready for it and since I don’t know French, it really messed with my head. It was an adjustment but I managed. In the show, it sounded very natural the way the actor would speak and I really appreciated how smooth it was.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Taking out the land lady’s daughter. I thought she was really unnecessary in the book and just added to an already long character list. What she did to help Cust was confusing and I’m glad it was taken out.

Cust’s interrogation. In the book, because Hastings is narrating, the interrogation is presented as, “Poirot did this and then told me what happened” which came across as a bit choppy and awkward. I’m glad the show got away from this POV because it was much more natural and flowed well the way it was shot.

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

 

Details of the D murder. In the book, it seemed like Cust was messing up when he murdered someone whose initials weren’t DD. That small detail was taken out of the show and I think it added a lot to how tricky Franklin was. I wish it had been kept.

Things That Changed Too Much

 

Franklin. I pictured him as younger, maybe a Silver Fox kind of guy in his 50s. Perhaps it’s a difference in style to when the show was shot, but I didn’t think Franklin would be able to seduce young Betty Barnard. I know I wouldn’t have been tempted at all and she seemed rather shallow so it surprised me that they chose an actor who looked so much older.

Japp’s perspective. I liked getting Japp’s perspective from time to time and seeing how frustrated he was getting and how superior he felt when he got some information before Poirot. I wish that had been added back to the show.

Hastings. He was pretty annoying and dim-witted in the show which I didn’t see as believable. Why would Poirot keep him around if he was like that? He kept insisting on talking about the Cayman he brought back and it was tiresome. I liked it better when he was narrating and painted himself in a good light.

Reader, have you seen Agatha Christie’s Poirot? Did you watch this episode? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

‘Z’ TV Series- I hate hating F. Scott Fitzgerald

13 Feb

Poster via Amazon

Poster via Amazon

Normally, the targeted ads I see online are random things I Googled once and I can ignore them. But from time to time, they’re something I’m head-over-heels excited about and this is one of those times. Amazon did a 10-episode series about Zelda Fitzgerald based on Therese Anne Fowler’s novel Z which I read last year. I was super excited and got to watching it right away.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Zelda. Wow, Christina Ricci was amazing in this series. Her accent, her dress, her reactions, it was all great. I could see Zelda in Montgomery and she was a rebel when she wanted to be and a southern lady when she wanted to be. And then in New York, she was almost the same. She was an icon when she wanted to be and a wife when she wanted to be. Her character is very adaptable but at the same time, has a strong personality and sense of who she is. I loved it.

Montgomery. I’ve considered going to Montgomery now that I’ve seen this. It could be a great winter-time vacation when I’m sick of the snow. It was beautiful and it gave off a great feeling of home that helps me understand why Zelda wants to go back.

The Flapper look. The look Zelda creates developed slowly through the show and I thought it was wonderful. She has all of her frills and lace that she loves so much but doesn’t fit in with New York women. When she tries to blend in with their clothes, she realizes it isn’t for her and the way she finds her own median is wonderful. The show does a great job of showing her settle into her own style.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Visiting Princeton. I don’t remember this from the book but I could be wrong. It gave a really good sense of Scott’s personality. He had kept from Zelda that he never finished school like he’s kept many other things from her. He made the whole thing so about himself that it ruined things for everyone else. He signed books that weren’t his and that he couldn’t pay for. He threw a fit and insulted people who supported him. He got drunk to avoid confrontation and put himself in a terrible situation. It was very telling of how their life would continue forward.

Cover Image via Goodreads

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

Zelda’s birthday party. The party he puts on for her was a turning point in the book when Zelda started taking him seriously as a suitor. I think it would have played out wonderfully on-screen, but it was for some reason overlooked.

Zelda’s awareness of their financial troubles. She is more aware in the book early on of his excessive spending and reins herself back. She rejects some of his extravagant gifts (again, not in the show) and encourages him to not celebrate as much. All of this was missing.

Things That Changed Too Much

Scott. I didn’t like the Scott in the book much, but the one in the show made me angry. He was so full of himself that he was completely unlikable and I felt the actor was terrible. He never seemed serious, only joking or angry. He didn’t spoil Zelda at all and when she complained, wrote her off completely. This show has made me hate Scott so much.

I hope there will be more seasons of this show. Scottie hasn’t even been born yet and Fowler has so much more of Zelda’s story to share. The very opening implied that the show would go through the entire novel and I hope I get to see that. Reader, have you seen the TV show? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.