The Circle

Another airline movie choice was The Circle.  You may remember I read this book and reviewed it here.  I liked the book in general and I like Emma Watson as an actress, so I decided to check it out.  The movie tells essentially the same story as the book: a young woman gets a job at a large Google type company where social media is everything.  The company believes everyone should be searchable and connected and in every aspect of their life.

The movie leaves out many subplots, including any romantic love interests and the ending is actually completely different than the book.  In the book, Mae decides to stay loyal to the company and in the movie, she sells them out.  Maybe the change was to make her character more likable since it is pretty clear the company is basically eliminating any sort of privacy rights.  I suppose this was an okay airplane movie, but I would recommend the book more.


Before I Fall

The movie selection on my last flight left much to be desired, so I picked Before I Fall, a teen drama I vaguely remember hearing about.  It is about a high school girl, Samantha, who has to live the same day over and over again, much like an unfunny Groundhog Day.  At the end of the day, she and her friends crash a car, seemingly dying.

Samantha has to figure out the right way to live the day before she can stop reliving it, including being nicer to her family, making the right choice in boyfriend and helping a troubled girl in the school.  The movie wasn’t completely horrible, but I would still choose Groundhog Day every time.

Battle of the Sexes

My Movie Pass card finally arrived and I tried it out for the first time this morning to see Battle of the Sexes. It worked perfectly so I’m excited to see more movies in the theatre again. 

Battle of the Sexes tells the story of an exhibition tennis match between Billie Jean King, played by Emma Stone and Bobby Riggs, played by Steve Carrel. King is motivated by her quest to have women recognized and paid the same amount as men players and Riggs wants to make the point that women should stay in the bedroom and the kitchen. The movie also explores King’s first relationship with a woman, even though she is married. 

The tennis scenes were probably my favorite parts to watch and the acting was good among the stars. It wasn’t my favorite movie, but I enjoyed seeing the sorry play out even though there weren’t any surprises. 

All the Dirty Parts

I read All the Dirty Parts by Daniel Handler this week in only one day.  The author also wrote the Lemony Snicket books, which I have yet to read, but this book received some buzz, so I decided to check it out.

I’m not totally sure how I feel about this book.  Picture a teenage boy’s mind who is obsessed with sex and then dictate whatever is going through his head onto a page.  That is this book.  While my teenage experience was vastly different, I’m sure that there are some boys that are behaving like Cole, and maybe that’s what makes me so uncomfortable.  I certainly wouldn’t my son to be like that or my daughter to be anywhere near someone like him.

Class Mom

I finished Class Mom by Laurie Gelman and this book was hysterical.  Being a mother of elementary school children, I could totally relate to the story.  Jen is the kindergarten class mom and there are numerous emails that are interspersed throughout the plot between her and the class.  Most of the moms don’t understand her sarcasm and throw in some bizarre parents and you get a book you cannot put down.

Jen has two college aged children as well as her kindergartner, so as the veteran parent, she assumed she would have it all together.  However, the teacher is hiding something from everyone and one of the other parents is Jen’s old high school crush.  Obviously this book isn’t any kind of deep literature, but it was a good back to school pick that made me laugh.

The General

Our next AFI movie was 1926’s The General, starring and directed by Buster Keaton.  I had never seen any of his movies and I was really impressed with the effects they were able to create during this era.

Keaton plays a train engineer during the Civil War who wants to enlist but is denied.  The girl he loves is disappointed and thinks he is being a coward instead.  Keaton eventually finds a way to help his cause with his train’s engine is stolen and he has to stop the enemy’s plans.

Since this is a silent film, there is no audible dialogue.  The distributor had added in public domain music, which sometimes was distracting (Pomp and Circumstance, anyone?).  I also felt the second half dragged a little bit and became repetitive.  Overall, I was glad we watched it, but was a little underwhelmed considering it was so high on the list.

The Graduate

Up next on our AFI top 100 re-watch was The Graduate at number 17.  I had somehow managed to never see this one and it was awesome.  I loved the music and all of the interesting shots and perspectives.  Obviously, I wasn’t really a fan of Ben’s choice of sleeping with Mrs. Robinson in the first place, but once he was in so deep, I couldn’t wait to see how he was going to get out of it.

The final scene starting with Ben running to the church to stop Elaine’s wedding was so amazing.  I loved them screaming at each other and Ben waving the cross so they could escape.  I also enjoyed the last part, when the jubilation of their escape slowly fades and they are still left with the same problem of deciding what they are doing to do.