Tag Archives: movies

Gone Girl. – A Novel

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Have you ever read a book, or saw a movie, that completely played mind games with you? I’m sure you have a few suggestions in mind because I definitely do.

Awhile back I saw Gone Girl, the 2014 psychological thriller, directed by David Fincher. The movie starts Ben Affleck; yes I know we all have our own opinions on the man. Therefore, you can imagine my surprise when I was totally blown away by the film! The movie was great! It reminded me of how scary the human mind can be. Probably why I was never interested in studying psychology. My mind is complex enough….

Then I found out the movie was actually a book written by Gillian Flynnwho also wrote the screenplay for the movie. I Immediately took myself to Barnes and Noble and bought the book. I was super excited because, as per my previous experiences, movies never stick to the actual book….so I thought.


“Like a child, I picture opening her skull, unspooling her brain and sifting through it,
trying to catch and pin down her thoughts.” – P. 3


gone-girl-cover

Well, think again Tiffany! I couldn’t have been anymore wrong. The book was the movie. Of course, minus a few scenarios that I envisioned as deleted scenes unnecessary for the movie edition of the plot.

So what happened? It took me forever to finish the book. Not because it wasn’t good, but because I already knew exactly what would happen; the excitement was gone. The first section of the book dragged on! I couldn’t find the want/need to pick up the book. I carried it inside my purse for months. Eventually, I managed to get towards the second half of the book and it seemed to finally start picking up the pace! Spoiler alert: The wife is so crazy it was literally hard to stop reading! See the first half of the book, you have no idea that she’s insane. It involved a lot of exposition which, I already knew of. Once you reach the second half, it’s like “HA, I fooled you!” and all the action starts going down.

All of this still leaves me wondering, book or movie first? Just when I thought I had it all figured out. It’s a hit or miss. Maybe, don’t watch thrillers first, just read the book.

I would love to read people’s opinions on this. Thoughts?

Would I recommend the book? Absolutely! Great book and I can totally see why it was made into a motion picture.

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Differences

The more I read the more fascinated I become with the idea of reading. This idea of putting pause on your life and being teleported to another world for a few minutes or hours can be quite soothing. I have the same feeling towards movies but with books it’s different…it requires a different sort of thought process. Books generate a different reaction from you…with books you submerge yourself deeper into the plot; you disappear into that world and everything around you becomes irrelevant.

The second book I read was A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. Everyone knows Nicholas Sparks for his touching love stories.

I personally never read any of his books but fell in love with movies based on his stories (The Notebook & A Walk to Remember.) I’m a sucker for a good love story, the kind that make you sob like a baby or make you cheese super hard because deep inside you wish that was you receiving that passionate kiss. So I picked this book because the movie made me sob like a baby and when I saw it at the bookstore immediately became super excited. I started reading the book thinking I knew exactly what to expect….but WOW was I completely WRONG!

The book and movie have two complete different plots! I was in shock! The movie keeps the general story line (boy falls in love with a girl who happens to have Leukemia,) keeps the names of the characters and even little things here and there from the original plot but everything else completely changed. I can sit here and list 101 differences but I won’t. What’s the point? Differences are everywhere. It made reading the book more exciting even more touching. The book focused on love, faith in God and the idea that even in the most unfairness of circumstances hope and happiness should never be lost. In its own way the movie did the same thing. So instead of focusing on the differences why not focus on the bigger picture?

It’s a theme we should all apply to our lives and something I try to remember everyday. Hope should never be lost because just how Sparks said in the last sentence of his book, “…miracles can happen.”

8 more books to go!  

Books and Movies

I really enjoyed today because it was such a simple yet productive day. The day started out cold and wet, the usual Brussels weather, but in the afternoon the sun came out and was shining bright!

I spent the afternoon with my host mom. She took me to a bookstore called filiber very similar to Barnes & Nobles. I was very pleased because I love Barnes & Nobles so exploring the store was fun. There were so many people and French books everywhere. There was even a small section in the middle to eat and drink coffee/tea while reading books. We had quiches for lunch at the store. After my host mom showed me around the store and we ate lunch, I ended up spending most of my time in the history section. I browsed through the Mythology and Cleopatra books. It was interesting browsing through books in French about subjects that interest me.

Dans La Maison

Afterwards we went to go see a French movie. This time I experienced a new theater called UGC. This theater felt more old school than Kinepolis. The seats were ridiculously comfy though. We went to see the movie Dans La Maison “In The House.” The movie is directed by François Ozon and it is based off the Spanish play by Juan Mayorga, “El chico de la última fila.” The movie is about a 16 year old boy, Claude Garcia, and his passion for writing. Claude uses his classmate’s, Rapha Artole, family as the main characters in a series of essays he writes for his French teacher, M.Germain. The teacher becomes very intrigued by the boy and his essays and persuades him to continue to write. This leads to a series of events that makes it impossible for the audience and the teacher to decipher what is fiction and what is reality. It is truly a movie that plays with your head and leads to an ending no one expects. You are left with a series of questions and left to write your own ending.

The movie only had subtitles in Dutch. I had to depend on my French listening skills and surprisingly I understood a lot of the dialogue! I was extremely proud of myself! French movies never cease to amaze me though. They always take a step further. The intense sex scenes, the sensitive subjects they cover, they just aren’t scared to cross the line. The movie was very good and it was hard to not pay attention.

À le movies: 007

Skyfall Posters

Saturday, I decided to treat myself to the movies. I also really wanted to experience a Belgian movie theater. Since I’ve never seen a James Bond movie I thought why not see 007: SKYFALL. It’s apparently the 23rd installment of James Bond on screen. The movie starts British actor Daniel Craig and was directed by Sam Mendes. The movie also featured an amazing song by Adele, Skyfall, written strictly for the movie. It created a great opening for the movie! Definitely a good set up for the ambience the movie was trying to create (which doesn’t really show until the final scenes.) Overall, the movie had good action scenes and some really good quotable lines from various characters. However, I didn’t find the plot interesting and I felt like nothing really stuck out until the end. I didn’t really get where the movie was trying to go because there was just too much going on. In my opinion, the movie had a lot of potential to have a really good storyline but wanted to say too much so it ended up just making a mess. It had too many stories going on at once. I felt like some points didn’t even finish developing by the end of the movie. (This is as good of a review I can give without ruining the movie.) Either way, I would still go see the movie because I was entertained by the action scenes, characters, beautiful settings, and all the good lines from the characters.

Brussels Atomium

Side view of the Atomium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went to Kinepolis movie theater and of course getting there was an adventure. It was ugly out rainy, windy, and cold.  I had to take the tram a direction I’ve never taken before. As I rode the tram I passed through 2 to 3 stops where the walls were filled with the most awkward graffiti art I’ve ever seen. I was actually pretty disturbed by it. When I get off at my stop, which was the last stop on the tram, I instantly became amused by this building made of circles! Turns out to be the the Brussels Atomium build for the world fair in Brussels in 1958. It has 8 levels spread over 5 spheres! It’s apparently a very big tourist attraction! I am definitely returning to visit it! Right next to it it’s a small amusement park called Mini Europe. I fell in love! It was the cutest thing! I’m definitely returning to that too. I shall attend BOTH attractions!

Back of theater

Front of theater

So I ended up walking around the back of the theater before I found the front and the entrance. >_< Once I finally found the front I was in shock! It looked so fancy! Inside the theater has all the posters of movies that are currently  in theaters and some posters of movies that are about to be released. I found it funny that “Ted” JUST came out Oct.10th. The theater also has a lot of self-buy ticket machines! I’ve never seen so many in a movie theater! It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t arrive ridiculously early! I had 3 hours to kill and they had no waiting seats ._. Every employee was practically on lunch break. They weren’t even selling the popcorn yet, and I was craving some popcorn bad! I ended up sneaking into the bathroom so I wouldn’t pay the 35cents (since everyone was on lunch break,) listening to my iPod, and watching previews to this movie “Hobbit” and “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt.2” on this huge flat screen about 3 times.

Movie posters

Eventually I got my popcorn and got myself a twix bar to sweeten my life up. When I walked into the room I literally said “wow.” It was HUGE! That had to be the biggest screen in a theater I’ve ever seen. The movie was in English and there were French and Dutch subtitles. I thought that was pretty interesting. What caught me off guard was the 10min break to use the bathroom in the middle of the movie. I thought to myself, “they must really want those 35cents!” Whelp! they definitely got mine because I needed to pee! I still can’t believe they charge for bathrooms in Europe! I went back to my movie and left the theater pretty content. It was a good adventure for such a crappy day.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

One of my main goals abroad in Belgium is to watch as many international films as I can. My goal in life is to become an international producer so I figured abroad would be a great opportunity to watch international films. The first film I saw in Belgium was L’Auberge Espagnol during my French class. For my next film I figured I try my host moms DVD collection (she has a lot of movies.) I decided to watch Vicky Cristina Barcelona. It starts Javier Bardem, Pènelope Cruz, and Scarlett Johansson. It’s a Woody Allen film and was a part of the Festival De Cannes, which celebrates and promotes international films.

The movie is based in Barcelona, Spain. Two friends Vicky and Cristina go off to spend the summer in Spain. Vicky is engaged to be married and Cristina and still trying to find herself. One night during dinner they meet an artist Juan Antonio who turns their summer upside down. With an intensive, romantic, sexual and rough past with his ex-wife Maria Elena, Juan Antonio’s thoughts of her remain with him during his encounters with Vicky and Cristina. Until, one day Maria Elena returns to create a spiral of crazy between the four characters.

It was a great movie which I truly recommend. Pènelope Cruz did a great job as Maria Elena and definitely stood out throughout the movie.

There is so much international films have to offer can’t wait to watch my next film 🙂