movie review: 42


In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, defies major league baseball’s notorious color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) to the team. The heroic act puts both Rickey and Robinson in the firing line of the public, the press and other players. Facing open racism from all sides, Robinson demonstrates true courage and admirable restraint by not reacting in kind and lets his undeniable talent silence the critics for him.


Over the past several months, there seems to have been a heightened awareness of racism – sometimes well-founded, sometimes a bit ridiculous.  It seems like everything is racist these days.  But ’42’ is set during a time in which racism meant that people were denied basic rights and freedoms simply because of the color of their skin.  It wasn’t about hoop earrings or Disney’s Maui costume or #sowhite Oscars.  It was about separate bathrooms and drinking fountains and having to move to the back of the bus (or off the bus, for that matter) and horrific violence and vitriol directed toward those who deserved none of it.

Into that world stepped Jackie Robinson.  Standing behind him were Branch Rickey and Rachel Robinson and, eventually, the Brooklyn Dodgers themselves.  ’42’ is all about how Robinson stood up to the hate and prejudice and anger…and triumphed.

I could cheer and clap and shout for hours because of it.


This movie holds a special place in my heart and a huge part of that is because of the people who inhabit it.  Chadwick Boseman brought such strength and determination and sensitivity to the role of Jackie Robinson.  I’d liked T’Challa in ‘Captain America: Civil War’, but my admiration for Boseman grew exponentially after watching him in ’42’. (He’s made a disgustingly small amount of films, though. *sigh*)  I also appreciated Nicole Beharie as Rachel Robinson.  Rachel is such a wonderful character – very supportive of Jackie even when everything is against him.

And I can’t say enough good things about Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey.  You really lose sight of the fact that it’s Ford in the role, he does such a good job at embodying a historical person.  Such a good job.  I also like that reporter guy and the guy who’s always hanging around Rickey and a lot of the Dodgers, too.  Especially Pee Wee Reese.  That scene where he just drapes his arm over Robinson’s shoulders and chats with him?  I cry.  It’s epic. (I cry a lot during this movie, in case you couldn’t tell.)


Then there’s Ben Chapman.  Let me tell you…I hated the n-word before watching ’42’, but I loathe it a hundred times more now.  Still, I don’t hate Chapman.  I actually kind of feel sorry for him because, yeah, that is one messed-up worldview but so many people were pretty much trapped in that way of thinking for so long. (And I definitely feel sorry for Alan Tudyk.  After reading interviews…ouch.  It was so draining and depressing and horrible for him to scream those obscenities for hours on end.)


’42’ is an important movie.  It’s my favorite movie of 2017.  I rated it 10/10 stars on IMDb (which is rarer than rare).  And even though it’s hard to watch in places, I believe everyone should at some point.




mini book reviews {#3}

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes – Forbes wrote something supremely special when she wrote this book.  The prose is simple and clear and evocative of the time period.  The characters are lovable or villainous.  And the British soldiers are not horrible monsters, which I appreciated.


IMO, Johnny looks vaguely like Luke Skywalker on this cover.  I think it’s the hair.

A Time to Die by Nadine Brandes – I’ve wanted to read this book for forever.  Christian dystopia with such an intriguing premise and such a gorgeous cover?  Yesss.  It was a highly entertaining book, full of heart and brilliant characters.  My only complaint is that the next two books are so hard to find.


Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt – Had some iffy content (and for a Bethany House publication at that) but Hunt’s writing style is entrancingly beautiful and I’ll never read the book of Esther the same way again.


The Fangirl Life by Kathleen Smith – Blech.  I expected it to be something different (re: good) but it was mostly feminist drivel wrapped up in a package of vaguely fandom-related talk and ‘life advice’.


Wickham’s Diary by Amanda Grange – I’ve been a fan of Amanda Grange ever since reading Mr. Darcy’s Diary (though Mr. Knightley’s Diary is #no for me) and this little novella was entertaining, though I wish that Grange had lengthened it and gone ahead to the events in Pride & Prejudice.


The Reluctant Godfather by Allison Tebo – Hey, you know what?  You can just read my full review here.


Brionne by Louis L’Amour – This book will always be special to me because I read it in one night at a cool hotel on The Great Road Trip.  Said cool hotel was cool because it had a little lending library in the lobby with books that were actually good.  Children’s literature classics, adult classics, Louis L’Amour books, and so on.  Not simply Danielle Steele and Dan Brown.  Anyway, Brionne is one of the better L’Amour books I’ve read.  The main character is very awesome and sympathetic and his wife is GREAT and, yep, I loved it.


SADDEST COVER EVER. (Also, check out this cover ’cause I love it as well.

Have you read any of these books?  What’ve you been reading lately?


mini movie reviews {#7}

No Escape (2015) – Thrillers are soooo not my genre.  Pierce Brosnan was the best part of this film and he died.  Of course.  Apparently, it’s also a pretty stupid movie as thrillers go but I haven’t watched enough of them to pass that kind of judgement.


42 (2013) – *violently fangirls about this movie* *wildly recommends this movie to every person on the planet* (+a good movie filter) *re-watches this movies a million times*  It was just that good.


My favorite part!

The Man From Colorado (1948) – So, I thought I’d be bugged by Glenn Ford playing a villain other than Ben Wade.  But, to tell the truth, I was bored.  If you want a young Glenn Ford/William Holden movie, watch ‘Texas’ (1941) instead.


One Night With the King (2006) – Okay, it’s cheesy.  And the production values aren’t the greatest.  And the actress they got to play Esther is kind of annoying.  And the actor they got to play Xerxes was kind of awful.  But it was a colorful, entertaining film and John Rhys-Davies was on point.  I’d probably watch it again.


A United Kingdom (2016) – The trailer was better than the movie, I’ve got to say.  But the movie was still quite good and the fact that it was based on a true story made it even better.


Mansfield Park (2007) – Only good parts about this adaption are Mary Crawford (played to perfection by Hayley Atwell) and William Price (the actor who plays him also played a young sailor on Master & Commander…named William – #IlluminatiConfirmed).  Billie Piper is great as Rose on Doctor Who, I’ve no doubt, but as Fanny Price?  Not so much.

Ivanhoe (1982) – Such a great movie!  It’s a bit similar to ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’ (1938) in tone and colorfulness.  I liked so many of the characters, but I think my favorite was de Bracy.  He’s so honorable and cool.


Apollo 13 (1995) – This is one of the only movies that has inspired legit ugly sobbing on my part. (Or, rather, slapping my hands over my mouth so I won’t ugly sob because I’m surrounded by siblings and it’s embarrassing.)  Apollo 13 is so beautiful and triumphant – a gem of a movie. ❤


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) – The cast was phenomenal but I hardly understand any of the plot.  I might do better with a re-watch, though.


Like I said – phenomenal cast.

Have you seen any of these movies?  What have you watched lately?


mini movie reviews {#6}

Hello, friends!  Currently, I have that post about fanfiction sitting in my drafts (there’s only a short bullet list written so far, but it’ll come together) and I’m also going to be working on my ‘Meet the Robinsons’ post and my New Year’s Tag.  That’s a lot.  But I thought I’d gave y’all some mini movie reviews, since they’re lots of fun for me to write – and you to read.  (Hopefully.)

Warning: I’ll be spoiling some of the films I discuss.  Proceed with caution!


12 Angry Men (1957) – A brilliant, brilliant film.  Tense and thoughtful and well-made.  Henry Fonda sticks to his guns and gradually brings the eleven other jury members over to his point of view.  Subtly done and very powerful.

This Beautiful Fantastic (2016) – This film is colorful and gorgeous and filled with little bits of joy.  I was most interested in seeing Andrew Scott playing a character other than Moriarty and he did a great job.  Such a great job, in fact, that I wish Bella had married his character in the end instead of Billy.


Arthur Christmas (2011) – Fun and funny and fresh.  Probably wouldn’t re-watch it all the way through, but if my little siblings watch it, I’ll stick around for my favorite parts.

While You Were Sleeping (1995) – TOO MUCH ADORABLENESS.  Love it!


Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) – What. Is. This. Travesty.  Dana Andrews playing the bad guy???  Horridness.

Pocahontas 2: Journey to a New World (1998) – You know what?  I actually enjoyed this movie.  Didn’t love it, wouldn’t recommend it, and wouldn’t watch it again any time soon, but I had an enjoyable time while it played.  I liked some of the music and John Rolfe was nicer than John Smith.


Gaslight (1944) – This movie had me on the edge of my seat (figuratively – and sometimes perhaps literally).  Ingrid Bergman does tortured/confused very well (see: Notorious) and you couldn’t help but sympathize with her character.  And Joseph Cotten was a dear.

The Age of Adaline (2015)*swoons* *gets up* *swoons again*  Time travel and that sort of thing has always fascinated me (though this isn’t strictly time travel), and seeing the different time eras and falling in love with all the characters (Harrison Ford was the BEST) and just…yessss.  This movie is my happy place.


Pan (2015) – I share a birthday with Garrett Hedlund, but that was about the only interesting thing this movie offered.  A boring, wretched mess.

North & South (2004) – Technically not a movie, but the characters!  The music!  The setting!  The story!  The general feel of the whole miniseries!  I love every bit of it.  Simply love it.


Have you seen any of these films?  If so, do you agree with my assessment of them?


mini movie reviews {#5}

Just popping in with a short post.  NaNoWriMo is going swimmingly and I should be back to posting semi-regularly by the middle of this month.  Until then, please enjoy this post and accept my wish that I could write more of them.

A Bug’s Life (1998) – Aside from the fun of picking out the similarities to The Magnificent Seven (1960) there was little to make me enjoy the adventures of Flik & Co.

Gladiator (2000) – *is blown away by Russell Crowe’s amazing acting*  I’d only seen him as Javert in Les Misérables (2012) and he did an epic job in this film.  Made me cry several times.

The Last Sin Eater (2007) – Though not all the acting was great and script was a little weird at times, this movie sank into my heart all the same.  I can tell it’s going to be an epic read – where are libraries when you need them?

A Bear Named Winnie (2004) – I really want to see Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017).  And ABNW would make an excellent companion piece, one you could watch before GCR as a sort of prequel.  A good, solid ‘man and his pet’ story and not a bad WWI film either.

Superman (1978) – I, um, watched this mostly for Glenn Ford.  And he was great.  But even though Superman was pretty much the first great superhero movie, I never really got behind any of the characters or the story in general.  Meh.

Mission: Impossible III (2006) – Caught the last two-thirds of this on TV and it was a blast, even if I had to get the first part of the story from Wikipedia.  Phillip Seymour Hoffman is SLIMY.  Ethan Hunt got me to tear up and my little brother (who watched a bit of it) was thrilled that there’s a hero that shares his name.  Plus, I love and adore how these films stick so close to the spirit of the original TV show.

Cowboy (1958) – Again, I came into this movie for Glenn Ford, but stayed for Jack Lemmon.  Previously, I’d only seen him in Mister Roberts (1955) but he charmed me again in Cowboy.  And the story itself is very good as well.

Leap! (2016) – I don’t get the critics’ glitch with Leap!  It’s a fun, warm-hearted animated film with stunning visuals.  What more could you ask of a children’s movie?

Thor (2011) – I’m sorry, Marvel, but this one was a No for me.  I think I’ll like the Iron Man movies better.  There were some highlights: Loki (I don’t have a crush, but he was the most well-developed character – I thought), Clint’s cameo, and the beautiful cinematography.  But overall…nah.

The Ten Commandments (1956) – Last time I watched Ten Commandments, I was much younger and it was interesting to see it again with mostly fresh eyes.  I recognized a lot of actors this time (Vincent Price was an interesting casting choice) and the music, spectacle, and characters still hold up after all these years.  A truly epic epic.

Pride & Prejudice (2005) – Always the best version. *ducks flying tomatoes*

How many of these movies have you seen?  What do you think of them?  What are some movies you’ve watched lately?


mini movie reviews {#4}

And one for books coming (hopefully) tomorrow!

04e1b49d131a16e9702c7e50b2c79c88--vintage-retro-vintage-humor.jpgNewsies (1992) – My obsession of 2014’s summer months (this and the Broadway musical).  The songs are still, and always will be, amazing.  Plus, baby Christian Bale.

The Patriot (2000) – Gory and violent, but beautiful as well, and I was hardly ever bored for its almost-three-hour run which is pretty incredible.  I still don’t like Mel Gibson, though.


This guy, however…

Rogue One (2016) – My heart is smashed.

An American Tail (1986) – While ‘Fievel Goes West’ was watched wayyyy more than ‘An American Tail’ during my childhood, this movie still brought back plenty of good memories.


Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) – Ever since I watched and loved A&E’s Horatio Hornblower series I’ve been a little obsessed with that period of British history, so M&C was a natural extension of that.  An excellent film.

Texas (1941) – Super young Glenn Ford and William Holden?  YES.  A thoroughly entertaining ‘B’ western.


A Royal Night Out (2015) – Gorgeous clothes, lots of Glenn Miller, and not a whole lot going on besides that.  Still, it was amusing.

The Four Feathers (2002) – This movie depresses me to death, but I still love it.  Heath Ledger and Wes Bentley and Kate Hudson all turn in these absolutely gut-wrenching performances.  It’s one of those stories that settled really deeply into my heart and soul forever.


The Secret of Convict Lake (1951) – One of the better westerns I’ve seen.  Several good female characters, which is a bit unusual for a western.  Glenn Ford and Gene Tierney both gave great performances.

The Inheritance (1997) – This is another #childhood movie and it’s super obscure (but awesome) so if any of you have ever watched it, I’d love to know.  It’s a bit similar to ‘Little Women’ (1994), not least of all because both movies are based on books written by Louisa May Alcott, so I might do a comparison post sometime.


The Searchers (1956) – Deeply sobering.  A truly great western.

Moana (2016) – I’ve seen this three times now, I think, and I like it a lot better now than I did when I first watched it.  The songs are good and/or catchy for the most part, and Maui is a LOT of fun.  Actually, the whole movie is.


Have you watched any of these movies?  What films have you seen lately?


book review: cloaked

36169102.jpgShe never imagined she’d need to flee for her life.

Mary Rose feels uneasy around Mr. Linden from the moment she meets him on the stagecoach ride to her grandmother’s ranch in Wyoming Territory. But he works for her grandmother, so that means he’s trustworthy, doesn’t it? Everyone else seems to view him as honest and respectable, and Mary Rose wonders if she’s overreacting.

She tries to ignore her suspicions until one night, she discovers his real reason for being at the ranch. Now, if she’s going to save her grandmother — and herself — she’s going to need to run faster than she’s ever run before.


I read Cloaked in one day. It wasn’t hard because the book is shorter than a regular novel and I’m a fast reader, but that wasn’t the only reason I finished it so quickly. The story moved along so well and the characters were so engaging that I had a hard time putting my Kindle down (except once, where I’d been reading for almost three solid hours and my brain was overloaded).

Having recently finished reading the Lunar Chronicles, I was totally in the mood for another fairy tale retelling, and Rachel Kovaciny more than delivered. There were many hints of the original Red Riding Hood story throughout – mainly Mary Rose’s grandmother, Mary Rose’s red cloak, and Hauer’s trade. But Cloaked is very much its own story. Westerns are my favorite genre and this was such a quiet, heartwarming one (though not without its moments of high action – particularly the finale).

My favorite part of Cloaked was easily the characters. Mary Rose was a fine protagonist, very new to the West and the way of life there – it was neat seeing the West through her eyes, as opposed to most western stories I’ve read where the main character has lived there their entire life. Mary Rose was courageous and smart and very much sixteen without being annoyingly so. Her grandmother was a bit hard to ‘read’ at first, but I grew to like her too. The villain is a creep’s creep. Hauer is a dear (and the fact that he’s half-Cherokee made me like him even more and added some great tension to the story).

Overall, a sweet, clean, relationship-centric western that I would recommend to any and all fans of the genre.

I received an ARC copy in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own.