The Big Sleep film

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Hello everyone! Today I am finally coming to you with a film review of the the book The Big Sleep.

As I mentioned in my review of the book, the movie stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Becall. Bogart also plays Sam Spade in the movie version of The Maltese Falcon but I liked him better as Philip Marlowe. The character of Spade is described as being tall and blond with a jutting chin and Bogart doesn’t look like that at all. Which is why I think physically-wise he’s better as Marlowe. The movie wasn’t entirely consistent with the book which I didn’t like because it made the movie that much more confusing. I did like Lauren Becall as Vivian Sternwood and Martha Vickers as her younger sister Carmen. Fun fact: This is the second movie Becall and Bogart have starred in AND they are married. Which I thought was very adorable. The ending was pretty much the same except Marlowe confessed that he knew about what happened to Rusty Regan to the gambler Eddie Mars and Vivian just happened to be in the room. Whereas, in the book, Vivian was the only person he revealed it to.

Overall, i would give this movie a 2/5 but because of the chemistry between Becall and Bogart I’ll give it a 3/5.

Until next time!

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The Big Sleep

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Hello, everybody! I am coming at you with another book review from my Detective Fiction English class. Today I will reviewing Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep.

Philip Marlowe is private detective who is hired by General Sternwood to handle the blackmailing case against his younger daughter. As Marlowe investigates he soon becomes engaged in a bigger and more complex situation.

Much like the Maltese Falcon (review here) this book was very confusing. There were so many stories and people and problems that kept arising in each chapter it was hard to keep track of them all. This is another hard-boiled detective novel and I will say I prefer Sam Spade over Philip Marlowe. Marlowe was very smart-alecky and nonchalant but Spade embraces the personality of a hard-boiled detective better than Marlowe does. A difference between the Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep was the introduction of pornography. Although the act of it is tame compared to the pornography that we think of today, in that time period it was still considered scandalous and raunchy.  Much like the Falcon the two women in the story did their best to seduce Marlowe but unlike Spade, he didn’t exactly fall for it. Much like a lot of novels written in the 1930s the book was pretty sexist but that wasn’t surprising. Despite some major differences between the two books I enjoyed the Maltese Falcon better.

Overall, I give this book a 2/5.

I have not seen the movie but I will pretty soon. I do think it’s pretty ironic that Humphrey Bogart is also playing Marlowe when he played Sam Spade as well. Not to mention Lauren Becall plays opposite of him and she plays Mrs. Hubbard in the 1974 version of Murder on the Orient Express (review here). Small world, isn’t it?

Until next time!

Murder on the Orient Express

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Hey guys!

I am coming at you today with a book review as well as not one, not two but three reviews on the three film adaptations of said book! Yeah, I said it. This post, as you can already tell by the title, will be a review of Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. I love Agatha Christie! She is considered to be the mother of detective fiction (Edgar Allen Poe is considered the father). Let’s get started!

Famous Belgian Detective Hercule Poirot is traveling on the Orient Express for London when the train is stopped due to unforeseen weather conditions. At the same time a passenger is mysteriously murdered. It is up to Poirot to solve the case and present an explanation to the police.

Let me start by saying…you do not see the ending coming. AT. ALL! You think it’s one person, then you think it’s someone else until you find out it was completely different from what you were expecting. At least for me. It is so incredibly complex nobody would readily believe it. In addition, watching Poirot solve this crime is incredible. In a way one could compare him to Sherlock Holmes. I give the book a 5/5.

My favorite adaptation of the novel was the original created in 1974. It had Sean Connery, Lauren Becall and Ingrid Bergman. Bergman’s character of Greta Ohlsson was so good she received an Academy Award for best supporting actress. Honestly, I didn’t think her portrayal was all that spectacular but apparently the Academy committee did. Aside from a few name changes here and there and one particular scene, the movie was pretty consistent with the book. Same with character descriptions. I will say Albert Finney’s portrayal of Poirot was not only spot on but he stood out. Poirot is described as being funny-looking and egg shaped with a huge mustache and Finney perfectly fit that description. He also displayed Poirot’s eccentricities with gusto. I give this movie a 4/5.

My second favorite would be the recent adaption from 2017. Kenneth Branagh not only played Poirot but he directed the movie as well. There were different characterizations than the book. Colonel Arbuthnot was a doctor and black (although he was still English), Greta Ohlsson’s character was changed to Pillar Estavados and was Spanish instead of Swedish and Antonio Foscarelli was changed to a Latin man named Marquez. With the times changing, I believe Branagh wanted to include more minorities in the story. In the orginal, the only minority was Foscarelli and he’s Italian. That or he wanted certain actors in his movie despite the fact that they didn’t match the character descriptions. I’m leaning more towards the former. I will say this version of the movie leaned on racial profiling than Christie’s book did. Without spoilers I will there were a few times where the characters were accused of the crime because of their ethnicity. There was one scene with Arbuthnot and his encounter with Poirot that bothered me. You’ll now it when you see it. Also, Branagh’s Poirot looked nothing like Christie’s description, except for the huge mustache. And that bothered me as well. I give this movie a 3/5.

Finally, the least favorite film adaptation goes to TV movie version starring Alfred Molina as Poirot. The main problem was that it tried too hard to be different. Instead of it being set in the 1930s it was set in 2001, the same year it was made. In it, Poirot has a girlfriend, the villain was being threatened with a videotape instead of a letter, 3 out of the 12 original characters were omitted, there were software developers and fitness trainers…it just didn’t work! I get the urge to want to be different and rework the original story into something else but it didn’t pan put well. Molina’s Poirot was different as well. He was dark-haired but his mustache was a pretty normal, reasonable size and Molina is tall, not short. I give it a 2/5.

So there you have it. My take on the book and the three adaptions. There is a PBS series called Poirot that did emerge in the 1980s. I excluded that because I have not seen it. But check that out as well

Until next time!

The Maltese Falcon film

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A few weeks ago, I did a review of the Maltese Falcon (review here) and now I am going to do a movie review. There are a few adaptations of the famed novel so the one I’m going to review is the 1941 version with Humphrey Bogart.

First off, Bogart looks nothing like the character of Spade in the book. Spade is described as being tall and blond whereas Bogart is short and dark-haired. However,whenever I think of a detective (male or female) in film noir, I always picture them to be brunettes anyway. So although I am a stickler about perfect characterizations, I wasn’t too angry about this one. Bogart has a devilish charm about him which I believe was perfect for this role. Bogart did an exceptional job at portraying Spade despite his looks. Which is why I am not surprised that this role is one of his most beloved roles of his career. Honestly, I believe the character of Casper Gutman (played by Sydney Greenstreet) was the closest to the look of his character in the book.

The movie does a great job of sticking to the actually plot of the novel. As I said earlier there are a few other adaptations; Dangerous Female in 1931 and Satan Met a Lady in 1939. However, the 1941 film is the most accurate. On the American Film Institute’s 100 years…100 movies list of best American movies, The Maltese Falcon film was number 23.

Accuracy wise: 5/5

Overall: 3/5

Until next time!

The Maltese Falcon

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OH MY GOD! IT HAS BEEN SO LONG SINCE I LAST BLOGGED! The last time I’ve even been on my page was in December and it’s almost freaking March! I feel so ashamed. I have spent all of my time and effort getting stuff together to transfer to a different school. I’m taking five classes including Chemistry with a Chem lab so there is a good amount of homework I need to work on. In a nutshell, pleasure reading is not high on my priority list.

However, I am taking an English class (Detective Fiction to be exact) and we do get to read books. So, I am coming to you guys now with a book review of one of said books. By the title I will be doing a review of the Maltese Falcon.

The Maltese Falcon is a classic detective novel written by Dashell Hammett who is considered to be one of the greatest detective authors ever. In the novel, Sam Spade is a private detective who is hired by a young woman to assist in the disappearance of her sister. But Spade soon realizes the case is not what it appears to be. I liked the description of the characters and the way the book was written as do a lot of critics. However, I will admit I was a bit confused at times. I had to reread a few parts because I wasn’t entirely sure what was happening. It became surprising around 17, 18. That surprised increased at chapter 20. At this time period, the criminal was was always one specific type of person. I will admit it was interesting to see the author switch it up and make the criminal someone else.

Sam Spade is a hard-boiled detective; meaning he follows his own rules and ethnics. He is charming and nonchalant which is common with these sort of detectives. His humor brought a lightness to an overall serious book. I will say that the book had sexist overtones. Spade kept calling the women in his life “honey”, “sweetheart”, and “angel” without taking the time to call them by their real names. The female characters were all very emotional and hysterical. The males even take a bit of aggressiveness towards them which I thought was unnecessary. But honestly, I’m not surprised considering that the book was written in the 1930s. A time where women were seen in such a way.

It was very good read, however. It has 20 chapters and can easily been finished in a day or even a few hours. Overall, I give it a 3/5.

Until next time!

P.S.- A couple of months ago I did mention that I will put up some of my own work for you guys to read. So from now I hope to remember to do that because I would really like to get some feedback.

 

The Husband’s Secret

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I know it’s late to be writing a book review but I always like to do one while the story is still fresh in my head.

First off, I can’t believe the year is almost over! It has been one hell of a year (and not just because of Trump). I also can’t believe that the last time I blogged was on November the 27th! I have been so swamped with school and work and studying for finals I have had literally no time to read. But the semester had ended and I have finally been able to get back on track with reading. So let’s stop rambling and let’s get on with the review.

The book I’m reviewing today is The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. It is told from the point of view of three women, one of which has a husband with a terrible secret that connects all three to each other.

Honestly, the story wasn’t what I thought it would be. It’s set in the suburbs of Australia, which I like. I like rrading books set in different Locations. However, it’s so suburban one of the wives, Cecelia, sells Tupperware for a living. Like, Ziplock, it-seals-in-the-freshness, Tupperware. It caught me off guard because I wasn’t aware that people actually sold Tupperware for a living. It was actually pretty annoying how “perfect” Cecelia’s suburban life actually seemed but I guess that was the point. That even in perfect Suburbia your whole world can be destroyed in the blink of an eye. I also think it’s more scandalous when stuff happens to people who are pillars of the community because it shows that they are not invincible and most likely they’re the one with the most secrets because they’re trying to convey a sense of perfection.

The person I identified the most with was Tess. She was somewhat shy and strived to be the good person, through and through. There’s a few parts in the book where she does something totally out of character and has no qualms about which I thought was refreshing and something that I would do (OK, not necessarily what she did in the book but you get the point).

What I didn’t like was the epilogue at the end. It was a few pages of “What its.” Like, “if such and such didn’t have this secret then this would’ve happened.” Or “if such and such did that they would’ve been this.” It was like a cause and effect type of situation. Even though the book was about keeping secrets and thinking about “what if” situations, I think that epilogue was cheesy and unnecessary. The book didn’t really keep me entranced as I thought it would’ve and I thought the husband’s secret was a little weak.

Overall, I give it a 2/5.

Until next time!

The Wolf

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The Wolf is about Vincent Marelli, a crime boss who seeks revenge after his wife and daughters were killed in a terrorists attack. Pretty straightforward, right? I picked up this book because based off the synopsis this sounded like an action-filled ganster read. I was somewhat right.

There wasn’t really a lot of action. There was a lot of explanation and background that I thought was somewhat unnecessary and honestly I got a little bored with the book after a few chapters but I kept reading. Each chapter was only about 5-7 pages long so the book is actually something you could finish in a day or two. It did pick up towards the end of the book but it was very anticlimactic. Also Vincent found out the name of the person who ordered the attack on his family which surprised me and didn’t surprise me. As far as I know there isn’t another book and hopefully the author doesn’t intend to leave The Wolf with that cliffhanger.

Overall, I give it a 2 out of 5.

Until next time!

Private Down Under

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I saw this book in Barnes and Nobles a couple of months ago and with me being a fan of James Patterson novels I had to read it.

Private is an investigation company composed of top notch detectives and cutting edge technology with multiple offices around the world. The company is now launching it’s next office in Australia when a deaf, Asian man, bloodied and hurt crashes the launch party. As the team investigates his case bodies of murdered Suburban housewives litter the streets. The members of Private certainly have their hands full with horrendous crimes.

Let me start off by saying that I was salty as hell! Meaning I thought this was a stand alone book but it turns out this is the seventh book in a series. Seventh! But honestly, you don’t really miss much. As I said before, I am a fan of James Patterson and I believe this is the first adult book I have ever read by him. And….I was not impressed. The synopsis of this book gave the impression that there was a lot of action and intrigue going one especially since it sounded like a murder mystery but that’s not the vibe I was getting. The book read more like one of Patterson’s adolescent novels instead of an adult one. Also, there were two many cases the detectives were trying to solve. I thought the book was mainly about the botched kidnapping of the Asian man but it turns out the crew were also investigated two more crimes at the same time. As I was reading the premise of the story reminded me of a book series I read last year called the FI series or Forensic Instincts series (read book review here).

Maybe I need to read the other six book of the series to really feel something but I think Patterson (along with co-author Michael White) could’ve done a better job.

Overall, I give it a 2/5.

Until next time.

Stars Above (Lunar Chronicles collection)

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I can never get enough of the Lunar Chronicles. It is now my favorite book series ever! And now here I sit, after reading a collection of stories that describe the life of each crew member of the beloved Rampion ship.

Stars Above is a collection of short stories that; explains how Wolf became a lunar operative, how Michelle Benoit came to take care of Cinder in the first place and it also tells the story of Kai and Cinder’s first meeting though Kai’s eye. Not only did I laugh constantly like with the other installments, but I couldn’t help but “ohh” and “ahh” at certain parts. Especially the last story. It was so cute and romantic and I sincerly almost cried! This read didn’t really introduced anything new that someone who has read The Lunar Chronicles doesn’t already know (except for that one bit about an android) so I’m not going to give this book a rating. It was fairly quick read as well.

For those of you who have yet to read this series…….what the hell are you waiting for?!

Until next time!