Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Title: Hacksaw Ridgehacksaw_ridge_poster
Year: 2016
Director: Mel Gibson
Genre: Action/War
Category: #38 A movie about war

Hacksaw Ridge is the true story of conscientious objector Desmond Doss during WWII, although the movie centers on Desmond Doss throughout his training as well as war experience it is primarily his actions at the Battle of Okinawa that have caused his fame.

Desmond desperately wanted to serve his country but didn’t want to kill people, in fact he refused to carry a rifle and was trained as a combat medic. Despite being the only one on the battlefront without a weapon he showed a great deal of courage saving many people (including some enemies) following their injuries in the war.

I’ve seen a few war movies including Gallipoli possibly a hundred times because Australian schools just love to make students watch it over and over again. I also somehow ended up watching Full Metal Jacket when I was about 10 or 11 (if you’re thinking that’s a good idea… don’t). There have been a few that I’ve loved and a few that I haven’t enjoyed much but this one I really loved. It’s such a great story and I loved that there was a chance to get to know the characters before they went off to war.

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

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The Zookeeper’s Wife – Diane Ackerman

Title: The Zookeeper’s Wife51qkbrj3cdl-_sx331_bo1204203200_
Author: Diane Ackerman
Genre: History
Pages: 368
Category: 42. Read a book that features animals
Format: Paper

So this one is based on a true story, set during World War II in Poland. It’s a pretty sad story but also incredibly interesting.

This was also made into a movie this year which is why it was on my list oddly enough. I was tossing up between this and A Dog’s Purpose but it received a lot of bad press regarding the treatment of animals so I picked this instead.

Honestly though, the hardest part reading this was the treatment of the animals during the war. This isn’t something I had put a lot of thought into prior to reading this book but it’s such a horrible thing to read about. Animals either dying or getting out of their enclosures and then being shot during a bombing.

It’s definitely a book that is worth reading and I’ll be checking out the movie when I have a chance too

Rating: 3/5 stars

The Book Thief (2013)

Title: The Book Thieflarge_xwun4gftft3eha1culkrbuodrjq
Year: 2013
Director: Brian Percival
Genre: History/Drama
Date Watched: March 5th 2017
Category: #51. A historical film

Let me preface this by saying that if you haven’t already dne so, you should definitely check out the book version of this. While I loved the film there is a lot missing from it and a lot to be gained from reading the book version that it’s based on.

Set in Nazi Germany this book tells the story of Liesl Meminger and the town of Molching. The film starts out in the same way the book does and for the most part does follow the plot as it appears in the book, albeit some of Liesl’s books have different titles and there is now a full dictionary in her basement rather than just parts of it.

There were only two changes in the movie that really bugged me though – rather than taking a little time to warm up to Max and become comfortable, she immediately gets along with him. And secondly, she doesn’t have the chance to feed bread to the walking Jews with Rudy. But as I said, it does stick to the story fairly well despite these and a few other omissions.

If you liked the book then I would definitely see the film version, the acting is good, the sets are good, it’s just a well made film. If you haven’t read the book, I would pick it up and give it a shot, it’s worth the extra effort for what it will add to your watching of this film.

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thiefthe-book-thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Genre: Historical
Pages: 584
Category: 49. Read a book that has won a literary award
Format: Paper

Date Started: January 8th 2017
Date Finished: January 21st 2017

I’ll start with a little note today, there will be spoilers in this review. And a second note, I have not seen the movie The Book Thief so I am coming at this completely fresh knowing only that it was set during WWII.

Those two things said, this book has been sitting on my bookshelf mocking me since I was still in high school and found it in a second hand bookshop and brought it home. Every single time I’ve gone to my bookshelf looking for something to read it’s screamed at me ‘choose me, read me’ and every time I’ve ignored it, fearing that like many popular books with such heavy topics it would not be a book that would capture my attention. This year I decided it was time.

Continue reading The Book Thief – Markus Zusak