Double Feature: Murder on the Orient Express (2017) & My Teacher, My Obsession (2018)

DOUBLEFEATURE (74)

My Teacher, My Obsessions (2018)

My Teacher My Obsession

Director: Damian Romay

Cast: Rusty Joiner, Lucy Loken, Laura Bilgeri, Jana Lee Hamblin, Alexandria DeBerry

Riley struggles to meet friends after transferring to a new high school where her father is an English teacher. When she meets Kyla, a fellow loner, they become close friends until Riley learns that Kyla is obsessed with her father. – IMDB

I had zero expectations when I started up this one. Frankly, this whole subgenre has me quite sad that there aren’t better films and My Teacher, My Obsession is no exception. It had a lot of bad dialogue and that really does make it hard to digest the whole thing better. Not to mention the execution is not too good either. Its hard to understand what movies, especially thrillers try to achieve in starting the film from a scene from the finale and then going back in time to meet up with there and then make the big reveal. There is no reveal when its already obvious from the start who is doing the obsessing and how it will get worse and worse. Not only that but the teacher in question is a rather well-built good-looking gentleman who happens to be the father of one of the girl characters that gets befriended by the girl who is attracted to the teacher and the daughter.

There’s just a lot of hard to understand decisions here. However, I am not one to only talk negatives so to wrap this up on a positive note, the cinematography was actually pretty good here and some of the scenes with Kyla, the girl obsessed was also done pretty well plus she did pretty good with the material she had to work with.

Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Murder on Orient Express

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Daisy Ridley, Leslie Odom Jr., Tom Bateman, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Penelope Cruz, Josh Gad, Johnny Depp, Derek Jacobi, Sergei Polunin, Lucy Boynton, Marwan Kenzari, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench

When a murder occurs on the train on which he’s travelling, celebrated detective Hercule Poirot is recruited to solve the case. – IMDB

Murder on the Orient Express is a great choice among (the few that I’ve read) the Agatha Christie books to adapt. Kenneth Branagh is a director and actor that I have alwayd rather appreciated. He can usually put together very competent pieces cinema and while we can all complain about all the adaptations being done nowadays, this one is really good. It has a stellar cast with some biggers stars like Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Josh Gad. Then Hercule Poirot is played by Kenneth Branagh who does capture the role so well.

Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mysteries (probably much like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes) has so much depth and big twists that make them almost perfect for adaptations. However, it has those moments of whether these stories are as thrilling for those who have read it and how it executes it for both connoisseurs and those who are new to this character. It was one of the few concerns I had before I started up this film to be honest. However, the characters each played together so well and the experienced cast brought of them to life in turn so did the mystery. It had great visual style and lovely cinematography. There’s a lot to love here. It set the tone right from the opening act right to the end. I honestly can’t wait for the next movie, Death on the Nile.

That’s it for this double feature!
Have you seen Murder on the Orient Express & My Teacher, My Obsession?

Winter Events I’m Looking Forward To!

I’m a little behind on this seasonal segment.  I wanted to set them for the first day of every season but excuses aside, its been kind of busy but its even better now because all the events are set and I can choose whichever ones I want. I might not make it to all the events but these are the select ones that have caught my eye and I will make an effort to go.

For autumn events, I only made it the MTL a Table event.  To be fair, I ended up going to check out Sherbrooke Met La Table and some Halloween haunted houses. That’s just what happens, right? Sometimes we just discover other things and spontaneous decisions happen. This is what makes life so fun 😉

Now, we’re here! Some notable winter events was the Christmas Market that we had and although everyone wanted to go, we didn’t end up going.  It could just be that there was no snow and no one particularly felt like Christmas was here.

But, we now have a little bit of snow on the ground.  The below zeros are here so winter sure feels like its here also.  What events are around, right? I feel totally out of the loop. Let’s get the research going! 🙂

Luminotherapy, Quartier des Spectacles
(Until January 31, 2016)

I go to Luminotherapy almost every year.  The concept in what they are trying to portray is very unique.  Sometimes, it does work better than others.  I don’t think I’ve actually been more in love than the very first one I went to called ICEBERG and it was about the movement of the iceberg and glaciers.  It was to send a message about global warming and the transformation of whats going up.  After the Alaska cruise, my appreciation for it was even bigger.  If you do want to check that post, you can see it HERE!

However, think about this year’s! Its literally a winter wonderland.  We get to play on seesaws in the middle of the night in downtown.  I think that is a pretty special moment.  To take nice pictures, I’d have to go with a friend or two so maybe I’ll just take some street shots of people if I go alone. The exhibit is ending soon so I’d better schedule in that time ASAP.

Happening Gourmand 2016

Happening Gourmand

We’ve been all about foodie events this past few months.  I really enjoy it and honestly, I’m absolutely into finding new restaurant to try and blog about.  Its a fun and eye-opening experience.  This restaurant line-up actually is pretty cool. My friends and I had gone to Verses Restaurant back in November for MTL a Table and I’ve been to Vieux-Port Steakhouse and Modavie before foodie adventures blogging phase.  If it was my choice, I’d want to try out Mechant Boeuf.  I’ve always wanted to try Suite 701 but they never have a menu that I can eat due to allergies. I’m not sure I’ll have time to do all this though.

Exhibit: Dinosaurs Unearthed 2, Montreal Science Centre
(Until March 20, 2016)

Dinosaurs Unearthed 2

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved dinosaurs.  Its probably why I have an immense love for (almost) all The Land Before Time including the sequels.  I’ve been actually eyeing this exhibit since I saw a pamphlet for it a little while ago.  It ends right at the beginning of Spring so it works great for this segment.  It does give me a little time to go check it out! I’ve missed a few really great exhibits in the year or two so I really hope I can make it to this one!

Exhibit: Investigating Agatha Christie, Pointe a Calliere Museum
(Until April 17, 2016)

Investigating agatha christie

I have a long ways away before finishing all of Agatha Christie’s novels.  I’ve really only scratched the surface but I love her novels.  Hercule Poirot is a fantastic detective character for one.  I really would like to see the history and inspiration behind all of her work.  This looks like a pretty cool exhibit.  Plus, I work exceptionally close to this museum so maybe I’ll go check it out soon and report back 😉

Montreal en Lumiere & Nuit Blanche
(February 27, 2016)

montreal en lumiere

I go to Montreal en Lumiere almost every other year.  It has a pretty significant meaning since it was on a Nuit Blanche outing that my husband and I started our relationship 8 years ago. Aside from that, this year the highlight city is Shenzhen. Nothing concrete has been released yet for Nuit Blanche but some of the highlight events for Montreal en Lumiere look pretty great.  I usually explore the art in the underground city and maybe they’ll have some foodie event that I can go check out 😉

Another intriguing event: Igloofest (for electronic music lovers to dance outside and enjoy the lovely winter)

Are there any fun events going around for the winter season (or summer depending where you are)?

January 2014 Reading Recap!

The first monthly update on my reading challenge! Its a switch up from my full-on reviews.

January was a good month, I’d say.  I’m right on track with my reading 🙂

1) The Rise of Nine (Lorien Legacies #3) by Pittacus Lore

Rise of Nine Pittacus Lore

(COMPLETED JAN.8)

If you haven’t happened to read this series and you like thrilling sci-fi books, well, let me ask you, “What are you waiting for? Go and get it!” I devoured this book (and the past two) within probably two-three days max.  These books are amazing.  I really wish that they could be made into decent sci-fi thrillers, at least a second attempt or something.  Its really a joy ride.  Its rare to have a third book in a series going so strong and still have me hooked.  There’s always some new discovery and because of the alien factor, there’s so much that the readers discover along with the characters as the plot develops, thickens and intensifies.  If you like young adult, sci-fi thrillers packed with lots of action, this is a series you shouldn’t miss and this is a worthy sequel.  I can’t wait to read the next book, The Fall of Five. 🙂

If you’d like to read my review of the previous few book, you can find it HERE.  I read the first book of the series before I started reviewing so I don’t have one written but they are all awesome! 🙂

2) The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie

the abc murders

(COMPLETED JAN. 16)

Its been a while that I’ve dived into the world of Agatha Christie.  I’ve been impressed by her mysteries.  The ABC Murders starts off quite slow but finally picks up the pace and the mystery gets increasingly engaging after about halfway.  The story itself is quite original and as always, there is an unexpected twist at the end.  Its something of a signature in her books.  The concept of playing with the alphabets and the aging Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings was actually fun to read.  However, I can’t help but think that the book could have flowed a bit better.  It was a good read but just takes time to get into.

3) Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

dark places

(COMPLETED JAN. 31)

There is no doubt in my mind that Gillian Flynn is an amazing thriller author. So far she’s 2 for 2.  Her latest novel Gone Girl was a slow-burning and batshit crazy investigation.  Its also THE MOST anticipated movie in 2014 for me.  Because of that book, I went back and bought her first two books also. Sharp Objects was a pretty crazy intense one. I welcome you to check out my reviews HERE and HERE for Gone Girl and Sharp Objects respectively.

Dark Places is her second novel. The beginning brings us into a girl now in her 30s, Libby Day, who is the survivor of her family, her mother and 2 sisters, that were murdered by her brother who is now in jail.  The story starts off pretty slow and Libby is one of those girls that I wouldn’t associate with because they dug their own hole and choose to live on and manipulate other people’s pity and sympathy and she’s pretty negative.  But, I get it, right? If I lost my family at such a young age, I’d have issues too, right? As the characters developed more with viewing each side of the story and jumping from past to present, the situation intensifies, we get to see what is happening from the viewponits of Ben Day (Libby’s brother and the suspected killer of his family) and Patty Day (Libby’s mother) on the day of the murder and then we alternate to the present with Libby Day and her investigation.  You know, I’m a sucker for character development and I think that I felt like I could see Libby change as the mystery deepens.  The only main issue I had was that I felt like it dragged the beginning too much but after reading the final third, I realized it was necessary because of the details. Its a good thriller.  My least favorite out of Gillian Flynn’s novels but the ending really is quite awesome.

Have you read these ones? What did you think of them?

What books did you read in January? Anything you’d recommend?

Christmas in Children’s Books!

Did I tell you that I’m a pack rat? Seriously, I have a hard time letting go of everything! I’m still working on throwing away my high school stuff and that was over 10 years ago. I mean, seriously, right? Some of my prized possessions are children’s storybooks.

I figured I’d dig them out and showcase them. Maybe it might be some nice gift ideas for the young ones in your family!

Christmas storybooks

My Christmas storybooks, except for one 😉

Granted I didn’t get them all during that year but some of them like The Night Before Christmas, Merry Christmas Mr. Carroll! and The Very Best Christmas Present 🙂

Let me introduce them a little starting from the top left corner with:

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER

I think this one is self-explanatory but here it goes:  its about Rudolph who has is a reindeer with a red nose and he gets made fun of by the other reindeer because he’s different but on a foggy night, Santa asks him to lead them so that they can finish up the Christmas gift delivery.

LOVE ME FOREVER

I love Robert Munsch.  He’s awesome at children’s storybooks.  Love Me Forever is a children’s must-have gift.  Its meaningful and touching.  This is actually the one book thats not Christmas related but it always ends up as a gift to children from their parents or other family members. Its also the one that I bought for myself a few years ago.

THE VERY BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT

My dad bought me this when I was around 8 years old during Christmas.  He liked it because it was about a man and a cat that became his companion despite not wanting the stray at first.  Its a really adorable story.

CHRISTMAS STORYBOOK

A book with Christmas short stories and poems

A GROUCH’S CHRISTMAS

Who doesn’t like Sesame Street? I love ’em all, the whole crew and honestly, Elmo may be cute and adorable in his red suit and giggly nature and of course, Cookie Monster but Grouch was always cool to me also.  This is a nice little story about the grouch who appreciated everyone.  Its pretty awesome! I flipped through it last night and its still fun 🙂

CHRISTMAS STORIES AND POEMS

A collection of short poems and stories related to Christmas for young children. I like this one a lot 🙂

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Christmas cookies! Thats so me! I should stick that on my fridge and then I’ll be motivated to bake 🙂 Although I have a few ideas for this weekend already and I’m pretty psyched about it!

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

The famous story The Night Before Christmas has so many renditions and versions from all the book publication companies.  My fave has to be this one by Golden Books.  Its illustrated using mice and its mega cute!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. CARROLL!

Do you love Alvin and the Chipmunks? I do! I watch the movie almost every Christmas, well, the new one at least.  This is nice because its about Alvin and how he’s really greedy and all about getting gifts instead of giving but he learns better with a little of his own version of Christmas Carol where three ghosts visit him and he sees the past, present and future 🙂

There you go! My  little Christmas book collection for children.  I also own two other books, one is for adolescents, A Midnight Clear and other stories, I think thats what its called and I have one by Agatha Christie which isn’t all that good but its a collection of poems and short stories related to Christmas and very much related to it in as a religious holiday. Maybe that will interest you 🙂 Of course, I also have How the Grinch Stole Christmas because I’m a huge Dr. Seuss fan.

What books do you read for Christmas? I haven’t found any novels that has peaked my interest yet. Any suggestions?

Agatha Christie vs. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This question has been been a huge debate for me during the last year.  Sure sounds like I have nothing better to do, but when you have been reading as long as I have, I’m guessing Classics turn into something of a debate (once in a while).

Agatha Christie or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

Last year through some coincidence, I came by the idea of reading several Agatha Christie’s novels featuring the investigations of Hercule Poirot.  Agatha Christie is considered the Queen of Mystery.  Have you read any of her books? I read And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, Hercule Poirot’s Christmas and Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case.  I still have a lot of reading to do because she doesn’t only create the character of Hercule Poirot but also the character of  Miss Marple which I have yet to explore.  Her stories are pretty amazing and a lot of times, it involves some sort of sudden unexpected twists in the end.  Hercule Poirot is a quiet Belgian man who has a quick mind and investigates a lot into details.  He has this ambiguous, vague way of showing his cases.  Its been a year since my last time I picked up one of her books.  And Then There Were None is the first book I read from Agatha Christie and I believe its also one of her most popular.  This one is an independent story and frankly, it may start a bit slow but it sets up this beautiful scenario so we know our characters and the flow of events are pretty awesome because it keeps you guessing all the way.  I’ll probably go back and write a better review eventually.  So Agatha Christie is definitely the Queen of Mystery to me and I’ve only read just a bit of her long list of novels.

On the other hand, the one who is more popular is our dear Sherlock Holmes.  Who created this character? The pioneer of mysteries himself, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  My first confession here is that I actually never finished  Hound of Baskerville. I’m currently reading The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes.  I will have a review on it when I’m done but so far, I’m about half way through the book.  I’ve read maybe about 5-6 short stories and I’m getting a jest of what his style is.  Maybe its because I’m older now so I appreciate his writing a lot more than when I first picked up Hound of Baskerville.  He has a pretty cool writing style.  Sherlock Holmes is all about the details in the case and that’s how he makes his deductions.  Its also the idea of the chemistry he has with Watson that makes the story interesting.  The stories are normally narrated by Watson’s point of view.

Point of this is that I’ve only recently dived into the world of both of these phenomenal mystery authors and I wonder what others think about them.  I subconsciously started to compare the two authors and wonder which one is more liked amongst other readers. As for me, I’m still undecided…and I’m guessing I should base my final preference after I’ve read other books.

So, Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes? Hercules Poirot or Sherlock Holmes?

Have you read novels from these authors?

If you have, what do you think about them? Do you prefer one over the other?

If you haven’t (and you are into reading fiction), what are you waiting for? Go and read them 🙂

Oh right, and if you have read them, suggest and recommend away! I love to expand my reading list.