Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

2016 Movie Faves & Stats


I watched 41 movies. That’s way down from 54 last year, probably due to our new 30 Day challenges.

I wrote 2 Book vs. Movie posts (The Blind Side, Still Alice), reviewed 1 of my 100 favorite movies (#29 Serendipity), tried to get a few movie features going but failed due to lack of time and effort, and continued my 5 word movie reviews asking for your participation. Please consider adding your thoughts to these reviews since they count towards money for charity, maybe even yours!

January was the month I saw the most movies with 7.

2016 was my most watched movie year with 13.

Sadly, Hope Floats (1998) was the oldest movie I watched.  I love old movies so I expect this to change next year.

Favorite animated movie – Mr. Peabody and Sherman, 2014

Cutest Couple – Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick Jr. in Hope Floats.

I usually list the movie I hated the most, but this year there were 2 movies I hated and they were BOTH Nicholas Sparks movies.  Message in a Bottle and the worst of the worst, The Best of Me.

I always list my most watched actress and this year it was a 5 way tie with 2 movies a piece-Rachel McAdams (Spotlight, Doctor Strange), Sandra Bullock (Minions, Hope Floats), Scarlett Johanssen (Chef, Captain America Civil War), Tilda Swinton (Trainwreck, Doctor Strange), Lake Bell (No Strings Attached, The Secret Life of Pets)

My most watched actor was a 3 way tie with 3 movies a piece – Tom Hardy (Mad Max Fury Road, Child 44, Revenant), Jeremey Renner (Captain America Civil War, The Arrival, Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters), Kevin Hart (Get Hard, Secret Life of Pets, Central Intelligence)

Every year I list my 5 favorite movies of the year, but this year I’m adding a category with just one movie in it. I can’t call it a favorite because it devastated me, but it was the best movie  I saw this year.

Best movie I saw this year

Manchester by the Sea.jpgManchester by the Sea, 2016.  See it.

My 5 faves of the year

1.Spotlight (film) poster.jpgSpotlight, 2015. Worthy Oscar winner.

2.The Big Short teaser poster.jpgThe Big Short, 2015. It’ll make you mad all over again.

3.Chef 2014.jpgChef, 2014. Foodies unite!

4.The Nice Guys poster.pngThe Nice Guys, 2016. It surprises me as much as it surprises you to find this here, but I loved these two and the 70’s vibe.

5.Captain Fantastic poster.jpgCaptain Fantastic, 2016.  Viggo rarely makes a movie that I don’t love.


So tell me, what was your favorite movie this year?

December 31, 2016 Posted by | lists, movies | 3 Comments

Absence, June’s Movies and July’s movie vote

Hi Guys! I’m feeling very out of touch in the blog world since I have run out of time and energy lately to post when and what I have in mind.  Gage got a new medical diagnosis a few months ago and I’m trying to figure it out.  Autism has a medical cause (most often more than one) and figuring it out is a very big, complicated puzzle. I’m a stubborn woman and in many ways it would be easier to say “autism, I’ll just treat that (the behaviors)” but some hero moms dig in their heels and step into the biomed world.  I’ve been trying to follow in their footsteps but it takes its toll on me. It’s stressful and honestly, oftentimes, too much to deal with on top of the autism behaviors themselves, especially in the summer when schedules are often fluid. I could go into great detail, but who needs that?  But, if you know of any moms who might need to talk to someone about autism, send them my way.  I’ve had so many moms step up and guide me to where I need to be and paying it forward makes me feel like I’m honoring them.

It was a slow month here.  Can you tell my movie choices were chosen by the boys in my life?  Please tell me if you saw anything worth seeing this month!

Another month and another chance to contribute money to charity.  Add your 5 words (or less!) to mine in a comment and earn $1 for charity.  Once we get to $100 the person with the most reviews will choose the charity.  Click here to see the past winners, the charities they chose and the other reviews you can add to.  Anyone is welcome to join in at any time.

We’re at $34.

I hope that you will take a few minutes to participate when you can each month.  It’s fun for me and for everyone else who reads it.  I’m not looking for a critical review, just a few words about how you felt about the movie.  This is ongoing so you can leave your 5 words anytime.

Mr Peabody & Sherman Poster.JPGMr. Peabody and Sherman, 2014 (Voices-Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter)    Grade A-/B+

Smart way to introduce kids to history.

CentralIntelligencePoster.jpgCentral Intelligence, 2016 (Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Amy Ryan, Danielle Nicolet)     Grade C+

Kevin Hart does Kevin Hart

Penguins of Madagascar poster.jpgPenguins of Madagascar, 2014 (Voices-Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Conrad Vernon, Benedict Cumberbatch,John Malkovich)   Grade C+

It had its moments.

We’re going to try the Watch-a-thon again. Last month was a big fail, so I’ll leave the voting up for a week and then we’ll try again. Vote for the one you’d most like to see.


The Legend of Tarzan



Star Trek Beyond

Bad Moms

Captain Fantastic

The Secret Life of Pets


July 1, 2016 Posted by | 5 Word Movie Reviews, movies | | 12 Comments

June Movie Watch-a-thon Choices

Okay, movie peeps, let’s vote on something we’d all like to watch in the theaters in June.  I’ll post my thoughts at the beginning of the month with some discussion questions. When you write your post I’ll figure out how to use Mr. Linky (seriously, someone may have to walk me through that) so we can share. I have a few ideas on how to keep the conversation going that I’ll address in that first post, but for now we need to vote on a movie.

I hope that you’ll vote for the movie that you are most likely to watch and write a post on, but I understand that life happens and I don’t want there to be (too much) pressure.  For this first month, let’s keep it bookish.  Next month I’ll have new and old movie options 🙂

Me Before You (based on bestselling book by Jojo Moyes)

Me Before You PosterYoung and quirky Louisa “Lou” Clark (Emilia Clarke) moves from one job to the next to help her family make ends meet. Her cheerful attitude is put to the test when she becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin), a wealthy young banker left paralyzed from an accident two years earlier. Will’s cynical outlook starts to change when Louisa shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither one could have imagined.

Cast: Emilia Clarke,Sam Claflin,Janet McTeer,Charles Dance,Matthew Lewis,Stephen Peacocke,Jenna Coleman,Brendan Coyle


Genius PosterRenowned editor Maxwell Perkins (Colin Firth) develops a friendship with author Thomas Wolfe (Jude Law) while working on the writer’s manuscripts.

Cast: Colin Firth,Jude Law,Nicole Kidman,Laura Linney,Guy Pearce,Dominic West,Vanessa Kirby,

Septembers of Shiraz (based on a novel by Dalia Sofer)

Septembers of Shiraz PosterAfter creating a prosperous life in Iran, a Jewish family may be forced to abandon everything as a revolution looms on the horizon.

Cast: Adrien Brody,Salma Hayek-Pinault,Shohreh Aghdashloo,Ariana Molkara,Alon Aboutboul,Anthony Azizi,Navid Navid,Armin Amiri



May 25, 2016 Posted by | movies | | 6 Comments

2015 Movies Faves and Stats


I watched 54 movies, that’s down 12 from last year!!!

I wrote 2 Book vs. Movie posts (The Fault in Our Stars and The Hound of the Baskervilles), wrote a few Friday film talks and continued my 5 word movie reviews asking for your participation. Please consider adding your thoughts to these reviews since they count towards money for charity, maybe even yours!

2015 was my most watched movie year with 15, followed closely by 2014 with 13.

The oldest movie I watched was The Hound of the Baskervilles, 1939

Favorite animated film was Cars, 2006

Best sequel was Creed, 2015

Cutest couple- Hazel and Augustus in The Fault in Our Stars

Favorite movie poster-Mockingjay Part 2 Poster.jpg

Hated-Snowpiercer. Violent and pointless.  I hear they are going to make a tv show based on it.  One I will not be watching 🙂

Most watched actor-supporting actor Vincent D’Onofrio with 4 movies (Run All Night, The Judge, Jurassic World, Escape Plan)

Most watched actress-Julianne Moore with 3 movies (Still Alice, Non-Stop, Hunger Games:Mockingjay, part 2)

My 5 favorite movies this year

1.Begin Again film poster 2014.jpgBegin Again. This was everything a great indie should be. Charming and romantic with a kick-ass soundtrack. Jason and I actually used an idea from this movie for our wedding anniversary this year.

2.PK Theatrical Poster.jpgpk. Jason and I are not familiar with Bollywood movies but this one was playing at our local theater and we decided to check it out.  It is so goofy and bizarre that it charmed us from beginning to end. It was also a packed theater and I hope to see more as our theater plays them.

3.Spy2015 TeaserPoster.jpgSpy. I loved Melissa McCarthy’s lead comedic role.  She was hilariously supported by the rest of the cast and I laughed.  And then I laughed some more.

4. The Imitation Game poster.jpgImitation Game. A great historical film about mathematicians trying to break the Germans enigma code.  Yes, I wasn’t too excited about the premise but the movie was very well done.

5. Selma poster.jpgSelma. I liked this movie about MLK Jr.’s fight for equality.  Not afraid to show him at his weakest or most calculating, I was fascinated by this portrayal of a man who fought for justice.

So what was your favorite movie this year?


December 30, 2015 Posted by | movies | | 13 Comments

Film disappointments – Sandra Bullock

I love Sandra Bullock and have ever since I saw her in Speed and While You Were Sleeping.  No matter what the film, she was always likeable and fun to watch.  In addition to those first few I’ve loved her in The Proposal, The Heat, 28 Days, The Lake House, Crash, Miss Congeniality, Murder by the Numbers…you get the idea.  I even liked her in the bomb Forces of Nature!  I think, in all, I’ve seen her in 24 movies.

So, I brought All About Steve, co-starring Bradley Cooper, home from  the library.  I know it was panned by the critics when it came out but I figured Sandra could really pull off anything, especially if it was supposed to make me laugh.  I was wrong.  She was so completely miscast in this disjointed 2009 movie.  She was very strange and that’s okay because I’ve always considered normal pretty boring, but not strange in much of a real way.  Also, I know she looks young, but I’m not sure what age she was supposed to be pulling off.  It was very disappointing, even with the overriding message of it’s okay to be different.

Has one of your favorite actors or actresses let you down lately?


August 7, 2015 Posted by | movies | | 9 Comments

Book vs. Movie – Gone Girl

This is semi-regular feature where we can talk about which was better, the book or the movie.  I read the book in January 2013 (post here) and watched the movie last Friday, the day it came out.  Let’s break down how they compare.

*This is as spoiler free as possible!!!

The Story/Plot  Nick and Amy meet in New York and fall in love.  When the money gets tight and Nick’s mom gets sick they move to Missouri.  One or both of them turns into a sociopath and the paparazzi cameras are rolling.  I think both the movie and book do an excellent job of telling the story of this couple and the crumbling facade of their marriage.     Thumbs Up-Tie

The Visual  The book is dark and the movie was also dark, really at times it felt like the X-Files and you needed a flashlight.  I don’t really feel that the movie added anything visually to the book.  There’s no real reason to see it on the big screen unless you just can’t wait to spent more time with Nick and Amy.  To me, the descriptions in the book were just as effective in creating a visual image.     Thumbs Up-Tie

Characters vs. Actors   I think Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike became Nick and Amy.  Excellent choices and great acting (at least I hope it was acting!).  I love Neil Patrick Harris but he was not exactly who I pictured as Desi.  Margo, Nick’s sister was played by a new actress to me, Carrie Coon and I thought she did a great job.  I know people are complaining about a character missing, but I really wasn’t bothered by the minor exclusion.   Thumbs Up-Tie

The Ending  Up until this point I think both book and movie were on equal footing.  In the book, the ending packed a punch for me.  I was upset.  In the movie, the ‘ending’ went on so long with so many scene cuts that I just wanted it to figure out what it wanted to say and to do it.  For me, it was a weak. It did change just enough to make the ending different while still being the same in spirit. If that makes any sense.     Thumbs Up-Book

And the winner is…the Book!

Now it’s your turn to vote

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)

October 9, 2014 Posted by | Books vs. Movie, movies | , | 18 Comments

Book vs. Movie – One Shot/Jack Reacher

I am a Jack Reacher fan. I’ve just finished the 9th book in this long-running series and it happens to be the one on which they based the Jack Reacher movie.  I didn’t hate the movie like many did and I thought the book was good.  So how do the 2007 book and the 2012 movie compare?  Let’s take a look.

The Story/Plot    The story is sort of the same, a mass murderer who was easy to catch but proclaimed his innocence is facing a sure conviction.  Enter Jack Reacher, ex-military police, who comes to prove the murderer’s guilt only to change his mind.  Except for a few second-tier characters essentially missing from the movie and a switcheroo at the end, the stories are close.   Unfortunately, those secondary characters helped make the book better.  Thumbs Up- Book

The Visual  This category is usually, at best, a tie. I mean the movie is almost always better since that’s what its purpose it, but in this case it’s not so easy.  Like many things in the movie, the sets were…underwhelming?  This is not a story based on a location (other than it being quintessential midwest) but it is based on action and they could have done so much more.  Since I listened to the audio of the book I was able to better visualize the scene (Sometimes when I’m reading a fast paced thriller I don’t take the time. Is that wrong?) and it was superior to what came across on-screen.  It can be different, but a movie should be able to win this one.  It didn’t.  And I’m not even talking about Tom Cruise trying to portray a 6’5″, 220-250 lbs., 3XLT coat wearing menace.  I’ll get to that next.    Thumbs Up- Book

Characters vs. Actors  Ok, let’s start with the obvious.   Sure, Tom Cruise plays Jack Reacher but saying he is Reacher is a stretch.  Lee Child’s Reacher is supposed to be a menacing man who intimidates by size and attitude.  It’s a total package.  Yes, Cruise can command a room with his presence and he did an okay job with the attitude, but the whole package was missing something.  I am not slamming Cruise. I actually thought he did an okay job, but then again my expectations were low.  I didn’t like Rosamund Pike as the doe-eyed lawyer, but maybe it’s because they had to add the romantic element that wasn’t there in the book.  It felt forced.  I missed a few of the characters from the book, news anchor Ann  Yanni, private investigator Franklin and ex-lover Eileen Hutton, all added much needed depth to the story.  The movie was so focused on Reacher and Helen that it ignored the parts of the story that made it more believable.   Thumbs Up- Book

The Ending  The endings were a little different, not dramatic enough hate either one, but enough to notice.  This is when the extra characters in the  book made the end make more sense.  And the hostage used to lure Reacher in to the final shoot out was different and so much less melodramatic when Lee Child wrote it.  The movie felt expected, like I’d seen it on-screen before, so it wasn’t bad, just boring.  Thumbs Up- Book

And the winner is…The Book!!

Now it’s your turn to vote!

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on (Ender’s Game) (Carrie -the original) (The Secret Life of Bees) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Shining)

March 21, 2014 Posted by | movies | 22 Comments

Filmish Friday- Austen films

I love the romance and time period of Jane Austen’s novels.  I have 2 left to read (Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park) and am looking forward to finding time for both.  I think Austen has translated extremely well to screen and have enjoyed all of movies I’ve seen, even some of the ‘Austen-inspired’.

I’m curious to see what your favorite is, so I’ve created a little poll and we’ll see if we have a clear winner.  We can always run a tie-breaker if we need to.  If your favorite isn’t included, leave me a comment and I’ll add it.  I didn’t include any mini-series, sorry BBC.


March 14, 2014 Posted by | movies | 11 Comments

We have a WINNER and a charity $100 richer!

Three years ago I started writing my 5 word movie reviews and asking for your input too, tying it to raising money for charity.  I love seeing what you all come up with.  The more participants the more fun!

We hit 100 reviews at 12:15-ish on January 1st and we have a repeat winner!  Heather (Gofita’s Pages) topped the reviews this year with 28!  Way to go Heather 🙂 And thanks to the other 16 of you who added your two cents (and $1 for charity).  So where is the money going?  Let’s hear from Heather…

  • Make a difference close to home. Join your local AFSP chapter.

My charity this year is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

I lost my brother to suicide this year and love that there are people and organizations out there who offer support for those affected by suicide and those in crisis, as well as destigmatizing mental illness in general.
I don’t know how many of you know Heather, but if you don’t you are missing out.  When she lost her brother and a good friend weeks apart her post on them both touched me and I think it will you too if you have a few minutes to read it (Life and Death). As we start a new year (even if you are practically snowed in like we are) remember to give more hugs, laugh a little bit more and enjoy life. And if you know of someone who might benefit from this charity I hope you will pass it along to them.  I am honored that I can help in some way – even if it’s only by donating $100 (money is never enough) in Heather’s brother’s name, Blaine.

January 3, 2014 Posted by | 5 Word Movie Reviews, movies | , | 9 Comments

2013 Book and Movie Favorites and Stats


I read 56 books this year (that’s one more than last year!)  Here they are by the numbers-

Fiction 42, Non-fiction 14

Female authors 35, Male authors 21

Series books- continuing series 6, new series 4 (I only plan to continue one, the Louise Penny series)

Oldest book read? Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit published in 1975

Most read author? Harlan Coben with 3

My 5 favorite books this year

The Winter SeaThe Winter Sea was a romantic delight from beginning to end. I can’t wait to read more!

The Husband's SecretThe Husband’s Secret had an excellent cast of characters with strong storylines that all came together in a powerful conclusion.

A Gracious Plenty: A NovelA Gracious Plenty had a gritty main character and a cemetery full of dead people and somehow  managed to be beautiful.

The Uncommon Reader: A NovellaThe Uncommon Reader was a light escape with the Queen and her books. Hard to resist.

The Girl You Left BehindThe Girl You Left Behind was a surprise to me because I rarely read wartime books and I found this one addicting.  I want more.


I watched 62 new to me movies this year (that’s up 13 from last year).  I wrote about 3 of my favorite 100 movies (#7 There’s Something About Mary, #46 Chocolat, #62 Yankee Doodle Dandy) and did one Book vs. Movie post (Ender’s Game – still time to vote in the the poll), wrote a few Friday film talks and continued my 5 word movie reviews asking for your participation and help for charity.

2013 was my most watched movie year with 18.

The oldest movie I watched was A Touch of Evil, 1958

Most watched actress- Sandra Bullock with 3 films (Gravity, The Heat, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close)

Most watched actor was a 3 way tie with 3 movies each- Woody Harrelson (Catching Fire, Now You See Me, Game Change)

Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike, The Wolf of Wall Street, Boys on the Side)

 Ben Kingsley (Ender’s Game, Searching for Bobby Fisher, Iron Man 3)

My 5 favorite movies this year-

Catching-Fire poster.jpgThe Hunger Games:Catching Fire – I love Katniss even though I’ve never read the books (for shame!)  A

Prisoners2013Poster.jpgPrisoners – A gritty thriller that makes you think.  A

Argo – Another thriller, but this one political and psuedo-true!    A-

Stingredfordnewman.jpgThe Sting – There was not a boring minute in this con film with two handsome legends.     A-

42 film poster.jpg42 – An overlooked baseball movie that hit all the right bases.       A-

December 31, 2013 Posted by | Bookish Stuff, lists, movies | , | 46 Comments