Wonder Movie: Yup, It’s Wonderful

November 19th, 2017 by

wonder-movie-posterOkay, I’m going to keep this short because lately Kidsmomo has been all Wonder, all of the time. First, I posted the movie trailer. Then, I posted some clips. Now, it’s time for the verdict:

This movie is great — dare I say, even wonderful! Although Auggie’s physical appearance in the movie is not nearly as pronounced as described in the book, that really doesn’t matter. That was a big concern of mine beforehand, but as you watch the movie you still see the reactions of everyone around him and you still experience his pain at feeling like an outsider.

But even more than that, the movie does a really good job at showing how the people in Auggie’s world are affected, especially his parents and his older sister (Via). Even though she has chapters dedicated to her in the book, via-photoI didn’t expect Via’s storyline to be so prominent in the film, and I’m really glad that we get so much time to see things from her perspective.

Usually, Kidsmomo gives out smiley faces to the movies that we like. In this case, I think Wonder deserves both a smiley face and a sobbing face — because boy did I cry a bunch during this movie. Thank goodness I planned ahead and brought tissues!

So I give Wonder a 🙂 and a 😭 — but what about you? If you’ve seen the movie, leave a comment with your thoughts!

— Karen

Now that she’s seen Wonder, Karen is looking ahead to the movie adaptations of Wonderstruck and A Wrinkle in Time. They look sooooooo good! 😍

More about Karen »

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Review & Easter Eggs

November 20th, 2016 by

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them

It’s finally time, you guys… As author/goddess J.K. Rowling recently said, now is “the dawn of the Age of Hufflepuff“!!!!! Could there be any better news than that?!

Well, if you’re not a die-hard Badger like Karen, maybe you don’t care quite as much about that and you’re just excited about a new story from the Harry Potter universe. Fair enough. Either way, with the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, this is a good weekend to be a Potterhead!

Like any other obsessed fans, we got tickets to see the film on opening night, November 18th. Here’s our review:

Nancy: I liked the movie, mostly because we were back in the Wizarding World! The movie was a good set-up for this pre-Harry Potter-era, and I’m very excited to see what happens in the next four movies.

Karen: I agree; being back in the Harry Potter world was definitely the best part for me. In fact, if I weren’t already a Harry Potter fan, I probably would not have enjoyed this movie. I don’t think it really stands on its own. Then again, as you say, it’s the first in a series of five films, so maybe that’s okay!

Nancy: My favorite scenes were the ones with the Niffler creature and a very powerful wizard we’ve never met before, Percival Graves. Also, there’s a scene where a strudel pastry is made magically. Yum!

Karen: YES! I wish I could cook and bake with a wand! But I also really enjoyed seeing all the pastries made the old-fashioned way by Jacob Kowalski, the American No-Maj who gets mixed up in wizarding business. Actually, I think he was my favorite character.

We can’t get into really reviewing the movie for Potterheards without getting into the magical details, so get ready for SERIOUS SPOILERS AHEAD. Don’t read on if you haven’t seen the movie!
spoiler-alert

7 Things Harry Potter Fans Would Recognize

(a.k.a. Things We Noticed, Looked Over to Our Friends, Pointed at the Screen, Smiled Excitedly, and Nodded Knowingly At)

Nifflers and Bowtruckles

First introduced in Goblet of Fire, Nifflers are furry, dark-haired creatures who like to find treasure (and according to this movie, hoard quite a bit of it magically in their bodies!). The Niffler in FBAWTFT is quite a sassy scene-stealer, and like Ron Weasley, we would all like to have one as a pet.

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Niffler: Best. Character. Ever.

Bowtruckles are small, twig-like creatures that guard wand-wood trees. They first appear in Order of the Phoenix, in Professor Grubbly-Planks’ Care of Magical Creatures class. Like most class subjects, with the exception of Defense of the Dark Arts, Harry Potter has trouble with Bowtruckles in school. Newt Scamander’s favorite Bowtruckle, named “Pickett,” plays a key role in FBAWTFT.

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“Call me Groot one more time and I’ll bite you!”

Newt is a Hufflepuff

It’s been long established that Newt is a Hufflepuff, but it was nice to see his house subtly represented with his scarf in his suitcase.

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Karen heading back to Hogwarts and Hufflepuff House a few years back. Maybe she’ll see Newt at a reunion some day!

Albus Dumbledore

When Percival Graves interrogates Newt, he name-drops Professor Dumbledore, but as we come to realize in one of the last scenes in FBAWTFT, Graves knows a lot more about Dumbledore than he lets on… Rumor has it that a young Dumbledore will be appearing in the next movie!

The Deathly Hallows

When Graves gives a necklace to Credence, it’s very clearly the symbol of the Deathly Hallows, which represents the Resurrection Stone, the Invisibility Cloak, and the Elder Wand — all things Voldemort and Gellert Grindelwald were seeking.

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Left: Credence; Right: Percival Graves (with the Deathly Hallows hanging in the back!)

Quidditch

At the beginning of the movie, newspaper headlines bring the audience up to speed on what’s going on in the Wizarding World. At one point, we see the headline, “Soccer: Quidditch for No-Majs?”, so it looks like Quidditch is just as popular in North America as it is in Europe.

In addition, the helmet and protective gear that Newt gives Jacob to protect his skull and body looks a bit like an early version of Ron’s Keeper uniform. Newt also answers, “I’m more of a chaser, really,” when asked if he is a seeker of truth. Could Quidditch play a role in some of the later films? We’ll see!

Leta Lestrange

Newt’s Hogwarts school chum was Leta Lestrange, whom we’ll see in the sequels. She’s from the family that Bellatrix Lestrange (boo! hiss!) married into.

bellatrix-lestrange-worst

Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein (and future Mrs. Scamander)

Even though the romance between Newt and Tina has just begun in FBAWTFT, we’re pretty sure they’re eventually going to live happily ever after! As we already know from Pottermore, their marriage eventually leads to their grandson Rolf Scamander, also a magizoologist, who marries Luna Lovegood.

Did we miss any other connections between FBAWTFT and the original Harry Potter books? Leave a comment and share! And also tell us: What did you think of the movie? What do you think will happen in the sequels?

icon_nancyNancy can’t decide if it’s worth saying “Fuh-Baw-Tuft” (FBAWTFT) or just say the full title as is. “Fuhbawtuft” does potentially sound like a magical spell…

 

icon_karenKaren was disappointed there wasn’t more Hufflepuff stuff in the movie. Hopefully her house will get their due in future films!

Home: Movie Review

March 28th, 2015 by

home-logoIn the new movie Home, we learn that if there is less than a 50% chance of success, an alien Boov will run away from the situation. On the other hand, we think there is more than a 50% chance you’ll enjoy this film, so you should run to the theater right now!

running_man_by_sariasong64

the-true-meaning-of-smekday-book-reviewOkay, maybe not right this very second because you should check out the original book first: The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex.

Both the book and the movie are about a girl and an alien making an epic journey to overcome the Boovs, who have taken over Earth. The girl is Gratuity Tucci, who is intent on finding her mother. The alien is named J.Lo in the book and named Oh in the movie.

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Oh is intent on hiding out from his fellow Boovs after he makes a colossal mistake that reveals Earth’s location to another alien race set on total destruction.

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As huge fans of the book, we were really excited to see the movie. Then we got to the theater and it was sold out!

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Luckily, we were able to catch a later showing, and the wait was worth it!

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We were totally delighted by the funny and moving movie.

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There are a lot of differences from the book, but we weren’t super mad about them because the film worked as its own story.

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Nancy’s favorite part was how the Boov change colors depending on their emotions. She enjoyed figuring out which colors matched which feelings.

amazed-catKaren’s favorite part were all the visuals involving Boov bubbles floating and flying through the air. She especially loved the aerial view of the city immediately following the Boov invasion because it looked a lot like the book cover!

cat-look-left-rightOur only major complaint: We wanted to see more of Pig the cat! (That’s a cat named Pig, in case you are confused.)

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Isn’t he adorable???

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But enough about felines named after other creatures — back to the movie review! As you can guess, we give this movie two smiley faces.

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We both laughed a ton, and Karen even cried! (Although yes, she cries at a lot of movies. But rarely during bad ones! But sometimes during bad ones. But this is not a bad one!)

And don’t forget that the book’s sequel, Smek for President, just came out last month! So be sure to check that out after you see this movie!

smek-for-president

As always, we can’t take credit for making any of these images — all taken from the Interwebs!

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2: Movie Review

October 1st, 2013 by

Do you love food? Do you love puns? Do you love stories inspired by children’s books? Did you just do this in response to the previous questions?

cloudy_flint_raises-hand

If you answered YES to these three questions, then guess what — you would be best friends with us here at Kidsmomo! Also, then you’ll probably enjoy Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, the new movie in theaters now.

It’s been almost four years since the first movie, based on the original book written by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett. We looooooooooooved that movie (check out our enthusiastic review — with visuals!). So, we were overjoyed to hear about the sequel! We couldn’t wait for our eyes to go like this at the theater:

cloudy-amazed-eyes-wide

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 doesn’t follow the plot of the book at all, but that’s okay because, hello, giant food? AWESOME. Also food animals — like flamangos, tacodiles, hippotatomus, and shrimpanzees! (!!!!!!!!!!)

We liked the first movie better, but as you can tell, we still enjoyed the new one. If you’re not sure whether to see it, try the original first!

And be sure to eat beforehand, because otherwise, all the visuals are sure to make you hungry!

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Of course, if you’ve already seen either movie, then we want to hear YOUR review! Tell us your opinion in the comments and get typing like Flint Lockwood:

cloudy_flint_typing

 

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters – Movie Review

August 8th, 2013 by

Oh my gods, could it be true? Is the second Percy Jackson movie finally out? Yes, three years after the first film, the newest movie, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, officially hit theaters yesterday!

But is it worth spending your hard-earned drachmas to see the film? You don’t need the Oracle of Delphi to tell you the answer, just check out our review below — told in animated images because this is a moving pictures review, after all! (Hardy har har.)

First things first — this post contains SPOILERS about the movie and book, so beware!

spoiler-alert

And now back to the review: We were pretty excited about the movie, since it has been three years. So when we sat down in our seats, we were like:

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Karen is the tall one, and Nancy is the one with the giant head.

 

Did you like the movie overall?

KAREN: I have to admit, I didn’t like it as much as the first movie, but I think that’s because it’s been so much longer since I’ve read the books. Before seeing the film, I was actually furiously studying up to refresh my memory, and then afterwards I was all like:

studying

KAREN: But overall, I enjoyed the movie — especially the view of Logan Lerman’s face!

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NANCY: Yes, indeedy. We both agree that Logan Lerman’s face, if you’re a fan of that sort of thing, is a good reason to see the movie. But beyond his cute face, I actually liked this movie more than the first one — maybe it’s just because my expectations were lowered after that first movie, but I found Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters plenty enjoyable! 

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How did you feel about any differences from the original book?

tyson-two-eyesKAREN: Nancy can tell you, before the movie I was positively foaming at the mouth in rage over Tyson’s appearance. Tyson is one of my favorite characters in the series, and I always pictured him as a big, lovable, one-eyed dude.

Based on trailers and photos, I saw lots of Tyson looking like a normal two-eyed person instead of a Cyclops, and I was NOT happy with the movie people…

fools

But it turns out, Tyson’s feelings about his face and his choice to sometimes be two-eyed are part of the movie’s message. So then I was all:

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NANCY: Tyson’s eyes didn’t so much bother me, but I did expect him to be bigger! But my biggest beef with the movie was that they cut out a whole section that I thought could have been great: When Annabeth asks Percy to tie her to the mast of the Blackbeard’s ship so she can hear the Siren’s song (and see her greatest desires). I didn’t mind that there was no Blackbeard, but I thought that was really important to know how Annabeth still has hope for Luke!

What was your favorite part of the movie?

KAREN: Besides Logan Lerman?

romantic-percy

NANCY: It is pretty tough to beat that adorable face:

logan-lerman-sea-of-monsters

KAREN:  I loved the scenes at Camp Half-Blood, especially the opening sequence with the camp competition. Seeing all the demigods in their element and feeling like I was there, I was all like:

oh-yes-so-happy

NANCY: Me too! The first scene with the camp challenge was great. Usually I’m not a huge fan of 3D, but I also thought the action scene with the bull was pretty kick-butt — especially when Percy figures out how to defeat it! For once, I was like this:

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NANCY: I also thought the animated sequence where show the legend of Kronos was pretty awesome. Remember the animated telling of The Tale of the Three Brothers in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2?

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It was just as cool as that!

What was your least favorite part of the movie?

KAREN: Weirdly, I felt like sometimes Percy and Annabeth weren’t acting with enough urgency on their quest. Like, hello, the lives of all your friends and the entire future of Camp Half-Blood depends on you guys!

start-panicking

Also, I felt like Annabeth didn’t get to show off her awesome smarts and abilities enough. I mean, check her out in the first movie:

annabeth-rocks

NANCY: Well, this is kind of minor, but there’s a part in the movie where Percy busts out his awesome son of Poseidon powers, like when he did this in the first movie:

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NANCY: Well, in Sea of Monsters, there’s a scene where Luke is also able to surf on water! Uh, c’mon. Luke is the son of Hermes (who was awesome in the movie, BTW), and last I checked, the children of Hermes do not have the power of controlling water.

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Okay, I know why they did it. It was a cool scene. But still. C’mon.

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Face you give the movie:

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Click to see our awesome shirts

KAREN: I give this movie a smiley face, but kind of a small smile instead of a big grin. If you’re not already a Percy Jackson fan, this probably isn’t the right movie for you, but if you like the books, you’ll enjoy seeing Sea of Monsters come to life on the screen.

NANCY: I’ve decided to give this one a solid big smile! It wasn’t perfect, but like Karen said, you’ll definitely enjoy most of the movie if you like the books. And if you haven’t read the books yet, you should, because reading the Percy Jackson series is like this:

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We attended an advance screening of the movie as guests of Disney Publishing.
We can’t take credit for making any of these images — all taken from the Interwebs!

ParaNorman Movie Review

September 1st, 2012 by

The new movie ParaNorman is full of creatures with no pulse, but it’s guaranteed YOUR pulse will quicken as you watch all the fast and funny zombie action in this flick!

We give it two thumbs up — watch our video for our commentary on the trailer and read on for our thoughts on the film and the book! (Warning: we tried to pack in as many spooky puns and references as possible, so be prepared to groan…)

Storyline
Karen says:I’m a huge scaredy cat, so I deliberately read as little as I could about the story before going to see it. I knew that if I thought about it too much, I’d start to get irrationally afraid of the zombies and my anxiety would overpower my BRAAAAAIIIIIIN and I’d chicken out of watching the movie. So I was really happy that it turned out to be not too freaky. Actually, I thought it was pretty sweet and heart-warming for a movie about the undead!

Nancy says: Unlike Karen, I did read the book (by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel) before watching the movie — and it was awesome! There are barely any differences in storyline between the book and movie, and I thought the WICKED twist with the witch was really clever.

Spooky Reference Running Tally: 2

Characters
Karen says: I immediately liked Norman — but then again, you’d have to be a CORPSE not to like him! I also loved his new friend, Neil. But the rest of the characters seemed a little stereotypical — almost like GHOSTS of truly unique people. I especially would have liked Norman’s dad to have more depth because his character was as shallow as a SHALLOW GRAVE. But still, this didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment of the movie.

Nancy says: So what you’re saying, Karen, is that you would have liked to see Norman’s dad more FLESHED out? Heeheehee! In the book, Salma is a lot more involved and funnier, so I missed her. She was the BRAAAAIINNNSS of the operation. I liked how Norman eventually came around to being Neil’s friend; in the book you find out why he’s so shy and introverted, so when Norman gets the GUTS to come out of his shell in the movie, I had that in the back of my mind. I mean, BRAAAAIIINNN.

Spooky Reference Running Tally: 9

Visuals
Karen says: I absolutely loooooooved the way this movie looked — and we didn’t even see it in 3D! Actually, I feel like the visuals are so good, the 3D is probably unnecessary. Of course, I can’t say that for sure — I’d have to pick the BRAAAAAAAIIIIIIINS of people who did see it in 3D — but I thought all the detail and richness of the visuals were great in 2D! Also, I don’t know about anyone else, but I kept staring at Norman’s eyebrows. Is that weird? Probably…

Nancy says: At first, I was kind of GROSSED OUT by the way some of the people look in the movie — especially Norman’s mom and sister, who have teeny-tiny waists and giant butts and heads. But in the end I thought, hey — I’m probably supposed to be grossed out. I also thought the climatic scene with Norman and the accused witch was beautiful — no spoilers here, but let’s just say… it was ELECTRIFYING!

Spooky Reference Running Tally: 12

Favorite part
Karen says: This was a huge surprise to me, given that I normally am DEATHLY afraid of the idea of the living dead, but the zombies were my favorite part of the movie! I thought all their mannerisms were really funny, and it especially SLAYED ME up when one of them ended up riding in a car with Norman!

Nancy says: I already mentioned how much I loved the scene with Norman and the witch, so I’ll go with… every funny part of the movie! Seriously, the movie made my RIBCAGE rattle from giggling so much. Even though the hockey-mask scene is in the other ParaNorman trailer, it’s still a HOOT in the movie.

Spooky Reference Running Tally: 16

Overall impressions
Karen says: I would definitely recommend this movie. It’s got everything you could ask for: an unlikely hero, an action-packed story, awesome stop-motion visuals, lots of humor, and lots of heart. Definitely not one of those dumb movies made by people who expect kids to just enjoy anything; the people behind this film definitely used their BRAAAAAAAIIIIIIIINS to make something really cool! So I give it a thumbs up for sure!

Nancy says: I would also recommend this movie, and the book by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. I think it’d be enjoyable to read the book first or in the AFTERLIFE of the movie.

Have you seen the new movie ParaNorman? Leave a comment with YOUR review! Did you love it? Did you hate it? Did you freak out when the zombies appeared and wail like a baby who’s diaper needs to be changed? We wanna know!

Total No. of Spooky References: 18

Kidsmomo at The Hunger Games Movie

March 24th, 2012 by

Yesterday morning, we got up really early (okay, really early for Nancy) to watch this year’s first blockbuster, which just happens to be adapted from an awesome book (the best movies always are): The Hunger Games.

Mockingjay temporary tattoos!

First and foremost: the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins and the new movie are meant for kids ages 12 and up. After all, the story IS pretty violent and disturbing… Okay, it’s REALLY violent and disturbing…

But if you happen to have already read the book, then you’re probably headed to the movie theater this weekend — and you’re in for an intense 142 minutes!

Since we are waaaaaaaaay over 12, that’s what we did Friday morning before breakfast! (Yes, that’s right. Before breakfast. And you know how important food is to us!) We don’t want to spill the spoiler beans here, so we’ll just say this: the movie made us cry, gasp in shock, wince at gruesome parts (again — there’s a reason it’s rated PG-13), and even jump in our seats.

After the movie, we stopped by the Scholastic Store in New York City to hang out with Katniss Everdeen (cardboard edition). Note: We did not Photoshop Katniss into this picture. She was really there (kinda). Another note: Karen works at Scholastic, which is the company that publishes the Hunger Games trilogy. But she didn’t work on the books, unfortunately.

"Hey, Katniss, will you introduce us to Peeta and Gale?" ... "No."

As you can see, we wore our mockingjay pins just like Katniss, and Karen dressed in her “Girl on Fire” outfit. Thank goodness she decided not to incorporate actual flames.

If you’re not sure about whether the book or movie are right for you, then you can always check out the some of these book reviews of The Hunger Games, submitted by kids like you!

(Btw, if you’re planning to see the movie but haven’t read the books yet, we highly recommend that you read at least the first one before you see the film.)

If you decide that The Hunger Games is not for you, check back with Kidsmomo on Tuesday: Karen will recommend another awesome series by Suzanne Collins.

And if you did watch the movie, let us know what you thought in the comments below!

May the odds be ever in your favor,

— Karen (District 8, textiles) and Nancy (District 3, electronics)

The Lorax Movie Review

March 8th, 2012 by

the-lorax-by-dr-seussWe saw The Lorax on opening night.
Was it a beauty or was it a fright?
Watch the video if you want to see
A movie review from Karen and Nancy!

Hey, give us a break, we know we can’t compare to Dr. Seuss! But really, who can?

The REAL question here is whether you should see the Lorax movie. Watch our movie review video to find out:

(PS – If you’re on the go — or busy protecting the trees from greedy, axe-wielding men — don’t worry, you can still listen to our review. Just download the audio.)

Have you seen the new Lorax movie? Leave a comment with YOUR review! How do you think it compared to the book?

The Secret World of Arrietty Movie Review

February 23rd, 2012 by

Imagine a film about tiny people living in the walls of your house, sneaking into your room at night, taking little items while you sleep. Is it the newest horror movie to hit theaters? No, it’s The Secret World of Arietty, based on Mary Norton’s classic children’s book The Borrowers!

Yeah, we were just kidding with that horror film stuff. Although the question still remains: Is this movie a delight, or a fright? Check out our video review below:

(PS – If you’re on the go — or busy hiding from the household cat because you’re about the size of his paw — don’t worry, you can still listen to our review. Just download the audio.)

Have you seen the new movie The Secret World of Arietty? Leave a comment with YOUR review! How do you think it compared to the book?

Hugo Movie Review

December 2nd, 2011 by

hugo-movie-posterLike the station inspector chasing after Hugo, or Hugo and Isabelle seeking out the answer to a mystery, last week Nancy and Karen went in search of a magical movie experience… We saw Hugo, based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick!

And did the movie deliver? To find out, you’ll just have to watch the video review below! You know, just like Hugo and Isabelle watching a film, or — oh, forget it, let’s just get to the review:

(PS – If you’re on the go — or busy winding the clocks at the local train station — don’t worry, you can still listen to our review. Just download the audio.)

Have you seen the new movie Hugo? Leave a comment with YOUR review! How do you think it compared to the book? And what do you think: do you need to know the book already in order to enjoy the film?

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