Category Archives: movie review

Z for Zachariah – November’s Book and Movie Get-Together

Z for Zachariah

z for zachariah covers

Novel (1974): Written by Robert C. O’Brien

Movie (2015): Screenplay by Nissar Modi directed by Craig Zobel

The set up:

Our group (women ages 22-48) pick a book that has been made into a movie. We read the book and then get together for thematic food, to discuss the book, and then to watch the movie.

On the menu:

Each of us are to bring either a drink, dessert and/or appetizer and it is fun to use the story for inspiration. Below is what we ended up with this month.

Z for Zacharia food pic

Appetizers: mini chicken and waffles, hummus with pita chips, deviled eggs (2 people brought these)

Drinks: Red Rose wine, Pinot Noir, and Flip Flop wine

Dessert: Birthday Cake

Quick Book/Movie Summary:

Book (From Amazon): Ann Burden is sixteen years old and completely alone. The world as she once knew it is gone, ravaged by a nuclear war that has taken everyone from her.  Ann soon realizes there may be worse things than being the last person on Earth.

Movie (From IMDB): In the wake of a disaster that wipes out most of civilization, two men and a young woman find themselves in an emotionally charged love triangle as the last known survivors.

Thoughts about the Book:

A couple of us thought the story had a good build up to suspenseful scenes.

We all agreed that it was slow at times with the mundane work of the fields and milking cows and gathering eggs and cooking and working on a tractor and gas pumps …  but somehow it still ended up being a quick read.

We all felt that there were way too many conveniences – like the fully stocked store, the cane, her taking a class in school that taught her how to care for a person when they were sick.

I was not happy with the dog situation. I did like the overall idea and plot of the book.

I felt deceived as far as Edward’s sudden attitude. But others in the group pointed out places that did support the change. There was also talk of unreliable narrator because it was all from the girl’s point of view (her diary) and perhaps she was the crazy one …

The ending was pretty bad and so we came up with 4 alternate endings (If you haven’t read the book you might want to skip this part.)

She shoots him and is alone again in the valley as it was, reclaiming her house. The last line – There are worse things than being the last person on earth.

He kills her. The last line – After reading this journal, I guess you can call me Z for Zachariah. (Bringing that around full circle.)

Gone Girl Ending – She stays with him and they try to make it work.

The Truman Show Ending – She’s actually on a reality show. She wins because she escapes.

Thoughts about the Movie:

We all agreed it was really really Boring. This was a completely different story than the book. And that would have been fine if it had been a good story. The book was YA – the movie was not.  There was really no plot. There was no mention as to why the title was Z for Zachariah.

I did like how the setting from the book came to life. I really wish I could have watched the movie according to the book.

Interesting Discoveries:

Using his notes, Robert C. O’Brien’s wife and daughter actually wrote the book after his death.

The Girly Discussions:

The movie would have only received one wine glass but we all agreed to give it half a glass more because of Chris Pine’s blue eyes. Cheers!

We thought the casting of Margot Robbie was a little off. Since we read the book first and knew the main character Ann was 16 we thought Robbie was too old. I was shocked that she was the same actress from The Wolf of Wall Street and Focus. There were some thoughts about how they really had to change her look so she could fit the part.


The Group’s Average ratings:

3 wine glasses z

Book: 3.5 wine glasses out of 5

Movie: 1.5 wine glasses out of 5

Movie: 1.5 wine glasses out of 5

The bottom line:

These are two different stories. So much so I really can’t compare them. But individually, I liked the story from the book a lot more than the story from the movie. But they did have one thing in common – they both had disappointing endings.

Read the book, skip the move.

Next month’s Book and Movie:

Drug Store Cowboy

Love and Laughter,


September Book and a Movie: Atonement

atonementBook: Atonement (2001) by Ian McEwan

Movie: Atonement (2007) directed by Joe Wright Screenplay by: Christopher Hampton

The set up:

Each month four of us (women ages 20-45) pick a book that has been made into a movie. We read the book and then get together for thematic food and to watch the movie.

On the menu:

We don’t know what the others are bringing. All we know is our category: appetizer, entrée (2 of us get this), or dessert. We can take food items directly from the book or go more inspirational. Below is what we ended up with this month.

Appetizer: Roasted Cauliflower and Heirloom tomato salad

Entrée: Quiche Florentine and French Bread

Entrée: Only one this time, we had one person who couldn’t make it this week.

Dessert: Chocolate bread pudding

My Book Review:

I liked it. Here are the words I jotted down to the describe the book: Intense, boring, sad, excellent writing. It had its ups and downs. I skimmed a lot, especially the war chapters. The author was very descriptive and really wanted to give his readers insight into each character, which sometimes made me sleepy but still a very thought provoking book:  how young is too young to be responsible for your actions.

My Movie Review:

I didn’t like it very much. It was  boring, especially the war scenes (which I really didn’t see what they had to do with the main plot of the story – in the movie or the book for that matter) The beginning moved really quickly through the scenes, and if I wouldn’t have read the book, I don’t think I would have really understood what was going on – and I probably wouldn’t have watched the entire thing.

Interesting Discoveries:

We were really surprised to learn that the film was nominated and won a lot of awards. Including an Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Dario Marianelli (which I guess the music was fine) Here is a link on IMDB that list all 27 nominations:

The Girly Discussions:

There was some discussion about the casting of Lola and Emily (the mother). They didn’t fit what we thought they would look like.

The costumes were awesome.

Most of us (I’m not going to name any names – lol) didn’t finish the book, so the premovie discussion was mostly about how boring the book was. But we all read to at least the middle of the book and so we were disappointed with how rushed the beginning of the movie seemed. Also, the sequence of events (going back to redo a scene from another character’s POV) seemed disjointed.

My Rating:

Book: 4 out of 5 stars

Movie: 2 out of 5 stars

The Bottom Line:

The book had too many details … the movie didn’t have enough details in the first half. Read the book, skip the movie. However, if you do want to watch the movie, be sure and read the book first. But then again, maybe the people who gave the movie such high marks didn’t read the book and therefore appreciated it more… IDK

Next month’s Book and Movie:

Serena by Ron Rash

Love and Laughter,


My Thoughts on Snow White & the Huntsman

Spoiler Alert!

I wasn’t able to go to the movies and watch Snow White & the Huntsman. But I was so looking forward to the DVD, even though all I’d heard about it were bad reviews.

My husband surprised me with the movie yesterday, and I guess I’m crazy (more like a crazy fairy tale person), but I really liked it. I probably wouldn’t have picked Kristen Stewart as Snow White but for the time period and the darkness of the movie, I think it worked okay.

There were so many things that I loved about the fairy tale. I appreciate the story changes and additions; without them, it wouldn’t have been dark enough, and there would’ve been complaints from the modern audience saying Snow White shouldn’t have been so weak and why do all fairy tales have a damsel in distress that need to be rescued by some Prince?  (Well, they were written a long time ago.) The huntsman taking on a lead role was brilliant. (And I’m not just saying that because it was Chris Hemsworth… ahem.) I had to think a little bit about the kiss that woke Snow White, and again I appreciate the writers modernizing the characters but keeping the fairy tale. I think that the huntsman did love Snow White, but in a deep, unselfish, friendship camaraderie sort of way – and all of this allowed Snow White to be Queen – not princess.

 I’m also happy that they kept a lot of the key Snow White ingredients: the seven dwarfs, the poisoned apple, the huntsman, the prince, the wicked stepmother, the woods, the “Bring me her heart!” The original fairy tale was still very much there! And the scenery was awesome – cool cool castle! I want a castle.

So there you go. Maybe I’m just a sucker for fairy tales—although I wasn’t crazy about Mirror Mirror —but I really liked it!


Here’s an interview I found about a possible spin-off

Love and Laughter,

Dorlana :)




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