If you are a fan of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, why are you even reading this? Go watch this film.
If you not familiar with Simon Pegg's work with his longtime writing partner, then this may not be the place to start, depending on how much absurdity and embarrassment you are prepared to swallow at once. Other, potentially more accessible, places to dip in to their body of joint work include Shaun of the Dead (their homage to zombie movies), Hot Fuzz (a cop adventure send-up), and Paul (possibly one of the best films around with grey aliens in it).
With a plan for epic alcohol consumption to relive and fondly remember their possibly fictitiously golden youth, what starts out as a reluctant gathering of old pals takes a turn for the decidedly odd somewhere in the middle. Scenery-chewing performances from much of the cast make this a fun movie to watch, and Pierce Brosnan's appearance is particularly memorable. Don't expect a neat, happy wrap-up kind of ending, but enjoy the mind bending ride while it lasts.
Talented kids for a generation have grown identifying with Ender Wiggin or one of his fellow launchies from the novel. This adaptation had many obstacles to overcome, from attempting to meet fans' high expectations to dealing with a boycott movement due to novel author Orson Scott Card's controversial if not incendiary public political viewpoint.
For those who say celebrate the work but not the author, the movie is a resounding success. Although no movie has the time to render every part of this beloved coming of age story, this one certainly hits the main features quite serviceably. Asa Butterfield renders an entirely believable Ender tortured by the decisions he is compelled to make. The mind game is given short shrift, but so is everything else in the story. The number of battle room games actually shown is small, but the essential lessons are well distilled. Harrison Ford as Graff does well, and the diverse supporting cast from Anderson to Bean to Rackham help to make it all come alive.
I still recommend reading the novel first, but this is a wonderful treat for the fan.
I am a big fan of Emily Blunt and Jason Segel both, but this was just not overall my kind of movie. The Michigan stereotyping was laid on thick and not necessarily accurate. Some jokes went beyond bad taste in my opinion. On the other hand there were some lovely scenes, and the overall theme of how people change was at times deftly handled. Overall, I'd call it uneven at best. It was lovely to see the Ann Arbor area locations.
With an excellent, and intricate, plot, plus great characters, The Cukoo's Calling was a wonderful read. I sincerely hope that the hullabaloo about this book does not derail any further books with these characters, because I want to read more about Cormoran Strike and his accidental assistant/partner.
This series was a great one for running around in the car while doing errands. I highly recommend it as a family adventure audiobook for your summer road trip with kids grade age 9 and up. If you met Carter and Sadie Kane, you might not suspect that they are siblings. Sadie liven in England with their grandparents. Carter roams the world with their american Egyptologist father. What neither of them suspect, however, is that they are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, to reclaim a magical birthright they didn't know they had and save their father.