Sunday, February 15, 2015

Double Review: OITNB and American Sniper

I'm behind on my Oscar movie reviews and our latest book club selection, so I thought I'd double up today. Book club got together last Friday, and we read Orange is the New Black. It was perfect timing because 2 days later, Reece {Baby Perkins} made his debut 3 1/2 weeks early! Brent and I also watched American Sniper together a few weeks back.

Orange is the New Black
PlotWith a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187–424—one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison—why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there.
Review: I enjoyed this book, but I didn't love it. It was really interesting reading about Piper's experience and everything she learned while in prison. It definitely made me think about aspects of life that I've never thought about. There was 1 scene where she discusses the program to help women before they get released and what a joke it was - it was heartbreaking to read about women who were planning to go to a homeless shelter when they got out of prison because they had nowhere else to go. We also had a really good discussion about the book {All the way from wacky about which of us would go 'gay for the stay' to a lively debate about drugs that involved me telling everyone to 'shut the eff up!'}. But it was also a little mundane and preachy at times, and we all had a hard time keeping the characters straight. I would definitely recommend reading it but not with too high of expectations.

American Sniper
Plot: Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle's pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind.
Review: Brent and I both enjoyed this a lot. Knowing the outcome {tragic as it might be} made it easier for me to watch all his tours and a lot less suspenseful than it could have been, but it didn't take anything away from the plot. The story is just really engrossing and heartbreaking. Our 1 big complaint was we didn't think Bradley Cooper's Texas accent left a lot to be desired, ha. Don't think this will be the Best Picture winner, but I'm not done with them all, so we'll see how it all shakes out before Sunday!


Karen M. Peterson said...

It's interesting because I've heard a couple of people say that Bradley Cooper nailed Kyle's accent and speech. Obviously I don't know Chris Kyle and I'm not used to the accents in Texas, so I wouldn't know. I just think it's interesting that some people think it's totally off and others say it's spot on.

Glad you enjoyed the movie, though. At least, as much as you CAN enjoy a movie like that!