Snapshots - #38: Only the Brave, Jane, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Only the Brave (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Based on the true story of the effort it took to get a municipal crew of firefighters from Prescott, Arizona, certified as Hotshots. After battling thousands of wildfires since their inception, the Granite Mountain Hotshots answered a call to battle the Yarnell Hill fire—about 30 miles away from Prescott—along with several other crews. How they got to that point and what happened is what this movie is about.
Only the Brave is a drama with some thriller on the side, and excellent performances to boast of. It's got a dynamic pace, engaging plot, amazing shots of wildfires, fun camaraderie, and great music to underscore the action. As an audience, we care for the journey of that crew, individually and as a group, and as heartbreaking as the closing scenes are, we stand in awe at the sacrifices that firefighters and their families make every day of their lives. Only the Brave is a darn great tribute to them, and elite firefighters such as the Granite Moun…

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him (♦♦♦♦)

A nice complement to the story of Eleanor is Conor's point of view. He is not coping well with the loss of their baby, but he is putting one foot in front of the other so to speak. Then, Eleanor blindsides him with news that she wants a break. She unexpectedly vanishes and he goes to share his father's apartment for the time being while he figures out his next move. Meanwhile, the restaurant/bar he owns is going under.

I enjoyed more this side of the story than her side. Eleanor's side had to be painstakingly pieced together. It was a nuanced performance by Jessica Chastain but at times the plot seemed sketchy. Conor's story moves along nicely and quickly, providing the missing pieces of the story we already know. Conor's father's perspectives on topics like love, aging, and loss, are refreshing and their dynamics, as well as Conor's complicated relationship with Stuart, his best friend, propel the story forward seamlessly.

I have a soft spot for James McAvoy. His performances of broken hearted lover boys are outstanding, and he plays that role here to a T.

James McAvoy (Conor Ludlow, Eleanor's husband), Jessica Chastain (Eleanor Rigby), Ciarán Hinds (Spencer Ludlow, Conor's father), Viola Davis (in a cameo as Professor Friedman), Bill Hader (Stuart), Isabelle Huppert (Mary, in a cameo as Eleanor's mother)


  1. Hi Carmen, I think you just educated me about this title. I remember seeing a trailer for one of this title at a movie but I didn't realize The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby had been broken into three separate films. Duh. I'm just getting that now. Interesting way to do it. Seems like overtime for the actors, right? I guess after reading your reviews perhaps the Him version might be a good one to see. I like the actors in it; it did seem fairly melodramatic when I saw the trailer but perhaps there is good reason for this.

    1. Yes, Susan, three movies around the same story but with two different points of view. I think her side is more complete but I liked his better. It moved along quickly and the tone was lighter. I laughed with this version, unlike with the other two.

  2. I had not heard of these films. Going to check them out for sure.

    1. Very good films, Judy. Lots of drama.


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