The Giver was really only loosely based on the book, which I only read recently, so I don't have any particularly strong ties to it. It gave way more plot time to minor characters from the book, which changed a lot of the book's relationships but that I actually thought rounded everything out better. The book's ending was pretty vague, but the movie made it a quasi-happy Hollywood ending. So at least it wasn't entirely dreary like the book was.
While on safari, I overheard some members of another party highly recommend Kingsman. Since it stars Colin Firth, it wasn't hard to convince myself to watch it. While it was pretty good cheesy fun, as a spy recruitment caper it tried way too hard to be story about class. Samuel L Jackson must have had a ton of fun playing the evil super villain. But it was actually a pretty gruesomely violent movie, for all its camp. And it definitely needs a sequel: as a stand-alone, viewers have invested too much emotion in a street kid who bests the toffs and saves the world to just leave him as he takes over a secret intelligence society.
Like a lot of fans of the musical Into the Woods, I was skeptical when a movie was announced. I've only ever seen a PBS broadcast of the Broadway version, but this film version was actually pretty decent. Meryl Streep is always a good villain (though still not better than Bernadette Peters!), and "Agony" is still one of the most hilarious songs in show tunes.
Lastly, because my nieces all loved Tangled and it was pretty short, I forced myself to watch this meh cartoon. I get why it would appeal to several rather strong-willed small children, but I've never liked the Rapunzel story in the first place. None of the songs were memorable, Flynn the romantic interest is basically just Aladdin in a different setting, and the plot twist of Rapunzel's hair being magical threads made the climax no different from Beauty and the Beast. It's a pretty forgettable cartoon. I want those 100 minutes back.