Tag Archives: movies

Adaptations

I’m working on two questions from the big book meme today:

  1. What is your favourite movie adaptation of a book?
  2. What was the most disappointing movie adaptation of a book you’ve encountered?

My favourite adaptations are not identical to the books they represent. They are, however, good adaptations of the books, and don’t alter the two books in ways that makes them unrecognizable. I like the movie “Hunt for Red October” and “Possession”. The books are better in both cases, but the movies are quite good.

(Here I note that in my movie-watching experience I’ve met two movies I liked better than the book: “Beaches” and “Everything is Illuminated”. Those two movies fall into the category watch the movie and don’t bother with the book. My opinion of course.)

The most disappointing movie adaptation is more difficult, mostly because I don’t watch many movies that are adaptations of books I love. I think that sets one up for disappointment. That being said, the two I’d pick are “Prince Caspian” and “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”. Both movies heavily altered the book and in the case of Voyage, ruined a key theological point in the book. My humble opinion again. Any further thoughts on books and movie adaptations?

Speaking of movies, I quite enjoyed “The Blind Side” this past weekend. Look for the misquotation of the Bible.

 

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Movies that look Interesting

A while ago I wrote a post comparing Joss Whedon and William Shakespeare and pulling J.K. Rowling into the mix. Unless you live under a rock, you probably know that  Joss and Will are now closely allied in a way that I did not even come close to imagining. I want to see Much Ado About Nothing. Also, people in the blogosphere who are bigger Whedon fans than I are now listing other Shakespearian works that they think should get a Whedonesque twist. Good times.

In other movie news, Superman strikes again, but, the best news of the summer to my mind is the Julie Delpy/Ethan Hawke sequel Before Midnight. Oh Yeah. If you haven’t seen Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, watch them first. I plan to revisit those two, then go see the new movie.

What might tempt you into the theatre this summer?

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3.14159

1Mom and I went to see “Life of Pi.” We’ve both read the book and liked it, but were slightly skeptical of the movie. We both thought it would be a hard book to capture. Ang Lee did a good job. We both enjoyed the movie. It was 3-D, which, in our opinion, wasn’t necessary. The photography was striking, and the visual effects beautiful, but the depths of the ocean shots didn’t strictly need 3-D. The tiger jumping out of the screen might have been effective, but that didn’t happen.

As you might expect from a shipwreck book there was a lot of water. Lots and lots and lots of water. As you might not expect, the movie adaptation was very true to the book. A colleague of 1Mom told her that this was the case, and that she’d really enjoyed the movie. This recommendation was a key reason 1Mom and I took ourselves to the theatre. If you’ve read the book, there are no surprises in the movie. If you’ve not read the book, the movie is a good introduction. Movies and books are different experiences, and I’d recommend both the book and the movie.

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Movies before Books?

Sometimes a movie points me to a book. On the weekend I watched “The Hours” which I quite enjoyed. I know the movie is based on a book (The Hours by Michael Cunningham) which is based on a book (Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf). So many layers. Anyhow, I’ve read neither The Hours, nor Mrs. Dallowaybut now I’m much more likely to read both. I watched “Possession” before even realizing there was a book called Possession by A.S. Byatt, and now I think that is the Best Book Ever. The BBC serial adaptation of Pride and Prejudice helped me re-read the book by Jane Austen which I’d initially thought tedious. That book gets better every time I read it.

Which movies enhance your enjoyment of books or introduced you to books?

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Sunday List: Vacation Reading (and viewing)

As noted in my previous post, I’ve been on vacation. I’m home now, still finding bits of Cocoa Beach in my pockets, savouring a relaxing week, and basking in people telling me they like my hair (which I haven’t changed) instead of actually noticing that I’ve got new clothes and a (slight) tan.

Here is a list of Books I Read On My Vacation:

1. The Overseer by Jonathan Rabb. Not a keeper. It was ok, but it was long and in the end pretty predictable. I thought it might be good because it looked like it had an interesting premise with academic characters and such, but it ended up being a save-the-world spy thriller that was pretty ordinary.

2. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Ok, I can see why people might have been shocked that I had not yet read this book. I quite liked this and will go back to it in the future. It is always a bit risky to have a young child as a key point-of-view (p.o.v.) character, but that was well done. The characters were interesting and the book took a spin in the end that was also interesting and not quite predictable. I do think the author’s Mormon background shone through in that end bit.

3. The Night Watch by Sarah Waters. This was an interesting book set during WW2 that I liked because it looked at the war from a completely different p.o.v. than I’ve read before. Waters tells the story backwards — but she tells you that is coming in the initial bit when one of the characters makes a statement about people’s pasts being more interesting than their futures. Thus you get the characters’ pasts, not their futures.

4. The Scar by China Miéville (not yet finished). This is a bit of a slow read, not because it isn’t interesting, but because Miéville sets up such a different world that I have to really pay attention to get the details. I heard about Miéville in a bit of an offbeat review of his oevre to date that I saw in the spring. I thought he looked interesting, so I’ve been keeping an eye out, and this is the first one I’ve found in a used book shop so far. This may just indicate that he’s so good people keep his books. He is also British, so his work may not be as widely known or available in North America as yet.

On vacation I also watched a lot of movies. I’d recommend 2 out of the seven, note that 3 were ok but had bits that might put one off, and 2 were disasters, not recommended at all.

Recommend:

1. Source Code – time travel with a twist. I quite liked this.

2. Unknown – Suspense with Liam Neeson. Well-told story. Intense car chases.

Recommend, but not highly or with a note:

1. The Company Men – a recession movie without much hope I thought. Some interesting ideas, but not great. All-star cast though.

2. Bridesmaids – didn’t live up to the high praise I’d heard. Parts were kind of funny. Mostly it was just about life happening. I was disappointed.

3. Crazy Heart – my major objection was the connection between the two main characters was unbelievable. Problem is that’s the main point of the movie, that relationship. It didn’t look real at all. Soundtrack was interesting though.

Run Away and Hide:

1. Trespass – don’t be fooled by the all-star cast. Run Away. This is a terrible movie that is all screaming and shooting. Not interesting.

2. Motives 2 – Run Away. Fast. There isn’t a plot hole so much as a complete disconnect. Made little sense.

Lots of lists for a Sunday afternoon!

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