books to movies · fiction · young adult

Books to TV Shows: 13 Reasons Why

To start off, I have to admit that I watched the show without reading the book first. Sometimes I like doing that because often reading it will get my expectations too high–but there was so much hype and controversy about this series that I wanted to start watching it without having any of it spoiled for me.

First I wanted to talk about Thirteen Reasons Why visually. It wasn’t particularly stunning, structured like a typical teenage TV show. Most of the scenes take place in a high school, or a coffee shop it seems that every kid in school goes to at all hours of the day. If you’re going to tell a story about contemporary teens, you don’t have very many choices, so I’ll give them that. What really got to me was that it seemed like, eventually, half of every episode was spent with multiple, extremely slow, zoom-ins on characters staring soulfully at nothing, while various other characters repeated their name. Seriously, I think that’s how I learned everyone’s names, because these scenes happened so much. I just wanted to fast-forward and push on.

Speaking of, let’s talk characters. Most of them are pretty unlikable throughout; only a few seem to have a spark of redemption, or explanation for why they may act they way they do throughout the series. Jeff and Tony were my absolute favorites and probably the only people that I would really want to befriend. High school is rough for everyone, but this one seems exceptionally horrific.

There aren’t too many characters seen that don’t attend or work at the school. Most of those other characters are the parents of those involved in some way–most importantly, Hannah’s and Clay’s. Hannah’s parents . . . I felt terrible for them. I could understand their struggle to find something, someone, to blame for this tragedy, because to them it came completely out of nowhere. It was impossible for them to know her school life as intimately as her classmates did.

On the other hand, there are Clay’s parents, who seem to know there are horrible things happening to him, and that he has problems with anxiety, and yet can’t seem to enforce any rule that might help him heal, grieve, or grow. To me it felt like every time they doled out a punishment or decided they were going to force him to do this or that to help him, there was absolutely no follow through. No mention of it again, beyond a few arguments after he disobeys them. Obviously Clay has realized his parents have no real intentions of forcing him to do anything.

I’m not going to go into any detail about the tapes or anything, though if you do watch it or have read it and want to discuss more specifics I’d be happy to in the comments! Honestly, I think what confused me the most is that I never really had a clear idea of what Hannah’s intentions were by making these tapes. Some kind of revenge? Desperation? Or did she just want everyone else to feel that same nothingness she had been? By the end of it, I was left feeling like she’d created them to make others feel so guilty, so bad, that they might be driven toward suicide, too.  I’m not sure this was the intention, but it slowly ate away at how I’d felt for Hannah throughout the series.

I’m still left with conflicted thoughts. It wasn’t the best series I’ve watched, just judging from composition, and wasn’t the best when it came to content, either. I don’t like how I felt while watching it. I don’t like how I felt after watching.

Have you watched the Netflix series? What did you think of it?

 

 

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5 stars · action · books to movies · Uncategorized

Books to Movies: Logan

I can’t accurately express how completely excited I was for this movie. Wolverine and Hugh Jackman are undoubtedly one of the best character and actor pairings I’ve ever seen. As in if anyone else ever tries to play Wolverine in my lifetime I’ll be disappointed.

It’d been a while since I’d seen any X-Men film, really, but all of them pretty much stand on their own as separate films, which is nice if you really aren’t sure about where to dive into the movieverse. I’d say watch at least a few of the originals before getting to this one because, after all, you want to save the best for last, right?

This review will only contain mild spoilers, but if you want to know absolutely nothing about the movie other than knowing I give it 5/5 stars, get out now.

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Let’s talk about characters. I loved the dynamic in this film, because it makes everyone seem so much realistic, more fleshed out, than happens in most superhero films. As always it was amazing to see the relationship between Logan and Charles, aka Patrick Stewart, because I think they have one of the greatest, most interesting relationships out of all of the X-Men. They’re just so good. I can’t even reflect on it without getting hit by a mixture of emotions, that I don’t think I could accurately explain even if I spoiled everything in the entire movie.

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Laura. I’m torn between wanting desperately to adopt her, giving her the good life she deserves, and running as far away from her as possible because she’s terrifyingDafne Keen conveys so much while not speaking a word, and as a child actress that’s only more impressive. I want more movies with her. I want a trilogy that’s only about her. Because those fight scenes including her were so intense, I couldn’t sit back in my seat.

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Still, what I love about these movies (or just Wolverine in particular) is the tongue in cheek humor that comes with it. Maybe to keep me from being a complete and utter sobbing mess, there are still lighthearted moments perfectly interspersed in the script.

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I love that while there’s backstory here, while we know everything that’s going on — behind the amazing action sequences there’s so much character work happening. Between Laura and Logan and Charles, yes, but even minor characters have their chance to shine. And I loved every minute of it.

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That ending? Perfect — perfectly devastating. Everything I’d dreaded and hoped for realized.

Have you seen Logan? What did you think?

 

 

 

 

 

books to movies · young adult

Trailer Talk: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

I recently realized that I somehow never got around to watching the official trailer that was released for the film adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I remember reading and loving the first book (don’t worry, I’ll get around to the others eventually!) and particularly liked the use of old, odd photographs in the book’s pages. To be able to see the entire book visually will be awesome.

Judging by the trailer, the film certainly will be exciting. I’m still unsure of how close it will match up to the book. I mean, I read it a long time ago, but even I saw the trailer and wondered where the heck they’d gotten some of those scenes from. Still, as long as it’s done well and they justify what they’ve had to take away, I don’t really care how much they add to it.

Check out the trailer below and let me know what your thoughts are on it. Are you excited? Disappointed? Indifferent? I’m feeling the urge to re-read book one and then marathon the other books as well.

books to movies · fiction · young adult

“A Monster Calls” is becoming a movie???

Apparently I’ve been living under a rock, because not only is A Monster Calls becoming a movie, the trailer for it came out over a month ago.

Yes, so apparently I missed it, even though this is one of the best children’s/young adult books I’ve ever read, written by one of my favorite authors EVER. Apparently he also wrote the screenplay for the film, so that makes me doubly excited! I was actually fortunate enough to meet him at BookCon last year and he is incredibly nice, too. So basically everything about this is going to be perfect.

I mean, Liam Neeson is in it. This book gave me so many emotions and just judging from this trailer, I feel like the movie is going to capitalize on that, too. Click the video below to watch for yourself and let me know what your thoughts are. Are you as excited as I am?? I can’t wait to see this.

books to movies · Uncategorized

Film Friday: Macbeth

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I have a Shakespeare class this semester, which means that I’ve been inundated with different versions of Macbeth so we can compare them. One of the films we watched in class was this version with Patrick Stewart playing the titular role. It was significantly creepy and awesome.

First of all, the setting was updated. Macbeth’s war features updated military weapons, yes, and also an updated backdrop, as his intense military tactics and murderous dictatorship are portrayed to be something akin to Germany or Russia in the 1940s.

Then there are the witches, who are CRAZY. I literally gaped at the screen when they first appeared, dressed as nurses, pretending that they were going to save a soldier, before they ripped out his heart and spoke their first lines. And this is all in the first scene, setting the mood for the entire film.

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There’s a lot of blood and death, but where would Macbeth be without all of that? Because it’s a film and not a play, there’s the chance to make it all a little more intense, a little more gruesome. Particularly when Macbeth & crew go around murdering innocent people and children. It gets to the point where you realize he’s going to kill anyone who may even think about getting in his way, and you see how utterly mad with power he is now that he’s fulfilled the witches’ prophecy.

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Still, the play is pretty long, and the film does drag in some points–which is a little unbelievable, what with all the action they have to work with in the text. Patrick Stewart as Macbeth and Kate Fleetwood as his Lady are wonderfully conniving, despicable, and compelling characters. They pull through where I feel the intensity starts to wane, somewhere between the initial murder and then the build-up to all of the insanity culminating in a brutal finish.

5 stars · books to movies · Uncategorized

Film Fridays: The Good Dinosaur

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You may or may not know, but I’m kind of obsessed with everything Disney. I did the college program at Disney World last semester, so I’ve had Disney on my mind, and when The Good Dinosaur was released from Disney/Pixar I knew that I needed to go and see it. I also paid a few extra dollars to see it in 3D–I haven’t done that for a movie in a long time!

 The movie starts off very cute. We have a little dinosaur family, who’s kind of advanced from what we think dinosaurs should be like because the meteor that struck the earth and eradicated the dinos never came. Arlo is the youngest son in the family and doesn’t feel like he fits in; he’s always too scared to do everything and can’t accomplish any of the jobs his father gives him. Including the last job he’s given, to kill the critter who keeps eating their stores for the winter, before tragedy strikes and nothing is ever the same for Arlo again.

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After that point in the movie, there are so many things that go wrong for Arlo. He’s separated from his family and has to team up with that critter he was supposed to get rid of. Honestly, watching this, I feel like some kids might be scared of what happens in this movie because there are so many bad turns for Arlo. Practically anything he did, you could expect it to go wrong–and usually not in a lighthearted way. Actually, there were less funny moments in the movie than I’d expected. The adventure was more serious and a little darker. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.

The animation throughout was gorgeous. GORGEOUS. If you can see it in 3D, do it. You won’t regret spending a little extra. The scenery in the movie is so spectacular and so well-crafted that it often looks like Arlo is the only unreal thing in the entire landscape. And the water! There were so many scenes involving water and it might be a world thing to go on about but it’s such a hard thing to animate and it looked real.

The movie talks a lot about the importance of family, finding your place in the world, and understanding others who are different from you. It teaches that you can love someone who came from a completely different place and who can’t speak with you. It also shows that our expectations of people won’t always be the reality. There are some dinos you’d expect to be bad who’re the kindest people around . . . and some who could be good, but choose to be bad. And that’s a lot to take out of an animated movie about dinosaurs.

I think that kids will enjoy this movie, despite its darker parts, and will definitely take its messages home with them. Any audience will root for Arlo on his way home, and fall in love with that vicious critter, waiting for that happy Disney ending.

books to movies

Fairy Tale to Film: Cinderella

I have to admit that when I first heard about a live-action version of Cinderella being produced, I wasn’t too excited, except for the fact that practically anything Disney will be great. Not as excited as I was when I heard they’re making a live-action Mulan. I was honestly going to wait until the DVD release to finally watch this. But hearing everyone raving over the film (coupled with my chance to watch a Disney movie in Downtown Disney!) convinced me to buy a theater ticket.

Even though it isn’t my favorite Disney film (animation or live action, as Tangled will always have my heart) it was still completely magical to watch. And I’ve already bought some of the soundtrack for myself.

While I heard this version made people cry, I only teared up a few times. Once of sadness, once when Ella looked incredibly happy and the cinematography was so great that I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with emotion.

Everyone knows the Cinderella story so it isn’t like it can be spoiled and most would assume that the live action film covers the ground laid out by the animation. There you’d be wrong. As I’d hoped, Cinderella combines more, previously unused elements of the original fairy tale as well as cherished portions of the animation. Definitely worth a watch, if you’ve been afraid they only copied themselves. Disney never does the same thing twice–they redo it bigger and better than before.

This movie is just beautiful. I could rewatch it just to get a chance to appreciate more of the details in the scenes. I also need to look out for hidden Mickeys and Easter Eggs!

Of course, I loved Helena Bonham Carter’s scene-stealing moments and wish that she’d been in the movie a little more. Cinderella herself wasn’t exactly as I’d pictured her to be, but that’s what comes of turning an animated princess into a real-life lady. Still, she was fantastic at presenting the kind of silent strength Cinderella has to have.

Overall, I really loved this adaptation when I hadn’t expected to like it very much. I’ll recommend this to other people and I’d even say give it a chance in theaters. It’s worth the ticket!

What’s your favorite Disney movie? What do you think of this adaptation?