Please note this post contains spoilers for both the book and the film One Day.
You can read my review of the book One Day here.
I was rather underwhelmed by the book One Day. It had so much buzz around it that I expected it to be something a bit special- at least as far a chick-lit is concerned. Not liking the book was part of the reason that it took me so long to watch the film. Having said that I do tend to prefer to watch chick-flicks than read chick-lit so I thought I might enjoy the film all the same. Plus it was less than £3 from HMV, so worth the risk I think.
As far as chick-lit is concerned it wasn’t the best there is. Maybe because it wasn’t terribly romantic, or happy (not that chick-flicks are always happy, or romantic when it comes down to it). Maybe because I didn’t like Dex and Emma pretty much got the raw end of the deal. She deserved better than him, but maybe that’s the way love is? And then she went and [highlight for spoiler]got hit by a truck, I mean, things were actually good for her (even if it meant being with Dex) and that happens! So unfair.
I had completely forgotten that the story didn’t end there. Maybe it should have, but in a way that’s cruel. I suppose it shows that we care about Dex that that as an ending might have been too brutal.
Also I think Dex might have been more of an ass in the film….maybe I just blocked it out!
Oh and you could kind of tell what was going to happen from the start- because the story started at the end for some weird reason.
As an adaptation it is pretty good. As a film? Simply ok.
The film: DVD (£3.00) Blu-ray/Triple Play (£10.10) DVD with Charlie St. Cloud and Remember Me (£12.07)
The book: Paperback (£3.85) Kindle (£2.99)
So apparently there are no trailers of The Great Gatsby without some rather big spoilers. This TV spot if fairly safe I think, although not as amazing as some of the full trailers.
Let me preface this this review by saying; firstly, when I read the book of The Great Gatsby I wasn’t overwhelmed, I enjoyed it well enough but I wouldn’t have said it was the best thing I’ve ever read. Secondly, I was looking forward to this film from when I first heard about it (last year). I love Baz Lurhmann films, Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge are amongst my very favourite films. Plus his forte is cinematic scenes, and there are certainly plenty of those in Gatsby!
I have been trying to get to see The Great Gatsby since it was released, but, with one thing and another, hadn’t actually managed it until a couple of days ago. This meant that I saw quite a few reviews from bloggers before I actually saw it, and quite a few seem to be negative. This made me a little anxious that I may have built my hopes up too high.
However I didn’t find this to be the case. I liked the film a lot, and, actually, I think it increased my appreciation of the book. It made me see things in a different way to how reading it had, and that gave me a more positive view of it. I may even go back and re-read now.
It wasn’t exactly as I expected. It was actually pretty funny at times. I loved how Gatsby was portrayed as a bit awkward at times, it made him more human. I had mixed emotions about how Nick was portrayed. I found Tobey Maguire actually made a more believeable Nick that I had expected him to be, but I did dislike how the Jordan element was taken away- it made Nick’s interest in Gatsby seem to have another level, maybe that was just me?
As for the cinematic scenes? Pretty much as I expected, although sometimes scenes which I wasn’t anticipating to be great scenes actually were better than some of those that I expected to see.
Well my overwhelming reaction to The Hobbit? Disappointing. I had heard from a few people that it was disappointing so I was trying not to be hopeful, I thought I had readied myself for disappointment, but apparently not.
It was very long, especially considering it was only the first half and it isn’t exactly an epic book. I think maybe there was a bit of commercialism in that decision, the makers knew that the first one was likely to be popular and were hoping that a second part would spread out that popularity.
In reality it seemed like the first part was more or less all introduction. It didn’t feel like anything of great significance happened. Battles and scenes were added which just didn’t exist in the book, and it seemed that they were added just to stretch the book out, they didn’t really add anything plot wise- just broke up the walking.
There were things I liked however. The Dwarves were rather funny, and I loved their songs.
The actor playing Bilbo (Martin Freeman) was pretty great too. He made quite a funny, a little bumbling Bilbo which was just right, he was a part I expected to be good. The only real problem I had with Bilbo is that they made him into a bit of a hero, whereas he really isn’t in the book.
I also enjoyed the Gollum scene- generally. The riddle were a lot as I imagined (although the boyfriend thinks they cut some of them), and t made quite a funny scene, but they also made the ring more significant than it really was in the book. Probably to draw in the Lord of the Rings fans.
Part of me still wants to see the second part because I don’t like leaving things unfinished (not that that didn’t stop me leaving the film to get a drink, or noticing that the couple beside us left completely) but I also feel it’s a bad idea.
It’s been quite a long time since I read A Life of Pi, I remembered it, but not vividly. I think that’s part of the reason I enjoyed the film so much it reminded me of how much I had loved the book when I read it, but I wasn’t constantly comparing it to the book. My boyfriend, who did read the book recently, said that he preferred the book, and that’s something I tend to find when a book is fresh in your mind.
Despite the fact that I knew what was going to happen I found Richard Parker rather scary. In light of it I was quite surprised of the PG rating. I watched it in 2D and I can imagine that scaring children, but in 3D it would be even worse. Plus there is the alternative story, which, while not shown in images, is rather disturbing. I remember deciding it was the untrue version when I read it. I had a fairly rational reason for believing that, based on the existence of the island, but looking back I think I decided to ‘believe’ the tiger story because actually it was nicer.
Considering the areas of the book which were less child friendly in a way it was a little less brutal. Times which you could imagine being disturbing on film were usually there but somewhat hidden. For example you see the zebra being attacked but not eaten, and then it just disappears. I can see why the film makers did it. Those moments could well put a person off a film, and you could still tell what had happened without really seeing it.
It’s worth a watch, but maybe leave the kids at home.
I read (and thoroughly enjoyed) The Perks of Being a Wallflower a couple of years ago. I didn’t realise that I had forgotten so much of it until I saw the film. In a way I wish that I had re-read the book before I saw the film, but maybe this way it makes it easier for me to judge the film as a film in its own right rather than in comparison to the book.
The trailer doesn’t really tell you that much about the film. Charlie is more that just a kid who is unpopular but manages to make some great friends. I can’t decide how much of him the trailer should reveal however. If I hadn’t read the book then knowing more about Charlie may have made me want to see the film more, but then it may have made my enjoyment of the actual film suffer because I might so into it knowing to much.
I did enjoy the film immensely. It was funnier than I remembered the book being, but that only seemed to serve to highlight the more serious moments because of the contrast. In fact some of the most serious moments were almost scary, you could certainly imagine how Charlie might actually feel at some of those points.
I remembered loving Patrick in the book, and I loved him in the film too. The only real problem I had was that maybe they made him to much of a humorous character. His serious side was there but not really enough.
I had been unsure about the choice of Emma Watson as Sam. It’s very easy just to see her as Hermione, plus she never really gave an impression of being quirky in the was Sam is. However I was pleasantly surprised. She really did manage to pull it off. I think in fact it was a good role for Emma to go for, you really couldn’t be much further from Hermione.
The main problem I would say I had is that the end seemed a bit like it had been stuck on. Although the events at the end were very important it did feel like two endings had been made and then just stuck together, and the very end seemed rather rushed.
I would certainly recommend it.
Read the book reviews:
The Hunger Games (book 1)
Catching Fire (book 2)
As far as films of books go I was pretty impressed with this one. Pretty good as a film in its own right but also good in comparison to the book. Of course they cut some things, and they changed a few bits, but how long would the film be otherwise? I think they made pretty good decisions with what to cut, although I would have liked a bit more back story when it came to Katniss and Peeta’s relationship. There was one change I didn’t like and that was who gave Katniss the Mockingjay pin. I guess I can see why they wanted to change it, it made things simpler but it does mean it will be difficult (though not impossible) to link it to the original owner of the pin, which is a nice, if not essential element of the book.
Go see it whether you have read the book or not, it’s a good, fun film.
I’ve seen bits and pieces of this film before, and I’ve always meant to watch it, but it’s taken me until now to actually do it. I know it’s a bit of a cult classic, but, honestly, I can’t see why. It’s not that it was bad so much as it could have been better. Certainly I prefered the book (but don’t I always?). I suppose you can say at least the film was close to the book, but I think it could have achieved something the book never could simply by being a genre of sound. Music is such an essential element to the story that it really should have been a stronger element in the film. I can’t say I really came out of it thinking about the music though (and when music is used well in a film I always come out thinking that I want to own the soundtrack), except maybe for the song Jack Black sings at the end.
And lets be honest Jack Black completely stole the show. It makes me think that maybe Jack Black should only really play lead roles. He’s such a strong character he pretty much overshadows anyone else on screen. He was well picked for the role but maybe just a bit to well picked!
I wouldn’t say don’t see it, just don’t go in with high expectations
Becky Bloomwood has to be one of the most annoying book characters I have ever encountered. Yet I have read 5 of the current 6 books in the series, mostly as a teenager, simply because I find it next to impossible to give up on a series before I have finished it (at the time I gave up on the Shopaholic series the 6th book was not out, and it’s been long enough now to not be bothered).
So why did I think Becky of the films would irritate me less? I don’t know, maybe I just thought it would be one of the changes the film made (as all films do make changes). Unfortunately, if anything, I found Becky more irritating in the film. While in the book I sometimes found her stupidity funny, in the film I just found it cringe worthy. At best I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry in parts of the film.
They made some really stupid changes too. Like re-locating to New York, really didn’t see any reason for that. Plus they changed one of the only bits I liked in the books, when Becky and Luke met, there was some similarity but it wasn’t funny anymore. The other part of the books which I liked were a bit to far ahead to include in a film, although it’s still a shame that they changed the film so that any chance of doing it in a later film was taken away.
The Film: Confessions of a Shopaholic (£4.47)
Book 1: The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (£5.11)
Book 2: Shopaholic Abroad (£5.11)
Book 3: Shopaholic Ties the Knot (£5.09)
Book 4: Shopaholic and Sister (£5.11)
Book 5: Shopaholic and Baby (£5.09)
Book 6: Mini Shopaholic (£4.51)
Well I was not especially impressed with the book of this film. Considering that I generally prefer the books to the films I shouldn’t really have expected to like this.
However I did expect to. Maybe because they came out at the same time I thought they would parallel each other but really they didn’t. There were so many things from the book changed in the film (or from the film changed in the book, when they are released at the same time how should I know which came first?!), most of which didn’t make sense. In fact the only change I could see making sense was introducing number 6 earlier, and, well that was because she was just generally the most awesome character in both the book and the film.
To be honest though the film just did not keep me interested. I just didn’t care. I got distracted by something for about half an hour and wasn’t bothered about rewinding or re-watching, even if it made the rest of the film harder to follow.
The trailer tells more of the story than is really ideal, however I wouldn’t go as far as to say it contains real spoilers.
I read the book The Lovely Bones quite a few years ago now and really do not remember it clearly. All I remember is that I didn’t think it was worth the hype and that I really did not like the ending. I couldn’t remember why I didn’t like the ending- but it was the one thing that the film reminded me of, oh I wish they had changed it!
Other than that though I really liked the film. I might even go as far as to say that I preferred it to the book. Saoirse Ronan who played the lead character, Susie really was fantastic, especially as she was only 13 at the time of filming. I’ve seen her in Hanna before and she really carried the show in that so I think she is definitely one to watch.
Ultimately it was very sad, but it was also much more action based than I had anticipated. Several times both me and my boyfriend were shouting at the screen because we could see what was going to happen (in some ways it was built that you knew what would ultimately happen but it didn’t stop me from wanting to change it!), or what might happen.
I wouldn’t say it’s one of the best films I’ve ever seen but certainly worth a look.
This review contains (minor) spoilers for the film and book The Help
I read the book The Help at the beggining of this year after reading lots of very positive reviews and having it recommended to me by my sister. It was one of those books that was on my wishlist for a while before I actually read it and really wished I’d read it earlier. In short I loved it.
I really wanted to see the film but as I have a tendency to overjudge films based on books I loved I was a little anxious.
Oh but honestly I loved the film too. Maybe not as much as the book but it had pretty much everything I loved about the book. I especially loved Minny, just as I had when I read the book, although I do think she was a bit more one-dimensional than she had been in the book. The Leroy storyline was there but it was so cut down that it seemed almost pointless, more like it had been added to make her less of a comic character that to give her life outside that as a maid.
The main negative thing I can say about the film was that I found it was rather long and dragged a little in the middle. However I can forgive it as there is very little else I would have cut out. I may have cut Skeeter’s relationship with Stuart completely. Simply because it was already cut down so much that it had little of the significance which it had in the book. The only real purpose it served was to show the negative impact of the book on Skeeter, and that was shown in other ways too which frankly were stronger.
Still I recommend those who have read the book to go and watch the film too.
WARNING: This review contains SPOILERS for the Harry Potter books and films including Deathly Hallows
You can read my reviews of part 1 of the Deathly Hallows film and the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Well I must say I was disappointed. I never really like the Harry Potter films much, I’m such a massive fan of the books that I hate every little change. Since the second film I’ve tried to be more relaxed and see the films as films themselves rather than films of books. I can’t stop myself comparing a little (the flying dementors for example really get to me for some reason) but I am able to enjoy the films as themselves, I even bought a copy of Order of the Phoenix after being impressed with Luna but regretted it. However I was impressed with the first part of Deathly Hallows, and I must admit I have been hopeful and excited for this film, partly because of that and partly because of a sort of end of an era feeling about the film. It kind of meant that it was the end of new Harry Potter stuff, and that’s sad.
So on to the film. I feel like my thoughts are a bit all over the place, so rather than my usual review style I’m going to make a list of things I liked, and things I didn’t, and try and explain why.
- The fight between Voldemort and Harry, more epic than in the book, I think that sort of thing lends itself to film.
- Neville’s awesome-ness, he was awesome in the books, but in a different way. I was disappointed how they changed the most awesome Neville moment in the book though, there didn’t even seem to be any point to do it that way…and they had all the ingredients there to actually do it.
- Luna’s awesomeness when it came to finding the diadem. Another pointless change but Luna is my favourite character, and there wasn’t enough of her in Deathly Hallows.
- The scene where Harry returned to Hogwarts, it did bring a little tear to me eye knowing what was to come after all the happiness.
- Ginny’s reaction to Harry’s death, made me cry a little even though I knew he was alive
- The deaths generally, but especially Fred’s killed me in the book, almost killed me in the film
- 19 years later, I’m sure it wasn’t meant to be funny but it was hilariously cheesy!
- McGonnagal’s awesomeness, again different to the book but still awesome.
- The bridge scene, pretty cool and clever.
What I didn’t like:
- Those damn flying dementors, DEMENTORS DON’T FLY!
- Snape’s memories, how can he remember things he didn’t see (i.e. Lily’s death)? And what was with the memories coming from his tears? So cheesy and rubbish.
- The sword of Gryffindor just appearing, what was that about? The burning sorting hat is an epic scene and could have been so good on screen.
- Not my daughter you bitch! So uneventful, it’s one of the best parts of the book but it was just so undramatic.
- The lack of Ravenclaw back story, I like the Helena/Bloody Baron story. And her knowing where the diadem is…she didn’t know that in the book right?
- Ron and Hermione’s kiss. Meant to be totally happy moment in the middle of crazy battle and also a bit funny for inappropriate timing, just wasn’t.
- Ron copying Harry’s parseltongue, not the best part of the book but it sounded like he could speak parseltongue rather than he was copying.
- Neville and Luna pairing, Why? Just why? JK has said they are friends, nothing more, I don’t want them to be anything more, it’s to perfect in a sort of everyone has to be in a couple way, why is that?
- No Kreacher. No fighting for Master Regulas
- Ron not wanting to save the house elves, that’s why Hermione kissed him, not because of some stupid flood moment the same as every other scary slightly death like moment.
- Harry not remembering that he had actually already seen the diadem when he hid the Half-blood Prince’s potion book, but randomly searching for it in this giant room
- No explanation of the tunnel and new room of requirement
- Whoops Harry forgot to fix his wand before he broke the elder wand
- Putting the Slytherins in the dungeon, they were meant to be able to leave or stay and fight, as were the rest of the school
Ok so it technically took me till Sunday to write this…
This review contains spoilers for the Harry Potter books and films.
I’ve been really books excited about this film. It’s strange because I don’t usually really like the Harry Potter films. I love the books so much that I am disappointed by the films. I hate it when they miss anything out, or change anything. The dementors have always been a real irritation for me, they are so different in the films, dementors don’t fly! Unfortunately they still annoyed me in this film, not only by flying but also because they seemed to be able to administer the kis by just being there, but hey it’s minor really isn’t it? They’re not such a big thing in this film as in Prisoner of Azkaban so I could leave it alone really.
I did actually like this film quite a lot, certainly better than the other films so far. I wasn’t sure how they would keep it going as a lot of the time the trio were basically just camping. I think it was done quite well. They kept in important parts but still managed to show the progression of time. There were a few points I was really impressed by. I think Hermione wiping her parents memories was done really well, you could really see her sadness and her determination, it seemed more like an aside in the book. I really liked Dobby, he was like the best bit of the film, so awesome.
I do think the person sitting next to me knew Harry Potter just from the films. I thought it was quite coherent but she kept asking her friend questions, so I think again knowing the book is advantageous to seeing the film. I suppose it’s a good thing in a way because it may encourage people to read the books too, and I always advocate that.
There were a few little things that got to me. I wished the memorial to the Potter’s was still there, it was a really moving part of the book, made me cry a little. I had really liked Potterwatch in the book and was sad to see that cut, maybe it’s not an important thing but it was really the trio’s link to the rest of the wizarding world. Also the taboo put on Voldemort’s name wasn’t mentioned which I think could be kind of important. I find it easier now to accept changes, and I try not to look for them, but I can’t help but notice. I think the changes in this were pretty minor but they still bother me a little.
Overall this I think has been the best film so far, but not a patch on the book.
(I feel the trailer is a little spoilerish but not too badly, and, well, it’s the official trailer)
I love the book of My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult is an author I enjoy and My Sister’s Keeper is the first one of hers I read, and still one of my favourites (my favourite if you’re wondering is Handle with Care). So I was a bit…cautious… about the film. I tend not to like films of books, I hate it when they change things or leave stuff out, and I find it hard to take them as films in their own right.
This one was actually pretty good as far as films go. I liked the characters (in fact I probably liked Sara and Kate more than I had in the book). It was a little more emotional than the book, but sometimes that seemed forced. I haven’t cried for the book but I got a little teary over the film. I liked the way they portrayed the relationship between Kate and Anna. I thought the different voices which make up the book were done quite well, but was disappointed about how little we got from Campell Alexander and Jesse. There were a few changes I didn’t like. I didn’t like how much they cut of Campell, or that they left certain bits to do with him in which seemed kind of random (highlight for spoiler)him having the epileptic fit just seemed pointless without having the rest of his story, except for saying that was why he took Anna’s case, but it seemed more convenient for that than it had in the book. I didn’t like they way they changed Jesse either, they keep all the good kid bits of him and lost the rest (spoiler) I was kind of anticipating the arson, and that added something to the original story. I was disappointed it was gone, plus I prefered Jesse when he had more of a bad boy image, theere was more too him. I guess this is because the film was more about Kate, whereas the book is more about Anna, and about the whole family really. In a sense the film was kind of one-demensional in that way, but if they’d had all in interweaving storylines it would have been a very long film.
Unfortunately there is no review of the book My Sister’s Keeper on my blog, I read it before I started blogging. My review of Handle with Care was written on BCF but there is a copy in my review of the year 2009 here
You can also read my reviews of Picture Perfect and Songs of the Humpback Whale both by Jodi Picoult