Tag Archives: films

Film of the Book: Room


Note: This review contains spoilers for the film and book of Room

I wanted to watch Still Alice when I watched this, but netflix was being stupid so I watched Room on amazon instead, which turned out to be a good choice I think.

I rather enjoyed the book of Room which made me in equal parts excited about the film and anxious because so often films just don’t do the book justice.

It’s been a long time since I read it, so I probably forgot a few finer details, and the film reminded me of some others. Generally though I thought that Room was a good portrayal of the book.

As the book is told in a first person narrative I was unsure how well it would translate to film without having Jack speaking throughout, but actually they did it well. The way the story was still focused as Jack would see it was good, and sometimes Jack would say things ‘in his head’ but not to the point where it seemed pointless for it to be a film.

I found the suicide part of the storyline more hardhitting in the film than I remember it being in the book, maybe because you actually saw the suicide, which I have a feeling you didn’t in the book (feel free to correct me, it has been a long time).

They did miss some bits out though which I think might add something. The most notable thing left out for me was the stillborn baby which had come before Jack. Although I did see a hint towards it in the film it was only through what was seen by the viewer and I don’t think it would have been read that was by someone who didn’t have prior knowledge of the storyline

Buy:

DVD (£4.99)

Streamed film(from £9.99)

Book (£6.29)

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Film of the Book: The Book Thief


Read my review of the book

Please note this post contains spoilers for the film and the book The Book Thief

I watched The Book Thief with my boyfriend this weekend. It was good to watch with someone who hadn’t read the book because where I thought everything was quite clear, even with what had been left out he thought otherwise on that (although him not know who Jesse Owens was didn’t help either).

Generally the film was fairly faithful to the book. There were a few bits cut, mainly things with Rudy and things with the Hitler Youth, but it is a big book and I think most of the cuts made sense. The only thing really which bugged me was that Rudy was recruited for the elite group of children, but at the time his father had already gone to war. In the book the father is conscripted as a punishment for refusing to send Rudy to this camp. As it was though Rudy was recruited but didn’t go making it seem strange that it was in there at all.

Because so much of Rudy was cut it was less upsetting when he died, it was still sad, but not as sad as Liesel’s ‘parents’. There was less of her Papa too, but the still made him loveble, and his death was probably the saddest.

Buy it:

DVD (£9.99)

Blu-ray (£14.99)

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Film of the Book: Catching Fire


Please note this post may contain spoilers for The Hunger Games trilogy of books and films.

You can read my review of the book Catching Fire here, and my post about the first Hunger Games film here.

So far (at least) I think that The Hunger Games films have been really good adaptations. I have a tendency to be very critical of films which are based on books, especially when they are based on books which I love. The Hunger Games seem to adapt well however, maybe because Suzanne Collins has written for telly (most notably Clarissa Explains it All– which I loved when I was younger), she is used to that style of writing so it can easily translate. My sister even suggested that the film was better than the book, but although I enjoyed it a lot I’m not sure that I would go that far. Maybe on par with the book- and that says a lot!

There were, as always, things missed out, but there was nothing that I especially noticed, so it did keep fairly well to the book. There was just one moment which didn’t quite work on film, actually, no two. The first was when Katniss met Fenrick for the first time. He didn’t come across quite as seedy in the film as he did in the book. The second was when they realised that the arena was a clock, it felt like it was Katniss’ revelation in the film, when really it wasn’t.

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Film of the book: The Great Gatsby


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.

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Film of the Book: The Hobbit (Part 1)


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.

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Film of the Book: Life of Pi


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.

 

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Film of the Book: The Perks of Being a Wallflower


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.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky


Synopsis

Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

Review.

I really really liked this. It’s been compared to Catcher in the Rye and I can see why, it has a similar tone and both have a teenage boy speaking. However I didn’t feel like I related to Holden whereas Charlie reminded me quite a lot of myself in high school (but more so). Of course me going to an all girls school made me even more innocent than him… I related quite well to him. I suppose mainly it was his thing of not getting involved, just watching that felt like me, I had my friends but I was a bit of a loner. I liked the characters a lot too. I think probably Sam was my favourite, I can imagine being friends with Sam. She seemed to be the one who cared most for Charlie too and actually the one who was trying to help her. I liked Bill too, he was like the perfect teacher. One who actually cared for his pupils and wanted to get the best out of them rather than just getting them through the exams.

It’s a very quick and easy read but really has some substance, it doesn’t really loose anything for it. I suppose I would change something and that would be to see a bit more about how the surprise revelation affected him, but having said something in a way everything we had read showed that.

5/5

My sidebar tells me that there is going to be a film of The Perk of Being a Wallflower, written by Chbosky himself. Seeing as he is writing it I think it could be really good. Apparently Emma Watson and Logan Lerman will be in it. Lerman looks pretty close to how I imagined Charlie, maybe a little more pretty boy but Watson isn’t how I imagine any of the female characters, maybe she could be Charlie’s sister but I certainly cannot see her as Sam.

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