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Film of the Book: The Circle


I couldn’t find a good trailer for ‘The Circle’ which I didn’t think was too spoilery, this is the best for that but watch with caution!

Read my review of the book ‘The Circle’ 

I noticed The Circle on netflix shortly after finishing the book. It has some big names in it; Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, Karen Gillan, Beck. I’m not one to watch films because of who they have in them, but I thought ‘The Circle’ could make a good film, and I thought popular actors wouldn’t want to be in it if it was no good.

When it came down to it I actually wanted to write this post because they completely butchered it, in fact I was shocked to find that Eggers had a hand in writing the script because they changed so much and left so much out. The end itself was completely changed, whilst other bits were more simplified. I didn’t think the simplification was a good thing, but I can see why it was done because you always have to cut things for films and it made things gel better. I also think it made things less muddy though. With the book it was hard to tell right from wrong, and there was a fine line between ideas which seemed good and what felt controlling or invasive, with the film that change came a lot quicker and the line was much easier to see.

One of the big problems I had was with Mercer. He was more or less pushed aside in the film. We didn’t really get to see his view point, he just seemed much more of a stick in the mud, and a bit of a loner. We saw closer to Mae’s view of him which she showed in the book, but their relationship wasn’t the same so it was really hard to see how important or not he was.

From this point on there will be spoilers for the film and book.

One other thing was that Mae was very much more seeming to be with ‘The Circle’ in the film. A large part of this was because her relationships were stripped down. Her relationship with Francis was completely cut from the film, and whilst I can sort of see why, I think it added depth to Mae’s character, especially when she found that Francis was broadcasting their sexual encounters. Plus that incident showed how transparency isn’t always a good thing, people need private moments.

The other big relationship change was Mae’s relationship with Ty. In the book Mae didn’t know who Ty was until late on, and his goals and thoughts were often unclear to her. In the film he introduces himself as Ty, and immediately shows his feelings towards what’s going on in The Circle. I can’t see at all why Ty would do this to someone he didn’t know, whereas when Mae didn’t know who he was or what he was about he could figure her out before revealing anything.

I already mentioned how Mercer was ruined by the film but part of that was also about how Mae’s parents were portrayed. In the book they are a sort of line between The Circle’s views and Mercer’s. They can understand how some transparency might be good, and how some things The Circle does are helpful and good to use, but they still have a respect for privacy and ‘real’ relationships. In the film they are just very supportive of Mae and mainly supportive of The Circle.

If you loved the book I wouldn’t recommend the film, but it’s okay as a film in itself.

Have you read the book and/or seen the film. What did you think?

 

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Film of the book- Still Alice


This post contains spoilers for the book and film of Still Alice.

I’ve been wanting to watch Still Alice for a long time. Having loved the book. and heard good things about the film. So I was excited, but also a bit unsure, mainly because when I love a book I see every problem in the film.

The film did stand up quite well. It stayed quite close to the original story, and it certainly pitched a punch emotionally, although not quite as well as the book. The thing with the book which was emotionally hard were the  questions to see how much she had forgot. They were in the film but they seemed less significant than in the book. Maybe it was because they were a word rather than an action thing, something harder to see than to read.

I was also put off by Kristen Stewart, but that was nothing to do with the plot or the way that she acted, her mannerisms just really grate on me. (And it doesn’t help that she was Bella, the worst character ever).

Buy it:

DVD (£5)

Blu-ray (£7)

Download (£5.99)

Free with Prime

 

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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: One Day


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.

Buy…

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)

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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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