Books to Movies: Stardust

Stardust movie

Stardust by Neil GaimanBasic info.  The novel Stardust was written by renowned author Neil Gaiman and was first published in 1999. The movie came out in 2007 with an all-star cast that includes Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert de Niro, Mark Strong, and more.

What’s the story? To prove his love, Tristan, a young man from a small English village, makes a promise to Victoria, the village beauty, to retrieve a falling star. He goes beyond the wall separating the village from the forest and finds himself in an entirely different world. Not only that, the fallen star turns out to be a young woman named Yvaine and she’s also being hunted by two other parties – three witches who want her heart to make them young again and the dead king’s sons who are after the throne.

Which one did I experience first? I saw the movie first. I don’t think I was even really interested in the book. I know Neil Gaiman is a great writer but I have never even read any of his work prior to Stardust. I know, I’m terrible. I currently have two of his books though but I haven’t gotten around to any of them. I know, I am the worst.

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Catching up on a little ‘books to movies’ action

Or rather, this is the “Oh, hey, I’ve failed to post for the last few days, so here are my books-to-movies posts of the past” post.

Yep, I had a list and a schedule for the 31 Days, but I did not account for how much work each post will actually take and the times when I will be out of the house and away from my computer. That was the long weekend, by the way. I managed to get a post in last Saturday and started on what was supposed to be for Sunday but I ended up publishing that on Tuesday. Oye, what a crazy thing this is.

Anyway, we’re going away again this weekend – flying out tomorrow in fact and won’t be back til Monday night – so I’m going to be behind again. I had planned to base my post on books that I have already talked about in the past, but it looks like that’s not gonna happen right now, so I just want to leave you with the links to a couple of them.

 

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Books to Movies: Must Love Dogs

Must Love Dogs

Must Love DogsBasic info. Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook was published in 2000. A movie of the same title came out in 2005 with Diane Lane, John Cusack, Dermot Mulroney, and a bunch of other great actors.

What’s the story? It’s about a new thirty-something divorcee named Sarah and her dating adventures. Sarah’s family is very supportive and keeps encouraging her to start dating. Her two sisters sign her up on an online dating site and she meets several men, including John Cusack’s character, also a recently divorced man.

Which one did I experience first? I saw the movie first some time after it came out. I didn’t even realize it was based on a book. I read the book in December of 2012. The Kindle version was free on Amazon for a time and I decided to get it. If it wasn’t free, I don’t think I would’ve downloaded it. Hah.

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Books to Movies: Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons

Angels and DemonsBasic info. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown was released in 2000. The movie came out in 2009, a couple of years after The Da Vinci Code came out. The movie brought back Tom Hanks and also starred Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, and Stellan Skarsgard.

What’s the story? Renowned cryptologist Robert Langdon is called to decipher a mysterious symbol that was branded on the chest of a physicist murdered inside a research facility. He discovers that the symbol points to an ancient underground brotherhood called the Illuminati. It seems the secret organization has surfaced to do some damage to their supposed adversary, which is the Catholic Church. To make things even worse, someone planted a bomb somewhere in the Vatican, where cardinals of the world are gathered to choose a new pope.

Which one did I experience first? I saw the movie first and later on I decided to read the book so, you know, I’ll know the real basis for the movie. By that time, The Da Vinci Code was already out for two years and everyone already knew the Robert Langdon character, and I think everyone was just curious about the ‘new’ Dan Brown book-based movie. So you know, me included. I wanted in on the bandwagon. Hah.

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Books to Movies: The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci CodeThe basic info. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown was published in 2003 and became a bestseller all over the globe. Of course they decided to make a movie out of it. The movie came out in 2006 and starred Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Paul Bettany, Jean Reno, Ian McKellan, and Alfred Molina.

What’s the story? Robert Langdon, a symbologist, gets called to the scene of the murder of the curator of the Louvre. The curator left a clue that led to more clues found in the works of Leonardo Da Vinci. With the help of French cryptologist Sophie Neveu, Robert discovers that the curator was part of a secret society dedicated to protecting a religious relic. Robert and Sophie follow the clues while trying to evade an unknown danger that seems hell bent on getting their hands on whatever it is the secret society is protecting.

Which one did I experience first? I read the book first and it was during the time when it was already very popular and everyone was mostly raving about it.

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Books to Movies: Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice books to movies

Pride and Prejudice book coverThe basic info. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen was first published in 1813 and is one of the most well-loved classics. There have been several films and TV series made based on the book. In this post, I’ll be talking about the only adaptation I’ve seen (so far) and that’s the 2005 film starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.

What’s the story? The description on Goodreads calls this a “comedy of manners” and it really is since it’s a witty and satirical novel about life in a society of different classes back in the day. The story revolves around a young independent woman, Elizabeth, her four sisters Jane, Mary, Kitty and Lydia, and the men who enter their lives, most notably Mr. Darcy and his best buddy Mr. Bingley.

Which one did I experience first? I saw the movie first on DVD and since then it’s been on my list of go-to movies. During the time when I was just starting out as a freelancer, I would watch this movie over and over. I just liked having it on while I worked on my laptop. It was also around that time when I decided that I should read the book (and I did, of course).

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Books to Movies Giveaway Hop

To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about this giveaway hop when I decided to do Books to Movies for 31 Days because I signed up for this weeks ago, but when I realized that I also have this giveaway hop on the same month, it pleased me immensely. What’s the word for it? Synchronicity? :)

Anyway, I’m not strictly a “the book is better than the movie” girl. There were times when I liked the book more than the film adaptation, and there were also times when I enjoyed the movie more than the book. More often than not, it has to do with which one I had the pleasure of enjoying first. Sometimes I read the book first and the movie just didn’t meet expectations. Other times I saw the movie first, enjoyed it, but didn’t get the same enjoyment from the book. There are also instances when I feel the same way about both. Take Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter for example – I liked both the book versions and the movies. I mean, c’mon, they were all awesome.

Anyway, I’m always excited about books that get turned into movies, especially when it’s fantasy or science fiction. That’s why I joined this Books to Movies Giveaway Hop, hosted by Mary from BookHounds and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. This giveaway hop runs from October 2nd to the 10th.

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31 Days of Books to Movies

I like books and I like movies and I’m not one to make a big fuss when books are made into movies. I like seeing the differences between a book and its film adaptation. Sometimes I like the book more and sometimes I like the movie version more. It’s not that big of a deal for me when a movie (or the book for that matter) fails miserably to meet expectations. Sure, I get disappointed but I try to be cool and be all “my hair don’t care” about it. Honestly, it’s much easier to move on from a bad movie than when a movie turns out to be just as epic (or more) than the book or the other way around! Now, epic things like that stay with me for a long time. You know what I mean. ;)

So, for the next 31 Days, it’s all going to be about books and their movie adaptations. Every. Single. Day. Hopefully. That’s the plan. I hope I don’t miss a day. Yayyyy..

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Books to Movies: Safe Haven

31 Days Books to Movies Safe Haven

Safe Haven bookFirst, the basic info. The book Safe Haven was written by author Nicholas Sparks. The movie came out in 2013 and starred Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough, Cobie Smulders, and David Lyons.

What’s the story? A woman on the run finds herself in a small town and decides to stay a while. She finds a place to stay, gets a job as a waitress, and meets some of the townsfolk – including a tall handsome store owner and his two kids. Things seem to go pretty well until her past catches up with her.

Which one did I experience first? The movie, which I watched in the cinema with my sister. I didn’t even bother asking Carpet Head if he wanted to watch it with me. When I told him I was going out with my sister to watch it, he was just like, “Meh, okay. Have fun.” LOL.

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Rambling about my topic for the 31 Days challenge in October

You can probably guess from the accompanying image what that topic is, but let me just regale you with how I came to that decision.

For the past couple of days I’ve been racking my brain for a topic that I can write about for 31 Days in October.

I went to the 31 Days site, checked out some of the topics that people wrote about last year, and found some really good starting points like lists, letters, favorite things, movies, books, and many other cool topics.

I was thinking maybe I could just do random free-writes every single day for a month, but that would mean I would still need to come up with something to write about every day. Then I thought maybe I could write about blogging and freelancing or I could do a creative writing challenge, one with prepared writing prompts and everything. I also thought maybe I could do posts inspired by random tracks from Spotify’s Today’s Top Hits playlist.

Anyway, I started listing down potential topics and one of them was “fiction characters” and I got excited, like this was a topic I can get behind, and I started making guidelines in my head. I was thinking, each day I could write about one character from a book or from a movie. Then I thought, maybe I should stick to characters solely from books or movies, and then BAM. Books to movies.

Aaaaand that’s how I decided that I shall write about books and their movie adaptations for the entire month of October. Yayyyyy.

By the way, after I came to that decision and listed down some of the books I’ve read that have film versions that I’ve seen, I realized that I also signed up for a Books to Movies Giveaway Hop this October.

Holy synchronicity, Batman!

So there. The entire month of October will be all about Books to Movies. Hopefully I won’t miss a day in this challenge. The fun begins October 1st!

If you want to keep up with the series, you can follow this blog on Facebook, Bloglovin or via email!

Want to know more about 31 Days? Check it out right here.

Movie Review: Beautiful Creatures

I know it’s been a while since the movie adaptation of popular young adult novel Beautiful Creatures came out, but I’ve decided that this blog needs more movie posts. So doing movie reviews (or attempting to) is another not-so-shiny new item on my long long list of writing to-do’s (which is currently somewhat neglected, by the way, but we’ll talk about that another time).  Let’s get it on, shall we?

I haven’t read the book so this is obviously not going to be a book-to-movie post. Maybe I’ll come back to this if or when I’ve read the book. I’ve read mixed reviews about this one and I may pass on it, but I’m kind of curious about it, too. We shall see. Or not.

My absolute favorite thing about Beautiful Creatures was the movie trailer. I thought it was awesome. To be more precise, I thought the musical scoring was fantastic. It was appropriately haunting and it promised of something terrifying and powerful. After seeing that trailer a few times I was itching to watch this movie on the big screen. I wasn’t really expecting to like the story (again, because of the mixed reviews about the book), but I sure was expecting a lot of fun magic and exciting witchy action.

Anyway, look at the movie poster. Edgy dark leather and tulle ballgown for the win. I kind of like it. Not so much her makeup, but I guess it’s supposed to go with the whole dark theme. Emmy Rossum (leftmost) in this alluring lacy number is gorgeous as well. Of course, the rest of the cast looks good and they were great in the movie, too. It helps that most of them are award-winning or award-nominated actors.

So this movie had a great cast, but the story for me was okay, interesting, but not really mind blowing. You have Ethan the small town dude who dreams of a faceless girl. Then in comes new girl Lena, niece of town recluse Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons), who is unpopular in town because apparently their family is of the “evil kind.” Ethan is drawn to her and later realizes she’s the girl in his dreams. They become friends since Ethan refuses to leave her alone. Lena turns out to be a caster, which is a witch in layman’s terms, although they don’t really like that term. Lena reveals that on her 16th birthday her true nature will be claimed either by Light or Dark. There’s also a curse that goes way back and involves both Lena and Ethan. The movie is about them trying to find a way to break the curse and anticipating Lena’s claiming.

Like I said, the casting was great. Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis and Emma Thompson are pretty convincing no matter what movie they’re in so I can’t really say anything bad about them. I’m not a big fan of Emmy Rossum, but she was fabulous in this, too, and I think relative newcomers Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert were also great. I have no idea what their characters are supposed to be like since I’ve never read the book, but I think they wore their characters well. Alden looked convincing as Ethan, the cute boy who loved to read banned books and couldn’t wait to get out of the sleepy little town. I loved that Alice, who played Lena, had that subtle kind of beauty which I think fit her character.

For me the whole storyline is fine and interesting, but the movie felt like a novel that was turned into a movie. I mean, you know what I mean? I felt that there were things that could have been explained more or explored more. I wanted to know why casters wore exquisite gowns and suits when they’re inside their magical house or when they’re having a party with other casters. I know it’s silly, but I would have loved to know more about the nature of casters, their family, their relationship with seers, their history and why Lena had the potential to be one of the most powerful casters of all, but I guess stuff like that would have made the movie too long. (Yeah, I like backstories a lot.)

The magic scenes were fun though. I thought the “battle scene” at the end could have been amped up a little more, but I have to admit it was kinda cool how that played out.

Overall, the Beautiful Creatures movie was entertaining enough. I think it’s a good movie if you haven’t read the book. I’ve seen a few reviewers all up in arms about how terrible the movie is compared to the novel, but I really wouldn’t have a clue. I still think the trailer was more powerful. They should have used that awesome trailer song in the movie. I actually can’t remember if they did. Did they? No? What?

Have you seen this movie, read the book, or both? Dish!