Tag Archives: Stardust

Friday Favorites – 5 Fabulous Book/Film Adaptations

Happy 1st Friday of 2014. Casey here!

While I’m STILL finishing Lachlan’s Curse, I thought I’d share some of my favorite book/movie adaptations. In all cases, I’ve read the books and seen the movies. This is by no means my only favorites nor are they necessarily blockbusters (i.e. JK Rowling, Jane Austen or Tolkien).

I’ll be first in line for Dangerous Curves Ahead: The Movie!

If you’ve never read the books or seen the movies, give these a try.

1. The 13th Warrior – based on the book – Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton. Not for the faint of heart if you don’t like warrior violence but the payoff in the end is spectacular. This movie was highly rated at the time it came out and yet didn’t really spark at the box office. The director, John McTiernan has publicly stated the theatrical version was not what he wanted. I say – whatever!! It’s still a fun action flick loosely based on Crichton’s book (which is a take-off of Beowulf). The final battle sequence has the best “speech” I’ve ever seen. Obviously, I favor the movie version.

2. The Namesake – book by  Jhumpa Lahiri. Both the book and film offer an honest glimpse into family life and what it’s like to grow up in two different cultures (American vs. Indian). Don’t miss this one if you enjoy quiet stories about families and want to learn more about a different culture.

3. Stardust – book by Neil Gaiman. Set in the fantasy world, a love-struck hero embarks on a mission to locate a shooting star hoping to impress a girl. Instead, he tangles with witches, flying pirates, vengeful princes and a falling star with a mind of her own. I’d argue that the movie version is actually better than the book. The ending is a million times more logical and the cast knocks it out of the park. If you’ve read the book, then you know what I mean.

4. The Prestige – book by Christopher Priest. Wow. The movie’s story (about a grudge match between two magicians) is a head rush and really not much like the book at all. Again, another situation where I think the film ending was better (and more coherent). This is also a film where you should watch it more than once to get all the nuances. (Also starring the hunktastic Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale!).

5. Little Women (1994 version) – Okay, I know there are other theatrical versions, but this is my personal favorite. I love the cast, the setting, well, everything about this movie. While it is not an exact adaptation of the book, it still rocks the story of Jo March and her sisters (and a young, handsome Christian Bale doesn’t hurt).

So there you have it. Back to writing I go!

How about you? What are your favorite books turned into films?

Book vs. The Movie/TV Show – You be the judge

Happy Friday everyone. Casey here. Before I get to today’s topic, a few announcements:

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Now back to our show.

If your family and friends are anything like mine, you’ve had this conversation before. The book vs. the movie (or TV show) – which is better? Usually followed by passionate debate. The book readers tend to favor the book, mercilessly poking holes in the movie or TV version. The non-readers (who don’t have the book as reference) like the movie or show (unless the movie/show is bad and deserves the scorn).

For today’s discussion, let’s talk True Blood. Notice how I have used this opportunity to showcase the eye pleasing actor – Alexander Skarsgard. Yum. Okay, moving along…

Long before the show hit HBO and popular culture, I discovered a book by Charlaine Harris about a Louisiana barmaid who could read minds. The town of Bon Temp was populated with amazing and quirky denizens. In my head, I created mental images of all the characters. Sookie was Barbie doll pretty. Eric was tall, hot and hunky and Bill was dark and brooding. Sam was scruffy, yet cute. Jason was the typical jock, while Hoyt was a big loveable goofball.

When True Blood aired on HBO, I was pleasantly surprised by the casting. I love each of the actors and their portrayals. For me, they all pretty much match the image in my head of Charlaine Harris’ world. The only exception is Sookie. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Anna Paquin. She has the spunk and nerve of Sookie (just not the Barbie doll looks and that is okay!).

Storyline-wise – they have deviated from the books. And thank goodness, otherwise we wouldn’t have the spectacular Lafayette (as portrayed by the fabulous Nelsan Ellis) or Jessica (the fangtastic Deborah Ann Woll). To sustain a weekly TV program, the writers obviously had to stray from the original story. And in my opinion, they are doing an entertaining job.

There have been a couple of times when I thought the movie was better than the book. The two biggest are The Lord of The Rings and Stardust. There are so many book adaptations that have been horrid, that I can’t just pick one (okay, I lied – Percy Jackson – why did they have to do such a bad job!!).

Enough about what I think. What are your favorite adaptations? Which ones did you loathe? Debate and discuss!