From Print to Screen: Book-to-Film Adaptations That Were Meant To Be

Standard
'The Great Gatsby' and 'Much Ado' will be released this year. (Photos courtesy of First National, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Lionsgate.)

‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘Much Ado’ will be released this year. (Photos courtesy of First National, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Lionsgate.)

Do you know how many movies are based on books? A lot. Classics from the early days of the film industry like Tarzan of the Apes (1918) based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel of the same name—or the more modern Jurassic Park that Steven Spielberg adapted from Michael Crichton’s novel. Then of course, there are the recent film adaptations of classic literature—y’know the kind we read in high school—such as Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby and Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing. There is also the trend of turning book series into television shows, as HBO did with Candace Bushnell’s Sex and the City. Given the sheer number of books adapted to the screen, at least a few of them are bound to good, right?

Since I’ve already listed the adaptations I’d love to forget exist, I think it’s time to talk about the film and TV based on books that I just can’t get enough of. Out of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of movies and series inspired by literature, I decided to list my top five. To be clear though, this list only includes movies/television based on books I’ve read, which made the pool of possibilities woefully small. This list was much harder to create, but then, I think the entertainment industry is still perfecting the art of adapting books for the screen. For now, here are my favorite book-to-film adaptations.

Continue reading

Advertisements

From Print to Screen: Books that Should Have Stayed Just Books

Standard
'Harry Potter,' 'Lord of the Rings,' and 'Twilight' all hold spots on the list of highest grossing film series ever. (Photos courtesy of Warner Bros, New Line, Lionsgate, and Summit.)

‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Lord of the Rings,’ and ‘Twilight’ all hold spots on the list of highest grossing film series ever. (Photos courtesy of Warner Bros, New Line, Lionsgate, and Summit.)

Since the popularity of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games, and Twilight in recent years, it seems like all the movie studios are rushing to turn every semi-popular book into a movie. Which can be exciting for fans of those book series. They’ll get to see their favorite characters in the flesh! They’ll get to argue with their friends over who should be cast in what role and then celebrate whichever actor or actress actually lands the part. Or the reverse might happen and they’ll get to see their favorite actors or actresses cast in roles of books they’ve never read, so they’ll get to discover great new literature. (This recently happened to me with Dylan O’Brien being cast in the movie for James Dashner’s The Maze Runner.)

Unfortunately however, there have been those movies that don’t quite live up to expectations. Whether they don’t quite capture their printed counterparts or they completely stray from the original text, some movie adaptations just aren’t good. A few of the films on my list may have redeemable qualities; they may even be decent standalone movies. But in one way or another each of these flicks failed to be as good or better than the books on which they were based. I might even go so far as to say they shouldn’t have been made (just kidding! Maybe.) Regardless, here are the movie adaptations that I hate to hate, but still do.

Continue reading

Light ‘Em Up: Fall Out Boy’s Explosive Return with ‘Save Rock and Roll’

Standard
Fall Out Boy in Berlin in early March. Photo courtesy of FallOutBoy.com.

Fall Out Boy in Berlin in early March. Photo courtesy of FallOutBoy.com.

On Feb. 4, after four long years, the sixteen-year-old version of me screamed in joy because Fall Out Boy announced that their seemingly unending hiatus was over; they were getting back together! But the exultation didn’t end there: not only were we going to get another tour, we were going to get a whole new album. “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)” was released on Feb. 4 as the first song off Fall Out Boy’s fifth studio album, Save Rock and Roll. Sure, it sounded a lot different than the band’s older music, but it was explosive and fantastic.

Photo courtesy of FallOutboy.com.

Photo courtesy of FallOutboy.com.

At the time, it seemed an eternity before the album would be released on April 12th, but we had waited four years, what were another few months? Well it seemed Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Andy Hurley, and Joe Trohman couldn’t wait either; the band leaked Save Rock and Roll on their Soundcloud page this Monday. Once it was released, some fans even noticed that Pete had been tweeting lyrics from the songs since last July. After listening to the album a couple hundred times, I can readily say that I love it. But while the teenaged version of me is jumping up and down and rocking out to Save Rock and Roll, here is my full review of Fall Out Boy’s new album.

Continue reading

Why ‘A Very Potter Senior Year’ Was a Fantastic Finale

Standard
This drawing acted as the cover of the downloadable PDF script Starkid made available to fans. Photo courtesy of Team Starkid.

This drawing acted as the cover of the downloadable PDF script Starkid made available to fans. Photo courtesy of Team Starkid.

It’s been a few weeks since Team Starkid premiered A Very Potter Senior Year on March 15th and if you’re like me, you’re still in denial. Harry Potter will always be the totally awesome boy who lived (not died, duh!) But AVPSY marks an end to the super-mega-foxy-awesome-hot musical adaptations done by a group of Harry Potter fans. I laughed, I cried, I giggled in delight, I gasped in surprise and now I am dealing with an end of an era along with many other Starkid Potter fans.

I first got into A Very Potter Musical with my friends in the summer of 2009. I had just finished my freshman year of college and I was back home again. My friends and I watched AVPM a couple weekends in a row and we even made up a drinking game to go along with it. When I went back to school, I found new friends who had loved AVPM as well. Somewhere along the line, the Very Potter Musicals began to mean friendship to me. Although I watched AVPSY alone (which was for the best given my crazy reactions,) it still felt as if I was saying goodbye to a group of old friends. But it was definitely the most enjoyable goodbye I’ve ever had to say.

But seriously: where can I get one of those house jackets? Photo courtesy of LeakyCon on Facebook.

But seriously: where can I get one of those house jackets? Photo courtesy of LeakyCon on Facebook.

The great thing about the Very Potter Musicals isn’t just that they’re fun and silly, it’s that they’re entirely human. Sure, the shows are about a young wizard named Harry Potter and how he saves the world from the Dark Lord in the annual battle between good and evil. But they’re also about friendship and community, growing up and becoming the person you want to be, and of course the fear of death and the fear of being forgotten. The Starkid Potter musicals don’t just celebrate the character of Harry Potter; they celebrate everyone who ever—and will ever—love Harry Potter as much as they do. While the fans of AVPSY are dealing with the end of an era, so too are the writers, producers, actors, musicians, and everyone else involved in creating the musicals.

In an effort to deal with my endless fangirl emotions, here is a list of my favorite things about AVPSY. (Spoiler alert: everything about the show was my favorite thing.)

Continue reading