Tag Archives: Book to Movie

‘Our Souls at Night’ Movie Review

11 Dec

Movie poster via IMDb.

A friend from my book club alerted me that there was a made-for-Netflix movie version of the book we were reading for discussion, Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf. I had a flight home from Texas after Thanksgiving and my husband and I downloaded it and streamed it for the last part of our flight. It ended up being a relaxing way to end the trip.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Redford and Fonda. I was told later that Redford approached Fonda about making this movie together, reminiscent of when they did Barefoot in the Park together fifty years earlier. I thought the casting was good and I was glad to see two well-known and respected actors take on the roles.

Addie. I wasn’t a big fan of her in the book but the movie made her very sympathetic. She seemed less pushy on-screen and I enjoyed seeing her vulnerable when the book made her seem unbreakable emotionally.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Jamie at Ruth’s funeral. The book made a point of not having Jamie at Ruth’s funeral. This seemed odd to me because he was old enough to understand death and you’d think he’d notice Ruth not being around anymore. I understand they were protecting him for even more loss during a hard part of his life, but I thought it was a bit too much.

Cover image via Goodreads

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

Louis gardening. This is honestly the only thing I can think of that was taken out of the movie. It meant that the mice were out as well but the train replacement was good, in my book. I think the gardening could have been nice visually, though.

Things That Changed Too Much

Gene’s drinking problem. This one made me mad. Yes, Gene was a bad father but taking it to the point that he’s leaving Jamie home alone for hours while he goes out drinking was too much. It made Addie’s motivation to leave Holt strong, but it didn’t make as much sense considering her plotline with Louis. It really got to me.

Gene and Beverly’s relationship. This is really an extension of the one above. With Jamie losing his mother, Addie had very different motivation to want to move in with him. Rather than being injured and almost forced to go, she is 100% making the decision to leave. I felt the whole end of the story was different with these changes.

It was a slow movie, probably not the best for watching on a plane to keep you awake, but also a nice way to wind down at the end of a long vacation. Reader, have you seen the Our Souls at Night movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ Movie Review

6 Nov

Image via Movie Poster Shop

This is another case of me being completely unaware that the book I was reading was turned into a movie. Thankfully, many of the amazing participants in WWW Wednesday let me know and I was able to grab this from the library to enjoy as a mid-week break from school. Oh, and I totally cried. It’s a good thing my husband was at work when I finished this.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

The casting. Lemmon and Azaria were both amazing. I can’t help think of Azaria from his role in Friends when he played Phoebe’s physicist boyfriend, but I still liked him in this. He even sounded a bit like Albom which was a nice touch. Lemmon was a great pick for Morrie and I think he really brought the character to life. It was very close to what I pictured when listening to the book.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Mitch working. In the book, there’s a newspaper strike going on while he’s visiting Morrie so he’s not working and things are slow. Getting to see Morrie isn’t a scheduling conflict and Mitch has a lot of time to think about the lessons Morrie is teaching him. I think having him busy with work built a lot of suspense and helped with Mitch’s plot line which wasn’t present in the book.

 

Cover image via Goodreads

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

Visiting Morrie’s grave. I thought this was how the movie was going to end. Morrie wanted Mitch to visit his grave and keep the conversation going, keep talking to him. In the book, Mitch talks about doing this and it made for a good ending. I wonder why the movie didn’t end the same.

Things That Changed Too Much

Mitch and Janine’s relationship. This one really upset me. Mitch and Janine were happily married in the book and I hated the implication that he was a bad boyfriend or husband. I felt Janine was a good support for Mitch in the book and viewing her any other way was hard for me.

The focus on Mitch. The book doesn’t focus much on Mitch. The story is about Morrie and how he’s dying and the lessons he wants to impart before he does. Switching the focus to Mitch and how he as changed by Morrie made for a good movie, but it wasn’t true to the book.

Like I said, this made me cry. It was well done and I grew to care a lot about Mitch and Morrie’s characters. I didn’t think such a short book could make a good movie, but I was wrong. Reader, have you seen the Tuesdays with Morrie movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

‘Still Life’ Movie Review

26 Sep

Movie Poster via Amazon

I had no idea Still Life by Louise Penny had been made into a movie while I was reading it. After I write a review, I always look at others’ reviews and see if I was alone or in the majority with my opinions. That’s when I read that there was a CBC movie from the book and luckily it was available for streaming on Hoopla through my library. It made for a nice night over the weekend while my husband was out-of-town.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Seeing Jane’s house. It was as beautiful as I thought it would be. Seeing all those images on the wall, all her friends, family, and the people she loved all together and living around her made the home feel so welcoming and lovely. I only wish more of it had been shown as the book described it as the entire living room and second floor of the house.

Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Maybe I missed the part in the book where he was young and super cute or maybe that was a movie add. Either way, it was a nice touch. The actor looked really familiar and I guess I’m remembering him from White House Down because I haven’t seen any of the other movies or shows Anthony Lemke has been in.

 

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Taking out Jane’s romance. Her romance with Andreas was a nice story but it was a red herring and seemed to serve only to cast Ruth into a bad light. As an older woman, I had never considered her the one to shoot a hunting arrow through a friend mostly because she likely lacked the strength to do it. I was fine with this receiving a few lines of dialogue but not coming to much in the end.

Clara and Peter’s art. Art was such a big part of the plot in this story so not going more into Clara and Peter’s art and financial struggles made it unclear why Clara was so involved in the art show and why having money left to her by Jane would be so important. I think it’s something little that could have been added.

Cover image via Goodreads

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

Nichol’s backstory. Without the head jumping that the book was able to do, it was hard to get into Nichol’s head and really understand where she was coming from with her rude comments and haughty attitude. Knowing a little about her family, their desire to see her rise, helped frame her terrible attitude a lot better.

Things That Changed Too Much

Clara and Ben’s relationship. This was a bit much for me. Knowing Clara and Ben had a romantic relationship really changes how you feel about him at the end. He was greedy enough to kill someone he loved twice (his mother and Clara) to keep his inheritance safe. This also drastically changed the relationship between Peter and Clara at the end of the story.

Overall, I thought this was very nicely done. There wasn’t too much changed between the book and the film which was refreshing after so many altered movies lately. It seems there has not been another book in the series made into a movie. I wonder if this one didn’t do well or if maybe there are some in the works. Reader, have you seen the Still Life movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

‘A Hologram for the King’ Movie Review

13 Jul

Movie Poster via Wikipedia

When I read A Hologram for the King, I wasn’t expecting much. I’d read an Eggers book before but the topic was so vastly different that I didn’t see how the same man could have written both books. I adored Hologram but couldn’t articulate well why. It reminded me a bit of Waiting for Godot but set in Saudi Arabia. That doesn’t instill much confidence, does it? I was excited when the movie came out but it didn’t get much hype. I took it up north to my parents’ cottage to watch with them and hubby and everyone seemed to like it though it had a meandering plot similar to the book.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

The King’s Metropolis of Economy and Trade. Description of the city is one thing, but seeing it on-screen was incredible. I kept having questions about how there was water and electricity in that remote part of the desert, but that’s beside the point. It was crazy to see the city rising out of the desert and even crazier to know it’s based on an actual city! The novel used the real name, King Abdullah Economic City.

Yousef. The quirky and mischievous driver was more fun in real life. He was really funny and I can’t remember how much of that humor was present in the book. My favorite line was when he found out Alan was late and said, “If you’re in a hurry, we should be going this way,” and did a complete 180 in the taxi.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Seeing Mecca. I don’t remember that part from the book at all. It was fun to have it thrown in, adding a little more adventure to Alan’s trip to Yousef’s home. It was clear the images were stock, which was the only thing that bothered me. I think they could have been worked in a little better but it was a fun scene to add.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

Communication with Kit. Alan was writing to Kit all the time in the book. His inability to provide for her as a father was a major motivator for him to stick around in Jeddah and wait for the King to show up. It was clear she was part of his reason and motivation, but I think it was more stressed in the book.

Things That Changed Too Much

The ending. This was the only thing that really bothered me. I remember the ending of the book is annoyingly vague. Alan was going to stay but wasn’t sure what he would do or where he would live. Nothing was going well with Dr. Zahra and he was very alone. All of that was different in the book. He was selling housing units at KMET, he was living with Zahra, and he seemed really happy. One of the things I loved about the book is that it didn’t wrap up in a nice little bow but the movie did. It was 20 seconds at the end, but it was too much for me.

I was sad to hear this was a box office flop. I guess other people don’t enjoy movies about waiting as much as I do. Reader, have you seen the A Hologram for the King movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

‘Room’ Movie Review

29 Jun

Movie Poster via IMP Awards

I read Room before I started this blog. It completely blew me away and I still think about how much I enjoyed it. It was a very tough subject to talk about and Donoghue did the whole thing in the voice of a small boy without demeaning anything about the situation. It was incredible. When I heard there was a movie being made, I was ecstatic. I was even more excited when my class ended and I finally had time to watch it. I cried alone in my apartment for a while.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Seeing how small Room was. Reading the dimensions and how many things were squeezed into that space was one thing, but seeing Ma and Jack in the small room and seeing how they made so much happen in that small space was incredible. That set was packed with all the things the book alluded to and it was crazy to see how efficiently Ma used all the space.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

No breastfeeding. This was a pretty big part of the book that was almost completely taking out of the movie. I remember Jack talking about ‘the left one’ and ‘the right one’ and it took me a while to realize he was still being breastfed. When I thought about it, it was really logical that Ma would keep breastfeeding him. Taking it out of the movie helped focus on the relationship without having to factor nudity into the rating. It was still an R rating in the US, though.

Cover image via Goodreads

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

Jack’s adjustment period to space. I found it fascinating in the book that Jack struggled with spatial relations. Because he’d only lived in Room, he knew where things were there but couldn’t translate distance outside of Room. He was running into things and falling down because he couldn’t judge distances. I thought this was a crazy concept and I wish it had made the movie.

The mall trip. This scene was a great add in the book and talked about the celebrity that victims of terrible tragedy can garner. Little Jack only cared that he was a hero to Ma but saw how famous he’d become. I wish it had made the movie.

Things That Changed Too Much

Honestly, it’s been too long since I read the book and I can’t think of anything major that sticks out. From my memory, it was a really good adaptation and I’m so glad I finally watched it.

I only wish I’d seen this sooner. It was a really good watch. Reader, have you seen the Room movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

‘The Light Between Oceans’ Movie Review

22 Jun

Movie Poster via The Movie DB

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a long time since I read The Light Between Oceans. It was about two and a half years ago that my book club read it and I fell in love with the title. I’ve already written a book review and a book club reflection on the title which have become top pages on this blog. Now that my class is winding down, I wanted to start watching come movies I’ve missed and this was at the top of the list. I don’t remember too much of the book, but here’s my best shot at remembering it!

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Janus. I imagined the island as very small when reading the book. It could have been in reality but seeing it as a larger island really helped me. The house and infrastructure on the island were a lot more developed than I’d thought of, too. It’s crazy to believe that the house and stairs were built by, probably, one man a few lightkeepers before Tom. Today, it would take a whole team to do that!

Isabel. Alicia Vikander did an amazing job with this character. It was easy to see how she was able to manipulate Tom into keeping baby Lucy. Part of it wasn’t manipulation, just her pure joy at having a baby around when she’d lost one. Tom loved his wife dearly and was able to make her happy. Happier than tuning a piano could ever make her.

 

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Simplifying Tom’s past. I didn’t remember how complicated his home life had been until I read through my earlier posts on the book. This was completely glossed over in the book, removing any mention of siblings and saying only that his father was abusive and unloving. I think this was more than enough. Tom’s quiet and desire to be alone was explained by his time in the war and for me, that was more than enough.

 

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

 

Forgiving Bluey. I forgot about this until I reread my review, too. There’s a lot of stress on forgiveness. Frank is big on forgiveness and Hannah tries to be forgiving to act how she knows her late husband would want her to. She forgives the Sherbournes for not telling her sooner. There were a lot of parallels between Frank and Tom, one of which was Tom’s ability to forgive Bluey for turning him in. I would have liked to see this and I wonder if it was a deleted scene.

Things That Changed Too Much

Less time spent with Hannah. Maybe I remember this wrong but I recall a large part of the book taking place back on the mainland with the legal battle going on and Lucy-Grace shunning Hannah. I thought this time was compressed too much in the movie because there was a lot of change going on in the characters during this part.

 

I only wish I’d seen this sooner. It was a really good watch. Reader, have you see The Light Between Oceans movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

‘Murder on the Orient Express’ TV Show Review

15 Jun

Image via Fanart

I’m forever going to watch the BBC editions of Christie books after I read them. This is such a treasure trove of good TV! I’m looking forward to the new Murder on the Orient Express movie due out this year, but I thought I’d watch the Agatha Christie’s Poirot version first. It was a good thing to do with my Sunday afternoon!

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Seeing the cast. There were so many names that I was getting Schmidt and Ohlsson confused for a lot of the book, but seeing them in the show made it a lot easier to keep them separate.

The train set. It was so beautiful! Now I want to take a trip on a trans-continental railroad like that. It must have been very costly but I feel like it would have been worth it as well.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

The simplified plot. Taking out the pipe, finding the kimono, and everyone writing down their addresses was fine by me. I got lost in the details in the book so having it simplified this way was great for me to follow along better. Even though I knew the outcome, it was fun to watch the details unfold!

The money. I think this gave the murder a slightly more believable feel to it so it was a logical add for me. The senseless murder with no motivation, the original set up, was too easy to see through.

Stoning in Istanbul. My husband and I agreed this was a better way to be introduced to Debenham and Arbuthnot. Being on another train when we met them was a bit much. It also flashed back to Debenham’s being beaten up.

Cover image via Goodreads.com

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

 

No Hardman. I don’t get why he was taken out. How hard would it have been to add another character? There are already so many that I don’t think it would have really mattered. It gave Dr. Constantine a weak connection at best.

Things That Changed Too Much

Poirot’s anger. This was the biggest change to me. First, it brings in religious righteousness, which was something the book had none of. Second, it was a stark contrast from the man in the book. It seemed in the end that he was passing judgment and had the final say in matters like he was sentencing them instead of the jury passing judgment. I did really like the shot of him walking through the group to the police, but that doesn’t mean I liked how he was portrayed.

Not questioning each person methodically. This is how Poirot functions! He’s methodical and follows a process. By not questioning each person on the train in turn and setting up a questioning process, I thought it was a big deviation from the character of Poirot and made it frustrating for me.

It will be interesting to see how the feature film version changes things again. I’m glad I watched this one first. Reader, have you see the Murder On the Orient Express episode? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

‘Snow Flower and the Secret Fan’ Movie Review

4 May

Movie poster via IMP Awards

I wouldn’t have known to look for a movie of this book if it hadn’t been brought up when I went to hear Lisa See speak. She mentioned Hugh Jackman’s singing scene so I was ready for something completely different from the book I read. I enjoyed the movie despite its obvious differences but I’m still going to the old adage that the book was way better and had a lot more depth to it that the movie lacked. The story-within-a-story premise was nice but detracted from the historical story.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Using the same actresses for past and present. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t notice it right away. It took me about twenty minutes from when the combined narrative started to recognize Snow Flower as Sophia. The makeup for Nina/Lilly was really good and I didn’t see it right away. I thought it was really cool to see the projection of Sophia and Nina’s relationship into Snow Flower and Lilly’s story.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Minimizing the time on the mountain. This time was a bit overextended in my mind. The book spent a lot of time on it because the Sworn Sisters became a big part of the story and this is where we met them. Her son’s death was the most significant thing that happened during this period but without the background of the second son being so favored in Snow Flower’s family. I understand See wanted to bring historical events into the book, but it didn’t move the plot along as much as I would have liked.

Cover image via Goodreads

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

The extent of Snow Flower’s family loss. She says her father is an opium addict but doesn’t talk about the losses her family suffered because of this. She doesn’t express her shame as deeply as she had in the book and feel the loss of her mother as profoundly.

Auntie Wang. There’s a parallel aunt character in the modern setting, so why was it glossed over that Madam Wang was Snow Flower’s aunt? It seems this might be something that was removed late in the game because it was really well set up.

Things That Changed Too Much

Mother-daughter relationships. The book focused a lot on ‘mother love’ and how a mother shows love for her daughters by binding their feet and how much both girls loved their children. We get a taste of this with Lilly during the plague, but it’s a lot less than we get in the book. The strained relationship between mothers and daughters was really sad to me in the book and I wish it had made the movie.

The bath house. I was confused why this was brought in. Sophia missed her father so she dressed as a man to visit his bathhouse and hid family heirlooms there? It’s a stretch to think she could make it into the locker room! I wish this had been taken out, it was really contrived and I didn’t think it added anything to the movie.

The wedding scene. When Snow Flower comes to her cousin’s wedding and runs into Lilly, it was one of the most emotional scenes in the book. Snow Flower tells Lilly how lost and abandoned she feels and Lilly retorts about how Snow Flower broke a promise. It was stressed that Snow Flower comes with Madam Wang and not her Sworn Sisters, yet the movie has her show up with the women. It glossed over a moment I felt was really pivitol in the book and it upset me.

The movie tried to add a lot in a place I didn’t think it needed to. I wish they’d stuck to the historical plot line without trying to make it more relatable. Reader, have you see the Snow Flower and the Secret Fan movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Books Becoming Movies in 2017: What I’ll read and what I’ll pass on

7 Mar

I’m sure I’m not the only person who likes to read the book before seeing the movie. I love being able to compare the two and come to the ultimate decision that the book is better. (Does anyone ever disagree?) Using this and this articles, I’d like to present a list of books that I’m either going to hurry up and read or let the movie woo me without preconceived notions.

The Zookeeper’s Wife (Diane Ackerman, March 31)- Pass. I might as well write a whole post about how sick I am of books about being the daughter or wife of someone noteworthy. This is me on my feminist soapbox at it’s finest. I’ll consider it for next week.

Wonder (R.J. Palacio, April 7)- Pass. My husband is reading this one now and I don’t want to make him wait to read it. I’ll go to this one, but I don’t want to create a picture of Auggie in my head and have the moviemakers ruin it.

The Circle (Dave Eggers, April 28)- Read. I have this on my shelf and realizing it will be a movie starring Emma Watson is making me think it will be the next one I pick up!

The Dark Tower (Stephen King, July 28)- Pass. This isn’t my genre per say and I’d rather watch an action plot than read one. Sounds like it will be worth seeing, though!

It (Stephen King, September 8)- Pass. No horror necessary for me, print or film! I heard Will Poulter was playing Pennywise and I was excited about that, but the article I read gives another actor. Now I have no reason to see it! (Ha, pun)

Let It Snow (John Green and others, November)- Pass. Just proof anything with John Green’s name on it is selling like wildfire. Can we get a movie of Looking for Alaska first?

Murder on the Oriente Express (Agatha Christie, November 22)- Read. With Kenneth Branagh playing Poirot and Johnny Depp on board, I can break into another Christie novel. I just added this to my Hoopla Wish List.

The Nightengale (Kristin Hannah, TBD)- Maybe. My book club has contemplated this one for a while and if we read it, great. If not, I’ve read enough WWII dramas to last me a while.

The Glass Castle (Jeanette Walls, TBD)- Already read, can’t wait to see it! What a moving book and I hope it will be a touching movie as well!

Live by Night (Dennis Lehane, already out)- Pass. I saw the preview for this and I really want to see it, but I don’t think I’ll go back and read the book first. It looks too good to wait too much longer!

50 Shades Darker (E.L. James, already out)- Already read it, will not see it. I didn’t see the first one because I think it’s a cheap money grab and it’s not something that needs to be on-screen. Plus, the book was horrible and I don’t want to endorse it any more than I already have.

Jumanji (Chris Van Allsburg, July 28)- Already read, will see! I just watched the 1995 version a few weeks ago and remembered how much I loved it. It would be great to see what they can do with 20 years of film magic!

A Wrinkle in Time (Madeline L’Engle, July 28)- Pass. I feel like I missed my window to love this book and movie so I’ll pass.

The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath, TBD)- Maybe. I read this book a while ago and I didn’t appreciate it at the time. If the movie gets good reviews, I’ll probably see the movie, but I won’t re-read the book first.

Any of the ones I’m passing on you want to sway me on? I’m really excited to jump on a few of these now.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!