Tag Archives: Movie Adaptation

‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (2017) Movie Review

3 Jul

Movie Poster via Wikipedia

I won’t lie, I watched this movie because I didn’t have time to finish a book and write a review here for you all. I’ve been wanting to see this one for a while so it was a good kick in the pants to finally rent it and watch. I figured that anything with Johnny Depp and Kenneth Branagh would be worth seeing.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

All of the characters. I remember getting many of them confused while listening to the audiobook. Being able to see a face to go with the name was beyond helpful and made the movie much more enjoyable.

The train. It was so beautiful! I’m contemplating a train trip in the next few years and I’ll be sadly disappointed if the train doesn’t look like that. My husband says I’m going to be sadly disappointed by Amtrak.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Dr. Constantine. I honestly forgot about him until reviewing the original book. His absence was very minor and not a bit loss for the film. I thought it was good to reduce the number of characters, even just a little.

Dr. Arbuthnot. Here’s how they got away with it so well. By making Arbuthnot a doctor, they were able to use his skills in that field and fill in anything missed. Sly. It was also interesting that they decided to add some racial diversity with the casting. I thought it was great to address racial tensions at the time of the story with him.

Cover image via Goodreads.com

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

I honestly can’t think of anything that was left out. It seems more was added to round out the run time of this movie. Granted, it’s been a while since I read it so I may have forgotten.

Things That Changed Too Much

Too much action. Chasing McQueen on the bridge and Mrs. Hubbard being stabbed were just a bit too much for me! The murder was gruesome enough for me and I didn’t need the added suspense. Maybe someone who didn’t know how it ended would feel differently, but I wasn’t a fan.

The ending. Spoilers in this one! But seriously, Poirot telling them to kill him so he won’t reveal his secret? Really, that was too much. As was Hubbard/Arden sacrificing her life. It was too dramatic for me. The book had a degree of calm to it despite the tragic situation that the movie seems to have tried to avoid at all costs.

Interestingly, I can also compare this movie to the BBC Poirot episode on the same book. I honestly liked the BBC version better. It was true to the book and didn’t deal with over-dramatics. I also liked the portrayal of Poirot better. Branagh’s version was a bit too comical and not a world-renown detective for me.

I’m buckling down with my reading with the sincere hopes of getting you a book review next week! I don’t want to be watching movies over and over to have something to talk about. Though, it is very relaxing. Reader, have you seen the 2017 Murder on the Orient Express 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!

Advertisements

‘A Walk In the Woods’ Movie Review

19 Jun

Image via Movie Poster Shop

It’s been a while since I read a book that had been turned into a movie and it was a nice break. It let me say to my husband on Saturday, “I have to watch this movie!” I enjoyed A Walk In the Woods a lot as an audiobook and I was curious how it would be turned into a movie so it was a delight to see this and see how things developed.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Nick Nolte. I had an idea in my heads of what Katz would look and act like, much of it derived from the narrator of the audiobook. Nolte didn’t hit it exactly, but he was pretty darn close! I enjoyed his portrayal and how he struggled with the hiking but became so much better as the film went on. When he wanted to give up, he let Bill talk him out of it. That was a lot of growth from when he got off the plane.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Katz’s drinking. I’m glad this still got brought up. I thought with the direction the film was going that it would be cut since it was at the end of the book. It was one of Katz’s biggest demons and another big moment of growth for his character.

Running into bears. This was a bit much for me. The two did run into some kind of creature (I suspect a bobcat) but the encounter was nowhere near as exciting as the one in the film. It seemed a bit too convenient that the bears were scared off by the men in their tents. Honestly, that wouldn’t always work.

Cover image via Goodreads

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

Nature facts. Toward the end, Bill goes off about the American Chestnut but it’s the first time he’s talked about nature or the trail at all for their entire trip. The book had Bill giving facts about the trail’s history and the landscape they’re walking through the whole time. Why take it out at the beginning and leave only the Chestnut?

Things That Changed Too Much

Not stopping in Tennessee. When Katz brought up fast forwarding the trip, I was ready for it. The Smokey’s were the worst part of the trip for both of them. I was really surprised when Bill kept going and they didn’t skip ahead to Virginia. That was a bit too much for me.

Not taking a break and coming back to it. I didn’t like the pace of hiking the trail in the book, but this was weird. Instead of taking the summer apart and Bill hiking parts of the trail by himself, they stopped completely in Virginia. In my mind, they weren’t as close to ‘finishing it’ as they came in the book. They had all of New England that wasn’t touched. Either way, the book and movie fell short of what I was hoping for in the story, but the movie even more so.

This was what I was looking for in a fun read about hiking and being outside. I’ve been couped up inside with school projects and I’d love to get out like Katz and Bill. Reader, have you seen the A Walk in the Woods 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 Spectacular Now’ Movie Review

17 Apr

Image via Movie Poster Shop

I’ve been watching a lot of movies based on books lately! It’s been a good way for me to relax while school has been crazy. I watch them in two or three chunks which drives my husband crazy and ensures I get to watch them alone! I hadn’t heard of this book until I saw the trailer for The Spectacular Now so I had to watch the movie right away!

Things I Thought Were Awesome

The narration as a college essay. I was wondering how the writers would get Sutter’s strong voice to influence the story but using a college essay at the beginning and end was a great way to get his personality across and emphasize how he changed. Kudos!

Sutter’s dad. This wasn’t awesome in a way that means ‘cool’ but in a way that means ‘well done, writers.’ I hated Mr. Keely even more in the movie than I did in the book and he was pretty terrible in both. How little he cares about seeing his son after so many years is really depressing and seeing him go back to the bar instead of home to see Sutter was infuriating. I understood Sutter’s anger better and why Aimee was more worried about Sutter than herself after the car accident.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Simplifying his relationship with Holly. The opening when Sutter sets a fire in Holly’s house set the tone well for how combative the two would be and helped the reader understand why Holly is so reluctant to give Sutter his dad’s information. I think implying they didn’t have a lot in common and the obvious age gap between them was enough and I’m glad they took it out.

Cover image via Goodreads

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

Aimee’s drinking. The amount Aimee drank and the problems she started running into with drinking were a major message in the book. I felt this was a bit glossed over in favor of Sutter’s drinking problems in the film. Book Aimee is drinking to excess and getting sick from it while movie Aimee is having a few drinks to have fun but seems to be encouraging Sutter more than anything else. I think the change in Aimee was a big part of the book ending. With the ending change (see below), it makes a bit more sense the way the movie went.

Things That Changed Too Much

The ending. I didn’t like it. (Major spoilers for the rest of this paragraph.) In the book, Sutter had Aimee leave because it was best for her. He didn’t have his own things sorted out but knew she was in a good place and was set up to succeed in life. He recognized that he was a boost she needed to reach her goals. In the movie, he just abandons her and she almost stays for him but at the last minute, she goes anyway. I thought this was really against the book’s idea of pushing her out of the nest. Especially when he shows up in Philly to see her! That really rubbed me the wrong way. Book Sutter realized she needed him for a time and that time was over. Movie Sutter wanted to fix his own mistake and get back with her. I didn’t like the change, it made me lose some respect for Sutter.

Cassidy and Krystal. Small, but a Hollywood change I didn’t like. Cassidy and Krystal were fat! It was in the book, multiple times in Cassidy’s case. But in the movie, because Hollywood and women, they’re rail thin. I would have loved a curvaceous Cassidy and I was really hoping it would happen, but no dice. Drats.

This was a fun book and a good movie. Except for the ending, I thought the two were rather comparable. Reader, have you seen The Spectacular Now 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 Circle’ Movie Review

16 Apr

Movie poster via Book My Show

FINALLY! I had The Circle on my TBR before the movie was announced but when it came out, I tried to read the book so I could see the movie in theaters and compare them but life (and book clubs) happened and I’m only just now reading and watching. I’m so behind the times. At least I’m trying to catch up!

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Mercer. I know Ellar Coltrane doesn’t look a thing like the Mercer described in the book, but I almost liked him better. Mae seemed really superficial when she started making fun of how Mercer looked so having an attractive guy play him made more sense to me. He still came off as ‘outdoors-y’ and hands-on without an out for teasing him on vanity reasons.

Chasing Mercer. This scene was hard to read and understand in the book but seeing it played out made me really appreciate how he felt chased. It’s easy to see why, after getting death threats from strangers, he wanted to hide and being chased made him flee like an animal.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Taking out Francis. He didn’t add much to the story in my mind. He did give us a baseline for Mae’s ideas of privacy at the beginning of the book and how they changed by the end. But really, he just made me sad most of the time. Better not to have a sad character.

Reducing the feedback systems. There was so much as far as the surveys, PartiRank, influencer scores, ah! It was too much, and that was the point of it all, but it was still overwhelming to read and would have been overwhelming to see in the movie. Better off without it.

Taking out the fish tank. That was a heavy-handed metaphor if I’ve ever read one. It added nothing to the plot and only served to show the three founders as aquatic creatures and see, in a very disturbing feeding practice, how a society can destroy itself.

Cover image via Goodreads

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

Mae’s relationship with Ty/Kalden. I felt this was pretty integral to their teamwork at the end (which I’ll get to later). Without the relationship between them, I felt there wasn’t much for the trust they shared to be based on. I would have argued for the relationship to be left in, especially with Francis being taken out.

Transparency. Mae’s transparency was a big deal, but the number of other people going transparent was really glossed over. There was the one senator, but that didn’t scrape the surface of the number of people in the book who became transparent. I wish it was shown that Mae wasn’t such an anomaly.

Things That Changed Too Much

Warning: all of these are spoilers for the book and the movie. You’ve been warned.

Annie. I thought the way Annie’s story ended in the book was appropriate. There had to be a victim who’d been swept up in the Circle and it was Annie. She was necessary to show the evil in a system like the Circle and without her collapse, the ending seemed almost happy. As much as I hate to say it, Annie needed to end up in that coma.

Ty at the end. I don’t get this one. Why would he want to share Stenton and Eamon’s secrets but not bring down the company? It didn’t make sense to me what he was trying to accomplish. He’d already said that the reason he created TruYou had been twisted and he wasn’t happy with it. Why would he be happy with the Circle’s path and want it to continue? I feel like there’s a deleted scene here that makes this all make sense and makes Mae look like the bad one.

Eamon at the end. I didn’t like him ending up the bad guy after all. I pinned him as the guy who genuinely thought he was doing something for the good of the world and seeing him entrenched in secrets and getting ready to face legal battles ruined his character for me. I wish they’d left him out of it, maybe thrown Stenton under the bus alone. Or, you know, kept the ending from the book. Just saying.

Spoilers over!

Overall, it was a fair representation of the book though, of course, a lot was cut out for time. It was such a long book, I knew a lot had to go. Reader, have you seen The Circle 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 Glass Castle’ Movie Review

19 Mar

Movie Poster via IMDb

OK, I’ll be the first to admit that I read this book a looooong time ago. I know it was 2015 because I remember reading it at a conference in Chicago. I told myself I’d see the movie when it came out but I’m terrible at seeing movies in a timely fashion. I was on my way home from California when I started watching it on the in-plane entertainment app. We landed before I could finish it so I wrapped it up over the weekend. I don’t have a great memory of the book, so please comment with more if you can.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Woody Harrelson. I feel like he gets a bad reputation for being a bad actor, but I don’t agree. He’s very good at playing a drunk or a drug addict! Rex seems like a role made for him and he did a great job with it. The emotional highs and lows were believable and I felt like Woody might have really experienced those emotions.

If you only watch one part of this movie, watch the credits. There are interviews with the Walls kids and video clips of Rose Mary and Rex from the time they were living homeless in New York. It was amazing to see Rex and how well Harrelson embodied him. The interviews were great because the kids shared their memories of getting a star and it mirrored that scene in the movie so well.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

More of the movie concentrated on Jeannette’s time in the present, with David, than I remember from the book. It was fine by me, interesting enough, but I felt like it was just to give Brie Larson more screen time. I wanted to be with the Walls family in Welsh or traveling across the country in a van more, but the writers found a way to keep it interesting and I liked it well enough.

Cover image via Goodreads

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

Not taken out, but shortened. Her time in college! I was amazed that Jeannette went through school with no family support the way she did. That was the most empowering part of her story for me because it overlapped with my life. I was really amazed by her strength there.

Things That Changed Too Much

Rose Mary’s problems. It was clear in the book that both of Jeannette’s parents contributed to her challenging upbringing. While Rex had problems with drinking, Rose Mary would hide food from her children and couldn’t hold a job. Her issues were really downplayed in the movie to focus on Rex and I think it took away from the book as a whole.

I’d have a lot more to say if it hadn’t been so long between when I read the book and seeing the film. I liked the movie but I’m sure there were parts left out that I would have liked to see. Reader, have you seen The Glass Castle 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!