Tag Archives: movie recommendation

Novels to Movies

11 Jul

Before I start, I have to apologize! I’ve been really busy with numerous things in my life. I’m working really hard to finish the edits of Seconds Before Sunrise while completing my senior year in college. I’m also spending a lot of time with my family, but I promise I’m trying to post every other day!

Okay. Phew. Now today’s topic:

Every time I go to the theatre, I see a new preview to a novel-movie adaptation. The crowd either sighs or is filled with excitement. There are even entire bookcases at the bookstore dedicated to upcoming movies, but movie adaptations are arguable. Readers are often disappointed by this, but do all adaptations deserve this? I don’t think so. In my personal opinion, I look at adaptations as separate pieces of art–”a sister piece.” It isn’t going to be the novel, but it will represent the novel in a visual manner, so I try to stay positive and open-minded by taking the movie as what it is: a movie. Because of this, I wanted to reflect on my top recent favorites. Why? Because I have a list of upcoming novels-to-movies that I can’t wait to see, and I’m hoping others do too! (Or considering seeing them after they think of their favorites and maybe decide novels-to-movies aren’t so horrible after all.)

1. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Adventure/Drama/Mystery)

book-vs-film-extremely-loud-and-incredibly-close

The novel has much more time to get in-depth with the protagonist’s background along with his family’s background, so I am biased when I saw this movie is great. A lot of information is left out. (The novel is amazing!) But I understand why they had to cut it. They didn’t have hours and hours to put in all of the stories they put in the novel. But, in my opinion, if you have read the novel, the director seems to do everything they could to hint at these stories and bring up all of the emotions the novel did. This is a very sad book, revolving around loss and 9/11, and the movie isn’t any different. There are amazing performances done by all of the actors, and I really enjoyed this adaptation, even through I watched most of it through tears.

2. Never Let Me Go (Drama/Fantasy/Romance)kazuo_ishiguro

This is one that I strongly encourage reading the novel beforehand. The way the reader learns as a child would learn (and with the characters) without the writer simply coming out to explain the situation is phenomenal. This was the biggest loss in the movie, because they had to come out and say it in the movie. But I still loved it, because the movie allowed me to simply concentrate on the relationships between Ruth, Kathy, and Tommy, while also considering the point of the novel (no spoilers.) I recently watched this movie again with a friend who hasn’t read the book, and they loved it. But it is a tear-jerker! (As most of my favorite movies are.) However, I still found remarkable beauty in the meaning, and you won’t walk away without thinking about life.

3. One Day: (Drama/Romance)

One Day Movie_book

I fell in love with this novel like Em fell in love with Dex: insatiably and with hopeless aggravation. The movie brought up an entire different range of emotions. I didn’t necessarily fall in love with the characters, but I remained in love, and I saw them for who they were, and it was perfect. I have to admit that I’m not normally a fan of Anne Hathaway, but I loved her in this movie. She did a marvelous job, and Jim Sturgess rounded Dexter’s character in a way I was worried the movie wouldn’t. In the end, I was filled with the same emotions I was with the book, and I walked away satisfied and chatting about all the symbolic aspects of the characters’ lives. 

4. On the Road: (Advernture/Drama)70401

A Jack Kerouac classic. I love this novel. It’s one of my favorites. (In fact, most of my favorite novels-to-movies are my favorite novels.) In this case, there were some major changes, especially at the beginning, but I could understand why they did it. I still think the director retained the voice of the novel while also depicting the Beat Generation. I definitely loved Dean Moriarty. I thought Garrett Hedlund did an amazing job.

5. Beautiful Creatures: (Young-adult/Fantasy/Romance)

You may have noticed, but this is my first young-adult book-to-movie adaptation. When I originally sat down, I realized I was generally disappointed by young-adult adaptations, but I am very open-minded when it comes to adaptations. The reason I think I loved this one so much, despite a lot of information being left out, was how visually stunning it was. The director clearly put in a lot of hours in to the set alone, and I found it beautiful and dark–just like the storyline.

So what novels-to-movies are coming out? There are plenty, but here are my top five:

In the meantime, I will be writing, working, studying, and walking my cat...

In the meantime, I will be writing, working, studying, and walking my cat…

1. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

4. The Spectacular Now by Tim Thrap

5. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

Other popular ones: 

Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Second one)

Do you have any novels-to-movies you really enjoyed and/or looking forward to seeing? I would ask about ones you dislike, but I try to stay positive and talk about what others like rather than the parts they dislike. However, I also believe that the things people dislike are just as telling, so feel free to talk about that as well. If you have any older novels-to-movies you think I may not have seen, please let me know! Considering novels and movies are two of my favorite things, it isn’t surprising when I say I love reading and watching them.

Again, I’m sorry I’ve been so busy, but I’m trying really hard to stay on schedule! I hope everyone is having a great week, and I’m loving all these reviews coming in. I’m always available at shannonathompson@aol.com, and AEC Stellar Publishing is still giving away free ebook copies to celebrate Minutes Before Sunset winning Goodreads Book of the Month. I appreciate all the support that has poured in. It means a lot to me, and it keeps me on my toes as I continue on with the editing process of Seconds Before Sunrise.

~SAT

Goodreads Quote of the Day: “I wasn’t sure what was worse: being oblivious or living within reality.” (Minutes Before Sunset)

Movie Mention: Star Trek Into Darkness

21 May

Before I begin my posts over the next couple of days, I’m going to be sharing links to Minutes Before Sunset reviews and interviews from some wonderful bloggers. Today, I’d like to thank Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie, blogger on “Keep Calm and Write On” for posting this review. I’d also like to thank the Kansas City rock band, Averya, for already reviewing Minutes Before Sunset. Their reviews push me forward! And I’m looking forward to the abundance of reviews coming from those who have volunteered to participate in my last posting and others who’ve participated since the release. Thank you!

I’d also like to offer another opportunity: I’m a part of a website called Happify. It’s a website dedicated to creating time for happiness in your personal life, and I’ve earned five invites. Comment below if you’re interested (with your email) and I’ll do a raffle for the invites! The winners will be announced on my next post. 

The night I went we had tornadic weather, and this tree got struck by lightning right before we got there!

The night I went we had tornadic weather, and this tree got struck by lightning right before we got there!

Onto the movie: 

During another adventure of Midwest storms last night, I saw Star Trek Into Darkness. I know. I know. I’m a little late on this review train, since some were able to see it as early as May 9, but I finally found the time to go, and it was fantastic!

Just to give you a little bit of my background, my mother was a trekky, so I actually know a lot about the series. That being said, I did think some of the changes were unnecessary. But, again, I’m pretty openminded about movie adaptations, and I ultimately found this movie really entertaining–both visually stunning, action-packed, and humorous, although I did find the plot pretty predictable (aside from one part.) However, despite the predictability, I still enjoyed this movie immensely.

StarTrekIntoDarkness_FinalUSPosterI get enough of Zachary Quinto  and Zoe Saldana. On top of that, Benedict Cumberbatch (I’m sure many of you recognized him from Sherlock Holmes) is an interesting villain. I don’t want to give away the movie, or I would expand on this statement.

Basically, I had a really good time seeing the second one, and I’m looking forward to the third movie when it comes out. (I’ve actual spent a large portion of my afternoon researching this, and it looks like there is definitely a third one in the making.)

Have you seen this movie? What did you think? If not, are you planning on seeing this movie in the future? I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you’ve read and/or watched the old series. That way, if anyone is interested and comes to this page, they can get an array of opinions!

Hope there isn’t tornadic weather where anyone else is. Have a great day.

~SAT

Minutes Before Sunset: Goodreads quote of the day: “Identity was everything, but it seemed I never had one.” (Jessica)

Movie Mention: On the Road

29 Mar

Website Update: 1:00 a.m.: My Facebook Author Page hit 150 likes today! Thank you for making my Friday that much better. 

Yes. This movie is based off of Jack Kerouac’s book, On the Road, and, before I continue, I have to clarify how much of a fan I am of Kerouac. I first studied him in 2010. I read The Dharma Burns, Big Sur, Desolation Angels, Visions of Cody, Maggie Cassidy, The Subterraneans, and Dr. Sax–all under Ken Irby’s poetic eye–and I’ve been in envy of Kerouac’s philosophic and honest writing ever since. (If you’re interested, here’s a list of how to write prose like Kerouac himself.)

The wonderful Jack Kerouac

The wonderful Jack Kerouac

But–back to the movie.

I’ve been trying to get my hands on this Brazilian-French drama ever since it premiered in competition for the Palme d’Or in May, 2012, but I couldn’t–for the life of me–find it anywhere. Maybe it was just my experience, but it never came to theaters here (Kansas main theaters), and stores seem to always have to order it from somewhere else. However, after watching it, I think I know why.

On the Road is very controversial. If you don’t understand The Beat Generation (writers in the 1950′s who experimented with drugs and sex) I could see why the movie would come across as a giant party, rather than something truly challenging and real. In fact, many don’t even realize that On the Road is based on a true story, something that happened to Kerouac and his friend, Neal Cassady. I think these facts are really essential to seeing (and feeling) what the movie is truly about. But, nevertheless, my friend (who hasn’t read the book, but did have me to explain some things) loved it, and I did too.

Movie Cover. And, yes, Kristen Stewart is in it, but it's no reason to ignore the movie. I, personally, think she suited the role of "Mary Lou" very well.

Movie Cover. And, yes, Kristen Stewart is in it, but it’s no reason to ignore the movie. I, personally, think she suited the role of “Mary Lou” very well.

It was a beautiful adaptation of a such a striking traveler’s (and coming of age) tale. In the novel, Kerouac’s ability to discuss self-discovery within culture is magnificent–and so is the movie’s. Walter Salles did a wonderful job directing this film.

I really recommend both the book and the movie. (Book first, preferably, but it’s up to you.) It’s a great way to start the weekend. And, if you’re looking for a trip to take this summer, consider traveling On the Road (his map is available below) with Kerouac’s writing to guide the way.

Watch the trailer for the On the Road movie here.

~SAT

March 31: Writing Tips: Different Perspectives 

His map

His map

Movie Mention: Beautiful Creatures

20 Feb

11 a.m. update: Yesterday evening, part of the KC Country Club Plaza exploded from a gas leak. I’ve received a few emails asking me if I’m okay, and I am.  However, I hope everyone involved in the fire is okay, and special thanks to firefighters, police, and first responders (or anyone else who is helping the injured.) Keep KC in your thoughts please. 

I first read Beautiful Creatures when I was a freshman in college (December, 2009.) Immediately, I fell in love with the imagesbeautifully described settings and gothic–both rebellious and haunting–characters. This singular reasoning is why I was absolutely ecstatic when I found out it was being made into a movie. I even wrote Relax & Read: Beautiful Creatures on November 16th, hoping to share the movie news–and the tale–with you all.

Well–I finally saw it, and it was one of the most beautifully (and carefully) done movie adaptations I’ve ever seen. I was amazed by the visuals, the actors, the directors, and the overall storyline they created. (If you’ve read the novel, you know how detailed it is, and I was afraid they’d cut too much. Personally, I don’t think they did. I think they cut things that would’ve taken up too much time to explain on the big screen, and they did their best with the two hours they had…which is a lot. Seriously.) I would recommend reading the novel before seeing the movie, but it’s not necessary to understand the movie.

Check out the movie here.

I do have to admit that I never picked up the next book in the series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. My reasoning is simple: I returned to college, and, because it was my freshman year, I was adjusting, so I didn’t have as much free time (or I wasn’t very good at managing it.) HOWEVER–this movie adaptation reminded me just how wonderful this story is, and I cannot wait to pick up Beautiful Darkness before it is surely adapted as well.

My hope is that you all, whether you’re looking for a great YA novel or movie, consider this one.

Have a great day :]

~SAT

beautiful-creatures-character-poster

Movie Mention: Warm Bodies

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I love this particular movie poster, because I'm a HUGE fan of "Love Story" and the reference brings me a smile.

I love this particular movie poster, because I’m a HUGE fan of “Love Story” and the reference brings me a smile.

On Monday night, I went and saw Warm Bodies–the movie that takes our normally feared zombie creatures and turns them into potential dates.

When a young zombie man, R, saves Julie from becoming a zombie herself, the two trigger a heartbeat in the living dead, changing everything. Click here for more information and/or a trailer.

This movie is smart, cute, and full of fun (if you consider war between zombies and the unsatisfied Bonies fun…which it is. Seriously.) Nicholas Hoult does a great job, bringing an introspective zombie boy to life. (To life? Can I say that since he’s dead? I think so.) My only complaint (seriously…my ONLY) is that I wish the heroine was more capable. I felt like she was only there to spark the catalyst and then be saved…numerous times…even when she probably didn’t deserve it. However, my overall opinion of the movie was great!

Whether you’re with your special loved one or with no one at all today, this is a great movie to see.

Warm Bodies is also (and originally) a novel by Isaac Marion. Click here if you’d prefer reading this dark and lovely tale.

If you’re a zombie fan, and you’re looking for more undead entertainment, check out Carrie Ryan’s “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” book series here. The trilogy is probably my favorite zombie tale. World War Z is also fantastic (but it’s very much a political metaphor–nothing like the Brad Pitt movie that’s about to come out. However, I’m excited to see that as well.)

~SAT

P.S. I’m delighted to announce that I have a new page coming on February 16th. Be sure to check it out!

Movie Mention: Mama

23 Jan

I loved reading about all of your writing spaces on my last post. It’s interesting to see our similarities and differences as readers and writers, and I’ll be sure to find other aspects of our lives we can share soon. But, today, I wanted to suggest a movie to see this weekend!

1-Mama-PosterLast night, I saw Guillermo del Toro‘s new horror movie, Mama.

After five years, Lucas’ nieces, Victoria and Lilly, are found abandoned in the woods, and no one can understand how two little girls survived the harsh elements. Hoping to give them a home again, Lucas and his girlfriend, Annabel, take in the disturbed children–but the girls are more troubled than they could image, and it wasn’t the forest that changed them.

Not to toot my own horn (I’m sure you all are the same, as avid writers and readers seem to have a knack for it), but I’m normally really good at guessing plots, and I didn’t see the ending coming.

As always, the producer of Pan’s Labyrinth and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark delicately creates a twisted backstory for a complete and unique horror experience. If you’re looking for a scary movie to go see with friends, go out to the movies and watch this flick. You won’t be disappointed.

Check out trailer via IMDb here.

~SAT

Movie Mention: Night Watch

16 Jan

I’m a sucker for Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Thriller. Hence why I write that genre. In fact, one of the reviews for “November Snow” says,

This book was amazing. This book built up so much suspense, I couldn’t put it down. It is a mix of Adventure, Fantasy, Thriller, and Romance novels all in one. Great book for anyone. (William, Kindle Edition, 5 Stars)

Because I LOVE these genres, I strive to explore them in all types of art. I encourage other writers to do the same. Watch movies, listen to their soundtracks for music inspiration, and read novels, old and new. Today, I’m giving an example of expanding your palate by watching foreign films within the genre you enjoy. 220px-Night_Watch_(2004_film)_theatrical_poster

Night Watch (Nochnoy dozor) is a great Russian (English Subtitled) Action, Fantasy, Thriller movie to switch your inspiration up. Set in modern-day Moscow, Anton is stuck between the Dark and the Light when the Great Ones are discovered, threatening the apocalypse if they ever meet.

Or as Geser says, 

And so it will be, until a man emerges who is meant to become the Great One. And, if he chooses the side of Light, then Light will win. But, those, to whom the truth has been revealed, say that he will choose Darkness. For it is easier to kill the Light within oneself, than to scatter the Darkness around… The prophecies are coming true.

My friend and I found it on Amazon Prime, but you can rent it, and I’m sure it’s on sites such as Netflix.

Check it out (Or, if you like other genres, I really encourage you to try a foreign film in your genre to see differences, inspiration, and techniques that you can form into your own creations.)

~SAT

Movie Mention: Django Unchained

3 Jan

Last night, I saw Django Unchained, and I loved it!

If you are a Quentin Tarantino fan, buy a ticket and drive to the nearest theatre now. Seriously.

Not only is Jamie Foxx entertaining, but Christoph Waltz’s character, Dr. King Schultz, is hilariously brilliant. You’ll be cheering for these two bounty-hunters as they fight to save Django’s wife from the ruthless Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio…and, come on, who doesn’t like a little Leo now and then?)Django_Unchained_Poster

However, I understand Quentin Tarantino films are very gore-filled and extremely violent, so this movie isn’t for everyone (and it’s definitely not for children.) As Calvin Candie said, “Adult supervision is required.” So get some friends together or take a date, and go see this drama-filled western.

More information on Django here.

Enjoy!

~SAT

 

Movie Mention: ParaNorman

28 Dec

I LOVE anything and everything paranormal, so when a close friend of mine suggested this animated flick, I was ridiculously excited.

ParaNorman is set in a superstitious town, haunted by the ghost of a prosecuted witch. Norman, a young boy with the gift of seeing the dead, realizes he must take charge and solve the witch’s curse before it destroys the town he lives in (even if they do ostracize Norman for being different.)

I REALLY recommend this film, since I enjoyed the playful  aspects towards a normally haunting topic. But what is “normal” about ParaNorman?220px-ParaNorman_poster

Read more about it here.

From a writer’s perspective, this movie is a prime example on how we can take old concepts and renew them into something not done before.

Also, I’m glad everyone enjoyed my writing tips on dialogue, and I hoped you all can incorporate them successfully. It’s always a joy to help others with their passion, and I’ll be sure to share other ones to you in future posts.

In other news, I’m currently working with Amazon to feature November Snow chapters. Then I will release an E-Book for kindle and other electronic readers.

Until then, enjoy this movie, and keep writing/reading,

~SAT

Shannon Summary: Finished Finals

16 Dec

On Friday, I finished my finals at the University of Kansas.

I had a very rough semester, considering I am still grieving my roommate’s death in October, but I managed to get through my semester successfully, and I’m very proud of that.

Also, I wanted to take this opportunity to share my favorite required reads and films I saw during my classes, so here we go: (Click any of the titles to read more.)

Poetry:

The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway by Jennifer L. Knox

the new black by Evie Shockley

Films:

Stranger on the Third Floor (1940)

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946, Tay Garnett)

The Spiral Staircase (1946)

Brick (2005)

Books:

Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

I’ll probably review most of these in the future individually, so I can give you more information without taking up your whole afternoon reading (Ha), but all of these are fantastic reads and films to entertain yourself with.

Have a great weekend and fantastic break if you’re a student,

~SAT

My friend, Brooke, and I on the first day of our Film Noir class.

My friend, Brooke, and I on the first day of our Film Noir class.

 

 

 

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