Tag Archives: movie

2014 Books to Movies

10 Jan

First, I am taking a moment to apologize for my extended absence. I was having unusual difficulties with my normally cooperative technology. But now my internet is fixed, and I’m delighted to return to my every-other-day blog schedule.

Since I was stuck on my phone rather than my laptop the past few days, the only thing I could really do was read up on book related articles, and this one was really popular: 16 Books to Read Before They Hit Theaters This Year. Now I’ve talked about what I think of movie adaptations before, and you can read about that here, but I just want to repeat my opinion in case you’re a newcomer (welcome!)

I look at movie adaptation as sister pieces – rather than something that needs to represent the novel exactly. I normally quite enjoy movie adaptations, even when other readers don’t. This doesn’t really mean anything aside from I love seeing a piece of art being interpreted using another method. So I wanted to share the upcoming movie adaptations and what I think about the book and/or the future movie. The links will take you to IMDB rather than the book. I would also love to hear what you’re looking forward to and what you’re worried about, so comment below so we can talk about it :D

1. Labor Day by Joyce Maynard

I am a Kate Winslet fan, and the trailer left me wanting more. I will probably see this, but I have yet to read the 4.2/5 star novel. I will probably wait for the DVD, but it looks like a promising drama that leaves questions about the good, the bad, and the ugly.

2. The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter

I must see this. Again, I haven’t read this novel, but I am planning on checking it out a.s.a.p. I love history, and I love art. I plan on seeing this in theaters. It looks worth it to me. I’m also a John Goodman fan, so that helps.

3. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

I’m really on the fence about this one. I wish I could say more, but I honestly don’t know how to elaborate except that I’m afraid the magic will be hard to convey on the screen.

4. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

As much as I’m a young-adult fan, this novel failed to gain my interest, and – like many – I’m a little burnt out on vampires. (Although it is directed by the same director who did Mean Girls. I don’t know if this means anything, considering I’m not a fan of the story, but I hope it does well for the fans!

5. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby 

I don’t think this is my cup of tea, but this doesn’t mean I think the book is bad or anything.

6. Divergent by Veronica Roth

I think this might be one of the biggest films of the year in terms of young-adult trends. It will be interesting to see how the Chicago setting is done and/or if it fares well with the diehard fans. I’ll definitely be checking it out.

7. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

If I have the urge to have a cry fest, then, yes, I plan on seeing this emotional tale on the big screen.

8. The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

Although this is a remarkable tale, the trailer didn’t really interest me enough. I might change my mind, depending on what else it out around this time.

9. The Giver by Lois Lowry

This is one of my favorite novels of all-time, and I’m a HUGE fan of Meryl Streep, but I am worried about their decision to cast Taylor Swift. It makes me feel like they are simply trying to get people to come using big names, rather than finding the right people for the parts, but I still have hopes that Ms. Swift will live up to the high expectations of this classic and prove everyone wrong that she can, in fact, act.

I am wishing for too much, but I think it would be really neat if the first half shows how the world sees in black and white until the color vision begins to develop with the apple and hair through the protagonist. In fact, I made the photo below when thinking it would be really neat to see in black and white for one day. My roommate mentioned The Giver, and I got even more excited for this movie adaptation. I guess you could say this one is the one I look forward to the most.

So this is my black and white photograph inspired by black and white films!

So this is my black and white photograph inspired by black and white films!

10. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

I really want to see this dark tale, too. I think it will translate well, and I hope the visuals add to the dramatic and twisted story.

11. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Not sure about this one, but I am not familiar with the novel either.

12. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Yes. Yes. and Yes. I will be seeing this. I think that’s all I need to say.

13. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Wow. Second movie of the year inspired by Gillian Flynn. I’m a fan of Flynn, so I’ll probably see this, but I think I might wait until it’s out of the theater. But congrats to Gillian Flynn on the big year!

But I do have some (sad?) news about this movie adaptation. According to the guardian, the ending has been rewritten by choice of the director. Flynn has supposedly written it, but this mysterious ending is leaving readers wondering why and what will happen.

14. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand & 15. Wild by Cheryl Strayed 

Again, these both sound interesting, but I don’t think they are for me.

16. Serena by Ron Rash

I love Jennifer Lawrence too much to not see this. It’s on my top movies to look out for in 2014. Although I have to admit that I used to not be a huge fan of Bradley Cooper’s, he’s made a huge comeback with me since Silver Linings Playbook, and I adore every movie Lawrence and Cooper have done together. (American Hustle was great!) So I will be seeing this on the big screen if possible! Not that this matters, but Serena is also my favorite name for a girl, so…that’s one more reason, right? :] (Fun fact: Serena is the name of my protagonist in my first, published novel, November Snow.)

So what do you think? Are you looking forward to any of these flicks? Are you worried about any of them? Which novels have you read? Are there any you plan on checking out before you watch it? 

Feel free to elaborate as much as you want to about a specific novel. In fact, I hope you do! I would love to hear more about a story I’m on the fence about from someone who has read it and loved or hated it. Some of my favorite movies were ones I never thought I would see. (I can admit Silver Linings Playbook was actually one of those.) I’m really open-minded, and I love a challenge – meaning, I adore those moments where I have low expectations and the art blows me away. Surprises can be a beautiful thing.

~SAT

P.S. I took Bogart to the vet for his annual checkup, and he’s 18 lbs.! Now, I was worried he was overweight, but it turns out he is part Maine Coon. I thought that was pretty cool – and explains why he’s so HUGE! So I had to share :D

He’s a little mad at me after the vet, but he’ll come around.

He’s a little mad at me after the vet, but he’ll come around.

Movie Mention: The Host

4 Apr

Website Update: I hit 6,000 followers on ShannonAThompson.com. Thank you for all of your continuous and loving support :D

27 days until Minutes Before Sunset release!

I’m going to be super careful with this review, because I think it’s necessary.

The Host is the movie adaption of Stephenie Meyer’s novel, The Host, which I wrote about my post December 21: Relax: The Host. So I’ve read the novel before seeing the movie, and I think that’s REALLY important when seeing this movie. I say this because there are quite a few people I’ve talked to who saw it (and didn’t read the novel) that enjoyed the movie.

imagesI have to admit that I was ultimately disappointed. But I want to clarify that I remain VERY open when it comes to movie adaptations. I understand that novels cannot be exactly transferred to the screen, just like any art. I like to remind myself of “Girl with a Pearl Earring” — first a painting, then a novel, then a movie. Every type of art brings a different viewpoint to the table. And I wasn’t annoyed with most of the things changed in The Host from book to movie. I was actually more disappointed with the overall acting and directing. It took me out of the film quite often. For instance, the boys often reminded me of a boy band (which I did not picture in the book at all) and it seemed visually ridiculous.

Nevertheless, I was entertained. It wasn’t necessarily a bad movie, but it was a bad adaptation. I consider the novel to be really well done (especially in the different worlds described), but the movie wasn’t very special.

I really hate to say things like this, (I normally don’t review the bad movies I see) but I wanted to be honest, especially since I recommended the novel. I still recommend the novel (as long as you’re a fan of young-adult lit), and, if you didn’t know, it’s been announced that it is a trilogy, but Meyer has yet to write the last two books.

I’ll be sure to look out for those, but I’m not sure I’d see the movies if they were ever adapted by the same actors and director.

Sigh.

I feel so sad to have such a depressing review. So I’m adding pictures of Bogart below. Happy Thursday!

~SAT

April 6: Publishing Tips: Introduce Extras.  

These pictures were actually taken on the same day. Little Bogart & fat Bogart. Who knew cats could have a flattering side?

These pictures were actually taken on the same day. Little Bogart & fat Bogart. Who knew cats could have a flattering side?

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: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

29 Jan

It’s phenomenal. End of story. Seriously.hansel-gretel-witch-hunters-tops-weekend-box-office

I saw this Sunday night, and I couldn’t get over how fantastic every bit of it was. The characters are rounded–they’re, not only believable, but they complement one another tremendously. Jeremy Renner is a perfect sarcastic killer, while Gemma Arterton reclassifies the badass heroine every fantasy tale deserves. The movie, unlike many, isn’t full of cheesy CGI, but, instead, the characters are carefully constructed with beautifully (I should say “purposely ugly”) done makeup.

I would warn you, though, that the movie is much more gory than I expected it to be. (It is, however, rated R.) Gore doesn’t bother me, so I still enjoyed the flick a lot, but it’s definitely not for young children.

After being tortured by a witch in the woods, Hansel and Gretel devote their lives to hunting other witches, even if their lives are centered in the danger.

Watch the trailer here. (And, if you’re going to the movies, this one is worth considering.)

P.S I have exciting news about a reading/writing event coming soon!

~SAT

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: 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

Movie Mention: Lawless

27 Nov

I saw this bootlegging gang movie when it came out in theaters, so I’m very excited the DVD is released today!

Living during the Depression, the three Bondurant brothers run Franklin County, Virginia with their illegal alcohol sales. But when corrupt eyes fall on their successful money, Forrest, Howard, and Jack must rely on one another in order to fight off a mob willing to kill. Soon, one is severely wounded and another must prove his bravery or lose everything, including his family.

Lawless is a movie that will keep you guessing, drinking, and loving your family in the most difficult times.

Watch the trailer here.

 

~SAT

Movie Mention: Magic Mike

23 Oct

Okay. Okay. I know. This isn’t exactly my classiest post (or my longest), but I couldn’t help myself.

I saw Magic Mike in theatres, and it’s the perfect Girls-Night-Out (Or Girls-Night-In with wine and chocolate) movie!

Today Magic Mike was released on DVD, and of course it is an adult movie (Rated R), and it’s completely directed at women, and some people have complained that it’s downgrading, and it’s not for everyone. I get that.

That being said, if you’re open-minded towards strippers (Cough, Cough, CHANNING TATUM), then go rent this for the weekend, invite some girlfriends over, and have a great time!

~SAT

Movie Mention: Interview with the Vampire

6 Oct

 

Now that I’ve given you all a great YA Halloween read, I thought I’d suggest a good Halloween movie. (But I wouldn’t clarify it as YA, because it is more on the violent side).

Everyone nowadays seems to be in the vampire craze (or at least was in it at some moment). I have to admit—I love vampires. There’s something hauntingly seductive that leaves you tasting evil and realizing it’s delicious. That being said, however, I like DARK vampires. (Not naming anything in particular that isn’t dark…ha). So this movie is only for you if you’re willing to watch some blood with your bloodsucker.

Interview with the Vampire not only is a fantastical novel but it’s a GREAT movie—one of my favorites. Starring Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, and little Kirsten Dunst this vampire tale submerges you into the impure psychology of becoming and living as a vampire—a damned inhuman being.

So, if you’re searching for a great Halloween movie, go back to 1994, rent this flick, and see what it’s like to really be one of the damned—

“For what the damned really have to say to the damned?”

~SAT

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