Book Watching: So many TV-comic adaptations…

Book Watching

This week, I’ve got comics on my mind. Comic-books-to-TV and movie adaptations, that is, and there are a lot hitting the small screens soon. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get excited about any of these yet. Maybe the first episodes will change my mind?

This is happening:

Inhumans

Oh ABC. You’ve got to commit.

So the costume reveal went over like the-Friday-before attempt at a cosplay, and the first trailer wasn’t any more encouraging. They’ve since redone the trailer, but it still looks low budget as hell. What can I say, we’ve been spoiled by the movies, and we’re not going back.

Movies have raised the bar on superhero action sequences, and shows have got to be either super smart about the superpowers they showcase (Legion, Sense 8, Agent Carter, Jessica Jones, etc) or put their budget where their mouth is (Heroes, Supergirl, Constantine). Or, you know, embrace the camp a la Freeform. But you can’t waffle and then expect to eat your waffle and have it too.

Release date: September 29, 2017. So, this Friday.

The Gifted

Fox looks like it’s going to try a bit harder with this Heroes meets X-Men show which follows a couple mutant powered kids whose father works for the creepy government agency charged with catching and containing mutants. I wonder if we’ll get a lot of awkward Breaking Bad-style dinners out of this one.

On the bright side, Amy Acker will be in this show. (Unfortunately, looks like she’ll be playing Mom-normal. As opposed to, you know, a badass hacker assassin prophet (Person of Interest) or soulless alien goddess (Angel).) Continue reading

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Book Watching: Upcoming adaptations and a definite to-read list.

This week, I got movies on my mind. Book-to-movie adaptations, that is.

This is happening:

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Also known as the first book assigned for English that I read and liked. My sixth grade self was enthralled, and I remember listing is as “Favorite Book” for about a year hence.

Except, I have a confession to make. I have absolutely no memory of the plot. I remember the experience of reading it (positive), but so foggy on the details (all the fog). The trailer looks like pure magic, but doesn’t help out in the story department.

Yesterday, I got my hands on this book to do some much needed brushing up on plot. Anyone with me?

Release date: March 9, 2018

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Another book that’s on my To-Read list and my actual shelf.

Just hoping that it will do more than a feature length fan service for 80’s/90’s nostalgia. In the trailer alone, I’m seeing Tron, Iron Giant, Back to the Future, and dozens of other references. There is a plot, though, right?  Continue reading

Book Watching: I’m really struggling to get excited about these

This week, I got TV on my mind. Book-to-TV adaptations, that is.

This is happening (TOMORROW):

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

So I’m kinda late to this game, really, because this book-to-movie adaptation is going live tomorrow. This bestseller first popped up on my radar because of Ava Green. She plays the headmistress lady and looks a lot like one of my friends who looks just like Helena Bonham Carter. (You just gotta get the angle right, but I swear they’re related, all three.)

Just based off the two covers, it looks like the book version went more gothy lit, while the movie version went more fantasy-action.

Has anyone read this book? It seems like an odd stepchild of Harry Potter and A Series of Unfortunate Events, with a dash of Lightning Thief  style action. Or something. But it’s out tomorrow if you want to see it.

Release date: September 30, 2016.

Luke Cage, from various comics by Marvel

Now, this one I’m a bit more interested in. So far, Netflix superhero adaptations has been 50-50 for me. I wasn’t a fan of Daredevil, but Jessica Jones is one of my all-time favorite superhero shows.

Luke Cage is the on-and-off love interest in Jessica Jones. From what I can tell, this stand-alone spin-off is going to take place before the events of Jessica Jones because I’m pretty sure that’s Luke’s wife in the trailer.

I’ve yet to see an invincible hero I liked, but maybe this character will be the one when this show drops tomorrow.

Release Date: September 3o, 2016

This is happening (more generally):

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

What a gorgeous, gorgeous trailer for a beautiful book. The story follows 13-year-old Conor who is bullied in boarding school and whose mother is dying of cancer. Throughout it all, Conor is visited by a monster who makes a deal with him. Perhaps it’s a dream. Perhaps it’s all in Conor’s imagination. Perhaps not.

I could watch this trailer forever.

 

Release date: January 12, 2017.

The Dark Tower by Steven King

Oh hey, remember these books? I’ve been hearing of this on and off for years, but it looks like this Stephen King series will be coming to a big screen near you in in a few months. One question, remains. How will Girl With The Dragon Tattoo director Nikolaj Arcel deal with this series’ crazy mix of fantasy, sci-fi and Western? It could go so wrong. (Or so right.) Continue reading

Book Watching: Upcoming scifi and fantasy shows

This week, I got TV on my mind. Book-to-TV adaptations, that is.

This is happening:

American Gods by Starz

This trailer for the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel dropped last week, and it is gorgeous. Full on dramatic imagery, powerful silhouette shots, and slow-motion drama, I’m feeling a visual vibe of The Fountain (2016) and the dark drama of Breaking Bad. I also wonder if the movie will lean more towards suspense rather than special effects.

Release date: 2017

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Netflix

They’ve already started shooting for sure, and IMDB says this series based on Lemony Snicket’s books, will premiere in August 2016. As in, this month. Except Netflix hasn’t only just finished filming and hasn’t even released an official trailer yet (though a suspiciously well-made fan trailer has been making the rounds), so I’m not stocking up on popcorn yet. The show will star Neil Patrick Harris, Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes and was rumored to be quite a bit darker than the books.

Release date: Filming just finished, so…December 2016?

A-new-series-of-unfortunate-events

His Dark Materials by BBC

Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy is coming to a TV near you (no, not the 2007 movie). I’ve been hearing about this one on and off for a while, but facts remain sparse. It sounds like pre-production has been scheduled for this fall (so, now?) and filming will take place in Wales at the end of this year (maybe). Continue reading

[Book Watching] Summer hits and misses – The Host, The Hobbit…

The Host

hostWith this release, all of Stephanie Meyer’s books have officially been made into movies. When I got the book, I had very low expectations, and Host-the-book exceeded them by far (okay, low bar, but you know). Unfortunately, this meant that I went into the movie expecting a good movie. That it had Saoirse Ronan, who’s played the lead in Hanna and The Lovely Bones, and a great trailer soundtrack by Imagine Dragons didn’t help at all.

The movie floundered in all the places I would have expected, if I had turned on the critical thinking sector of my brain for a half minute or so before stepping into the theater. (I hadn’t). The movie struggled to convey the difficult relationship between Melanie and the alien inside her head, didn’t have the time to show the gradual and difficult way that Wanda finally achieved acceptance, and had to speed through a lot of the emotional relationship angst that I found both so incredibly annoying and riveting in the book. I say, see it if you land on it while flipping channels or scrolling around Netflix, but don’t agonize too much if don’t.


The Hobbit

the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey-movie-poster-1.jpgI am still unconvinced that we need three movies to cover a 300-page book, especially when almost all of the battle scenes in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey dragged on just a bit too long. That said, I will totally grant that squishing it all into one movie would have been just as bad in the opposite direction. The Hobbit was entertaining, pretty, and a lot of fun in IMAX 3D – though less impressive when I watched it on a regular screen later. The special effects, as always, were great and the extra  scenes they brought in from outside The Hobbit flowed well with the story.

I give it three canaries. Totally worth seeing once, but maybe not twice.

Beautiful Creatures

beautiful creatures.jpgI picked up Beautiful-Creatures-the-book with the knowledge that the movie was coming out in less than a month. And when I put it down, I thought, “well, gosh, how in the world are the movie people gonna pull this off?” If you’ve read the book (or our review of it), you probably know what I’m talking about. There are plots within plots, and a lot of the emotional brunt of the story is all inside small-town misfit’s Ethan’s head.

Still, the movie pulls it off – mostly by cutting characters and snipping away at pivotal scenes. But this strategy means that what is left holds together in a coherent storyline with only a few questions left unexplained. I was pretty impressed. And what the movie couldn’t do with the original story, it more than made up with the great acting. Continue reading