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: Superhero edition

Because comic books are books too, right? Here are the superhero and comic book adaptations coming soon, too soon, and not soon enough (depending on the movie).

I’m going to start with the shows, and then dive into some of the movies:

Powerless on NBC

DC Universe. It’s still all a bit vague and wishy-washy. But the rumor says this show may or may not follow the non-superpowered workers at an insurance company set in a DC superheroes-and-villains-exist universe.

Update: Right after writing this, I found myself the leaked trailer. Check it out:

Premiere: Late 2017? In the meantime, go read Trick of Light for pretty much the same premise, except also a ridiculous romance between a hunky supervillain and a geeky insurance man.

But you know which comic adaptation I’m super looking forward to?

Legion on FX

Part of Marvel’s X-Men universe, it follows the schizophrenic son of X-Men founder Charles Xavier. Except, you know, maybe he’s not schizophrenic at all. Maybe he has psychic powers.

Well, okay, we all know he totally does have powers. But the trick will probably be in seeing how long it takes him to figure that out.

Premiere: 2017. Probably late 2017. AKA not soon enough.

Iron Fist on Netflix

With the success of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and now Luke Cage, Netflix is on a roll. And it’s continuing to pull lesser known superpowered characters from the back-shelf of the superhero universe. In March 2017, we’ll get to see Marvel’s martial arts master Iron Fist adapted to the screen.

 

Premiere: March 17, 2017

Here’s the kicker (and you might already know this). There’s method to this fun Netflix madness. The channel is setting up a major crossover. All these characters, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, make up The Defenders. You know, New York’s version of Avengers, so to speak.

It’s gonna be good. Even better, we’ll be seeing Jessica Jones return for a second season in 2017 as well. 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 ] The Hunger Games, from Book to Movie

Warning: This review will contain spoilers for both the book and movie versions of The Hunger Games.

One of the greatest challenges of taking a story from book to screen is figuring out what to change. A movie’s narrative needs to stand on its own, working under the assumption that there will be people in the audience who have not read the source material.

In recent years, we’ve seen this done to varying degrees of success. Atonement is a great example of an adaption done right: the end of the movie is completely different than that of the book (for good reason), but the endings had the same thematic feel and impact. And early this March, our Pirate Canary told us about the successful plot-pruning and adaptation of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Safran Foer.

Of course, then there are the oft-maligned Harry Potter adaptations (past about movie four), in which one too many subplots were left on the editing room floor and the narrative started to get shaky for anyone who wasn’t familiar with the books.

And then we have The Hunger Games, undoubtedly the most-anticipated movie so far in 2012. Would it succeed in capturing the harrowing, break-neck pace of Suzanne Collins’ blockbuster books? Or would it fall victim to too much cut, too little left? Continue reading

TV Tuesdays: Supernatural, and a few books to hunt down

Every Tuesday we spotlight a current television show–and the books that you just might like if you watch it. Here are this week’s reading suggestions based on…

Supernatural:

With openings that regularly scare the bajeezus out of me, Supernatural follows the life of two brothers, Dean and Sam Winchester, who hunt supernatural beasties for a living. Even as each episode drops us into a different life-death-undeath mystery, the long-term plot trajectories pull me (and the Winchesters)  into tense stand-offs against demonic powers, soul-stealing devil deals, Armageddon-hungry angels, and ancient pagan gods.

Well into its seventh season, the show maintains a great balance of kick-butt action, character growth, development, and angst (yes!). More than that, the show isn’t afraid of flat out making light of itself in between the heavy doses of loss, disillusionment, and self-deception.

So if you watch Supernatural, here are a few books you just might wanna stock up on for the coming apocalypse: Continue reading