Tag Archives: movies

Three and a half reasons I am NOT worried about The Giver

Image credit: parade.com

Image credit: parade.com

When I found out a couple months ago that The Giver was being made into a movie, I was beside myself with excitement. I’ve explained here before that The Giver is the book that turned me into an insatiable reader. It sparked my imagination in a way that stories about smelly buses and little brothers never did. Without a doubt, it is the reason that I am so drawn to dystopian stories even as an adult.

The trailer was released recently and has been receiving a fair amount of negative feedback. Comment sections everywhere blew up with, “How dare they ruin this book!?” I’m not going to lie. When I watched the trailer the first time, I thought it felt very Hunger Games and Divergent-esque. That’s not at all how I remember the book feeling.

But that’s not fair. It’s been almost 20 years since I read The Giver, surely there are things I’ve forgotten. Not to mention, I was 9 when I read it the first time. Being 29 is sure to alter the reading experience just a bit. So I re-read it last night. These are my conclusions.

SPOILERS, obviously.

Common criticism: “It’s not in black and white.”
To be fair, this was also my first thought. The scene where the apple “changes” is my most vivid memory of this book even 20 years later. Granted, it’s a 1 minute 30 second trailer for a 2 hour movie. There’s a chance they only included the color scenes. But even if the whole movie is in color, it’s okay. Jonas being able to see color in a black and white world was a device used to show the reader that Jonas was changing. And honestly, it’s a device that really only has an impact when it’s written. When the Giver revealed that the “change” Jonas was experiencing was “the color red,” the reader has a “WTF?” moment. You were DYING to know how the apple changed. It was suspenseful. It was mysterious. And when it was revealed, it blew you away and forced to you look at Jonas’s world in another way. There’s no way this scene is nearly as dramatic on screen because the viewer lives in a world that has red. It doesn’t pull the rug out from under you the way it does when you read it. I’m sure the movie has other tricks up its sleeve to reveal that Jonas is different from the others.

Common criticism: “It looks too much like The Hunger Games. It’s supposed to be a utopia, not a dystopia.”
Oh, how our child minds remember things. I, too, felt like the trailer was way too heavy for what I remembered. Upon my re-read, I realized The Giver is very dark. There was a lot lost on me the first time around. Citizens take daily pills to suppress sexual feelings. Citizens are assigned spouses and those “units” are assigned children. Professions are assigned. Birth mothers? They’re lower than than low. Citizens get “released” when they’re too old, too sick,  or don’t follow the rules. Released, of course, means euthanized. If you don’t remember the scene where Jonas’s father “releases” a newborn because it was an identical twin, maybe you should read it again. Then you’ll realize that the trailer isn’t dark enough.

Common criticism: “What is <insert scene>? That’s not in the book.” 
Yeah, it looks like they’re taking some liberties with the source material, and they absolutely should. There’s a reason that the trailer feels too dark for most. It’s because you’re remembering the story from the viewpoint of a 12-year-old boy who didn’t know any better. How did society get there? Who started it? Were there revolts? Does anyone question the status quo? Are the elders really “good?” What’s outside of the society? Has anyone tried to go there? There are so many things that Jonas isn’t privy to. There are so many things Jonas doesn’t even question. But the movie will. I think the movie will show the dark underbelly of “utopia,” and I’m excited for it.

Bonus reason… The Dude abides.
Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep, ya’ll. Get hype.

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Filed under Books, Fandoms, Movies, The Giver

“Day one, Greenie. Rise and Shine.”

Image credit: themazerunnermovie.com

Image credit: themazerunnermovie.com

I’ve been off my blog game so this isn’t new, but better late than never, right?

The first official trailer for The Maze Runner was released a couple weeks ago and I’m diggin’ it. As I mentioned in my review of the book trilogy, I really think this is going to be one of those rare cases where the movie is better than the book.

Reasons that I’m hopeful: 

  • Dylan O’Brien as Thomas. Dylan’s acting on Teen Wolf has been ON POINT lately. Like, chills-inducing amazing. He can carry this movie and then some.
  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Newt. Thomas currently plays Jojen on Game of Thrones. Needless to say, they don’t cast hacks on Game of Thrones. 
  • Better decision  making in general. At the 1:10 mark of the trailer below, Teresa shows up conscious and immediately recognizes Thomas–which immediately raises the suspicions of everyone else. This is so much more impactful than the way it’s handled in the book. I’m usually a stickler for source material, but I’m hopeful the movie can fill the gaps the book leaves behind.

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Welcome to The Glade, ya shanks

Image credit: themazerunnermovie.com

Image credit: themazerunnermovie.com

Okay! So! I was not thrilled with The Maze Runner as a trilogy, BUT (!) that does not mean that all is lost. As I mentioned in my review, The Maze Runner is the best of the three, and I think this is going to be one of those rare cases in which the movie is better than the book. A trailer hasn’t been released yet, but there are publicity stills  floating around the interwebs. I have to say, the casting on this movie is FLAWLESS, at least in terms of how I personally imagined each character.

Take a look. I think you’ll find there’s a little something for the fangirl in everyone. 

Thomas, played by Dylan O'Brien, who you know as Stiles MTV's Teen Wolf.

Thomas, played by Dylan O’Brien, who you know as Stiles MTV’s Teen Wolf.

Newt, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who you know as Jojen Reed from HBO's Game of Thrones.

Newt, played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who you know as Jojen Reed from HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Teresa, played by Kaya Scodelario, who you know as Effy from Skins (UK)

Teresa, played by Kaya Scodelario, who you know as Effy from Skins (UK)

Gally, played by Will Poulter, who you know as Eustace Scrubb from The Chronicles of Narnia. (And he was hilarious in We're the Millers.)

Gally, played by Will Poulter, who you know as Eustace Scrubb from The Chronicles of Narnia. (And he was hilarious in We’re the Millers.)

Minho, played by Ki Hong Lee. I don't know him from anything yet, but he's one of my favorites so I had to include him.

Minho, played by Ki Hong Lee. I don’t know him from anything yet, but he’s one of my favorites so I had to include him.

All images are from themazerunnermovie.com

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The Fault in Our Stars trailer released

Image credit: goodreads.com

Image credit: goodreads.com

Alternative post title: GET THE TISSUES

I read John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars while on vacation this summer. I usually like to reserve chick lit or guilty pleasures for vacation. I can knock a Sookie Stackhouse novel out in one beach afternoon. TFIOS was garnering a lot of buzz and I like to read books before seeing their movie adaptations so I figured I’d bring it along. It was not nearly the breeze I thought it would be.

This book broke my heart. If you saw a grown woman crying her eyes out on the beach this summer, it was probably me reading this book. It’s one of those stories that sticks with you days after you’ve finished. It’s sad, but hopeful. Heartbreaking but also uplifting in that circle of life kind of way. I’ve been looking forward to the movie ever since. I think it is beautifully casted (is it just me or is Shailene Woodley crazy busy lately?) and I’m excited to see it realized on the screen.

Well, call it an early Valentine’s Day present–we’ve been gifted with the first official trailer, so check it out below. If you’re completely unfamiliar with TFIOS, I put a brief synopsis of the story below the video.

 

This isn’t as fresh in my mind as it once was, but here are the basics:

Hazel Grace is a 16-year-old girl living with cancer. Her parents force her to go to support group where she meets Augustus Waters who has lost his leg to cancer but is in remission. Their friendship blossoms into love, they go on a pretty amazing adventure, and find the strength to face tragedy. Do not attempt to engage with this story without a box of tissues handy.

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US Post Office to begin selling Harry Potter stamps November 19!

Harry Potter Stamp

Image credit: usatoday.com

You guys! I can’t tell you the last time I sent legitimate mail to anyone, but I’m about to start finding excuses to send some letters or packages because this is as close to owl post as we’re ever going to get!

According to this USA Today article, the U.S. Postal Service will produce 5 million booklets of 20 First-Class Forever Harry Potter stamps. The limited-edition commemorative stamps have 20 unique images from the eight movies, including Voldemort, Dumbledore and the Weasley brothers.

“In the books and films, Harry Potter’s life changed with a letter, so we couldn’t envision a more fitting tribute to commemorate the world created by J.K. Rowling and brought to life in the Warner Bros. films,” says Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

Love that.

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“Welcome to Dauntless.” Latest Divergent trailer released…

divergent-poster-full

Image credit: divergentthemovie.com

I know I’m behind on this, Initiates, but better late than never, right? Can we talk about the official Divergent movie poster for a second? I feel like I’ve been reading a lot of negative feedback about it, but I think it’s gorgeous. Tris looks amazing. It took me a while to accept the casting of Four, but he’s finally grown on me and he looks great in this poster. And dystopian Chicago is beautiful– loving the ferris wheel. But I digress…

The more exciting news is that the latest trailer has been released and will be shown before The Hunger Games when it opens next week. But of course, you can watch it online now and it’s brimming with new footage worth fangirling over.

Here are my omg! moments:

  • 0:22 — The Choosing Ceremony in the Hub, the 5 metal bowls, the audience. This is exactly how I pictured it.
  • 0:27 — Dauntless train jumping!
  • 0:42 — The Aptitude test and of course, she realizes it’s not real and can control the simulation.
  • 1:00 — Tori informs Tris that she’s Divergent. You can never let them find out about you.
  • 1:17 — Tris is the first Dauntless initiate to jump. “Welcome to Dauntless.” And hello Four!
  • 1:38 — The highly anticipated knife throwing scene.
  • 1:55 — Four explains his tattoos. This is not how I pictured them, but this way is better. “I don’t want to be just one thing. I want to be brave, and selfless, and intelligent, and honest, and kind.”
  • 2:13 — The Chasm — I was never sure how to picture the chasm. I like this.
  • 2:16 — Ferris wheel of love 🙂
  • 2:22 — Zip lines!

There are so many more awesome moments, but I was on the look out for these. I’m usually very nervous about book to screen adaptations, especially with my last disappointment, City of Bones, so fresh in my memory. From what I’ve seen, though, I really think this movie is going to do the book justice.

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Final “Catching Fire” trailer released… (cue fangirling)

catching fire

Image Credit: imbd.com

Alright fellow Tributes… the final Catching Fire trailer debuted last night during Game 4 of the World Series. Even though it’s only a minute long, there’s plenty to be amped about.

We’re getting our first glimpse of the Quarter Quell arena–an unprecedented (and exciting) marketing decision considering The Hunger Games trailers didn’t show the arena until after the movie hit theaters.

You can check out the trailer for yourself below, but here are some of the things I noticed:

  • 0:46 – The 10 o’clock to 11 o’clock sector, the salt water wave that washes out the entire sector to the beach. And that cornucopia is pretty dope.
  • 0:47 – I think it’s safe to assume that that is Finnick running with Mags on his back through the woods.
  • 0:48 – The locket (but not the pearl?)
  • 0:52 – The 2 o’clock to 3 o’clock sector, the paralyzing fog.
  • 0:53 – The 3 o’clock to 4 o’clock sector, MONKEY MUTTS!
  • 0:55 – The 4 o’clock to 5 o’clock sector, JABBERJAYS!
  • 0:58 – The Jabberjay attack–Peeta is definitely yelling at Katniss “It’s not real!”

Chills. I have chills. November 22nd cannot come fast enough.

I also wanted to note that I don’t have the sector times and traps committed to memory. I found an awesome fan-made map/visual guide of the arena. Check it out here if you’re reading the book now, had trouble imagining it as described or just want a refresher.

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Filed under Books, Fandoms, Movies, The Hunger Games