Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category
An upcoming movie based off of The Pirates! book series by Gideon Defoe. I’m quite fond of all four The Pirates! books which include Adventures with Scientists, Adventures with Ahab, Adventures with Napoleon and Adventures with Communists. It looks like the movie, however, isn’t going to be based off of a single book but rather just include the characters and the Pirate Captain’s rival, Black Bellamy, as the main focus of the story. I think the stop motion animation (from the guys who do Wallace and Gromit) is a perfect fit for these stories.
Looks like the trailer for the US adaption of the best selling book, which a friend of mine once described at “rapey”, had finally found its way on to the interweb. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (US adaptation) stars Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist and Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander. There’s a pretty good chance that anybody who really cares has already seen the Swedish version (or read the book) so there’s not going to be much of a surprise in terms of “who dunnit”. I will say this much, the trailer is pretty awesome looking. Too bad I think the story is crap.
From the back cover:
For every would-be pirate who’s wished to cast off the shackles of landlubber society, here is the official guide to taking up seagoing roguishness the right way—er, that is, the right wrong way—well, let’s just say Jack’s way.
The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook gives you an insider’s perspective on all the dirty tricks of the buccaneer’s trade, helpfully arrrrrrrrrticulating such vital nautical information as:
• How to Bury Treasure
• How to Break a Curse
• How to Fight a Tavern Full of Angry Men
• How to Stay Alive When Your Ship Sinks
• How to Cope with Mermaids
. . . and dozens more crucial skills you’ll want to master before hitting the high seas.
When I was asked if I would like to review The Jack Sparrow Handbook I was worried that I would discover the book to be nothing more of pictures of Johnny Depp dressed as the trademark character from the films. Yes, there are pictures of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow but far less than I anticipated. Instead I discovered this book to be a nice blend of humor, facts, and product placement.
For a book about pirates, this one isn’t half bad. There are six chapters that give step-by-stop instructions and how to do pirate-y things like treating a wound or cope with mermaids. Sometimes these instructions might be considered borderline helpful which caught me off guard. I expected this book to be nothing but a giant advertisement for the new film. Alas, this book might actually teach your something useful. It mixes sections titled “How to Vanquish Davy Jones” (nonsensical) with “How to Escape from Being Tied Up” (practical). Now, having never been tied up, I can’t vouch for the reliability of the steps it provides. They do, however, sound practical. Then there is the section about the five greatest pirates. A quick Google search led me to wikipedia pages for each of these five pirates. I can conclude that this book is reliable as, if not more than, wikipedia. You might just learn something.
The downside of this book is that it attempts to shoehorn the name Jack Sparrow in to the text at every opportunity it can. That’s probably the point of the book if I stop to consider it’s name. But it can be a little distracting if you are treating this book as a serious tome about pirates.
Closing Thoughts: I was surprised by the quality of information contained in The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook. It might actually contain useful information. But the constant shoehorning of Jack Sparrow’s name does get a little tiresome.
Question: Have you read any movie tie-in books? Were they good? Bad?
First of foremost, this is a fantastic film. I didn’t know if was based off of a book until much later on. From what I’ve heard from other people, this film is one of the rare occasions where the film is better than the book. I haven’t read the book, so I can’t agree or disagree.
Children of Men is set in the year 2027 and for some reason, no children have been born in the last 18 years. Theo Faron, played by Clive Owen, gets mixed up with his ex-wife (Julianne Moore) and joins her and her group of anti-government rebels smuggle a pregnant women to safety.
One of the things that stood out for me visually while watching the film was the single-shot sequences scattered through the film. That must have been a pain to film but the end results are fantastic.
Anybody read the book? Should I check it out?
Read the book? Yes
Seen the film? Yes
I’ve experienced The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy in its many different formats from audio drams, novelizations, low budget british TV show, and computer game. The latest incarnation of the story came out in 2005 as the movie starring Martin Freeman, Zooey Deschanel, Mos Def, Alan Rickman, Sam Rockwell, John Malkovich and Stephen Fry as the voice of the guide. Helen Mirren also makes a cameo as Deep Thought. Talk about a good cast. Douglas Adams passed away before the project was completed but he is responsible for starting the script.
Purist will argue that the movie deviates wildly from the book. I agree, it does. But I don’t think it harms the story. Hitchhikers Guide has been told in so many formats after so many years that it’s natural that there will be changes to the story. Think about it. It started as a radio play in 1978. Now nearly 30 years later you’re going to act upset because some material was changed? You know what I call that? Revisions. I’m constantly tinkering with my writing and have yet to finish something and call it “perfect”. The important thing is the core theme of the story is still intact in the movie.
Read the book(s)? No
Seen the movie? Yes
I love me some classic disaster movies. Not like the kind Hollywood is producing today. 2012? Knowing? Armageddon? Those are nothing more than CGI montage of famous landmarks being destroyed by a CGI wave/meteorite/mother nature. I like the classics: Earthquake, The Poseidon Adventure (also based on a book), and The Towering Inferno.
The Towering Inferno was based off of two books: The Tower by Richard Martin Stern and The Glass Inferno by Thomas N. Scortia and Frank M. Robinson. I haven’t read either one of them so I can’t say which is the more dominate of the two but seeing as how both are about uncontrolled fires in skyscrapers. In the film people are attending a gala of sorts on one of the higher floors when a fire breaks out beneath them, trapping them on the top of the building because the elevators broke or something. Then there is the cast to consider. Steve McQueen (who doesn’t love Steve McQueen?), Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire.
When I love about classic disaster films is that they couldn’t rely on CGI for the special effects. There needed to actually be something on fire or gallons of water rushing down. It made the danger feel more real. I went to Universal Studios once when I was really little and went on their studio tour ride. There was this building dressed up like a subway station that the tram would enter. Minutes later an earthquake struck causing flooding. The roof collapsed and a gasoline truck train slid dangerously close to the tram. We escaped safely. BUT THAT WAS AWESOME. There was also the Backdraft attraction based off the movie of the same name. Basically you walk in to a room and it slowly catches on fire, real fire. I remember it being hot.
Anyway, The Towering Inferno is a classic and you should watch it if you haven’t already.
Read the book? No
Seen the movie? Yes
I did not know that Die Hard was based on a book, did you? Originally it was called Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp. NLF is a sequel novel to The Detective which was also made in to a movie starring Frank Sinatra. Changes were made to Die Hard however to make it stand on its own. In the book Joseph Leland is the retired police officer who saves a building from a group of german terrorists on Christmas Eve. Obviously, the film renamed the characters to John McClane but aside from that I hear it’s pretty faithful to the original text. Something else to think about Die Harder (Die Hard 2) was based off the book 58 Minutes by Walter Wager and Live Free or Die Hard (Die Hard 4) was based off of an article by John Carlin called “A Farewell to Arms”. Only Die Hard with a Vengeance (Die Hard 3) wasn’t based on any previous material. Either way, the Die Hard series are fun shoot’em movies, Not sure how I would feel about reading a book that covers the same material.