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30th July
2009
written by brandij

Book | Author: Jodi Picoult | Published: 2004My Sister's Keeper Book Cover

Movie:
Director: Nick Cassavetes | Released June 2009
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Abigaail Breslin, Joan Cusack

Jodi Picoult certainly knows how to tug at your heart strings with medical dramas surrounding children, and the choices that parents must make. In both the written and on-screen versions of My Sister’s Keeper, you find yourself asking “What would I do?” If you’re looking for an answer, however, you’ll find the answer quite different between the two telling.

My Sister’s Keeper is the story of Anna, her dying sister Kate, and the decision that may kill them.

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27th May
2009
written by JohnArkontaky

Book | Author: Dan Brown | Published: 2000

Movie:
Director: Ron Howard | Released: March 2009
Starring: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Skellan Starsgard

Yin and Yang. Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie. Books and movies. Angels and demons. All of these duos are opposing forces, yet they intermingle in an unending cosmic balance of good and evil. Books are often heralded as the better over a screen adaptation in terms of storytelling. But, movies more often rake in the bigger bucks and popularize the title.  Dan Brown’s thriller prequel to Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons resurrects the ancient rivalry between science and religion. And since Ron Howard has taken both of Brown’s bestselling novels and turned them into big production movies, perhaps Howard and Brown are now interlocked as opposites thriving for dominion over the same title. Preferably the movie would coincide with the novel in a tidy screen adaptation, but we all know that never happens. So, what demons does Howard have floating about this time?

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13th May
2009
written by JohnArkontaky

Book:
Author: Dan Brown | Published: 2003

Movie:
Director: Ron Howard | Released: 2006
Starring: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautao, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany
The Da Vinci Code is as controversial a novel as it is brilliant. Love it or hate it, this story’s depth and insight into the past–and using the past as a window to see our present–is something to admire. And it’s no mystery that this international blockbuster would eventually be made into a movie. The curiosity and fascination the book sparked in people obviously would make for a king’s ransom at the box office. So, is this the holy grail of screen adaptations, or another dead end on the quest for truthful screen adaptation?

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18th March
2009
written by brandij

Novel
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Published: Bantam Books, 2003

Movie:
Director: P.J. Hogan
Starring: Isla Fisher, Hugh Dancy, Krysten Ritter, Joan Cusack, John Goodman
Release: February 2009

I confess that I didn’t have much faith in either the book or the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic. Every time I saw one of the books in my local Target I rolled my eyes – I’ve never been a label girl, so going thousands of dollars into debt for shoes and scarves is outside my realm of experience. However, I found Rebecca Bloomwood to be engaging in the same vein as Bridget Jones, except with a collection of shopping bags instead of diet fads.

The drastic differences between the book and the movie make them hard to compare, although both have redeeming qualities (including a note to self: stay away from credit cards and sale racks!). In novel form, Shopaholic focuses on Bloomwood’s financial difficulties, but when translated to the big screen, you get much more of a romantic focus.

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2nd August
2009
written by JohnArkontaky

Book
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Published: 1954

Movie
Director: Peter Jackson | Released: 2003
Screen Play: Fran Walsh
Starring: Vigo Mortensen, Ian McKellan, Elijah Wood, John Rhys-Davies, Orlando Bloom, Andy Serkis

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the Kings is the final chapter of J.R.R. Tolkien’s LOR series. Like its predecessors, the movie has a fair share of accurate portrayals of the book’s journey, and throws in its own elements as well. It is hard to argue against the book or film, unless you want to argue against one of the most beloved authors of all time or groundbreaking, record-shattering filmmaking. Still, like most stories passed down through the ages, The Return of the King has changed with the times. And if for nothing else, we can set the record straight here and now…
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24th March
2009
written by JohnArkontaky

Frame from graphic novel Watchmen

Frame from graphic novel "Watchmen"

This animated movie is a spinoff of a comic book within the graphic novel Watchmen. The movie does an excellent job of keeping true to the core of this (fictitiuos) comic book. We watch the hero go through stomach turning atrocities that ultimately transform him from an honorable ship captain to a hallucinated madman.

It lacks, however, any tie-ins with Watchmen, as it strives to be a stand-alone entity. But, unfortunately, it’s hard to justify any film clocking in under 30 minutes of reel time with a price tag of $30 retail. Gerald Butler (King Leonidus from 300) is a sexy guy and a great voice-over, but not that good.

The movie starts off right in the middle of a bloody naval battle between a monstrous black ship and what seems to be an honest naval ship (maybe British). It would have been nice to see some homage to the spinoff’s roots, visa vi a prologue of the fanboy reading “Tales of the Black Freighter” at a newsstand in NYC. After all, that’s how readers followed the comic: the fanboy would talk to the newsstand vendor, then we would get a glimpse of Freighter and the action would perfectly coincide with the discussion fanboy was having–but with a really twisted, gory perversion of the conversation.

All-in-all it’s interesting, but not worth the dough. Maybe if nothing interesting is on your Netflix list you should give this DVD a shot, but don’t expect to be pulled into the story for long. I recommend the graphic novel instead.

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