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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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11th March
2009
written by JohnArkontaky

Graphic Novel:
Author: Alan Moore
Published: DC Comics, 1986

Movie:
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Morgan, Patrick Wilson
Release: March 2009

You don’t have to look too hard before finding somebody that worships DC Comics’ Watchmen. Its popularity has survived tests of time, and one could argue that Watchmen is the lynchpin of the graphic novel’s (and comic book’s) credibility as “serious” literature. Had it been made into a motion picture in the late 80s or even 90s, the lack of computer graphics and special effects may have tarnished the experience. But, now that movies almost have too much computer animation, it is safe to attempt this seminal work. Or is it? Afterall, with great success comes even greater expectation…and criticism. Watchmen fanboys are going to be, umm…watching, with scrutiny for any miscues. So, how did Zack Snyder fare in recreating this cult hit? (more…)

6th March
2009
written by JohnArkontaky

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

Movie:
Director: Peter Jackson
Screenplay: Fran Walsh, etc.
Starring: Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Bernard Hill, Ian McKellan, John Rhys-Davies
Release: December 2002

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Two Towers is the second installation of J.R.R. Tokien’s Lord of the Rings saga. Director Peter Jackson took greater departures from this book than the previous adaptation in part one, The Fellowship of the Ring. He seems to have stuck to his award-winning formula, in that he added more conflict, and romance than Tolkien focused on in the book. Some of the risks Jackson took were difficult to swallow and even nudging up to cheesy for commercial fans, let alone stout Tolkien fanboys. Besides adding some soap-opera elements to the film, Jackson decided to play Jenga with Tolkien’s sequence of events as well. (more…)

25th February
2009
written by brandij

Book
Author: Cornelia Funke
©2003

Movie
Director: Iain Softley
Screenplay: David Lindsay-Abaire
Starring: Brendan Frazier, Eliza Bennett

I loved the premise of Inkheart from the moment I first saw the previews and the idea of bringing to life the characters who inhabit the pages of our favorite stories. The pages of Funke’s book didn’t disappoint either-it’s filled with quips, quotes and anecdotes that any book lover can relate to. And Softley’s film version is true to the book inspiring even the most reluctant reader to explore the world of words.

In the “real” world, there are people with special powers, known as readers, who can read characters and other elements of the story out of the book and into the real world.  Luckily, what those readers bring out of the storybooks brings excitement and danger to the story: Capricorn, the enemy of all, and his henchmen, led by Basta, and Dustfinger – who is just confused and wants to go home.

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16th February
2009
written by JohnArkontaky

Book
Author: J.R. Tolkien
Published: 1954

Movie:
Director: Peter Jackson
Screenplay: Fran Walsh
Starring: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellan, Orlando Bloom
Release: 2001Rating: PG-13

It was only a matter of time before someone made a film of The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R. Tolkien’s first book of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The story is a masterpiece. The characters each have their own plight and rite of passage. The conflict and journey are epic. But it’s a slippery slope to try and adapt a timeless story such as this for the big screen. To quote a character from the story, “Stray but a little and you will fail.” Fortunately, Tolkien proves to be a wonderful guide in his wizardry and craft, and paved a clear path for director Peter Jackson and screen writer Fran Walsh. All they had to do was follow the map. (more…)

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