Tag Archives: books

Movie Review: The Girl on the Train (2016) *Stop the Train; I Want to Get Off!*

Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train

Blockbuster books used to be a prime source for Hollywood adaptations, and still are when they happen, but the sad fact is that there are a lot fewer blockbuster books than there used to be.  The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins certainly broke out and became that rare novel that everyone was talking about, and, therefore, because I happen to run in very literate crowd, I was peer pressured into reading it.  They sold me on, “Oh it’s even better than Gone Girl!”  No.  No it is not.  Gone Girl was written by Gillian Flynn, who is extremely dark and twisty, but is also one of the best, most-compelling authors writing today, and the film adaptation of that by David Fincher was fantastic..  The Girl on the Train is a slog as a novel and, in that respect, its adaption is a very faithful one.
Continue reading Movie Review: The Girl on the Train (2016) *Stop the Train; I Want to Get Off!*

Trailer Time: The Girl on the Train Trailer #1 (2016) *Emily Blunt is The Girl on the Train*

Blockbuster books get snapped up by Hollywood ASAP in a world struggling to find something that’s not a sequel to something else.  Paula Hawkins wrote the screenplay for her thriller The Girl on the Train, and the first trailer promises a mind-bender.  The adaptation stars Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Allison Janney, Rebecca Ferguson, and Lisa Kudrow.  The film is scheduled to open October 7, 2016.  Fully synopsis below courtesy of IMDB. Continue reading Trailer Time: The Girl on the Train Trailer #1 (2016) *Emily Blunt is The Girl on the Train*

Trailer Time: Game of Thrones Season 6 Trailer #1 *Let There Be War!*

Game of Thrones Season 6 has been kept under tight wraps by HBO, because it is the film in which the seasons pass the number of books George R.R. Martin has completed.  Will he ever finish or will he just let HBO tell his story?  It’s a cluster(naughtyword) unprecedented in adapting a work of fiction, that the adapter defines the original work of fiction.  With the season premiere only six weeks out on April 24th, HBO has released a red-band trailer for season six.  I’m eagerly anticipating my season five Blu Rays so I can be caught up, but never would I deprive you of a visit to Westeros.  Also included is the super-creepy second teaser for the sixth season released a week or so ago.

R.I.P. Harper Lee (1926 – 2016) *America’s Greatest Novelist Has Passed*

Harper Lee

Haper Lee, the reclusive author of two books – both amongst the most controversial of their time – has passed away at the age of 89.  For an author who only published two books in her life, Lee’s place in literary history is assured by the quality of the two and the effect they had on American society.

Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

1961’s To Kill a Mockingbird is considered by many, myself among them, to be the greatest American novel.  It introduced the world to Atticus Finch, a principled lawyer who defended a black man against a rape charge in rural Alabama.  The novel also introduced iconic characters like Scout Finch and Boo Radley and was adapted into an Academy Award winning film with Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.  Most schools mandate Mockingbird as required reading and, quite frankly, you didn’t go to a good one if they didn’t (mine didn’t, for the record).

Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman

Lee became almost as famous for her refusal to discuss Mockingbird and her reclusiveness as she did for the groundbreaking novel itself.  She never published another book, gave interviews on the one she had and had been living in an assisted care facility the last few years.  All this is why it was a literary bombshell when, after 44 years, she published a sequel to Mockingbird entitled Go Set a Watchman.

Gregory Peck, Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Watchman isn’t so much a sequel as it is the first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird.  The publishers wanted something where Scout Finch was a young girl, so Lee returned with Mockingbird.  The hand-written draft of Watchman was thought lost for decades until its discover and publication last summer.  While Watchman is not the masterpiece Mockingbird is (no other American novel is, after all), it was still the best book of 2015 and challenged readers to accept a more nuanced, realistic and complicated Atticus Finch than the hero-carved-in-marble that had been established over the years.

For my part, I don’t think Watchman tarnishes the character of Atticus Finch.  He went to a KKK meeting?  I think the important thing is he went ONCE and that to see who was showing up to these things.  A product of an isolated southern town, his concerns about racial integration were not spoken from a standpoint of bigotry, but terror over the South seceding  from the nation once more.  Given that I’m never sure when South Carolina is just going to pop off and do that to this day, it was a perfectly reasonable fear for a man of his birth to hold.  What’s not mentioned in many Watchman reviews is how Scout grows into a young lady for her times, a Finch to face the complexities of the coming civil rights era, as Atticus was the Finch the world needed in his generation.  Lee’s prose was always a pleasure to spend time with, and I’m glad Watchman was published.  Her impact on the literary scene and the social dynamics of racial politics are just as relevant today as when Mockingbird was first published.  Her legacy as one of the most powerful novelists America has ever produced is etched in stone.

Full obituary below by Ed Pilkington of Guardian News. Continue reading R.I.P. Harper Lee (1926 – 2016) *America’s Greatest Novelist Has Passed*

Movie Review: Everest (2015) *Towering Adventure Still Runs A Bit Shallow*

Everest

You have to be a little nuts to want to climb Mt. Everest.  It’s a good kind of nuts; the kind that’s sent people to the moon and the bottom of the ocean, but it’s still nuts.  I don’t think that mindset of the climbers and of the hardships involved in actually following in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary and summitting Everest have ever been better captured than in the self-titled film.  However, if you go past the surface of the film, there are problems, the depth of which really depends on what you want or are expecting the film to deliver. Continue reading Movie Review: Everest (2015) *Towering Adventure Still Runs A Bit Shallow*