Adaptations: July 2015

Adaptations #3

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adapted films and TV series I watched during July:

Grimm (2015)          Read     TV Series     Television
The 4th series of the fantastical, crime drama inspired by the Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Nick Burkhart and the Portland police force not only need to tackle human criminals, but also fairy tale and mythological creatures. Likeable characters, and interesting creatures and crimes. On top of which this series had some real, shocking twists and turns. Good watch.

Jurassic World (2015)          Not Read     Film     Cinema
The 4th science fiction blockbuster in the Jurassic Park series, based on Michael Crichton’s novel. I have loved all of these films, and this new one was no exception. This time they’ve not just got a park but a whole resort-styled world of dinosaurs. However a new genetically modified creature is to cause mayhem. Great characters, action, and CGI; then you have that classic theme music. Don’t blink you might miss something! Great watch.

Dracula Untold (2014)          Read     Film     Television
Fantasy, horror prequel to Bram Stoker’s classic novel. Prince Vlad, wishing to protect his family and people from the Ottoman empire, seeks the help of an ancient and evil power. A lavish historical drama, with spectacular fight scenes, and great performances by Luke Evans, Dominic Cooper and Charles Dance. Great watch.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2015)        Not Read     TV Series     Television
Fantasy BBC costume drama based on Susanna Clarke’s novel. During the Napoleonic wars, Strange and Norrell, two magicians work to bring magic back to England. A lavish and fascinating series with a surreal twist. There is also a great ensemble cast. Featuring Marc Warren, one of my favourites, as a scheming fairy. Great watch.

Wayward Pines (2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
Science-fiction drama based on the novels by Blake Crouch. Agent Ethan Burke awakes in a mysterious, small town after a car accident. To find he can neither leave nor contact the outside world. A gripping series, full of twists and turns, starring Matt Dillon, Toby Jones and Juliette Lewis.Warning: serious cliff hanger ending! Great watch.

I have had a great adaptation month, with great quality and quantity. As well as those featured above I also re-watched the final Harry Potter films; shown by ITV on Saturday evenings. Again no write-up because I re-watch them too often, and you’d be sick of the sight of them!  Then I still have the 2nd series of Penny Dreadful and the 3rd series of Hannibal to start. Plus brand new series Black Sails, a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. So hopefully plenty to share with you again in August.

Have you watched any of these? What have you been watching recently?

New Read: My Autobiography (Guy Martin)

My Autobiography

I have rather a soft spot for Guy Martin, and knowing this a family friend lent me her copy of My Autobiography. After the disappointment of the last biography I read I didn’t wait long to start this, and timed it almost perfectly for the Isle of Man TT.

Guy Martin is a road racer, TV presenter and truck fitter; if you asked him though he would probably say truck fitter. Guy is a ‘grafter’ and it is his day job that has kept him sane, grounded, fit and initially paid for his motorcycle career. It was while racing at the Isle of Man TT that Guy took part in the filming of a documentary, Closer to the Edge, about the legendary event. Overnight he became a household name. Not only getting recognised at races but offers came in to do more television. I must admit I know him best from his television documentaries; including The Boat that Guy Built (2011), Speed with Guy Martin (2013), Guy Martin’s Spitfire (2014) and Our Guy in India (2015).

This biography starts with Guy’s childhood which he spent with his parents and three siblings in a small, rural community in North Lincolnshire. From an early age guy was mad on engines. Working hard he saved up his money for engines, bikes and cars. While Guy is best known for racing at the Isle of Man TT. He has had a successful career and raced at many other events; including Cock ‘o the North, Oliver’s Mount, North West 200 and the Ulster Grand Prix. Guy has also now diversified into endurance mountain biking and took on many challenges, for Speed with Guy Martin (2013), such as tobogganing, gravity racing, hydroplaning and even a human powered aircraft.

If you hadn’t guessed already this was a fascinating read. I love the humour, candour and down-to-earth nature that Guy brings to this biography. Plus the history and details he gives you about how everything works. Basically everything that makes him a great TV presenter, is brought to make this a great biography. Guy is also very candid about his relationship with his family, friends and girlfriends, the mistakes he has made, and after struggling with his fame his subsequent diagnosis with Asperger’s Syndrome. This biography has no airs and graces but in fact feels more like you’ve sat down with Guy for a chat over a cup of tea; and with it being Guy it would have to be a proper ‘builders brew’ (strong tea).

My Autobiography is a funny and honest read, packed with fascinating facts and interesting events. I highly recommend if you are a fan of Guy Martin, and/or love engines, machines and history. Great read.

Have you read this? Are you a fan of Guy Martin and his TV shows?

Adaptations: June 2015

Adaptations

I absolutely love adaptations. I know this can sometimes be a controversial subject with book lovers but not for me. I think my real love of them came from my time studying performance at university. There I became fascinated with taking a story and telling it through a different medium; whether that be book, film, TV, or on the stage.

Here are the adaptations I watched during June:

Sleepy Hollow (2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
The concluding half of series 2 of supernatural drama, based on Washington Irving’s short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. An up-to-date retelling where the headless huntsman, demons, witches and ghosts meet the modern world. I still loved the camaraderie between Ichabod Crane and Lieutenant Abigail Mills, but there were some weak episodes. Okay watch.

Game of Thrones (2015)          Not Read      TV Series      Television
Lavish fifth series of this epic fantasy drama, based on George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Another gripping series of war, intrigue, family, politics, love, lust, lies and dragons! This would usually be a great watch for me but by the end of this series I was left with an overwhelming sense of sadness, and for that reason this time it is a … Good watch.

Looking at this it doesn’t look like I had a very good month of adaptations in June. At the time though it didn’t feel like that though. I’ve just been watching several long TV series. I also re-watched a couple of Harry Potter films, which ITV has been showing on Saturday afternoons/evenings. I didn’t do a write-up though because I re-watch them too often, and you’d be sick of the sight of them! I am still watching the epic, 4th series of Grimm and the BBC’s new drama Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Then I have the 2nd series of Penny Dreadful and the 3rd series of Hannibal to start. So hopefully plenty to share with you in July.

Have you watched any of these? What have you been watching recently?

Adaptations: May 2015

Adaptations #2

I absolutely love adaptations. I know this can sometimes be a controversial subject with book lovers but not for me. I think my real love of them came from my time studying performance at university. There I became fascinated with taking a story and telling it through a different medium; whether that be book, film, TV, or on the stage.

Here are the adaptations I watched during May:

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)          Not Read     Film     Cinema
An action-packed superhero adventure based on Marvel characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and sequel to The Avengers (2012). The team must work together to defeat one of Stark’s creations, Ultron, that’s gone disastrously wrong. Another enjoyable watch with impressive special effects, high octane pace, epic fight scenes, and more amusing one liners. The regular cast are also joined by some new faces too. Good watch.

Paddington (2014)          Not Read     Film     Apple TV
British, family adventure based on Paddington Bear by Michael Bond. I haven’t read any of the stories but I have fond, childhood memories of the BBC’s Paddington series. A young bear comes to London from deepest, darkest Peru to London seeking a new home. A fun, modern adaptation of this loveable character and his comical adventures. Good watch.

The Enfield Haunting (2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
British, supernatural drama based on the true life events, recounted in This House Is Haunted by Guy Lyon Playfair. Paranormal investigators, Grosse and Playfair, try to help a family in 1977, who are being plagued by scary phenomenon. A case which is to become known as ‘The Enfield Poltergeist’. I had heard of this case and it was fascinating to find out more about it. A ghostly, mystery with a strong ensemble cast, including Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall, I watched all 3 episodes in a row! Great watch.

City of Ember (2008)         Not Read     Film     Television
Science-fiction, family adventure based on Jeanne DuPrau’s novel. Humans have been living underground for over 200 years but as the generator starts to fail, two young friends must find a way to escape. Sadly this film was a flop at the cinema so the rest of the series wasn’t made. I enjoyed it though. It was a gentle and fun adventure, far less gritty than the more recent young adult, dystopian tales. Okay watch.

Atlantis (2015)          Read     TV Series     Television
The 2nd half of series 2 of the BBC’s fantasy adventure based on Greek mythology. The legendary hero Jason, and his friends Hercules, Pythagoras, and princess Ariadne fight evil to protect the legendary city of Atlantis. A fun and thrilling series. The only problem being they introduced the Argos and the legendary journey at the end of the series, however the show has just been axed…so we will never know! I will miss this series. Good watch.

Inspector George Gently (2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
The 7th series of British, crime drama based on Alan Hunter’s Gently novels. I love the atmospheric and nostalgic 1960’s setting which is brought to life so realistically in this series. I also love the relationship between Gently, his sergeant Bacchus, and PC Rachel Coles, wonderfully portrayed by Martin Shaw, Lee Ingleby and Lisa McGrillis. Great watch.

May has been a really good month of films and TV shows. I have enjoyed old favourites like Paddington, Atlantis and Gently, and then new discoveries too. These are just the adaptations I finished though. I am still watching the 4th series of Grimm and the 5th series of Game of Thrones. Plus I have the 2nd series of Sleep Hollow and Penny Dreadful, and the BBC’s new drama Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell to start. I look forward to sharing with you what I watch in June.

Have you watched any of these? What have you been watching recently?

Adaptations: April 2015 (2)

Adaptations #3

I absolutely love adaptations. I know this can sometimes be a controversial subject with book lovers but not for me. I think my real love of them came from my time studying performance at university. There I became fascinated with taking a story and telling it through a different medium; whether that be book, film, TV, or on the stage.

Here are more adaptations I watched during April:

The NeverEnding Story II (1990)          Not Read     Film     Television
Fantasy sequel inspired by the second half of Michael Ende’s novel. I watched all three films as a child but I feel the first film is by far the more superior hence why it is the only one I own on DVD. This sequel was easy, fantasy fun which passed a lazy Saturday afternoon. Okay watch.

The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box (2014)     Not Read     Film     Television
Fantasy adventure based on the Mariah Mundi novels by G P Taylor. A young man is thrown into a world of treachery, magical antiquities and steampunk machinery. I totally missed this when it was released at the cinema, where it sadly received poor reviews. I thought it was a bit of fun though, with a good ensemble cast including plenty of well known faces. Okay watch.

The Maze Runner (2014)          Not Read     Film     DVD
Dystopian, action thriller based on the young adult novel by James Dashner. I thought the concept of a group of young men being tested in a lethal and mind-boggling maze was fascinating; with great special effects and interesting characters. I am so pleased I was lent this on DVD by a friend and I look forward to the upcoming release of the sequel. Good watch.

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)          Not Read     Film     Television
Science fiction blockbuster based on the Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. A soldier relives a brutal battle over and over again in a sadistic, Groundhog Day style, loop to find a way to destroy the aliens. I thought this would be good but I got so much more with this twisted, brilliant concept. Amazing special effects, interesting time cuts, and great performances from Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. Great watch.

Poldark (2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
BBC costume drama based on the first two novels from the Poldark series by Winston Graham. Ross Poldark returns home to try to resurrect his family’s mine. A stark and often heart breaking portrayal of life in Cornwall in the late 1700s, brought to life by a good and rather attractive ensemble cast, in stunning scenery and beautiful costumes. I look forward to series 2. Good watch.

That’s another 5 adaptations watched which when added to the previous 6 makes the grand total 11 adaptations for April; a great month which has only been matched in January. The Easter bank holiday really helped bump up my numbers. I am looking forward to seeing what adaptations I watch in May, as I have 3 TV adaptations on the go and I really must go see the new Avengers film at the cinema.

Have you watched any of these? What have you been watching?

Adaptations: April 2015 (1)

Adaptations

I absolutely love adaptations. I know this can sometimes be a controversial subject with book lovers but not for me. I think my real love of them came from my time studying performance at university. There I became fascinated with taking a story and telling it through a different medium; whether that be book, film, TV, or on the stage.

Here are the adaptations I watched over the Easter bank holiday in April:

Emma (2009)          Read     TV Series     Television
Four part BBC costume drama based on the classic novel by Jane Austen. I had fond memories of this from when it was first aired and was happy to find it was still as delightful as I remember. Sumptuous costumes and settings, and a wonderful cast including Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller. Perfect for a drizzly Good Friday afternoon. Great watch.

Sense and Sensibility (2008)          Read     TV Series     Television
Three part BBC costume drama based on the classic novel by Jane Austen which I seem to have missed as it was first aired while I was in my final year at university. This was being shown on the same drizzly Good Friday. Again sumptuous costumes and settings, and a wonderful cast. Some changes and additions have been made to story and characters. I don’t feel it quite surpassed the 1995 film but still a Great watch.

Divergent (2014)          Not Read     Film     DVD
Dystopian, action drama based on the young adult novel by Veronica Roth. I was lent this on DVD by a friend to catch up so we can go see the sequel together. I must admit this was much better than I thought it would be. Great special effects, interesting plot and characters, and it was rather amusing in parts too. Good watch.

King of Kings (1961)          Read     Film     Television
Biblical drama following the life of Jesus inspired by the New Testament of the Bible. I think the makers took some artistic licence with the costumes and character profiles however they picked some beautiful and moving quotes from Jesus, and there was even some witty moments too. This was perfect to settle down to after lunch on Easter Sunday. Good watch.

Insurgent (2015)          Not Read     Film     Cinema
Dystopian, action drama based on the young adult novel by Veronica Roth; sequel to Divergent (2014). I think this lost some of the impetus of the first film but it still had great special effects, interesting plot and characters, and some amusing parts too. Ended on something of a cliff hanger. Sadly got to a wait a year now for the next film fortunately my friend has lent me the books. Good watch.

The Ark (2015)          Read     TV Film     Television
Biblical BBC drama based on the story of ‘Noah’s Ark’ from the Old Testament of the Bible. An interesting retelling with in-depth characters played by a great ensemble cast, with special effects, and beautiful cinematography. Really made my father and me think. Great watch.

To have watched six highly entertaining adaptations and we’re not even two weeks into April I think is amazing. The Easter bank holiday really was a bumper time for me. I look forward to what else I manage to watch this month.

Have you watched any of these? What have you been watching?

Adaptations: March 2015

Adaptations #2I absolutely love adaptations. I know this can sometimes be a controversial subject with book lovers but not for me. I think my real love of them came from my time studying performance at university. There I became fascinated with taking a story and telling it through a different medium; whether that be book, film, TV, or on the stage.

Here are the adaptations I watched at the end of February and during March:

1984 by George Orwell (2015)          Not Read     Play     Theatre
Amateur stage production of George Orwell’s modern classic; adapted for the stage by Matthew Dunster. A simple and effective performance which I thoroughly enjoyed. Good watch.

The Lone Ranger (2013)          Not Read     Film     Television
Western adventure inspired by The Lone Ranger franchise which has included a radio series, books, a TV series, comic books and several films. Rather cheesy but good visual effects, music, and ensemble cast; most notably Johnny Depp. Could have been great just all the elements didn’t quite gel right. Okay watch.

The Casual Vacancy (2015)         Not Read     TV Series     Television
Three part drama based on J K Rowling’s novel. I didn’t fancy reading this however I thought I would give the series a go. This is not a happy watch but a gritty, small village drama. Peopled with some pretty despicable characters played by a great ensemble cast including Michael Gambon and the wonderful Keeley Hawes. Good watch.

The Musketeers (2015)          Read     TV Series     Television
The second series of the BBC’s swashbuckling adventure based on the characters of Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel. I had been looking forward to the return of this show. Another fun, interesting and gripping mixture of adventures with great camaraderie and beautiful costumes. Good ensemble cast; with the addition of one of my favourites Marc Warren as the dastardly Rochefort. Good watch.

The Great Ghost Adventure (2011)          Read     Film     Television
Ghostly adventure based on Eva Ibbotson’s children’s novel. A light comedy for all the family. There are a great deal of changes to characters and plot. I can understand the need to modernise the story but I was surprised how much was changed considering its such a short book. Okay watch.

Five adaptations watched in March I think is a good amount. There was an interesting mix of TV, film and stage adaptations; mainly based on novels. I finished two TV series, The Casual Vacancy and The Musketeers, I am continuing with Grimm and Sleeping Hollow has just returned. Plenty more adaptation fun to look forward to in April.

Have you watched any of these? What have you been watching?