Adaptations: February 2014

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.

As these adaptation update posts seem to be going down well I’ve decided to continue them in 2014. Here are the adaptations I’ve been watching during February:

The Paradise (2013)     Not Read     TV Series     Television
The second series of the BBC’s period drama transplanting Emile Zola’s novel from Paris to England. A comforting and glittering series following the lives and exploits of the staff, owners and customers at the first department store. Sadly I have heard the rumours that this is also to be the final series.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)     Read     Film     DVD
The fifth and final instalment in The Twilight Saga film franchise adapted from Stephanie Meyer’s successful series of novels. This film wraps up the relationship of Edward and Bella and sees their final showdown with the Volturi. I sadly didn’t have high expectations for this film. I thought Breaking Dawn the novel was weak and my worse fears were realised when they made two films from it. Part 1 was okay and equally I found Part 2 okay. Can’t help but feel they could have just made one decent film instead of stretching the story thin.

Death Comes to Pemberley (2013)     Read     TV Mini-Series     Television
BBC period drama adapted from P D James’ novel which continues Darcy and Elizabeth’s life on after Pride and Prejudice. With beautiful scenery, lavish costumes, a great cast and a good murder mystery, what wasn’t there to enjoy here? I only wish I had watched this mini-series sooner.

Two out of three ain’t bad as they say. Another great mixture of adaptations. Winter has been a bountiful time for them. You probably won’t have long to wait for another adaptation update as I’ve still got plenty recorded and even more TV shows have started.

What have you been watching?

Adaptations: January 2014

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.

As these adaptation update posts seem to be going down well I’ve decided to continue them in 2014. Here are the adaptations I’ve been watching during January:

Agatha Christie: Poirot (2013)     Not Read     TV Series     Television
‘Elephants Can Remember’ – a TV adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel of the same title starring the wonderful David Suchet. I didn’t catch all of this final ITV series when it was originally shown so I was so pleased to find this being reshown on ITV3. Great cast and mystery. Everything I expected from such a great long-running series so sad that it had to come to an end. I hope I will be able to catch the other three instalments of this final series on repeat too.

Sherlock (2014)     Read     TV Mini-Series     Television
The third series of the BBC’s popular show inspired by the tales of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous private detective Sherlock Holmes and his faithful companion Dr Watson. An excellent modern interpretation of Doyle’s characters and mysteries which has been highly anticipated for a return since 2012! As before excellent performances from Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek: Into Darkness 2013) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 2013). All I can say is I hope it won’t be long till there is more.

Dracula (2013-2014)      Read     TV Series     Television
A brand new series starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors 2007-2010) reimagining Bram Stoker’s classic novel. A super stylish drama with elements of horror, history, fantasy and steampunk. This however is not for purists a lot has been changed from the classic novel’s original storyline. I did enjoy the change though and hope there will be a second series.

Boardwalk Empire (2013-2014)     Not Read     TV Series     Television
The fourth series of the highly successful US period drama inspired by Nelson Johnson’s book Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City. A gritty and glamorous portrayal of the gangs, clubs, drugs and boot legging during prohibition in the USA. I love the 1920/30s setting but apparently I can only look forward to one more series so I better savour it!

Another great mixture of adaptations. Winter really is a bountiful time for them. Again you probably won’t have long to wait for another adaptation update as I’ve still got plenty recorded to get through.

What have you been watching?

Adaptations: December 2013 – January 2014

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.

As these adaptation update posts seem to be going down well I’ve decided to continue them in 2014. Here’s what I’ve been watching over the Christmas holiday:

Atlantis (2013)          Read          TV Series          Television
A family fun BBC series putting a new spin on the legend of Jason and other ancient Greek myths. I was a big fan of the BBC’s previous family adventure Merlin (2008-2012). I was pleased to see when it ended that this was to replace it. A fun and magical adventure for all the family with rescues, fights, monsters and treasure set in the lost city of Atlantis. The cast for the series is made up of a good balance of new talent and well known faces. Very amusing performance from Mark Addy (Game of Thrones 2011) as an out of shape and washed up Hercules.

The Great Train Robbery (2013)          Not Read          TV Mini-Series          Television
A BBC dramatization of the infamous robbery of a Royal Mail carriage inspired by Robert Ryan’s book Signal Red. The series was split into two episodes the first being A Robber’s Tale and the second A Copper’s Tale. An interest look into the lives of both the robbers and cops during the robbery and the aftermath. Strong performances from cast in particular from Luke Evans (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 2013) as the mastermind behind it all Bruce Reynolds and Jim Broadbent as DCS Tommy Butler.

The Whale (2013)          TV Film         Television
A BBC dramatization not based on a book but the true life event which inspired Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick. In light of which I thought it was worthy of a mention in this post. A realistic and gritty portrayal of the adventure and perils of whaling in the 1800s. Not a film for the faint hearted. The cinematography and settings are beautiful. Strong performances from cast in particular from Jonas Armstrong (Robin Hood 2006-2009) as the ship’s first mate.

Moonfleet (2013)          Not Read          TV Mini-Series          Television
Sky’s two-part family smuggling adventure based on J Meade Falkner’s novel. I was disappointed by Sky’s Neverland (2011) but I loved Treasure Island (2012) keeping with the nautical theme with Moonfleet was a great idea. A fun, fast paced and spirited tale of smuggler Elzevir and orphan John on an adventure to find Blackbeard’s lost diamond. Good performances from legendary Ray Winstone  and the newer talent of Aneurin Barnard (The White Queen 2013).

Another great mixture of adaptations. The Christmas holiday really is a bountiful time for them. Again you probably won’t have long to wait for another adaptation update as I’ve still got plenty recorded to get through.

What have you been watching?

Adaptations: November – December 2013

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.

As these adaptation update posts seem to be going down well I’ve decided to make them a feature. Here are the adaptations I’ve been watching on the screen and stage since November:

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)          Read          Film          Cinema
Hollywood blockbuster sequel to The Hunger Games (2012) based on Suzanne Collins’s successful trilogy. I loved the first film so was very excited for the release of the new film and I wasn’t disappointed. This was another action packed adventure with great special effects, costumes and casting. Strong performances from Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as Katniss and Peeta. I also liked the casting of Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)          Read          Film          Cinema
Blockbuster sequel to The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey (2012) based on J R R Tolkien’s classic children’s novel The Hobbit. Again I loved the first film and I have been eagerly anticipating the release of this new film. Again I wasn’t disappointed. This was another action packed adventure chock full of elaborate fight scenes, stunning vistas and amazing special effects, costumes and casting. I am rather sad I have to wait another year for the last film!

Lucan (2013)          Not Read          TV Mini-Series          Television
Two part TV adaptation about the infamous Lord Lucan based on John Pearson’s novel The Gamblers shown on ITV1. This was one hard-hitting drama about the money, gambling, secrets and lies surrounding the British aristocratic clique in the 1960/70s. I found it interesting to see some of the theories of what became of Lord Lucan brought to life.

Robinson Crusoe & the Caribbean Pirates (27/12/2013)      Not Read      Pantomime      Theatre
An all singing, all dancing swashbuckling pantomime based on Daniel Defoe’s classic novel complete with a dame, fairy, villain, young hero, monster and a flying car (of course). Starring Brian Conley as the (not so) young hero and Lesley Joseph as the fairy. A fun night out for all my family. Nothing like a traditional pantomime to celebrate the Christmas holiday.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)          Read          Film          Cinema
Yes I went to see this twice…see description above.

I think I have watched another great mixture of adaptations over the last month or so some of which I read and some I haven’t. This post does remind me I really do need to get round to reading Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Dafoe as it is on my Classics Club List. You won’t have to wait long for another adaptation post as I have been recording and watching plenty more over the holiday.

What have you been watching?

Adaptations: September – November 2013

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.

As these adaptation update posts seem to be going down well I’ve decided to make them a feature. Here are the adaptations I’ve been watching on the small screen since mid-September:

Jane Eyre (2011)     Read     Film     Television
A beautiful film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s beloved novel of the same title. I wasn’t really as enamoured with this novel as so many other book lovers are. I was mainly drawn to this film because it stars Michael Fassbender. I thought the costumes were lush, and the settings and locations chosen were perfect. Mia Wasikowska’s performance as Jane I thought was beautiful and heart-breaking. I felt the attributes of Jane that frustrated me in the book were toned down in this.

Agatha Christie: Poirot (2013)     Not Read     TV Series     Television
‘The Labours of Hercules’ – a TV adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel of the same title starring the wonderful David Suchet. I sadly didn’t manage to watch the full series but one cold evening I tucked myself into bed early to enjoy this episode (premiered on ITV1 here in the UK). Great cast, mystery, and setting. Everything I expected from such a great long-running series so sad that it has to come to an end. Will hopefully be able to catch the rest of the series on repeat.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)     Read     Film     Television
A film adaptation of Matthew Quick’s novel of the same title. I read the novel a few years ago and really enjoyed it after hearing wonderful things about this film I was excited to watch it. I’m pleased to announce it didn’t disappoint. Like the novel it was in equal parts touching, funny, romantic, and heart-breaking. Plus great performances from both leads Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. I highly recommend watching this.

I am so pleased that unlike my last adaptation post I have actually read some of the associated novels. On first glance it looks like I’ve been watching less adaptations over the last couple of months. It is true that I have been watching a lot of new and exciting TV series. Some of these series though are based on stories and books so I will hopefully have lots to share with you in a month or so when these series start to come to an end.

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

Adaptations: August – September 2013

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.

As my first adaptations update post seemed to go down well I’ve decided to make them a feature. Here are the adaptations I’ve been watching on the small screen since the beginning of August:

Birdsong (2012)     Not Read     TV Mini-Series     DVD
A lavish two-part period mini-series based on the novel of the same title by Sebastian Faulks. When it was first shown here in the UK on BBC1 I missed it! So I was really pleased to be able to borrow a DVD copy of it. A poignant and heart-breaking tale of WWI starring the wonderful Eddie Redmayne.

Hannibal (2013)     Not Read     TV Series     Television
An American thriller series based on the characters of the novel Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. First shown here in the UK on Sky Living. A gripping and gory series which is certainly not for the faint hearted. With the added bonus of starring the home-grown talent of Hugh Dancy. I am hoping for a second series!

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)     Not Read     Film     Television
A big budget Hollywood adaptation of the mash-up novel of the same title by Seth Grahame-Smith. I didn’t go to see this at the cinema simply because like the book I wasn’t sure it would really be my thing. How wrong I was this is such a cool film! Excellent CGI, history, action, concept, and actor performances. Starring the excellent choices of Benjamin Walker as the title character with Dominic Cooper in support.

The White Queen (2013)     Not Read     TV Series     Television
A beautiful and lavish period series based on the novels from The Cousins’ War series by Philippa Gregory. Premiered here in the UK on BBC1. I love a good period drama and this was an excellent example. With lush costumes, grand locations, and bloody intrigue on and off the battle field. I knew the history of the War of the Roses but I loved the witch craft element in this telling. A great production which showcased plenty of fresh young British talent.

Sadly I’ve not read any of the books associated with the adaptations I’ve been watching recently. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them. After watching The White Queen I am very keen to read some of Philippa Gregory’s novels.

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

Adaptations: January – July 2013

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.

Originally I used to not only do posts on the books I read during the year but also posts on the adaptations I watched. I stopped when I went through a tough time in my life and sadly my blog had to go on the back burner. To get my blogging back on track I cut out the adaptation posts because it only complicated things. Recently though I saw Charlie @ The Worm Hole do a fun round-up post on the films she has been watching. Which got me thinking maybe it would be fun to do a short round-up post every couple of months or so?

Here we go then here are the adaptations I have watched so far this year:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)    Read     Film     Cinema
I’m sure this film needs no introduction. I went to see this at the cinema for a second time in January. It was perhaps even better because I had more time to spot the things I hadn’t the first time I’d watched it as there is a whole lot going on in this film. Looking forward to the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug later this year.

Grimm (Series 2) (2012-2013)     Read     TV Series     Television
An US supernatural crime series based on The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales. This is not a series to be taken too seriously however it is fun and quirky. I look forward to watching more.

Labyrinth (2013)     Read     TV Mini-Series     Television
A lavish dual period mini-series based on the novel of the same title by Kate Mosse. First shown here in the UK on Channel 4 with plenty of British talent showcased in it. A good adaptation if anything it was slightly easier to follow than the novel was.

The Host (2013)    Read     Film     Cinema
A big budget Hollywood adaptation of the novel of the same title by Stephanie Meyer (Twilight). While I was not a fan of The Twilight Saga films I had higher hopes for this film because the novel was much stronger. The special effects were great but sadly the film makers have softened the violence and difficult issues faced by the novel. While the love elements have been heightened. All in all a little too teen-fied for me.

Game of Thrones (Series 3) (2013)     Not Read     TV Series     Television
Another gripping series of the acclaimed Games of Thrones TV show shown here in the UK first on Sky Atlantic. I have recently started reading the books and I look forward to seeing what I think of series 3 compared to the book A Storm of Swords.

The Lorax (2012)     Not Read     Film     Television
A fun animated film for the all the family based on the writings of Dr Seuss. The Lorax is not a story I had heard of before but I do enjoy animated films so I gave it a go. Definitely glad I did because this is a delightful little film.

The Great Gatsby (2013)     Read     Film     Cinema
A big budget Hollywood adaptation of the classic novel by the same title by F Scott Fitzgerald. I only read the novel this year for The Classics Club. I actually found the film more enjoyable than the book. As the film makers have made some of the characters far more likeable than how Fitzgerald first wrote them. Plus I just loved seeing all the glitz and glamour that director Baz Luhrmann is so good at.

World War Z (2013)     Not Read     Film     Cinema
Another big budget Hollywood adaptation of the novel of the same title by Max Brooks. An exciting and action packed film which I thoroughly enjoyed

I think the last six months or so have been great for adaptation watching. I have pretty much enjoyed everything I’ve watched as well. I am currently watching a couple of adapted TV shows which I hope to share with you in a couple of months by which time they should have finished. Looks like there is plenty more interesting adaptations to be released later in the year too.

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