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?

Adaptations: February 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 have been watching during February:

Ivanhoe (1952)          Read     Film     Television
Classic Hollywood film based on Sir Walter Scott’s classic novel. After watching Ivanhoe (1982) I was interested to see what this earlier adaptation was like. A sweeping and colourful historical adventure, filmed on a grand scale, starring Robert Taylor, Joan Fontaine and Elizabeth Taylor. Lacked the historical accuracy of more modern films. Okay watch.

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)          Not Read     Film     Cinema
An action, spy adventure based on the comic book The Secret Service written by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar. A bloody and quirky film from Matthew Vaughn director of Kick-Ass (2010). Good performances from Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and relatively new face Taron Egerton. Good watch.

Saving Mr Banks (2013)          Film     Television
This is not an adaptation but a worthy mention here as it looks into how P L Travers’s books were adapted into the Disney musical Mary Poppins (1964). A wonderfully touching look into the relationship and process Travers and Walt Disney went through to make this classic family film. Starring in these roles the amazing Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks. Great watch.

Wolf Hall (2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
Historical BBC drama based on Hilary Mantel’s highly praised novels Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies. A sumptuous, realistic and interesting look into the work and rise of Thomas Cromwell in Henry VIII’s court. Beautiful settings, costumes and great ensemble cast. Great watch.

A mixed month of novel and comic inspired adaptations. Sadly a much lower  month of adaptation watching but that is perhaps not fair. I have only finished watching 4 adaptations but I am also currently watching 3 TV adaptations they have just not finished yet. Plus anything was going to look low compared to my mammoth 11 adaptations in January!

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

Adaptations: January 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 some more adaptations I watched during January:

Boardwalk Empire (2014)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
The fifth and sadly the final series of the gritty, gangster drama inspired by Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City by Nelson Johnson. I have been enjoying this series since 2010 and I am sad to see the end of it, a bittersweet but appropriate ending to it all. Great watch.

Sleepy Hollow (2014)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
First 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 meets the modern world. A fun and dark series. Good watch.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)          Read     Film     Television
Animated family adventure/drama which is the third adaptation by Disney of Charles Dickens’ classic novel. I have very fond childhood memories of The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992). With the snow outside it felt a good time to watch this newer version. It has some stunning animation and special effects, and some great voice performances from Jim Carey and Gary Oldham. Good watch.

The Book Thief (2013)          Not Read     Film     Television
World War II drama based on Markus Zusak’s novel of the same title. A poignant and beautiful tale of a young bookworm growing up in Nazi Germany. With touching performances from  Geoffrey Rush and young Sophie Nélisse. I also enjoyed the interesting narrator choice. Great watch.

Maleficent (2014)          Read     Film     Television
A live action adventure following the antagonist of Disney’s classic animated film Sleeping Beauty (1959), inspired by the fairy tales Little Briar Rose by the Brothers Grimm and The Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault. I thought this was a really interesting twist on the classic tale with amazing special effects and Angelina Jolie is an awesome dark fairy. Great watch.

That’s another 5 watched which when added to the previous 6 makes the grand total 11 adaptations for January. I love adaptations but even for me that is a lot! I was unable to watch one of ITV’s regular Bond film showings on Sunday, otherwise my total could have been even more. I am looking forward to seeing what adaptations I watch in February however I doubt it will be this many again!

What did you watch in January?

Adaptations: January 2015 (1)

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 have been watching during the Christmas holiday and January:

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)         Read     Film     Television
Fantasy adventure based on L. Frank Baum’s Oz series of novels and a prequel to the classic film The Wizard of Oz (1939). This takes us back to when Oscar Diggs a sideshow magician is swept into a magical land. A nice storyline, stunning special effects and vistas, and a good ensemble cast. Good watch.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)         Not Read     Film     Television
The sixth James Bond thriller, starring George Lazenby, based on Ian Fleming’s tenth Bond novel. There’s a slightly ridiculous toboggan fight but other than that I enjoyed the 1960’s setting, the beautiful Diana Rigg, and the bittersweet ending. Good watch.

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)          Not Read     Film     Television
The seventh James Bond thriller, starring Sean Connery, based on Ian Fleming’s fourth Bond novel. I enjoyed the early 1970s setting,  the humorous tone and the return of Connery to the role, he’s definitely one of my favourite Bonds. Good watch.

Atlantis (2014)          Read     TV Series     Television
First half of series 2 of the BBC’s fantasy adventure inspired by Greek Mythology; including Jason, Hercules, Ariadne, Pasiphae and the Grey Sisters. A fun and exciting show as before but this 2nd series seemed to be darker than the previous. I particularly love Mark Addy as the over weight and washed up hero Hercules. I am looking forward to the rest of this series. Good watch.

Ivanhoe (1982)          Read     Film     Television
A sweeping historical TV film based on Sir Walter Scott’s classic novel. A colourful and romantic adaptation with a good ensemble cast including Anthony Andrews, San Neill, John Rhys-Davies, and Olivia Hussey as the beautiful Rebecca. Good watch.

Live and Let Die (1973)          Not Read     Film     Television
The eighth James Bond thriller, starring Roger Moore, based on Ian Fleming’s second Bond novel. Moore isn’t my favourite Bond however I did find him rather amusing in this film. I also liked the mystic/exotic elements, the beautiful Jane Seymour, and the cool theme song. Good watch.

Another good adaptation filled month for me, I can’t actually believe how much I’ve watched and we’re not even technically at the end of January yet. My numbers have been considerably increased by ITV’s showing of the Bond films every Sunday afternoon. They’ve been perfect watches for all the family after our big dinner. I look forward to more Bond next weekend and many more adaptations I have recorded.

Watched any of these? What have you been watching recently?

Top 10 Adaptations of 2014

Blog 2014

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.

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptations watchers. 2014 was a great adaptation watching year for me so I thought I would do my first top 10 list for it. This is a list of adaptations I watched in 2014 not that were necessarily released in 2014. After much thought here are my choices (ordered alphabetically by title):

1. Captain Phillips (2013)          Not Read     Film     Television
A heart-racing thriller based on a true life account; recounted in A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips (with help from Stephan Talty). The amazing Tom Hanks takes the title role of Captain Richard Phillips who is willing to sacrifice himself when he finds his ship and crew under attack from Somali pirates. Great performances from the whole cast and an all round beautifully made film.

2. 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

3. Endeavour (2014)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
A second series of ITV crime drama series based on the characters of Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse novels and prequel to the ITV Inspector Morse (1987-2000) TV series. Endeavour takes us back to the Oxford of 1960s where we see the young detective constable Endeavour Morse solve some of his earliest cases. Mysterious, clever and Shaun Evans does a wonderful job of portraying young Morse.

4. Game of Thrones (2014)          Read      TV Series      Television
Lavish fourth series of the epic fantasy drama based on George R R Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire series. Another gripping series of war, intrigue, family, politics, love, lust, lies and dragons! What’s not to love? Again though not for everyone it is jam packed with violence, sex and foul language. (Since watching this I have caught up with the books).

5. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)          Not Read     Film     Cinema
A action-packed superhero adventure set in space based on Guardians of the Galaxy created by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning which is featured in Marvel Comics. A gang of extra-terrestrial misfits fighting and stealing their way around the galaxy in hopes of saving it from Ronan the Accuser. An exciting and fast paced film with great special effects and a cool soundtrack. I enjoyed this even more than I thought I would.

6. Noah (2014)          Read      Film      Cinema
An epic biblically inspired Hollywood film inspired by Noah’s Ark from the Old Testament of The Bible and other similar ancient tales from around the world. Whether you believe in these tales or not I thought this was a stunning and innovative film with a cool science fiction twist. With great performances from Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson and more.

7. 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. An excellent modern interpretation of Doyle’s characters and mysteries which has been highly anticipated for a return since 2012! As before. All I can say is I hope it won’t be long till there is more..

8. Shetland (2014)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
A second series of BBC crime drama series based on Ann Cleeve’s novels Raven Black, Dead Water and Blue Lightning featuring Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez each novel was covered over three two-part episodes. I thought this series was mysterious and well performed with the isolated, lonely and beautiful setting of the islands of Shetland. I hope there will be more.

9. Thor: The Dark World (2013)          Not Read     Film     Television
An action-packed superhero adventure set in space based on Thor created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby who features in Marvel Comics. I thought The Dark World was another fun and action packed adventure this time set in part on Earth and Asgard, which I loved, as Thor, Jane and Loki battle across the universe with the Dark Elves. I was totally sold on this film.

10. X-Men: Days of the Future Past (2014)          Not Read     Film      Cinema
A Hollywood blockbuster about The X-Men superheroes featured in Marvel Comics with a plot loosely based on a story by Chris Claremont and John Byrne. Exciting, fast-paced, amazing special effects and great performances from the ensemble cast.

It was hard to dwindle my list down to just 10. Honourable mentions must also go out to TV series Fleming (2014), Hannibal (2014), and Inspector George Gently (2014), and films Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014), and my re-watch of Pride & Prejudice (2005).

What were your favourite films and TV shows you watched in 2014?

Adaptations: December 2014

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.

Hello fellow bookworms, here are the adaptations I have watched during December:

Treasure Island (1972)          Read       Film       Television
A swashbuckling adventure based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel Treasure Island. I really enjoyed the novel and loved Sky’s Treasure Island (2012) family mini-series; with that in mind I thought I would give this a go. Orson Welles gives a good performance as the infamous Long John Silver but the overall film fell short of Sky’s 2012 adaptation. Okay watch.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)          Read       Film       Cinema
Gritty, dystopian adventure based on Suzanne Collins’s successful The Hunger Games trilogy. I enjoyed the previous films from this franchise but was a little reluctant to see the third novel made into two-parts. I was pleasantly surprised by this film. Great special effects and cast, correct mood, and they cut out some of the indecision and wandering of the novel I had disliked. Good watch.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)       Read       Film       Cinema
Blockbuster finale to Peter Jackson’s trilogy based on J R R Tolkien’s classic children’s novel The Hobbit. This was another action packed adventure chock full of elaborate fight scenes, stunning vistas and amazing special effects, costumes and casting. I am also really pleased to see they didn’t change the ending which I feared they might. Good watch.

Frozen (2013)          Read       Film       Television
Disney family adventure inspired by The Snow Queen fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. It is only loosely inspired with the magic and ice shards elements. Instead of a queen and a boy we have two young princesses who must save their kingdom from deep winter and unlikely enemies.  I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful animation, good characters and some great songs. Good watch.

A good film filled month for me; all of which were based on books/stories I’ve read. From seeing the trailers at the cinema there are plenty more film adaptations coming soon which I am keen to see too.

What have you been watching over the Christmas holiday?