Adaptations: April – May 2016

Adaptations

Hello my fellow bookworms, adaptation lovers and any of those dropping over from the Book to Movie challenge; here are the adaptations I’ve watched recently:

The Night Manager (2016)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

A gripping, gritty espionage drama from the BBC based on John le Carré’s 1993 novel. Jonathan Pine, the night manager, is drawn into the glamorous, dark and deadly world of his arms dealing guests. A strong production with amazing performances from Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Olivia Coleman. Once I started watching, I pretty much watched the whole series in a row!

***


Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Not Read     Film     Cinema

An action-packed superhero adventure based on Marvel characters created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. The UN wish to curb the freedom of the Avengers, a decision which will tear the group apart with Ironman and Captain America leading the opposing fractions. A fun superhero romp full of spectacular effects and epic fights. I warn you though its very long!

***


 Ant-Man (2015)
Not Read     Film     Apple TV

Another action-packed superhero adventure based on Marvel characters created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby. A well-meaning thief, Scott Lang, is enlisted to help a scientist protect his shrinking suit technology from falling into the wrong hands. Great special effects and fights and, while not the coolest hero it makes up for it with, a whole lot of laughs.

**


Graeme of Thrones (12.05.2016)
Read     Play     Theatre

A raucous parody play of George R R Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire book series, which the performers say is apparently how Game of Thrones should have been done! An absolutely hilarious night out, highly recommended for Martin/Game of Thrones fans.

***


Big Hero 6 (2014)
Not Read     Film     Television

Disney’s 54th animated classic and 1st superhero film, based on Marvel characters created by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau. In San Fransokyo, 14-year-old robotics genius Hiro and his new robot friend Baymax must stop a masked-villain. A fun and touching family adventure that put a big smile on my face; mainly because of the amazing Baymax.

**


Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)
Not Read     Film     DVD

Dystopian, action sequel to The Maze Runner (2014), based on James Dashner’s young adult book series. Thomas and his friend are out of the maze in the dangerous, damaged real-world but can they really trust anyone? A heart-racing adventure with a darker, horror edge to it than the first film; bring on the next one!

***


I also enjoyed a hilarious re-watch of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), in preparation for the release of the sequel later this year; which means I have had an epic superhero time and brings my total up to 7 adaptations. I sadly haven’t been able to see the new live-action The Jungle Book (2016) yet but I am currently watching the amazing 6th series of Game of Thrones!

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

Adaptations: April 2016

Adaptations

Hello my fellow bookworms, adaptation lovers and any of those dropping over from the Book to Movie challenge; here are the adaptations I’ve watched recently:

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Not Read     Film     Cinema

A gritty, action-packed, superhero bonanza; featuring characters from the DC comics. Gotham’s dark vigilante Batman and Metropolis’ indestructible Superman meet for one almighty clash. Spectacular effects, epic fights, leads into the Justice League and Ben Affleck was much better than I feared. I’ve heard negative reviews but I thought it just worked and for me it was a … Great watch.


 The Frankenstein Chronicles (2015)
Read     TV Series     Television

ITV Encore’s thrilling new series that re-imagines the Frankenstein myth (Mary Shelley) on the streets of 19th century London. The discovery of a mutilated child’s body leads Inspector John Marlott (Sean Bean) into a terrifying case of missing children, body snatching and Galvanism. A gritty and gripping series, with a great ensemble cast, but a shocking and frustrating ending! Great watch.


Little Women (1949)
Read     Film     Television

Classic Hollywood adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s charming novel about the March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, as they grow up during the American Civil War. A sweet, amusing and romantic film with some really lovely casting, although you do have to excuse Beth appearing to be the youngest and Amy being played by an older Elizabeth Taylor. Good watch.


Shakespeare Live! From the RSC (2016)
Read & Not Read     Variety Performance     Television

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, the BBC broadcast a live variety performance from the RSC (Stratford). Presenters, Catherine Tate and David Tennant, were joined by a host of actors, singers, musicians, dancers, comedians and famous faces to bring classic scenes from his many works into new life. Good watch.


I also re-watched the amazing Jurassic World (2015) and Spider-Man (2002) (the latter in preparation for the upcoming Captain America: Civil War); which brings my total up to 5 adaptations. This month also sees the release of the new live-action The Jungle Book (2016) and the long-awaited 6th series of Game of Thrones! Both of which I am excited to watch.

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

Adaptations: March 2016

Adaptations

Hello my fellow bookworms, adaptation lovers and any of those dropping over from the Book to Movie challenge; here are the adaptations I’ve watched recently:

Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)
Read     Film     Television

A beautiful, romantic costume drama based on Thomas Hardy’s classic novel. Bathsheba Everdene is an educated and free-spirited woman in a male dominated Victorian world; while love comes her way she fears losing her independence. Lovely costumes and setting, with stunning cinematography, and moving performances by Carey Mulligan (Bathsheba) and Michael Sheen (Boldwood). Good watch.


Shetland (Series 3)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

Atmospheric BBC crime drama based on the novels of Ann Cleeves featuring Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez. After a mysterious death on the ferry to the island, Perez and his colleagues are drawn into a dark, complicated and dangerous case. Another gripping series with a great cast and set on the isolated, lonely and beautiful islands of Shetland. Great watch.


Cinderella (2015)
Read     Film     Television

A romantic, live action re-imagining of Disney’s classic 1950 film; inspired by the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. A kind, beautiful orphan, mistreated by her cruel step-mother, is helped by her fairy godmother to go to the prince’s ball. Lily James (Cinderella) and Richard Madden (Prince) are lovely together in this colourful, magical and amusing retelling of the well-loved film/tale. It put a big smile on my face. Great watch.


The Revenant (2016)
Not Read     Film     Cinema

A multiple award-winning, historical drama based in part on Michael Punke’s novel; for which Leonardo DiCaprio finally got that Best Actor-Oscar! In 1823, a fatally injured trapper claws his away back to life and travels alone across the wilderness to take revenge for the murder of his son. A gritty, brutal portrayal of frontier America, with stunning vistas and camera work, amazing CGI, and a stellar cast. Great watch.


The Divergent Series: Allegiant (2016)
Read     Film     Cinema

Dystopian, action drama based on the young adult novel by Veronica Roth. Tris and her friends escape from the city to finally discover the fate of the world outside and meet the creators. Action-packed film with great special effects, likeable characters, and some funny parts too. The story has been split in a rather unusual way…I presume there will be another film?! Good watch.


Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands (2016)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

A new ITV fantasy series that re-imagines themes and characters from the epic Old English poem Beowulf. The legendary hero Beowulf returns to his homeland to protect it from creatures, traitors and raiders. A collection of fun and colourful adventures, with a good ensemble cast. Okay watch.


Alongside these 6 new watches, I have enjoyed comforting re-watches of The Lorax (2012)Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013); which brings my total up to 9! Later in the month I am really looking forward to the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

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

Adaptations: February 2016

Adaptations

Hello my fellow bookworms, adaptation lovers and any of those dropping over from the Book to Movie challenge; here are the adaptations I’ve watched recently:

The Help (2011)          Not Read     Film     DVD
American Civil Rights era drama based on the bestselling novel by Kathryn Stockett. A young white woman “Skeeter”, a budding journalist, befriends and shares the stories of two black maids. A touching, funny and heart breaking tale of the ingrained prejudices in a small community in Jackson, Mississippi in 1963; with a wonderful ensemble cast. Great watch.

Seventh Son (2014)          Not Read     Film     Television
Family, fantasy adventure which is loosely based on Joseph Delaney’s novel The Spook’s Apprentice. Young Tom, the seventh son of a seventh son, sets off for adventure and danger as a Spook’s apprentice; fighting weres, boggarts and witches. Not a ground breaking film but if you go into it with an open mind it is a bit of fantastical fun. Okay watch.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)          Not Read     Film     Cinema
Fantastical zombie romp through Regency England, based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s parody novel of Jane Austen’s classic. Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters look for love whilst also fighting off hoards of the undead! A gory, clever and highly amusing film; I particularly enjoyed Elizabeth and Darcy fighting and smashing up Parson Collins parlour! Great watch.

Dickensian (2016)          Read     TV Series     Television
A quirky, new costume drama brought to us by the BBC and based on the works of Charles Dickens. Inspector Bucket comes to a suburb of Victorian London, populated with well-known Dickens characters, to investigate the murder of Jacob Marley. So much fun to see these characters together in this mystery, with glimpses into their pasts, and some interesting twists; with a great ensemble cast. Good watch.

War and Peace (2016)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
A sumptuous, new costume drama, shown here in the UK on BBC1, based on Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel. In Russia 1805 the young and privileged are partying, marrying, dying, fighting and falling in love, as Napoleon’s army edges ever closer. So pleased they made this as I doubt I’ll ever be brave enough to read this giant tome. A visually stunning series, with beautiful costumes (not sure some of the dresses were that realistic?), and a great ensemble cast. Good watch.

That’s 3 brand-spanking new adaptations and 2 slightly older ones I have wanted to watch for a while. Making 5 in total which I am pleased with but sadly only one I’ve read before!

I am also currently enthralled by the 3rd series of crime drama Shetland (Ann Cleeves) and I look forward to continuing new series Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands. While I look forward to starting the BBC’s new thriller The Night Manager (John le Carré) and I’ve downloaded ITV’s The Frankenstein Chronicles (Mary Shelley).

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

Adaptations: January 2016 (2)

Adaptations #2

Hello my fellow bookworms, adaptation lovers and any of those dropping over from the Book to Movie challenge; here are some more adaptations I have enjoyed this month:

Sleepy Hollow (Series 3 – Part 1)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
Supernatural drama based on Washington Irving’s short story. The headless huntsman may be gone but now this small town must deal with Pandora and her box of evil monsters. Some of the solutions seemed a little convenient but I enjoyed the super, creepy creatures and I still love the hilarious camaraderie between Ichabod and Abigail. Part 2 will start in February. Okay watch.

Endeavour (Series 3)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
ITV crime drama based on the characters of Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse novels, and a prequel to the ITV Inspector Morse (1987-2000) TV series. We re-join young detective constable Endeavour Morse in Oxford of the late 1960s as he solves some of his earliest cases. Another atmospheric and nostalgic series full of bloody, cryptic and surprising murders. Great watch.

These two TV series added to my previous watches this month makes my total 8. I have also been binge watching the BBC’s new drama Dickensian (Charles Dickens); and I am looking forward to starting new period drama War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy), Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands and the 3rd series of crime drama Shetland (Ann Cleeves). Plenty more adaptation goodies to look forward too!

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

Adaptations: January 2016 (1)

Adaptations #3

Hello my fellow bookworms, adaptation lovers and any of those dropping over from the Book to Movie challenge; here are the adaptations I have enjoyed recently:

Tangled (2010)          Read     Film     Television
Disney’s animated, musical-adventure inspired by the German fairy tale Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm. Rapunzel escapes from her tower to follow her dream to see the golden lanterns, never realising they are calling her home. A colourful and funny tale with sweet songs and a hilarious cast of characters; my favourite is Pascal the chameleon. Good watch.

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (2016)          Read     TV Film     Television
The cast of the BBC’s amazing, modern series take a trip back in time for a mystery on the foggy, lamp-lit streets of Victorian London; based on the works of Arthur Conan Doyle. Mystery, ghosts, murder, dark humour and the brilliant chemistry of Cumberbatch and Freeman; what’s not to love? Great watch.

From Russia with Love (1963)          Not Read     Film     Television
The second James Bond thriller, starring Sean Connery, based on Ian Fleming’s fifth Bond novel. Spectre lures Bond to Turkey with a beautiful, defecting Soviet clerk, where they hope to have their revenge. I enjoyed the historic setting of Istanbul, the glamorous adventure, and Connery is one of my favourite Bonds. Good watch.

Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)          Read     Film     Television
A stunning, star-studded biblical epic from legendary director Ridley Scott. In beautiful, touching and gritty detail we get to see the life of Moses, the 10 plagues of Egypt, the exodus of the Jews, and finally the awe-inspiring parting of the Red Sea. I loved how Scott brought the glory of Ancient Egypt and this dramatic story back to life; with strong performances from Christian Bale (Moses) and Joel Edgerton (Ramses). Great watch.

Alongside these I also enjoyed re-watches of Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) and the cool classic Jurassic Park (1993), which takes my total so far up to 6; a great start to the year! I always find this time of the year is the best for adaptations especially costume drama ones, so I am particularly looking forward to starting the BBC’s new dramas Dickensian (Charles Dickens) and War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy).

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

Top 10 Adaptations of 2015

Blog 2015

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, 2015 was also a great adaptation year for me – I have watched so many great adapted films and TV shows that this list has changed several times. Here are my final choices (ordered alphabetically by title):

  1. 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 me and my father think.
  2. 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.
  3. 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; a twisted and brilliant concept. Amazing special effects, interesting time cuts, and great performances from Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt.
  4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015)       Read     Film     Cinema
    The long-awaited finale to the epic Hunger Games film franchise, based on Suzanne Collins’ popular dystopian series. Katniss and her friends must make the final, bloody bid for a free Panem. Amazing special effects, spectacular fight sequences and beautiful cinematography – plus more great performances from Jennifer Lawrence and ensemble cast. All in all a strong end to an exciting series.
  5. 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. 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.
  6. The Last Kingdom (2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
    An epic, new historical drama from the BBC, based on Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon novels. The Vikings are sweeping across England and now only the kingdom of Wessex stands in their way. We see the drama unfold from the eyes of Uhtred; the orphaned son of a Saxon nobleman who was raised by a Viking lord. I thought this was an amazing show: with stunning cinematography, great acting, and gritty realism.
  7. 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.
  8. Pride and Prejudice (1995)          Read     TV Series     Television
    The BBC’s classic adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel. I love the 2005 film however I have for some time longed to watch this too. The Drama channel was showing the whole series back-to-back, with the colour beautifully remastered, for its 20th anniversary. I found it a charming watch, and Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle make an excellent Darcy and Elizabeth.
  9. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)          Not Read     Film     DVD
    A ‘cult classic’ prison drama, based on Stephen King’s novella. A dark tale of the violence, injustice and institutionalisation of a corrupt American prison. Where one man starts to bring friendship, hope and redemption to others through his positive actions. Powerful cinematography, soundtrack, message and performances from Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.
  10. Spectre (2015)          Not Read     Film     Cinema
    The 24th James Bond thriller, starring Daniel Craig, based on Ian Fleming’s Bond characters. Agent 007 is forced to go rogue to take down Spectre, a dangerous international organisation, who are always watching and listening. The leader of which is an old nemesis. Amazing drama, special effects, fight sequences and cast.

With so many greats watches in 2015  honorary mentions must go to films:  Saving Mr Banks (2013), Dracula Untold (2014), Gone Girl (2014), Wild (2014), and TV films The Scandalous Lady W (2015) and An Inspector Calls (2015). Then TV series: Boardwalk Empire (S5), Wolf Hall (2015), Inspector George Gently (S7), Sense and Sensibility (2008), The Enfield Haunting (2015), Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2015), Wayward Pines (S2), Hannibal (S3), Midwinter of the Spirit (2015), and The Leftovers (S2).

Have you watched any of these? What were your favourite adaptations you watched in 2015?