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?

Adaptations: December 2015

Adaptations #3

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adaptations I have watched during December and over the Christmas holiday:

The Leftovers (S2 – 2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
American drama with a science-fiction twist, based on Tom Perrotta’s novel. It is now 4 years after the global, ‘Rapture’ like, event where 140 million people inexplicably disappeared. The Garvey family move to the mysterious Jarden to make a fresh start; a miraculous place where no one disappeared…before. A twisting and surprising plot which I enjoyed even more than S1. Great watch.

The Last Kingdom (2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
An epic, new historical drama on 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 as a Viking. I thought this was an amazing show: with stunning cinematography, great acting, and gritty realism. I am pleased there will be a 2nd series! Great watch.

Jason and the Argonauts (1963)          Read     Film     Television
Classic, fantasy epic following the mythological Greek hero Jason and his fighting Argonauts. See Jason take on the giant Talos, flying harpies, the clashing rocks, the Hydra, and skeletal warriors to win the golden fleece. I have fond memories of growing up with this film so I am pleased to have found it back on this Christmas. I think those skeletal warriors are still so cool. Classic re-watch.

Rise of the Guardians (2012)          Not Read     Film     Television
Fantasy animated film for all the family based on The Guardians of Childhood books by William Joyce. Pitch Black is trying to spread fear and darkness so the Guardians; Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Sandman rise with the help of Jack Frost to stop him. A sweet film which passed a lovely, lazy Sunday afternoon leading up to Christmas. Okay watch.

Leading up to and during Christmas I have enjoyed re-watching some classic, comfort films. Those films that are just perfect to pop on in the background as you wrap presents or to snuggle down to with the family. These for me have included Pride and Prejudice (2005) and several of the Harry Potter films, which added to the above films and TV shows makes my total for December: 9 adaptations!

I am not currently watching any adapted series but I am looking forward to starting Sleepy Hollow (S3) and the BBC’s new period drama Dickensian, which is chock full of our favourite Dickens’ characters. Plus the films Cinderella (2015) and Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014) have finally premiered on Sky – I can’t wait to watch both!

What have you watched recently? Is there anything you’re looking forward to seeing in 2016?

Adaptations: November (2)

Adaptations

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are some more adaptations I watched in November:

Zoo (2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
A new American thriller based on the novel by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. When different species of animals start to show violence towards humans, an unlikely and eccentric group get together to scour the Earth for answers and a cure. I thought this was a really interesting concept, however I don’t think the production quality was as high as it could have been for all the episodes. Okay watch.

An Inspector Calls (2015)          Read     TV Film     Television
BBC costume drama, based on J B Priestley’s play, part of the BBC’s 20th-century literary adaptations series. A mysterious inspector arrives at the home of a wealthy, English family to question them about the suicide of a young, working-class woman. I have fond memories of studying this at school and I have seen the play twice. A quality new production which kept the central message of social justice intact, even though the ending has been tweaked. Plus David Thewlis is a perfect Inspector Goole. Great watch.

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. Great watch.

That’s 3 new releases to add to my previous 5 watches this month – giving a grand total of 8 adaptations in November! I am also very close to finishing the BBC’s amazing new series The Last Kingdom (Bernard Cornwell) and the 2nd series of The Leftovers (Tom Perrotta).

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

Adaptations: November 2015 (1)

Adaptations #2

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adapted films and TV series I have watched so far this month:

The Four Musketeers (1974)          Read     Film     Television
Swashbuckling sequel to the 1973 film and based on the 2nd half of Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel. The famous musketeers must help their young friend D’Artagnan evade the vengeful plans of the deadly Lady de Winter. I grew up watching these wonderful films and this was a fun and colourful re-watch. I have a real soft spot for Athos and I think Oliver Reid is still my favourite. Great watch.

Lewis (S9 – 2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
Series 9 of ITV’s long-running detective drama and spin-off from the ever-popular Inspector Morse series, based on Colin Dexter’s crime novels. Detectives Lewis and Hathaway take on three more interesting cases: ‘One for Sorrow’, ‘Magnum Opus’ and ‘What Lies Tangled’, all in the beautiful setting of Oxford. I have grown up watching Morse and Lewis, and this was another comforting series and great chemistry between the main characters. Good watch.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (2015)          Not Read     TV Film     Television
BBC costume drama, based on D H Lawrence’s novel, part of the BBC’s 20th-century literary adaptations series. Lady Chatterley’s husband comes back from war a different man. Now trapped in an unfulfilling marriage she begins an illicit affair. A beautiful series, a touching story and a strong ensemble cast. However, I haven’t read the book, a friend tells me they have changed the ending. Good watch.

Wild (2014)          Not Read     Film     Television
Powerful, true-life drama based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Since the death of her mother Cheryl’s life has gone off the rails so she sets off on an epic and harrowing 1,000 mile walk to find herself, along the Pacific Crest Trail. I thought this was a really moving and inspiring film, with stunning visuals, and excellent performances from Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern. Great watch.

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. Great watch.

November has been a brilliant month for old classics and exciting new releases, and the month’s not even over yet! I am very close to finishing Sky’s new series Zoo (James Patterson) and I am well into the BBC’s amazing new series The Last Kingdom (Bernard Cornwell).

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

Adaptations: October 2015

Adaptations #3

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adapted films and TV series I have watched this month:

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 has been 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. Great watch.

Midwinter of the Spirit (2015)          Not Read     TV Series     Television
A new three-part, supernatural-drama from ITV based on Phil Rickman’s novel. Country vicar Merrily Watson, a newly qualified exorcist, is thrown into the deep end with a grisly murder, a desecrated church, Satanists, and an evil, haunting spirit. A dark and gripping series; starring the wonderful Anna Maxwell Martin and David Threlfall. Great watch, and perfect for autumn and the R.I.P event.

Emma (1996)          Read     TV Series     Television
I love the BBC’s 2009 series, however I had heard of this earlier star studded film adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel. I was pleased to spot this was being shown on ITV3 one weekend. A colourful, witty and charming film. Not all the casting choices quite fitted for me but Gwyneth Paltrow is a sweet Emma. Good watch.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)          Not Read     Film     DVD
A ‘cult classic’ prison drama, based on Stephen King’s novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, which I have wanted to watch for years! 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. Great watch.

Black Sails (2014)          Read     TV Series     Television
A new swashbuckling prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, which made its UK TV premiere this year (2015) on the History channel. Two decades before the original adventure the fearsome Captain Flint makes an uneasy alliance with newcomer John Silver to hunt down the Urca de Lima, a Spanish treasure galleon. Stunning visuals and a rip-roaring adventure, however for me could have had stronger characters. Good watch.

October has been a great month for adaptations for me. I managed to watch some classics I’ve wished to see for ages and caught some interesting new shows too. Still many, many more adaptations to look forward to and share with you though. As I have continued watching Sky’s new series Zoo, and I still have the BBC’s new TV films Lady Chatterley’s Love and An Inspector Calls to watch. Plus I am looking forward to the return of American supernatural series Sleepy Hollow and Grimm.

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