Adaptations: April 2017

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adaptations I’ve watched during April:

Testament of Youth (2015)
Not Read     Film     Television

A sumptuous period drama based on the memoir of Vera Brittain (Alicia Vikander), an independent young woman who abandoned her Oxford studies to become a war nurse. A heart-breaking portrayal of the love and losses of WWI. Also starring Taron Egerton as Vera’s brother and Kit Harington and Colin Morgan as his best friends; strong performances from the whole cast. I warn you tissues are needed for watching this one!

***


Oblivion (2013)
Not Read     Film     Television

Post-apocalyptic, visual effects bonanza based on the graphic novel written by the director Joseph Kosinski. The Earth is a desolate wasteland after a cataclysmic war with an alien race, that forced the human race to relocate to Titan. Now only Tech 49 (Tom Cruise) and his partner remain to maintain the machinery….but all is not as it seems! An action packed, old school adventure in the vein of classic science-fiction films.

**


Emerald City (2017)
Read     TV Series     Television

A brand new fantasy series which has put an adult twist on L. Frank Baum’s ‘Land of Oz’. In this series, a young nurse, Dorothy Gale, is transported by a tornado from Kansas to the magical land of Oz, where she will unwittingly be fulfilling a dark prophecy. I thoroughly enjoyed this colourful new series and I was intrigued by the refreshing, interesting twists it put on Baum’s original characters and themes. I hope there will be another series.

**


Over the Easter break, I also enjoyed re-watches of the classic The Railway Children (1970); the hilarious Guardians of the Guardians (2014) and the wonderful Pride and Prejudice (2005), all of which were being shown on terrestrial television, and then Fantastic Beasts (2016) which shockingly was my brother’s first watch of this amazing film. So altogether that’s an impressive seven adaptations watched this month.

As for non-adaptations, I was absolutely gripped by the chilling second series of Fortitude and the emotionally exhausting, third series of ITV’s brilliant Broadchurch.

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

Awards: One Lovely Blog Award

Hello my fellow bookworms, I am so pleased to share that I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Shameeka’s Fictional World; thank you Shameeka! The rules to take part are simple:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to them.
  • Share 7-15 facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 9-15 bloggers you admire and contact them.

10 Facts About Me:

  1. If you read this blog regularly you will know I love to read, but you may not know that this is actually my eighth year blogging here about books.
  2. My favourite genres to read are: fantasy, historical fiction and mystery.
  3. Some of my favourite authors are: JRR Tolkien, Jane Austen, CS Lewis, Daphne du Maurier, Terry Pratchett, Susanna Kearsley and Charles Dickens.
  4. My favourite place to read is snuggled up in a blanket with a mug of tea (preferably peppermint or camomile); even better if my cat Bonnie comes to snuggle with me.
  5. As well as reading, I love to watch adaptations of said books which I discuss in monthly posts.
  6. I also have a new-found love of cooking and cookbooks, so I have also started doing monthly posts for that too.
  7. I particularly enjoy cooking and eating large, comforting one-pot dishes like stews, soups, casseroles and curry…especially curry!
  8. Outside of blogging, I work one-to-one with children that have special educational needs in a primary school.
  9. My other hobbies are: watching television and films; going to the cinema and theatre; and dancing: I have been a member of a local belly dance group for about 7 years.
  10. Finally, but certainly not least, I am a practicing Christian and an active member of my local church. I recently led my first Holy Communion service! However you will usually find me with my hand up a puppet in the kid’s club.

My Nominations:

I have decided not to contact each nomination personally, because I have done this award several times over the years, as I am sure others have too, so I don’t want anyone to feel pressured to join in again. If you do join in, great! If you don’t that’s fine too – I just wanted to say a big thank you for all your wonderful writing and I want others to know about you too.

Adaptations: March 2017

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adaptations I’ve watched during March:

Logan (2017)
Not Read     Film     Cinema

The long-awaited and final instalment in the Wolverine thread of the highly popular X-Men film franchise; based on the characters from Marvel Comics. After an apocalyptic style event wipes out most of the world’s mutants, Logan is left with little to live for until he meets a girl like him. A bloody, gritty and realistic film which is a serious and refreshing change from a regular comic book film.

***


Persuasion (1995)
Read     TV Film     Television

BBC period drama based on Jane Austen’s classic novel, one of six adaptations of her novels produced during the mid-90s, which is the first of this novel I have seen. A mature and realistic portrayal of Anne and Wentworth’s complicated, heart breaking relationship. While the film quality looked a little aged, I think the style and acting performances are timeless.

***


SS-GB (2017)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

New BBC alternate-history drama, based on Len Deighton’s 1978 novel, that takes us back to November 1941 where we follow Detective Archer during a routine murder investigation but in a Nazis occupied Britain. An eerily realistic and stylish look into the uneasy alliances, dangerous tensions and political intrigues between the occupied and occupiers.

***


Wow that’s another three 3* (my highest rating) adaptations; I can already see that picking my top 10 could be harder this year! I also enjoyed a comforting re-watch of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), so altogether I have watched four adaptations in March. Also this month, I continued to enjoy new series The Emerald City; an adult re-working of L Frank Baum’s ‘Oz’.

As for non-adaptations, I watched series one of ITV’s wonderful bio-drama Victoria (2016), which stars the lovely Jenna Coleman as the young Queen Victoria.

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

Adaptations: February 2017

blog-adaptations-update

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adaptations I’ve watched during January and February:

Endeavour (Series 4)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

The 4th series of ITV crime drama based on Colin Dexter’s characters and a prequel to the long-running Inspector Morse series. In 1960’s Oxford, we re-join young detective constable Endeavour Morse, as he throws himself into three new investigations and one cold case in the hopes of forgetting his broken heart. Another gloriously atmospheric and nostalgic watch.

***


Frankenstein (2017)
Read     Play     Theatre

As one of my favourite novels, I was thrilled to find that Blackeyed Theatre’s new production was coming to my local theatre. The gothic tale of Victor Frankenstein and his monstrous creation was brought to life very effectively, with a strong, small ensemble cast and a fantastic use of an eerie life-sized puppet to represent the creature.

***


Terry Pratchett: Back in Black (2017)
TV Documentary     Television

Not technically an adaptation however I think this docu-drama about Terry Pratchett – the international best-selling author best known for his Discworld series – is definitely worth a honorary mention. A funny, poignant, fascinating and in parts heart breaking tribute to a wonderful author and man.

***


I also re-watched two of the wonderful Lord of the Rings films and XMen: Days of Future Past. So altogether that’s five adaptations and one honorary mention watched; another good amount I think. Also this month, I started watching new series The Emerald City, an adult re-working of L Frank Baum’s ‘Oz’.

As for non-adaptations, I watched the BBC’s new gothic Taboo series, starring Tom Hardy as the scary but weirdly likeable James Delaney. As well as going to the cinema to see CGI spectacular The Great Wall and amazing war drama Hacksaw Ridge.

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

Adaptations: January 2017

blog-adaptations-update

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adaptations I’ve watched during January:

Sherlock (Series 4)
Read     TV Series     Television

The long-awaited 4th series of this amazing BBC production which gives a modern twist to the Sherlock Holmes works of Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman) return for three more thrilling and deadly mysteries, that are going to shake their worlds to the very core. I think this is perhaps the best of series of them all!

***


The Last Dragonslayer (2016)
Not Read     TV Film     Television

On Christmas day, Sky1 aired this magical family romp through an alternative England where magic is real but slowly running out and only young Jennifer Strange can fix it; based on Jasper Fforde’s fantasy novel. A fun watch with an all-star cast, including: Ricky Tomlinson, Nina Wadia and Pauline Collins.

**


Risen (2016)
Read     Film     Television

Biblical drama which follows Clavius, a Roman Tribune (Joseph Fiennes) as he hunts for the body of Yeshua, a crucified Jewish teacher, to quell dangerous rumours that he has risen from the dead. Along the way he is to face trials, failures and startling truths. A powerful and refreshing take on the story of Jesus Christ, his disciples and the Resurrection.

***


Alongside these three new-to-me adaptations, I have also enjoyed re-watches of two of The Hunger Games  films and two of The Hobbit films. So altogether that’s an impressive seven adaptations watched this month.

As for non-adaptations, I binge watched recordings of Channel 4’s gripping, science-fiction drama Humans (Series 2) and the tense ‘Manson Murders’ inspired Aquarius (Series 2), starring the brilliant David Duchovny. I also went to the cinema to see Kate Beckinsale in her iconic vampire role in Underworld: Blood Wars (2016).

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

Adaptations: December & Christmas 2016

blog-adaptations-update

Hello my fellow bookworms and adaptation lovers, here are the adaptations I’ve watched on the big and small screen through December and over the festive period:

Shadowlands (1993)
Film     Television

A beautiful biopic of C S Lewis’ passionate but doomed love affair with American poet Joy Gresham. Directed by the late, great Richard Attenborough and starring the equally great Anthony Hopkins. Not technically an adaptation, however I thought it a worthy mention as these events heavily influenced Lewis’ later writing. Warning: tear jerker!

***


Poldark (Series 2)
Not Read     TV Series     Television

A BBC costume drama which follows Captain Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) and his family; based on the books by Winston Graham. A harrowing and stark tale of mining, smuggling, love, death and war in 1700’s Cornwall. Brought to life by a strong ensemble cast, with stunning scenery and beautiful costumes.

**


Doctor Strange (2016)
Not Read     Film     Cinema

This is the 14th film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which introduces us to acclaimed surgeon Dr Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). Who after losing the use of his hands in an accident travels across the world to learn the mystic arts. Another fun, action-packed superhero blockbuster with stunning visuals and a touch of surrealism.

**


Black Sails (Series 2)
Read     TV Series     Television

The exciting second series of this swashbuckling prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, which follows the fearsome Captain Flint and newcomer John Silver as they try to get their hands on the gold of the Urca de Lima, a Spanish treasure galleon. A rip-roaring adventure with some beautiful settings, bloody battles and some adult content.

**


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)
Not Read     Film     Digital Copy

Superhero comedy sequel to the 2014 film; inspired by the characters from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book series. Shredder and his new sidekicks, Bebop and Rocksteady, are causing havoc and mayhem all over town, and only our ‘heroes in a half-shelf’ can stop them! Not a ground breaking film but it is a fun, spectacular CGI bonanza.

**


The Jungle Book (2016)
Read     Film     Television

Visually stunning live action/CGI film based on Rudyard Kipling’s short-story collection and inspired by Disney’s 1967 film. That follows the young, man-cub Mowgli in his adventures with his animal friends, but not everything in the jungle is friendly! Utterly charming and simply beautiful.

***


Then on the lead up to Christmas I enjoyed re-watches of Alfred Hitchcock’s atmospheric classic Rebecca (1940) and childhood favourite Hook (1991). Then over the festive holiday I enjoyed re-watches of Christmas favourites The Grinch (2000) and all of the Harry Potter films. So altogether that’s 16 adaptations and 1 honorary mention watched!

As for non-adaptations, I watched ITV’s sumptuous period drama Tutankhamun (2016), HBO’s amazing new science-fiction series, Westworld (2016) and the BBC’s super gripping The Missing (Series 2). I also went to the cinema to see the absolutely awesome Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016).

Have you watched any of these? What did you watch over Christmas?

My Top 10 Adaptations of 2016

blog-2016-adaptations

Hello my fellow adaptation lovers, 2016 has been another great year of adapted films, TV shows and plays for me. Now it is time to round-up my favourite 10 adaptations from the past year; these are new-to-me but were not necessarily released in 2016. It took some time to whittle it down to just 10 however here’s my final choices (ordered alphabetically):

~ 1 ~

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 1960’s, as he solves some of his earliest cases. Another atmospheric and nostalgic series full of bloody, cryptic and surprising murders.

~ 2 ~

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 (Christian Bale), 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.

~ 3 ~

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
Read     Film     Cinema

The long awaited, spin-off prequel to the Harry Potter film franchise, which is inspired by J K Rowling’s fictional textbook. We travel back to the Wizarding World in 1936 to follow Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his case of magical creatures in their extraordinary adventures in New York. A truly wonderful, fantasy romp with a more adult edge, which had me grinning from ear-to-ear!

~ 4 ~

Game of Thrones (Series 6)
Read     TV Series     Television

The lavish 6th series of this epic fantasy drama, based on George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books. Another gripping and twisting adventure full of war, intrigue, family, politics, death, faith, love, lust, lies and dragons! Phew, this was one rollercoaster of a ride and, I think, the best season so far!

~ 5 ~

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.

~ 6 ~

The Jungle Book (2016)
Read     Film     Television

Visually stunning live action/CGI film based on Rudyard Kipling’s short-story collection and inspired by Disney’s 1967 film. That follows the young, man-cub Mowgli in his adventures with his animal friends, but not everything in the jungle is friendly! Utterly charming and simply beautiful.

~ 7 ~

The Martian (2015)
Read     Film     Television

Science-fiction drama, based on David Weir’s popular 2011 novel, that chronicles the heart-racing, against-the-clock race to rescue astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) from Mars. A visually stunning film with a stellar ensemble cast, which made me gasp and laugh in equal measure!

~ 8 ~

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!

~ 9 ~

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?

~ 10 ~

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.


With so many great watches in 2016 honorary mentions must also go to films: Batman v Superman (2016), Cinderella (2015), The Revenant (2016), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), Everest (2015); TV shows: The Frankenstein Chronicles (2015), The Night Manager (2016), 11.22.63 (2016), Penny Dreadful (Series 3) and Vikings (Series 3); and plays: Graeme of Thrones (12.05.2016) and The Woman in Black (17.09.16).

Have you watched any of these? What did you watch and love in 2016?