Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday:
"Books and movies are like apples and oranges."

"Books and movies are like apples and oranges. 
They both are fruit, but taste completely different."
Stephen King

This week for my Top Ten Tuesday, I am going to focus on ten movies that are coming out in the nearish future that were based on books that I either want to read or have already read.  

Typically, I generally prefer the book to the movie, and there are some movies that I have had a really hard time reconciling the choices the movie-makers made with the way the book has "played out" in my head as I read it.  For example, I struggled with the first few Harry Potter movies because I imagined things happening in a much less cheesy way than they did on screen.  In fact, after the second movie came out I gave up on them all until recently, when I both reread all seven books, and then viewed all seven films consecutively.  

So, here are ten books-to-movies that are coming up soon that I want to see (and a couple that are already out), and hopefully read (if I haven't already) before I see the film.  I have also included release dates for the films as they were available on the interwebs.

1. Warm Bodies (February 1, 2013): Based on the book by Issac Marion, this is a book I had not heard of until I saw the rather amusing trailer for the film.  It is about a zombie who falls in love with a live girl, and while it is not in my normal reading/viewing bag, it looks interesting and different enough from many of the zombie/monster stories that have been permeating our recent culture. 

2. Beautiful Creatures (February 13, 2013): Another film based on a fantasy novel (the first in a series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl), this is the story of two teens with special powers and their effort to uncover secrets about their respective families and the small southern town they live in.

3. The Reluctant Fundamentalist (April 24, 2013): This is a book that has been on my to-read list for a while, and is about two Princeton graduates, an American woman and a Pakistani man, and their struggles in the aftermath of 9/11.  It is by Mohsin Hamad, and was shortlisted for the 2007 Booker Prize.

4. The Great Gatsby (May 10, 2013): I just finished reading this book, and while I enjoyed it, I did not feel like it really was life changing.  That being said, I am interested to see how Baz Luhrmann interprets it in the film.  This is the story of the narrator Nick Carraway and his observations of the relationships that go on around him, specifically as they have to do with his mysterious neighbor Jay Gatsby.

5. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (August 23, 2013): This is another fantasy novel that begins a series, by Cassandra Clare, and though I have read the first two books in  a semi-related series (The Infernal Devices), I have not read this yet.  This novel is the story of a girl, Clary, who encounters a group of warriors striving to rid the earth of demons.  When her mother disappears and she has to get her back, Clary gets the help of these supernatural warriors, and along the way discovers she might be like them.

6. Ender's Game (November 1, 2013): This is a book I read as a young teenager, in junior high, and it is a book that moved me deeply.  I am very excited to see how the filmmakers have turned it into a movie.  By Orson Scott Card, and also the first in a science fiction series, it is the story of Ender, a brilliant young boy, who is recruited to help save the planet and become a military general.  Through it all, Ender struggles with the battle "games" they are playing, interacting with the other children, and the concepts of justice and right vs. wrong. I have not read the other books in the series, but this one was exceptional.

7. Catching Fire (November 22, 2013):  This film is based on the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  While the first film did a very good job relating the plot of the novel, if not necessarily the theme, it failed, in my opinion, to evoke the same reaction from the watcher as Collins does from a reader of the book.  That being said, the second and third books were even more emotionally evocative, and offered more in the way of presenting a specific theme to the reader.  I am hesitant that the films will be able to pull this off and be as moving as the books are, but I still want to see them try.  A poor execution of a film only disappoints me, but I lose nothing from the experience of the reading of the books. These books should be read consecutively, as the plot builds until the final book, and the full message Collins is attempting to impart is not visible until the final book is finished.  If you have not read the first book, stop reading now and skip to number eight!  This book, specifically, is about the Capitol forcing the two main characters, Peeta and Katniss, to return to the arena in a special edition of the Hunger Games, as there has been some revolting against the Capitol, and it is trying to maintain control of the districts. 

8. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (December 13, 2013): SC and I listened to The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien on a long car trip, and I was very excited to see the first portion of the film when it came out.  That being said, I have still not seen it, as I am not sure how it will work to split up the story into three parts.  The story (as a whole) is the adventure of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who is rather comfortable staying at home, but gets dragged into helping some dwarfs get their property back from a dragon.  It is a very entertaining story, but I am just not sure how it will be split out into three movies.

9. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (December 25, 2013): This film is based on a short story by James Thurber from his collection The Thurber Carnival.  It is a collection that has been on my to-read list for a while, and "Secret Life" is the story of a man who has five different daydreams about possibilities of life while he waits on his wife in town at her weekly trip to the beauty parlor.

10. How I Live Now (2013): Another from my long list of to-read books, this is the story of children and teens attempting to survive without adults during a terrorist attack and subsequent war.  It is a young adult novel by Meg Rosoff, and won the Michael L. Printz Award for Young Adult Literature in 2004.

10. A Wrinkle in Time (2013): Ever since I read When You Reach Me, which was based on ideas presented in Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, the latter has been on my to-read list, and specifically, my read-aloud to SC list.  It is a science fiction novel about a young girl who searches to find her scientist father after he goes missing.  It is the winner of the Newbery Award, and the first in a series.  Hopefully the movie will be rated "G" or "PG" and SC and I can both read the story together, and then see the film.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower: This film is already out in theaters, and it is one that I really want to see.  I read the book in my early college years and it is one of my absolute favorites.  It is another young adult novel, by Stephen Chbosky, and deals with finding oneself amidst the regularity of life, specifically in the pseudo-world of high school.

Silver Linings Playbook:  This fim is also already out in theaters.  I have already seen this film, but I have not read the book, but after seeing the movie and enjoying it immensely, I think that the book will offer even more.  By Matthew Quick, it is the story of Pat Peoples, and his attempt at a "comeback" after a stint in a mental health institution.  Along the way he tries to win back his ex-wife, handle living at home with his parents, and meets a young widow who has her own host of psychological problems.

So either I am really interested in fantasy/ science fiction books and films, or that is what just so happens to be coming out in 2013.  I think it is a bit more of the latter, though I have really enjoyed some of the fantasy/ sci-fi books and films I have seen lately!  

What movies are you looking forward to in 2013, based on a book or otherwise?  Leave a comment, then check out some more Top Ten Tuesday posts here:

Many Little Blessings

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