Movie Adaptations of Books: Good or Bad?

When movie adaptations of books are made they are often analyzed very critically and receive mixed reviews. After reading many books and seeing many adaptations of these books, I have begun to wonder; are these adaptations a good or bad thing? On one hand books allow ones imagination to wander, and envision the characters in a certain way. Movie adaptations tell us that a character looks a particular way, talks a particular way, etc. On top of that these movie can misrepresent books, and are beginning to create a generation of people who are a fan of a book, but have only seen the movie. I have listed many cons of these adaptations, but there are some pros. These movies can sometimes encourage people to read the books, or further our love and understanding of something. In many cases I enjoy the movie adaptation, as a movie, though not as a rightful representation of the book.

Photo taken by myself

Photo taken by myself

I am a huge fan of both the Harry Potter books and movies, separately. There are some moments in the movies that they definitely got right, but there are also some very loved moments that they missed. I love reading the books (over and over again) but I can also often be found indulging in the movies. I love them both, but for different reasons. Yes, because of the movies I see Harry as a young Daniel Radcliffe, Hermione as a young, bushy haired Emma Watson, etc. but this doesn’t take away from my reading experience. Because I read these books first, I already had an idea of what I thought the characters were like, and every now and then, when reading the books, I can see the characters as I first saw them.

 

The Great Gatsby was adapted to screen by Baz Luhrmann in 2013 to the happiness of some and dismay of others. Which was my reaction? It was mixed. While I though Leonardo Dicaprio made a great Gatsby (pun intended), I was not pleased with the musical choices made. The soundtrack was very good, but it simply did not fit with the film. The Great Gatsby is a book about the jazz age and the 1920’s, so it was very odd to me that they didn’t include 1920’s jazz in the movie. Instead, they took a modern approach. There are elements of this film that I liked, but the musical accompaniment didn’t pay tribute to this classic.

These are just a couple of examples of books that were later adapted to screen. How do you feel about screen adaptations of books?

 

 

The Liebster Award

liebsteraward

About a week ago I was nominated for the Liebster Award by SmartStunningSearching. Thank you! This is an award for talented bloggers with under 200 followers. Blogs nominated for this award are “worth watching”.

Receivers of the award must following the following guidelines:

  1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you
  2. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers
  4. Go to the blogs you nominated and notify them of your nomination
  5. Give your nominees 11 questions to answer

The following are my answers to the questions I was asked.

1. Why did you start your blog?

Originally I was very hesitant to answer this question, but since I have been asked I have decided to give an honest answer. This blog was originally started for a class that I am taking. It is a social media class, that requires the students to create a blog on WordPress. Other then that the guide lines are very flexible. I have chosen everything else about my blog, and I am happy to say that I no longer view it as an assignment. This blog has become an outlet for my thoughts and is so much more to me then an assignment. I really enjoying blogging, and I will continue to blog even when that assignment is over.

2. What’s your goal for your blog?

I don’t have any specific goals other than to entertain my audience, and to grow as a writer. It was has been said that to become truly master something you have to do it for 10,000 hours, so slowly and surely I am making a dent in that number with my writing and this blog is helping me to do that.

3. What do you do for a living? If you’re a student, what are you studying?

I am currently a student, studying a number of things. I particularly enjoy English, History and of course the social media class, since it introduced me to blogging.

4. What’s your favorite drink to get at Starbucks?

I don’t go to Starbucks very often and haven’t tried many of their drinks. I’m not anti-starbucks or anything, it’s just not a place I go to. When I am there, I tend to not be very adventurous and stick with either tea, hot chocolate, or ice tea and lemonade.

5. What’s your favorite song? Why?

This is a very difficult question for me. After taking some time to consider this question I have found that I can’t give just one answer. There are so many wonderful songs, so I will tell you just a few of my favorites. Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, though I do love Rufus Wainwright’s cover, many Beyonce songs (too many to name), and a number of Beatles songs. My family has always placed an emphasis on music, leaving me with a broad variety of music and songs that I love.

6. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Somewhere in Europe, though I would most likely want to settle somewhere in the US to be close to family. While I wish to travel, I would like to have a home base, close to those I love.

7.  Chris Hemsworth or Liam Hemsworth?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHfg6apNWcA

You choose.

8. Are you where you hoped to be at this point in your life?

Yes.

9. Tell me something about Canada.

Canadians are said to be very friendly.

10. Do you keep up with celebrity news? Why or why not?

Not really. Hearing rumors and gossip about the lives of celebrities doesn’t really interest me.

11. What is your favourite post on your blog?

Hmmm… I’d have to say Fictional Heroines and I because it tells you, the reader a lot about who I am and what I’ve grown up with and relate to. It shows what I truly am; a bookworm.

 

The following are my nominees:

1. The Alaskan Life

2. Hopeful Foods

3. Good Vibes & Open Eyes

4. SOL 

5. Wild Daizies

6. Kandidly Kaptured

7.  Good Morning 

8. Why not?

9. Natural Photography

10. The Dumb Monkey

11. Oh the Places I’ve Been

The questions I would like for them to answer are:

1. What has blogging taught you?

2. What is your favorite childhood memory?

3. If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

4. What is a your favorite quote?

5. Who’s your personal superhero?

6. What is your favorite season?

7. Sweet or sour?

8.  Why did you start your blog?

9. Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin?

10. Dogs or cats?

11. Blog post of your own that you wished had gotten more attention?

 

Dogs; Truly a Mans Best Friend

I have had two pets in my lifetime; a small hamster named Mary who my brother and I were afraid of and my dog Molly. Molly is a small, half shitzu, half poodle, bundle of joy. We found Molly at a local dog shelter about eight years ago. Ever since the moment we all met her she has become a part of the family. My family was on the shelters “puppy list”, meaning that if a puppy was brought in, we’d get a call. After getting just that call, my dad had rushed to the shelter from work. When my mom, brother and I went there to meet him, we found him sitting in the kennel playing with a little, scruffy Molly. She was a 4 month old, ball of fur that we instantly knew would be the right fit for us.

A picture of Molly from a few years ago

A picture of Molly from a few years ago

Though the years have passed, Molly never seems to get older. She still has the vivacious energy of her youth, and never hesitates to run and play. She jumps so high at times that you can see the top of her head poking up from the other side of the table when she is begging at dinner time. Molly is a source of happiness and joy for all she meets (except maybe the people who pass by our house, for she barks aggressively at them. Though, if someone were to enter the house, all she would do is wag her tail and jump excitedly. Some guard dog!).

Loyally guarding

Loyally guarding

Dogs are truly a mans best friend, or at least mine is. She never tires of my company, and is content to curl up in my lap or run and play. She brings a happiness and lightness to our home.

Molly and I a some years ago on a windy day

Molly and I, a some years ago on a windy day

Dogs are loyal and knowing, yet innocent. From them we receive unconditional love in return for a bowl of kibble and a nice belly rub now and then. Dogs enjoy the simple things in life, and there is always something to learn from them.

 

Beginning a Garden

This weekend, one of the planters in my backyard was transformed into a raised bed vegetable garden. This planter had once held only one, large rosemary plant, and was otherwise useless. The rosemary was torn out, as well as the red brick bordering and a wooden box built around it. The box was then filled with soil and later vegetables.

Before: Planter filled with Rosemary

Before: Planter filled with Rosemary

 

Though I did not take part in the building of the wood box, it was an interesting process to watch and an essential part of building our garden.

After the removal of bricks and rosemary

After the removal of bricks and rosemary

An empty canvas, ready to be filled with plants

An empty canvas, ready to be filled with plants

The first step to securing a good future for your potential plants is making sure the soil is rich with the nutrients your plants will need. Don’t skimp on soil! It’s there to nourish your food.

After taking a trip to the garden store, we brought home small plants. We did not start with seeds this time, though in the future it will definitely be something to try!

The beginnings of a garden!

The beginnings of a garden! Featuring: Molly, the dog

We planted a variety of lettuces, cucumbers, swiss chard, spinach, sweet peas, onions, strawberries and a variety of herbs. Now all that’s left to do is water and watch. Getting your hands in the soil and planting something that will hopefully grow into an edible vegetable is amazing. After planting these vegetables with my own two hands, I’m excited to see what this garden will contribute to our table. Will this first crop succeed? Wait and see.

Ocean Breeze

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View of the ocean from the cliffs

Friday afternoon; the park is a buzz with activity. My dog leads the way, pulling us behind her with her leash. The park is up on the cliffs, overlooking the ocean. Cool, ocean breezes drift up to us preventing our warm bodies from overheating. Salty air awakens the senses, bringing you and your surroundings to life.

seagull

A seagull, perched and unmoving

 

A still seagull sits atop a wooden post, swaying slightly in the breeze. Not even my approaching startles this peaceful seagull, though the birds are usually rather flighty. It seemed that us humans were not the only relaxed ones in the park.

A walk takes your mind off of things, but can also give you time to think. My favorite weather to walk is cool, but not cold with a whisper of wind. And that is exactly yesterday’s conditions. Because my dog came along there was a perfect balance of swift walking and time to dawdle while she sniffed the grass. Bright flowers edged the path, including the famous California poppies.

calipoppys

California poppies growing on the side of the path

Near the end of our walk we came across an older woman and her dog resting on a bench. She told us a bit about her dog, and was soon talking about herself. She suggested a book author to me and told us a bit about her family. When walking in the park you never know who you will meet. This woman was truly a character, with an English accent and an equally English name. It was an interesting encounter, and I learned a bit about the history of a type of dog I’d never heard of. Take a walk! You never know what you may find.

 

Fictional Heroines and I

As an avid book reader I have met and enjoyed the company of many heroes and heroines. As a girl there is something about a strong female character that I can relate to and be inspired by. Over the years, a number of inspiring female characters have collected. The following is just a few of these inspiring women.

Hermione Granger is a character in the Harry Potter novels. She is the brightest witch of her age, and is an endless source of strength, wit and knowledge through out the series. Hermione is one of the strong women who have inspired me. She is independent, smart, and through many a hard times a true and good friend. She is a character to look up to, learn from and strive to be alike. A true heroine.

Elizabeth “Lizzy” Bennet is a character from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. She is a young women who refuses to marry a man far above her and of good means, when first proposed to. Lizzy is a girl after love in a time when women were expected to marry before they got to old. She is strong, smart, proud and witty character that many can relate to, despite her being from another era.

Katniss Everdeen, the girl on fire in the Hunger Games. She is forced to fight to the death (literally) in a dystopian society, but goes on to become a revolutionary symbol and leader. She is a strong women, the back bone of her family and later the symbol of hope for many.

Jo March is a smart, creative writer in the novel Little Women. She is proud of her accomplishments as a writer, and pursues a career despite what society tells her. Jo is a loyal and loving women. Jo teaches us to be true to yourself.

Liesel Meminger is a character from the novel The Book Thief. Though she is just a young girl, she is brave and loyal to someone who the society tells her is the enemy. She is a girl who loves words and knows the importance of them. She is a girl who teaches us to stand up for what you believe in.

All these literary characters are women with strong values, and wit. There is something to be taken from each of their stories. What have you taken from the stories of some of your favorite literary characters?

A Night at the Theater

Last evening my parents surprised me with tickets to see West Side Story for my birthday. The opening night, March 18th, happened to be on my birthday and so it seemed that it was meant to be.

West Side Story is a Romeo and Juliet-like story set in New York City in the 1950’s about a boy from the “jets”, Tony, and Maria, a Puerto Rican girl who’s brother is the leader of the sharks, the Jets nemesis. Despite this, Tony and Maria fall in love, but like Romeo and Juliet are bound for tragedy as the Sharks and the Jets fight for their “turf”.

West Side Story is a musical with social commentary that is still relevant today, though it was originally debuted in 1957. Tony is a retired member of the Jets, though he sometimes gives them a hand, and Maria is the sister of the Sharks leader, Bernardo. Despite all the prejudice surrounding Maria and Tony they do not see prejudice, they see only one another and their love.

Maria, played by MaryJoanna Grisso, and Tony, played by Jarrad Biron Green, were beautifully matched. Their voices soared together in songs such as “Tonight” and “Somewhere” and their chemistry was obvious. A great pair to play the two lovers.

The choreography in the many dance scenes was outstanding. From the colorful and lively scenes of “America” and “Dance at the Gym”, to the more graceful moments, the moves were executed beautifully. I found myself enchanted by the graceful dancing during “Somewhere”, set against a pale back drop with the cast dressed in light colors. “Dance at the Gym” showcased the two dance styles; it began with the lively dance moves displayed by the opposing gangs, but turns soft and romantic for a moment when Tony and Maria see one another and meet. Dance expresses so much in this story, so it was important to get it right, and get it right they did.

This was an amazing performance. If this national tour of West Side Story comes to a theater near you, I encourage you to make the trip to see it. There were laughs, excitement, tears, and song. A very good performance of the classic West Side Story.

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