Tag Archives: movies from books

Film Friday Footnotes

So far this fall I have seen some great movies, in the theatre and at home!  Here’s a quick roundup:

Trouble with the Curve (with Kristine for her birthday) –  Grumpy old Clint Eastwood, successful and driven Amy Adams, the lovable friend John Goodman and the cuter-than-cute Justin Timberlake.  There’s just something about baseball movies and this one was lots of fun.  Poor Clint has failing eyes, which are pretty important to his job as a baseball scout (for the Braves I think).  Loyal friendships, strained father-daughter relationship, flirty flirty romance, baseball uniforms.  Good stuff.

Cover of "Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Co...
Cover via Amazon

Pitch Perfect (with Troy in NYC!) – The perfect movie to kick off Broadway Birthday week in NYC!  It was hilarious (“I set fires to feel joy.”) and energetic and simply A-ca-wonderful!  I wanted to see it again in the theatre but with so many other good movies to see, I will wait to purchase it!  It was produced by Elizabeth Banks and her husband and she has such a fun role in the movie.  Just great stuff.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (alone before working overnight on a free movie day) – I read this book in the 90s when it came out and it was good.  The movie is very good, as well.  A lonely freshman is “mentored” by a couple of seniors and feels relief in friendships.  The movie is funny and fun but also delicately handles mental illness.

Argo (Friday night with the grownups) – Suspenseful; so suspenseful and tense.  I was squirming in my seat but loved it.  Ben Affleck is getting cuter by the minute and not shirtless for long enough, John Goodman is still a lovable goof of a friend, and Alan Arkin appears (as always) that he’s up for anything.  Well done, Ben!

And at home via Netflix or Direct TV on Demand:

Bernie – Jack Black plays the lovable funeral director that his hometown does not want to convict of murder, even though he did it.  No one blames him because the woman who dies was really a hateful person (Shirley McLaine).  It was “meh” and interestingly enough based on a real person.

Blue Like Jazz – Based on the book of the same name by Donald Miller, a story (semi-autobiographical) of a young man who becomes disillusioned with church and goes off to a small liberal college in the NW as a rebellious gesture.  He tries to figure out himself and what he believes.  It was fine.  I didn’t finish the book probably for the same reason that the movie didn’t have zing.

Sleepwalk with Me – You can still see this in “select theatres” throughout the United States, just not a “theatre near me.”  But I was excited to learn that it was available On-Demand to rent!  Yay!  So I watched it tonight and it was so good.  I heard of the movie because I listen to This American Life and The Moth Story Hour and I think that Mike Birbiglia is very entertaining and funny to listen to.  He wrote this movie (semi-autobiographical) about the start of a stand-up comedy career and the stall of a long-term relationship and the dangerous sleep disorder woven into the mix. Quirky and smart, it was definitely the best thing I’ve seen at home in a while.  It would have been fun to see it on the big screen, but it is one of those films that probably won’t make it to our screens.

Movies to look forward to this fall/holiday season:

Scottish actor Gerard Butler at the press conf...
Scottish actor Gerard Butler at the press conference for the film Coriolanus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Cloud Atlas – Hear it’s the fastest 3 hour movie ever made!
  • Chasing Mavericks – maybe.  Gerard Butler, you know.
  • Anna Karenina – I read the books so I know what happens (ha) and can’t wait for this new adaptation
  • Life of Pi – I read this book – twice – and loved it. Hope the movie is amazing, too!
  • Hyde Park on Hudson – maybe. May be a renter.
  • Playing for Keeps – Gerard Butler. That’s all.
  • This is 40. – Judd Apatow movie with Paul Rudd.  Nice.
  • The Impossible – maybe. About the tsunami. Looks hard to watch.
  • Les Miserables – looks amazing!

 

Books and Movies – Love ’em!

Before the midnight showing of Harry Potter pt 2

I ended up going to a midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 2, with no regrets.  Marissa and I watched Pt. 1 on PPV at home (without popcorn) and then went to the theatre!  We arrived around 10:45 and the there were a lot of people there in costumes and I don’t know how many theatres were actually sold out.  The one we were in was already 2/3 full by the time we got there.  It was exciting to be there with all of the other “giddy” people, to hear the applause throughout the movie – even before the movie started – and to watch the final book come to life.  There were differences, of course, but there was also word-for-word sameness in a lot of dialogue.  Good stuff.

The books are more amazing, of course, but the movies add to the experience.  One of my favorite podcasts, Filmspotting, reviewed the movie after reading ZERO of the books (or even seeing all of the movies), so they had tons of questions, although they gave the movie pretty good reviews.  Marissa hadn’t read any books beyond the first and enjoyed the movies on their own.

So now what?  Other book-related movies are coming out soon.

  • “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” is in theatres now (7/15) but I don’t see it showing up in Rochester for a while… I will keep my eyes peeled for that one.  I had that one on audio but lost it somewhere (probably on my dead iPod) so I downloaded a digital version from the library (MobiPocket Reader anyone??? Yikes… another program downloaded to read books) but also requested a paperback – and today I got an email that it was ready and waiting!  Yay!  I’ll dig in tonight!
  • “The Help” comes out on August 10 – and it looks so good!  What a fun book to read and discuss.  It will be a book club event to see that together!
  • “One Day” comes out August 19.  (July 15 was the ONE DAY featured in the book!  Should have acknowledged it!)  I look forward to seeing that book on the screen.  I enjoyed reading it – mostly – although the ending didn’t sit right with me.  😦
  • “Jane Eyre” hasn’t made it to Rochester yet – meaning it won’t?  It was released in April, so that’s probably a good bet.  I have it in my Netflix queue but there’s no release date there yet.  Sigh.  I read that book in anticipation of the movie.  I’m glad I caught up with a classic and I know there are multiple versions of the movie that I can pick fromI
  • “Sarah’s Key” was made into a movie!  The book about the Vel’d’Hiv Roundup in 1942 in France was another sad Holocaust story, telling about another unknown-to-me piece of history.  Kristin Scott Thomas stars and it might be French, as the title is listed as “Sarah’s Key (Elle s’appelait Sarah)”.  Releases 7/22!
  • I heard that “Austenland” is being made into a movie starring Keri Russel.  I liked that book, so that’s pretty fun.  Gotta love all things Austen!
There’s the “movie news” portion of the blog – ha!  Just so much good stuff coming up, I guess.  Lots of good material to choose from!
Speaking of book club events, we had book club this afternoon.  I got there late – around 2pm – and we discussed our book (“Olive Kitteredge”) very little!  No one loved the book, although a few of us thought it was good enough.  It’s really short stories about small town life with the character of Olive showing up, being featured, or simply being mentioned somehow in each one.  So the plot and story-line was not easy to follow and the characters were many and difficult to remember.
But oh, did we laugh about other stuff!  Suddenly it was 5:10 and we wondered if we were staying for supper!  Good stories and catch-up time.  Who knows what we’ll do next, but it may be just a movie date along with dinnertime discussion of “Heaven is For Real,” since many had read it already and really wanted to discuss it when done.
Well, I can’t wait to dig in to “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.”  What are you excited to read?  What movies are you excited to see?
Off to read!