Posts Tagged ‘stephenie meyer’

Random Unrelated Reviews: Book-to-Movie Adaptations

I have a lot of opinions on things that aren’t just books. However, I don’t feel even slightly competent enough to do full reviews on them, so I’m going to use this as a massive dumping ground for my thoughts.

Book-to-Movie Adaptations

The Great Gatsby:

Wasn’t so great. The music was awesome, the actors were great, and the tone of the movie was what I had in mind, it just felt very superficial. Maybe that was the point, but it definitely felt like a movie told from Gatsby’s perspective rather than that of Nick’s. The entire thing felt very over-romanticised and Daisy was held up as this perfect, lovable character, whereas when I read the book, I absolutely despised her. And the entire lurking corruption through this broken façade of the American Dream never really came through to me, though maybe that was the director’s intention.

Also, the visuals really weren’t my type of movie. They were pretty, but far too loud and in-your-face, that after a while, it actually got tiring. I found myself checking the time halfway through.

On the plus side, I have found that I could quote most of the movie. They stayed quite true in terms of dialogue, usually having it word-for-word, and you can’t dismiss the poetry of F Scott Fitzgerald’s writing.

I don’t think I can really give these ratings, because I have no idea what I’m doing right now. I’ll say, watch it if you want, because it’s fun and bright and colourful and the soundtrack is awesome, but just remember it might feel slightly off as an interpretation.

Beautiful Creatures:

Surprisingly good. I liked the book, but was not a huge fan, and I didn’t remember most of it, which might be why I didn’t mind all the changes they made. In the book, I never felt that I could connect with any of the characters (though that might be my fault, as I had WAY too high expectations, going in), whereas Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich really brought these characters to life. They made them loveable and I actually rooted for their relationship, which is quite a new thing for me. I usually hate the relationship in every book-to-movie adaptation, no matter how much I love the movie. (Yes, this includes Harry Potter. I did not care one bit about Harry and Ginny.)

The script was a lot better than I expected it to be, the acting was very good, and I really enjoyed it.

If you liked Beautiful Creatures, you will love this, so you should watch it. And if you aren’t, you should watch it anyway because it’s a really enjoyable film.

The Host

And this is where YA Fiction goes to die.

Saoirse Ronan is a good actress. I have not seen much with her in it, but what I have seen, I’ve liked. I know she can act. I’m sure everyone in this cast can act. The problem is, the script is abysmal. And her role, in particular, is hard as all hell.

The reason I really liked The Host by Stephenie Meyer is not because I swooned at the romance. It’s not because I fell in love with all the characters and I wanted to marry all the guys and just wished that I could have a Jared for myself.  In the book it questioned morality, the violence of humanity, survival of the fittest, loyalty to your  own kind, and above all: the importance of family and friends. My favourite relationship was the friendship of Melanie and Wanda.

But the movie took out all the parts I liked about The Host, and left all the Cons that I would have been happy without. They took out all the backstories of the different planets, including the people gradually becoming closer and closer to Wanda through their curiosity. They got rid of Wanda becoming more sarcastic and cynical due to spending too much time with Melanie. No Walter. No football match. Nothing but the overbearing love triangle, which might have pleased other fans, but made me groan in despair.

Also, separate point: when showcasing Melanie and Jared’s relationship, they never had a conversation that didn’t lead to making out. That’s fine watching it the first time, but after that it becomes tiresome and makes their relationship seem oh so very empty.

And oh the characterisation was bland. And the dialogue was awkward. And the internal conversations were not done well.

Sea of Monsters

I enjoyed it most of the time. Though I’m not sure whether I was just forcing myself to like it or not. Or maybe it’s because I’ve forgotten most of what happens in the book, and the more I remember, the more I realise they left out.

The acting was a lot more awkward than I expected it to be, though I think that may be the fault of the extremely cheesy script. The visuals were pretty, and the humour was pretty fun, but they did forget a lot. And if you’ve seen it, you’ll know. The characters had very little personality, they cut out a lot of interactions with minor characters at the camp, and the voice overs felt unnecessary.

Also, the battle at the end. With Kronos.

I do not remember that happening. Ever.

All of this would be fine if I didn’t know there were 3 more books, and that these scenes and interactions would be very important later. It means they might have to cut the whole Silena & Beckendorf arc in the Last Olympian, because she was on the ship and they saw her. Plus Beckendorf doesn’t actually exist yet. The romance between Annabeth and Luke has no weight, because all that was cut, and the Percabeth romance is kind of pathetic at the moment.

Ok, good points: Nathan Fillion (Hermes)  & Stanley Tucci (Dionysus).

So watch it if you like Percy Jackson, and if you can stand a lot of major plot changes.

Well, that was fun! There are so many book-to-movie adaptations coming out soon, that this may just be the first of many. But who knows. We’ll see.

 

The Host – Official Trailer

Watch it here

There’s a trailer! Like an actual one!

YAY!

So… should we do this like a book review?

Meh, why not.

Summary

Aliens. And stuff.

Cons

THIS IS NOT TWILIGHT

This is what I’m worried about.

Person: Oh look a movie.
Person: A romance?
Person: Stephenie Meyer?
Person: Oh god, it’s the alien version of twilight.
Person: It’s going to be terrible. *turns off tv*

Just to clarify, this is not twilight. I promise.

But the trailer completely concentrates on Melanie and Jared’s relationship. Which sucks, because people will think this is another twilight.

And I do wish they’d concentrated more on Wanda. There is like nothing about her life in the caves until the last 30 seconds. I wish it covered the whole aspect of her being shunned by the people and the prejudice surrounding souls. The fact that she was completely terrified by these people and her relationship with Melanie.

Basically everything I liked about the book.

Apart from that…

Pros

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

I AM SO EXCITED

IT LOOKS SO GOOD AND THE CASTING LOOKS SO GOOD AND I DON’T CARE THAT IAN DOESN’T LOOK LIKE IAN IN THE BOOK BECAUSE COME ON THEY ALL LOOK LIKE LEGITIMATE ACTORS.

Yeah, Ian looks different, but to be honest, I don’t care. He’s got that Ian persona down. I think (from the two seconds he was on screen)

I think the actors look good. I think. Definitely better than the twilight cast. I hope they don’t cut out Jared, Ian and Kyle trying to kill Wanda though, just to make them more likeable, because that is a vital part of the book.

Yeah.

So watch it!

 

The Host Teaser Trailer and Pictures

OOOOOH.

To be honest, guys, the trailer isn’t that interesting. Though, since they’ve only be filming for about a month it’s not going to be particularly exciting. Wanda narrates about the invasion and random pictures of people pop onto the screen, all with glowing eyes. Then Melanie/Wanda’s face slowly comes into view with glowing eyes, and the HOST can be seen, with the O showing the same glow as before.

And there isn’t any footage, but I wasn’t expecting any. I was surprised that there even was a trailer.

So, it’s cool. And I’m really looking forward to seeing the movie.

Also:

Some pictures have been published showing scenes from the movie.I really do like all the actors they’ve got for this. To be honest, I only really know Saoirse Ronan, who is an awesome actress, as I haven’t been following this as much as I obsessively did for the hunger games. But all of the cast will hopefully be great, and Jared looks perfect in the shots.I really hope they make this good for two reasons. One, because the twilight series have made a bunch of pretty bad movies. I really don’t like them. I found it so hard to get through watching twilight. Maybe it’s because the storyline was so… meh. And everything was so…. meh in the acting, and the entire pace of the movie. It made a good book, but a movie? Nah. And I really want Stephenie Meyer’s reputation to go up as an author. Just because the twilight movies weren’t particularly good (in my opinion), doesn’t mean the Host has to be so meh as well.

So, yeah. That’s my update about the Host. This movie is coming out March 29th 2013. So hopefully I’ll have more news for you soon, but for now, bye!!!!

😀

The Host – Stephenie Meyer

SPOILER ALERT! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
(I did try to keep it spoiler free, but it’s hard. There aren’t that many spoilers, and they’re not that big, but they’re still there, lurking in this review, and ready to jump on you while you scream. Or not, because they’re just words, but saying “oh no, you’ll read something bad”, just didn’t sound dramatic enough.)

Stephenie Meyer, for those of you who don’t know (which is probably a minuscule proportion of you) is the author of the massively popular twilight saga (twilight, new moon, eclipse, breaking dawn). This is her new novel (well, newest. It was published in 2008). A “science fiction for people who don’t like science fiction”. It isn’t science fiction, it’s romance. You could class it in science fiction as there are aliens that climb into your body and control your mind, but that’s not what the plot revolves around. It’s really all about the weird love triangle/square – as Wanda and Melanie are one person and two people at the same time – and how they deal with the situation.

And it’s actually really good. Not absolutely epic and amazing, but it’s really interesting and a great read, especially after having low expectations from twilight (which I don’t hate, but I don’t love either. We’ll cover that in another review).

Summary

Wanderer (Wanda) is a soul: an alien that will take over human’s bodies and wipe out their consciousness. But Melanie, Wanderer’s host, will not fade away. She bombards Wanderer with images of Jared, the man she loves, and together they journey out, searching for the man and a rebelling group of surviving humans, who hate the souls.

Cons

Some Aspects of the Characters…

…could be ridiculously annoying. For example, the strangely possessive and slightly crazy way that Jared and Ian were both in love with Wanda/Melanie. I understand the whole “love makes you do crazy things” situation, but the characters were both just so stereotypical for YA fiction. You know, the type of love that you think might be bordering on emotional abuse and stalker-like obsession. In a way, they reminded me of Edward and Jacob obsessing over Bella in that weird creepy way, even though they both barely knew her. But again, that’s for another time…

Let’s start will Ian.

When Ian was all madly possessive over Wanda (when he didn’t let anyone else hold her jar-thing when they were looking for a new body for her, or when he was carrying her and running and shouting at her when she planned on dying), I know it’s meant to be sweet, and on weird some level it is, but it is also – admittedly – creepy. I found it scary in a way, how possessive he was of her. Though I do like Ian and his character overall. I loved his development throughout the book, from hating Wanda because she was different and trying to strangle her, to being forced not to kill her by Jeb, and then protecting her from Kyle and Jared when she was nearly attacked. It was a lot more interesting to read about a likeable character that is still flawed. Though I do feel that he did become a bit too perfect near the end, though that’s only a tiny problem that I can deal with.

I do have a bit of a problem with Jared. I understand that he’s so in love with Melanie, so he really hates Wanda, but I did not like him. He beat up a poor girl/alien who turned her back on her entire species and risked her life for a man she didn’t even know and another human girl she hated. And even if he didn’t know that, we the readers did, so when he punches her it’s like a neon sign flashed over his head saying “BULLY”, “ENEMY”, or some other bad word that I shouldn’t use. (We have to keep it PG here at Discombobulated Books.) And Melanie does say that it’s only because Jared’s so in love that he’s doing these stupid things, but it really doesn’t help that Melanie becomes SO FREAKING ANNOYING whenever Jared is around. Melanie, on her own, is a great character. She’s strong, loyal, funny but also stubborn and sometimes blinded by her determination. Her and Wanda’s conversations are interesting to read. But when Jared is there this is what her thoughts are. All the time. Seriously.

Jared’s here, Jared’s alive, Jared’s here. She was incoherent, chanting the words like they were the lyrics to a song.” – The Host, pg 130.

Which is not fun to read. Good for her, for finding the love of her life. And that doesn’t seem to bad, except this goes on over and over and over again for the next large portion of the book. She’s so illogical and in love that she seems to become such a weak character. There’s probably a message in there about how love changes you and stuff, but it’s like listening to a five year old who wants candy.

The Romance was SO MUSHY

But it wasn’t that bad comparatively to other YA Fiction. But yes, very mushy.

Of course, there was also one little thing they mentioned when they were deciding what to do with Wanda/Melanie. 

There’s this bit where they talk about how it’s “Jared’s property” or “Jared’s body” or something. Basically saying, Jared’s her boyfriend so she is his property. And then Jamie comes along and is like “No wait! I get a choice too!” Because he’s her little brother, so I guess she’s his property as well. And maybe I’m reading to far into it, but I thought it seemed wrong. I understand that they should have more of a say than others but did Jeb really have to say something along the lines of “This body belongs to you, Jared. You get to decide whether we slaughter her or welcome her with bread and cupcakes.” (paraphrased, of course).

No one owns Melanie. No one has a right over her body just because she’s dating them or related to them. She’s not anyone’s property, and saying that they have a right over her is stupid.

Oh, and Stephenie Meyer’s writing style.

It’s not that it bothers me enough to not read it, it’s just that her descriptions are so long-winded and abundant. It seems like each piece of dialogue has at least a sentence of lengthy description with it, and there are huge sections of description or mental contemplation about life. It’s fine to read through, but sometimes I found myself skimming through all the description by accident, and having to go back and reread it.

Pros

In general, good plot, good pacing and really good character development.

None of them really stood out to me, but none of them fell short. Apart from some of the problems I had with some of the main characters, the rest were all good. I loved Jeb; I thought he was such a likeable and easy-to-relate-to character. I did also like Wanda and Melanie (when she wasn’t having her lovey-dovey Jared phases), they both had flaws (which is nice to see that an author is making an effort not to have a perfect character) and they’re developing relationship – from hating each other to basically becoming sisters – was great to see.

Quotes

Now, to be honest, this isn’t a very quotable book, by my standards. Apart from all the very gooey love proclamations, there isn’t much else. But here my favourite parts are. All t0 do with Kyle, for some reason, probably because only the vaguely funny things happen with him. The rest is all supposed to be intense and romantic and dramatic and stuff.

  • “‘Wanda?’ Kyle said.
    ‘Yes?’
    ‘I’m sorry.’
    ‘Um . . . why?’
    ‘For trying to kill you,’ he said casually. ‘Guess I was wrong.’
    Ian gasped. ‘Please tell me you have some kind of recording device available, Doc.’ “
  • “Jared lunged forward, away from me. With a loud smacking sound, his fist hit Kyle’s face.
    Kyle’s eyes rolled back in his head, and his mouth fell slack.
    The room was very quiet for a few seconds.
    ‘Um,’ Doc said in a mild voice, ‘medically speaking, I’m not sure that was the most helpful thing for his condition.’
    ‘But I feel better,’ Jared answered, sullen.
    Doc smiled the tiniest smile. ‘Well, maybe a few more minutes of unconsciousness won’t kill him.’
Overall
So, it was a really good read. It wasn’t one of those heart-pounding and captivating books where you can’t turn the page fast enough to find out what’s happening and you stay up until 4am trying to finish it. This was one of those quite interesting reads where you weren’t dying to know what was going to happen, and could set it down for a few days without going crazy, but keep going back to it to find out what happens next.
This book gets 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. It was good, certainly not perfect, but definitely not bad. I would recommend it, but more for people who prefer the whole character driven development with interesting plot ideas and no hatred of love triangles/squares.