Thursday, June 10, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks #361: Worst Book to Movie Adaptations



Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share your movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.

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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Worst Book to Movie Adaptations [Suggested by ThePunkTheory]

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Today's theme is a suggestion from ThePunkTheory. There are quite a number of movies that are based on books that are bad but I'm making this more challenging and only picking movies adapted from books I've read, so my choices are a little limited.

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
A man stays ageless as a portrait of him grows older and uglier. I love the book and really really dislike this adaptation. The actor playing Dorian Gray was terrible; he was so wooden and expressionless. I also thought Angela Lansbury way miscast as Sibyl Vane. Even in her youth, Lansbury has a sort of maturity and old soul look to her which did not really fit Vane whom I thought was suppose to be really young, sweet and naive.
 
The Lovely Bones (2009)
A murdered young girl watches the people she leaves behind from an afterlife. I had read this book around the time it was first published. It had been hugely popular and I had liked the book too so I was really looking forward to the movie. Well what a disappointment. If I'm remembering correctly, the story in the book is told from the perspective of dead girl while she is in some kind of heaven...now that there is going to be difficult to adapt...heaven had the potential to be real cheesy on screen. Anyway I don't think the movie did "heaven" too well. I thought it would have been better if they took out all the scenes that showed the girl in heaven from the movie and just let her do the voice over narration of her flash backs and observations on the current state of her family.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)
When her mother disappears, a teenage girl learns that she is descended from warriors who protect the world from demons. I read the book before seeing the movie. Not a fan at all. The movie was not any better. And Jamie Campbell Bower being miscast as Jace didn't help; he had looked a little too gaunt for the role.
 
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Thursday, June 3, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks #360: Oscar Winners Edition: Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay


Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share your movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.

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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Oscar Winners Edition: Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay 

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 Here are my favourites:

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Dead Poets Society (1989)
Childhood favourite. It's about a group of people meeting to talk about literary stuff of course I liked it.
 
Gosford Park (2001)
I think I saw this the first time when it was released on DVD and thought it was the most boring thing ever; like what were these dull old timey people doing. I guess I had been too young to pay any attention to it. A few years later I decided to give it another try and loved it. It's this sharp and often darkly funny upstairs downstairs drama and murder mystery that takes place in a manor house. Also it has a great ensemble cast.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
It's has this super weird but unique premise that I thought I wouldn't like but I did. It's this great funny, quirky, quite sci-fi-ish and emotional movie about a man trying to forget an ex-girlfriend and then later trying desperately to hold on to his memories of her.

 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
 
A Man for All Seasons (1966)
I like dialogue heavy movies and this having been adapted from a play is just that as it follows Thomas More trying to navigate the political minefield of sticking by his principles without offending the king and losing his head.
 
The Departed (2006) 
I've said this before, mob movies bore me but this tension filled adaptation of a Hong Kong film was interesting and thrilling to watch.

The Social Network (2010)
Adapted from a book about the founding of Facebook, this was adapted by Sorkin so of course it was sharply written and had entertaining verbal sparrings. 

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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks #359: TMP Television Edition - Globetrotting (Scripted, Non-reality, Non-travel, Non-docu series)



Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five titles and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.

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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is TMP Television Edition - Globetrotting (Scripted, Non-reality, Non-travel, Non-docu series)

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Today's theme has a long subtitle because I wanted to be clear that it should not include Lifestyle/Educational/Travel type of shows nor Reality TV type shows. Basically your picks have to be scripted drama, action, thriller or whatever genre that has characters globetrotting that is they travel around the world to many countries (not just on some trip within America). Here are the 3 TV series I like. (My post today is sans TV Posters...I can't seem to upload any images. Anyone experiencing this problem on blogger today?)

Outlander (2014 - )
The series follows Claire, the Outlander in the story, a WW2 nurse who while in Scotland got sucked into an opening of some time portal and is spat back out in 18th century Scotland.
Yes this is about a time traveler but she also does travel around the world while she is stuck in the 18th century. The story starts off in Scotland but in the other seasons Claire would travel to France, Jamaica and America.

Patriot (2015 - 2018)  
An intelligence officer assumes a non-official cover in order to facilitate the purchase of a foreign election. An easy pick for today's theme are spy series because the characters are sure to do a lot of traveling. Now this series was a surprise because neither the title nor the plot particular interested me but it had good reviews so I gave it a watch and I like it. Patriot is a dark comedy drama thriller. Think spy drama and you'd imagine charismatic characters, undercover costume changes, cool gadgets and slick action. Not so much here. Nothing is really cool, it's more about the things that can go wrong will probably go wrong. The main character is probably a good undercover agent but he gets terrible support from his support team so he finds himself endlessly trying to fix one problem that is a consequence of receiving bad intel which only causes other unexpected problems that further need fixing. All of it is taking its toll and he is spiraling into depression and suicidal tendencies. That all sounds very bleak but its is also quirky and funny. And yes the main character does of course travel; he goes to Amsterdam, Milwaukee, Luxembourg and Paris.
 
The Flight Attendant  (2020 - )
A flight attendant, an alcoholic, after a night of heavy drinking wakes up in a bed in a hotel in a foreign country beside a dead man. Unable to remember what happened and fearful of being held up in a foreign country, she goes on to her next flight and does her job like nothing has happened until they land in New York and the flight crew is brought in for questioning by the FBI. This is another surprise because I had read the book this was adapted from and it had been more of a drama thriller, but this TV series totally change the tone of it making it more of dark comedy thriller but it still works well. Since the main character is flight attendant, travel is a given; she travels to Bangkok, Seoul, New York and Rome. This has been renewed for a second season so I'm looking forward to what new adventures or trouble the main character gets herself into.

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Thursday, May 20, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks #358: Cyberpunk



Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share your movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.

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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Cyberpunk

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This was quite tough. I had a general idea of what cyberpunk was but had to look it up just to be sure. So basically it's "science fiction sub-genre where the protagonists, usually antiheroes, are trapped in a futuristic dystopian society dominated by computer technology". I'm picking three of my most recent watches that fit the sub-genre.

Upgrade (2018)
After an attack that killed his wife also left him a quadriplegic, Grey is offered a secret experimental operation where he receives a chip implant that allows him to regain his mobility. Disappointed that the police investigation of the attack that killed his wife hasn't gotten anywhere, now secretly mobile, he begins his own investigation. I really really like this. Great story and the action is very slick. I highly recommend this if you like dark futuristic Black Mirror-esque type of stories.
 
Mute (2018)
Set in the same world as Moon (2009), a mute bartender goes up against shady characters to find his missing girlfriend. This is a disappointing spinoff sequel. The crime drama story is so-so but my main complaint is that the story just isn't that embedded in the futuristic tech world and thus the setting seems unnecessary. The story could have worked just as well set in the present day.

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
 A current Blade Runner, K, discovers a secret that leads him to track the missing former Blade Runner, Deckard. Visually this movie is so stunning to look at. However, I don't feel as invested in the story and characters as I was in the 1982 Blade Runner.
 
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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks #357: Period Dramas


Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share your movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.

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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Period Dramas

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This is one of those themes I do every year because there are just a lot of period dramas and new ones released every year. Today I'm simply picking 3 period dramas that I recently watched.

My Cousin Rachel (2017)
A young man believes his late older cousin's new wife is responsible for his death. But when she comes to visit him, he becomes enchanted with her. The basic premise is interesting and sorta reminds me of Doubt...it is the whole suspicion of a crime. However what Doubt does well is that the crux of the drama is that characters are tormented by their suspicion; if there is no crime then they are wrong to be suspicious or what if they are right, which is worst, that a crime has really be committed. My Cousin Rachel in that respect is lacking...the main character is naive and seeming fickle and flip flopping...he hates Rachel than becomes enchanted with her and then hates her again with very little inner turmoil for having even suspected Rachel for doing a deed that he can't prove.
 
Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017)
The movie tells the story of the relationship of A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin and the creation of Winnie the Pooh. I thought this was going to be super boring but it was really charming (the scenes of young Christopher Robin in the woods which became the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh) and also emotional particularly at the end. This probably makes a good cautionary tale for those parenting bloggers and instragrammers who overshare their children's lives.
 
1917 (2019)
Two soldiers are sent on a mission to deliver a message to stop a regiment from walking into a trap. I like it. It's this scary tense almost impossible mission that's cleverly filmed as if it is one long take which also makes the audience feel they're there in the thick of it. And I especially like the ending. After a grueling journey we're sorta start to believe that if the soldiers get to their destination and deliver the message that would be a great achievement, a turning point. But it's not really. It's just one message among many messages and many more battles to come.

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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks #356: Oscar Winners Edition: Best Director


Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share your movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five movies and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.

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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Oscar Winners Edition: Best Director

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Last week I made a super lengthy post. Today I'm keeping it short. Here are my three favourites.

A Man for All Seasons (1966)
I've picked this one a few times before. It's a great movie that swept several awards at the 1967 Oscars including Best Director for Fred Zinnemann.
 
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
I think Peter Jackson should have won for The Fellowship of the Ring since he shot all three movies at the same time, but it seemed that there was a lot more competition in the category at the 2002 Oscars compared to the 2004 one.
 
The Departed (2006) 
Mob movies tend to bore me but this tension-filled crime thriller directed by Martin Scorsese was interesting and thrilling with its twist and turns.
 
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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks #355: TMP Television Edition - TV Score and/or Theme Song



Hello there and welcome to Thursday Movie Picks a weekly series where you share movie picks each Thursday. The rules are simple: based on the theme of the week pick three to five titles and tell us why you picked them. For further details and the schedule visit the series main page here.

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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is TMP Television Edition - TV Score and/or Theme Song

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This is one TMP that I've been highly anticipating. I love a good TV score/theme song so I went all out with my picks and separated them into three different types.
 

TV series Using Existing Music for their Theme Song
 
 
 
"California" opening theme song of The O.C. (2003 - 2007) 
♪ On the stereo • Listen as we go • Nothings gonna stop me now • California here we come • Right back where we started from ♫
The O.C. was one of the hottest Teen TV series back in the early to mid 2000s and the song California by Phantom Planet which was released a year before the TV series premiered was just perfect as its theme song. Also the music supervisor/s whose job it is to pick the music for this series did a great job with its soundtrack; selecting the best songs to complement the scenes it accompanies. I was introduced to a lot of songs and musicians that I would never have heard otherwise through watching the series.

 

"Red Right Hand" theme song of Peaky Blinders (2013 - )
Past the square, past the bridge • Past the mills, past the stacks • On a gathering storm comes • A tall handsome man • In a dusty black coat with •  A red right hand
Red Right Hand, a song by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds released in 1994, is the theme song of Peaky Blinders a TV series set in early 20th century that follows the exploits of a gang in Birmingham, England called the Peaky Blinders named so for the razor blades sewn in the peaks of their caps. The theme song really sets the tone of the series and this series is probably the only TV show I've seen that successfully marries contemporary rock music with its early 20th century setting.
 


"The Skye Boat Song" opening theme song of Outlander (2014 - )
Billow and breeze, islands and seas • Mountains of rain and sun • all that was good, all that was fair • All that was me is gone • Sing me a song of the lass that is gone • Say, could that lass be I?
The Skye Boat Song is a late 19th-century Scottish song with lyrics by an English baronet about the exiled Prince Charles Stuart. A few years later Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of Treasure Island, wrote alternative lyrics to song. The Stevenson version is the one that is used by Outlander with its reference to "lad" changed to "lass" to fit the female protagonist of the TV show. It's sort of amazing how the lyrics fits so well with the story of Claire, the Outlander in the story, a WW2 nurse who while in Scotland got sucked into an opening of some time portal and is spat back out in 18th century Scotland. What is unique about the Outlander theme song is that it is slightly changed for each new season as Claire's story takes her around the world. In season 2 she goes to France and the song is partly sung in French. In season 3 she goes to Jamaica and the song has a more Caribbean island beat to it. In season 4 Claire goes to America and so the theme song has an American folk flavour while season 5 has the song sung by a choir of both female and male singers where before it has mostly been sung by one female singer. My favourite has remain the original season one theme song which kept its Scottish sound.
 
 
TV series with Original Music for their Theme Song
 
 

"Main Title" theme song of Game of Thrones (2011 - 2019)
I picked the Opening Title Sequence of Game of Thrones last month and this time I'm picking Game of Thrones again for its theme song. It is just great. Iconic. One of those theme songs like the ones for Star Wars and Harry Potter that really transports you into their imaginary worlds. 
 
 

"Main Title" theme song of Black Sails (2014 - 2017)
If you haven't seen the Opening Title Sequence of Black Sails, go do it now. It features a beautiful sculpture depicting pirate life in baroque, gothic and rococo style. It truly is a sight to behold. And the music...love love it. It is a standout with its unique sound; a tune that is gritty, rusty and sometimes sounding purposely a little out of tune to express the rough violent life of these pirates...you can almost picture weary 18th century pirates playing their well used musical instruments, that have been corroded by salty air, and singing some shanty.



"Container" opening theme song of The Affair (2014 - 2019)
I was screaming into the canyon at the moment of my death • The echo I created outlasted my last breath • My voice it made an avalanche and buried a man I never knew • And when he died his widowed bride met your daddy and they made you
I absolutely love this song which was specifically written and performed by Fiona Apple for The Affair. The song is very short, lasting only as long as the Opening Title Sequence making me wish Apple would release a more complete song. Anyway the TV series explores the effects of an affair on the two families involved which makes the song, while not about an affair but has a similar theme of reverberating consequence as it talks about the ongoing effects of an event - perfect for the series.
 
 
 
"I'm Just a Girl in Love" season two theme song of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015 - 2019)
I'm just a girl in love • I can't be held responsible for my actions • I have no underlying issues to address • I'm certifiably cute and adorably obsessed
Every season the musical series has a new theme song with a new Opening Title Sequence to go with it and they are always a lot of fun. This show really pushes itself creatively, which I love. My favourite of the show’s four opening theme songs is I'm Just a Girl in Love for season two.
 
 
Theme Songs and Scores of Period Drama Literary Adaptations
I enjoy watching period dramas series especially when they are adaptions. A lot of these dramas also have great original scores, here are some of my favourite tracks from them.
 
 

"I've Seen Hell" song from North and South (2004)
It's this beautiful and rather haunting instrumental that gives us a sense of the main female protagonist's loneliness and misery living in the city where she has seen the grim living and working conditions of factory workers.



Theme song of Persuasion (2007)
I love Persuasion. It is such a romantic tale of second chances and enduring love and this TV adaptation of it is just amazing. And theme song is just soooo beautiful and delicate; utterly swoon-worthy.
 
 

Main Title Theme song of Sense and Sensibility (2008)
Once again a beautiful sweeping instrumental this time transporting us to the Dashwood's cottage near the sea, one they reluctantly live in due to their reduced financial circumstance. 
 
 

Main Title Theme song of Little Dorrit (2008)
One of the more melancholic themes...Little Dorrit did not have great life. Anyway it is a great tune for a wonderful series. Claire Foy was just really good in this...I think even better than her performance in The Crown.
 
 

Main Title Theme song of Emma (2009)
I love this adaptation of Emma, it is funny and fun and it has one of the more upbeat period drama opening theme songs. It's a gorgeous and pretty joyous tune.
 
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