Posts Tagged 'Books Made Into Movies'

Oscar Movie Marathon: Year 3*

*technically this is my 4th year of doing the movies, but the 3rd year there have been more than 5 and I’ve blogged about it

If you were paying any attention to the world a few weeks ago, you probably knew the Academy Awards happened.  My family continued our tradition of participating in AMC Theaters’ Best Picture Movie Marathon.  This year we had an even bigger group (11!) of family and friends who traveled from out of town or cleared their weekend to watch 9 movies back to back in a 24 hour period.  The marathon started on the Saturday before the Oscars at 11:00 am and ended on Sunday morning around 8:30.  Overall, the 9 movies were great.  I liked them as a whole better than the 10 from the last two years.  Last year wasn’t bad, but I was excited to see more of these movies.

The movies (in the order I saw them) with my thoughts:

Hugo (in 3D)

I enjoyed Hugo but definitely not as much as everyone else.  It’s a good, interesting story, and from what I can remember it was true to the book.  But I just didn’t LOVE it.  I think I had a problem with some of the acting.  There would be some pauses before dialogue or I didn’t understand why Hugo did some of the things he did.  A lot of us picked it for Best Picture though, so if you haven’t seen it, go and make your own decisions.  I give it a 3/5.

The Tree of Life

You guys, I did NOT get this movie at all.  I knew going into it that it was going to be a very unique way to tell a story, but even that didn’t help.  Some of my family had already seen it, and they all really liked it, so they were excited to see it again.  They did say that when they saw it the first time, they discussed it for about 2 hours afterward – which is one of the big problems with doing a movie marathon – no time to digest a film.  Maybe I would have liked it better if I had been able to really talk about it with someone afterward.  I can see why it was nominated.  The three little boys are really great in it too, but I just didn’t get it.  Rating: 1/5

The Help

I really enjoyed this book, but I was really unsure how the movie was going to be, especially after seeing some of the trailers.  It was better than I had expected.  The acting was good, but I’m not sure I was really WOW-ed.  Jessica Chastain was great as Celia Foote though.  It was quite a switch from her role in The Tree of Life but she was great in both.  Not really much to say beyond that; I don’t think it had a shot at winning Best Picture.  Rating: 3/5

The Artist

This movie was great!  I kind of knew I would end up liking it though because I love old black-and-white movies, and this really feels like one of those old classics.  I don’t think I’ve seen a true silent film though, and this was so much fun!  The music is wonderful, the acting is excellent.  (Jean Dujardin is so good!)  I highly recommend seeing it.  Maybe you’ll discover you like the feel of older films.  It’s just a good refreshing alternative to today’s modern films.  I’m really glad it won Best Picture.  5/5!

The Descendants

This film felt similar to last year’s The Kids Are Alright with the family issues.  I liked it a lot, but I didn’t feel it was worthy of the best pick.  It’s set in Hawaii, which was interesting.  The acting was good – especially the girls who played George Clooney’s daughters.  I’m always impressed with child actors – when they’re good.  Consider yourself warned that George Clooney looks much older than you’ve ever seen him.  Movie rating; 4/5.

Midnight in Paris

This is the only film I had seen before we started.  I enjoyed it just as much, probably a little more, than the first time.  It’s a great throwback to the people, culture, life of Paris in the ’20s.  I won’t tell you much more, and I don’t suggest looking into the film much before you see it.  And you should see it.  It’s a wonderfully fun, kind of quirky film. Rating: 5/5

War Horse

I have to admit that this was probably the film I was least interested in seeing.  I’m not really a big animal movie fan, and I don’t know much about or am really interested in horses.  That said, it was better than I expected.  A little long at times, but it’s covering World War I, so there’s a little bit of an epic feel.  See it if you’re interested in horses, WWI, or need to see all of Spielberg’s films.  FYI: I think this was one of the films where afterward we played “Did you spot the Harry Potter actor/actress?”  Rating: 2/5


Besides animal movies, I’m not much of a sports movies fan.  However, it did hold my interest most of the time – toward the end, they show a lot of clips of a game, and I may have started to doze a little bit.  Of course, this one started at 4 am, so that probably had more to do with it.  It probably held my interest so much because Aaron Sorkin was one of the screenwriters, and I love the way he writes.  The acting is pretty good – both Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill are good, but I didn’t expect either to win.  The best part of the movie may have been the girl who plays Brad Pitt’s daughter who plays guitar and sings Lenka’s “The Show” a few times.  She is SO GOOD!  Oh and Chris Pratt shows up in this movie.  It’s kind of weird to see him play a real adult when you’re used to Andy Dwyer, but he was great too.  Rating: 3/5

 Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Since I absolutely LOVE this book, this movie was one I was most interested (and scared) to see.  I didn’t expect much going in, since I’d read some less-than-great reviews, but I was pleasantly surprised.  There are several things different, but I think I can live with it for the movie.  I know a lot of people didn’t like the movie, but I think it’s because they haven’t read the book.  It’s hard to get the full picture when you’re missing the other peoples’ stories that help tell the complete story.  Still, the movie hits pretty close to the tone and emotions for Oscar’s story in the book.  Thomas Horn who plays Oscar is phenomenal.  I wish he had earned some kind of recognition for his acting.  Fun fact: He won the Kids’ Jeopardy tournament.  🙂  Rating: 4/5.

Has anyone seen any of these yet?  What did you think?

– Jill

This One’s for Jen

Ephram is back on tv!

Gregory Smith is starring in a new tv show this summer.  Rookie Blue is a show about young, out-of-the-academy cops…so kind of like a cop version of Grey’s Anatomy, I guess.  There seem to be a lot of cop shows right now, but this one could work.  It’s supposed to premiere on ABC on June 24th.

Um, so I was just checking out Gregory Smith’s Wikipedia page to see what else he’s been up to lately.  Apparently there was – and he’s in – a film version of the book The Dark Is Rising!  I’ve never actually read the book, but I’m running our Battle of the Book competition right now, and that book is one of the ones on this year’s list, so I feel like I have.  It’s just amazing to me sometimes how many book-to-movie adaptations there are.  I usually don’t even hear about a lot of them because there are so many that come in under the radar — The Thief Lord and Alex Rider: Stormbreaker (Alicia Silverstone was in this??), to name a few.  Not to mention all the children’s/teen book adaptations that just FLOP — Eragon, Inkheart (I still kind of want to see this; mostly because of Brendan Fraser), The Golden Compass.  Hmm.

Sorry, I digressed.  Back to Gregory Smith.  Don’t forget – you may see him on TV again in June!  Yay!  🙂

– Jill

Cloudy With a Chance of WTF??

I can see the illustrations in my head……the detailed line drawings……the coat closet with the silverware and plate hanging on the door…….I loved the way the giant slice of pizza looked so shiny and delicious…….staring at the last page, I could almost smell the mashed potatoes too.

I am, of course, describing one of my favorite picture books, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Ron and Judi Barrett.  We used to make my mom read that to us so many times that she eventually put a ban on it because it made her feel ill.  I dreamed of being able to walk outside and stare at the sky to see what I would I have for breakfast.

This is an amazing book because it still resonates with kids today.  I mean, come on, who wouldn’t love to see giant food falling from the sky.  The enormous pancake on top of the school is probably also very high on everyone’s lists.

I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that they were making a movie of it……..


There really are no words, but I will try………shocking, appalling, terrifying, horrifying, blasphemous………just watch and see for yourself.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I almost couldn’t make it through the whole thing, but at least they kept the giant pancake.


P.S.  I know there was an actual tragedy that occurred today, but being mad about something silly like this is helping take my mind off of it.