The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis Books-to-Movie Intro

The Books-to-Movie Challenge for December is The Voyager of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis and the film adaptation released December 10, 2010. The VDT (to make it easier for me to type out) is the third book in The Chronicles of Narnia series and follows the adventures of Lucy and Edmund as they are sucked into a painting back to the land of Narnia. If you buy the book in a box set now, they have the book listed as number five in the reading order but the original publication has it listed as number three following The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Prince Caspian (which is the order that I grew up reading it in).

The novel was originally published in England in 1952, just one year after Prince Caspian and one year prior to The Silver Chair.

Some things to consider as you read and watch the movie: How well do the various islands match up to the novel’s islands? The temptation that Lucy faces with the book, why do you think it takes the appearance of Aslan to help her overcome that temptation and what does the temptation represent? What do you think about the reappearance of the White Queen? Favorite character in the book and/or movie? Do you like the adaption or not?

So pull up a book, a bucket of popcorn, and let the fun begin! Warren Sapp Authentic Jersey

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Books-to-Movie Report

I presume you have read the book and watched the movie. It never ceases to amaze how excited people get for movies and how fully they embrace the characters. Yes, I was one of the crazy people eagerly waiting in line for the 12:01 Thursday showing. I have to admit that I felt slightly out of place while waiting in the line because I didn’t dress up like one of the characters.

I was disappointed that the movie didn’t include the interaction between Dudley and Harry when the Dursleys were leaving. I thought it was very telling that regardless of what had happened to Dudley (and let’s be honest, gaining a pig’s tail and being almost killed by a Dementor where horrible experiences for Dudley to go through) he felt like Harry was family and that Harry should be with them.

The scene with all the Harrys was incredibly well done. Fleur snuggling up to Bill and commenting how she didn’t want him to look at her were awesome!  I was glad we finally got to meet Bill, who plays a larger role in the book than he has played so far in the movies. Harry riding in the sidecar with Hagrid was fabulously done, I loved the added excitement of Hagrid driving on the road to the chase scene. I thought the portrayal of the wand doing magic without Harry’s control was well done, in the book it was a much more subtle movement but for us to actually see it, I think, the movie required something more obvious.

Two of my favorite characters in both the novels and the movies are Fred and George.  The scene where George is injured was touching and had just the right amount of humor to keep with the characters of the twins. I really laughed in the movie when George comes down for breakfast with the toothbrush stuck in the hole, so very George.

What did you think of the wedding scene? Originally I was disappointed because Harry wasn’t disguised as someone else but then I realized it is better for us visually to have Harry be Harry instead of trying to keep another character straight in a movie that is full of secondary characters. I LOVED Fleur’s wedding dress, I thought it was gorgeous!

Prior to rereading the book the weekend before watching the movie, I had forgotten how many people died in this last book.  While all the deaths made me sad (now I am just discussing the deaths in this first part of the movie), there are two deaths that really hit home for me: Hedwig and Dobby. The first time I read the novel I cried when Hedwig died, it was such a telling moment hitting home the senseless death suffered by the innocent. I did like how the movie changed Hedwig’s death from being trapped and helpless in her cage to being because she was trying to protect Harry. Dobby’s death was also very difficult. Dobby was such a huge supporter of Harry despite everything he went through. I could sympathize with Harry’s desire to make a gesture to show how much Dobby meant by digging the grave by hand for Dobby.

One of the recurring themes in both the novel and the movie is the need for friends and family to help make you a better person and to help you with what you have to do. All the previous novels and movies has stressed this theme, but I felt this movie really hit that theme home. I think this is why Harry prevails and Lord Voldemort fails.  Hermione is the logically one, she can figure out the puzzles and do the complex magic necessary. Harry is the action one, he can rush in and get what needs to happen done.  Ron is the practical one, it is Ron that keeps Harry from being stupid and Hermione from being too logical. The most telling of this in the movie was after the battle in the cafe where Ron is the one who told the two what needed to happen to get everything done. It is only when Ron is back with the trio that they successfully destroy the horcux and are able to figure out what else they need to do to defeat Lord Voldemort.

One thing I was disappointed that they left out of the movie was the story line with Kreacher. In the novel (for those of you who haven’t read it) Harry gets Krecher to give him the information he needs about RAB and the locket. Kreacher had protected the locket and was so upset about it being gone because of his affection for Regulus Black. Once the trio realizes this, Harry gives Kreacher the fake necklace to have. After receiving the necklace, Kreacher completely changes his attitude about the trio, making the Black house into a home and cooking for them. I thought this story line was necessary to show how the accepted attitude to other creatures was wrong. I also thought this experience made Harry and Ron more trusting of other creatures (Hermione had always had a different attitude towards them, which is why she formed the S.P.E.W club) and made the trio’s trusting of the goblin later in the novel more believable. It also was the antithesis of the new Ministry’s goal with the statute showing all other creatures below the Wizards, including the “mudbloods” and their treatment of the mudbloods.

Lastly, I want to talk about the scene where Harry and Hermione kiss naked. I felt that the nudity wasn’t necessary as the point was gotten across without the nudity. What did you think? What did you think about the movie overall?

Are you as excited for the second part as I am? Here on we will be reading the book again when the second part comes out so we can discuss the second part of the book and movie  and both together. I was unable to find a trailer for the second part but this teaser trailer gives us some great hints as to what is to come.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling Books-to-Movie Intro

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling is the book for November. (Come on, did you really think it was going to be anything else?!)  I realize that the movie is going to be presented in two parts but I can’t read a book in two parts so we are going to read the entire book this month, and it is entirely possible we will reread the book when the second part movie comes out.

Most of this information all of you know but I think it is always good to have a reminder.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling is the seventh (and supposedly final book but if you watched the interview with Oprah you have to wonder) book in the Harry Potter series.  Published on July 27, 2007 it was released globally to 93 different countries and broke records by selling 15 million  copies in the first 24 hours. (I was one of those sells, how about you?)

The film will be released in two parts, the first in November 2010 (I have my ticket to the midnight showing *squee*) and the second in July 2011.

Some things to consider as you read the book and then watch the movie:

When the film deviated from the novel (because they have proven in the past that they will), do you think it was necessary because of the time constraints or do you think they did it so they could have more impressive special effects?  (Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE special effects, just something to consider.)

Actor to character in the novel, who is your favorite? Who is your least favorite?  Up to this point, when reading the novel I am a Harry fan but after the last movie I love Ron (Rupert Grint)! He stole the movie with the scene where he accidentally takes the love potion, I laughed so hard when he fell off the back of the couch in Professor Slughorn’s office.

Did it live up to the hype? Are you excited to see the second part? Let me know.

So pull up a book, a bucket of popcorn, and let the fun begin! (Sorry for the bigger player, I am working on changing the theme to fix this problem but haven’t finished it yet.)

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Stardust Book-to-Movie Report

It’s that time again, have you read the book? Did you watch the movie? What do you think? For me, this is one of those movies that is loosely based on the novel but I love them both. The novel and the movie start off basically the same, the main difference being Tristan’s father marries a local girl instead of remaining single. I was disappointed the first time I watched the movie in the actress chosen to play Victoria because in the book Victoria is supposed to be the beautiful woman and I didn’t feel like the actress they choose fit that description. Of course, it is hard to compete with Michelle Pfieffer and Clare Danes when it comes to beauty.

In a film full of big name stars and amazing special effects, there is the occasional surprise moment that works incredibly well. One of those moments is when the old guard at the wall attacks Tristan and kicks his trash. I love Waking Ned Divine and loved seeing David Kelly flip over the wall and beat Tristan, a man a third his age, with a few well aimed blows of his cane.

A major difference between the two works is the role the lightening pirates play. They are very minor characters in the novel, whereas in the film they play a major role in the transformation of Tristan. It is thanks to the pirate captain Shakespeare that Tristan gets a more mature look, gains confidence because of his new ability to fight with swords, and starts to fall in love with Yvaine. The pirate captain’s name came from literary Shakespeare but he chose it because he wanted a name he could shake his fist to.  Robert De Niro was hilarious as the cross-dressing captain, especially when he got caught by Septimus and discovered that his crew already knew about his habits.

In both of the works, the connection of the witch’s magic to the toll it took in her looks was interesting, that nothing comes without a cost, in this case a visible toll for everyone to see. For me, what can make or break a movie or novel is the small details, in both works the details are fabulous. Something as simple as the blood that the royal prince bleeds is blue (blue blood) or the way that Tristan’s hair grows as Captain Shakespeare is playing with it during his make-over.

The entire scene at the Inn is great. The first time the goat husband jumped over the bar instead of walking around I couldn’t stop laughing. Also, when Bernard is turned into a women and is fascinated with his own breasts had me giggling and the look on Tristan’s face when Bernard speaks is priceless. The interaction of the characters during this crucial scene was well done.

In the novel, the ghosts follow the Stronghold Heirs but the heirs are unaware of their presence. The movie is much more ambiguous but the running commentary is entertaining, as is the fact that each of the ghosts is left in the condition that they died.

The endings of the two works are completely different, in the novel Tristan and the star make it back to Wall, where Tristan crosses over to say goodbye to his family, severing all ties with that world so he can remain with his Yvaine. Tristan meets up with his mother in the end, who wants Tristan to immediately assume the throne but instead he continues traveling with Yvaine for another ten years, before finally assuming the throne. In the film Tristan’s mother assists him with the final battle against the witches and is there at the end when Tristan and Yvaine are crowned having been reunited with Tristan’s father.

In the novel, the witch gives up the chase at the end of the story because of everything she lost in her pursuit of the star’s heart. The movie does pay hommage to the novel’s witch’s attitude at the end of the story, in giving up instead of continuing to fight but  it as a cruel trick played against Tristan and Yvaine. The ending of the film is much more exciting than the novel, with the battle between Septimus and the witches, then the battle between Tristan, Septimus’ body, and the witches for Yvaine’s heart. The detail work is amazing!

I love the imagery of both works. The original artwork of the first publication of the novel was created by Charles Vess and is amazing. The imagery of the movie is equally as impressive. The hall where the last great battle occurs is great looking. The use of the space and mirrors in the battle was well choreographed, in my opinion, adding to a great climax of the movie. Despite the differences in storyline between the novel and the film, I enjoy both. What do you think? Upset by the differences or don’t care? Mike Conley Authentic Jersey