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From Book to Movie – Vampire Academy

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Title: Vampire Academy

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal (Vampires), Comedy

Rating: 3.5 Star

Book Series Reviews: 123456

Description/Synopsis:

Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, half human/vampire, guardians of the Moroi, peaceful, mortal vampires living discretely within our world. Her legacy is to protect the Moroi from bloodthirsty, immortal Vampires, the Strigoi. This is her story.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Hmmm. I have waited a long time to see this movie, I’m pretty sure I went to the last screening at my cinemas. I am not quite sure it was worth the wait.

I would normally round a review up or down if I rate them point something but I can’t do that here. I’m really torn up about this review actually. I would let it sit with me more so that I feel better about the whole thing but I really don’t think that would help here so I am just going to go ahead with it.

The reason I am torn up about this review is because my mind has the section in my brain where I base my review on the movie based on the book(s), and then in the other part of my brain tries (very hard) to like the movie just for the movie. I tell you guys, reviewing things has made me much more judgemental of things haha. When I go to the movies now or even just watch an old one I can’t really just sit back and watch it. In my mind I am ticking things off and noting things to comment on later. My book related brain is telling me that it was far below where I wanted it to be. The other part of my brain thought it was enjoyable enough, wouldn’t pay to see it again but if I got it on DVD or something I would pick it up and stick it in the player.

Really its just difficult because it was so different to the books in a lot of ways and they did that on purpose.

I think its very clear that the movies were trying to go for a more funny Mean Girls kind of vibe compared to the books which are rather serious. I think this was a good way to market it to the public since people tend to just want to avoid vampire movies these days. It also gave a chance to let Rose loose with her funny and witty personality. However, I think the movie fell a bit flat because they were trying just too hard to make it funny. That scene in the beginning where Rose (Zoey Deutch) and Lissa (Lucy Fry) are talking about plastic surgery and Rose makes that face… So pointless. Why oh why would they put that in there. Also, one of the lines in the movie and the trailer is “We all think we will live forever” which there was no point in having in there because Rose says that Moroi and Dhampir don’t live forever, so why would they say something like that? Pointless. So pointless.

Because the first book is one of the weaker ones due to the fact it is setting up the story here, the movie had a lot of info to cram in. They didn’t do it well. A lot of the conversations felt forced and rushed, and just generally the whole plot of it did too. We don’t get any explanation as to why Rose is training by herself with Dimitri, we don’t really get any before or after when Rose breaks into Kirova’s office, and we cram in everyone finding out they Lissa and Rose have a bond (something they didn’t find out till the end if not the second book) and have big scenes about it yet for some reason still don’t know that Rose is shadow kissed. That whole scene and series of events just seemed really poorly thought out. I assume they did it this way because its very unlikely they would have gotten to make each book into a movie so smooshed a couple bit from each into it. Though it did kind of slow down and get better paced at the end, things like that just didn’t work and you could have cut them out. Just like the plastic surgery scene, and just like the Queen Tatiana scenes. The first one was fine I spose but not needed, but the second one was just stupid and I didn’t connect with anything Lissa said. Not to mention that she would never have treated the Queen that way. We also skipped over just how hurt Rose was about the blood whore stuff. I do understand why they put in that extra scene at the start with the Strigoi though, they didn’t come into the story until much later and you couldn’t leave out a whole race of vampires from the movie.

I think Zoey Deutch did an amazing job. She wasn’t quite the Rose I had pictured in my head but she was great. She has some awesome lines which Rose would totally have said. Though I felt at times she was a bit lapsed in her duty which was all she was about. I also thought Dimitri was great, even if I thought he was a bit fat to be a ‘god.’ I loved the scenes with him and Rose the most I think. I love the fact they kept the scene with Rose trying to sneak attack him in, and I love the fact it became a running gag. My heart fluttered and went wild when he said Rosa, my Rosa when he saved her from Natalie and she was hurt. That’s it Dimitri, scoop her up in your arms and never let go! I do wish that when he walked in on Rose and Jesse that he had thrown him around more. When Rose and Dimitri wake up from the lust charm and Rose freaks out and doesn’t know where or how to cover herself up, just so funny.

Lissa though, she was a big sack of sad. I thought she looked ok if not a bit odd, but the actress just didnt do it for me. Not to mention that her entire character was pretty much destroyed. I didn’t like Lissa at all in the movie if I compare her and everything I know from the book. How dare she ever call Rose a blood whore and ask if Rose killed her cat. (On a side note I thought it was super wrong for them to introduce a cat into the story just to kill it and make Natalie look worse). That scene at the end also was a huge character flaw for Lissa. Lissa would never compel someone to jump out a window and kill themselves. She would compel them to leave the room if anything! I did like her relationship with Christian though, I thought his character was well done. I even liked the fact that he didn’t get torn apart by the hounds but got shot and got to burn them. That whole not being able to perform thing was funny and actually worked.

Natalie was done really well. I don’t remember much about her form the books but I loved her in the movie. She was so cute and despite the fact she turned out a bit messed up and evil I still felt bad for her. That scene where she was talking about not being able to undress in front of anyone and had to turn a pot plant around once so she could change was funny and awesome despite it being pointless. I also loved when she was licking the wall, though that whole scene was stupid. Why would they bring something like that into it, it wasn’t needed they and could have spent that time working on things that were in the book. The character was great though. I loved the way Sonya Karp was done, you really needed more of her in the movie than you did the book. I felt so bad for her, it was great. I for the life of me cannot understand why they put her at the end with all the other Strigoi. In the book she goes off and builds herself a place all by herself and doesn’t give a damn about the rest of them. All the rest of the characters I thought were pretty good.

By the looks of the end they are either going to skip book two and just go onto book three, because the cave stuff doesn’t happen till then and that is where the movie ends, or they will moosh them both together. If they get to make another movie that is. It didn’t do that well. I know a lot of VA fans praised it because they want a second movie, and I do too, I think it would either make it or break it in terms of how good the movie series would be, but if its going to suck I don’t want another one. This movie was different enough from the books that it has left them unblemished to me, and more movies gives them more of chances to make me start being sad that everyone bashes the books cause of the movies. I spose we will see wont we?

Till Next Time…

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From Book to Movie – Looking For Alibrandi

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Title: Looking For Alibrandi

Genre: Drama, Coming of Age, Young Adult, Australia

Rating: 2 Star

Book Review

Description/Synopsis:

A teenage Australian girl deals with the traumas of everyday life. These include her difficult relationship with her single mother, the unexpected return of her long-lost father, the disapproving nuns at her strict Catholic school, the acceptance of her schoolmates,and romantic dilemmas over two very different boys.

Movie Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

This movie kind of went by without me noticing much about what was happening. This is the reason why it got such a low rating, that and the fact that I don’t think I will watch it again. I’m not saying It was all that bad, I’m sure some people would love it if they liked the book more than I did.

The casting choices in the movie I thought were very good ones. The only one that I really had an issue with was Kick Gurry as Jacob Coote. Compared to all the other kids in the movie he just looked so much older than all of them and it was just weird.

I liked her Nonna and her father much more in this time round. They came off less harsh and mean. I still didn’t like her Nonna though.

In terms of plot they did leave out a few things, but that’s to be expected. I didn’t even notice they had left out certain scenes until I was sitting here writing this review so clearly they didn’t matter all that much.

The only thing that really bothered me about the movie was the fact I feel like they downplayed John Baton’s death a bit. I don’t feel they played up all the signs of distress and sadness he expressed to Josie before he committed suicide. I think they also downplayed everyones reaction to his death. I really connected with Josie in the book at this section, but here I didn’t so much. I think they also skipped over her section with Carly after his death, where they kind of connect, and that made me a bit sad.

So yes, I don’t think this was a bad movie. Those who love the book will probably love this movie. But like the book this movie was just not for me. If I had of been doing my HSC when I first saw this movie I think I would have liked it alot more. My own preference is why the rating is low, not because I don’t think people will enjoy it.

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From Book to Movie – True Crime

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Title: True Crime

Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery

Rating: 4 Star

Book Review

Description/Synopsis:

Can an over-the-hill journalist uncover the evidence that can prove a death row inmate’s innocence just hours before his execution?

Movie Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

In terms of a book to movie adaptations this movie did a very good job at following along with the story that was given to us in the book.Of course a few things change, but they didn’t bother me at all.

For example our main character Steve’s child is a little girl instead of a boy. Im not quite sure why they changed this, perhaps it was to make it more emotional when he kind of lets the child down. Thats just a guess though because the whole movie seemed to be made more emotional than in the book. For example I found our main character much more likeable than in the books. I don’t know if this is because I really like the actor who plays him Clint Eastwood, despite the fact that the character is portrayed as just as much as an dick in the movie as he was in the book. Another slight changed they made that I didn’t mind was they made Ray’s child Grace have her meltdown about the green crayon at the prison and the Warden had his men go out to the car park to look for it. I think this was a good way to go cause you get the more of a feeling that the warden really cares about whats going on and that he is not completely happy about it.

They kept some moments in that I was really glad stayed the same. One of them was the relationship between Steven and his boss and the conversation they have about him sleeping with the editors wife. They were both such dicks in this scene with the things they were saying and the way they act, but you totally get the feeling of them being good friends and the scene was just as funny in the movie as I pictured it in my head while I was reading.

Now because its a movie they altered the ending to make it a bit more dramatic than it was in the book. In the book our guy doesn’t get injected with anything before the call that saves his life because our caring Warden delays giving the go ahead for the execution because he doesn’t feel right about it. But in the movie they made it more dramatic with the Warden giving the go ahead and the injection process is under way when the call comes through. This was to give the audience a moment of “is he going to die because of how much he was injected? Was it too late?” but then we see Steve and Ray’s final visual of each other at the shops at Christmas and we know that everything ended all happy and well. I think this was a good way to end with the movie. I think because of how much more emotional the movie kind of was the audience couldn’t really just have been left with the ending that was in the book. I think it would have been a bit anticlimactic.

So yes, it was a very good adaptation of the book. Really enjoyable to watch and seeing how well its done I don’t feel I would have missed anything or lost any feelings about the story if I had of just watched the movie and didn’t have the book to compare it to. The only reason it was a 4 star and not a 5 was because of my own personal preference for movies. If we are judging purely on how well they turned it into a movie its a 5 star for sure.

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Book Review – The Host

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Title: The Host

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Genre: Post-Apoctalipctic Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction

Length: 617

Rating: 5 Star

Movie Review

Description/Synopsis:

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I have read this book at least 20 times and I still cannot willingly put it down to sleep, I have to pass out while reading. From start to finish you love every word and putting it down feels like having your air cut off until you are absorbing the tale before you once more. Now I know this isn’t exactly a new book, and I should probably be reading other ebooks that I have been sent by authors (if my eyes would allow me), but I thought it was pretty damn important to review the book before the movie comes out. There is really only one point I would like to get across to everyone~

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, READ THE BOOK BEFORE YOU GO SEE THE MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!

This is honestly one of the best books I have ever read. I know a few of you will be thinking, “Thats the woman who came up with twilight though! I hated that rubbish! Why on earth would I put myself through that again?” Trust me when I tell you, as someone who has read the twilight books as well, they are completely different! She has grown as an author in The Host. The story is much more mature and realistic surprisingly to that of twilight. The story and all its details have been thought through, the characters are full of depth and are well developed, and the story moves at a perfect pace with both slower and calmer moments, and speeding up with the more stressful moments. You don’t find yourself being swept along all the time like you are stuck in the raging flow of a river struggling to keep up and breathe because the flow of the story is just stuck in fast mode.

Stephanie Meyer herself had a pretty good way of describing it on her website, ‘Science fiction for people who don’t like science fiction.’ I find myself thinking this is a pretty damn good way of describing it. Though its from the view point of an alien from a different planet, the whole story is very human because said alien is inside a human body, just like all the other aliens, so the only real difference between the two is the aliens are more gentle and hate violence unlike the actual humans. We do hear about other alien life forms from our main character Wanderer, but we aren’t really thrown into a completely difference life form or reality because the encounters described are just memories. We don’t experience them. You however seriously feel and experience the humans, and Wanderers, struggle with the issue of having to be in hiding, having Melanie stuck as just thoughts inside Wanderers head, and the complex love triangle that happens with 3 bodies and 4 minds. I know everywhere says that is a love triangle with 3 minds and 2 bodies, but that’s really not very accurate. It gets more complicated than just that.

The love that happens actually develops over a rather long time instead of just suddenly happens. Here I’m going to warn of a SPOILER right here, though its not very big. The love that Melanie and Jared share was developed long before Wana/Wanderer was there so it makes sense that it was there when we start reading, but we get glimpses at how it developed. We also get a really good development between the kinda but kinda not one sided love that Wanda also shares for Jared. The best one I feel though is the slow love development between Ian and Wanda, a relationship that started out in pure hatred.

I do have a couple of things that might put people off though. In the beginning you are kind of thrown into the story line and for first chapter or two it can be very confusing. Lots of questions get raised here in situations that we have yet to understand just what exactly is going on, but all answered are revealed slowly over the entire course of the book, and personally I loved this fact, I don’t like it when things are answered straight away. Just a heads up thought that you may be very confused in the beginning. The only thing I didn’t like was and heres the big SPOILER, was the ending. The end of this book kind of has two endings, the one we think is the end, and the one our main character thinks is the end also, the heart shattering and sad sad ending, but it doesn’t actually end there and instead we get a rather ridiculously happy ending. This was bit of a step back in writing and reminded me a tad more twilight. Its seems as though author just had to add on the seemingly forced happy ending. There is a couple of times in the happier ending where the story could have ended also and it still probably would have been fine, not as good as the sad, but not as bad as the overly happy. I wont say more cause I really don’t want to wreck it for anyone, but you should all go read it and see for yourself.

Thoughts on the Movie Trailor

Though I am very glad that they at least seem to be trying to do a far better job with The Host than what they did to the twilight books, I am still filled with doubt. I know that books can’t always be transformed into movies well, and this books wasn’t exactly action packed, so I understand the need to change a few things here and there. I really do. Like casting a tall blonde and strong and confident looking woman for The Seeker, totally get that. The short Seeker in the book wouldn’t exactly be a menacing foe on the big screen. I also get how they have shown more emphasis on the paranormal side, making it look more science fiction in the movie than it ever really seemed in the book. All gotten and accepted and looked forward to. What they have done to the image of the rest of the characters though really disappoints me though… Melanie is nothing like I thought she would be. The actress they chose, Saoirse Ronan, works for Wanda, but not at all for Melanie. Im hoping the fact that the actress is good at what she does makes up for this and proves me wrong. Jared is a so so, I don’t like him, but he is acceptable. But Ian and Kyle? Holly hell, how, just how did they manage to do that horrible set up. They are supposed to look alike, and be big strong men. Neither of those things happened in this casting. They dont look alike AT ALL. The only one I really like is Jeb. Then there is what they are going to be putting in and leaving out that worries me. There is a lot that happens that might not seem important but really is that I’m worried is going to be left out, and I worry they are going to focus too much on Jared and Melanie, and forget about Ian being important. I also don’t know how I feel about them seeming to ignore the rather vast age differences between the lovers… Its kinda important but can they work it so it doesnt matter? Im worried they are trying to hard to aim for the teen fans of twilight…  But I look forward to seeing how they do the Wanda and Melanie connection though seeings as most the conversations that happens is all in Wanda’s head. I also like the soundtrack they chose, it works well. But oh the worries… Will it all be enough? Or will it be another failure that makes me add (the books not the movie) onto my sentence every time I mention it?

Also there is word of two more books coming out to continue on with the story… Don’t really know how that’s going to work…