Film Review; Big Hero 6 (2015)

Posted on 15 January, 2015 by Faye - 1 Comment

Director(s): Don Hall, Chris Williams
Writer(s): Jordan Roberts, Daniel Gerson, Robert L. Baird
Main Cast: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung
Production Company: Walt Disney
Country:: US
Release Date: 30th January 2015 (UK)
Source: Cinema
More Info IMDB

Summary:
The special bond that develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.


When The Going

Some of my favourite films to watch are animated ones. I love that these films often have something for both children and adults and thus, when I heard about Big Hero 6, I knew it was a film that I couldn’t wait to see. When the opportunity of an advance screening arose, I jumped at the chance. And I’m here to tell you all that I’m incredibly glad I did because this film was truly amazing.

Gets Rough

This film follows Hero as he learns that there is a lot more to life than bot-fighting. It takes you on a journey of love, friendship, strength, grief and acceptance. It holds so many amazing messages for both children and adults that I could probably love it for that alone. But it is also a story with heart that will make you laugh until there are tears and then make you cry for real. It is the kind of film that will have you leaving the cinema feeling good and knowing that you’ve seen a worthwhile film. The writers and animators made something special in Big Hero 6.

Do You Hide

As with most animated movies, the characters in this film are full of flare. I loved Hero’s attitude to life at the beginning and admired the journey he took as the story continued. I liked that his character celebrated being a nerd throughout the film too, because this should be celebrated. But it is Baymax’s character that really pulls the story along. He is truly loveable and sweet – not usual characteristics for a robot! What makes him work so well is that he has an innocent childishness to him and it is the child (Hero) who helps him “grow” into his character. A superb story line if you ask me!

Or Fight Back

Big Hero 6 was a fantastic film that I really cannot wait to rewatch. It is great for all the family and is just a film that is full of heart. It captured me in so many ways and I could not stop thinking about it after it was all over. With cute, loveable and strong characters, and an exhilarating and exciting plot, it is hard not to love this film in all its glory. Add in great messages about siblings, grief, friendship and intelligence, and you have a golden film that I’m certain will be loved by all.

five stars

faye1

Posted on 15 January, 2015 by Faye - 1 Comment


Book-to-Movie Adaptations; Read Before or After?

Posted on 25 March, 2014 by Faye - 8 Comments

Hey Guys!
Today I am here to bring you a discussion on book-to-movie adaptations that I’d love to hear your thoughts on!
As there are so many YA film adaptations coming out lately, I thought it was high time that I did a post about this but it took me a while to work out what I wanted to say. Then, upon having a discussion with fellow book bloggers – and book lovers! – I decided that it was time to deal with that age old question; Do you read books before or after you see the movie?

For this post, I’m writing all the pros and cons to each and then I’ll tell you what I do and why, and then I’d love to hear all of your thoughts on the matter as well!

Read Before The Movie

Pros
  • You have background knowledge to the story.
  • You already know which characters you love.
  • You know you love the story and cannot wait to see what it looks like on screen.
  • You feel ALL the feels more strongly because YOU KNOW.
  • It’s so lovely to just see all your imaginings come true.
  • You get to see the book with your own imagination first!
Cons
  • You’re easily disappointed by the film.
  • You see the changes vibrantly and it can instantly ruin your enjoyment.
  • It’s not how you pictured it.
  • They cut your favourite characters and scenes.
  • You’re so lost in what they haven’t included, you miss the brilliance of the adaptation.
  • You may just lose faith in the entire story – was it really THAT bad?

Read After the Movie

Pros
  • You get the treat of additional information after the film.
  • You can see the film clearly in your mind when you read.
  • You get to enjoy the movie without questioning ulterior motives.
  • All the things that are changed or missed become exciting in the book.
  • You are introduced to the story in a condensed format before being given more information to gobble up.
  • You get all excited reading the back-story’s of your favourite characters.
Cons
  • The film is never as exciting as it could be.
  • The book may be so different from the film, that it isn’t what you hoped it’d be.
  • You already know the story so it’s hard to slug through the words.
  • You don’t always get all the FEELS.
  • You miss all the “oooh” secretive moments when watching the film.
I’m sure there are more pros and cons to be said for both, but these are just the ones that I came up with. And now I am to tell you my verdict on this question;

If I find out a film adaptation is coming out of a book I haven’t read, I will not read that book before the film. On too many occasions I’ve read a book close to the film release, then seen the film and been wholly disappointed in the film. But then, if I read the book a while ago and then see the film, I often find myself enjoying it as I try to remember the best parts of the book to see if they occur!

If I then like the film, I am more likely to read the book. Thus furthering the story and making me fall in love with it more. (see The Kite Runner!).

On the other hand, when I’ve read a book and then it’s made into a film, I find myself very wary and unsure if I even want to see the film. What if it doesn’t live up to the book’s expectations? I wouldn’t want the film to ruin the book (see Twilight) and make me realise that the book isn’t even that good to begin with!

But then, you have the Harry Potter films and The Hunger Games and how they truly brought those books to life.

In summary?
I try not to read the books close to release. And that’s about the tall of it.
Because at the end of the day, it is only by believing that books and films are the same that disappointments occur. And when those books are fresh in your minds when watching the films, it’s hard to remember that.

faye1

Posted on 25 March, 2014 by Faye - 8 Comments


Monday’s Movie Musings; Beautiful Creatures (2013)

Posted on 25 February, 2013 by Faye - 11 Comments

moviemusings

Monday’s Movie Musings is a new feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts. The idea of this feature is to have all of my movie things occuring in one place. Whether it is a review, article, or something else, this feature will just be all about movies.

This week I have a review of Beautiful Creatures for you all.


beautiful creaturesDirected By: Richard LaGravenese
Adapted By: Richard LaGravenese
Book Written By: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Production Company: Warner Bros Entertainment
Main Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, and Emma Thompson
Format: Cinema {OUT NOW}
Add It: IMDB

Summary:
(From IMDB) Ethan longs to escape his small Southern town. He meets a mysterious new girl, Lena. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.


There Is

After reading Beautiful Creatures last month, I really struggled to see why so many people were doting on the book. The characters weren’t likeable, the story was ruined by an awful ending, and the descriptions were long, unnessecary, and wholly boring. When it comes to the film, I decided to take the risk and see it to see if it managed to salvage the few good things I did like about the book. It is, therefore, with sadness that I now write this review because while the film was different from the book, it just wasn’t good enough to make me like it. I was needing this film to “wow” me, and it just didn’t.

A Hidden Curse

Taking the book out of the equation, I felt that the plot had a few fatal flaws. The film itself felt very rushed, leaving important details unexplained to audiences so tey had to bumble along in the dark. It also meant that the relationship between Lena and Ethan just happened so fast that there was no way to sort of show the build up of the emotions there – in my opinion. The final action scene was slightly less confusing than it was in the book, but the ending was still a large cop-out and not readily explained. I have a feeling many audience members simply wouldn’t understand the hows or whys, which is not a great thing for a film. I, obviously, had preconceptions about the film but I tried to look at it with open eyes but this films plot just did not work for me.

That Must

Ethan Wate is a good character in this film. You get a good feel for who he is and Alden Ehrenreich acted the part really well. You could appreciate his character. Lena was also a better character in the film than in the book, she was less whiny and more – full-speed ahead – but I’m still not sure if I liked her. Alice did do a good job acting the part and really suited the character though. Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons were my favourite actors in this film bu far. Emma was absolutely outstanding in her performance and really made Mrs Lincoln everything I imagined her to be. Jeremy brought Macon to life really well also, you could really manage to capture the essence of his character and his actions which helped to make the film just a little bit more bearable.

Be Broken

The biggest thing that put me off this film was the CGI. In places it was spectacular and really worked well within the story but in others it was downright apalling. There were too many places where CGI was unnecessary but was used “simply because they could” and that, for me, really distracted me and pulled me further away from the film. I couldn’t become fully invested in the film when all I could see in front of me were flaws. There were also a few metaphor moments that had me rolling my eyes in agony at the simplistic and just over-used use of them. The cinematograpy was well used in the film, as were costume and sound effects. I just found it difficult to look passed the CGI which ended up reminding me of low-budget films even though this didn’t seem to be low-budget at all. Though, of the two friends I went with, I was the only one with major issues with the CGI so I know this is probably more of a personal thing to me than anything else!

To Save Her

By the end of the film, I couldn’t summarise my thoughts on the film. In fact, even now I’m unsure if I really hated it or if I just wasn’t expecting it, or what. But I do know that I definitely didn’t love it. It wasn’t a film that finished with me sitting in awe and wondering how something so amazing could have been created, but then, I also just never really expected this film to cause that reaction in me. I do know a few people who have really enjoyed this film but I just found that I personally couldn’t deal with it. Although, aside from the CGI, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it was that irritated me so much about the film. I think, essentially, the fact that everything I did actually like in the book failed to appear in the movie didn’t help the situation any. And I was spending too much of the film confused and trying to remember if this was a new plot point or not was a bit of an issue as well. I think this book has the potential to be liked, in the same way that Twilight was liked, but it just was not the right film for me personally.

two out of five hearts

Have you seen this film yet? What are your thoughts? Or, if you haven’t seen the film, will you?

faye1

Posted on 25 February, 2013 by Faye - 11 Comments


Monday’s Movie Musings; Warm Bodies (2013)

Posted on 12 February, 2013 by Faye - 9 Comments

moviemusings

Monday’s Movie Musings is a new feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts. The idea of this feature is to have all of my movie things occuring in one place. Whether it is a review, article, or something else, this feature will just be all about movies.

This week I have for you a review of Warm Bodies


Don’t worry, I know it’s not Monday anymore, I haven’t become dellusional (yet) but I was so busy with work + a family birthday + a vet trip that I just didn’t find the time (or energy) to sit down and write this out so I am posting it today instead!

warm bodies

Directed By: Jonathon Levine
Adapted By: Jonathon Levine
Book Written By: Isaac Marion
Production Company: Summit Entertainment
Main Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry
Format: Cinema {OUT NOW}
Add It: IMDB

Summary:
(From IMDB) After R (a highly unusual zombie) saves Julie from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world.


What Happens

Something I feel is necessary to add to this review is that before I went to this movie I met up with Gaby from Queen Ella Bee Reads who told me adamantly that they are NOT zombies. I feel it’s important to mention this as it may have changed my perspective of the movie entirely, especially after the chat I had with my friend when the film was finished who hadn’t been there with Gaby. For me, this made the film more enjoyable to me, I could understand what was happening and why it was happening and I really liked the film because of it. My friend, on the other hand, found it difficult to wrap her head around it and so she had a few nitpicky things that she didn’t like about the film. Therefore, I can only urge you to watch it with the knowledge that they’re really not Zombies at all, but something else entirely – I’m calling them Warm Bodies for lack of a better name!

To You

Before going in to see this film, I had not read the book so aside from that conversation with Gaby and having seen the trailer, I had no preconceptions of this film. I didn’t know how it would turn out, I didn’t know what would happen and there were small gems within the story that I never would have expected and for me, that made this film incredibly entertaining. As a whole this film did not disappoint. It was humorous, fun, sensitive, and even had some action in it as well. The story was easy to follow – though it did move a little fast but most adaptations do – and you didn’t need the background information of the novel to understand what was going on, it was all explained within the set up. There were so many moments in this film where I was laughing, a few moments where I was just in awe at the pure brilliance of it, and another few moments where my heart felt all warm and gushy. It really was a film that had everything I could ask for.

puzzlepiece7
When Everyone

One of the reasons this film was so easily watchable was because of Nicholas Hoult whom acted incredibly well. Which, considering he had very few facial expressions throughout the entire film, is quite impressive, in my opinion. It wasn’t just his acting that really made this film enjoyable, however, but also his voice-over narrative. Granted that a lot of that was from the brilliant script, but it was also carried a lot by Nicholas who really managed to use his tone of voice to cause the audience to laugh. It may not have been an Oscar-worthy performance (but let’s face it, very few comedy films ever make it to the top), but it was perfect for this film. Teresa Palmer was another reason this film worked. She fit the role well and acted well enough. There were a few moments where she grated on me but then Nicholas would step in and remind me that none of that mattered, she didn’t ruin the film completely. But this was also more of the character she was playing, as opposed to her talent as an actress. One last highlight was Bob Corrdry who I have enjoyed watching in Cougar Town, who brought another side of comedy to this film. Just by grunting, I was grinning like a silly person.

Believes You’re

The problem about films is that giving credit where credit is due is incredibly difficult because fimmaking as a whole is a collaborative effort. It is only when the script writer, director, cinematographer, editor, actors, and every other pair of hands comes together that a film can truly be made and so it would be unfair to finish this post without mentioning how well everything worked in this film. The cinematography was perfect, the editing brilliant, and the script (and novel, most likely) really brought the entire film alive. In my opinion, this film just simply worked in all the right ways. It had a job to do and it succeeded in doing it and that is all we can ever really ask for in a film.

A Deadly Zombie

All in all this was a film that was highly enjoyable, that had me laughing continuously, and was just simply a great film. With an amazing cast – for the most part, an innovative and unique storyline, and a brilliant collaborative effort, this film is definitely one that I would easily recommend. It may not ever win any awards at any of the ceremonies, but it is one that you would regret to miss, but I do also have a feeling that this one may not be liked by everyone. Perhaps this film does only cater to a niche market of people who enjoy comedic zombie movies, but either way, I truly enjoyed every minute that was spent watching it and would very easily, and happily, watch it time and time again.

Four Stars

faye1

Posted on 12 February, 2013 by Faye - 9 Comments


Monday’s Movie Musings; Jack Reacher (2013)

Posted on 7 January, 2013 by Faye - 4 Comments

moviemusings

Monday’s Movie Musings is a new feature here at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts. The idea of this feature is to have all of my movie things occuring in one place. Whether it is a review, article, or something else, this feature will just be all about movies.

This week I have a review of Jack Reacher for you all!


Jack Reacher

Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie
Adapted By: Christopher McQuarrie
Book Written By: Lee Child
Production Company: Paramount
Main Cast:Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, and Richard Jenkins
Format: Cinema {OUT NOW}
Add It: IMDB

Summary:
A homicide investigator digs deeper into a case involving a trained military sniper who shot five random victims.

A Crime Occurs

When I first saw the trailer for this film, I was instantly intrigued and noted it as a film that I wanted to go and see. I am one of those “untraditional” females who actually really enjoys a good action film and is likely to pick it over a lovey-dovey romantic comedy. So, it only made sense that this would be a film that I would go and watch at some point. Fortunately, I caught it before it finished in the cinemas and I’m really glad I did as it was a really great film that I thoroughly enjoyed.

A Suspect Is Found

One of the major problems with action movies these days are the vast majority of them in circulation. Finding one that has an original plot, that isn’t too full of hollywood special effects is an incredibly difficult task. Jack Reacher is no exception to this rule. It is a film that is full of amazing stunts, brilliant shooting, and that one guy who is just better than everyone else. But, despite all of that, I still found myself enjoying the film a lot. The plot had twists that were unforseen, humour that was dark and interesting, and a main protagonist who was emotionally stilted and yet also completely emotionally crippled at the same time. It had everything you could ask for in an action movie plus a few extra bits that made the film that much better for me.

The Specialists Are Called

Tom Cruise has, and probably always will be, a brilliant actor and it is no different in this film. He plays the character of Jack incredibly well and helps to make this character be approached with empathy and bonding. Jack Reacher could easily have been a character that audiences disliked but with the personality and acting skills of Tom Cruise, it was impossible not to adore Jack. Cruise brought the character to life in an amazing way. Rosamund Pike isn’t always a name that people are familiar with. While most will recognise her face when they see it, her name is one that is hard to think of, but fortunately this has no effect on her acting abilities. While there were moments in this film when I felt she irritated me, she played the role really well and had a hard role to actually capture well. Other mentions go to Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo and Werner Herzog, who all played their roles extremely well as well, helping to make the film more rounded and watchable.

A Theory Is Surmised

As per the usual hollywood action movie, this film had to use a lot of special effects and stunts – mostly to draw in that spectacle feel – and I am pleased to admit that they did a great job in this film. It was never over done and while the final shoot-out did have some over-the-top moments, even the guy who was better than everyone had his weak points and I found that to be a really awesome touch. It helped to bring about the idea that even in films, things have the potential to go wrong. It also meant that the film didn’t follow the true Hollywood action style, therefore making it more enjoyable for me. The cinematography of the film was also really brilliant, with the most notorious moment being the beginning of the film which started through the “lens” of a rifle.

A Battle Is Won

All in all, this was a film that was entertaining, fun, and full of suspence. It made you squirm in your seat one moment, grin like a fool the next, and then feel your heart pumping fast the next. It was fast-paced throughout, never leaving the audience to grow bored, and while the plot did get a little complex, it was never so complicated that you got yourself entirely lost. This is the kind of film that hooks the viewer from the opening scene right until the very last moment, not even allowing them a moment of pause. It was everything that I liked to see in a film all rolled up in a lovely bun. I would easily recommend it to other action film fans, especially those who enjoy films like the Bourne trilogy, or the bond films.

** I paid for a full admission to see this film. I was not required to write a review, positive or negative. All views expressed are my own. **

Four out of Five Hearts

Faye

Posted on 7 January, 2013 by Faye - 4 Comments


Carnage (2011)

Posted on 22 May, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment

Title: Carnage
Directed By: Roman Polanski
Written by: Yasmin Reza
Production Co: SBS Productions
Country: France

Main Cast: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly

Summary: Two pairs of parents hold a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, though as their time together progresses, increasingly childish behavior throws the evening into chaos.

 

 

FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS ★★★★☆

This film was one that made me leave the cinema with a smile on my face and questions racking about in my head. Simply put, it was a wonderful film that truly captured me and left me feeling good and happy (yet maybe slightly cynical of adult behaviour).

Kid one has hit kid two with a stick in the playground and their parents have come together to discuss it. What starts out as a polite and formal way of dealing with the matter, quickly transcends into something altogether more deeply disturbing. It is quickly shown that both couples, (as well as every individual), has issues and these are thrust into the middle of this somewhat hostile yet also peaceful environment.

The interactions between the characters felt natural, in the sense that you could see their uncomfortable feelings and behaviour while being able to relate to it and understand it. Soon these interactions provided full-on entertainment for the audience as they watched things within the room steadily go from bad to worse. It is probably a common thought among viewers, “thank god that’s not me,” while also hoping that if they were ever put in such a horrid predicament that they would act with a lot more dignity. Of course, the whole idea behind the film is that in reality, they probably wouldn’t.

Adapted from a play, it is easily noticeable how character-centric this film is. Set in only one location and with nothing but each other to act and react around, this film could have quite easily fallen flat on its face but, thankfully, this was not the case. The style of the film actually made it more interesting, it pulled you in closer to the film and helped to make it a more riveting experience. It isn’t often, after all, that films use only one apartment as a location for an hour and a half long film. But it uses this technique with style and I would certainly be interested to view more films like this. Then again, I have always enjoyed the theatre…

The actors of this film are truly inspirational and have really managed to capture the strong characteristics of their characters. They help to make the film seem more realistic and believable while managing to fill the screen with the uncomfortable atmosphere that stays throughout the film. It is this atmosphere that keeps the audience laughing throughout the film and just really manages to make it entertaining. Roman Polanski is known for strong character films and this film is definitely no exception to that and it is true to state that he is quickly becoming a director that I will be keeping an eye on.

This is definitely a film that makes you think, it gives you an insight into human behaviours and the irony of the things that we fight for and against. It also provides a distinct and unique view into the behaviours of adults and I just found it to be a truly compelling film that I really enjoyed watching. It is one that I would definitely be happy to watch again and again and one that I would recommend to anyone who wants a bit of entertainment and an hour and a bit of some fun, light but also heavy, film watching.

A truly spectacular and unique film that really hits the right spot.

Faye

Posted on 22 May, 2012 by Faye - 1 Comment


The Help (2011)

Posted on 4 November, 2011 by Faye - No Comments

Directed by: Tate Taylor
Written By: Tate Taylor (Screenplay) Kathryn Stockett (Novel)
Main Cast: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain
Storyline: Set in the 60s, in a small town in Mississippi, Skeeter (Stone) has just returned from university and has dreams of becoming a writer so when inspiration strikes, she does whatever she can to get her story written. However, her story needs the help from ‘the help’ and so starts her journey in trying to get real-life story accounts from those who are being treated badly. Once it gets written, scandal fills the small town as things begin to crumble but will things ever return to the horrid ways they were?
FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS ****
There is something to be said about a film that can truly transport a person to the time and place that it has been set. The Help is definitely a film that is able to do this. Not many are fully aware of what the time was like for coloured women before racial equality was introduced and this is a film that, if it had been released earlier would have been filled with controversy. Possibly, due to its fictional background this film could be said to undermine the truthful facts at the time it was set but it has to be said that despite this, it certainly questions what things were actually like before.
But, putting these questions aside, these film is simply an inspirational piece of filmmaking. Emma Stone as Skeeter is absolutely brilliant and she really carries forward a character that just wants to do what is right. You can read the expressions on her face and the feelings that are going on inside without her even saying a word of dialogue. Besides, it is simply refreshing to see her in a film that isn’t targeted at just the teenage audience (Easy A, Zombieland). However, her stardom doesn’t undermine Viola Davis who plays Aibileen, one of the more prominent maids in the film. Davis flows extremely well and as an audience you are just able to feel the emotional strain that she must be under as her white employers just treat her as though she is dirt on the bottom of her show.
Of course, neither Stone or Davis manage to outshine Octavia Spencer who is just stunning in her performance as Minny. A character who is outspoken, overly-driven but also extremely kind and going through home abuse issues, Spence manages to truly bring her to light and forces the audience to deal with their emotions as they watch her struggling to deal with her life in such a torn apart world. Personally it was Minny’s performance that truly brought the film to its knees as she was not only the comic relief on a horrific situation but she was also the one that always brought things together. She was, after all, the one who was able to save the day.
Along with its stunning cast, the film is also visually beautiful with shots that encapsulate not only the scenery but the emotions of each and every character. The script is wonderfully written and didn’t ruin the film in anyway. Unfortunately, due to not having read the novel, it is impossible to relate this film back to the book at this moment but I do know that it is a book that has moved up to the top of my reading list as soon as I get my hands on it.
Generally speaking, this is a heart-felt inspiring movie that will most likely lead the viewer to tears, and then allow them to laugh out loud in the next moment. It is a film that is a must-see and one that inspires you to pick up the book that inspired it.

Posted on 4 November, 2011 by Faye - No Comments


The Northern Lights – The Golden Compass (Phillip Pullman)

Posted on 1 October, 2011 by Faye - 1 Comment

The Northern Lights written by Phillip Pullman is an extraordinary tale of a young girl, Lyra Belacqua, who travels north (to the northern lights) to rescue her best friend who has been kidnapped with many other children. Little does she know that her destiny is foretold and that she is the key to something much larger, nor does she realise that her journey will open the world up to her in ways that she could never have even imagined in her wildest dreams.

The story is an enchanting one which pulls the reader in to a world where humans have their souls as a deamon in the shape of animal. Someone who will always be there to talk to and will forever share your thoughts as your minds are entwined into one. Lyra is a fierce, brave and loyal child who only wants to do what is right. She is an imaginative liar, without actually being imaginative and is always able to come up with a good plan in the spur of the moment. She is the person who pulls the story along and as a reader, you find yourself holding your breath for her and clinging on to her story with every ounce of your being as she gets bashed and beaten and pulled into things that are completely out of her control.

Phillip Pullman is, and in my eyes always will be, a brilliant writer. His style is fluid and easy to read, but this may have something to do with his target audience, of course. However, it cannot be denied that this first book in ‘The Dark Materials‘ trilogy is one that really gets the ball rolling. It opens up possibilities and questions that lead the reader into wanting more, which is a relief when you realise that there is actually another two books to continue reading.

Unfortunately, this book, but more the trilogy as a whole, is covered in controversy as the novels question religious Christian beliefs and has been commented as a very ‘atheist’ story. Personally, I try not to let these things ruin my reading, especially for books designed for teenagers and young adults, and so I do not have much to say on this topic except that even if it did somehow push the boundary, then good for it. Surely the whole point of being able to write is to be able to question things that you can not question outright? For this, I simply give Pullman props and am glad that despite the controversary, these books are still widely circulated as they definitely in my top ten favourite books of all time.

In 2007, Hollywood decided that they liked the books so much that they would try and make a film out of them. The Golden Compass (2007) was directed by Chris Weitz but, unfortunately, it was a complete and utter flop. It may just be that I couldn’t see past the magical brilliance of the books or it could have been that the censorship rating of 12 was too low but whatever the real reason was, it is simply a real shame that this film didn’t become the huge success that it should have been. With Nicole Kidman playing Mrs Coulter and Daniel Craig playing Lord Asriel, it had all the qualities it needed to truly bring this story alive as both are remarkable at acting and would have been able to set the characters to life except that they just didn’t. There was just something missing.

Moreover, the film just struggled to capture Lyra in all of her infinte beauty (inner, that is) and it was hard to sympathise with her when things just continuously went wrong for her. I’m certain that Dakota Richards is a brilliant actress, I have no doubt about that, but unfortunately the directing and plot just let it all slip down the drain. This film simply didn’t have the buzz, excitement and magic that was so well fuelled in the books and thus it didn’t become the box office success it should have been. It is, therefore, not surprising that four years down the line there still hasn’t been a sequel made.

Perhaps, ‘His Dark Materials’, are simply better left on the page, accessable only to those willing to actually pick them up and read the magic that they leave in all of our hearts.

Posted on 1 October, 2011 by Faye - 1 Comment


One Day by David Nicholls

Posted on 15 September, 2011 by Faye - 2 Comments

This book, recently adapted into a film, is one that has taken people’s hearts by a storm. The story is that of two people who meet for the first time on their graduation night. It follows their lives over the next two decades, only ever giving the reader an insight on what happened on the 15th July of every year. It is unique in it’s style and perhaps it is for this reason that the novel is so very popular for it is one of those stories that keeps you gripped and wanting to come back for more.

Emma Morley, played by Anne Hathaway, is an intelligent woman who wants to change the world by simply changing the area around her. This is something she hoped to achieve but as we travel through the years with her, we wait with abaited breath for her to finally achieve something in her life. And then, one fateful day, it all happens for her and everything seems to be going right. By the end of the story, she does manage to change the world, just not in the way she wanted. Or rather, not the world she thought she wanted but changing Dexter’s life, ultimately changed hers.

Dexter Mayhew, played by Jim Sturgess, is a party animal whose goal in life is to live life to it’s fullest. This he believes he does while he gets a presenting gig on television and spends his times in clubs getting drunk and high. It is a side of Dex that Emma finally can’t deal with and so their strong friendship eventually shatters. However, as the story continues, one may soon realise that what Dexter really wants in life is to matter to someone and to make somone else’s life worth living and this he does eventually achieve, even if he’s not fully aware of it himself.

The story is full of bumps and crashes, happy moments and tear-jerking moments that allow the reader to be pulled face first into a believable and enticing world. One Day is a book that shows how a simple incident could change your entire life and many different incidents intertwined together are what makes life interesting. It is a story that, when placed upon screen still brings forward amazing messages of friendship, love and life. An interesting read and one that is definitely recommened.

The film of the novel, unlike many adaptations, is extremely true to the book but this may, in large part, be due to the fact that David Nicholls wrote the screenplay for it. However, Anne Hathaway plays Emma Morely extremely well and really brings her into a truly believable character and the on-screen chemistry between her and Jim Sturgiss is simply beautiful to see. Jim Sturgiss also played Dexter Mayhew extremely well and really brings the character to life with his many flaws but also with his incredible strengths that hide beneath the surface. It is a film that will bring the audience to tears as the moments from the book appear on screen for everyone to see.

All in all, One Day is a book and a film that should definitely be read and watched as it’s not something you’ll ever want to miss.

Posted on 15 September, 2011 by Faye - 2 Comments