Thursday, August 15, 2013

Quick Movie Reviews: Novels Edition

Title:  The Host (2013)
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, Max Irons
Synopsis: When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.
Based on: The Host, by Stephanie Meyer
Rating: 2/5

The basic idea for this series brings back thoughts of Animorphs. For me, that's not too surprising since Stephanie Meyer's other works (The Twilight Saga) borrow heavily from other mediums. The most interesting part about this movie were the alien beings. Sadly, they get buried under a love square. Melanie is in love with one boy, but the alien inhabiting her body is in love with another. Is it still a triangle then? I would have liked to learn more about the fluffy ball of light aliens that make everyone very nice and neutral to one another.

Title: Beautiful Creatures (2013)
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Viola Davis
Synopsis: 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.
Based on: Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Rating: 2/5

This movie falls into the same problems that most marketed for teens do. Rushed relationships and too much information given in a short period of time detracts from the overall impact of the story. A large cast with some very good actors couldn't save it from that. Overall, I was kind of intrigued enough to try reading the novels. I would suggest giving those a try for some light reading before you attempt the movie.

Title: Safe Haven (2013)
Starring: Julianne Hough, David Lyons, Josh Duhamel
Synopsis: A young woman with a mysterious past lands in Southport, North Carolina where her bond with a widower forces her to confront the dark secret that haunts her.
Based on: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Rating: 3/5

Safe Haven is fairly good for the story of a girl runs from abusive husband meets a good guy story. There were some comparisons to other movies of this genre like Sleeping with the Enemy. The beautiful scenery of the southern North Carolina coast help to really draw you in. There was a little added twist toward the end that I have to admit I guessed quite early. If you liked The Notebook, A Walk to Remember and Dear John, you'll love this one. Nicholas Sparks has a certain talent for writing romance.

Title: Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Starring: Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman
Synopsis: Rich Mr. Dashwood dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The two eldest daughters are the titular opposites.
Based on: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Rating: 4/5

There have been numerous adaptations of Jane Austen's novels. They're a highlight of any reader's list of classics. The downfall with that is often the film versions get bogged down in trying to be more than simply an elegant period piece. Remember that one adaptation of Pride and Prejudice where we wondered if anyone had ever fed Kira Knightley? This has to be my favorite film version of this novel. The cast is amazing. Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Hugh Laurie, Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson among a lot of others bring these characters to life. If you enjoy the work of Jane Austen, give this one a chance.

Title:  Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Buddy Ebsen
Synopsis: A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building.
Based on: Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
Rating: 5/5

Do you ever get the mean reds? Those are times when you're afraid and have no idea why you are. I know I do. While I can't follow Holly Golightly's example and head to Tiffany's, I can watch this film. Classy, elegant and full of spirit, Audrey Hepburn brings Holly to life in ways that I don't believe anyone else could. She wasn't even the author's choice for the character! He wanted the voluptuous Marilyn Monroe instead. Breakfast at Tiffany's is the movie that really helped launch Audrey Hepburn into icon status. I can't imagine anyone else playing Holly Golightly.

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