Monday, December 15, 2008

Movies from books: Winter Edition

I was browsing through my stacks this morning and found The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which I only knew as a Brad Pitt movie I was sure I didn't want to see. So I flipped open the book and found out that it was a reworking of F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story from Tales of the Jazz Age. About an old man that ages in reverse, who starts out five feet eight inches tall and is forced by his father to play with a rattle--"whereupon the old man took it with a weary expression and could be heard jingling it obediently at intervals throughout the day." The short story looks so good that I can't wait to see the movie now. Other movies on my list after reading the book:

The movie: The Watchmen to be released 6 March 2009
The website: http://watchmenmovie.warnerbros.com
The book: graphic novel, The Watchmen by Alan Moore

The synopsis: The title of the graphic novel comes from the Latin quote "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" which is most often translated as "Who watches the watchmen?". For someone who usually thinks of graphic novels as "light reading" this particular one proved me wrong. In the Watchmen world, superheroes are reviled, in part because of their methods. While deconstructing the superhero ethos, Moore also manages to speak on such mundane topics as childhood trauma, depression, and spousal abuse. This graphic novel is not for children.

The movie: Twilight in theatres now
The website: http://www.twilightthemovie.com
The book: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

The synopsis: Vampire stories have been around since 1047, but it wasn't until John Polidori's "The Vampyre" published in 1819, that vampires were brought to the English speaking world. The most unique aspect about Meyer's vampires is not the love story (although that is why teen girls read it), its the sparkly vampires. They can be awake during the day, but can't be in too much sunshine, lest the show their diamond skin to the world. Intended for young adults, this should be a fun and easy read for anyone interested in the subject.

The movie: City of Ember in theaters now
The website: http://www.cityofember.com
The book: City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

The synopsis: If the last one was just for young adults but a good read for us adults, City of Ember is really just for kids. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't read it. As an adult, I appreciated the possibilities of this book about an underground city that doesn't understand its origins. They believe that Ember always was and that canned goods are the way that food comes. At one point Lina, the 12 year old protagonist, has a discussion with another character about what pineapple must have tasted like--the last can was eaten so long ago. The book and subsequent sequels make me pine for a version written for adults, but until then I can glean things from the books that I don't think children are able to, such as the underpinnings of what it would have taken for someone to create a city like Ember.

3 comments:

Lindsey said...

Don't forget about Cormac McCarthy's The Road! It's due to come out in January/February of next year, but I think that still counts as a "winter" book-to-movie :)

Melissa said...

I was so close to putting the Road on the list but didn't because i felt I would have to mention my other current favorite movie No Country for Old Men which was exactly like the book. But I watched the movie before I read the book so couldn't include it on this list.

Anonymous said...

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