Okay, so the new film adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series wasn’t quite what we’d hoped for. Many fans of the books feel the film entirely missed the mark, while newcomers to King’s elaborate mythos wonder what all the fuss was about. As a film sequel seems unlikely and it may be some time until somebody brings this to big budget television where it naturally belongs, we suggest you try out the books. Better yet, listen to the audiobooks, masterfully read by Frank Muller and George Guidall over 145 hours, or as we call it in Seattle, a couple of months’ worth of commuting.
Not to be overly critical of a billion dollar industry or anything, but I think Hollywood has an originality problem. Books with any kind of following are immediately optioned for films – think Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, and The Martian. In other words, we’re not lacking for books that will satisfy the “Adapted into a Movie” book bingo square.
And if you’re like me, if you’ve loved the book, you’ve got some high expectations for the film. The titles I’ve suggested here are complex books made into films that didn’t disappoint.
Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone follows 17-year-old Ree Dolly through a poverty-stricken Ozarks landscape on a desperate quest to find her father. The highly acclaimed southern gothic film directed by Debra Granik featured Jennifer Lawrence in her breakout role. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2017: Read a book adapted into a movie”
It was my idea, after all. Lately as we’ve seen readers and filmgoers gobbling up great twisty psychological suspense such as Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, I kept thinking they should make a fresh version Daphne Du Maurier’s classic tale of the devious anti-heroine known as My Cousin Rachel. Sixty-five years after its original publication, the book stands up extremely well, and makes a terrific suggestion for fans of gothic film and fiction including such modern descendants as Kate Morton, Sarah Waters, Lauren Forrey, Eleanor Wasserberg, Catronia Ward, John Harwood. I mean, it pretty much has it all – lush historical trappings, an irresistible villainess, passion, poison – and it is desperately overdue for a fresh version. Check out the trailer for this 1952 potboiler starring Olivia deHavilland and “bright new star” Richard Burton (“Was she woman, or witch!? Madonna or murderess!? … She gives men the promise of ecstasy, and a life of torment!”)
Hugely fun on a rainy Saturday afternoon, but we’re definitely ready for something a bit more contemporary. I can’t wait to see the new film with Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin, which looks gorgeous and treacherous, as it should:
I miss Mad Men. Not any particular character or plot line: I miss the feel of it. That blend of humor and heartbreak, tinged with an uneasy dread that one might easily assume to be bygone innocence viewed through the lens of contemporary disillusionment and cynicism. Yet far more that the show’s meticulous period details and cultural conventions, the most authentically vintage aspect of Mad Men was that very sense of mid-century malaise, reflected by the books and movies of the time.