Comic Books, from Page to Screen

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Comic books and their denser counter parts, Graphic Novels have been adapted into everything from Movies and Television Series to Broadway Plays.  With the upcoming releases of Thor: The Dark WorldSin City: A Dame to Kill ForCaptain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we were curious how and why this genre and their adapted films, have reached such unimaginably large audiences and revenue. 

Recently we asked producer and writer friend of ours, Damian Dydyn, to talk with the co-star of his upcoming web-series Selene Hollow, Doug Sobon.  Staring as Augie, an odd obsessed man, running a comic book shop out of his living room; Doug was able to channel his life long passion of comics, into creating a character with the perfect balance of off-beat quirkiness and an intimate knowledge of a very complex world.

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Damian:  Doug, thank you for taking the time to chat with me, how have you been?  What have you been up to since we wrapped on Selene Hollow?

Doug:  Hi Damian, it’s my pleasure, thanks for having me.  Well, since we last worked together I’ve been really busy with writing and pre-production work for my upcoming web-series Occ the Skeptical Caveman.  We start principle photography in three days, so I’m very excited.  Outside that, the little free time I have has involved video games and catching up on my TV shows and Films.

I just saw Man of Steel.  I know a lot of people have been critical of the film, and probably for good reason, but I’m an unapologetic, non-critical hyper-fan of comic movies, and watch them often, over and over.  For me, the escapism and fantasy is therapeutic and I really enjoy the different spin they put on some of my beloved childhood heroes.

Damian:  I agree.  Even when a comic book movie isn’t very good, I can often still enjoy it for the escape it provides.  The very premise of a superhero movie is unrealistic and forces you to leave the real world behind as the story plays out.  It takes you to a place where you have to accept that anything is possible before the opening credits are finished.  In fact, these movies do a better job of leaving me in a creative mood than any other kind of movie.  So tell me, where and when did your love for this genre spring into being?

Doug:  Well, I saw Richard Donner’s Superman when it was originally released, I think I may have been four years old and I’m pretty sure I was a Superman fan before that, so very early on.  Of course, it was a while before comic heroes got a another film of that quality.  As a child, when I would play, I was always pretending to be extraordinary in some way, super strength, invisibility, I learned the word “teleportation” when I was less than ten (thanks Nightcrawler!)  It’s funny to think about now, because my best friend and I would play together, he was always a sports star, while I opted for alien with superhuman powers.

Damian:  I suppose that’s one of the reasons you act.  You can still play an alien with super powers as an adult without the social stigma attached to someone who runs up and down the streets of their neighborhood, with a towel wrapped around their shoulders making laser sounds and exploding noises.

Doug:  Well, I still do that too, but yes, the acting is more socially acceptable.

Damian:  Earlier you mentioned Man of Steel.  I also enjoyed it, though I do understand the criticism.  One of the most insightful comments I’ve seen written about the movie is that it broke the unspoken contract we have with Superman as an audience.  Superman doesn’t just save us, he protects us.

The distinction is that saving is more about the big moments and individuals.  Lois Lane falls from a building and he catches her just before she hits the pavement, or Jimmy Olsen dangles from a crumbling dam and Superman scoops him up just as he slips.  Behind those moments, however, he protects the world from catastrophic doom.  In Donner’s Superman he manages to rewind and undo the quake that destroyed California.  In Superman 2 he draws the Kryptonians away from Metropolis to minimize the damage to the city and the people that inhabit it.  In Man of Steel however, Metropolis is leveled.

Superman saves people like Lois and Perry White, but he fails to protect the city.  It didn’t feel like Superman to many people.  Personally, I think the biggest issue is that we didn’t have a dichotomy between Superman and Clark Kent.  Clark is Superman’s mask.  It’s sort of backwards from most heroes who wear a mask to protect their civilian identity.  Clark is also a glimpse into how Superman views humanity.  Good, wholesome, and utterly helpless.  It’s the biggest example of Superman’s hubris and that was lacking in this film making him feel entirely alien.  Even still, it was a fun action movie with wonderful special effects, and the boys who played young Clark did a phenomenal job.  So I still had a lot of fun despite the flaws.

Doug:  That’s actually the one criticism I could bring myself to admit.  The big effects, building smashing, ultimate battle in the city could have worked along those lines had Superman made every attempt to pull Zod away from the major population – but failed, or even a couple of shots of him zipping off to rescue people from falling debris before returning to confront Zod again.  I didn’t mind the exclusion of Clark so much.  I thought the retelling of his relationship with Lois Lane and that fact that she recognizes him through the impenetrable disguise of a pair of glasses did need to be updated.

So Superman first, then Clark.  I would have liked to see more of him of course, but I imagine he’ll be quite prominent in the sequel.  But you’re right, outside Kryptonite he’s invincible, his only weakness being his obsession with protecting others, something on which Luthor often capitalized.  That being said, I’ve seen it three times and really, thoroughly enjoyed it.  Hell, I even enjoyed Superman Returns.  Don’t judge me.  I watched Smallville for it’s entire run, fully aware of the fact that it could be described as sub-standard at best.  But slap that S on some farm boy type and I’m probably going to watch and enjoy it.

Damian:  I thought I was the only adult on the planet who stuck with Smallville up to the schlocky end.  I was also fine with redefining his relationship with Lois, and honestly, I prefer taking previously used characters and trying new things.  I just don’t think the approach in Man of Steel worked as well as they wanted it to.  I like the idea of a Superman who has more flaws than a glowing green rock and a superiority complex.

Alright, let’s transition to that old cliché no interview about favorite movies would be complete without.  If you were stranded on a desert island and could bring only one superhero movie with you, which one would it be?

Doug:  Easy, V for Vendetta.  It happens to be my favorite movie of all time.  Hugo Weaving was absolutely brilliant and pulled off that role without ever showing us his face.  I’m also a big fan of any revenge story, and the parallels with my favorite novel, The Count of Monte Cristo, only enhanced my love for the film.  The political statements, the allusion to Nazi rule, the call to revolt after years of complacency, and a massively obsessed, even psychotic hero all blended together so beautifully.

Alan Moore, who wrote the original graphic novel is, quite frankly, a genius.  His redefinition of the graphic novel is unsurpassed, in my opinion.  Many of his works have gone on to become great films.  His extreme distaste for Hollywood has kept him from ever viewing an adaptation of his work.  It’s a small irony because the Watchmen was nearly a panel for panel recreation, probably the most faithful adaptation ever made.

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Watchmen Panels

Damian:  Except for the ending, though I can understand not being comfortable with selling the idea of a giant mutated squid popping into existence in New York City and killing millions of people with a psychic blast.  For me, it would be down to a coin flip between the first Iron Man and The Avengers.  Iron Man blew me away.  I wasn’t expecting it to be anywhere near as good as it was, and I could watch Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark all day.  The Avengers is, well, a shiny example of just about everything Joss Whedon does well and I’m an unabashed Joss fanboy.  If pressed to choose, I would probably go with The Avengers, though, since I get my Stark fix along with my hit of Joss.

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Joss Whedon on the set of The Avengers

Doug:  Loved them both, completely.  In fact, the entire “first phase” of the Marvel move to films was just awesome.  Once in a while I treat myself to a marathon culminating in The Avengers, which was a brilliant success when it could have fallen flat in so many ways.  So yeah, props to Whedon on that one.

Damian:  Let’s flip this on its head.  What is the worst adaptation you’ve seen so far on the big screen?  I’ll jump in quickly to say that Daredevil was it for me.

Growing up there were three books I read religiously.  Captain America was one, The Amazing Spider-Man was another, and yes that includes the Ben Reilly run, and of course Daredevil.  Spider-man was the most fun to read and Cap satisfied that little flame of patriotism every kid had drilled into their heads at school back then, but Daredevil was something different for me.

He first caught my eye because the emblem on his chest was my initials, and he was in a red suit with devil horns.  Growing up with the name Damian, most of my nicknames played off of the devil somehow, especially in Catholic school.  So I took to reading his books quickly and was immediately drawn in by the idea of a blind superhero.  It was fascinating to me, and seeing him constantly getting beat up and broken while saving the day was also refreshing.  There were immediate personal consequences for his decision to fight crime.  It made him more real than the other heroes I had seen.

When the movie came out, even though I wasn’t a big fan of Ben Affleck playing Matt Murdock, I liked seeing him in pain early in the film.  The addiction to pain killers was a wonderful touch.  Then it fell off the rails.  The grittiness that made the comic book so good was eschewed in favor of an over the top Elektra, a jovial socialite version of The Kingpin and a plot that made very little sense.  It was a huge blow as it was an early entry in the Marvel universe and made me wonder if films like Spider-man and X-men were going to end up outliers.  Thankfully, that didn’t end up being the case, but Daredevil had me worried for a while.  What would be your big flop?

Doug:  Well, the 70s-80s produced a host of truly horrific comic adaptations.  Spiderman and Captain America most notably.  They’re actually good to watch now for the pure, unintended comedy they provide, but man those were awful.  I don’t think it’s fair to count those, though.  They had shoestring budgets and no one working on the projects seemed to even be familiar with the original material.

In recent years, I would have to say Ghost Rider.  Before even seeing it you wonder how a motorcycle rider with a flaming skull for a head, delivering justice, is going to avoid a high level of corniness.  Well, the portrayal was pretty weak, and the whole thing was just lackluster.  But it pales in comparison to it’s sequel, which is firmly at the top of my list.  So many flaws I don’t have time to go through them, but a truly awful film.  And for me to say that about a comic book movie, that really is something.  But I’ll add another category:  biggest disappointment.  For a film that was capping off a phenomenal (so far) trilogy X-men 3 was a let down of Lucasesque proportions.  Two wonderful films preceded that dung heap.  It was good news indeed to hear that Bryan Singer is working very hard to, ahem, underplay some of the terrible choices made in the film.  Not as bad as the Ghost Rider films, but the personal slight I felt for X:III was definitely more acute.

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Damian:  Last Stand was a close runner up for me.  Likewise, Spider-man 3 did a terrible job of following up two excellent films and it didn’t even have the excuse of hiring Brett Ratner.  Let’s try looking ahead.  There is a Guardians of the Galaxy adaptation about to start filming, for which Karen Gillan shaved her head, and there are plans to try and develop films for Black Cat, Deathlok, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Silver Surfer, Sub-Mariner, Venom, Black Panther, Ant-man, Deadpool and even Runaways.  What property would you be most excited about seeing an adaptation for?

Doug: Oh, I would absolutely love to see The Silver Surfer get the adaptation he deserves, instead of a supporting role like last time, and more Galactus please!  I’ve always loved the grand cosmic scale on which his stories took place, and the Godlike power he wielded.  He’s also a tragic character which makes him all the more appealing to me.  With Nolan and Whedon, the bar for comic adaptations has been raised quite high.  I think in the next run through SS will be presented to us with more respect for the material.  I’m optimistic like that.

Damian: I think Runaways is the one that I’m most interested in.  It’s a really interesting premise and it doesn’t have such a huge following that they would be compelled to play it safe with the material.  There’s some potential for some really bold story telling there, and they could even try to cover some ground that The Hunger Games teased at but failed to deliver on.  Specifically, the idea of children committing violence to survive.  So, of the comic book movies currently in production, which one excites you the most?  Marvel has The Amazing Spider-man 2, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World and Big Hero 6 which is an animated feature they are working with Disney on.  DC has recently hinted at a Batman Superman team up, or possibly a Batman vs Superman film and have green lit a Man of Steel sequel, but don’t have much else that looks immanent.  What jumps out at you?

Doug: Yeah, I can’t say I’m familiar with Runaways.  I’ll have to brush up on that.  But man, when I heard about the promo hinting at a Batman/Superman film, I giggle like a child.  That is, Bale’s Batman, I hope.  I’ve been following the gossip, and it appears he’s open to the idea, even if his signing on hasn’t been officially announced.  He and Henry Cavill together on screen in those characters would just be epic.  I think this would be far preferable than a Justice League film, at least before the other characters have some established screen time, like the Avengers model.  Even then, some of the characters just seem, I don’t know, problematic for a modern film?  But a film focusing on these two and their divergent world views?  I would lose my mind.  There is so much great material to draw from.  It’s all there in decades of comics.  I even recall a particularly astounding graphic novel where Superman has his ass handed to him by an amped-up aged Batman.  Though I think we should wait before recreating Miller’s masterpiece.

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Damian: Batman vs Superman would be incredible to see on screen, especially I they can get Bale back for the role.  If I had to pick one that I’m most excited for, however, it’s probably Thor: The Dark World.  Chris Hemsworth managed to take Thor from the “take him or leave him” level to a must watch character.  I never got into Thor as a stand alone comic, but the first Thor movie was epic fun and made him a character I could actually relate to.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what he does with the role in the sequel.  I’m still not quite sold on Ultron as the villain in the next Avengers movie, but I trust Joss Whedon and I’m sure it’ll end up being a great ride, but Thor has me invested in a way I was absolutely not expecting.  Honestly, I’m just grateful that we have so many to choose from.  It’s a golden age for comic book fans.

Doug: Yeah, how great was Thor?  I was sure that one would fall flat on it’s face, but Hemsworth is so damned charismatic you just fall in love with him.  And the realization of Asgard was just breathtaking, can’t wait to see more of that.  Last I heard, Thanos was to be the big bad in the next Avengers film, didn’t know they were going with Ultron.  Interesting, but you’re right, they really haven’t let us down yet with that franchise, so I’m sure I’ll love it.

Damian: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me about all this, Doug.  We appreciate you taking the time from the production for Occ to chat with us.

Doug: It’s been my pleasure.

If you’ve seen any of these films or have a favorite (or least) we’ve missed, we’d love to hear about your experience.  Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook, FOLLOW us on Twitter, and SUBSCRIBE to our Blog for all the latest news and updates.

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Top 5 Must-See Horror Film Adaptations

Horror stories have captivated audiences for years.  What most likely began as stories around a campfire, has evolved to over 100 years of frightening and formidable films.  If you recall from our post “Top 5 Must-See Sci-Fi Film Adaptations”, Georges Méliès is credited with creating the first science fiction film.

Méliès is recognized as the creator of the first horror film too, Le Manoir du Diable, a three-minute short film (above) made in 1896.  The plot dances through the world of vampires, demons, and skeletons, which was sure to send shivers throughout the terrified audience when it was first released on Christmas Eve, 1896, at the Théâtre Robert-Houdin, in Paris.  On this ‘Friday the 13th’ we want to share with you some of our favorite adapted horror films.  If you have seen these films or have a suggestion for a must-see we may have missed, leave a comment below.

Jaws (1975)

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Did you visit the beach this summer?  You might not want to go back after watching Steven Spielberg’s Jaws.  The film is based on Peter Benchley’s novel, who was inspired by real-life shark attacks.  The story takes place in a fictional town, Amity, and was filmed mostly on-location in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.  The major difference between the book and the movie was Spielberg’s decision to eliminate most of the minor subplots that occur throughout the novel.  When working to adapt the story, Spielberg proposed to “…change the first two acts, basing them on original screenplay material, while remaining true to the book for the last third of the film,” because that was his favorite part of the book.

John Williams composed the iconic Jaws theme, which received an Academy Award for Best Original Score.  Interestingly enough, the music that is so well-known today, was laughed at by Steven Spielberg himself, thinking it was a joke that only two notes would sound menacing enough for a shark.  If you’re brave enough to DIVE into this one, don’t expect to see the shark right off the bat.  Similar to Alfred Hitchcock’s method, Spielberg suggests a more impending presence.  And if you ask me, that’s what makes this book/movie a thriller!

The Exorcist (1973)

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In the world of horror stories, The Exorcist is one of the most frightening because it was loosely based on true, demonic events.  William Peter Blatty published this novel in 1971, but the inspiration is rooted in a 1949 exorcism case that Blatty heard about as a student of Georgetown University in 1950.  Without ruining the incredibly thrilling story, the novel revolves around the demonic possession of a girl named Regan MacNeil.

In order to stay true to the story, and live up to its horrific potential, director William Friedkin executed many unorthodox methods during the production of The Exorcist.  Friedkin manipulated his actors to extreme limits, and even caused physical damages to some of the cast members.  The decision was also made to shoot some scenes, specifically the ones at Georgetown University, on-location.  If this story doesn’t sound scary enough, many involved with the production have claimed that the film was cursed.  On several occasions, a priest was even brought in to bless the set.

The Birds (1963)

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Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds, was inspired by a novelette of the same name written by Daphne du Maurier.  Although the original story is short, it is absolutely haunting with its detail of birds violently attacking humans for seemingly no reason.  In the film’s adaptation, even more detail is provided, with more instances of attacking birds.  It is widely known that Hitchcock was never a typical Hollywood director.  While filming The Birds, he brought in live birds to unknowingly attack his leading actress, Tippi Hendren.  Despite Hitchcock’s enormous approval of Hendren, she only filmed one more movie under his direction, Marnie.  The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Special Effects, and Tippi Hendren shared the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year with Ursula Andress and Elke Sommer.

Dracula (1931)

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If you are looking for sparkling vampires and romance, you’ve come to the wrong place.  In 1897, Bram Stoker first introduced the character Count Dracula.  But, Stoker did not invent the creatures we know as vampires, he simply defined a modern form.  Although there are countless adaptations of this story, Dracula (1931) is one of the most well-known versions.  In order to stay true to the story, the writers studied the Broadway stageplay, and the unauthorized silent film Nosferatu (1922) created by F.W. Murnau.

Although the film was not silent, the director Tod Browning was accustomed to that style and struggled to transition into sound.  Inter-tiles and and a newspaper closeup used in the film, display the silent film techniques that still remained in 1931.  The film did very well at the box office, and even caused movie-goers to faint at the horrors on-screen.  With its success, the movie increased the novel’s popularity, creating an instant-classic.

The Shining (1980)

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The name Stephen King is synonmous with horror.  The Shining was only King’s third novel published, and it established him as an author in the horror genre.  The story takes place in an isolated hotel in the Colorado Rockies.  Jack Torrance has just accepted the job as winter caretaker of the hotel and moves in with his wife, Wendy, and five year old son, Danny.  The horror begins when Danny’s psychic abilities allows him to view the hotel’s terrifying past.  Soon, a winter storm hits and Jack becomes possessed with the hotel’s evil nature.

The film adaptation, directed and co-written by Stanley Kubrick, did not receive an immediate positive reception.  Later on, the film received better reactions and higher critical ratings.  However, Stephen King has been quoted expressing his distaste with the film, and being the only adaptation of his that he “hated.”  I would recommend enjoying the film and book yourself, and then you can decide who told the story better.

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Top 5 Must-See Sci-Fi Film Adaptations

NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures Saturn's rings and our planet Earth and its moon in the same frame. Image Credit:  NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captures Saturn’s rings and our planet Earth and its moon in the same frame. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

On July 19, something Earth-shattering happened!  NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, located in Saturn’s system, captured color images of Earth and our moon, nearly 900 million miles away.  So, why is this such big news?  Not only was this the first time Cassini’s high-res wide angle camera clearly captured the Earth and the moon, it was also the first time Earth’s citizens were given advanced notice about the picture being taken.  More than 20,000 people, from all around the globe waved to Saturn at the same time!  Isn’t that just out of this world?  Now that you’re in the mood for some of your own space adventures, check out our top five films Science Fiction films adapted from books!

origin_283789943 Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip to the Moon) (1902)

Inspired by Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon and H. G. Wells’ First Men in the Moon, Voyage Dans La Lune is considered the first science fiction movie ever!  The film is a light-critique of the conservative scientific community of its time.  Although it is a silent film, the imaginative technology speaks volumes for the time period.  The 14-minute movie was created by Georges Méliès, who is credited as the screenwriter, lead actor, director, set and costume designer, photographer, and producer of the film.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Based on Arthur C. Clarke’s short story, The Sentinel, 2001: A Space Odyssey is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential films ever made.  Known for its scientific accuracy, special effects, and minimal dialogue, the film includes elements of evolution, technology, artificial intelligence and extraterrestrial life.  After the film was produced however, Arthur C. Clarke published a novel under the same name of the movie, so make sure you read the short story first.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916)

In 1916, the first feature film version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was created by Stuart Paton based upon another one of Jules Verne’s works, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.  This deep sea adventure proved to be groundbreaking with its underwater photography by the George M. and J. Ernest Williamson brothers.  For its time period, the film was quite elaborate, paving the way for countless adaptations of the classic novel.

Minority Report (2002) & Oblivion (2013)

In the world of science fiction films, Tom Cruise has certainly made his mark.  In 2002, he portrayed Captain John Anderton in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report.  This slick neo-noir sci-fi film was based on The Minority Report by Philip K. Dick, who also penned Total Recall.  Both the film and story explore the possibility of free-will, questioning if the future has already been shaped/determined in advance.  While the short story depicts Anderton as the 50-year old balding, out-of-shape, New York police officer creator of Precrime, Spielberg wanted the film to focus on “fifty percent character and fifty percent very complicated storytelling with layers and layers of murder mystery and plot”.  We think casting Tom Cruise in the revamped, younger, journeyman character role was the perfect choice in successfully bringing this story to the big screen.

Oblivion Storyboard by Phillip Norwood. Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

Oblivion Storyboard by Phillip Norwood. Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

We had to add the recent Tom Cruise film Oblivion, co-written, produced, and directed by Joseph Kosinski to our list as an honorable mention.  The film is based on Kosinski’s graphic novel of the same name, which follows one of the last drone repairmen stationed on Earth.  Jack and his mesmerizing partner, Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), are tasked to work as a team in maintaining the autonomous drones that defend the various sea based fusion power stations from those looking to destroy them.  While Jack and Victoria have had their memories wiped clean for security purposes years before, Jack’s recurring dreams of worlds past, feed his curiosity of a world that once was.  When a pre-invasion American spacecraft crashes, Jack is forced to question his own knowledge of who he is and their purpose on Earth.  If you are a fan of 1970s science fiction films, Oblivion is a must-see.

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

Written and directed by Michael Radford, Nineteen Eighty-Four is based on George Orwell’s novel of the same name. The story takes place in a dystopian 1984, in a totalitarian superstate called Oceania in London.  Orwell’s fictitious world is very well-known and the film received widespread positive critical reaction for it’s cinematic representation of the classic novel.

During the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII on January 22nd 1984, Apple Macintosh launched what has been called by many as one of the most influential commercials of all time.  From the minds of Steve Hayden, Brent Thomas and Lee Clow, Apple’s 1984 embraces George Orwell’s novel, depicting an unnamed heroine sprinting through rows and rows of mindless marching minions, hypnotized by their ruling “Big Brother.”  As you can see above, despite the ever-changing world of cinematic special effects, ever the commercial holds up.

If you’ve seen any of these films recently or have a sci-fi adaption that we’ve missed, we’d love to hear about them on our Facebook page.

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Top 5 Must-See Romantic Film Adaptations

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Prince William and Kate Middleton have just had their first child, George Alexander Louis, but you may address the baby as ‘His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge’.  Everyone loves to hear about a Royal Romance, doesn’t it just get you in the mood to watch some breathtaking romantic films based on books?  I know you answered yes!  Here is our top five must see Romantic film adaptations.

The Notebook (2004)

When you think of romantic movies, The Notebook always comes to mind.  Based on Nicholas Sparks’ novel of the same name, you can’t help but fall in love with the characters Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) and Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams).  Although their love story is an intense one, the ending is the perfect payoff.  If you haven’t seen this flick already, go find it today, just make sure you have a box of tissues ready nearby.

The African Queen (1951)

Based on C.S. Forester’s novel, The African Queen, is an exciting adventure-romance starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn.  The film has been selected for preservation by the United States National Film Registry, for its culture, historical, & aesthetic significance.  On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie holds a 100% fresh rating.  Have I convinced you to watch it yet?  You really should.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

If you watched the Oscars this year, you already know that Silver Linings Playbook received eight nominations, with Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Actress.  Adapted from Matthew Quick’s novel, the film was written and directed by David O. Russell.  In order to maintain the romantic comedy, yet emotional and troubled nature of the story, Russell claims to have rewritten the screenplay over twenty times.  Go see/read it for yourself and find out if the movie did the novel justice.

Wuthering Heights (1939)

In 1847, Emily Brontë’s published her only novel, Wuthering Heights.  Emily’s sister, Charlotte, made the decision for Wuthering Heights to be published after the success of her own novel Jane Eyre.  The novel revolves around the destruction that jealousy and vengeance can cause on individuals and their communities.  The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning Best Cinematography.  So, if you’re in the mood for some romantic vengeance, check this one out!

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

The infamous story of Pride & Prejudice was published in 1813, written by Jane Austen.  The well-known love story begins with the introduction of Mr. Darcy, a proud and condescending man, and his conflicting relationship with Elizabeth Bennet.  The film, written by Deborah Moggach, strived to remain as faithful to the novel as possible.  The movie had a positive critical reaction with Kiera Knightly portraying Elizabeth Bennet and Matthew Macfadyen as her romantic opposite.  If you are looking for a classic love story, draped across the stunning English country side, this will sure to please.

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Must-see adapted movies coming in 2014

FB-Blog-2014-Coming-soon2014 will be here before you know it.  Check out these must-see movies adapted from your favorite books!

PADDINGTON BEAR – November 26th, 2014
Remember reading about that adorable English teddy bear’s adventures?  Adapted from Michael Bond’s Paddington Bear, comes a live-action film that you won’t want to miss.  And it’s true, the man most know as “House” will be the voice of Paddington Bear himself.

THE HOBBIT: THERE AND BACK AGAIN – December 17th, 2014
The third, and final, installment of The Hobbit, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel, will definitely be a popular holiday movie next year.  After such stunning graphics and beautiful cinematography in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, we all have big expectations for the final film!

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART ONE – November 21st, 2014
Even though The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is still on its way to theaters, Mockingjay is a film eagerly awaited!  Without spoiling the story, you won’t believe what Katniss Everdeen’s done.  So, around turkey time, watch out for the first part of the third, and final, installment of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games Trilogy.

THE MAZE RUNNER – February 14th, 2014 (Yes, that’s Valentine’s Day)
James Dashner’s The Maze Runner is the first book in a post-apocalyptic trilogy for young-adults.  Although the movie’s expected release date is Valentine’s Day, do not walk into this one hoping for kisses and candy.  Directed by Wes Ball, this science-fiction mystery drama thriller will be one to see in the theaters.

SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR – August 22nd, 2014
Do you remember seeing Sin City in 2005?  The classic film noir never had a sequel.  Until now!  Coming in 2014, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, will finally continue the story with many recurring actors from the first film.  Including: Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Mickey Rourke, and more.  The film has been adapted from Frank Miller’s graphic novel by the same title.  And SINce you have some time to KILL, why not read it first?

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