3/4/15

Good, Bad, and Ugly: The Book-To-Movie Adaptations of 2015

Way back in the pre-industrial stone age of January, I made a post concerning some of the most exciting new book releases projected for this new year. But, of course, where there's books there's adaptations - and this year shows no dearth of those.

So, let's break this down; before you stand some of the most high-profile book-to-movie adaptations of 2015. And we're going to sort them out; The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

1 - THE GOOD


Cinderella - While the Disney animated feature will doubtless remain the dominant cultural image of the fairytale, this live-action adaptation has a lot of good stuff going into it, all displayed in this big, splashy trailer. While adaptation of fairytales are gaining momentum, this will likely be one of the biggest splashes of the lot. Personally, I'm reckoning on a swan dive more than a bellyflop here.

Insurgent - Say what you like about Veronica Roth's original trilogy, this thing has chops. Will its star power and massive fanbase be enough to save it from 'middle movie' syndrome? By the looks of it, the film-makers certainly think so. From this trailer Insurgent looks like a lean, mean, franchise machine with a bark to match its bite.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron - Comic books count as books, shush. Besides, the Marvel movies are going from strength to strength, and any movie that can make a tune from Pinnochio sound menacing clearly isn't messing around.

2 - THE BAD


Frankenstein - Ech. Ech. Echhhhhh. Adapting Mary Shelley's genre-making classic is tricky enough without trying to turn it into a sci-fi Daniel Radcliffe vehicle. And here I was thinking I, Frankenstein was as daft as we were going to get. And sadly this film isn't looking half as enjoyably silly as that mess was...

Goosebumps - Was the hilariously bad TV series not enough to convince people to leave Goosebumps alone? As someone who enjoyed (and may or may not have been traumatised by) the books as a child, this just reeks of reaching for nostalgia dollars.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens* - Actually, I think this movie looks really good. But I'm the weirdo who only saw the Star Wars movies this year, liked the prequels better than the originals, and thinks Jar Jar Binks was way more entertaining than C3PO. Sadly, as is the way of the fan, this movie will probably be lampooned and torn apart upon arrival, regardless of its merits. Just look at what people have to say about that claymore lightsaber and you'll see exactly what I mean.

(*- And yeah, technically it's an adapation. There's books about the Extended Universe, this is supposedly designed to update / replace those . . . shush.)

3 - THE UGLY


Fifty Shades of Grey - This monster gets a category all to itself, mainly because I knew it was going here to start with and simply couldn't find anything remotely comparable with what this thing represents. The cinematic version of the biggest blowup in the book world since The Story of O (and markedly less tasteful) is an even bigger mess on screen - the director and the author fought like cat and dog from conception to completion, and even the two leading actors can't stand to be in the same room as one another for any extended period.

Rumour has it poor Jamie Dorman (the repulsive Mr Grey himself) was even taken out by Robert Pattison for a comiserative pint and a chitchat during filming. If the stars of Twilight are comiserating with you, you know something's gone wrong. Really, really wrong.

Did I miss anything, Chewers? How would you categorise this year's adaptations? Leave a comment, and let me know!

2/18/15

Bookish Tattoos

Nothing divides opinion like a tattoo - or, in the case of your parents, the merest inclination that you would ever consider looking at one long enough to contemplate getting one of your own.

But, whatever you think of tattoos, there's no denying that people can do awesome things with them. Physical showcases of what lies closest to the heart, for better or worse.

Unsurprisingly, alongside the endless dolphins, roses and John Green quotes, some people choose to showcase their love of the written word and its thousand worlds.

And sometimes, the way they do it is awesome.

Bold, bright, and beautiful.
A personal touch.
Black and white and read all over.

Colour and whimsy.


What do you think about bookish tattoos? And, if you were to get one (or imagine a scenario in which you would like to), what would you get?

1/14/15

Exciting Releases in 2015

As one more year passes, so the dates tick down on the painstakingly long wait for that one book that lurks on your horizon as simultaneous sunrise and emotional armageddon.

Long-awaited endings, new beginnings, old stalwarts and new upstarts - 2015 has a lot going for it. Below, I give you a taste of what we can look forward to.


The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard)Rick Riordan


Last year saw the phenomenon of the Percy Jackson series finally come to a close - for better or worse. Luckily, Riordan seems to have been having a rare merciful moment and decided he would not leave fans of his sleek, smart, old-gods-new-tricks world out in the cold for too long.

I, personally, never made it past the first two books of the first Percy Jackson series (though not for want of trying). While the protagonist's name looks like something that came out of a fanfiction.net MadLib, I am, however, very much looking forward to seeing my favourite pantheon getting the Riordan treatment. Particularly if he's as willing to capitalise on the dark and spooky bits of Norse mythology as he has the change to be.



Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy
Cassandra Clare


Another titan of the YA scene, as if a trilogy of sort-of-prequels-but-not-really wasn't enough, Cassandra Clare is spoiling her beloved fandom absolutely rotten by teaming up with Sarah Rees-Brennan, Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman to produce a series of monthly novellas following the adventures of Shadowhunter Simon Lewis on his path to becoming one of the protagonists of the bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

Fascinating as both a collaborative endeavour, and a test of unconventional publishing method, this looks to be one of the more esoteric items of interest on the readerly radar this year. Here's to hoping it satisfies the fans enough to make up for the movie, eh?




End of Days (Penryn and the End of Days)Susan Ee


Angelfall was one of my surprise loves of the previous year, and while I have yet to make substantive process with its sequel, World After, the knowledge that I can kill it off and not have to wait fifteen lifetimes for the third book to appear is definitely a comforting one.

One of the stronger candidates in its rather generic field, I'm hoping this series will prove something of a sleeper hit, and maybe some well-timed discounts around the time of End of Days' publication will get it more of the attention it - and it's marvellous protagonist - deserves.






The Winds of Winter (A Song of Ice and Fire)George R. R. Martin


Optimistic? Me? Noooooo.

Unlike several of its generic brethren (looking at you, Kingkiller Chronicles), some recent news has emerged to suggest that Martin's elusive epic may indeed be making its penultimate appearance this year after all. With the voice of HBO joining in the plaintive choirs begging for its publication, there has been some talk of releasing the novel after the conclusion of the fourth series of Game Of Thrones (returning to air on the 12th of April, and likely wrapping up towards the end of this or perhaps a way into next year).

Nothing is certain, of course. Except that everyone will die.




What about you, Chewers? Are you looking forward particularly to any of the books on this list, or is there some unmentioned glory lurking in your readerly crosshairs? 
Leave a comment, and let me know!