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Reading vs. Watching: What Exactly Are We Comparing?

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greeting Fellow BookNerds,

I often see people get themselves all worked up with excitement when they learn that one of their all time favourite books is going to be made into a movie – myself included, of course –  and just as often, I watch as those same people who went into the theatre with such high expectations, came out looking not unlike a cartoon character with a thundering cloud hanging over their heads, as the image of the story they had in their heads didn’t come out quite the way they hoped it would on the big screen.

It’s in our nature to compare things. After all, how else can we determine what is good, what is bad, what is better, what is worse. We do it to figure out what food we would rather eat, what clothes we would prefer to wear, and my personal favourite, what books are more worth our time reading than others. Just like anything else, however, making comparisons has its ups and its downs, based primarily on the context in which they are being made.

Harry Potter Books

When I first got into reading the harry potter books back in grade school, it felt as though my brain was giving birth to my imagination for the first time. I developed a deep attachment to the series, and when I found out that they were being made into films, I just knew I had to see every single one of them. Why, you ask? Well, the only thing better than reading a book for the first time is getting to experience it all over again, but in a very different way. Unlike books, movies cater to all of the senses; synchronizing music and moods to tug on our heartstrings, playing with colours and special effects to keep our eyes glued to the screen, creating masterful scripts that tell us so much, while at the same time saying so little, and fitting actors into the roles they were seemingly born to play. Such is the beauty of films, which differs greatly from the beauty many of us find in books.

Authors struggle tirelessly to create stories using their native language, which the readers can then create images from that are unique to their own interpretation of the words. No two people will perceive a story the exact same way, which is what makes reading such a personal, internalized experience. What’s more, most books are created by a single individual, making them solely responsible for creating the characters, the dialogue, the setting… basically, everything, unlike in movies where you have hundreds of people working to bring the story to life.

Another striking dissimilarity between the reading and movie viewing experience is that books are not designed to be enjoyed in a single sitting, whereas movies are. Unless you’re a ridiculously fast reader capable of zipping through seven hundred pages in less than an hour as if it was nothing, then it’s going to take you a few days to get to the end. This is especially true for those readers out there who, like me, need time to visualize what they have just read before they can continue… perhaps that’s just me 😛

Group of boring people watching movie in cinema

Movies, on the other hand, are typically a two to three hour experience, and you can choose to enjoy them alone or with 200 other people crammed inside a dark room which smells of popcorn and is occasionally lit by a smart phone that someone just couldn’t bother to turn off for the sake of everyone who is sitting behind them. If movies were to be made any longer, the audience would get bored, feeling as though the story is being drawn out longer than necessary, not to mention the increasing soreness in our backside from sitting for such a long period of time. When you’re reading books, you can stop and start whenever you want, but with movies, we tend to want to sit down and watch it to the end before diverting our attention to anything else.

Now, we come to the unique scenario of book to movie adaptations. The thing with movies that are based on books is that they always seem to miss the mark. In other words, they fail to meet the expectations of everyone who see’s it, because as mentioned before, we all have a tendency to interpret the same book in very different ways, meaning we will all be going into the movie theatre with very different expectations. There is also the added pressure on directors and the crew to make the movie as true to the book as possible, but this isn’t always feasible, especially when dealing with a book which has managed to throw the laws of physics entirely out the window. But they do their best, and some of them have turned out rather brilliantly.

The Fault In Our Stars

My favourite book to movie adaption to date has been The Fault In Our Stars, a beautiful story about a girl with lung cancer finding love in the unlikeliest of places, and discovering that “some infinities are bigger than other infinities”. In my eyes, the movie was a brilliant interpretation of what I am certain will someday become a classic novel, but I am certain there are others out there who found it to be unbearable. Why? Well, I’m sure there are many reasons, but every time I hear someone start to rant about every little thing they changed in the movie, or how the actors they chose weren’t good enough, or how they could have done this or that to make it more believable, I just feel like telling them one thing: why are you comparing two things that weren’t meant to be compared?

The story might be the same, but the purpose and the means by which they are executed are just so different. It would be like comparing music videos to musicals. Just because they both have a music component to them, that doesn’t make them any more comparable. Now that I’ve had my say on the matter, I would love to hear what you guys think. Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or on my blogs facebook page, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

The Martian: How Would You React To Being Stranded On Mars?

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

I’m going to start right off the bat by admitting that I have yet to actually read The Martian. Everything I knew about it, prior to seeing the film, came from my boyfriends raving reviews, insisting that I should make this book my top priority once I finished reading through the Mistborn series. Well, my list books I would like to read in my lifetime is kind of full at the moment, so it might be a while, but after seeing the movie I will definitely be bumping up much closer to the top.

The_Martian_2014

So, for those of you who haven’t seen the movie or read the book, the premise is fairly simple: a botanist ends up being stranded on Mars by his team, who assumed he was dead after being pummeled by a piece of equipment during a really bad storm. So, now he has to find some way to survive until he can get in touch with NASA, who also believe him to be dead. That’s the gist of it, although my summary really doesn’t do it justice.

Right from the start, his reaction to realizing that he was alone on Mars, with no way back to Earth, was perfect. I mean, what better word to sum up that harsh, cold realization than f***! And it just keeps getting better and better from there. They could not have chosen a better actor to play the role of Mark Watney than Matt Damon. I know, I haven’t read the book, but based on the description my boyfriend gave me, Damon’s acting was very much in sync with what Andy Weir, author of the book, had in mind.

Matt-Damon-in-The-Martian-Movie-Wallpaper

 I think that what I loved most about it was that, despite the horrible situation he found himself in, he still maintained a certain level of wit and humour that kept the movie from becoming too depressing. I mean, there were moments where you could tell he was on the verge of losing it, but he still managed to turn every set back to his advantage. Or at the very least, find some way to get a laugh out of it:

“This will come as quite a shock to my crew mates. And to N.A.S.A. And to the world. But I’m still alive. Surprise!” – Mark Watney, The Martian

 

What really bums me out about most movies of the space genre is that everyone and anyone who is even remotely knowledgeable about space and the inner workings of the universe feel obliged to swarm on these kinds of movies like crows on a carcass, poking holes in it until there’s nothing good left. Obviously, there is still a limit on how realistic we can make something look, especially something like an entire planet that humans have only seen from still images and through a telescope, and sometimes you need to bend the rules of logic just a little bit to make something in the story work.

I don’t really understand the need to point out everything that’s wrong in someone else’s work, but it can be really off-putting for those who haven’t seen it yet. So, I just want to reassure all of you who haven’t seen it yet, that it is DEFINITELY worth it. So what if the dust storm isn’t entirely realistic? Perhaps it was an extremely rare event that happens once every thousand years or something. I’ve always been of the opinion that until you fully understand something inside and out, anything is possible.

For the most part, though, I’m sure you’ll be seeing mostly raving reviews posted all over the internet, and for good reason. This is, in my opinion, one of the best movies of the year… which may or may not change when I see the news Star Wars movie, but until then, it’ll stay in the top spot. Just in case this wasn’t enough of an incentive to go see it immediately, watch the movie trailer below, and then try NOT seeing it 🙂

Oh, and I hope you like disco music… that’ll make a lot more sense once you see the movie. Read the book, or see the movie – or both – and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

Dragonriders of Pern Movie? Yes Please!

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

I’m sure many of you have heard the exciting news already, but for those of you still in the dark, it has been announced that there is going to be a movie adaptation of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern!I guess this would only be exciting for those of you who have actually read the series, so for anyone who hasn’t… well, what are you waiting for? If there’s a bookstore nearby, find there science fiction section and get yourself a copy of Dragonflight, which I am almost one hundred percent certain is the very first book of the Pern universe, which began all the way back in the 1960’s, a true testament to just how amazing this series really is.

DragonflightBasically, it’s a story set in a future where most forms of advanced technology no longer exist, reminiscent of a more medieval time period where the people are governed by lords, the lands are divided into different Holds and Weyr’s, and of course there are dragonriders – hence the title – which is really all the allure you need to get into it.

Humans have colonized a planet called Pern, located in the Rukbat system, and which is under the constant threat of Thread, which is some kind of space spore given off by the another planet called the Red Star every fifty years or so. The only means they have of defending themselves during the Threadfalls, as they call it, are their dragons, an indigenous species on the planet along with fire lizards and other native and non-native organisms, who are able to produce a phosphine gas from the consumption of firestones, which is not only very flammable, but also very potent against Thread.

What is really unique about this series is that even though your first assumption is that it’s of the fantasy genre, it turns out that it is very much science fiction. Even though technology doesn’t really exist anymore, they still come across remnants of it throughout the series, from when humans first began colonizing other planets. There is also a form of genetically engineered bugs called Grub, which were created by humans to be able to eat Thread. Even the dragons and fire lizards were subject to human experimentation, which increased their intelligence and allowed humans to work alongside them.

Anne McCaffrey, who unfortunately passed away in 2011, developed a word that embraces what I feel to be the bests aspects of both science fiction and fantasy, and I can’t wait to see for myself what kind of movie they will give birth to. Of course, I never get my hopes too high at the prospect of a book hitting the big screen, for we have seen what can happen when the responsibility is given to the wrong people. I am still getting over the disaster that was Eragon, and my disappointment in everything that was left out of the fourth Harry Potter movie. Of course, there have been many successes as well, like The Fault In Our Stars, and all of the other wonderful harry potter movies, so there is always hope.

Chronicles of Pern

 I actually got into this series after playing the video game version of it on my brothers Dreamcast Sega, which in my opinion had some of the best games I’ve ever played… even if the graphics weren’t always the best, but they were the early days of gaming after all. Anyway, I was really into the video game, which admittedly wasn’t that great voice acting and visuals wise, but was still entertaining nonetheless. I would be over the moon happy if someone were to revamp this game, because even though it wasn’t the greatest, it has a lot of potential, and we more than have the technology and the know how to makes it into one of the most beautiful and enticing games of our era.

So at the time, I actually had no idea that this game was based on an entire series of books. It also happened to be during a time when the only books I had really gotten into were the Harry Potter books. It was certainly a pleasant surprise, however, when I came across the literary Pern universe, and I didn’t hesitate to buy the first three books of the series… well, I’m fairly certain they’re the first ones. There are so many books in the series now, that it’s kind of hard to tell anymore, but they made sense when I read them in the order I did.

I was also very happy to hear that Anne McCaffrey’s son, Todd, has been continuing the series. Of course, this just means that it’s going to take me even longer to get through the whole series. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, for as I’m sure I have mentioned before, I hate it when a really good book comes to an end. For me, books are a lot like a pack of reeces peanut butter cups; it’s such a good feeling knowing that even after you’ve eaten one, there are still two more waiting for you to sink your teeth into. 🙂

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Dragonriders of Pern series, or on the upcoming movie adaptation, feel free to leave them in the comments below or on my blogs Facebook page. I would love to hear what you have to see, and as always, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd  

Paper Towns: Coming to a Theatre Near You!

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds!

Have you read and/or seen the Fault In Our Stars by John Green? If not, then make that priority number one.

Have you read Paper Towns, also by John Green? If not, I would also suggest that you do so as soon as possible.

Okay, have you done both of those things? Great, now you can read the remainder of John Green’s books, because by this point you’re likely hooked ^_^

I’ve already said this many times before, but John Green is my favourite modern teen fiction writer. He writes the kind of romance stories that you don’t have to be a teenager, or even a teen romance lover, to enjoy. It’s original, creative, and without any of that unnecessary cheesiness you get with other romance stories like, dare I say Twilight??? I apologize to all of those who have remained loyal fans to the vampire-human-werewolf love triangle, but at the same time I cannot help but throw this thought out there; if those books can get published, then I suppose anything is possible.

Okay, that’s enough of the Twilight bashing, especially since I could go on for hours. As you can see based on the title of todays post, I want to share my thoughts on the trailer for the upcoming movie based on one of my favourite novels of all time; Paper Towns. What I loved most about this story is that you really didn’t know how things were going to end up between Margo Roth Spiegleman and Quentin Jacobson. There’s nothing worse than a book with an obvious ending, as it only serves to leave you feeling disappointed in the end. Spiegleman was one of those unpredictable characters who lives life at her own pace, and just when both you, the reader, and Jacobson think they’ve got her figured out, they realize how very wrong they were. She really is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. I also enjoy Jacobon’s character, who to me is the living embodiment of the yearning that exists in all of us to break free from normalcy and seek out the strange and the unknown… and, you know, follow the person we’re head over heels for.

I’m always hesitant to watch movies that are based on books, especially when those books are very dear and near to my heart. After what they did to Eragon and some of the Harry Potter movies, my hesitancy has only grown more intense. I mean, how hard is it to slap a pair of elf ears on a girl, or pop a few creatures into a maze? And let’s not forget my disappointment from not being able to see what a Blast Ended Skrewt actually looks like. Those feelings aside, I finally convinced myself after half a year of it coming to theaters to watch The Fault in Our Stars, and you know what? I was absolutely delighted. I’m not saying it was perfect, but it was damn near close to how I had envisioned it looking in my head. The cast was great, the script was pure gold, and even though I don’t usually cry over watching a movie, I won’t deny that there was a tear or two threatening to role out of my tear duct.

Now, let’s cross our fingers that the same magic will be worked on this next movie, based on one of the first John Green books I owned – the first one being Will Greyson, Will Greyson, which I’m also looking forward to seeing a movie rendition of in the future. Any who, based on what I’ve seen from the trailer, thee movie does seem to show some promise, but I figure you guys should watch it and decide for yourselves. Will it be a hit? A miss? Are we looking at the new age of teen romance in the film industry? Watch the trailer below and share your thoughts in the comments, or if you’ve already seen it… well, you can leave your thoughts in the comments before anyone else does. Enjoy ^_^

Q: What’s the craziest, most out there thing you’ve ever done in your entire life?

Look forward to a year of epic movies, and epic books of course, and as always, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

I’m Back… Well, Sort Of

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Its been one of those weeks where everyday, I think about posting something on my blog, but then by the time I get back home from work, I’m either too exhausted or have too many errands to run to even think about sitting down with my computer for more than a few minutes. Still, my typing fingers are kept busy, which makes me happy no matter how busy and stressful things get. I managed to get an internship with a newspaper for the Summer, which up until April I was starting to feel was a fruitless endeavor. They’re not kidding when they say it’s hard to get a job nowadays when you get out of university. Even though I got this job, I still have to worry about finding somewhere to work once Summer is over. It’s a never ending cycle. 

On a less anxiety ridden note, there is less than a month until the release of The Fault in Our Stars movie! I am both nervous and excited; nervous because I have no idea if it will live up to the expectations I have for it after having read the book, and excited because… well just because! I’ve only been reading John Green’s books for the past few years, but I’ve been in love with his writing ever since I finished reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson. His master of the English language combined with his innate nerdiness produces literature that is fresh and interesting, something that I feel has never really been done before. He is one of a kind, and I hope he continues to write books for a very long time. If you have never even heard of the TFIOS movie, then I implore you to take a moment and visit the official movie website: www.thefaultinourstarsmovie.com. You can also watch the movie trailer below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ItBvH5J6ss

I haven’t had a chance to do much reading these days, not since the first book of the Mistborn trilogy which I still haven’t reached the very end of yet. I’m hoping that the weather this weekend will have bring less rain and more sun so I can take it down to the beach and read to my hearts content. The one thing I love bout this job is that you work from 9 to 5 for five days a week, and then the weekends are yours to enjoy as you wish. I’m sure there will be a time or two when I have to bring work home with me, but as an intern, I’m doubtful that that will happen too often. I’m hopeful that by the end of this summer, I will have finished reading the first book, and gotten through the second installment, which I am really looking forward to.

In closing, I apologize for my blogging silence, and I do hope I will be able to remain more on top of things in the future. If you have any books you would like to recommend, or any suggestions about what you would like to see appear on my blog, feel free to write a blurb in the comments, and as always, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

The Fault In Our Stars Movie Trailer

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

I never truly appreciate the arrival of spring reading week until I have spent the week prior doing nothing except studying for midterms, struggling to complete last minute assignments, and then finally writing those midterms right before my brain has turned to mush. It is a much needed reprieve from the stressful academic environment, and hopefully one day it will become incorporated into every University.

Since my return home, I have finally had the chance to view all of the trailers for upcoming movies and television series, of which there are many. There was really only one I was looking for, and given the title of this post, it shouldn’t be too difficult to guess which one it is. It was in 2012 that the book was published, and now, a mere 2 years later, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green is coming ever closer to the big screen. The movie is set to appear in theaters on June 6th of this year, and although that may feel like a lifetime away, that just means more time to give the book a few more reads through. If that’s not enough to tide you over, then you can follow John Green and his brother Hank on their Vlogbrothers channel in the hopes that they reveal a little bit more of what we can expect in June. John also has several videos that will take you behind the scenes of the TFIOS movie, providing a glimpse of what actually goes into making a movie.

In the meantime, and if you haven’t seen it already, here is the official TFIOS movie trailer, which was released back in January, but it’s the closest thing to seeing the movie at this point so it won’t hurt to watch it a few more times 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ItBvH5J6ss

Shailene Woodley (Hazel) and Ansel Elgort (Augustus) are the stars of this heart warming love story that will tug at your heart strings from beginning to end. This movie really will be one of a kind, and if you haven’t read the book yet, then you are missing out on an amazing experience that will never come around again.

Adapting books into movies is like a coin toss; you either succeed or you fail, with very little wiggle room in between. Still, when done right, they can be some of the most amazing films you have ever seen. What books would you like to see turned into movies? If you have any in mind, I’d like to know. Leave the names of those books in the comments, and if there are some book-to-movie adaptations that already exist that you feel very strongly about – positive or negative – you can throw in a comment about that as well. By my next post, I’m hoping to have finished the first book in the Mistborn series, and will be able to provide a first hand review for all of you wonderful BookNerds. Until then, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

TFIOS: Coming To A Theater Near You… In 2014

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds

Time sure passes by startlingly quickly when all you do is read textbooks, write essays, study for tests and try and squeeze a bit of social time in between it all… and by social time I of course mean catching up on episodes of Supernatural and Agents of Shield so I can have Facebook conversations with my friends without having to fear those dastardly spoilers. But alas, it was all worth it, for now I have an entire week I can spend at home relaxing with my family, catching up on sleep, and…. okay, I’m a bad liar. The reality is that I’ll be buried neck deep in textbooks, papers and pen ink as I struggle to catch up on those readings I so nonchalantly pushed aside throughout the semester, and studying for the tests I get to look forward to when I get back. As hard as I try to convince my friends that I enjoy school, I won’t deny that there are certain aspects of the post secondary education process that I could do without… but that’s enough rambling on my part.

For all of you John Green and TFIOS fans, here is a recent update on the impending movie release of The Fault in Our Stars. According to a recent article published in Entertainment Weekly, the movie is set to hit theaters on June 6th, 2014. They have completed their filming in Pittsburgh, and judging by the recent Vlogbrother video updates, John Green could not be any more excited. Below is a recent Vlogbrothers video where John Green participates in a Q & A session with actors Ansel Elgort and Mike Birbiglia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Degozv3kZH4

The cast has grown to include quite a number of talented faces, some of which have appeared on the big screen before.

TheFaultinOurStarsHerondair

  Shailene Woodley ———– Hazel Grace (protagonist)

  Ansel Elgort ——————- Augustus Waters

  Willem Dafoe —————– Peter Van Houten

  Nat Wolff ———————- Isaac

  Laura Dern ——————- Mrs. Lancaster

  Sam Trammell ————– Mr. Lancaster

  Mike Birbiglia ————— Patrick

  Emily Peachey ————- Monica

  Milica Govich ————— Mrs. Waters

 

It’s still hard to believe sometimes that this book, written by a man who a couple years ago I had never even heard of, is going to come to life on the big screen in less than a year! It just goes to show that if there is something that you feel passionate about, then you should just go ahead and do it, because you never know where that passion might take you.

That’s all for today. I’ll try and be a little more active in the blogsphere during my reading week, although given my workload I can’t go making any guarantees. This does not prevent all of you lovely followers from posting any comments, questions or concerns you may have, or taking advantage of my “Book Recommendations from You” page by offering up some of your favourite reads.

Cheers,

BookNerd