Friday, July 27, 2012

Book vs. Movie: Romeo and Juliet

Hey it's Owyn here again. For this week I'm going to compare the iconic play Romeo and Juliet with the 1996 movie version with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.


DISCLAIMER #1: There are probably spoilers. But if you haven't read this or you are unfamiliar with the plot then what rock have you been living under for your entire life?
DISCLAIMER #2: I know it's not exactly a book but it's still an iconic piece of literature. Do you want me to retitle this blog series as "Literature vs. Movie"? It doesn't have the same ring to it.

Like in my To Kill a Mockingbird post, I have been assigned R&J to read at school and because of all my different schools, I have read it twice.
The first time I read it was when I was in seventh grade. All the teenage girls in my class were gushing and squealing about how "this was the greatest love story ever" and "I want to find my Romeo." Same thing happened when I read it again in ninth grade.
It takes all my restraint not to face-palm so hard that my hand flies through my face.
This is not a love story. Well it is kinda, but it's not a good one. A 17-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl meet, kiss, decide they're in love, get married, kill four people (occasionally indirectly) and then kill themselves. All over the course of four days. That's not love, that's practically Vegas.
Obviously those girls did not read it or didn't read it well. 
When I was in the summer after eighth grade, I saw that the Leo DiCaprio version was on Netflix. I had nothing better to do so I watched it. While watching, I mainly thought about how cute Leo was until he got older. And now I'm here, telling you the differences and my opinions.

The movie is set in modern day, not the day that it was written.
The Capulet and Montague parents don't have first names in the play
The fighters have guns in the movie, when in the play they have swords.
I don't recall Romeo doing acid in the play
Mercutio was a lot creepier in the movie (personal opinion)
In the movie, Juliet wakes up immediately after Romeo has taken the poison and they have one last exchange, but that did NOT happen in the play.
They cut a lot of the Nurse's lines (probably for time) and ruined the character.

The Nurse: A Rant by Owyn the Intern
I loved the Nurse in the play; she's my favorite character. She was funny, charming, awkward, necessary to aiding and abetting horny teenagers, and sentimental when she needed to be. My favorite scene is when Nurse kind of betrays Juliet and tells her that she should marry Paris so there is no need for trouble. And it was devastating to Juliet because the Nurse was always there to support her, especially when Lady Capulet wasn't. And that blow wasn't nearly as harsh in the movie. It made Juliet's actions be of those of a rash teenager's, but I think they were trying to prove that they were in love, not horny. So that kind of angered me.

Which did I enjoy more?:
Hands down, no hesitation I liked the play more, even with Leonardo DiCaprio being heart-stoppingly gorgeous in the movie. Now I must admit that I wasn't that crazy about either of them. The whole love-at-first-sight thing just makes me want to commit myself to a mental hospital shouting "IT ISN'T REAL! IT ISN'T REAL!" But if I had to choose between the two, it'd have to be the play because you just can't disrespect my Nurse like that!

Which do you think was better? Leave a comment with your opinions!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Predict Casting: Fallen

Hello! Owyn's back for another Predict Casting. Reminder: these are just my opinions. Feel free to leave who you think should play what in the comments.

So this week I'm doing the book Fallen by Lauren Kate, which has no known date for movie release.

Summary: This book is about a young girl named Lucinda "Luce" Price who is sent to Sword & Cross Reform School in Savannah, Georgia, after she is accused of murdering a boy by starting a fire. At the reform school, she meets Daniel, a handsome boy whom she feels inexplicably drawn to, and believes she has met before.

Lucy Hale

Luce Price: Lucy Hale. This book is kind of a dark romance, which Lucy has mastered while doing Pretty Little Liars and when I was reading the book I always envisioned Luce as her. 
Cody Linley
Daniel Grigori: Cody Linley. Besides the fact I think he looks awesome as a blonde, I think he'd be great at capturing this moody, elusive love interest since he has the silent smolder down to perfection. And I bet he and Lucy would have great chemistry.
Arriane Alter: Ariana Grande. First of all, Ariana looks great with the whole black/red hair thing that this character rocks. Second, I think she could play the fallen angel Arriane since they both seem equally spunky.
Tyler Posey
Cam Briel: Tyler Posey. Tyler has the shaggy black hair and awesome eyes, plus he has the experience with the paranormal playing the lead in the Teen Wolf series. And he looks good as the bad boy.
Roland Sparks: Roshon Fegan. Besides matching the character description (minus the dreads), I think Roshon can play the slight-comedic-relief character without making him a jokey character, imitating the character he played in Camp Rock.
Gabbe Givens: Ashley Benson. In the book, Gabbe is described as "Neutrogena commercial pretty", which is the perfect way to describe Ashley and she naturally looks like an Angel. Plus, like Lucy, she has the whole dark acting from working on Pretty Little Liars.

Leave comments on who you think should play who (if you have a different idea) or what other upcoming book-to-movie adaptations I should try!
Until next time,

Friday, July 20, 2012

Book vs. Movie: Hoot

Hello! Owyn is back again for another Book vs Movie blog post. For this week, I'm doing Carl Hiaasen's Hoot.


If you've noticed a theme in my Book vs. Movie blog posts, it's how I did not have a conventional childhood when it came to reading books and watching their movies. This book/movie is no different! Back in 2006, when this movie was all over commercials and Nickelodeon, I decided to read the book and my mom rewarded me by buying the movie.
But alas! She bought the movie along with the book, so whenever I read, I would feel the movie urging me to be watched. "Owyn.... watch me," it would say in a persuasive and eerie voice. And since I was a very annoying nine-year-old, I pestered my mom to let me watch the movie before I finished the book. But no, she is as stubborn as I am. But we decided on a compromise: when I finished the first half of the book, I get to watch the first half of the movie. 
I accomplished this task easily. I hoped to slip past my mom and watch the entire movie, but she watched me like a prison warden. Then I finished the rest of the book, and got to watch the rest of the movie. And I did notice a few differences.

Differences I Noticed:

  • They never say what Mullet Finger's real name is in the movie
  • Officer Delinko was never promoted in the book
  • In the book, Roy is suspended for 2 weeks, in the movie it's 3 days. 
  • In the movie, Roy says his name is Ling Ho in the hospital. In the book, it's Tex. 

When I did watch this movie, I watched it with my close friends Josh and Hudson. Since they were older and obviously more versed (sarcasm), they would tease me by trying to tell me major plot events and spoilers. This usually ended with me with my palms over my ears and shouting "I'M NOT LISTENING" over and over until they finally shut up.

Did I enjoy the book or the movie?:
I have to say, while I enjoyed both, the book was my favorite, even with the slight skewing after watching the first half of the movie with it. I thought that it was funny, the characters were great examples for kids my age, and that it was very well written. And the owls were adorable to read and watch. But I did feel a slight difference after watching the first half of the movie. I guess that's just what happens when your imagination is told what to think (it's almost like a betrayal). But even with that, I still enjoyed the book.

Which do you think was better? Tell me what you think in the comments. Well, until next week!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My Book to Movie Adaptations #2

Hello again, it's Owyn here. I'm back to suggest more of my book picks to become movies! Here's this week's list with the theme of: "Books from my childhood" (or books that I read when I was younger since some of you might consider 15 as a part of childhood).

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall 

WHY: As a book, it was a very visual, compelling read. I think it'd be a great movie because the world needs more family-friendly movies that don't involve talking animals or crazy situations. It's such a sweet story for all ages to relate to. I think the scene where Skye tells off Mrs. Tifton would be a fantastic movie moment, along with Batty nearly getting hit by a bull. 

Amelia's Notebook by Marissa Ross
WHY: Books/movies that act as a guidebook are always a soft spot for me, which is exactly what this book is. It's a lovable story involving a girl moving to a new place and how she makes new friends and keeps old ones. A story not often told in this day and age, as either a book or a movie. Plus, I could perfectly visualize the parts where Amelia and her sister Cleo fight, since Amelia often describes Cleo's nostrils flaring in anger. 

Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

WHY: You don't see many pre-teen oriented mysteries that don't involve some cliche missing animal and ALSO does not involve paranormal creatures or the "odd" death of a loved one. But this book perfectly avoided those things while reaching a broad audience. As a pre-teen girl, I loved it. As a mother, my mom loved it. As a preteen boy, my friend James loved it. And, like in the previous pick, there need to be more adaptations like that. I also think the checkerboard scene would be awesome to watch in a movie. 
Dear Dumb Diary by Jim Benton
WHY: It's a clever, middle school angsty, laugh-out-loud hilarious book that captures the journey of dealing with friends, enemies and crushes. It would be a great movie for all ages to see! If you're younger: "I can't wait to be like that." If you're a preteen: "I am so like that now!" And if you're older: "Remember when we were like that? Good times, good times..." The thing I'd be most interested in seeing if it ever does hit the theaters, is when Jamie and Isabelle stalk the male love interest since I nearly shrieked when I read that he turned around so I imagine doing the same in the theater. 
Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
WHY: The book had a very interesting protagonist, and I think that plays a big key in book-to-movie adaptation because it helps you root for them. If they're bland, why bother? Like most of the books on the lists, it's very family-friendly and can reach all ages. I was imagining watching in the theaters where Fudge jumps off the play set and when Sheila takes credit for all the work. I enjoyed reading it and would love to see it on the big screen.

Those are this week's suggestions of books to be made into movies. Feel free to leave suggestions on what books YOU think should be made into movies. Until next time!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Book vs. Movie: To Kill a Mockingbird

Hello, it's Owyn and I'm back for another Book vs. Movie on Friday the 13th! (scary music inserted here).    And I've decided to do To Kill a Mockingbird.

I am going to start with saying I have gone to seven different schools (so far). And when that happens, you get to relearn things and never learn things. For example, I have been assigned to read To Kill a Mockingbird twice and I have never been taught about the Civil War.
So in seventh grade I read Mockingbird for the first time and loved it. Granted, I try not to enjoy reading books I have to read for school because I'm a rebel, but I honestly enjoyed it. Even with my monotonous English teacher dissecting every single word, I loved it immensely. Then I read it in eighth grade as a part of required reading and still adored it and also got a new perspective on it through another teacher.
After finishing the book in eighth grade, our class had to watch the movie. I tried to pay attention, I really did, but the people in my class were EXTREMELY loud and distracting so I watched it at home with my parents later that night.
The next day we had to make a list of differences that we noticed (I mentally pointed and laughed at the people who decided socializing was more important than learning.)

Major Differences that My Class Accumulated:

  • You never meet Aunt Alexandra, Uncle Jack or Francis in the movie
  • They cut a lot of the kids' moments to emphasize on the trial and a general gravitation towards Atticus. Some moments cut out were the little slight puppy-love between Dill and Scout and when they go with Calpurnia to the black church.   
  • Jem never has to read to Mrs. Dubose in the movie. 
  • There is no mention of Dolphus Raymond, Scout's teacher, or the judge's house getting broken into in the movie. 

I typically find it odd when you watch a movie of a book you had to dissect in class, because (with me) you keep hearing your teacher's voice informing you of all the symbols used, and how this-piece-of-imagery-is-vital-to-everything-and-anything-in-the-plot. But with this I hardly felt it.

Did I prefer the book or the movie?
I have to say for this one I definitely enjoyed the book more, even with the complete and utter analysis I suffered through twice. But I would like to note that I really did like the movie and they did a great job with it, just not as good as the book. There's just something heart-achingly timeless/classic/amazing about that book that you can't replicate in a movie. Like the scene where Atticus shoots the rabid dog; it wasn't nearly as intense as it was in the book. But I did like the way they handled the trial in the movie, it was almost exactly as I pictured it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Predict Casting: Maximum Ride

Hey it's Owyn! Back again with Predict Casting for upcoming movies.
*DISCLAIMER: these are just my opinions, feel free to leave your opinion in the form of a comment*

For my second book/movie, I'm doing Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson, which is due to be released in 2013.

SUMMARY: Max and the Flock have run away from the School, the lab complex where they spent the first part of their lives locked in cages and experimented on. After four years, their hiding place has been discovered and Angel, the youngest, is captured. The others must get her back and find answers to their own questions along the way.

I loved reading the book and actually LOLed at multiple points and can't wait to see the movie. Since there has been no official cast list yet, I decided to make my own dream cast. Enjoy.

Abigail Breslin as Max
Max Ride: Abigail Breslin. Besides the fact that they share the same looks as described in the book, there is also the fact that I think Abigail can play the sarcastic tomboy.
Liam James (younger photo)
Fang: Liam James. Although he does not have the dark eyes (those can be fixed with CG anyway), I enjoyed his performance in 2012 and think he could be a great Fang.
Nudge: Madison Pettis. Madison looks exactly how Patterson describes Nudge. And since Nudge is the cute, fashionable character I think Madison could do a great job portraying her.
Angel: Elle Fanning. Since she looks exactly how I pictured Angel and I loved her in Super 8, Elle would be a great little mind-reading mutant.
Alex Pettyfer as Iggy
Iggy: Alex Pettyfer. Besides the fact that the likeness is uncanny, Alex is a veteran supernatural-teen-action-movie star and he could do a great job being the blind Iggy.

Gasman "Gazzy": Ty Panitz. First of all, I loved this little kid as Booth's son in Bones. And seeing him playing the adorable but flatulent Gazzy would make my heart melt.
Jeb Batchelder: Anthony Michael Hall. There isn't much on the description of Jeb, but I think the way he's described personality-wise would be perfect for Anthony. And I would love to see him in a new movie.

That's my picks for main cast of the book/movie! Feel free to leave suggestions for your ideas/opinions in the comments!
'Til next time,

Friday, July 6, 2012

Book vs. Movie: Ordinary People

Owyn's back! For this week's Book vs. Movie I decided to do Ordinary People since I enjoyed both the book and the movie.


Like with Harry Potter (see my last post), I saw the movie first, and then read the book. I understand a lot of people do that, but I think that it skews your perspective about the book that way and I try not to do it often. Normally, my parents would make me read the book first, but my mom decided it would be better for the visuals (which I didn't understand until I read the book) for me to see the movie first. 
After watching it (and fangirling over how cute Timothy Hutton was back then), I decided to give the book a try. I read it over two days, literally not able to put it down, which was tough because those were school days. I thought the book was great and it was no wonder that it was adapted into a movie.

Major Differences that I noticed:
  • They totally played down Conrad and Jeannine's relationship in the movie. In the book, it was a major plot point but in the movie it was placed on the sidelines. Because of this, when the relationship came into question later, his rationale for his "love" of Jeannine was kind of questionable but when I read the book it made more sense.
  • There are more details about the relationships within the family in the books, but I can understand how they cut them out for time.
  • During the huge fight scene at Thanksgiving, I felt the emotions better in the movie. I understood the anger and pressure Conrad was feeling and totally sided with him as he cussed out his mother. I didn't feel that much in the book. 

According to most of the people I have talked to about Ordinary People, it is beneficial to watch the movie first then read the book. For the people who saw the movie first, they say it helped them with the visuals since there aren't a lot of descriptions in the book. And for people who read the book first, they ended up going back with the implanted visuals to get a better feel for that aspect, which they didn't get originally. 

Did I prefer the book or the movie?:
After mulling over this question, I have to say that it's a complete tie. I thought they were both equally great with their own strengths and weaknesses and I will go crazy if I really have to choose. Judith Guest did a great job with the book and Robert Redford did a great job with the movie.

What do you think? Leave a comment about which you think is better.
See you next time!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Book to Movie Adaptions

Owyn is back! Hi! Every two weeks I'm going to do a blog post about what books I think should be made into movies and why. They will be posted every other Wednesday, but tomorrow's my day off so I'm doing it today!
Here's my first list, with the vague theme of teen reads. These are just books that I've read recently and would love to see on the big screen. 

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
WHY: This could be a great movie because it's realistic and relatable, which I think is hard to find these days in both books and movies. Readers and watchers can believe these characters exist. And it's a series with a love triangle romance, like Hunger Games but with less dystopia/killing and more romance! 

When it Happens by Simone Colasanti
WHY: This book does a great job of capturing the romantic/comedic/dramatic/awkward parts of high school life along with the always-lovable romance plot between the good smart girl and the good slacker boy. I think it could be a great angsty-high school romantic comedy film set in the midst of college applications.

Virals by Kathy Reichs
WHY: These days I don't see a lot of good teen mysteries anymore (that don't involve some sort of paranormal romance-- GACK!), but this is a favorite of mine. And since Reichs has a TV deal for Bones, she is already in the business. This series has more movie than TV show vibe to me. Four kids getting powers from a manufactured disease? It's a better plot than Twilight! [Which isn't that hard to accomplish. ;)] 
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles 
WHY: It's an awesome modern romance. A bad-boy gangster and a good little rich girl from opposite sides of the tracks go from being enemies, to friends, to falling in love. It could be a great modern West Side Story but with a better emphasis on the gangs, which would give it a wider audience making it perfect for a movie date night! 

Shug by Jenny Han
WHY: Does "Han" look familiar? Yes that's the same author as above but a completely different book. Han captures that awkward time during middle school adolescence: the first crush, losing and gaining friends, and identifying yourself. As a movie, it could be a great film for families to enjoy and relate to together as they reminisce about that time in life.

Get to it, Hollywood! 
Feel free to leave suggestions for book-to-movie adaptations or ones you'd like to see in future posts in the comments. I'd love to hear your ideas! 
See you guys next time,