Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Book vs. Movie – Girl on the Train

The Girl On The Train (US cover 2015).png vs. The Girl on The Train.jpg

I really liked the book when I read it last year and Jason and I finally got around to seeing the movie last week.  There might be smallish spoilers.  It’s really impossible to talk about either without revealing points that make it worth reading/watching.

The Story/Plot Rachel is a drunk and every day as she rides the train from her home to the big city she watches a couple in love as the train roars past, giving them names and a story of their own.  This is the starting point for both and the way the story unfolds is similar, but different enough to notice.  Location, location, location.  In the book Rachel lives outside of London, in the movie it’s New York.  In the book the story moved between three women, all connected in ways that revealed themselves slowly.  The movie told their stories in a different order and sanitized some aspects so the overall effect wasn’t nearly as twisty. In the book we got into the minds of these women in ways that were missed onscreen.  Thumbs Up – Book

The Visual  Since I live in Ohio, I would have much preferred the setting of London, a place I would love to visit someday.  The screen did get some of the darker scenes right, but nothing my imagination didn’t do as well or better.   Thumbs Up – Book

Characters vs. Actors This is the category where the most significant changes were made, in my opinion.  Rachel is an overweight, unhappy drunk who is obsessed with other people.  Emily Blunt did an admirable job, but the storytelling did her a disservice.  The movie went of its way to redeem her, even adding a character (Lisa Kudrow) to show us that she really was a good person.  She wasn’t the only one they made less interesting.  Rebecca Ferguson as the ex-wife and Luke Evans as the missing woman’s husband were both a shade or two less dark than they should have been to make them as compelling as they were in the book.  Justin Theroux, Allison Janney, Laura Prepon and Haley Bennett rounded out the all-star cast and make this one hard to judge.  I’ll call this one a wash because I did love the cast, but I also think the dark edge of the characters was superior in the book.   Thumbs Up – Tie

The Ending The ending was as close as it could have been, although I could’ve done without the last scene in the police station (further redemption of Rachel was unnecessary).  I guess for that reason I’d choose the book, but it’s close.  Thumbs Up – Book

And the winner is…the book!  There wasn’t anything wrong with the movie but it didn’t come close to packing the punch that the book did.

 

August 30, 2017 Posted by | Books vs. Movie | 9 Comments

T – Book vs. Movie – Tuck Everlasting

Blogging From A-Z

Tuck Everlasting25.png  vs.  Tuck Everlasting (2002 film) poster.jpg

This is a semi-regular feature where I talk about which was better, the book or the movie.  Most of the time I don’t know which will come out on top until I’ve worked my way through some of the criteria, and this is one of those times.  Let’s see how it all pans out.

The Story/Plot- A family, two parents and two sons, discover not just a fountain of youth but a spring of immortal water.  They drink it without realizing what it was until later.  Every ten years each member of the family reconvenes where they drank the water, which happens to be in Winnie’s backyard.  Winnie is 11 in the book and around 15 or 16 in the book.  The family kidnaps her when she discovers their secret so that they can explain why she must keep their secret, none of them realizing that a man in a yellow suit is hot on the family’s trail and ready to cash in on the water.  The two mostly aligned but the movie really played up the Jesse/Winnie flirtation and made that central to the story.  In the book the whole family drew her in.   Thumbs up…book.

The Visual  I thought the movie was beautifully shot and really brought the land to life.  Thumbs up…movie.

Characters vs. Actors  I have loved Jonathan Jackson since he was Lucky on General Hospital as a kid (I remember watching GH on and off until Gage came along), so he was a real draw for me.  The rest of the cast, too, was top notch; William Hurt, Sissy Spacek, Alexis Bledel, Ben Kingsley, Victor Garber, Amy Irving.  My issue, really, is with the aging of Winnie.  I know there’s not a lot of difference between a 106 year old making a play for an 11 or 16 year old, but it was easier to keep the innocence when Winnie was 11.  Thumbs up…book.

The Ending There were some differences in the ending, it’s really just about preference.  If you like the romance you’ll probably prefer the movie, but I really liked the book.  I don’t want to spoil anything if you haven’t read it or seen it yet 🙂  Thumbs up…book.

And the winner is…the Book!!!!

Now it’s your turn to vote

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on: (The Girl on the Train)  (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)

April 24, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, Books vs. Movie | 11 Comments

N- Book Vs. Movie – Northanger Abbey

Blogging from A-Z

I wasn’t sure I was going to compare the two because I listened to the book in 2014 and so many of the details alluded me, but after I watched the 2007 movie and re-read my book review I think I can manage a limited comparison.

The Story/Plot  Catherine, one of 10 children living in the country, was invited by her neighbors to visit Bath and attend some balls.  Catherine was young, read so many gothic novels that her imagination was vivid, and was drawn into a friendship under somewhat false pretenses.  She meets Henry and his sister and is invited back to their home.  There, with the death of their mother still lingering and an abrasive father present, she imagines the worst and her time at Northanger Abbey is cut short.   I felt like there were some differences at the end, but I may just be remembering the book wrong. Either way, both worked.  Thumbs up…tie.

The Visual  Hm.  Like with most stories that are set in a period long gone I think that the movie can bring to the story to life in a way that your imagination might not be able to accomplish.  So, the dresses, the complicated dances at balls, the old castles, all gave the movie the edge.  I even found Catherine’s bookish daydreams fun in the context of the movie, even of they felt a little cheesy.  Thumbs up…movie.

Characters vs. Actors  I LOVED the casting of this movie.  A young Felicity Jones was perfect as the wide-eyed Catherine and JJ Field, who I recognized from Austenland, had that twinkle in his eye that had me (and Catherine ) falling for him.  Carey Mulligan was fantastic as the gold digging friend.  The whole cast was amazing.  Thumbs up…movie

The Ending  As I said in the plot section, I don’t remember the end of the book in enough detail.  If I track down my book and find the time to re-read it I’ll come back and change this 🙂

And the winner is… the movie!

Now it’s your turn to vote

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on: (The Girl on the Train)  (Tuck Everlasting) (Me Before You) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)

April 17, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, Books vs. Movie | 14 Comments

M – Book vs. Movie – Me Before You

Blogging from A-Z

This is a semi-regular feature where I talk about which was better, the book or the movie.  Most of the time I don’t know which will come out on top until I’ve worked my way through some of the criteria, but this one was an easy pick.

The Story/Plot  In a small English village dominated by a huge castle, Louisa lives with her family working dead end jobs to help her family make ends meet.  She is inexplicably hired by the Traynors of the castle to be a companion to their son, who is in a wheelchair due to a spinal cord injury.  Will is depressed, moody, and pushes everyone away because of the pain he’s in, both mentally and physically.  Louisa is chatty and energetic and it isn’t long before the two start to form a friendship.  When Louisa finds out why she was really hired she goes into overdrive trying to make Will feel like his life can be just as good as it was before the accident.

The movie left one very important plot piece out, why Louisa didn’t stay at school and why she was still living at home.  Did the movie have to have it? No.  But Louisa, and the book, were better off for it.   Thumbs up…book

The Visual  This is a tough one because I really don’t think there was much of an advantage seeing it onscreen.  Sure, it was nice to see the pretty castle scenes, but everything else was pretty much just as good in my head as I was reading it.   Thumbs up…tie

Characters vs. Actors  Here’s where I might hear from some of you.  I pretty much hated Emilia Clarke as Louisa.  She got some things right, yes, but her eyebrows took on the bulk of the acting and I spent more time watching them on screen than anything else.   She was not Louisa.  I thought Sam Clafin did a good job as Will and Louisa’s boyfriend, Matthew Lewis, was spot on as Patrick.  The parents of both were excellent.  So, it was really Louisa that was the problem for me and that was a pretty big problem.   Thumbs up…tie

The Ending  So, given my complaints about Louisa, imagine my surprise when I was crying at the end.  I knew the end.  It was not a surprise.  Yet, I cried quite a bit.  Jason watched it with me and didn’t know the end and he didn’t cry because he didn’t believe it.  He was still unsure about it and I can see that.  The last scene with Louis and Will felt rushed.     Thumbs up…book

And the easy winner is… the book!!!!

Now it’s your turn to vote

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on: (The Girl on the Train)  (Tuck Everlasting) (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)

April 15, 2017 Posted by | Blogging from A-Z, Books vs. Movie | 16 Comments

A – Book vs. Movie – Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None

Blogging From A-Z.  It’s been a few years since I gave this challenge a try and I’m excited to give it a go with a movie twist.

This is a semi-regular feature where I talk about which was better, the book or the movie.  Most of the time I don’t know which will come out on top until I’ve worked my way through some of the criteria, and this is one of those times.  Let’s see how it all pans out.

I listened to the 1939 novel a few years ago (interestingly narrated by Dan Stevens who I just saw today onscreen as a Beast in some fairy tale movie I may write about on Monday) and spent the last several evenings watching the most recent adaptation, the 2015 BBC mini-series.

The Story/Plot  It’s the late 1930’s and eight people are invited to a secluded island off the English coast.  Upon arrival they are greeted by two servants and the group quickly realizes that no one has actually met the hosts and the servants don’t know when to expect them.  After dinner a record is played accusing each of them of horrendous crimes and the tension mounts as the murdering begins.

While being faithful to the spirit of the novel, the mini-series took great liberties in modernizing it for today’s audience.  They added drugs, sex and swearing just to liven up the screen.  I don’t think it really changed a whole lot, just added some nuance that wasn’t there, so no harm, no foul.   Thumbs up…tie

The Visual Most movies have an advantage in this category and this definitely true here.  The island, the house, the weather of storms and fog all gave this a melodramatic, spooky feel.  Christie also accomplished this with her writing, but I do think the screen lit up the story.   Thumbs up…the mini-series.

Characters vs. Actors

And Then There Were None

The cast was excellent and there is no fault to be found there, BUT in telling each of their back stories as the story progressed took some of the intrigue away.  And that’s before you realize that the characters in the mini-series committed more horrifying crimes than those in the book.

I liked seeing Sam Neill and Toby Stephens as well as Kili from the Hobbit movies, and it was nice to see more evolved characters, but sympathy was lost along the way.   Thumbs up…the book.

The Ending The end result was the same but near the end there were a few changes made that were understandable but not preferable.    Thumbs up…the book.

And the winner is… the book.  This is the world’s bestselling mystery novel and #7 of all novels, so it begs to be read.

Now it’s your turn to vote

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on: (The Girl on the Train)  (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)

April 1, 2017 Posted by | Books vs. Movie | 24 Comments

Book vs. Movie – Still Alice

Last year I watched the movie Still Alice and was drawn into the heartbreak of Alzheimers and last month I finally read the book. I mostly listened to the audio read by the author and would highly recommend it.  Having loved them both, which will come out on top?

The Story/Plot Alice is a highly esteemed linguistics professor at Harvard with a husband and three grown kids. In the movie they change the school to Columbia in New York for some reason but it didn’t really matter. She starts to experience strange symptoms that she wants to attribute to menopause but she can’t so she sees a doctor.  At 50 she is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers.  What happens to her and those around her is the story and both movie and book walked the same path.  The book did provide more details about the (limited) options for treatment and more about the support group Alice formed..  Thumbs Up – book

The Visual  Since this is a very character based book there was no great onscreen must see. Just characters going through what no one should have to.  There was no real advantage onscreen so the book held a small advantage.  Thumbs Up- barely book

Characters vs Actors  Julianne Moore was fantastic as Alice and I couldn’t have asked for more. She totally deserved her Oscar.  I also thought Kristen Stewart was perfect as Lydia.  But, as much as I like Alec Baldwin, I much preferred (and disliked) book John.  Alec tried to save John by the twinkle in his eye, but John didn’t deserve to be saved.  Thumbs Up – barely movie

The Ending There were no real differences between them, but I thought the movie packed more of an emotional punch at the end and left me completely drained.  Thumbs Up – movie

And the winner is…the book.  That stats are a tie but my gut says the book though I totally loved the movie.

Now it’s your turn to vote

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on: (The Girl on the Train) (Tuck Everlasting) (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)

 

 

 

October 14, 2016 Posted by | Books vs. Movie | 25 Comments

Book vs. Movie – The Blind Side

The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game(2006)vs. Blind Side(2009)

I LOVED both the book and the movie but they were different in many aspects.  Here’s what they had in common…

Michael Oher came along at the perfect time in the evolution of the Left Tackle position in professional football.  His size alone made him appealing to college coaches and his athletic ability made him a top star recruit.  But to get there he needed help.  Born to a mother who had drug problems and too many kids to keep track of, Oher had nowhere to go until a friend’s father got him into the Christian high school on the privileged side of Memphis.  After a rocky, homeless start Oher finds a family and a career.

The Story/Plot  The book had a lot of football history and the movie skipped over it, but I don’t think the movie suffered in the least for not showing why the Left Tackle position became so important. The plot was similar but the movie skipped over some really interesting stuff, like how complicated it was that Oher didn’t know his real name, that he really lived with rotating families for quite awhile, and how he really got his GPA high enough for the NCAA (it was NOT just hiring a tutor!).  I also enjoyed getting to know more about the make up of Memphis in the book.     Thumbs Up- Book

The Visual  I’ll be honest, for the most part, this category is really for the movie to lose.  I mean how often is the writing so beautiful and the screen so hideous that the book would be better?  But it happens.  Sometimes with movies like this, where there isn’t really anything special about the sets and the only thing that gives it a leg up is a favorite actor (Sandra Bullock).  I don’t know, I’m calling this a tie.  Thumbs Up- Tie

Characters vs. Actors  I love Sandra Bullock and thought her portrayal of Leigh Anne Touhy was fantastic as was Quinton Aaron’s as Michael. My biggest quibble is that Leigh Anne was a cast player in the book, often taking a back seat to husband Sean and, well, that’s not how the movie played it. Both were entertaining, only one was truly accurate.  I did LOVE seeing all of the real college coaches make an appearance in the movie, so for that reason alone I’ll call this one a draw.  Thumbs Up- Tie

The Ending  It’s hard to mess with the awesome story of Michael Oher since his is a true rags to riches story. The problem is that the movie wrapped it up with a nice little bow at the end, but it didn’t need it.  The movie could have accurately portrayed the book (leaving out the dry football parts) and been just as good.  The movie didn’t change the story, but it wasn’t really complete either.  Thumbs Up – Book

And the winner is…the book!!!  This was my toughest one yet because I loved both so much.  I don’t think you can really go wrong.

 

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on: (The Girl on the Train)  (Tuck Everlasting) (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)

January 15, 2016 Posted by | Books vs. Movie | , | 19 Comments

Book vs. Movie – The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars(2012) VS The Fault in Our Stars(2014)

I was surprised to find out last week that so many of my blogger friends still haven’t read this book or seen the movie.  I thought I was all kinds of deficient in waiting as long as I did to read it.  But I listened to the excellent audio and then watched the movie with my ‘no, that’s just the sun in my eyes and that’s not me wiping tears away with my sleeve’ husband. (hmm, sometimes he actually reads this blog…)  We both had the same assessment.

The Story/Plot    They both told the cancer-ridden story of two teens who fall in love against all odds and they were both spot on in that aspect.  There were differences though.  In the book there was more of an understanding of Hazel than in the movie.  In the book we see her go to college classes, meet a friend at the mall, visit Isaac in the hospital, discover that Augustus had and ex-girlfriend (I will spoil no more about that), have more conversations with her parents.  As for Augustus we missed a lot of his struggle at the end of the book (no more spoilers).  The movie focused primarily on the love story, which it is at it’s heart, but it lacked the nuance and depth of the book. And I missed one of the more lighthearted scenes of the book about the swingset as it was left out of the movie.  Thumbs Up- Book

The Visual  I’ll give the props to the movie on this one.  For one, I loved the visit to Amsterdam and want to visit someday. Also, in the book there was always Hazel with her oxygen tank and it was surprising how by the end of the movie I didn’t even notice it.  It became a permanent part of Hazel and it wasn’t distracting and that illustrated that the beauty within a person shines through even if physical ailments exist.  Thumbs Up- Movie

Characters vs. Actors  I read the book well after the movie came out, so I was already picturing Shailene Woodley as Hazel and Ansel Elgort as Augustus.  I was more familiar with Shailene’s work and she felt right in this role. She was a great Hazel.  I loved the casting of Laura Dern and and Sam Trammell as the parents, I thought they were perfect.  As for Augustus, well Ansel came so close that I won’t hold it against him.  I think Augustus is such a difficult character because he was so everything, so perfect teen girl fantasy, so witty, so smart, so romantic.  That is a hard role to fill.  I think Ansel got about 80% of the way there for me and that’s saying a lot!    Thumbs Up- Book, but barely

The Ending  There were a few differences toward the end of the movie but the one that bothered me most was one I mentioned earlier, we missed some of Augustus and his struggle. I think the movie would have been better for showing it.  Thumbs Up – Book

And the winner is…the book!!!!

Did you realize that John Green hasn’t written a book since? This article is from entertainment Weekly this month.

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on: (The Girl on the Train) (Tuck Everlasting) (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)

June 25, 2015 Posted by | Books vs. Movie | , , | 29 Comments

Book vs. Movie – The Hound of the Baskervilles

IMG_2446 vs. The Hound of the Baskervilles - 1939- Poster.png

This is a semi-regular feature where I talk about which was better, the book or the movie.  I read the 1902 classic in February for the Classics Club and watched the 1939 movie in March.  Most of the time I don’t know which will come out on top until I’ve worked my way through some of the criteria, and this is one of those times.  Let’s see how it all pans out.

The Story/Plot There’s a mad hound on the prowl in the moors of England and he’s killing the renowned Baskerville family.  When a concerned friend seeks out Sherlock Holmes for help, the detective sends his trusted assistant, Dr. Watson, to the spooky manor on the moors with the latest Baskerville descendent.  It’s a lonely place with few people, so the cast of characters is made up of the odd ducks that would want to live in such a place.  While the movie stayed fairly true to the book by only changing the sequence of some scenes, there was one glaring plot point that was so much better in the book. I don’t know why they changed it, maybe it was too juicy for the 1939 screen?   Thumbs Up- Book

The Visual The movie was able to show the absolute desolate setting of the moors, but the hound they showed was no match for my imagination.  Since this was way before the ability to do it justice on film I won’t hold it against the movie.  Thumbs Up- Movie

Characters vs. Actors  Most people are familiar with Sherlock Holmes and his trusted friend Dr. Watson and these days it is because of the Sherlock Holmes films featuring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.  In the beginning, when this film and others were made, it was Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.  As I was reading the book I was picturing my own versions of Downey and Law and it worked for me.  It’s hard for anyone to quite match Downey’s manic and genius as Holmes.  Bruce as Watson was not at all what I expected from reading the book, he seemed more like poor comic relief than an intelligent assistant.  Thumbs Up- Book

The Ending The ending, while mostly the same, was missing part of the great reveal I mentioned in the plot.  There was a scandalous revelation and a scene showing a severe beating of a woman and I don’t know if they decided that the movie goers at the time just didn’t want to see that or what.  The end suffered for it.    Thumbs Up- Book

And the winner is…the Book!!

Now it’s your turn to vote

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on: (The Girl on the Train) (Tuck Everlasting) (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)

April 14, 2015 Posted by | Books vs. Movie | , | 8 Comments

Book vs. Movie – Gone Girl

This is semi-regular feature where we can talk about which was better, the book or the movie.  I read the book in January 2013 (post here) and watched the movie last Friday, the day it came out.  Let’s break down how they compare.

*This is as spoiler free as possible!!!

The Story/Plot  Nick and Amy meet in New York and fall in love.  When the money gets tight and Nick’s mom gets sick they move to Missouri.  One or both of them turns into a sociopath and the paparazzi cameras are rolling.  I think both the movie and book do an excellent job of telling the story of this couple and the crumbling facade of their marriage.     Thumbs Up-Tie

The Visual  The book is dark and the movie was also dark, really at times it felt like the X-Files and you needed a flashlight.  I don’t really feel that the movie added anything visually to the book.  There’s no real reason to see it on the big screen unless you just can’t wait to spent more time with Nick and Amy.  To me, the descriptions in the book were just as effective in creating a visual image.     Thumbs Up-Tie

Characters vs. Actors   I think Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike became Nick and Amy.  Excellent choices and great acting (at least I hope it was acting!).  I love Neil Patrick Harris but he was not exactly who I pictured as Desi.  Margo, Nick’s sister was played by a new actress to me, Carrie Coon and I thought she did a great job.  I know people are complaining about a character missing, but I really wasn’t bothered by the minor exclusion.   Thumbs Up-Tie

The Ending  Up until this point I think both book and movie were on equal footing.  In the book, the ending packed a punch for me.  I was upset.  In the movie, the ‘ending’ went on so long with so many scene cuts that I just wanted it to figure out what it wanted to say and to do it.  For me, it was a weak. It did change just enough to make the ending different while still being the same in spirit. If that makes any sense.     Thumbs Up-Book

And the winner is…the Book!

Now it’s your turn to vote

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on: (The Girl on the Train) (Tuck Everlasting) (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (Still Alice) (The Blind Side) (The Fault in Our Stars) (The Hound of the Baskervilles) (Gone Girl) (Jack Reacher) (Ender’s Game) (Carrie, the original) (Under the Tuscan Sun) (The Secret Life of Bees) (The Shining, the original)

October 9, 2014 Posted by | Books vs. Movie, movies | , | 18 Comments