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 Little Prince) (Charlie St. Cloud) (Far From the Madding Crowd(The Girl on the Train) (Tuck Everlasting)  (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (And Then There Were None) (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)

A year of firsts and a look at BG (Before Gage)

I joined Instagram.  Why would I join yet another time-sucking social media site (I mean really, when does it stop?)?? Well, I was thinking of taking one photo to capture the day for a whole year and then I joined and wanted a bit more focus.  So, it’s my goal to capture a year of firsts. Everyday.  It’ll be a challenge for sure.  You can follow me if you click on my link on the sidebar.

Now onto my other project for the year, one inspired by Kay’s Bookish Nostalgia.  I love her glimpses into her reading past and have been thinking of a way I could steal the idea but make it my own 😉  I think I have it.  I am 5+ year mother.  Due to many things (stay-at-home mom to a kid with medical mysteries and special dietary needs being the biggest one) I remember carefree reading and blogging days from afar.  So, I decided to choose the year Gage was born and revisit it every month.  If January is any indication, I think this will inspire me.

I loved looking back at January 2010, I was such an active blogger! I posted 30 days. That’s right, 30 out of 31 days. I went back and read them all and, if you don’t mind me saying, they were all pretty good.  I had just finished 2009 by reading 130 books and thought this might continue, lol.  I was giving away books monthly, posting quizzes, joining challenges.  I was also getting pregnant, but I didn’t know that yet.  I attended two author events (Beth Hoffman, Tracy Chevalier) and posted two author interviews (Beth Hoffman, Shirley Tallman). I would love to do more author interviews, but probably not this year, unfortunately, they took a lot of time.  I read Garden Spells and fell in love with all thinks Sarah Addison Allen.

My favorite picture from January 2010

b hoffman 009Bonnie (Redlady’s Reading Room), bestselling author Beth Hoffman and me.

Tonight  I met Bonnie from Redlady’s Reading Room for the first time.  We only live about 20 minutes from each other and we decided to get together and meet Beth Hoffman, author of Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt.  Bonnie is a fellow Ohio State grad and we had a lot of fun chatting before we headed to the library for the book discussion and signing.  I have exchanged a few emails with Beth and knew that she was sweet.  However, I think she was even sweeter in person!  She was full of charm and warmth and if you have the chance to meet her on her book tour, take the opportunity!  (tour locales here)  She was truly inspirational. 

I should note that before her discussion she talked to Bonnie and when Bonnie introduced me, Beth said, “Oh, Stacy,  Max’s Mom!”  Well, let’s be honest, I was floored that she remembered to mention him.  How cool is that?! 

Favorite PostMy Reread Project.  I’m not sure why I stopped doing this, but am ready to try again.

…What does this have to do with rereading books?  Well,  what I get out of a book is based on many things, not the least of which is what was going on in my life when I read it.  So, maybe if I read it five years later and I’m happier, sadder, more stressed out, whatever, I might have a completely different opinion of the book.  So, last year I decided to commit to rereading at least one book from my Favorite Books list every year.  Yes, if I only read one a year it will take me 100 years, so it is obviously not a perfect plan, but quite a few of the books on the list I have read more than once already….

Favorite BookSaving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman.  I continue to love and recommend this book!

…Okay, first book of the year and the one I’ll be judging others by since I’m giving it 5 stars.  This book made me cry and laugh and left me with a smile on my face, not something that happens very often.  CeeCee was a charming girl who had led a hard life to date and my heart broke for her.  I loved her and her mistakes were both funny and important, reminding me that she was still just a girl no matter how grown up she sometimes seemed…

Favorite new movie  Avatar 3D.  But I did also post about one of my all-time faves – Pride and Prejudice, the mini-series with Colin Firth.

Why I love it Um, Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.  I know there are lots of other great reasons to love this movie, but if you take Colin Firth out of the picture, this is no favorite!  I thought Jennifer Ehle was a great Lizzie.  She had warmth, sparkle, and a quick wit.  The rest of her family was suitably annoying and ridiculous, but in a good way.

Now that I’ve read the book I can truly appreciate how closely this follows Austen classic.  The sets were perfectly lovely and not Hollywood in any way.  There were added scenes to let us see a bit more of Mr. Darcy and that made it easier for me to see him apart from only the times Elizabeth saw him, as was the case in the novel.

Well, the reason I’m reviewing this now is because Jason really, really loves me.  We watched an hour a night for a week.  It was so much fun introducing Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth to him.  He really didn’t get Mr. Darcy’s appeal, especially for the first half of the movie.  I kept telling him it was Colin Firth and that’s all he needed to know, but he still wasn’t convinced.  And I’m still waiting for him to come home with a 5 hour miniseries about the history of the stock market or 100 years of Michigan State basketball.

If you were blogging in January 2010, why not leave a link to your favorite post? I’d be happy to post it here and then we’d all be taking a trip down memory lane?


Nise from Under the Boardwalk chose this post as her favorite.  I looked over my posts of January 2010 and was tickled to see one about book shelves. Only one of the shelves has remained – I stack my library books on the steps in the order of their due date!  

 JoAnn from Lakeside Musing chose this post as her favorite.  After three attempts spaced over 25 years, I’ve finally managed to finish a Virginia Woolf novel. And not only did I finish it, I liked it. I really liked it…

 

 

 

H is for Harry Hoffman’s Hunger Hepburn

Blogging from A to Z

He Did This Just For YouHe Did This Just For You. Finished 4-9-14, Christian, 64 pages, pub. 2000

My cousin gave me this slim book(let) a few years ago and I just got around to taking the 20 minutes or so to read it.  This is a great book to give a person to explain the Christian faith in the simplest of terms.  There’s nothing new here, but it might be a good thing to have to pass along to someone who needs reassurance.  The very cool art on the cover was left for Lucado by an anonymous churchgoer.

 

actorKatharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn was a woman before her time.  Now she would be considered a rebel, or trend setter, but back in the 1930’s her independent and feisty nature turned audiences off and after successes she became known as box office poison.  Until a turn on Broadway in The Philadelphia Story gave her an opportunity to turn her reputation around.  She bought the rights to the story and in 1940 made one of my favorite movies ever.  Her outspoken personality, unconventional life, and a 25 year affair with actor Spencer Tracy make her one of the more interesting (and talented) actresses of the 20th century.  I think I’ve seen about 10 of her movies and consider some of them my favorites – Desk Set (1957), State of the Union (1948), Summertime (1955).  Do you have a favorite movie of hers?

movieThe Hunger Games, 2012

I have a confession to make.  I have not read The Hunger Games trilogy (gasp!).  I was impressed by how well done the movie was and I fell in love with Katniss.  She was a bad ass and I loved her bravery and smarts in the face of opposition.  The games themselves were cool and I was on the edge of my seat to see what would happen next. I liked the next movie too and am so looking forward to watching the rest. Maybe because I love the movie(s) so much I have no desire to read the books.  That may be a first for me.

bookHarry Potter series by JK Rowling

I admit that I didn’t fall in love with the series until book 3, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but after that I couldn’t get enough.  For those of you who have read the whole series you understand when I say that I remember where I was when THAT BAD THING happened in book 6.  I was visiting a friend in Chicago and I was trying to sneak in some reading time before dinner and then, bam!, tears.  I had to pull myself together enough to look like a normal adult who wasn’t all wrapped up in Harry Potter and I think it worked.  I am looking forward to reading these with Gage someday, but they may be a little too magical for him.  Time will tell.

authorBeth Hoffman

Beth’s first book Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt was the first book I read in 2010, then I was able to interview her through an exchange of emails before finally meeting her for the first time all in the same month!  I was able to meet her again last year when she was on her book tour with Looking for Me and consider her one of warmest and most genuinely appreciative authors I’ve met.  She also makes the time to stop by here and leave comments, isn’t she cool?  Listen to her speak if you can and for sure read her two books, both are excellent!

 

Sports Movie Quiz – guessing closed

Take your best guesses, be entered to win a prize.  No cheating (using the web to help find answers) or copying.  You have til Sunday to enter.  All extras can be found here.

Leave your guesses in the comment section.  You only need to guess one to be eligible for a prize 🙂

Tell me what sports movie each quote is from.

1.  If you build it, he will come.  Field of Dreams

2. Wax on, right hand. Wax off, left hand. Wax on, wax off. Breathe in through nose, out the mouth. Wax on, wax off. Don’t forget to breathe, very important.  The Karate Kid

[walks away, still making circular motions with hands]

3.  [preparing to dynamite the gopher tunnel] In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, ‘Au revoir, gopher’.  Caddyshack

4. In Virginia, high school football is a way of life, it’s bigger than Christmas day. My daddy coached in Alexandria, he worked so hard my momma left him, but I stayed with coach, he needed me on that field.   Remember the Titans

5. Welcome to Indiana basketball.  Hoosiers

6. You’re 5 foot nothin’, 100 and nothin’, and you have barely a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in there with the best college football players in the land for 2 years. And you’re gonna walk outta here with a degree from the University of Notre Dame. In this life, you don’t have to prove nothin’ to nobody but yourself. And after what you’ve gone through, if you haven’t done that by now, it ain’t gonna never happen. Now go on back.   Rudy

7.  Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There’s no crying! THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!  A League of Their Own

8. These are the ground rules. I hook up with one guy a season. Usually takes me a couple weeks to pick the guy – kinda my own spring training. And, well, you two are the most promising prospects of the season so far, so I just thought we should kinda get to know each other.   Bull Durham

9. All I’m saying, mon, is if we walk Jamaican, talk Jamaican, and *is* Jamaican, then we sure as hell better bobsled Jamaican.  Cool Runnings

10.  ADRIAN!  Rocky

Happy guessing!

Details and leaderboard  here.  Last week’s sibling quiz here.

Book vs. Movie- Ender’s Game

In 2008, my first year blogging, I listened to the book (review here) and fell in love with it.  I forced my husband to listen too and he liked it so much that he went on to read a few more books in the series.  As much as I love Ender, one book was enough for me.

Orson Scott Card carries controversy around with him in the form on his 1st amendment right to free speech.  Many people chose to boycott the movie for that reason.  I admit there are some people I do not support (ie use my money to support them by buying what they’re selling) because of their extreme insults or harmful views, but as long as they aren’t hurting anyone I tend to live and let live.  But, I’d love to hear your opinion on this, maybe you’ll change my mind.

The Story/Plot – This science fiction story is set a few hundreds years from now and the Earth is at war with the buggers, an alien race who wants to colonize the planet. The military is using children to train to fight these buggers.  The story is about their training.

The movie stayed true to the book, but there was so much skipped that the characters onscreen fell a little flat.  So much of the story takes place in Ender’s head and that didn’t really translate to the film.  Thumbs up -Book

The Visual – I ‘m glad that they waited so long to make the movie so that technology could actually catch up with our imaginations in some ways.  My husband was worried about Battle School looking cheesy, but we were both impressed with the quality.  Thumbs up- Movie

Characters vs. Actors – I fell in love with Ender when I listened to the book.  He was only 6 when first sent to Battle School  and there was much more detail about his life between the ages of 6-12 than there was in the movie.  The extra  detail gave me a chance to really care about this vulnerable and genius and character, where the movie didn’t. Asa Butterfield did a fine job of portraying Ender on the big screen, but there wasn’t the same connection for me. Harrison Ford was fine too, but my favorite actor in the movie was Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham and he had a very small part.    Thumbs up- Book

(NO SPOILERS) The Ending – It’s been a while since I listened to the book and while the end was the same I thought there were some parts of the movie leading up to the end that might have been finessed.  I was completely surprised by the end of the book, but the movie wasn’t as shocking because of a few things that happened.  Or maybe it was just because I already knew what would happen, who knows?  Thumbs up- Tie

And the winner is…The Book.

Now it’s your turn to vote

Other book vs. movie polls you can vote on: (The Little Prince) (Charlie St. Cloud) (Far From the Madding Crowd(The Girl on the Train) (Tuck Everlasting)  (Northanger Abbey) (Me Before You) (And Then There Were None) (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)

The House of Usher, 2006 movie

Cover Image

I taped this looking forward to a new take on The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe.  It had been awhile since I read the short story, but know the story.  It is a true masterpiece of American Gothic and I knew the movie had to be creepy.

The movie has a big house and twins, Maddie and Roderick, or Rick as he is called in this movie, and…that’s it.  I am somewhat offended that they call this a modern take on the short story.  It is not even close.  First, it’s just a house.  There was no feeling of the house being alive or even at the very least, haunted.  Second, the ‘visitor’ is an old girlfriend who is never quite fully clothed who doesn’t mind having sex with Rick.  And, well, the eerie twist of this movie is just gross and is really ridiculous.  

Before you even consider watching this movie, read the story, close your eyes and imagine the movie, and then move on with your day.  There is no reason to waste any more of my time or yours by talking about it further.

Tell No One, the movie

Tell No One (2008) Poster

Yesterday Jean and I went to see the French film, Tell No One, adapted from Harlan Coben’s wonderful thriller.  Both Jean and I read the book a few years ago and we didn’t remember every detail so it is hard to say for certain how much was changed for the movie.  The most obvious change is the film takes place in Paris and the book in New York.

The premise is childhood sweethearts and now happily married Alex and Margot Beck are separated by murder.  Alex cannot get over Margot’s death and eight years later he is still suspected of being involved.  Then he receives an anonymous email with a link to a video that shows a very alive Margot looking at the surveillance camera.

I loved the book and really enjoyed the movie.  I didn’t even mind the subtitles.  If you watch carefully author Harlan Coben makes a cameo appearance.  Francois Cluzet and Marie-Josee Croze were Alex and Margo.  The only actor I recognized was Kristin Scott Thomas who played Alex’s best friend.