Friday, July 29, 2011

Casting for The Hunger Games: What Do You Think?

Are you happy with the movie casting for The Hunger Games?

The Hunger Games is one of my favorite young adult series, and I can remember scanning Amazon three years ago, seeing the first book, its few reviews and perfect five star rating.  It piqued my curiosity and I took a chance.  I'm happy I did.  I went crazy on shelfari recommending it in all my groups.  In real life, I became an evangelist for Katniss Everdeen.

I'm happy with the casting for Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Gale (Liam Hemsworth), but not too thrilled with Josh Hutcherson as Peeta.  Color me shallow, but I think he's fugly.

There's not much buzz about the other actors in the movie, which puzzles me because the movie has an awesome cast.  Elizabeth Banks will make an excellent Effie Trinket (exactly how I imagined her), and Woody Harrelson's drunken snark will be perfect for Haymitch Abernathy.  Donald Sutherland can play an epic bad guy-- cool and suave and nice, yet so threatening and dangerous-- so he'll be quite convincing as President Snow.  I've loved everything Stanley Tucci has ever done, so I'm excited to see him as Ceasar Flickerman, although he could as easily played an intimidating Snow.

A movie rarely lives up to the book because readers get so much more information about the characters and the world, making the experience that much more visceral.   Plus, each reader brings something different to the story, spice from their own imaginations and life experiences, making the book resonate differently for them.  It's impossible to capture all of this in a screenplay.  Having said that, I'll still  plunk down my ten dollars to go see it.  I can't resist; I'm psyched!  How about you?

Check out some photos on set.

Be well,  happy reading, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Now I Get Harry Potter

I finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban over the weekend.  The first two books were too young for my tastes, but I forced myself to read them.  I kept thinking: seriously, am I the only person that doesn't get it?  Why should I care about Harry Potter?  The question of why Voldemort killed James and Lily Potter never once entered my mind, and poor orphaned, confused Harry, with his little lightning bolt scar on his forehead, was an author's ploy to make me feel something for him.  Plus, the characters had names I wasn't sure how to pronounce--a huge pet peeve.  But determined to experience the Potter phenomenon, I watched a few movies. So that's how you say Hermione!  

With the third book the series has become intriguing.  Suddenly, I feel very connected to the characters, invested in them.  Perhaps because I can relate to Hermione's work ethic and her drive to achieve.  Don't I wish I had a magic hourglass to go back in time, change a few things, and get some more work done!   I feel stupid that I didn't get that Hermione feels she must work twice as hard as everyone else because her parents are muggles, but I was just going through the motions of reading then.  

Once the dementors approach Harry, and he hears the last moments of his parents lives, his mother's screams at Voldemorte, begging him not to kill her son, I was so wrecked and signed on to Team Harry that moment, and my screaming maternal instincts wanted to adopt him.

And Ron Weasley!  His humor and boyish charm offset Harry's seriousness nicely.

So I'm paying attention now.  I'll be able to read the series without wishing I could Evelyn Wood my way through it.  I can't wait to finish the series, and see the final movie.  Everyone is mad about it.  My favorite character is still Hermione, though, and Emma Watson does an excellent job of bringing her to life.

As an aside, I think Emma Watson has the talent to become one of the best actors of our time.  She has style, class and grace.  She looks lovely with her new haircut, and it makes her look strangely magical, accentuating the fairy upsweep of her eyes.  Not many can pull off a pixie haircut, but I like it.  I read that she's been dying to cut her hair, but couldn't until the filming for The Deathly Hallows was finished.

She'll be staring in Guillermo del Toro's adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.  But do we need another remake of an old fairy tale?

There's nothing new under the sun, it's all in the execution.  I didn't see Beastly, but I would definitely pay to see del Toro's vision of the story with Watson.

Be well and happy reading,

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What I've Been Reading and What's Up Next?

My poor blog has been silent, and I know that's no way to be when you're trying to develop content and build a decent following, but that's about to change since I'm now working less, and less can be more:  more time to read, more time to review, more time to blog, more time for art, dance, biking.  I could go on forever!

But anyway, here are a few books I've been reading:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor  I couldn't believe my good fortune at getting an advanced readers copy.  Laini Taylor knows how to spin a tale.  Her imagination is a wondrous thing, and her writing skill is exceptional.   Did I love it?   Review forthcoming.

Chime by Franny Billingsly  *Creative goodness*

If I Stay by Gayle Forman  *Un-put-downable, heart-in-a-vise, tear jerker*

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien  *Greatness, heart-wrenching, a new classic, must read*

Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell  *Beautiful, lyrical*

Keeping Corner by Kashmira Seth  *Interesting*

Stay tuned for reviews!

What should I read next?  Help me out by clicking this form.  (This is my first experience with google documents, something I've been excited to try out)

Be well,

Friday, July 15, 2011

Drew Barrymore to Direct Heist Society

I haven't read Ally Carter's young adult novel Heist Society, but I recently read Drew Barrymore will be directing the movie adaptation.  You can find the complete article here.

I become more interested in books I wouldn't normally read once I learn they're going to hit the big screen.  Would you recommend the Heist Society series?  Do you think aging the characters into their early twenties will effect the film?

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