Archive for the ‘Movie Tuesdays’ Category

Movie Tuesday #3: Cloud Atlas

We’re gonna try to be back with Movie Tuesdays after a brief hiatus.

Though there might be another hiatus soon. I’m so busy, guys. And next month I’ll finally be teaching full time, so it’s only gonna get busier!

Anyway, my flatmate and I watched Cloud Atlas last weekend.

I read Cloud Atlas way back in January, so I didn’t remember all of the plot. My flatmate just finished it a few weeks ago, so she was able to refresh my memory about certain things that did and didn’t happen in the book.

Going in, I was wondering how on earth the Wachowskis were going to manage to make such a complex, layered book into a movie that was even remotely comprehensible. I honestly wasn’t sure how they could make a movie that people who hadn’t read the book could follow. But they did (I think. I guess, not having watched the movie without having read the book, I can’t be sure). And what’s more, it made me appreciate the story in a whole different way.

While in the book, I was more focused on truth and literature and how stories can connect, the movie focused me much more on the idea of reincarnation and rebirth. It connected me with that awesome, scary, deep, holy shit place where I go when I read things that excite me spiritually, like William Blake or Walt Whitman or T.S. Eliot. It made me philosophize. I loved it.

They reused almost all of the main actors in each storyline. This really brought out the reincarnation theme well. It made me think about how these same souls kept interacting in different ways. The people and the contexts changed, but in a way, it was still all the same. This, combined with several quotes, chosen directly from the novel, about karma and rebirth, made the movie absolutely fantastic for someone like me, who loves to consider these types of things.

Overall, “Cloud Atlas” was a very, very pleasant surprise. I’m glad to have watched it. And I really can’t wait to see it again.

One last thing. . . with all the makeup and special effects they did with reusing the actors, it sometimes felt like a “Find Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Hugo Weaving Easter egg hunt.” Seriously, you should try it. You won’t believe who Hugo Weaving is in the Cavendish story. Or Halle Berry in the Sonmi story.

Rating: *****

The Maltese Falcon: Movie Tuesday #1

I got a great movie to start out with!

The Maltese Falcon, as you’ll remember from my post about the book, was written by Dashiell Hammet. I enjoyed the fact that the controversy and conspiracy in the book were relatively low, while the tension and action were high.

The movie was made in 1941. It was directed by John Husten and stars Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, and Gladys George. I’d heard really good things about this movie, and it didn’t disappoint. It really is a classic, isn’t it?

Whenever I watch old movies from the 40s and 50s, I’m always a little sad, because they just don’t make movies like that anymore. Husten meticulously planned out and storyboarded the entire movie before he even started setting up and shooting. This allowed him to see exactly how the movie would look and helped him figure out what he wanted to do and how he could do it the best. And it worked. The film was beautifully shot and staged.

I was also really surprised at how well the movie followed the book. It’s been a few months since I read The Maltese Falcon, but I felt like the screenwriters used a lot of lines directly from the book. The plot, too, was exactly the same. Unlike today, when most movie adaptations of books add or take out elements, The Maltese Falcon seemed to follow the book exactly. I liked that.

Overall, I loved The Maltese Falcon. It was very noir-y and suspenseful and detective-y and perfect. I wish they still made movies like that. And I wish that Humphrey Bogart was still in all of them.

Rating: *****

Introducing…Movie Tuesdays!

Evidently I’ve decided that I’m not busy enough with reading, teaching, exploring the Czech Republic, and being a real human, because I’m starting a new tradition on this blog.

Movie Tuesdays.

I noticed that a lot of the books on this list have movie adaptations made of them. Some of the movies are supposed to be really good, too. So, I’ve decided that every Tuesday I’m going to watch a movie and post about it. Actually, I’ll probably watch the movie on Monday night after I collapse from my busiest teaching day, but hey, you won’t know the difference.

I’ll probably stick to the list, but there’s a chance that I’ll branch out and watch adaptations from books that aren’t on the list. I might also watch book-ish movies (Dead Poets SocietyShakespeare in Love, The Jane Austen Book Club…just kidding about that one. Probably).

So, anyway, welcome to Movie Tuesdays.

We’ll see how this works out.

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