Hi folks, this isn’t going to be a huge review, I just have some thoughts on this film, and find myself lucky enough to have a blog upon which I can write them. I was supposed to be on (and host) an episode of the Lambcast which will be published very shortly on this topic, but alas life got in the way and I couldn’t make it to a screening in time (many thank to Robert for filling in) but I have now seen the film (in order to edit said podcast episode). Continue reading
This week I saw The Great Gatsby, something I’ve deeply regretted ever since. You can expect a less-than-complimentary review in the bear future, brace yourselves. I was thoroughly disappointed with the film, mostly because I’d read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel last year in preparation for the film, and really rather enjoyed it. This got me thinking about the best films adapted from books. However, the potential candidates for such a list would include roughly half of all films ever made, if not more, so I slimmed it down somewhat in the only manner I knew how, by making it about myself. Therefore, this is a list of my favourite films adapted from books that I’ve actually read, a list of books nowhere near long enough in my opinion, but with so many films to watch how can I hope to find the time to read more?
Anyway, the list is comprised of books I read before the films came out, some I was drawn to by the film, and others I read upon finding out the film was to be released, as was the case with Gatsby.
Honourable MentionAs much as I’d love Jurassic Park to be on this list, at present I’m only halfway through Michael Crichton’s so far excellent novel, so alas the best I can do is say the first half of Jurassic Park is my Honourable Mention. In terms of complete books, there are some adaptations that have done a stellar job in maintaining the themes and style of their source material – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is impenetrable and muddy, The Time Traveller’s Wife is bland and queasy, Touching The Void is gripping yet informative – whereas others have differed greatly from where they began – There Will Be Blood covers only a fraction of Upton Sinclair’s Oil!. I think I’ll settle upon Fight Club as my official honourable mention, and it remains the book I’ve read the fastest – in one sitting at that – and quite possibly in the same amount of time as it would have taken to watch the film. It is a rather slim book, you see, but well worth a read if you’re even a passing appreciator of the film.
Earlier this week, Michael Clarke Duncan sadly passed away, so in his memory here are my favourite performances from the big guy.
5. Manute, Sin City
Though at times he felt a bit lost amidst the shuffle of star wattage in Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s comic book noir, Duncan plays the ruthless Manute well, and leaves an impression in a film full of big characters, great set pieces and lashings of style. He shall be missed if Sin City 2 ever gets off the ground.