Thursday, September 22, 2011

From Pages to the Big Screen

Movie adaptations from literature are more popular now than ever. Here are some of our ideas about four of them. We’d like to read yours too, so, don’t forget to share your opinion.

Twilight: A Quick Review

Lately, we have witnessed a vampire mania invading the media in a way never seen before. The Twilight Saga brought down the traditional "image" of the bad vampire. But why and how have vampires become so popular?
It seems that teenagers have become addicted to vampires suddenly. However, this might be explained by the fact that the movie reports not only a beautiful story of love but also a slight part of sexual content and violence in order to spice up the scenes. As a result of this combination, what we have seen was an astonishing success, dragging millions and millions of viewers to the movies.
Although the book doesn't have the power to cause such an impact as the film, it can deeply touch the reader’s heart once it’s richer in details about the characters’ personality. And it can also stimulate the good habit of reading, which, in this case, works pretty well because these books are attached to teens’ interests.
There’s nothing like arriving home, sitting down and opening a book or watching a DVD to unwind from the pressure of school/work. Maybe being out of reality and living an unusual story of love is the dream of 9 out of 10 teens. It’s true that Stephenie Meyer screwed up the classic vampire tales, but who cares? What really matters is the true love between a young couple. And we wonder: Is there something more beautiful than that? We don’t think so.

Harry Potter – The Most Famous Wizard Of The World

      The series is the highest grossing film series of all time, with $7.6 billion in worldwide receipts. The series consists of 8 movies, all of which are in the top 40 highest-grossing films of all time. For the fifth film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and the sixth, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, only some scenes were available in 3D, but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows films are the first ones in the Harry Potter series to be released in cinemas in complete 3D versions.
            The story is about a young wizard that discovers his powers when he’s 11 years old. He goes to a special school of magic, called Hogwarts, where he makes friends, gets in trouble and finds out that he is famous because of a scar that he got, when he survived a battle against the enemy, an evil wizard that murdered his parents and now wants to kill him.
            Practically all Harry Potter movies were nominated for the Academy Awards, and fans are waiting for a lot of nominations for the next ceremony. According to the website Rotten Tomatoes, where fans and professional reviewers can post their own reviews, the last movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, has scored about 96% of points in the website.
            The critics always complained about the adaptations, which were never truly faithful to the books written by J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter is a very good adaptation, but like all the others, there are some problems; mostly some parts of the books that fans loved but never appeared on the big screen. The movie plots are straight to the point, which gave the other characters a short time to be developed.
            The series is so successful because it is a universal story about family, friendship, teenager's insecurities and personal growth.

The Boom of Superhero Adaptations

            After X-Men (2000), the movie industry started to invest huge amounts of money in superhero comics adaptations. The last years have seen a large improvement, both in technology and in technical quality. Unfortunately, it isn’t always accompanied by good scripts. Some recent movies were quite disappointing for fans and the general public, being called the worst adaptations ever made. On the other hand, at least, now they are trying. Some “pre-X-Men” comics adaptations were so ridiculous that they could hardly be called “movies”. Most of them weren’t more than a waste of money, both from the producers and the public. We can cite, for instance, Supergirl (1984), Punisher (1989), Steel (1997), almost any movie about Batman and Superman 3 and 4. The new wave of movies has its own sins (by the way, we can mention Sin City as one of them), but the recent disasters can’t be blamed on lack of investment. Maybe lack of creativity? Thanks God, we have tons of great movies to save us!
            What makes a great adaptation instead of a bad one? Most people will say: the special effects. Well, they are not totally wrong, since one of the greatest problems faced by such adaptations has always been poor effects that convinced no one of their reality. But movies aren’t only about effects. They also need good scripts. The first X-Men movie was successful because of its effects, but the second one consolidated the history of comics adaptations because of its script, which was made based on a fan’s idea. That proved for everyone that beautiful scenes, indecently well-paid actors and great special effects wouldn’t be enough to get the public’s attention. A good script made the difference. Lucky us, or the industry would make terrible movies after that and… OH, WAIT! It’s true, that happens until today… Well, we guess they’ll learn with time.
            Whatever the style, it is a fact that superhero movies are here to stay. And, to tell you the truth, they are not so different from fantasy and science fiction movies; what changes here is only the subject. We have always had people with superpowers fighting for their beliefs. The only difference is that now these people first debuted on comics and, then, they started to appear on the big screen.
            However, don’t let only our opinion dictate the rules here. We want to know your opinion. What do you think about it? Do you think that X-Men represents the category or do you think that their movies weren’t that great? Debate, discuss, share your opinion with us. Enjoy this space that is as yours as ours!

The Lord of the Rings

            The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy written by a British writer, teacher and philologist, J.R.R. Tolkien. He created a fantastic world populated by magicians, dwarfs and their fights. It's about the battle between good and evil. There's a magic ring and the one who has it will change the power in their world (Middle Earth, as Tolkien called). Frodo has the ring and he is going to destroy it.
            The book has been a best seller since it was published in 1954. The movie adaption has special effects with gimmicks only able because of current technology. In our country, the film had its debut in 2002, distributed by Warner Bros.
            Comparing the book to the film, the book is better. Nowadays, people prefer to watch TV or a film to sit and read a book. A book has more information than a film; in a film, a lot of scenes are cut. Sometimes, there are some characters that are also cut. Anyway, with a film you can have a lot of fun, although with a book, you can learn and develop your imagination. It develops your mind and helps you to be creative.

P2 Tue/Thu 7.45 Akemi Iwasa