Saturday, February 8, 2014

From Books to Movies, Take 2

(Please note: the above picture was found at Bobbins and Books.)

For this edition of From Books to Movies I'm going to feature a couple different things, all movie related of course including my own personal review of the new Vampire Academy movie, saved for the very end.

Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo

Book Description: When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren’t expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed—a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy’s trip to heaven and back.
Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery–and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He also astonished his parents with descriptions and obscure details about heaven that matched the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read.
With disarming innocence and the plainspoken boldness of a child, Colton tells of meeting long-departed family members. He describes Jesus, the angels, how “really, really big” God is, and how much God loves us. Retold by his father, but using Colton’s uniquely simple words,Heaven Is for Real  offers a glimpse of the world that awaits us, where as Colton says, “Nobody is old and nobody wears glasses.”
Heaven Is for Real will forever change the way you think of eternity, offering the chance to see, and believe, like a child.
Movie Description: A small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son's extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world.

Release Date: April 16, 2014
Watch trailer HERE.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
(Despite all the controversy I'm featuring this because I like the teaser poster. This is one book I actually hope they don't follow the book 100%. Most people (self included) don't want to see "all that" on a big screen and if you need to visit your local XXX store, not the movie theater. I personally think the story line and plot will make a great movie.)
Book Description: When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

Movie Description: A literature student Anastasia Steele meets a handsome, yet tormented, billionaire named Christian Grey.

Release Date: February 13, 2015

And lastly, my review of the movie, Vampire Academy.
Vampire Academy (2014) Poster
I always have an open mind seeing a movie that was first a book. You just have to. No movie no matter how great it is can ever stick 100% to a book. There just isn't enough time. Having said that, the trailer left me feeling less than positive that this movie was going to do the book much justice (seeing as how the book series is a favorite of mine). I felt the movie trailer was too sexualized and the book just isn't focused heavily on that.

Let me start with some positives. I actually enjoyed the actors who play Rose and Dimitri. Zoey nailed the sarcastic, rebellious, witty character of Rose. Danila nailed the brooding, serious, uptight, silent and yet warm affection of Dimitri. The actors who play Mason and Christian were well done and I felt they fit the characters perfectly. The movie was funny at times, so props to the screenplay writers for that! There were a couple jump out at you moments I wasn't expecting. There were some steamy moments - not long enough in my opinion. The ending was well done, true enough to the book. to what I didn't so much care for, without giving spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen it yet. The actress who plays Lissa, eh...I can say with all honesty I didn't care for her in the beginning of the movie. She didn't feel like a good fit to me. By the end I thought she was better. Perhaps her character goes through more changes than I attributed when first reading the book. By the end she definitely has a more queenly air about herself, a more positive and strong presence.

The Moroi by nature are tall, skinny and beautiful people. Most of the actors playing the Moroi could be considered tall (though not all), skinny but NOT beautiful. Many were very lacking there. The Dhampirs by nature are more curvaceous, endowed females and muscular. Two thumbs DOWN for not having many Dhampirs in the movie with much muscle. Come on guys!!! Was it too much to ask to have Danila beef up a bit - at minimum his arm muscles - for the movie?!

The villains are portrayed great! Not much to add there.

I'm not going to go into specifics regarding details or movie scenes, because I don't want to ruin anything for ya'll. Suffice it to say that the movie does take its own liberties throughout. There's things added that flat out don't happen in the book. There are things that are added that actually happen later in the series. And there are things that happen as are true to the book. 

My favorite part of the whole movie: the cat of Lissa, Oscar.

Bottom line: book fans wanting to see a movie extremely close to the book will be at minimum very disappointed and at most will hate it. Was it horrible? No. Was it amazingly awesome? No. It was pretty good - once you get passed the major differences. Will I buy it? Yep. 

Have you seen it? What'd you think?


  1. Our reviews are pretty similar. Obvs...mine is more "wordy" as you like to say. Looks like we posted about the same time. to check out the trailer for Heaven is for Real.

  2. Holly @ Words Fueled by LoveFebruary 9, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    Girl - your review would be considered a novel and mine a novella. I would have had to watch this movie a second time to give as in-depth detail as you did (which I probably wouldn't do anyway cause it's not my style). haha Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it! :)


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