Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mash Day- Movie Mash

I saw the Hunger Games movie a couple of days ago and, excuse me for being jaded, but with all the hype I'd been prepping myself for disappointment and this movie did not deliver. It didn't deliver disappointment, I mean. Actually, it rocked. Yes there were things missing, and yes the book was deeper and richer (as books will always be) but the film felt like the book, and Jennifer Lawrence was Katniss. Anyway...This surprisingly satisfying cinematic experience has inspired me to share some other awesome movies based on YA books. There's been some bad ones, but there's also been some great ones:

Now, I have not seen every movie based on a teen book, and some of the films I've listed below come from books that can be found in the YA collection, but were not necessarily written for teens. Teens have good taste, however, so they've found them and made them their own. Also, I may have left out a movie that you love. If I have, I either haven't seen it, forgot about it, or I think it sucks. Come visit me on the reference desk or comment below if you want to recommend it or convince me somehow that it doesn't suck. So without further ado, and in no particular order, I present to you my definitive list of great movies based on great teen books:

Coraline: This stop-motion animation adaptation of Neil Gaiman's twisted tale of evil parallel worlds really captures the dark spunkiness of the book's characters. Join me in the Community Room on Thursday, March 29 from 4-6 for a screening of the movie.

Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist: I know I mention this book and/or movie in just about every other blog post, but I can't help it; I love them. Michael Cera and Kat Dennings are spot-on as Nick and Nora, and the script makes some fun and appropriate divergences from the book. Though I would have much preferred that some things stayed the same. Like Nick should've been the one to kiss Nora, and Tris lost several dimensions in translation to become an uninteresting, jealous, superficial girl-character that, I'm pretty sure, doesn't actually exist in real life. Just saying.

The Last Unicorn: Not everyone would put this 1982 adaptation of Peter S. Beagle's book on this list, but I will because I grew up with it and I love it. From Mia Farrow's a-tonal singing to Jeff Goldblum's bumbling magician to the boozing skeleton and the -ahem- femininely endowed talking vulture, this is a classic I can't wait to use to creep out my children.

The Princess Bride: "As you wish"..."Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya"..."I'm not a wench, I'm you're wife"..."Anybody want a peanut?" Really, need I go on? "Inconceivable!"

Howl's Moving Castle: The walking castle and all its inhabitants (Calcifer the fire daemon, Howl the Wizard, the scarecrow, the Witch of the Waste, and the cursed girl) come to life in this Studio Ghibli rendition of Dianna Wynne Jones' marvelous book.

Neverending Story: FAAAALCOOOOOORRR! Okay, so maybe the second half of the book didn't make it into the movie, but that's why you read the book. Also, don't bother with the movie sequels. Really. Just don't.

To Kill a Mockingbird: Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch...As Lynn Tran would say: Hubba, hubba.

Sense and Sensibility: A viewing of Ang Lee's screen adaptation of Jane Austen's classic story of love, class, melodramatic teenagers and annoying in-laws will always make me all warm and fuzzy, no matter what mood I was in when I first stuck in the VHS. That's right, V. H. S.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part two: Can't type. Too weepy.

Finally, cross your fingers, because there are a few movies we've been eagerly awaiting for far too long. Like Ender's Game. After years of false starts, this movie adaptation of Orson Scott Card's book is finally in production. Almost. And it stars Asa Butterfield of Hugo fame, another fabulous YA book-to-film I forgot to mention. Like The Black Stallion. And Secret of Nimh. AAHHH! There's too many.

I'm looking forward to the adaptations of Lois Lowry's The Giver and John Green's Looking For Alaska, which the Internet Movie Database claims are coming out next year, but I doubt that since they're still in the imaginary casting stage.

And last but absolutely not least is the upcoming release of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit movie. Now, the Lord of the Rings movies were good, but this will be better. Why? Well, The Hobbit is a much more interesting story for those of us who don't feel the need to watch or read descriptions of every single shadow, mushroom and emotion along the path to Mordor. Also, Martin Freeman is playing Bilbo, and I love me some Martin Freeman.

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