Books Hitting the Big Screen in 2015

Is it me or did that title rhyme a bit? Hm.

Anyway, 2015 is another year full of books being adapted into movies. I wrote a million years ago about Hollywood’s fascination with turning toward the literary world for movie ideas. We all hear about the movie deals for this title and for that one just about every week. A movie is a hit, another book by the same author is adapted. Two prime examples of this just from 2014 are Gillian Flynn and John Green. And let’s not forget that the top grossing movie at the domestic box office has been adapted from a book in three of the last four calendar years. 2011 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. 2013 – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. 2014 – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.  Technically Guardians of the Galaxy still shows as the top grossing movie of last year, but I’m happy to say that Mockingjay is just a short time from claiming the top spot.

So when you take those little tidbits into consideration, it’s easy to see why Hollywood is always searching for that next big hit by way of the publishing industry. American Sniper just expanded its release and what happens? With Bradley Cooper as the lead and awards buzz from every which way, it’s going to shatter the January opening record at the box office. Another movie adapted from a book.

I’m sure you know exactly when your favorite adaptation will be released this year, but here are 20 notable releases. And no, I didn’t come up with the list myself. And no, I don’t have release dates because I’m too lazy to find them on Box Office Mojo. Here’s the list:

Silence

The Revenant

The Light Between Oceans

Paper Towns

In the Heart of the Sea

The Martian

The Zookeeper’s Wife

The Secret Scripture

Into the Forest

A Book of Common Prayer

Walk in the Woods

Lion

Dark Places

Child 44

Carol (The Price of Salt)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

The Jungle Book

Macbeth

The Duff

Far from the Madding Crowd

And that’s it. Of course, none of these matter. It’s all about how soon November can get here so we can see Katniss again. Sorry for the lack of actual information about each movie, but I stole the list from here and they tell you a little about the story and the actors involved with most of the adaptations.

Are you looking forward to ANY of these? I’m not. But eh.

PS: You should know by now that the Fifty Shades of Grey movie is just weeks away from its release date. Well I read from a very good box office guy that it might open to more than $75 million domestically. A little perspective, Twilight opened to $69 million and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone opened to $90 million.

What I Thought of Mockingjay Part 1

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Photo Credit: To Hollywood and Beyond

Don’t read this like I’m writing some in depth movie review. Cause I’m not. I’m just going to ramble a bit about what I liked about the movie.

SPOILERS WILL BE INCLUDED

First, I wrote a post a few weeks back saying that I was going to reread the series. Yeah…I’m a liar. I did take the first book off the shelf and put it on my bed, but I never opened it. Mostly because I was more worried about some job stuff. So I went in a little bit blind. I’ve read the book, duh, but that was more than two years ago. I’ve read plenty more in the time since. Now to the movie.

The cast. Holy crap. Natalie Dormer (Cressida), I’m in love. Seriously, if she kept her head half shaved or whatever forever I’d love it. And Mahershala Ali (Boggs). Great casting. I know him from House of Cards, and I like him as President Coin’s right hand. I’ll talk about President Coin in a second.

I have to admit that the movie definitely starts a bit slow. Too slow? Eh. But I fully expected this to be the case. You almost have to when you’re splitting the book into two movies. Starts off slow but has just the right amount of action. Such as the scene released just this week in which Katniss witnesses a bombing first hand. That was a great part and her speech right after was the Girl on Fire we’ve all come to love.

District 13 was EXACTLY how I imagined. Looked great. I would have liked for them to give us more vision into the other districts. What we do get is nice, but it’s still pretty minimal. The attack on the dam is INSANE! One of my favorite parts of the movie because you see so many people sacrifice themselves for the handful of others who need to get through to destroy the dam. It really shows how important the revolution is to everyone.

Two things before I get to President Coin. I felt like Peeta’s role in this movie was greatly reduced from the previous two. Obviously being separated from Katniss is mostly to blame for that, but of the two hours I would be very surprised if he had even a half hour of screen time. And President Snow also seemed a bit more absent. I know, I know. They’re in 13 trying to plan everything out, but still.

Okay. I have some things to say about President Coin. Julianne Moore is great. You know from the first interaction with Katniss that she’s in control. But something that was really apparent to me throughout the movie is how similar President Snow and President Coin really are. Like holy crap. Obviously I’ve read the book and I know how it ends, but it was like they wanted to make sure you knew how similar they are. When you look at the shots of them speaking to their people, very similar. When you look at how Coin uses Katniss and Snow uses Peeta, very similar. I think they did this single part of the book even better than Suzanne Collins. Or perhaps I just appreciate it more after seeing it rather than reading. I don’t know. But kudos to Francis Lawrence and company on President Coin.

Overall, a very nice adaptation. As good as Catching Fire? Not in my eyes. But I do think it is a step above The Hunger Games.

Now go see it!

Oh, and we got there a little later than planned so I didn’t get to see all the other people arrive, but I did see some girls dressed as tributes! Should have snapped pictures.

When are you Seeing Mockingjay?

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Photo Credit: To Hollywood and Beyond

Part one, obviously.

Now I know that most of you aren’t obsessed with Jennifer Lawrence or Katniss or just the whole series like I am. I get it. But I also know from previous conversations that most of you have enjoyed the series and read all three books. You’ve likely also seen the first two movie adaptations.

As I’m sure you’re well aware, the movie will be out here in the US tonight. My theater has four showings at 8:00. Then one every half hour until midnight. That’s pretty insane. You all should know by now that I never ever ever go to the movies. I haven’t been once in 2014. But there was never any doubt that I’d see this in theaters. Just happens that instead of going Friday morning, as has been my custom with the previous installments, I’m going to one of those four 8:00 showings. Yeah. Call me crazy. But maybe I’ll take some pictures of Katniss and Peeta and Gale?

I’ve only been to three other midnight/Thursday showings. Deathly Hallows Part 2, Half-Blood Prince, and Transformers 3. That’s it. And it was pretty ridiculous for all three. But this is an earlier showing and I’m not particularly worried about being trampled by teens who can’t wait to set sight on Katniss. Although that is a very real possibility.

So tell me, when are you going to see Mockingjay Part 1? Crazy enough to brave the crowds on opening night or perhaps waiting for a matinee showing on a later date?