Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Three Movie/Book Reviews

Last week, I caught up on my literary movie adaptations, watching three films based on books: The Other Boleyn Girl, Persepolis, and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.

  • Okay, I can’t really comment on how faithful The Other Boleyn Girl is to the book because I never actually finished it. Philippa Gregory’s historical novel is so long, so tedious that I just couldn’t do it. In at least one respect, the film is an improvement on the book because it runs under two hours. But because I’m not exactly qualified to review the movie in terms of the book, I will only say that as a movie, it leaves much to be desired. First, I know Henry VIII had serious female-issues, but he surely must have thought about something other than sex at some moment of his life. Right? Second, the movie (or maybe really the book) could have been a bit (okay, a lot) more historically accurate. Watch it on DVD if you must, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
  • The animation in Persepolis is delightful and absolutely consistent with the Marjane Satrapi autobiographical graphic novel. Although it is faithful to the book, word-for-word faithful, the movie lacks much of the novel’s emotional depth and resonance. I was also surprised that the film covers both Persepolis and its sequel, which I have not read. As such, I much preferred the second half of the movie because I could not compare it to the novel. This film is for adults, and I recommend it for fans of anime, graphic novels, or those interested in Iran’s revolutionary history.
  • Two of my sisters and I went to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 on Wednesday when it first opened. All three of us have read the entire series and were excited for the film. Clearly, we weren’t the only ones. The whole theater was full of females with not a single male in the room. In fact, the highlight of the experience was when a young girl booed loudly after watching a preview for Star Wars The Clone Wars. Amen to that. If only the movie lived up to all of our expectations. The biggest problem, of course, is that the filmmakers tried to stuff three novels into two hours. Too much in too little time is, however, just one problem. Perhaps the biggest disappointment is major changes in Bridget’s storyline. I can be honest. My favorite part of the series is the romance. I can be a sappy female, so I was sorely disappointed when Bee went from two romances in the final book to none in the movie. Excusez-moi? As a “chick flick,” the movie is enjoyable. As an adaptation of the series, not so much.

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