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All posts for the month August, 2013

Reviews of a Bibliophile: A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin

Published August 11, 2013 by Britt

Summary: Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. . . .

But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others–a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords. . .

***Potential spoilers for Season 3 of Game of Thrones. I’ll try to avoid Season 4, but it may slip out.***

Well, snap. This is the book where crap hits the fan, in case you couldn’t tell by the climax of Season 3. I happened to see the titles of each episode beforehand, and once I saw what Episode 9’s title was, I knew it was coming, since I started the book before the season.

I just finished the series, but I think this is my favorite, certainly much better than A Clash of Kings. There’s way more action in it. Way more important events, like The Red Wedding and more still to come. There was also a lot of deaths. Important deaths. As freaking Ramsay Bolton once said (Oh how I hate him. He’s almost a bigger jerkwaffle than Joffrey. I hope he dies a slow, painful death. Both of them, quite frankly. ;D):

Weird, because GRRM has said it’s going to be a bittersweet ending.

Funny story, my criminal justice teacher had said he was bored with the season. I told him to wait until episode 9 and he threatened to fail me if he was still bored after episode 9. Well, guess who won that bet?

Now that Richard Madden isn’t doing anything, can he be on Doctor Who with his girlfriend Jenna? For one episode? Please?

Anyway, I liked the plot and it was a real page turner. Lots of events and action that certainly affect the rest of the series. It’s darker and cooler. It makes me happy, and refreshing after the last book. It’s also the biggest of the books, clocking in with over 1,000 pages. Wow, GRRM. Wow.

Unpopular Opinions: I think the Starks are mostly overrated, except Sansa. Sansa Stark (especially after this book), I think, is going to be like Daenerys and get herself an army to mess everyone’s game up. And the person she is with at the moment will teach her all she needs to know.  Although, I did here that in Book 1, losing her direwolf will affect her life. Not sure how, but it will. I think it will be for the better, but we’ll see.

Overall: ★★★★★ Five stars.

Movies and Books (And how these two never seem to like each other)

Published August 8, 2013 by Britt

So, the title of this post is incredibly vague. I’m just going to talk about movies, because I saw a wonderful post by my dear friend Avenger posted a thing:

truth

 

Awww, I had such high hopes given the trailer. The first Percy Jackson was so incredibly butchered from the book it made me a little sad. Now, I can think of several different movies that were so inaccurate they made me cringe. I don’t know exactly why they never seem to match up. I mean, I’m not asking for perfect by the book directing. I’m asking that you at least read the dang thing before you decide to make a movie out of it. And with so many movies of different book series that I really like coming out soon (Hunger Games, Mortal Instruments (despite much plagiarism in the books… but that’s another story. Google it.), Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, Artemis Fowl was announced last week *squeeee*), I’ve created a list of movies (and where they went wrong) that deserve this star:

1. The Last Airbender

Does this count? I’m counting it anyway. Seasons are labeled as Books. Close enough.

Oh god. Where do I start? This poor, amazing TV show was butchered to a fault. They left out several elements that would be important later on (Suki is a prime example I can remember off the top of my head. I haven’t watched this in a while so forgive me.), and the effects were terrible. The Earthbenders? It would have made more sense to freaking throw the rocks at the speed they were going at.

Where it went wrong:

  • M. Night Shamalamadingdong
  • Too rushed. I understand it’s hard to cram a season into a two hour movie. I know some elements had to be dropped. But they dropped too many. It was a skeleton of the show.
  • Bad casting. The show has very diverse skin colors in the show. The Water Tribes are more like Native American Eskimos, and their coloring reflects that. This had a couple of white kids, one of whom was in Twilight. Sokka was portrayed as way less humorous and exuberant, and they were just terrible actors overall.
  • Pronunciation. Especially with Aang’s name. Ung? Really? IT’S FREAKING AHHHHNG YOU IDIOTS. PRONOUNCE IT LIKE YOU HAVE A TONGUE DEPRESSOR IN YOUR MOUTH.

2. Eragon

This I also sort of understand the cutbacks. The book is really freaking long. But you could have tried a bit harder. And it was kind of a meh movie anyway. Critics ate it up and spit it out. As great of a concept as it is, and this movie had so much potential (Eragon is pretty attractive in this movie), did you even read it before you made a movie of it?

Where they went wrong:

  • Bad effects. Also, inaccurate animation in the form of Saphira. Since when do dragons have FEATHERS???
  • Too rushed. The book is over several months, like Lord of the Rings, or The Hobbit. In fact, that’s a pretty good comparison to how the story was told. Almost episodelike, and a lot slower and spread out. Yes, you can drop walking, but several months to a week is entirely different.
  • Bad dialogue/acting. As one review I found on Rotten Tomatoes put it, “The experienced actors get the big bucks for keeping a straight face.”

3. Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Did you even pay attention to  the book? No, clearly not. Chris Colombus, I expected better from you. You did Harry Potter and did a good job of it. Why? Why must you ruin this?

Where it went wrong:

  • Once again, bad casting. Too much star power, bad acting that didn’t match the character descriptions at all. Percy is 12 at the start of the series, if I remember correctly. Annabeth is blonde.
  • Sean Bean didn’t die. Awwwww. 
  • Too many book inaccuracies. Again, read the dang book.

Moral of the story? READ.

Are there any success stories out there with book to movie translations? Sure there are. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings (Note these had to be in freaking three hour movies), The Great Gatsby, Game of Thrones (TV Show, but whatever), Hunger Games, to name a few I’ve seen/read.

So, I’m begging you, Hollywood, STOP LETTING THESE MOVIES GET RELEASED WHEN THEY TRANSLATE SO POORLY FROM THE BOOKS.

What book to movie translations did I miss? Where did these movies go wrong that I missed? Leave your answers in the comments. (:

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