Tag Archives: movie from book

A Monster Calls Movie

So to go with the book A Monster Calls, we also watched the movie. The movie screenplay was written by the book author, Patrick Ness. The movie was great and well worth seeing. For starters, it has a great cast. Liam Neeson is the monster (yew tree), Sigourney Weaver is the grandma, and Felicity Jones (Jyn from Rogue One) is the mom (mum).


So I recommended you buy the book with the pictures. The intro as is done in a similar style as the pictures in the book. When the monster tells his story, they are animated water colors–just beautiful. In the movie, both Conor and his mum love art. We see Conor drawing all the time in the movie, and when he is talking to his dad, his dad mentions how his mum had wanted to go to art school and how similar they are (and how that’s a good thing).

In the movie, Conor’s friend Lily is not a part. It really didn’t take away from the movie and in some ways probably made Conor seem more lonely.

The movie also omitted the leaves, berries and branches that the tree monster leaves when he visits Conor. We decided that was likely because it was in Conor’s imagination in the book and would just be too confusing to actually show in the movie. (This was something we discussed prior to watching the movie–was the Monster real or imagined?)

One of the other main differences that was not included in the book–at the end of the movie, Conor’s grandma gives him the key to his room at her house. In the room, she has included some of his things as well as some pictures and things of his mother’s–including a sketchbook of hers. As he continues to flip through the watercolors, he starts to see the prince and his future bride under the yew tree, the prince then as king, the apothecary, the parson, then a small girl and then that same small girl sitting on the shoulder of the monster. It really was a more cohesive way to end the story, especially after introducing that both Conor and his mum were artist’s. It also made it feel less depressing which was nice.

The movie didn’t get a lot of press here for whatever reason, but I definitely would recommend it for a Netflix night. Just be prepared with some tissues nearby!



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Divergent, the movie

Yesterday we had book club where we saw the movie Divergent and then discussed the book and also compared it to the movie.

I actually really enjoyed the movie!

When I was reading the book, I imagined Tris to be more like a young Luna Lovegood–frail, very blonde, and extremely short. So I did not imagine a moderately tall, athletic brunette (although her hair was lightened). However, I thought that Shailene Woodley actually did a great job, and I did really like her in the end. However, I do think having someone so tiny play Christina (and someone so relatively tall play Tris) negated some of the fact as to why Tris was having difficulty in the initiation. As for the rest of the characters, I thought they all fit my perception of them. And when Four took his shirt off in the movie to show Tris his tattoos, all the tweens sitting behind us were cheering. (It was quite entertaining.)

Peter was not as menacing in the movie, which I do think was a bit of a poor choice. The scene with Edward was completely omitted, which isn’t a really big deal, however, that was really the point in the book where you knew that Peter was a psycho. In the movie, he was just a tough competitor who was a little mean. Perhaps this will be further developed in later movies.

There were a variety of small changes in the movie–some for the better, some for the worse, some to just keep the length under control. A lot of characters were omitted, including Edward, Uriah, etc. (We really only met Peter, Christina, Al, and Will.) The paintballs during the game of capture the flag were changed to bullet simulators that gave you the pain of being shot but only lasted a few minutes (which I actually thought made it better–more of a training and less of a game). The meeting day was changed to where Tris “accidentally” bumped into her mother when they were picking up supplies. Her mother didn’t tell her to go talk to Caleb about the serum, so that whole point was somewhat changed and made it feel a little more random that Caleb showed up later to help fight the Erudite.

The main thing that was different about the movie however was that Jeanine took a much more significant role. On top of being at the choosing ceremony, she was the main point of the ending. I’m not totally sure how I felt about the ending. In some ways I liked it a lot better than that book because the book felt so anti-climatic. On the other hand, it seemed a bit contrived because why would they just leave a disabled Jeanine lying there (either kill her or take her).

All in all though, I thought the movie was quite well done. I am looking forward to reading the last book which I got yesterday and then seeing the other movies when they come out.

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Cloud Atlas – the movie

So for our “Book Made into a Movie” category, once we finish the book, we watch the movie and compare/contrast. For once (probably in my entire life), I think I liked the movie better. For the post about the book review, it is here.

Major Differences in the Movie:

Instead of going through the stories 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, the movie juxtaposes smaller sections of each story together. In general, I liked this better, however at some times I felt like the sections were too short and it was a bit confusing.

In story 1, (part 2), Adam is reconnected with his wife, Tilda. He and Tilda go against her father’s wishes to move to the east coast to help the abolitionists.

In story 2, with Robert Frobisher, Eva, Vyvyan and Jocasta’s daughter does not exist. Robert misguidedly comes on to Vyvyan who laughs and rejects him. Robert decides to leave with Cloud Atlas, and Vyvyan informs him that his reputation will be ruined. Robert points a gun at Vyvyan and tells him that he is leaving. Vyvyan tells Robert to shoot him, and says something along the lines of “your type never does”. Robert does and then escapes to finish Cloud Atlas. I found this made the suicide a bit more realistic or understandable. The police were hunting him for shooting (although not killing) Vyvyan. His reputation was ruined. Also story 2 now occurs in Scotland. No real reason why.

In story 6, Zachry was a grown man, not a teenager like in the book. The movie created a love story between him and Meronym ending when the two leave Hawaii to live on another planet with lots of children and grandchildren.

Artistic Liberties Taken by the Movie:

This is where I found the movie to be quite interesting. The movie definitely created a more cohesive story than the book. The comet birthmarks were really obvious. In the book, I missed about half of them because it seemed such an afterthought. Only a handful of actors, despite the quantity of characters in the book, signed onto this film, and after seeing it, I understand why. In the film, most actors played 5+ characters. This to me also suggested something that was merely alluded to in the book–reincarnation.

However, it was a bit unclear to me in both the book and the movie, how these roles were supposed to fit together. In the book, it is suggested that “all of the main characters” are reincarnations of each other. That would mean that Adam Ewing, Robert Frobisher, Luisa Rey, Timothy Cavendish, Somni, and Meronym are all reincarnations of each other. However, Timothy Cavendish would have likely been born before Luisa Rey, so that doesn’t really work out. (Luisa’s story is set in 1975 and Timothy Cavendish is 65 years old in 2004. You do the math on that one.)

In the movie, it’s basically the same, however, the same actor does not play all of those roles. So the reincarnation aspect that I liked about using one actor for multiple roles seems to make less of an effect. We discussed in our meeting whether there was any relation between which actors were “good” characters and which were “bad” ones. There seemed to be some connection here. The actor who played Agent Smith in The Matrix (I don’t know his name. He will always be Agent Smith to me) was always a bad character (obviously. If he played a good character, I for one would never buy it). Halle Berry was always a good (Luisa & Meronym) or neutral (Jocasta) character. Tom Hanks though, was all over the board. He played bad, good, and in between. For good characters, he played Zachry and Isaac Sachs. For bad characters, he played Henry Goose and Dermot Hoggins (the thug in the Cavendish section who throws the critic off the roof). Looking on IMDb to determine who played who, the tag of the movie says “An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.” If that one soul is Henry’s and Zachry’s, why doesn’t Henry have the comet birthmark?

Adding the reuniting with Tilda created a bit more of a point to Adam’s story. He rejects helping Tilda’s father with slavery and instead moves with Tilda to the east coast to join the abolitionist movement. The characters of Adam and Tilda are also the same as the characters of Somni and Hae-Joo. I think this tries to take the film to a more romantic level, suggesting perhaps that love will overcome?


I liked the movie better than the book. But I would probably still only give the movie 3-3.5 stars. I feel like without the background of having read the book, watching the movie would have been just as hard to follow as the book was. There were still too many discrepancies.  The movie tied everything together a bit better, but there was still no logical path of reincarnation. There was no suggestion of how we got from the Timothy Cavendish story to the Somni story, or why Somni was a goddess of a small tribe of Hawaiians many years in the future. There was still no reason given as to what caused “The Fall”. And therefore, there was still no cohesive point to all the stories.

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