Thursday Movie Picks - Book Adaptations

 

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is something we never have a shortage of: Book adaptations! I decided I wanted to go with some underrated ones in my opinion that aren't talked about enough. Here's what I came up with. 


1) Every Secret Thing -
Laura Lippman is one of my favorite authors and this adaptation of her book, starring the wonderful Dakota Fanning and Danielle Macdonald went so under the radar. Maybe it's not for everyone, but I think it deserved way more attention than it got.


2) Choke
- I've been thinking of Sam Rockwell's filmography lately and one I'd really like to re-watch is Choke. I never read the book based on it, but I saw this at the Uptown Theatre (RIP) in Minneapolis and I enjoyed it so much.


3) Persepolis -
This film is the perfect example of a graphic novel coming to life. I enjoyed both, it's an important story. I wish it would've won the Oscar that year, but alas...Ratatouille. 

Comments

  1. I haven't seen Choke and I haven't read the book, but I have tried to read some Chuck Palahniuk, and the man's text is essentially unreadable. I got through Fight Club by force of will (and it's short) and I've never been able to get through anything else he's written.

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    1. I haven't read any of his work in full, but I did try to read Choke and...I feel that.

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  2. I haven't seen any but I gave heard nothing but raves for Persepolis. I love Sam Rockwell and Dakota since she was a little kid so I would like to see them also.

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  3. I've only read and watched Persepolis, but Choke has my attention. I'm such a sucker for Sam Rockwell!

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  4. I'm familiar with all three books but didn't know the first two had been made into films. I like Sam Rockwell so I'll see if I can track down Choke.

    I've heard Persepolis praised to the skies but you know how I am with animation, it takes a lot to get me there.

    There always are so many adaptations that the only way I can winnow them down is to do a theme within the theme. This time I focused on Robert Redford and his time as one of the biggest stars in the world. During his peak period in the 70's he starred in three adaptations in a row.

    All the President’s Men (1976)-Near perfect adaptation of the Woodward/Bernstein book of the same name that details how the two dogged reporters methodically uncovered the Watergate coverup and brought to light the corruption that led to the fall of Nixon’s presidency. A phenomenal cast in every role headed by Robert Redford as Bob Woodward and Dustin Hoffman as Carl Bernstein. Jason Robards won a Best Supporting Actor trophy for his work but equally deserving was the unnominated Hal Holbrook as Deep Throat.

    Three Days of the Condor (1975)-Joe Turner (Robert Redford), code name Condor, is a low-level CIA analyst working as a reader in a small NYC office. One rainy day he slips out the back door for lunch and returns to find everyone slaughtered. Panicked he contacts the agency but instead of help finds himself a hunted man. With danger all around he tries to find answers before the mysterious stranger on his trail (Max von Sydow) catches up with him. Adapted from the compulsively readable spy novel “Six Days of the Condor.”

    The Great Gatsby (1974)- Young Midwesterner Nick Carraway (Sam Waterston) serves as our guide through the lives of the fabulously rich but mysterious Jay Gatsby (Robert Redford), his former paramour Daisy (Mia Farrow) now married to intractable Tom Buchanan (Bruce Dern) and the others in their sphere. Gatsby still yearns from Daisy and that triangle will lead to tragedy. Gorgeous looking but sterile adaptation of the difficult to translate F. Scott Fitzgerald masterpiece is all surface with a few good performances (Dern, Waterson, Karen Black as the ill-fated Myrtle) but a surprisingly bland one from Redford and the total miscasting of Mia Farrow in the key role of Daisy.

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    1. I love All The President's Men. Such an excellent film. I haven't seen your other two. I think you'd like Persepolis, it's not your standard animated film.

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    2. So glad you love All the President's Men! It's in my top 5 all-time favorites!! I don't even know how many times I've seen it.

      This take on Gatsby is a beautiful but airless misfire worth tracking down only if you want to compare versions (the '49 version with Alan Ladd is the closest to the book but still imperfect).

      But Three Days of the Condor is a terrifically tense thriller smartly directed by Sydney Pollack. It's one of those films that benefits from rewatches. The source novel is also fantastic, I read it in a day.

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    3. Three Days is definitely one I'd like to check out. I'd like to re-watch All The President's Men as well, I think it's on HBO Max.

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  5. Every Secret Thing is a film I keep missing as it's something I hope to check out soon. Choke is underrated as fuck as I liked that film. Persepolis... a true masterpiece in cinema.

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    1. I hope you get the chance to see Every Secret Thing, the book is excellent too.

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  6. I'd love to say more than 'nice picks' but I haven't read or watched these. Nice picks! Persepolis has always been on my to read and watch list. Hopefully I'll finally get around to them next year.

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  7. I've read Choke a long time ago but only recently saw the adaptation so my memory of the book is hazy. Anyway I don't really see Rockwell as the character, I thought he was too old for it...the character is a med school drop out so I saw him as mid to late twenties. I think the book was more darkly funny and at the same time a bit sadder.

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    1. I can understand that. Since I didn't read the book prior to the movie, I didn't have that issue.

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