Tag: Adaptation

Why It’s Okay To Watch The Adaptation Before Reading The Book

I know, I know. This isn’t a popular opinion. After my list of reasons why people should read The Witcher before watching the Netflix adaptation of the books, it may also be an opinion not readily associated with me. However, I do, personally, believe that it is one hundred percent acceptable for folks to watch or play an adaptation before they read the story that it was based off of.

Why is that?

Well, there are a number of reasons. The first reason is that individuals might not even know that the book exists in the first place. Prior to first watching Howl’s Moving Castle and seeing the note beneath the title card, I had no idea that the Ghibli film was based off of a book–a book written by one of my favorite authors at that! All the same, it isn’t possible for people to keep track of every single adaptation that is released and then track down said adaptation’s literary counterpart.

image via mc crocker books – wordpress

I believe that any adaptation worth its salt will encourage individuals to then actively seek out the book to further immerse themselves in the world that they saw on the silver screen. When I learned that Howl’s Moving Castle was based off of a book, I went out and got the book and its sequel. I then proceeded to read through the book three times. I would literally finish the story and then flip back to the first page and start all over again. So, for me, I think that an adaptation can advertise the book, and in doing so, more people can seek out that story and enjoy it. Granted, the story and the film might be drastically different, but those differences might make it so that the story and the adaptation can then be viewed as entities that are unique in their own way.

but also Consider the people who struggle to read

image via readbrightly

These individuals might have dyslexia. They might have a hard time sitting still long enough to read a story. There might be some neurological elements that come into play here that make it exceedingly difficult to absorb the narrative without completely blocking out everything else. Sometimes, a film adaptation is the remedy to this situation.

There are also individuals who have difficulty finding the time or energy to read long stories. If one works a particularly taxing job, reading might not be their ideal pastime because of the focus it requires. Perhaps the only time a person has to devote to recreational reading occurs when they’re sitting in a waiting room or when their children are asleep.

 

For these individuals, an adaptation can certainly solve a number of problems. Consuming a television show or a movie doesn’t take as much time as reading a book can. Movies, more often than not, don’t usually exceed two hours; television shows range anywhere from a half hour to an hour per episode. So if an individual has a particularly restrictive schedule, they can take into account the run time of an adaptation and plan accordingly. Whereas with a book, there is more of a time commitment involved–which isn’t a bad thing. It’s just something that needs to be taken into account.

And… some people have had really bad experiences with reading

image via treehugger

I’m going to ask you, dear reader, to let me finish this point before passing judgement. I have always been an avid reader. When school and life were difficult, I would go hide in a book. It was my escape, and it was my refuge. So for me, I didn’t truly understand why some individuals that I encountered didn’t like to read.

But then I asked them.

One of my relatives told me that the reason he stopped reading after high school was because he hated the required reading that he was made to read for his literature classes. It didn’t help that he was forced to read some extremely heavy books with a short window of time. For him, it was the pressure, and he ended up feeling burnt out and disinterested from that point onward. If he watched an adaptation, then he was able to enjoy the story without experiencing the same pressure he felt while he was in school.

 

A lot of my classmates in my English program echoed this idea of burn out too. Given that several of our classes would require us to read one book a week, and then we would have to dig into the book, analyze, and answer questions on various topics related to the narrative, quite a few English majors began to hate reading outside of course work. This problem was only worsened if you had a course load where you had three or five classes that were all literature focused. Those classes would often carry the same expectation that you were reading one book a week, so that would sometimes result in an English major reading up to three to five books every week. The last thing a lot of us would want to do after reading two hundred or more pages a night for class was go and read for pleasure. This wasn’t the case for everyone, but quite a few of my classmates would opt to read for fun over breaks, and during the semester, film adaptations were ideal. It was a lot easier to sit down for two hours and watch a movie, knowing that it wouldn’t occupy the entire night. After finishing an adapted film or an episode, we could go back to studying or, even better, sleep.

So it’s okay to watch the adaptation first

image via hero machine

While I did encourage readers in my past article to read The Witcher series before watching the Netflix adaptation, I did so with the concern that many fans would judge the Netflix series based upon the decisions made in the video game… which is another adaptation and isn’t technically considered canon to the book series that Sapkowski published. To give one example: I have seen several articles written by authors that are upset at the fact that Yennefer and Ciri have more pronounced roles in the Netflix adaptation than they do in the games. Their experiences within the plot are explored, and that has upset quite a few game fans. Fans of the books know that these two characters do have ample time spent in the narrative from their points of view. So part of me feared that knee jerk reaction of a new fan of the story writing off the entire adaptation without giving it a chance because, of an article that expressed an opinion more driven by the writer’s experiences with the games.

 

While I don’t view this article as a correction of my first one, because I do stand by what I wrote, I do want to emphasize to my readers that everyone’s situation is different. We need to recognize the limitations that are imposed on others by their lives and their health.

We also need to recognize that a good adaptation should attract readers to a book series, and even if someone decides to never read the story it’s based off of, that’s okay. At the end of the day, what is important is that there are individuals who enjoy an incarnation of a story that means something to a lot of people.

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‘All the Bright Places’ is Coming to Netflix

All the Bright Places, is finally coming to our screens! The 2015 novel of the same name was written by Jennifer Niven, and optioned for a film in 2014, before the book’s release. Now it’s finally slated to hit Netflix next year.

Image result for all the bright places
 Image via Amazon

The novel follows two teenagers, Violet Markey and Theodore Finch, who have reached a dark point in their lives, and struggle to cope with their mental illnesses. They find themselves on the roof of their school and meet for the first time. Violet is coping with the death of her older sister, Eleanor, who died in a car accident. Violet feels responsible for her death and hasn’t been in a car since the accident. Finch is depressed and has constant thoughts of suicide. His family doesn’t understand his depression so he feels alone until he meets Violet, who he talks off the ledge, and vice versa.

This then leads them to make a pact – to find all the bright places, all the wonderful exciting things in the world, and in themselves.

 

The film will star Elle Fanning as Violet and Justice Smith as Theodore. It will be available to stream on Netflix on February 28, 2020.

Image result for all the bright places cast
Image via IMDB

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‘Crisis On Infinite Earths’

This Sunday on the CW begins the huge event across the DC universe on the channel. We are talking Black Lightening, Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, Supergirl and Smallville (I know, I’m screaming too).

CW had an event like this previously but nothing to this magnitude. Something is going to happen to every superhero world they’ve introduced and the heroes have to be collected from their corresponding words in order to band together and save the world.

Image via Youtube

Not only will we see all of the established heroes but six more according to the show runner, Marc Guggenheim. Six?! Who? Why? Where are the coming from? Which earths? That fact alone makes me really excited for what’s coming.

I tend to enjoy these shows for the campiness, the costumes and oh boy, the melodrama. The drama! Although, I have some critical thoughts on Batwoman, I appreciate the attempt.

We all know how massive the MCEU is. I respect DC for doing something this big for television, especially in live action. No matter how you feel about the CW universe, whether you like or not, it will surely be a unique experience.

 

Featured Image via Batman News

 


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5 Reasons You Should Read the ‘Witcher’ Books Before the Show Drops

This highly anticipated Netflix series has been a hot topic in recent months. Whether that anticipation comes from the series being lauded as “The next Game of Thrones by critics, or because it is being met with frustration due to the apparent differences between the television series and the video games, both the Netflix adaptation and the games are the result of Andrzej Sapkowski’s highly acclaimed eight-book series.

The series follows the adventures of Geralt of Rivia, a man who was subjected to various mutations as a child and, because of this, he can fight creatures that normal humans wouldn’t stand a chance against. Through the Law of Surprise, Geralt adopts his ward Ciri, a young princess with prolific powers. While Geralt is content to remain neutral in the face of great political upheaval, he must become a part of that conflict to see that order is restored to the world.

In the past, the books were adapted into a 90s Polish film and television series that were not met with favorable reviews, so this most recent series not only has the video game fans to contend with, but it also has the previous series’ shortcomings added on for increased pressure.

So why not sit down to watch this series with an idea of what to expect?

 

 

1. The netflix series is an adaptation of the book series

What some game fans don’t realize is that the games take place after the book series. While some of the events, like the Battle of Sodden, are mentioned in the games, you don’t really get a feel for what happened if you haven’t read the books. Triss’s account of what took place at that one battle in Blood of Elves is positively gut-wrenching. The books also help you have a deeper understanding of the turmoil that exists between and in countries like Temeria, Novigrad, and Cintra.

Though there will likely be homages sprinkled throughout the series for the video game fans (I personally hope so), the Netflix series is, at its core, an adaptation of the books. If you’re anything like me, you probably like to read the stories before sitting down to watch the movie or show. Not to say that I’m that one friend who sits there and says “Well, they changed that from the books,” but I most definitely am.

The fact that the Netflix series is a book adaptation does seem to be throwing a few fans for a loop, as Yennefer’s appearance is never remarked upon in the game series, so it has become the cause of some confusion. The books, on the other hand, does explain why Yennefer looks this way.

 

Image via Glamour Fame

 

Regardless, if a person watches the series having already read the books, they’ll probably have a better idea of why certain decisions were made by the team that created this series.

 

2. This series does resemble ‘a game of thrones’ in style and tone

 

Going off of what critics have said, yes, the Witcher does possess certain qualities that were prized in George R.R. Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire. There are multiple points of view to follow, so when you need a breather from following Geralt around in the narrative, you can read Ciri’s point of view. The same grittiness and violence that you observed in Martin’s work is also present in Sapkowski’s books. The looming threat of war is also present in the Witcher books as well, and you get to witness how it all begins and how it all falls apart (I would suggest starting with Blood of Elves if the movers and shakers facilitating a war behind the scenes interests you).

 

 

3. the political situation in the world is a lot easier to follow

image via pinterest

 

Although the television series hasn’t dropped, one of the faults in the game series was that the political stage of the Witcher universe was very hard to follow and often unclear. Which makes sense, because the political situation was dense and complicated and, if not given the space and breadth to be explained, it definitely felt like walking into an exam unprepared. However, a game has the ability to explore a world in a much more in-depth way than a television series can, so this is a concern that does hold water.

An example of this would be the Scoia’tael, a group of predominantly elvish rebels who regularly commit acts of violence against humans. While the game briefly touches upon their motives and what they ultimately wish to accomplish, it only provides a glimpse at the problem. The books, however, go into great detail about the political and social climate that the non-human races endure, and so the motives of these characters become a lot more transparent.

As mentioned previously, the turmoil between and in countries like Novigrad, Temeria, and Cintra is also expanded upon in the books. If anything, the books go to great lengths to ensure that the readers understands exactly why the royalty and the sorcerer’s lodge commit the acts that they do. So if there is any possibility that the television series will struggle along the same vein as the video games, the books will do an excellent job filling in the blanks.

 

4. We still don’t know how faithful the adaptation will be

For all we know, the Netflix series may remain extremely faithful to Sapkowski’s literary vision, but the fact remains that this is still an adaptation. One of the big reasons that I go into most movie premiers having already read the book is because I want to judge the adaptation by the creative decisions that were made. I want to know what the book was like, and then I want to see what changes were made. Were those changes justified? Why? Do I (gasp) like the movie more than I like the story it was based off of? Or do I feel like adding in something else from the book might have helped? Ultimately, did the adaptation bring something new and interesting to the table?

I intend to watch this series with my hopes high, because I think that Sapkowski’s original books already presented a creative vision with an impressive breadth and magnitude to it, and I think that this adaptation has the potential to do the same. Hopefully this adaptation will provide enough steam for more fantasy books to be made into movies and television series.

 

 

5. The books are really interesting

At the end of the day, you should read a book because it intrigues you—and the Witcher books do exactly that. The references to Slavic folklore, the sword fights, and Geralt and Yennefer acting as parents to Ciri are elements that pulled me into the story and kept me reading. These books have multiple layers of political intrigue, interpersonal relationships, mythology, and did I mention sword fighting? The books, like a lot of fantasy literature, are also able to provide a social commentary through the interactions displayed between the inhabitants of the world.

If you would like to dip your toes into the Witcher universe and give it a shot, I would suggest starting with The Last Wisha short story collection that reveals how Geralt got the nickname ‘The Butcher of Blaviken,’ and how he and Yennefer first met.

 

Featured image via Cnn

 

 


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Scholastic’s ‘Point Horror’ Series Coming To HBO Max

Fans of children’s horror stories will want to check out this new show coming to HBO Max.

 

Variety reported that the upcoming streaming service is developing an anthology series based on Point Horror, a series of young adult horror novels that started in the 1980’s and helped launch the careers of several horror writers like R.L. Stine, Caroline B. Cooney, and Diane Hoh.

 

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Image Via A.V. Club

 

The HBO series will be titled Point Horror, and will be an anthology series described as a show that “exposes the horrors of being a teenager”. The show will take stories from many different novels in the series, but it’s rumored that most of the episodes will be based on Stine’s work.

 

 

John M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) is in talks to direct the pilot episode. Stine is set to executive produce.

 

Have you read any of the Point Horror books?

 

 

 

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