Have you ever read a book after watching the movie/television version only to find that you don’t like the book as much as the adaptation?
For the most part, my literary side wants to read the book first (if possible) and then see the adapted version. But there have been a few times I’ve seen the adaptation and gone back to the source material to find I didn’t like it as much. One of these is Forrest Gump, a movie that took some of the good ideas from the book and created a far better movie. The original novel doesn’t quite have the same heart that the movie does and I think it loses something in the translation.
Also, I have to admit that while I enjoyed Thomas Harris’ Silence of the Lambs on the printed page, the movie version makes the ending of Starling crossing paths with Buffalo Bill a bit easier to digetst — or at least it did all those years ago when I read it and then saw the movie.
Then we have what I refer to as my Game of Thrones sensation. I read book one before season one hit the airwaves, but didn’t get to book two until the show was under way. I found myself picturing and hearing the actors who played various characters on screen were slowly worming their way into the images and sounds for each character I created in my mind.
Speaking of movies, I’ve found time to watch a few these last weeks and have some thoughts.
Spotlight: As a person with a background in journalism, I’m always intrigued by the way the profession is portrayed in the media. Are the journalists crusade heroes taking on an institution for the greater good of all or are we simply there to be little more than muck-rackers? Or is it something in the middle?
Spotlight falls more on the crusading, noble side of things. It’s the story of how the investigative team at the Boston Globe uncovered the sexual abuse cover-up/scandal that was taking place in the Catholic church. Interesting material and in terms of how the story unfolds and how the journalistic team does their jobs, I found it very interesting.
Some of the reviews on the cover compare the film to All the President’s Men, which is one of those banner films for any journalism person. And while I understand the focus of Spotlight is the pursuit of the story, I was more intrigued by the reality of journalism in the mid-90’s as compared to the mid-60’s. I found the passing nods to drops in circulation and the rise of the digital media and how this was impacting the current state of reporting and journalism an intriguing path that wasn’t explored as much as I’d hoped. Again, not the point of the film, but I still wanted to see and hear more about it.
Overall, I liked the movie. It’s not one that I may re-visit again and again and I’m certainly not qualified to say whether or not it deserved to win “best picture” at the Oscars. But it’s still worth the time to see once.
Spectre: If this is the last time we’re going to see Daniel Craig as Bond, I suppose it’s as good a note to go out on as we could expect. I like that Spectre tries to get a retro-continuity to the Craig era as Bond — because let’s face it, the series isn’t strong on continuity in the pre-Craig era of things.
And while the film runs two and a half hours, I still found myself wanting to something more. I feel like we weren’t quite given the complete meal that Skyfall or Casino Royale were and I walked away feeling like I’d be hungry again in about ten minutes. Maybe it’s just me.