Saving Private Ryan (1998) – Review

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Directed by Steven Spielberg

Written by Robert Rodat

Cast: Matt Damon, Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi, Edward Burns, Adam Goldberg, Vin Diesel, Jeremy Davies, and Amanda Boxer

Length: 2 hours and 49 minutes

Genre: Drama, war

MPAA Rating: R

Description from IMDB:
“Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U. S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.”

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Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) – Review

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Directed by Taika Waititi

Written by Taika Waititi and Te Arepa Kahi; based on the book Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump

Cast: Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata, Sam Neill, Rachel House, and Oscar Knightley.

Length: 1 hour and 41 minutes

Genre: Adventure, comedy, drama

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Description from IMDB:
“A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.” Continue reading “Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) – Review”

Cabinet of Curiosities – Review

Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions by Guillermo del Toro and Marc Scott Zicree

Published in 2013

Pages: 263

Genre: Nonfiction, collector book

“For Guillermo del Toro, it all starts with the eye – or, more accurately, the lens.”

Guillermo del Toro has come to prominence in the Hollywood system for his work directing the films Blade II (2002), Hellboy (2004), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), and Pacific Rim (2013); however, the truth of the artist and his abilities exceeds that with which many of us associate him. The aim of Cabinet of Curiosities, co-written by del Toro and Marc Scott Zicree, is to open the doors into a visionary filmmaker’s mind and conjure all the wonderful, strange, and sometimes frightening aspects of his genius. From famous movie monsters to Pre-Raphaelite painters, comic books to art cinema, the scope of influences del Toro harnesses in his work is as engulfing as the man’s kind personality.

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The entryway of del Toro’s Bleak House.

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Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World (2010) – Review

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Directed by Edgar Wright

Written by Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright; based on the graphic novel by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Cast: Starring Michael Cera, Ellen Wong, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Satya Bhabha, Bill Hader, Chris Evans, Brandon Routh, Mae Whitman, Keito Saito, Shota Seito, and Jason Schwartzman

Length: 1 hour and 52 minutes

Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Description from IMDB:
“Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend’s seven evil exes to win her heart.”

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New Content Announcement

As you may have noticed, the name of the blog has changed from The Past Due Book Review to The Past Due Review; this is because, beginning this Friday, I will be posting weekly movie reviews to expand my content and discuss another form of art I love. Much like the books I am reviewing, these will not be new releases; since the films come from my own collection, I have seen many multiple times and believe this allows me to dig a little deeper in my reviews.

I hope this will lead to more discussions and sharing of our interests! Please check back on Friday for my review of In Bruges!

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The image featured in this post can be found through the hyperlink below.
In Bruges

On the Subject of Adaptations: Part 2 – Too Close for Comfort

Like many of his films, Zack Snyder’s Watchmen (2009) has a polarizing effect. While I can appreciate the aesthetic choices and faithfulness to Alan Moore’s 1986 comic of the same name, I am in the camp that doesn’t care for the adaptation. While one can nitpick the acting and presentation, it is the trepidation to take much artistic license on Snyder’s behalf (except for the lackluster ending and strange mid-air sex scene, which we will get into in a moment) that causes my dislike of the adaptation.

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Moore’s comic on (left) vs. Snyder’s adaptation (right)

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On the Subject of Adaptations: Part 1 – Separating the Book and the Movie

“The book is better than the movie.”

According to many in the reading community, truer words have never been said. I admit that this phrase has found its way past my lips on more than one occasion, though with building apprehension as I have grown older. The situation of adapting a story from the written word to the silver screen is a precarious one at best and a horrid affair at worst. I have seen comments on Facebook and YouTube expressing the sentiment in the image above and feel obligated to make a case for adaptations.

Are there bad adaptations? Of course; but there are also film adaptations that are successful in their storytelling despite how they wander from the source material. In fact, I would argue that if a film adaptation were as described in the above image, it would not be enjoyable. A successful adaptation takes what is good about the original story and puts its own spin on the material; there should be a reason to watch the movie besides wanting to see rather than read.

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