Hello, my darling readers! I talked about the transition of book to screen for NOS4A2 a few days ago, taking a closer look at season 1. Of course, my opinion on the show wouldn’t be complete without also giving the second season a chance!
Based on Joe Hill’s New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, “NOS4A2” is a different kind of vampire story. It follows Vic McQueen, a gifted young woman who discovers she has a supernatural ability to find lost things. This ability puts her on a collision course with the evil and immortal Charlie Manx. Manx is a supernatural villain who feeds off the souls of children and then deposits what remains of them into Christmasland — a twisted place of Manx’s imagination where every day is Christmas Day and unhappiness is against the law. Vic strives to defeat Manx and rescue his victims — without losing her mind or falling victim to him.
Book vs. Movie:
Good news and bad news. I wasn’t too impressed by season two and still prefer the book over the show any day. However, there is one part about the series that makes for an interesting addition to the novel and it gets a big thumbs up from me. Then again, it was maybe a little half-baked in the show but we can’t always be gunning for perfection, can we?
But first things first. Just like in season one, they took the basic idea but altered just about all the details. If you do that, make sure you are improving the story. Otherwise, why on earth did you have to make alterations just to turn this into something worse than what we started with? This became glaringly obvious in the second half of this season. The book keeps up the pace, leaving you breathless and thrilled. The show on the other hand just leaves you checking your watch. Once we head for Christmasland, it becomes evident that the “heroes” we have here are just about the most incompetent people of all time. Their plan is so weak, barely thought through and the execution is even shittier. It’s not just that, on top of it not making much sense, it’s extremely boring which is arguable to worst thing they could have done. Even though the novel isn’t perfect, it was never boring. It felt like they tried to string as many characters along for the final episodes because fans may have liked them, while in the book they had no place being there (or weren’t even alive anymore). See, Joe Hill surely had a thought process when making those decisions! You can tell that the story doesn’t benefit in any way shape or form this alteration and even if I hadn’t read the book first, I would have been very disappointed.
Hello, guys! I finally had time to read this Shirley Jackson book, which I was mainly interested in because from the first pictures I saw for the film, I was intrigued. But since I like to read the novel first, the movie sat on my to-watch-list collecting dust. Well, the novel was finished, the movie was watched, so here we are now!
My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise, I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cap mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead…
Book vs. Movie:
I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about this. I can definitely say that I liked the movie better than the novel, but I wasn’t too much into either, to be honest. I know many people love Shirley Jackson’s books but so far, their charm seems to elude me. This is the second novel of hers that I read, and once more I am intrigued by the idea, but the execution just doesn’t hit the spot for me. Maybe it’s simply that her writing style doesn’t work for me. Because, by all means, I should have loved this book. Quite often the main character is such a mood! But ultimately, I ended up finding her irritating and annoying in the novel and wished we wouldn’t spend so much time in her head/her thoughts.
I was, however, really curious how this would turn out on screen. The story has the potential for a great adaptation (and Sebastian Stan’s in it), so I had to check that out as well. First of all, I immediately liked the film better, precisely because of what I said just before. We don’t spend so much time with Merricat’s thoughts. Also, in the book, it struck me as odd that everybody in the village would have such a deep-rooted hate for the sisters. In the movie, there were at least tiny attempts in giving some characters a reason to dislike them (e.g. a guy who was rejected by her sister). Another thing that the adaptation does a better job with is Charles. I get what Shirley Jackson wanted to accomplish there, what kind of person he is, his character. Maybe it’s just Sebastian Stan, but in the film, this character seems so much more intense, and also so much more charming. I can see why Constance would fall for him. In the book, he just seemed like an utter twat every single minute of every day.
While, overall, the adaptation kept fairly close to the book except for minor changes, there is one major plot divergence at the end. SPOILERS AHEAD
After serving prison time for a self-defense killing, Sailor Ripley (Nicolas Cage) reunites with girlfriend Lula Fortune (Laura Dern). Lula’s mother, Marietta (Diane Ladd), desperate to keep them apart, hires a hit man to kill Sailor. But he finds a whole new set of troubles when he and Bobby Peru (Willem Dafoe), an old buddy who’s also out to get Sailor, try to rob a store. When Sailor lands in jail yet again, the young lovers appear further than ever from the shared life they covet.
Book vs. Movie:
I think my movie review for Wild at Heart was one of the first things I ever posted on this blog. It’s by far my favorite David Lynch film and one of my all-time favorites in general. But for the longest time, I didn’t realize that it’s based on a novel! So, naturally, I had to read it and see whether I would enjoy it as much as the film. Spoiler alert: I did not.
Let’s briefly recap why I love the movie. First of all, Laura Dern is absolutely impeccable. I love every single thing about her in Wild at Heart and I honestly couldn’t imagine anybody else playing the role. I’m a bit more variable on Nicolas Cage, but he was an interesting choice, and he does a good job. It’s a cool twist that Laura Dern’s IRL mum also plays her mum in the film (and even got nominated for an Academy Award). In general, the cast is super impressive. Those of you who have watched a Lynch production or two (especially Twin Peaks) can play “do I know this cast member” as you’ll see many familiar faces.
The story is super weird (as is customary for David Lynch movies) and it doesn’t entirely feel like it makes sense. It’s just a crazy trip, but it works. All the mentions of Wizard of Oz definitely add to that. But again, it’s fun to try and spot all the references, I swear I notice a new one every time I watch the film. Wild at Heart has a very unique vibe and it’s great.