Book vs. Movie: Wild At Heart

Hello, my darling readers!
Today we’re going to talk about Wild at Heart, one of my favorite pictures ever, and the book it is based on. Let’s see whether the books gets me as excited as the film!

The Plot (according to Rotten Tomatoes):

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.

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Book vs. Movie: Dune (2021)

Hello, my darling readers!
After taking a closer look at David Lynch’s take on Dune a few days ago, we of course also need to check out the latest attempt at adapting Frank Herbert’s novel!

The Plot (according to Goodreads):

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for…

Book vs. Movie:

So, after reading the book and watching the David Lynch adaptation, I was really hoping for this to be a step up. I am happy to report Denis Villeneuve did not disappoint. While reading the novel I kept thinking that this would look stunning on screen but considering just how expansive the first book (the only one I have read so far) is, this is not without challenges. While I enjoyed the story, the book did drag on a bit at times, and I just didn’t like it as much as I had expected.

One of the biggest challenges an adaptation of Dune has to overcome is depicting all the sci-fi stuff, the creatures, and the world described in the book. The David Lynch movie failed almost ridiculously in that regard. But, to be honest, it never really stood a chance. Now almost 40 years later technology offers new options and actually gave the filmmakers a decent shot at bringing this story to the screen. In this take on Dune, the CGI is absolutely on point. Just about everything looks flawless and I think they did a tremendous job bringing Frank Herbert’s creation to life.

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Book vs. Movie: Dune (1984)

Hello, my darling readers!
To kick off a month full of book vs. movie and TV show reviews we’re going to talk about Dune. Well, first we talk about the 1984 adaptation before we move on the new adaptation later this week!

The Plot (as found on Rotten Tomatoes):

In the year 10191, a spice called melange is the most valuable substance known in the universe, and its only source is the desert planet Arrakis. A royal decree awards Arrakis to Duke Leto Atreides and ousts his bitter enemies, the Harkonnens. However, when the Harkonnens violently seize back their fiefdom, it is up to Paul (Kyle MacLachlan), Leto’s son, to lead the Fremen, the natives of Arrakis, in a battle for control of the planet and its spice. Based on Frank Herbert’s epic novel.

Book vs. Movie:

I am a bit torn on the book. First of all, it took me a month to read. If I really like a book, I usually gobble it up within a few days at the most. The thing is, I wanted to like Dune but I just had a hard time getting into it. I already identified one problem that definitely contributed to that. See, I read this on my e-reader. However, the novel comes with a rather substantial appendix. An appendix that is necessary, considering how many new terms the author came up with. But going through the story on an e-reader meant that I didn’t flick back and forth as that’s just annoying, so the appendix was pretty much lost on me, which also means that I was a bit lost reading the book. That means, if you want to read Dune, get yourself an actual copy instead of a digital version, it’ll make the reading experience a lot more enjoyable.

The story is split in three parts with the first essentially being a very long prologue. Herbert spends a decent amount on the world-building and situating the reader in the story. Although it was necessary, I still wanted it to be shorter so we could get on with the story. Considering that technically I desperately needed all the explanation I could get since I didn’t check out the appendix, this is a bit of contradiction, but here we are.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Herbert’s story. I enjoyed his world and his characters but I just wanted him to get on with everything a bit faster. That’s true for the entire book and not just the first part.

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Wrapping it up for February!

Hello, my darling readers!
Another month is over, so let me give you a little summary of the amazing posts just to make sure you didn’t miss anything. 😉

This month was dedicated to the one and only Mr. David Lynch. I love his movies (and TV shows) but I hadn’t managed to watch all of his stuff until now. Any of his works that you miss in this list had been reviewed a while ago already:

As per usual we have the Top 5 Tuesday and Thursday Movie Pick posts, all with appropriate spooky themes as well!

And last but not least some of my favorite quotes to brighten your day:

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Inland Empire

Hello, my darling readers!
We have made it to the final David Lynch movie (for now) which means that today we’re going to talk about Inland Empire! By the way, if you miss any of his films that I didn’t cover this month, it’s because I had already reviewed them a while ago. 😉

The Plot (according to Rotten Tomatoes):

Nikki (Laura Dern), an actress, takes on a role in a new film, and because her husband (Peter J. Lucas) is very jealous, her co-star Devon (Justin Theroux) gets a warning not to make any romantic overtures — especially since the characters they play are having an affair. Both actors learn that the project is a remake of an unfinished film in which the stars were murdered.

The Rating:

Wow, this is probably my least favorite David Lynch film of all time. First of all, it’s so very long. While I don’t mind long movies per se, 3 hours of weird stuff that doesn’t really make sense is too long. To be honest, I watched the film in three settings, one hour at a time because it just couldn’t capture my interest for much longer. Maybe that says more about me than about the film, but here we are. 😅

For the first hour, we’re pretty much okay. Inland Empire is *very* weird, but not any worse than his other films. After that, Lynch lost me. It felt like even he stopped pretending there was a story, any rhyme or reason to what was going on. I mean, I understand what his underlying idea was, but I still couldn’t get into it. Like, Laura Dern’s character goes a tad crazy because of the project she is involved in. The original leads were murdered, so I guess the project is cursed or something. I get this is what’s going on, but nothing you see on screen makes any sense and it just frustrated me a great deal.

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Mulholland Drive

Hello, hello!
Another day, another David Lynch movie. Today we’re tackling Mulholland Drive. Let’s dive right in and take a closer look!

The Plot (as found on RT):

A dark-haired woman (Laura Elena Harring) is left amnesiac after a car crash. She wanders the streets of Los Angeles in a daze before taking refuge in an apartment. There she is discovered by Betty (Naomi Watts), a wholesome Midwestern blonde who has come to the City of Angels seeking fame as an actress. Together, the two attempt to solve the mystery of Rita’s true identity. The story is set in a dream-like Los Angeles, spoilt neither by traffic jams nor smog.

The Rating:

Y’all remember when I talked about David Lynch movies that makes sense straight away? This one not really. I mean, it’s an interesting film for sure, but I remember walking about of the cinema thinking “somebody needs to explain this for me.” As soon as I got home I was on Wikipedia reading up on interpretations. I think Mulholland Drive is the kind of film you need to watch more than once, as there are so many details you can’t possible pick up on the first time. To be honest, immediately after reading about it on Wikipedia I wanted to watch it again!

That being said, I did enjoy the experience! I like films that make me think a bit. But if that’s not exactly your thing, you might want to stear clear of Mulholland Drive. You’ll just end up frustrated. On the David Lynch spectrum of weirdXconfusing this one is definitely on the upper end. 😅

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