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Book-to-Movie Reviews

Sabrina Szos, Staff Reporter

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The Hunger Games:

The first book of the “Hunger Games” trilogy was turned into a movie in late 2012, and the sequel, “Catching Fire,” was released in 2013. When “The Hunger Games” was turned into a movie, the directors got it right. Although they skipped some minor parts, the two-and-a-half hour movie felt like only half an hour—a sure sign of a great movie.

As overrated as Jennifer Lawrence is, she did do Katniss Everdeen justice by portraying all of Katniss’ characteristics in her performance. Liam Hemsworth was an odd choice for Gale Hawthorne as the book described him as to be more of a burly guy rather than a pretty face, he got the job done. No one could have guessed that Josh Hutcherson would play beloved bread-boy Peeta Mellark, but his painting skills overshadowed his acting skills.

The movie accurately portrayed the book by including the major parts of the plot and even including minor details like the relationship Katniss had with their mother and Katniss’ mockingjay pin. By now, the Hunger Games trilogy has become old news, but the release of “Mockingjay Part 1,” set for Nov. 21, 2014, will hopefully mirror the accuracy and beauty of the first movie.

Verdict: 

3.5 “tossed bread loaves to a starving Katniss Everdeen out in the rain” out of 5

The Giver:

“The Giver,” a well-known classic, was made into a major motion picture this summer. Although every actor and actress on the screen had flawless skin and hair—typical for a utopian society—the movie portrayed everyone identical when it came to what they were and weren’t allowed to do. Everyone had to eat dinner, turn their lights off and go to bed at the same time, similar of what the book portrayed.

The movie failed to address the suppression of sexuality in a utopian society. In the novel, community members took pills to prevent “stirrings” or sexual desires. The film instead had everyone take a daily injection which added a false futuristic mood.

Most notably, the ending was changed, angering author Lois Lowry. Jonas never punched Asher, his best friend, nor did he kiss Fiona, his love interest, causing her to nearly be executed. The ending of the film was disappointing and too action-packed for a story about an elderly man giving his memories of the next generation’s chosen one. The actors were sufficient as it seems the casting directors focused more on physical appearance rather than acting skills when they casted characters such as Jonas, Fiona and Asher. Overall, compared to the book, the movie was too much of an attempted Hollywood blockbuster rather than a movie based off a novel.

Verdict: 

2 “seemingly perfect utopian but actually dystopian societies” out of 5

The Fault in Our Stars:

This teenage tale of love and loss is one of the most buzzed about movies of 2014. The movie definitely did the book justice by including highlights from the book, by casting actors and actresses that accurately resembled the characters and by using some of the most memorable quotes from the novel. The movie included events such as when Hazel Grace Lancaster first met Augustus Waters—although it failed to spend enough time on the uncomfortable stares Augustus gave Hazel—and when the couple visited Amsterdam with Hazel’s mom.

The scene where Hazel and Augustus meet Peter Van Houten, the author of Hazel’s favorite book and her idol, was perfectly played out, adding the details of Van Houten’s alcoholism and his bottle-throwing temper tantrum. The major details of the book appeared in the movie while a few minor characters, such as Hazel’s best friend Kaitlyn and Augustus’ former girlfriend Caroline Mathers, did not make it onto the big screen. If one thing could be changed about the movie, it would be adding more scenes of Augustus struggling with his returning cancer. The film made it seem like he was diagnosed quickly and hardly endured any psychological suffering, ultimately portraying his struggle as a miniscule part of the movie. However, the book provided more details when it came to his final days, with the last few chapters being absolutely heart-wrenching.

Despite these inaccuracies, with the help of John Green, the movie adaptation was overall wonderful and a successful text to cinema conversion, deserving the $125 million it’s made so far.When the movie came out on June 6, thousands of teenage girls headed to their nearest movie theaters to see the highly anticipated movie. When the movie was done, it was hard to say the book was better with most leaving the theater with tear-soaked faces.

Verdict:

4 “Okay? Okay” out of 5

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Book-to-Movie Reviews