Thursday, November 6, 2014

Reading and Watching...

The Facts

We saw Gone Girl. Kristi had read the book. Nolan hadn’t.

His Side

I don’t read much. I know, as a writer, I should probably read more than I do; however, I want to write movies, so it’s a little different. Still, though, I probably should read more and I might start with reading “Gone Girl”. Kristi read the book and told me it’s very good. And, more importantly, the movie is fantastic.

I’ve only read the book AND seen the movie for a handful of things. I think the only ones are “Holes,” “Great Expectations,” “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Grapes of Wrath”, and “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Each of these were books I was required to read for school and most of them are older movies. So it’s not a great sampling to decide if I like comparing books and the movies that they turn into. I hear, though, that reading a book first is a bad plan because the movie never lives up to the book. I feel the opposite. In each of the instances listed above, I liked the movie better except “All Quiet on the Western Front.” That’s partially because that movie was one of the first movies with sound… yea… but it did win best picture… in 1930. I actually did enjoy the book, though.

As a movie lover, I actually prefer exploring a different kind of adaptation. Book to movie is fine and dandy, but I enjoy watching a foreign film then the American remake. Or an older film and it’s more recent remake. That, to me, is a more interesting look at a film’s relation to its source material but that is coming from a guy who loves movies. 

But, to get back on topic, I enjoyed Gone Girl immensely. You can read my full review on my site, but to sum it up:  it’s a tightly wound thriller crafted by the deft hand of a director at the top of his game and will keep you guessing until the bitter end. And it certainly is bitter. I also like that it explores the marriage relationship. So many movies these days are just empty entertainment (which I have no problem with) but exploring social issues give a deeper movie-going experience and makes a movie more satisfying. Also, I have to say that I really did like Tyler Perry in this movie. I never thought I would say that, but I did. He was great. 

Gone Girl is one of my favorite movies I have seen in theaters in a while. And getting to go with Kristi is certainly something that makes the experience even better. It’s not every day that she looks forward to seeing a movie that I am excited to see, so I have to capitalize on those opportunities. We did and we both enjoyed the experience. So maybe, just maybe she will be more likely to go more often with me. Fingers crossed!

Her Side

It should come as no surprise when I say that I’m not a huge fan of movies, but more specifically of going to the movie theater. The whole experience is one that I’d be perfectly fine doing without, BUT there are just some things I do for the sake of making Nolan happy… and seeing the occasional movie in the theater is one of them. Lucky for him, this particular movie is one that I actually had a decent amount of interest in seeing. What makes this particular movie any different from the rest? Easy. I read the book. I love reading, and when a co-worker told me about “Gone Girl,” I was intrigued by the premise so I decided to give it a shot.

I hadn’t sat down to read a book in a while even though it’s something I love to do; so I was very excited to start a book that very much seemed like it was up my alley. I began the book and was honestly disappointed at first. It goes back and forth between the two main characters’ points of view and the female main character’s sections were less than thrilling to me. I was finding myself bored and wondering if the book would ever pick up. After all, I knew my coworker would not lie to me about it being a book you literally wouldn’t want to put down… would she?

Thankfully, it definitely picked up and I didn’t want to put it down. I easily could have finished the book in a day or two, but Fletcher didn’t like that plan. Every time I would pick up the book he tried to eat it or steal my attention away. Since he can be pretty persuasive (borderline annoying) with his tactics, he won every time. Normally my speed of reading a book is not an issue, except I expressed interest in seeing the movie and wanted to finish the book FIRST… and Nolan was waiting anxiously for us to see it in theaters. So, I finally finished it and was quite pleased. Was it a dark story? Yep, but it had me on the edge of my seat for the majority of the book wondering what would happen next. I can normally guess the general way a book will progress, but I was WAY WRONG with this one… my guesser was off!

Normally movies based on books disappoint the avid reader. The director is at liberty to interpret the book in their own way which is ridiculous considering it’s based on a BOOK, but you can’t tell a director that. So, when I heard that it was pretty spot on with the book’s storyline, I was even more excited. Nolan and I planned a matinee movie date (matinee because we are CHEAP even though it’s still ridiculously expensive to see a movie during the day). We stuffed my purse full of candy and soda for the movie, again because we are too cheap to buy that five dollar drink that contains so much beverage it is practically impossible to drink the entire thing without taking a zillion trips to the restroom (which is crazy since you can’t pause the movie you just paid an arm and a leg to see). Once inside, we got comfy in our seats and waited for the previews to begin.

The movie finally began and I was so excited to see Nolan’s reaction to the movie. I was pleasantly surprised that the movie did indeed follow the book to a tee. I, however, was disappointed with how some of the scenes were delivered. I thought a few scenes should have been more dramatic and shocking (as they were in the book) so that was a slight disappointment for me. My main complaint was the choice for the female lead role in the movie. I don’t know what I didn’t like about her, but she wasn’t exactly what I envisioned for the role. But, if that’s my only complaint, I’d say that’s okay!

In the end, I think this movie was great. I would highly suggest seeing it whether you have read the book or not! It gets two thumbs up in my book… and that’s gotta say something!

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