I saw Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and I have some thoughts

Hi everyone! Originally, I was going to make this post about my favorites of 2018 but I ended up seeing the newest movie in the Fantastic Beasts franchise tonight. In my previous post about having “too much story,” I admitted that I was hesitant about this movie and if it was messing with the original lore too much. You all know that I am a die hard Harry Potter fan, who also enjoyed the first Fantastic Beasts movie. Let me tell you what I thought. Spoilers Ahead!

I wanted to start by talking about the thing I liked about this movie. First, I loved seeing Newt again. I really enjoy his atypical characteristics. Eddie Redmayne is charming as anything and it comes through again. In addition to Newt, I also enjoyed seeing him and Jacob back together for adventures. I can’t go any further without mentioning how I loved seeing Newt and Tina together. (I really ship it.) As for the story, I did enjoy seeing the lore of Grindelwald come to life as that was a very important part of what led to Voldemort’s rise to power. Along with that, seeing Dumbledore before in his teacher days was one of the best parts of the movies. There was some really good world building and great character development. I can’t completely say the movie didn’t have some great elements. 

Let’s get to what I didn’t like. First, I’m still not happy about Johnny Depp being casted. He did a fine job in the movie but they should have replaced him with someone less controversial. I shouldn’t feel guilty supporting this movie. There was definitely some muddling of the lore that seemed to appear out of nowhere and with no preface. With the reveal of Credence possibly being a Dumbledore and not a Lestrange, I found myself a bit baffled. I know it’s mostly for sequel bait but it’s still a weird reveal. Along with the whole familial confusion, there was also infanticide! I was not expecting to see babies being murdered and I was disturbed as any other person should be. My biggest gripe, beyond all of that, is that there were not enough beasts in the movie. I wanted to know if Newt had made any progress in helping people learn to understand magical beasts but that was completely thrown away for the Grindelwald plot. The actual beasts are what drove the first movie and I really enjoyed seeing all of that. The charm of the first movie just got lost in this one. Only Newt, Tina, and Jacob were the driving forces of what made the first movie so enjoyable. 

In conclusion, I don’t think this movie gave “too much” story. Instead, I thought it told the wrong story. It wasn’t a badly written story by any means. It was just too much of a turn from what the first movie delivered. The plot twists felt as though they were mostly there for shock and sequel bait as opposed to story building. Now, I am aware that this is JK Rowling’s world and she can do whatever she wants with it. There, however, has to be some consistency. I understand we can’t know everything about the Wizarding World. I am just saying, though, that the world building felt lost in the epic-ness of the movie. I’m not hating on this movie by any means. I would definitely watch it again. I’m just intrigued as to where the story is going to go from here. 

Is There Such a Thing as “Too Much” Story?

Hi everybody! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted anything. I keep meaning to post more book reviews but I always feel the need to read multiple books at once and I just end up slowing myself down. You all know how it is.
Today, though, I wanted to talk about something I’ve noticed other book nerds and authors talking about which is: when should a story truly end? This whole conversation has been spurred on by the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald, which is the much anticipated (and slightly controversial) sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I haven’t seen the movie yet so I can’t give my opinion on it but it got me thinking about franchises and if there really is such a thing as ending a story, especially when it is incredibly popular. (Note: I’m mostly going to be focusing on mediums like books, movies, and television. I’m not going to be talking about anime or video games as I don’t know much about those mediums and they would warrant their own discussion.) 

Let’s start with examples of franchises who have done a great job with universe expansion. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is the first one that comes to mind. First off, the franchise has lasted for a decade now with some of the most successful trilogies and crossovers in the history of film. Regardless of whether you are in this fandom or not, you have to admit that the MCU has done an incredible job with story telling. They took the usual superhero story formula and found ways to twist it and shape into nuanced and interesting stories. They’ve introduced characters and remade characters that were, at one point, laughable. While MCU hasn’t “ended” certain characters’ stories, they have realized that other characters deserve a spotlight. Audiences are still getting answers about the original characters as well as the new characters. These have even spawned successful tv series. When they decide to “end” certain characters’ stories, audiences will still have other characters to follow. That is what will keep a franchise going. (Granted, MCU does have a vast collection of source material to choose from.) Comic book based franchises have always tended to do the best. The DC tv shows have been some of my favorites in the past couple of years because they took notes from MCU. These franchises know how to  keep audiences looking for more at the end of each episode or movie, just as the original source material did. 

Other franchises, however, have done this without a printed source material. The Star Wars franchise is a really good example of this. The newest trilogy has done a great job introducing compelling new characters and reviving the lore that fans want to learn more about. This is also what Fantastic Beasts has done and I truly enjoyed the first movie. What all of these franchises have in common is they know how to revive stories instead of just redoing the same old thing or trying to do too much with newer things that fans don’t care about. Taking it back to the printed word, authors often can’t help but  continue world building. JK Rowling is constantly dropping little tidbits about the Harry Potter series and, while I do love it, it can also be exhausting sometimes.  There are authors like James Patterson who are just constantly releasing books in every genre and it’s hard to get excited about these books anymore because you just can’t keep up with these series. It is really hard to get audiences excited when they have a market that is so saturated with extended franchises. That is why the actual world building process has to be carefully though out, like the MCU. The Harry Potter series has a really rich history and has characters like Newt Scamander, who have their own adventures. Authors, writers, and directors who genuinely care about their creative properties are going to have the most success in having a long lasting series. 

Let’s get to the franchises that flop. The biggest reason for this is because of money. Horror movie series are the biggest offenders of this. Over the summer, I saw the newest Jurassic Park movie and you could tell they tried really hard to make it fresh and new. At the end of the day, though, dinosaurs ate people and no one learned anything. JK Rowling is going to be mentioned in this section as well for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The play fell victim to its own hype. The lore got muddled in the process. The new characters fell flat while the older characters didn’t get any proper development. It shouldn’t feel like the writers are reaching for substance. I’m also fully aware that finances plays a part in why some of these franchises feel the need to keep going but, I’m not going to focus on that too much. The lack of involvement of the original authors has also caused problems. Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series, has spoken about how he regrets not being involved in the movie adaptation process. You can’t just cobble together a franchise because one particular part worked out nicely. 

In conclusion, franchises can be kept alive if it is a well thought-out effort on everyone’s part. It is perfectly fine to end a franchise, even if fans will be sad about it. It is better to have a fulfilling ending than an empty sequel. There really is no such thing as “too much story” when the story is written in a dynamic and thorough way. 

Thanks for sticking around if you made it this far. I really appreciate it. Let me know your opinions about franchises and extended universes. 

Current Favorites: Movie Edition (Part 2)

Hi everyone! I’m getting close to publishing my review of Sleeping Giants but I wanted to do something else in the meanwhile. I mentioned before that I am a huge movie buff and I already posted a list of favorite movies. Most were pretty mainstream but I still felt they were somewhat under appreciated. I decided to do another one in the same vein. So here are some more movies that I love and recommend to you all.

pacific rim

Pacific Rim – directed by Guillermo Del Toro, 2013

I’m a huge fan of science fiction and Guillermo Del Toro so I couldn’t resist adding another of his movies to a list. I already talked about The Shape of Water but I wanted to talk about this particular movie. Pacific Rim delivers on amazing visuals and classic robot vs. monster action. It’s a delight to watch as it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a fun sci-fi romp. It also stars Idris Elba, who I have a massive crush on. It really is just a fun movie to watch. Sadly, I heard the sequel isn’t that great but at least the first one is good.

Cap_2_poster

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Directed by the Russo Brothers, 2014

I already mentioned one Marvel movie in my previous list and I didn’t think I would mention another one as most of you are more than aware of the MCU. I, however, cannot fail to mention how much I adored this movie and I will even go so far as to argue that it is one of the best Marvel movies or at least it is one of the best sequels. The action sequences in this movie are so well done and I loved the emotional stakes this movie brought. This movie also introduced two of the best MCU characters: Bucky Barnes as the Winter Soldier and Sam Wilson as the Falcon. This movie is just so wonderfully composed. It has a perfect balance between action and emotion. Also the cast is just wonderful. MCU is really great at casting in general. If you haven’t seen this one yet, I cannot stress enough how good this movie is.

heathers

Heathers – Directed by Michael Lehmann, 1988

Now, it’s time to take a sharp left turn from sci-fi/action to dark teen comedy. I have never been a fan of teen movies and that includes the slew of movies that the 1980s produced but Heathers changed my mind. Winona Ryder is probably more relatable in 2018 than she was in 1988. I enjoy the dark, twisted humor in the movie. It definitely bends the classic teen genre in more ways than one. I also enjoy the “girls with guns” trope in this movie. I don’t think it is for everyone but it is still a good movie for anyone with a sick sense of humor. It’s also incredibly quotable. (Note: I know that this isn’t the original poster for the movie but I liked it better. Also the musical adaptation is really great.)

call-me-by-your-name-movie-poster-15x21-in-2017-luca-guadagnino-armie-hammer

Call Me By Your Name – Directed by Luca Guadagnino, 2017

Let’s get into some romance, shall we? When the Oscar buzz was going around, I heard this movie come up a lot. I was very bored one Friday night and decided to see if I could find it. I was very glad that I was able to watch this sweet and unconventional romance. The movie has a very intimate vibe that fits the beautiful aesthetic of the Mediterranean. Timothee Chalamet deserves recognition for his wonderful performance. The relationship between the two main characters is touching and understanding. I know a lot of people have gripes about the age difference in the relationship but it is in no way portrayed in a creepy Lolita-type way. This is a wonderful story about two men uncovering the truths about themselves through each other. I should note that this is based on a novel that I would love to read one day.

the imitation game

The Imitation Game – Directed by Morten Tyldum, 2014

I still remember seeing this one in theaters because it was the only one available that particular night. The theatre was super busy so my mom, sister, and I decided we might as well see this one because we all love Benedict Cumberbatch. Anyways, I ended up becoming incredibly invested in this movie, which is about mathematical genius Alan Turing and his struggle to crack the German Enigma code in order to help the British forces during WWII. If you don’t know who Alan Turing is, he essentially paved the way for artificial intelligence. Sadly, his life was tormented as was on the autism spectrum and he was a gay man during a time when you could go to jail for that. This movie is more about humanity than it is machines, which makes it so enjoyable to watch. It is dramatic and heart-breaking. Cumberbatch and Knightley both give award worthy performances. I would recommend this movie to the history buffs out there.

Current Favorites: Movie Edition

Hi everyone! I currently don’t have any new books to read and a sprained ankle. But you know what I do have? I have passion for movies. I’m actually currently taking a class called Hollywood Heroines: Women in Film for my senior seminar. This got me thinking and I wanted to share with you some of my favorite mainstream and/or indie films. While I do have a ton of movies I love, I’m just going to talk about five more recent films I’ve seen that struck me in a particular manner. I hope you enjoy this list. Let me know if you have seen any of these and what you thought about them.

the shape of water

The Shape of Water – (Directed by Guillermo Del Toro, 2017)

A good majority of you readers have probably heard of this movie as it has been picking up plenty of award show buzz. If you haven’t, then I will give you a quick synopsis.

A young mute woman named Elisa works as a cleaning lady at a secret government lab. When she encounters a mysterious humanoid fish creature who is being studied, she and the creature form an intimate bond. Elisa decides she must save him from the sinister government agency who have bigger plans.

Now I am a huge fan of Guillermo Del Toro’s work. I was certainly interested by the bizarre and intriguing premise. Also, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I had read a lot about the sex scenes in this movie. Regardless, it is still a fairy tale-like and romantic movie with plenty of beautiful visuals. With a balance between the otherworldly and the realistic, The Shape of Water is certainly an experience that the viewer can lose themselves in with its romance and fantasy.

colossal-poster2

Colossal – Directed by Nacho Vigalondo, 2016

I stumbled across this movie after reading a review in Entertainment Weekly. It sounded interesting but I didn’t think I would get around to watching it. I ended up getting a hold of it and decided to watch it on a whim. I certainly didn’t regret it.

Gloria, an unemployed party girl, is kicked out her apartment by her exhausted boyfriend and decides to return to her hometown. Once she returns home, a monster appears in Seoul, South Korea. Gloria begins to realize that she is more connected to this phenomenon than she thought.

I know that a lot of people are not fans of Anne Hathaway but I have a feeling you might change your mind. She portrays probably the most messy and realistic character I’ve seen. The movie does an excellent job reworking the classic monster movie. It’s a nice balance of dark comedy, drama, and sci-fi. Give this one a try if you get a chance.

arrival-2016-poster-9

Arrival – Directed by Dennis Villenueve, 2016

This one is pretty well-known for being snubbed severely during the 2016 movie awards seasons. At first, I didn’t think much of it until I was given the opportunity to watch this movie. Afterwards, I also became angry that this movie got snubbed. I also don’t really remember what the movie was up against. Regardless, here’s the premise:

Twelve stranger spacecrafts land on Earth and no one can figure out why they are here. Linguistics professor Louise Brooks is recruited to figure out a way to communicate with the inhabitants of the space crafts. Soon, she discovers a message that no one was expecting.

This one isn’t your typical alien invasion movie. There isn’t any horror to be found, nor is it overly preachy about the self-destructive nature of humanity or something like that. Instead, this movie focuses on creating an understanding between humans and aliens. What if the aliens have something important to say? Why is language so important? Arrival explores these various themes with its excellent story telling. (There is also a really good plot twist at the end that I won’t spoil.)

the accountant poster

The Accountant – Directed by Gavin O’Connor, 2016

I’m a fan of action movies but they tend to get repetitive over the years. When I find one that stands out, I get excited. I do realize that Ben Affleck has been rather controversial recently so I don’t mean to promote him too much but, just hear me out about this movie.

Math savant Christian Wolff has made a career on cooking the books for crime families, mobs, and terrorists organizations. When the US Treasury closes in on him, he must undo the damage he’s done and save a new friend.

I have to give this movie props for having a unique main character. Christian has high-functioning autism and I felt that Affleck portrayed it in a realistic manner. It does somewhat perpetuate the myth that people with autism tend to be savants but it is not unrealistic by any means. It’s refreshing to see a protagonist who breaks the classic “Macho Man” role. If you are a fan of John Wick, then you will definitely like this movie. It is clever, action packed, and stands out in the action genre. I recommend you give this one a chance.

logan-poster-sunset-2

Logan – Directed by James Mangold, 2017

I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t a huge superhero fan. I love MCU and all of the DC tv shows. The DC movies have yet to completely win me over but Wonder Woman was fantastic. Anyways, I was definitely sad to see Hugh Jackman retire Wolverine but I was at least glad that they gave him and Sir Patrick Stewart such an amazing exit. This movie is currently getting some much deserved Oscar buzz.

In the near future, an aging and reluctant Wolverine is charged with taking care of Professor X, who is going senile. Their quite lives are quickly upended when a young mutant arrives with dark forces following close behind.

The first thing I love about this movie was that they made it R-rated which was perfect for the character of Wolverine. This movie has some great Easter eggs for X-Men fans and give the perfect finale for such iconic characters. It’s touching, violent, and profound. Logan is an experience for any comic book fan as it takes the genre in a different direction that doesn’t rely on heavy special effects or anything too convoluted. (Not that I have a problem with that.)

Some Thoughts, TBR List,and Plans for this Blog

Hi everyone! I’m back at school and I have the day off due to Martin Luther King Jr day so I decided to do a little ramble, if you don’t mind. I’m not expecting a ton of you to be terribly interested in this but if you stick around to read this then I appreciate it. For starters, I’m pleased to say that I’ll have much more time to do some leisure reading as I don’t have any required novel reading this semester. I have a lot of really awesome opportunities coming up and I am beyond excited. I’m even considering doing posts about these things but I am still on the fence. Privacy is very important to me, as it is to you but I might be opening up a bit more about myself as posts I have done about that in the past have seem to have gotten very good reception.

As for other blog posts, I’m going to experiment with other reviews. I’m a big movie fan so I would like to do movies reviews and see how that goes. Also, I’m considering doing a big series where I re-read series that I used to be especially obsessed with give my thoughts on them as an adult. Some of the series I want to re-read are the Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus series, The Mortal Instruments series, and the Hunger Games series. Those are (almost) the complete YA series I own. I also really wanted to kick off my Bad Fan Fiction Friday series. I did a previous blog post with more detail but the abbreviated version is that I want you guys to send me bad fan fiction and I will do a semi-serious analysis of it. I think it would be really funny and interesting. I also might do some other non-book related posts but I don’t have any specific ideas at this moment. Let me know if you have any ideas that you would like to see.

Let’s get to the TBR list. I actually went through a bunch of various posts from all of you and compiled all of your favorite books into my own list of novels I want to read now. So I have to give a big shout out to all of my fellow bookworms for giving me the ideas. I currently have eighteen (!) books I’m hoping to read in this year alone. I might post this list in a separate post along with a very honest DNF list.

Thank you so much for reading this post if you decided to stick around to the end. You can look forward to two book reviews coming up soon. In the meanwhile, I hope you stay warm and live your best lives.

 

My Favorites of 2017

Hello all! So my finals weeks has ended and I will be home tomorrow. Overall, it felt like a successful week, even though it felt as though Kent State was out to get me with my finals schedule. Regardless, I am feeling incredibly relieved and decided to celebrate some of the ups I experienced in 2017. I won’t just be sharing books but I will also be tell you about my favorite movies, songs, podcasts, and even some of my favorite memories of this year. I hope you enjoy.

Favorite Books: 

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • Artemis by Andy Weir
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  • The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • Postcards from the Edge by Carrie Fisher

Favorite Movies: 

  • Wonder Woman
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • Spiderman: Homecoming
  • Baby Driver
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Logan
  • Beauty and the Beast (2017)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (I technically haven’t seen it yet but I know I’m going to love it)

Favorite TV Shows: 

  • Stranger Things: Season 2
  • Marvel’s The Defenders: Season 1
  • Gotham: Season 4
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: Season 1
  • Crisis on Earth X (Second Crossover between Supergirl, Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. I love all of these shows so I’m just listing the crossover)
  • Supernatural: Season 13
  • Lucifer: Season 3

Favorite Albums/Songs: 

  • “Zombies on Broadway,” Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (album)
  • Human by Rag n’ Bone Man (song)
  • “+” Ed Sheeran (album)
  • “After Laughter,” Paramore (album)
  • “One More Light,” Linkin Park (album)
  • New Rules by Dua Lipa (song)
  • “Hopeless Fountain Kingdom” Halsey (album)
  • Wolves by Rise Against (song)
  • “Lust for Life,” Lana Del Rey (album)
  • “Evolve,” Imagine Dragons (album)
  • “Melodrama,” Lorde (album)
  • Darkside by Ty Dolla $ign, Future, Kiiara (song)
  • Drive You Mad by Amy Shark (song)
  • Find Me by Sigma feat. Birdie
  • Hold Me Tight or Don’t by Fall Out Boy (song)
  • World Gone Mad by Bastille (song)

Favorite Podcasts: 

  • Alice Isn’t Dead
  • Small Town Murder
  • The Hilarious World of Depression
  • Lore
  • Steal the Stars

Favorite Classes I Took This Semester: 

  • Colloquium: Roman Decadence
  • Literature for Young Adults
  • British Literature from 1800-1900
  • Cicero

Favorite Moments/Milestones: 

  • Turning 21
  • Getting my Driver’s License
  • Having my First Internship Interview
  • Going to Kent’s Potter Fest
  • Starting this Blog

That’s all I have for 2017. Let’s hope to making even more good memories in 2018.

Current Favorites: Podcast Edition

Hello All! I had some time this weekend in between studying and reading to share with you all some of my favorite podcasts. I’m a little bit of a podcast junkie so I hope to introduce some podcasts for those who are interested and those who already love podcasts. These aren’t any particular genre or style. These podcasts are simply ones that I love to listen to.

Welcome to Night Vale – This is probably the most well-known current podcast. Set in the mysterious and weird desert town, Welcome to Night Vale is the local radio show hosted by the enigmatic Cecil Baldwin. The story is perfectly bizarre and profound. This podcast also showcases indie artists as part of the “weather report.” It may not make sense right now, but you will be sucked into the abyss once you give this podcast a listen.

welcome to night vale

The Nerdist – Chris Hardwick hosts this interview series where he sits down with celebrities from all over the entertainment industry and they talk about everything. Hardwick manages to make an interview sound more like a fun conversation between friends (who just happen to be A-list celebrities).

the nerdist

Ear Biscuits – If you are a fan of YouTube then you have probably heard of Rhett and Link, the hosts of Good Mythical Morning. In this podcast, they sit down and talk about everything from conspiracies, to being cool, and even vasectomies. It’s a humorous and enjoyable listen for anyone looking for comedy.

ear biscuits

How Did This Get Made? – Did you ever want to know how some of the most terrible movies to grace cinema were made? This podcast is for you. Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas sit down with celebrity guests to review and dissect the bizarre, the humorously bad, and the poorly acted. This podcast is perfect for movie buffs.

HDTGM-Logo-300x298

Lore – For fans of creepy history and urban legends, I present to you this particular podcast. The narrator (with a soothing voice, I might add) doesn’t look to spook but to merely explore these dark and gruesome parts of history. This podcast is great for the fall season.

lore

The NoSleep Podcast – In the same vein as Lore, this podcast incorporates various narrators to read submitted scary stories. It is not for the faint of heart but horror fans are sure to love this one to.

NoSleep.Podcast.S4.Logo_1400.jpg

Stuff You Missed in History Class – Time to give one for the history buffs. This podcast explores the lesser known figures of history who deserve recognition and lesser known historical events. The hosts do put an emphasis on women who have been disregarded by history, which I feel we can appreciate now. This podcast is informative and will keep you wanting to learn more.

symhc-new-logo-1600x1600

The Writers Panel – I have a feeling a lot of you will be interested in this one. This podcast is a series of panels where writers from across entertainment discuss their craft. They do not limit it to just novelists but they interview screen writers, non-fiction writers, comic writers, and many more. Any writer is sure to be enamored with this podcast.

the writers panel

Stuff You Should Know – Have you ever wondered how the CIA works? Why do people stutter? What about fever dreams? This podcast covers a whole variety of diverse topics as the hosts delve into explaining how everything works. The never-ending topics will keep you saying, “Wow, I didn’t know that!”

sysk-square-new-logo

Small Town Murder – Dark comedy is not meant for everyone but if you do have a slightly twisted sense of humor, then I recommend this one. Two comedians explore some of the strangest murders to happen in middle of nowhere-type places. The hosts keep a sense of levity while still providing an informative look at some graphic crimes. It sounds a little weird when I explain it but once you listen to it, you will understand what I mean.

small town murder

 

This is my list for now. I will put out a part two once I listen to a few more podcasts. I hope you listen to these because I would love to discuss these with my followers. Let me know what you think and thank you for reading this.

Some Quick Updates and Miscellaneous Thoughts

Hello my fellow bloggers. This is my first update post. Don’t feel any pressure to read this but if you’re interested then I appreciate it. On Sunday, I move back to college to complete my senior year. This ought to be a fun but hectic semester that I’m looking forward to. With this will come bigger gaps in between my posts. Hopefully since I’m mainly reading novels this year, I will be able to give you more reviews. Just be aware that I will not be able to keep up as much with my posts.

The next thing I wanted to address was something I have been thinking about for a while. I was thinking about doing movie or t.v. show reviews. Most of the things I watch are comic book based so it would still be relevant to my blog style. Not that I have that much of a blog style, but still. I’m a movie buff and an avid t.v. fangirl so I would like to share those with you all.

Now we are at the last matter of business. I just wanted to thank you all for reading my reviews and dealing with my book tags. I really love your blogs too and I love hearing feedback. I hope you all had an enjoyable summer. To those going back to school, I wish you the best of luck and hope that you achieve whatever goals you have set for yourself.

 

From Page to Screen: A List of Some of the Better Adaptations (in my opinion)

Whenever Hollywood announces a book-to-movie adaptation, bookworms everywhere tremble with fear and excitement. With such a hit or miss genre, it’s hard to be excited when you just want the details to be in order. I decided to do something different and give you all a list of some of the better and more accurate book transformations to have premiered on the small and big screens. Some of these are more mainstream while other are not but, either way, I hope you appreciate these suggestions. Also, I will only be focusing on novels and not comics or graphic novels. (Note: These will also be in no particular order.)

Movies:

The Harry Potter movie series (2001-2011): Arguably the most successful adaptations, Rowling’s novels helped kick off the adaptation craze. With Rowling involved in the script writing, the details and continuity are in place for an enjoyable eight-part series.

The Princess Bride (1987): This cult classic movie based off of William Goldman’s novel is a hilarious, action-packed, and romantic adventure that is so unique in its own right. The memorable quotes and iconic moments help to solidify the well-achieve notoriety this movie has acquired.

The Great Gatsby (2013): Baz Luhrmann’s take on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous novel is full of beautiful cinematography, awesome music, and verbatim scenes from the book. While there were certain parts I didn’t particularly like concerning Nick Carraway’s personal story, the movie is still enjoyable nonetheless. Leonardo DiCaprio emulates Gatsby’s charisma, charm, and dark past perfectly.

Pride and Prejudice (2005): This adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel avoids any melodrama that is typically associated with romance. The chemistry between Elizabeth and Darcy is palpable and eloquent in this particular adaptation. Paired with some gorgeous cinematography, any Austen fan is guaranteed to enjoy this movie.

The Shining (1980): Based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, Stanley Kubrick’s famous horror movie has still held up as being one of the most terrifying psychological thrillers. While King himself has spoken about his distaste with the adaptation, it is still a hypnotizing movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003): J.R.R Tolkien’s famous series bursts to life on screen with Peter Jackson’s direction. Though the movies are certainly lengthy, fans of fantasy still gush about this movie series. Though The Hobbit adaptation does not hold up as well, the first set of movies still holds its own to this day.

The Hunger Games trilogy (2012-2015): I actually saw the first movie in a midnight premier. Suzanne Collins’ intense YA thriller about a girl who must compete in a deadly arena-style competition provided four successful movie adaptations. While the fourth movie felt unnecessary and the movies fell under controversy for white-washing, the first and second movies are still enjoyable and provide plenty of gritty action.

Casino Royale (2006): Ian Fleming’s famous fictional spy steal the screen once again in this adaptation starring Daniel Craig. Though the James Bond films have been popular for since the 1960s, this one is unique because it is based on Fleming’s first 007 novel. This movie shows a darker take on Bond as he goes up against Le Chiffre, a man who finances terrorists, played by Mad Mikkelsen (who will show up again on this list soon.)

The Martian (2016): Andy Weir’s self-published novel packed a punch in this adaptation by famed director, Ridley Scott. When astronaut Mark Watney is mistakenly stranded on Mars, he chronicles his struggles to survive on this deadly planet. Surprisingly funny and written with real science in mind, this faithful adaptation is perfect for science geeks and bookworms alike.

Television/Netflix shows:

Game of Thrones (2011-2017): Though George RR Martin’s hit series is about to finish up its run on HBO, it has still proved to be a cultural phenomenon. Based on The Song of Fire and Ice book series, this popular show does not hold back in its shocking violence, dark story lines, and compelling characters. With plenty of action, this show about the struggle to rule Westeros is endlessly entertaining and will live on with its fan base even after it ends.

A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017-?): This Netflix adaptation of Daniel Handler’s (aka Lemony Snicket) dark children book series was a hit with its witty and dark tone. Neil Patrick Harris as the infamous Count Olaf is hilarious as he manages to make the character as charming as he is evil. The newcomers who play the Baudelaire siblings are mature beyond their years and their talent holds true. Anyone who grew up with this book series is sure to enjoy the Netflix series as well.

Hannibal (2013-2015): Hannibal Lecter has long been a horror icon on the big screen but Bryan Fuller’s series shows Dr. Lecter before he became the killer in the glass case we know. In this short-lived series, Hannibal assists reluctant FBI investigator Will Graham as he solves the gruesome killings of the Chesapeake Ripper. This series does take some liberties from the original Thomas Harris series but it is still beautifully morbid and intense.

Sherlock (2010-?): This mini-series based off of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective has also become a pop culture phenomenon. This modernized take on Sherlock Holmes is surprisingly accurate and provides clever twists on the original. With a nice balance of humor and drama, this adaptation is a wild ride and will keep you guessing to the end.

American Gods (2017-?): You can check out my review of the original Neil Gaiman novel on my blog. This series is profound as it is darkly humorous. With Gaiman as an executive produce for the show, it maintains accuracy while building on the characters as well. Any mythology buff will love to binge watch this new and unique show about the old gods and new gods.