Five Potential YA Franchises that Failed

Let me add Lois Lowry’s The Giver to this list.

Originally posted on What About Movies?

The Maze Runner (2014), a film adapted from James Dashner’s young adult post apocalyptic sci-fi series, made a killing at the box office last year, earning a whopping $102 million in the US ($238 million internationally) with just a $38 million production budget. Yesterday, Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, the second installment, graced big screens all over the nation, and its potential for success is great. This came to me as a surprise considering that it’s one of the young adult series with a relatively smaller following than say Divergent or The Hunger Games. Of course there are an infinite number of reasons for the success and failure of a young adult film adaptation. A solid fan base from the books help, but they are not entirely a guarantee. And as much as we have The Hunger Games, Twilight and Harry Potter, all YA series adaptations that have become massive money makers, we get those few who never really become the full-blown film franchise they were expected to be.

Read about what’s included in the list: Five Potential YA Franchises that Failed – What About Movies?


Books & Films: Stuck in Love

No, this is not a film adapted from a book. But Stuck in Love (2012) is a story about writers. The tagline actually says that it’s A story of first loves and second chances. Hehe! But the main characters here are writers. Plus Raymond Carver and Stephen King!

stuck in love

“Every life needs a rewrite.”

Stuck in Love is a 2012 American independent romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Josh Boone. The film stars Greg Kinnear (The Last Song), Jennifer Connelly (Requiem for a Dream), Lily Collins (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), Logan Lerman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Nat Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars) and Liana Liberato (If I Stay). See what I did there? I just need to mention those books adapted to films. Haha!

There are three writers in this film. Meet the Borgens! There’s the father (Kinnear) who is a successful novelist, the daughter (Collins) who is publishing her first novel, and the son (Wolff) who is an aspiring fantasy writer. This is even originally titled as “Writers” when it premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.

But let’s talk about the other two writers mentioned in this film.

1. Raymond Carver

I have read What We Talk About When We Talk About Love early this year. It was our book club’s book of the month last February. I was glad I read it before I saw this film. Let’s quote Bill Borgens (Kinnear) quoting Raymond Carver:

“My favorite book is a collection of short stories by Raymond Carver, called What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. And in the closing lines of the title book, Carver says:

I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone’s heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moved, not even when the room went dark.

And I think that that’s what writing is, it’s listening for that beating heart. And when we hear it, it’s our job to decipher it, to the best of our abilities.”

This is the scene where Bill was asked to talk during the launch of Samantha’s (Collins) book. He was requested by the professor to say a few words about the process of writing. Do you agree with Bill’s thoughts?

2. Stephen King

Stephen King is the favorite author of Josh Boone, and Rusty Borgens (Wolff) too. Rusty raved about his favorite book, It, in the film. While Louis (Lerman) mentioned that The Stand is his favorite.

Then let’s quote Rusty talking to Stephen King (Yes, cameo!):

“It’s kind of like what you said in the opening of The Body.”

The most important things are the hardest to say.

I have been hearing the name of Stephen King since, uh, grade school? But I haven’t read any of his books. Maybe his style and genre are not my thing. Well, I thought I said I am willing to read anything? Maybe other books are just more appealing to me. Maybe I’m just scared, because horror and suspense. But how do I know if I didn’t try? So after watching this movie, I added two Stephen King books in my “to-read” list. I added It (because it’s recommended by Rusty) and Pet Sematary (recommended by a friend from the office). What about you? What Stephen King books have you read? Any recommendations?

Love books? What About Movies?

Books & Films: Atonement, The Fault in Our Stars, Edge of Tomorrow

Last Saturday, I watched three films. What got my attention and I found it funny is that I watched three movies in a day whereas I watched three movies last May. Yes, for the whole month of May, I only watched three, the least I did in a month this year. Last Thursday, I was thinking of what to do on a holiday. Blogging, watching movies and reading books came to mind. That’s when I realized that all of the three movies that I watched last Saturday are all based from books. As mentioned in the title of this blog post, these are the movies that I watched and enjoyed.

1. Atonement (2007) wpid-wp-1402589483967.jpegThis British romantic drama war film is based on the historical fiction novel of the same title by Ian McEwan. I read this with my book club friends last April. I’ve been planning to watch the movie after reading but I’ve been in a “movie watching slump” (Does this phrase even exist?) last month. A friend asked me that we watch it together albeit we’re in different locations and I was glad I did. The movie was very faithful to the novel, which makes a reader happy and satisfied when watching adapted films. I admire the actors that brought the characters into life. Another remarkable aspect is the film’s use of the sound of the typewriter and the piano as background music. This imposed added feelings of tension to the story. Also, I was amazed with the sweeping shot at the beach which depicted different moods during the war. Full of emotions, I would certainly recommend this film.

My Goodreads rating: 5/5 stars
My Letterboxd rating: 5/5 stars

2. The Fault in Our Stars (2014) wpid-wp-1402589478086.jpeg This is a romantic comedy-drama film based on the young adult novel of the same title by John Green. John Green has been famous in the young adult genre so I decided to read this book last year. I really enjoyed watching this movie with my friends. This movie made me laugh and… Okay, I’ll admit, it also made me cry. I believe that Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort were impressive as Hazel Grace and Augustus. I heard that John Green was present most of the time during filming. So that explains why the movie is regarded as a good adaptation of the novel.

My Goodreads rating: 4/5 stars
My Letterboxd rating: 4/5 stars

3. Edge of Tomorrow (2014) wpid-wp-1402589447165.jpeg It actually surprised me that this science fiction Tom Cruise movie is based from a book. I just found that out after the movie when the credits were shown. It is based from All You Need is Kill, a sci-fi war novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. The movie is clever and funny. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are superb and I love the battle scenes. The ending will make you think so the movie experience will stay. I’m not really strict in following the “read the book before watching the movie” rule so I added this book to my to-read list. By the way, this book was adapted into a graphic novel too.

My Goodreads rating: to read
My Letterboxd rating: 4/5 stars

I once watched a movie and then discovered that it was based from a book. My initial reaction: “So that’s why it was that good!” As a matter of fact, some of the greatest movies of all time were adapted from books. So yeah, I’m looking forward for more!

Love books? What About Movies?