adaptation, books, Coma, Fifty Shades of Grey, films, Harry Potter, Henry Cavill, Hunger Games, Jim Caviezel, Lord of the Rings, Matt Bomer, Michael Douglas, Mila Kunis, Robin Cook, Ryan Gosling, Seth Gabel
I have always loved books. When they taught me how to read in first grade (my family never forced me to learn things too early, they said there was time and place for everything) I knew it was going to become a great part of my life. I started with children’s books, legends and short stories. I read a all of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales and proceeded to Jan Brzechwa’s poems, short stories and novels. Then a friend of mine introduced me to the work of Lucy Maud Montgomery and I lost myself in those girlish novels so much that I forgot to read the school’s syllabus. At some point of my teenage life I even read Harlequins just because my dad would not let me read his Harry Harrison’s book collection. I am not quite sure if Harlequins were more appropriate for an 11-year-old than Stainless Steel Rat but it my dad’s opinion it was.
For several years I enjoyed medical thrillers written by Robin Cook. His novels made me want to study medicine to become a forensics, but since I was not living in Boston I abandoned that idea.
After Cook’s novels I could not decide which genre choose next, so I went through all sort of authors: Dean Koontz, Peter Straub, Stephen King, Andre Norton, Harry Harrison (finally), Michael Crichton and I started reading the school syllabus: Hemingway, Joseph Conrad, Henryk Sienkiewicz, Mikhail Bulgakov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Franz Kafka, etc.
I read all of those books but I do not really remember them. Why? Because when I was young I read books to enjoy the written word. I never even tried to imagine the worlds described there. I read “Coma” (Robin Cook) and not long after that I saw the movie with Michael Douglas and… nothing, no opinion whatsoever on that adaptation.
When I was sixteen my little brother won “Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone” book as a price for good studying in fourth grade. Despite a very childish translation it was the very first book in my life that woke up my imagination. All the characters I imagined very vividly, the Hogwarts was full of mysterious corridors and secret chambers. New species of animals and humans and of course…magic, wizards and witches! The words became images and it was beautiful, but then I asked myself if I would ever be able to watch and adaptation of a book again.
When the “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” was first shown in cinemas I did not go to see it. It came out on DVD and I did not buy it and then one day I switched the channel on TV and there it was….Hogwarts, just the way I had imagined it! The characters could not be more perfect from what my mind had showed me a couple of years earlier. The only disappointment was the game of Quidditch, not at all what I had imagined and very poor special effects. First Harry Potter movie scored 9 out of 10 points on my scale of good or bad adaptation.
I decided to see as many adaptation as possible, having of course read the book first, and score them. And so I read “Horse whisperer” by Evans and watched the movie with Robert Redford and Scarlett Johansson. Not bad, 7/10, because they had missed some things that I had found important.
“Lord of the rings”, I admit I did not get through a single book of Tolkien’s, I read maybe 100 pages of the trilogy and the world I imagined was not even half that good as Peter Jackson’s. 10/10.
“Hunger games”…this on is tricky. You see, sometimes the problem is the translation and I am not quite sure if in this case it was a very poor, bad, terrible translation or the author’s style itself that made me hate the novel. I liked the idea and hated the writing, that’s why when the movie hit the big screen I loved it so much I would give this one 15/10 points.
“Jack Reacher” is one of my favourite novel’s character. So far I have read three out of seventeen books written by Lee Child in which Jack is starring. A tall, handsome man in his mid forties, sporty and strong. A man of every woman’s dream. When I saw the teaser of Jack Reacher in cinema I thought it was a joke. Tom Cruise was starring as Jack Reacher? The Jack Reacher? No way! I did not even like Tom as an actor, I mean, I had seen a few films with him starring, and I liked two or three of them but I would not call myself a fan. Besides Tom Cruise is short! How tall can he be? 5’7” meanwhile Jack Reacher is 6’5”!!! I decided not to see this movie. My plan did not work.
Why it did not work? Well, I love going to the cinema almost as much as I love reading books. I know every single promotion to get cheaper tickets in cinemas all over my city, because I visit them at least twice a week. There are times that there is nothing to see for me so I go and see the same movie I had seen a week before. This time it was Thursday’s promotion (3 chocolate bar’s packages plus 3 dollars and you can choose a film to watch). I wanted to see Gambit with Colin Firth but I was told the promotion did not include this one. I ran my eyes down the list of upcoming films and picked the preview of Jack Reacher. Imagine my surprise when the film ended after over two hours and I felt like I had been there only 5 minutes. I wanted more! Tom Cruise is astonishing as Jack Reacher. I do not know if the author, Lee Child, had anything to say in the matter of choosing the actors but if he did and he actually approved of Tom, why did I doubt he would do great? As I said before, I had never been fan of Cruise’s work but now I’m starting to admire him as an actor. He caught my eye in MI: Ghost Protocol but won my heart with Jack Reacher. I sincerely hope the Bad Robot company will produce all of Jack Reacher’s stories.
I could name a lot more of adaptations that surprised me both positively and negatively but I don’t want to make this entry too long and too boring. So I am going to share one more concern with you…about the possible future adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey”.
There has been a lot of speculations about the leading role of Christian Grey. I must admit that after reading two first books of “Fifty Shades Trilogy” I started searching the internet trying to find the perfect candidate. I even started to chat with long not seen friend from primary school who lives in UK about her concerns on this matter. We share some opinions and we disagree on some candidates and I have decided to make my own list of actors.
The most probable actor taken in consideration to be Mr Grey is Ryan Gosling. I don’t want to be too mean about this but I find him totally wrong for this part. I believe my friend, Olivia, agrees with me. It is not about his age or skills, it is about his looks. He is one of this small group of men in this world who do not look good in a suit. He can perfectly well fit into the role of bad-boy looking taxi driver but will never be credible as a rich, good looking businessman who has rare and odd sexual preferences. Robert Downey jr would be, but he is too old for the part.
Now what about others. I recently discovered a RT of Matt Bomer for Christian Grey on my twitter and I did retweet it. I mean, you have to agree that Matt Bomer is and incredibly handsome, good looking guy. His blue eyes are more than hypnotizing, but he seems to feel pretty uncomfortable playing romantic scenes with women. He is an actor and he should be able to play any part, no matter his sexual orientation, but when you see him kiss Alex in White Collar it is almost as bad as seeing Colin Firth kiss a woman in a movie. So, Matt no offence, I am a big fan of you but unless you do something about that kissing issue, you are not Christian Grey material.
Another candidate, Jim Caviezel 16 years ago. Too bad Jim is too old for the part, he would be my favourite for the part.
Henry Cavill… I don’t really know this actor, I have not seen him in any movie but judging by the looks he could be my second favourite unless he is a bad actor (which I am not able to tell).
And now it is time for my winner type. Olivia does not agree with me at this point, but I think that Seth Gabel would be perfect! He young, pretty tall, he’s got beautiful green-blue eyes and cute wholes in his cheeks when he smiles. And his haircut in Fringe, when he is the Agent Lee from the other side, is just how I imagined Christian Grey in the very first scene he appears.
Dear Mrs E.L. James, please take in consideration Mr Gabel’s candidacy, yours sincerely, Anna Walczak.
PS. Mila Kunis should play Anastasia Steel. She fits perfectly for the part. No other candidates for her role needed.