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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Book to Movie: One for the Money

A million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed (1994), a fun little mystery series began; starring Stephanie Plum, the world’s most inept bounty hunter who lived in Trenton, New Jersey. This was a book series that everyone in my family enjoyed. I read it, my mum read it, my sister read it, my father read it and my grandmother read it. Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum mysteries were hilarious and fun for all ages (well, sort of, there is some salty language, often death and occasionally some Sexy Times. *mmmmmm Ranger*.) Back in 1994 the only person I could see ever playing Ms. Plum on the big screen was Sandra Bullock. Especially when the movie Miss. Congeniality came out as the role she played there was rather Stephanie Plum-ish. And the only person I could picture playing Grandma Mazur was Estelle Getty (RIP).

Fast forward to today. It’s the year 2012 and we’re on book EIGHTEEN of the series. After many, many years of potential movie rumblings, the first book in the Stephanie Plum series was finally released in theatres. I have to say, not many people that I spoke to over last summer were at all thrilled with the casting of Katherine Heigl as Stephanie. I know I wasn’t. I’m not the biggest fan of her acting and I was sceptical of her ability to pull this off. Never mind the fact that I had no clue who the actors were that were cast as the two leading men, Joe Morelli (Jason O’Mara) and Ranger (Daniel Sunjata).

I am always wary of books becoming live and large on the big screen. With the exception of Harry Potter, I have yet to ever be satisfied with a movie representation of a book that I love. But after 18 years of loyalty to this series and having so much joy in sharing the books with my Mum, I knew that I had to go and I had to take her with me.

I had the day off on Friday and I had gift certificates left for the cinema, so I called up my Mum and said, “let’s go on a date!” and we did.

Was the movie stellar? Not at all. Did it suck? Not as much as I thought it would. Perhaps because we went in there expecting the worst we were easily appeased by what we saw. I don’t know. I do know that Katherine Heigl didn’t completely ruin the Stephanie Plum role but she did seem like she was phoning it in at times. Sure, Stephanie is from Joizey and can be a bit of a hardass, but she’s also pretty giggly and bubbly in the books. Heigl did not capture the effervescence of the character at all. Sometimes she seemed downright bored with the role. I would have liked way more bubblicious in the representation, but if I ignore that part, she didn’t suck. I could SEE Stephanie Plum by looking at her (and Katherine Heigl looks so much prettier with brown hair if you ask me!) but often her line delivery was lacking and sadly flat.

All of the secondary characters were pretty good, though. I loved the actor they cast for Cousin Vinnie (Patrick Fischler) and although they cut down on the amount of screen time Lula gets (since it’s the first book and she’s not as huge of a role), I thought she would make a great Lula if they keep on making movies (plus, I just happen to like Sherrie Shepherd). I was ok with Debbie Reynolds playing the Grandma Mazur role, though I think they made her too young looking and well-made up. In the books, Grandma Mazur is always in track suits and seems a little less together in the brain than Reynolds portrayed her.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll know that I am all about Ranger. Mmmmmm. But I couldn’t stand him in this movie. I do not find the actor playing him particularly good looking but besides that, he had these awful bags under his eyes and just looked run down and not the healthy, ex-military guy he seems to be in the books.

I was, however, madly in love with Morelli by the end of this movie. Madly. I don’t even like Morelli in the books! I could finally see why Stephanie let him show her the way to heaven on the floor of the Tasty Pastry when she was 17. heh

I don’t think that One for the Money should have been a big screen movie though. I feel like this would have worked much better as a made for TV movie. Heck, put it on HBO or that other one I can’t think of right now, so you can keep the swearing and whatnot if you want, but it doesn’t need to be in a theatre. In fact, the movie itself didn’t even have anything remotely I’M A MOVIE! about it. I felt like I was watching TV the entire time. There was nothing Big Screen about it.

Not to mention the humour, that’s so everything in the books, wasn’t there. I rarely laughed out loud. I think a lot of it was due to the semi-bored and disinterested acting of Katherine Heigl. She just didn’t bring the funny.

I would enjoy move movies in this series if they stuck to TV I think. Maybe perked Katherine Heigl up a little. Gave her some life. Oh, and change the actor for Ranger. I don’t know who I can think of to play him, but I didn’t think this Sunjata guy worked very well.

At least Hollywood didn’t ruin the movie/book experience. They did a half-decent job, but it wasn’t quite right. Of course after 18 years with a series you feel awfully possessive of it and you just want everything to turn out like you have in your head. So not everyone will be happy, I get that.

Overall, I didn’t think this movie was as horrible as I thought it was going to be, but I am certainly happy that I used gift certificates for it and not my own money.

Plus, bright side, I got to have a lovely date with my Mum and I can’t think of the last time we were out together, only us, that didn’t involve some sort of hospital trip. heh

Mum & I

Bottom line? If you don’t mind spending the money and you’re curious, go for it. It’s not as awful as we all thought it would be. If you don’t want to spend the money, just wait for it to some out on DVD or show up on Netflix (or whatever other streaming thing you can get in the US that we Canadians can’t) because I think it would work well on the small screen. Of course, you can’t get those delicious movie theatre nachos when you’re at home though. I go for the nachos myself.

Book to Movie: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

This weekend my husband and I went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Now, to be honest, even though I was looking forward to seeing this movie, I hadn’t planned on making an opening weekend showing at all. I detest crowded theatres. I get claustrophobic and anxious and don’t like when strangers sit next to me. But, we were lucky enough to be in a mall we haven’t been too much since we moved and it had a cinema that isn’t overly crowded even on cheapy nights. So we thought about it and bought tickets for the 3:40 pm matinée and hoped for the best. There were maybe 20-30 people in the entire room. Huzzah!

Armed with drinks, popcorn and nachos, we sat and waited for the previews to begin. (Um.. the went from Disney G-Force to 2012!! What the heck? I was TERRIFIED by the 2012 preview! TERRIFIED (I don’t do well with end of the world movies.) and they showed this before Harry Potter? Good grief. Not quite the target audience if you ask me. *shudder*)

So, what did I think of the movie? (No spoilers! I promise!)

I’m not exactly sure to be honest. I know I didn’t hate it like I did the previous one (Order of the Phoenix), that one made me mad with all the important stuff it cut out. Maybe there was important stuff missing from this one too? But do I remember? No. Apparently I have no recollection of this book. I didn’t know who three characters were, no recollection of them even being characters and couldn’t really remember what was supposed to happen in HBP. Heck, I even forgot until the very last second WHO the Half-Blood Prince WAS.

I am too young to have a memory this bad. Heh.

What I did find, and I know it’s due to length of book, was that everything was so rushed. If you never read the book you’d probably feel that nothing happened. It felt like this:

Spoken Line
Spoken Line (possibly months later?)
Spoken Line

Get the idea?

Also, even though I can’t recall most of the book, I felt like there was no one in the movie. It was more of a Harry Potter & Dumbledore Buddy Cop Movie (only without the Cop part). I was almost convinced that Neville wouldn’t even have a Spoken Line when he said like, 5 words. Mostly he was just wandering around in the shot. I missed Snape, boy do I like Snape more than I always think I do. I don’t like him in the books, but I love the Alan Rickman Snape. He’s awesome. (And… cute? Do I actually have a crush on SNAPE??) But he was so underplayed in this movie. As I found, was Draco Malfoy. He rarely sneered all movie. I missed his “I smell something  bad on you, Pottah!” face.

However, what I love about these movies (aside from the music and the scenery and the magic) is watching these actors grow up. I am constantly wowed by how tall or grown-up someone looks. Ron Weasley is one of them and Hermione was in this dress at one point and she was just stunningly beautiful.

The movie felt long though. I mean, it was long, being 2 hours and 31 minutes, but it sort of dragged in places, even though I see what they were trying to do. I just felt like they could have done it in a better way. And wasn’t there more action in the book than in the movie? (Again, no memory!)

And I know the big ended to the book was a shock to many and I am more sad about the Big Event in regards to the movie because I completely adore the Dumbledore as played by Michael Gambon. He’s wry and witty. He has this sarcastic air about him that I am drawn to. The first Dumbledore was… well, old seeming and fragile and sleepy. This one has sass and pizazz!

Oh, also? I think I might have a teeny crush on Fred and George Weasley as well. Or maybe not a crush, but they have grown into handsome men (Oh, good. They are over 18. I feel less creepy now…). Of course at one point during the scene in the shop I turned to Shawn and whispered “Oh, my god! They look like Clay Aiken!!” HAHAHAH! *ahem* This does not mean I have a crush on Clay Aiken.  Because, ew. No.

The movie made me want to get movies 4 (Harry Potter: Get That Cup!) and 5 (Harry Potter: Good Thing I Learned How to Duel!). I didn’t get them because I didn’t really like them. However now I feel like I should have them anyhow just so that one day when I want to have a Harry Potter Movie Marathon I can and I can watch these kids grow up on film. And I can wish that I went to school in a castle and could perform magic. However, I will not wish that I was someone’s bitch and the only one who can solve any of the problems going on. Because, really, that Harry Potter kid needs to learn how to stand up for himself and have someone else go get the quest item. (I have dubbed the earlier video games “Harry Potter: Everyone’s Bitch” hehehe because he’s the only one who can get the spells for everyone else to learn. Poor bastard.)

Go see it if you can. It’s fun and beautiful to watch during all those WHOOOOSH OF SCENERY scenes.  The acting has even gotten marginally better than the first movies. 😉

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the 6th movie in the HP series. One more to go – but it two parts (a YEAR apart, too! AHHHH!)