The Mortal Engines releases this week, so we thought we would keep it simple this month and discuss our favourite films based on books… Expect lots of Lord of the Rings to follow!
Lord of the Rings. The epic trilogy that spawned some of the best fantasy action and adventure films ever – Purely for the size and ambition of the films and the accomplishment that they made. A little Hobbit from the Shire makes his way across his known world on a long quest to end the tyranny of the Dark Lord Sauron. Yes, the films are a little long, but there are some glorious moments, Admitantly, most of them come from Gandalf like the moment where he’s shouting “You shall not pass”, or the little Hobbits setting off a huge fucking dragon firework off in a tent that Gandalf brought for Bilbo Baggins birthday party. You also can’t forget Smeagol and Gollum’s conversation with themselves about the ring, in fact, any conversation between the two. The mental challenges between who is in control of the body are obvious, and brilliantly portrade. there just a few things that make the films great.
There is another film that I want to mention and would be surprised if one of the other guys don’t talk about. Ready Player One. ‘Nuf Said.
Okay so firstly Harry Potter… And yes there are many many many things that irritate me because they are not close to the book… But at the end of the day, they’re still magical and an embodiment of my youth and teens!. Another firm favourite of mine is Stardust; I have so many lovely memories of watching this film and for once, I don’t mind the big deviations from the book, which is excellent in its own rights! I love how magical everything is! Along the Neil Gaiman theme I feel I should mention Coraline, this one’s much closer to the book and does really well at terrifying both children and adults; it’s animated excellently, and the almost unsettling character design really adds to the whole feel of the film! Lastly I want to talk about Me before You, this ones a bit soppy and a bit girly and utterly heartbreaking! I won’t spoil anything but if you ever feel like crying…….
Perhaps a bit more obscure, but I really enjoyed The Golden Compass movie. Although it was clearly made in an attempt to ride the coattails of Harry Potter, I found the idea of having a daemon – a familiar that embodied the opposites of your soul – quite interesting. I mean, think about it – you’d not only have a friend for your entire life, but you’d also have someone who can see the world in a way you don’t, which would provide valuable insight on things.
I understand why we never got more of them, though – not only was the film not as financially successful as hoped, after researching what the series was about and discovering it was very critical of religion in general, the property was probably too much of a risk to gamble on. Not to mention that the film did not shy away from some pretty shocking things – not only is a child’s soul permenently damaged by the death of his familiar, you also see a polar bear’s jaw get swiped off before being mauled on the throat to death! I remember the actual gasps from the audience when that happened – one of the few times I’ve experienced an audience actually react to their movie.