Daniel Radcliffe discusses “The Woman in Black”

Daniel Radcliffe (aka: Harry Potter, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade) spoke with the Toronto Sun about his role in upcoming mook, “The Woman In Black.”  The horror movie is due to hit theaters this Friday and is bound to be a jump-out-of-your-seat type flick.  The novel by Susan Hill, which I am currently reading, is spooky and thrilling.  My greatest hope is that Radcliffe’s performance is phenomenal and helps break him away from his teenage-wizard stereotype.  Check out the official trailer below and come back soon for a Mookology review on “The Woman in Black”

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Mook Review: One Day

One Day – Written by David Nicholls

One Day, David Nicholls, Emma Morley, Dexter Mayhew, Book, Review, Mookology

via Wikipedia.org

It took me a very, very long time to actually read this book.  I have some apprehensions towards Nicholas Sparks-esque romance novels; typically, I do not connect with them and find them mediocre in terms of writing.  David Nicholls did not write this kind of story and One Day is a refreshing tale, one that embodies a very lifelike relationship between two people over the course of a few decades.

Nicholls flawlessly shifts character viewpoints (we English nerds like to call this “third-person subjective.”)  I liked this aspect of the novel.  The way Emma and Dexter’s relationship works is complex and often blurry in terms of what both of them want.  You need to know information from both characters in order to truly embrace Emma, Dexter, and their friendship.  Although Dexter is, for the most part, obnoxious, condescending, and a bit of an asshole I found myself connected to his character and wanting the best for him.  At the beginning of the novel, I wasn’t too thrilled and pushed myself through each chapter but by Part Two, the plot lines pick up and the characters begin changingsomething we often don’t find in a stand alone novel.

One Day transgresses through the changing of times. We read about the familiar beginnings of technology, world crisis, and media sensations.  It is almost as if the novel was being written through each of these years.  Nicholls writes about distinct turning points in the world, with much clarity and has a deep connection with the development of his characters.

I was mildly surprised by the events at the novels end but, while somewhat predictable, I enjoyed One Day to a great extent.  I absolutely love how the novel begins and ends during the same day, bringing Emma and Dexter full circle. David Nicholls opened my eyes to what romance novels can be, despite stereotypes.  I actually rooted for love rather than roll my eyes at how trivial it seemed.   One Day was definitely a change for me in terms of reading and, if interested in a classic tale about budding romance, this novel would be fitting.

“One Day”  Directed by Lone Scherfig

One Day, Lone Scherfig, Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Mookology, review

via IMDB.com

The major issues with this mook (besides Anne Hathaway’s heinous British accent) are the fact that, first, the novel is nearly 400 pages that spans the course decades and, second, Nicholls’ writing is very concentrated and without extensive dialogue.  The beautiful thing about One Day is how in-tune we are with the characters thoughts and the way Emma and Dexter’s own notions seamlessly rotate.  These are the kind of things that are difficult to translate to the moving image and the main reason why I felt the movie was moderately unsuccessful.

The character profiles were accurate and present, but everything was so fast moving it was difficult to keep up with.  If I hadn’t read the novel I felt as if I wouldn’t have truly understood their relationship.  Of course, with such a broad spectrum of information and only a limited time frame on which to focus, certain characters were minimized or cut completely (Tilly Killick, Suki Meadows, Mr. Godalming, Mandy, etc.)  This did not bother me.  I felt the film was missing some depth and explanations.  Emma’s breakup with Ian, for example, is barely noted, making the scene where he appears in their flat post-breakup pretty strange (not to mention the fact that Ian was creepy and weird in every scene he appeared in, but I digress.)  Additionally, Dexter and Sylvie’s disintegrating marriage was just barely explored.  These are unfortunate choices a director must make.

“One Day” was a decent movie.  Probably not my traditional choice of genre, but it did the book some justice.  I liked that there were truly those moments where you laughed when you were supposed to and choked up when appropriate.  However, it just wasn’t the book, plain and simple.

Mook Rating – ★★1/2

Mook Review: My Sister’s Keeper

My Sister’s Keeper – Written by Jodi Picoult

My Sisters Keeper Book Jodi Picoult

via BN.com

I’m not the biggest fan of Jodi Picoult. Her novels do “get you” in an emotional sense, but they all seem to end in a court room and lots of tears. I also have found repeat phrases in several of her novels, which is a red flag for most readers. Recycling work is never a smart move and, as a writer myself, I do not appreciate the lack of creativity. However, I did find My Sister’s Keeper to be very successful and interesting in a number of ways.

Generally, I avoid reading novels that are intentionally depressing. Cancer stories seem to fall into this category and, having lost loved ones to the terrible disease, it is not something I enjoy exploring creatively unless there is some deeper meaning. Picoult’s use of underlying messages and subplots helped My Sister’s Keeper avoid this “depressing story” stereotype. While the novel is essentially centered around Anna Fitzgerald and her medical emancipation, each character has their own story. I love the romantic undertones and relationships: Kate and Taylor, Campbell and Julia, and Sarah and Brian. Although no character, with the exception of Anna, truly convince the reader of their story, I did find the development of My Sister’s Keeper to be satisfying.

The sublimely tragic ending leaves every reader in shock. There is no predictability of this coming, to which I give credit to Picoult as surprising your reader can often be difficult to do. I’m not a fan of epilogues, and Kate’s section did relatively nothing for me. I would have liked to see Sarah and Brian’s reflections rather than the surviving sister but, nevertheless, My Sister’s Keeper left you thinking about the characters, their story, and the tragedy of it all.

“My Sister’s Keeper” – Directed by Nick Cassavetes

my sister's keeper, nick cassavetes, movie, mookology, cameron diaz, abigail breslin, alec baldwin

via IMDB.com

I had a number of issues with this movie. First of all, the type-casting. With a story as delicate as “My Sister’s Keeper,” using high-paid actors to pull in viewers is just not a good idea. The novel had great critical reception and was a movie a lot of people wanted to see, so using major celebrities like Cameron Diaz and Alec Baldwin can only set up a mook for failure. Rather than using household names for the characters, I would have liked to see unknowns fill these roles.

My second annoyance towards “My Sister’s Keeper” was the genuine disregard for the story Picoult had created. Why was Anna and Campbell’s relationship severely unexplored? Where is Julia Romano’s character? What happened to the Brian-Jesse-Fire subplot? Although I did really enjoy how the movie expanded on the romance between Kate and Taylor, there was so much more than was left out. Aside from a few hard-hitting moments (ie: Cameron Diaz shaving her head for Kate) the movie barely scratched the emotional surface that the book did.

Last, but in no way least, the ending. What an incredible dissapointment! I could not believe Picoult even allowed the director to alter the ending in the way that they did. I have heard that this major plot change was against Picoult’s wishes, but it ruined the integrity of the novel and made it just any old depressing, cancer story. Everything about “My Sister’s Keeper” that made it unique and different dissolved in the hands of Hollywood. I left the movie feeling genuinely angry and regretting I had paid $11.50 to watch the film. To be honest, this mook goes down as one of the worst in history. Shame on you, Nick Cassavetes!

Mook Rating – ★

Oscar 2012 Nominees Announced: Mooks Take Over

To no ones surprise, mooks are dominating The 2012 Academy Awards.  After some nice wins and nominations at the Golden Globes (“The Descendants,” The Help,” “The Iron Lady,” etc) I expected to see some of the same mooks nominated for Oscars.  I was happy to see “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” added to the nominations as both Best Picture and Max Von Sydow for Best Supporting Actor.  I was also delighted to see “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” nominated in a few categories as well.  Access the whole list by clicking here.

2012: The Year of the Mook?

It seems I’m not the only one RIDICULOUSLY pumped for 2012 Mooks! Read, “The 10 Most Anticipated Book Adaptations of 2012” (via Publisher’s Weekly)

What I find the most exciting is the number of noteworthy classics on this list!  While The Great Gatsby and Great Expectations both dominate the categories in literary history, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Life of Pi have just as much credibility and are very popular reads.  The highly anticipated adaptation of The Hobbit is long overdue and The Hunger Games? Enough said. I know I can’t stop ranting about how 2012 is going to be a great Mook year, and it has just started!  I hope you’re all as excited as I am.

Mook Review: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Written by Jonathan Safran Foer

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer, book review, mookology, 9/11, World Trade Center

via BN.com

For the past few years, I have been hearing the name Jonathan Safran Foer associated with praise and a good read.  Both Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close held permanent spots on my “to-read” list, but considering the arrival of the movie I decided to go ahead with EL&IC solely based on Mook purposes.  The construction of the book is complex, beginning with the narration of the inventive, inspirational and utterly depressed Oskar Schell , which then leads into intertwining storylines and narrators.
The use of imagery through photographs is wonderful in this story.  It adds reality to the characters.  When I first approached EL&IC, I was regarding it as a 9/11 novel and, although the presence of 9/11 is grounded within Oskar’s story, there is more to it than that.  The loss involved with our homeland tragedy is paralleled with the story of Oskar’s grandparents and the bombing of Dresden in WWII (a comparison which I found fantastic.)  Loss, love, and soul searching is heavily embedded in this novel. Everyone is mourning someone and searching for something.

Although Oskar is regarded as the main character of the novel, I felt a deep connection with the story of his grandparents, even when it was confusing at times.  I thought this worked well for the story, considering Oskar does not have any relationships with other kids his age and really only relates to the many, many adults he meets throughout his journey.

After reading EL&IC  I was curious how it would be portrayed on film.  It is, by no means, a clearly laid-out novel and there are things that may be too complex for a motion picture to convey.  The depth and structure which Foer provides is whimsical and basically flawless for what he wants you to take away from reading. Regardless, it is a wonderful story.

“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” – Directed by Stephen Daldry

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, movie, review, mookology, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Thomas Horn, 9/11

via IMDB.com

Going into the film, I had a few reservations in my expectations.  The first was that, as you read in my book review, the novel seemed too complex to translate flawlessly to the screen.  There were going to be changes, I just wasn’t sure if I would like them.  The next reservation I had regarded Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock portrayed in all advertisements as main characters.   Although Oskar’s parents do play an important role in the novel, they were supporting characters in every aspect and we never heard either of their perspectives in the book.

As expected, the film had some very distinct changes from the book, some which I felt unnecessary.  It was strange: all of the pieces from the novel were there, they just put them together in a different way. For example, the choice for Oskar’s mom to have figured out his journey herself rather than have all of the Black’s call her after Oskar’s visit was kind of unneeded.    Why make a change to something that made sense in the novel?  The decision to not delve into detail with the grandparents was something I expected, but why leave us with nothing? We get relatively no understanding of their relationship besides the fact that Oskar’s Grandfather has consistently left his Grandmother over the course of many years.   This could have been explained some more, in some way.

I must commend Thomas Horn for his exceptional portrayal of Oskar Schell.  I actually felt more emotionally connected to Oskar’s anxiety in the film than in the book–something that almost never happens.  The kid is incredible. The first time we really see him excel at this role is when Oskar explains things that make him “panicky” while setting off to Fort Green. Horn shone spectacularly when he told Oskar’s story to his Grandfather and I actually felt my chest heaving during Oskar’s tantrum at the end of the movie. Sandra Bullock was, of course, spot on and amazing as Oskar’s mother and I truly felt their struggle.  The story is, after all, about losing someone in one of the most devastating ways.

This is one of those instances where I felt reading the novel prior to seeing the film caused it to fall flat.  While the acting was superb and the story was there, it just didn’t develop the way I expected it to. For this reason, I found it to be kind of unsuccessful as a mook, but a really fantastic movie that a lot of people will enjoy watching. It is heart wrenching and phenomenal, but it just fell slightly short on mook standards.

Mook Rating – ★★★

Tons of Mooks in theaters this Spring! Makes me happy :)

Two days ago, I posted about upcoming Mooks for 2012.  I was not mistaken!  Mooks have been stealing the spotlight for decades, but 2012 looks like Mook heaven.  Publishers Weekly has composed a list of 2012 Mooks of all kinds – fiction, nonfiction, thriller, and fantasy.  I need to get my Mook mojo on!  Which Mooks of 2012 would you like to see the most?

 

via Publishers Weekly “Cinema for Spring: 2012 Movie Tie-Ins”

 

Mooks inspired by Mooks!

According to this article in the Huffington Post, “The Great Gatsby” mook (in theaters this December) was influenced by one of the most box-office successful mooks of the decade; “Avatar.”  How, you may ask?  By director Baz Luhrmann’s decision to release “Gatsby” in 3D! Luhrmann states:

“Everyone has strong, and generally opposing, opinions, when you mention 3D, or ‘The Great Gatsby,’ or Baz Luhrmann,” the director admitted, while — as the Times states — “insisting” Fitzgerald would have approved: “He was a modernist. He was very influenced by the cinema.”

Read the rest of the article by clicking on the photograph below..

The Great Gatsby, Movie, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire

via news.moviefone.com

 

Upcoming Mooks!

There are sooo many sensational Mook opportunities coming to theaters this year!  Listed below are the ones I am particularly excited to see and review.  Feel free to comment and share upcoming Mooks you would like to see on Mookology.

  • “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” in theaters 1/20 – Novel by Jonathan Safran Foer/Film Directed by Stephen Daldry
  • “The Hunger Games” in theaters 3/23 – Novel by Suzanne Collins/Film Directed by Gary Ross
  • “The Woman in Black” in theaters 2/3 – Novel by Susan Hill/Film Directed by James Watkins
  • “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” in theaters 3/2 – Novel by Dr. Seuss/Film Directed by Chris Renaud
  • “Mirror Mirror” in theaters 3/16 – Story by the Brothers Grimm/Film Directed by Tarsem Singh
  • “Snow White and the Huntsman” in theaters 6/1 – Story by the Brothers Grimm/Film Directed by Rupert Sanders
  • “The Hobbit” in theaters 12/14 – Novel by J.R.R. Tolkien/Film Directed by Peter Jackson
  • “Life of Pi” in theaters 12/21 – Novel by Yann Martel/Film Directed by Ang Lee
  • “The Great Gatsby” in theaters 12/25 – Novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald/Film Directed by Baz Luhrmann

I know there are many more that I missed – I can’t wait!!!