adaptation tagged posts

Freaks (1932)

Freaks---posterDirector: Tod Browning

Writer: Tod Robbins (original story)

Cast: Harry Earles, Daisy Earles, Olga Baclanova, Henry Victor, Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Daisy Hilton, Violet Hilton

Cert: 12

Running time: 64mins

Year: 1932


The lowdown: Originally banned in the UK for 30 years, Freaks is one of cinema’s most bizarre curate’s eggs. Progressive at the time for humanising its deformed cast, nonetheless it drew condemnation globally for putting real-life “freaks” onscreen. But, this may have reflected contemporary sensibilities of “good taste” – to modern eyes uncomfortable moments remain, but Freaks is a fascinating film.


The full verdict: The real monsters are the “big people”...

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The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet

TS Spivet - posterDirector: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Writer: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Guillaume Laurant, Reif Larson (novel)

Cast: Kyle Catlett, Helena Bonham Carter, Callum Keith Rennie, Niamh Wilson, Jakob Davies, Judy Davis

Cert: 12

Running time: 105mins

Year: 2013


The lowdown: Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet returns to English language movies 17 years after his unhappy experience on Alien: Resurrection sent him back to France and into the arms of Amelie. The cumbersomely titled The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet feels like Amelie for kids, with a similarly quirky lead and visual spark. But, while charming, this is missing the edge of Jeunet’s most successful films. Often beautiful, particularly in the crisply shot 3D, T.S. Spivet is like a handsomely crafted automobile… that never shifts out of 2nd gear.

"The Selected works of T.S.Spivet" © Photo: Jan Thijs 2012"The Selected Works of T.S.Spivet"   Day 41 Photo: Jan Thijs 2012


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Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow - Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt - posterDirector: Doug Liman

Writers: Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth

Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson

Cert: 12

Running time: 113mins

Year: 2014

The lowdown: Tom Cruise returns to sci-fi – the genre that gave him hits with Minority Report, War of the Worlds and (arguably) the Mission: Impossibles – for Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers. Cruise is a cowardly lion who literally becomes a locked-n-loaded tin man, reliving the same day over and over every time he is killed in action battling an invading alien horde. Classic sci-fi movies, computer games and attractive London locations meld for an undemanding Saturday night actioner from the director of The Bourne Identity.

EDGE OF TOMORROWEdge of Tomorrow - Emily Blunt, battlefield

The full verdict: It’s not just Major Cage, Tom Cruise’s ve...

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The Two Faces of January

The Two Faces of January - Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Issac posterDirector: Hossein Amini

Writer: Hossein Amini

Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Oscar Isaac, Daisy Bevan

Cert: 12A

Running Time: 97 mins

Year: 2014

The lowdown: For his directorial debut, Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini delves into a different kind of darkness with this taut adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s tale of greed and guilt. Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac make a tantalising triangle, degenerating rapidly in the sweltering heat of Crete.


The verdict: Since Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train,the literary works of Patricia Highsmith have been favoured source material for screenwriters. Her recurring themes of duality, deception and morally blank anti-heroes make for fascinating viewing.

Set in the 1960’s, this interpretation of a lesser known Highsmith nov...

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Divergent - quad poster, Shailene Woodley, Theo JamesDirector: Neil Burger

Writers: Evan Daugherty, Vanessa Taylor

Cast: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Ashley Judd, Tony Goldwyn, Jai Courtney, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ben Lloyd-Hughes

Cert: 12

Running time: 139mins

Year: 2014

The lowdown: For those in need of a Hunger Games style hit; this adaptation of Veronica Roth’s bestseller will hit the sweet spot. In a post-apocalyptic war Chicago, people are divided into five rigid ‘factions’, based on their personalities. Anyone who doesn’t fit into a faction – like Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Shailene Woodley) – is classed as ‘divergent’ and thus a potential danger to the state. While attempting to hide her true nature, Tris exposes the sinister side of her seemingly perfect society...

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Filth_Quad_Art-3Director: John S. Baird

Cast: James McAvoy, Eddie Marsan, Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots, Jim Broadbent, Shirley Henderson, John Sessions

Cert: 18

Running time: 97mins

Year 2013

The lowdown: A bent copper movie based on a novel from Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, you know Filth ain’t gonna be pretty. But, little can prepare for you this coke n’ booze fuelled blast through the Christmas period of James McAvoy’s particularly unwell policeman. McAvoy is a revelation as the sick dick, manipulating and taunting those around him, while indulging in all kinds of naughty business. Exhilarating, shocking, stylish and with laughs that get stuck in the throat, this is all the right kinds of wrong.

Filth - James McAvoy - giving the fingerFilth - James McAvoy, Jamie Bell

The full verdict: Fitting in some ways that Filth is set at Christmas time, as John S...

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Odd Thomas

Odd Thomas - Anton Yelchin, posterDirector: Stephen Sommers

Cast: Anton Yelchin, Ashley Sommers, Willem Dafoe, Patton Oswalt

Cert: 15

Running time: 100mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Donnie Darko gets a huge shot of Scott Pilgrim in this charming knockabout horror.  Anton Yelchin is the titular Odd, a young lad who can see dead people… and then smacks down their killers.  Odd can also see Bodachs, parasitic wraiths that feed on persons linked to impending doom.  And when his sleepy California desert town becomes infested with them, something awful is clearly about to go down and he must solve the mystery.  Bouncy supernatural fun from the director of Deep Rising, Van Helsing and *cough* The Mummy.

Odd Thomas - Ashley Sommer, Anton YelchinOdd Thomas - Anton Yelchin, Fungus Bob

The full verdict: Dean R Koontz has always run second to Stephen King, both on page and screen.

But, with Odd Thomas K...

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Summer in February

  SIF - poster Director: Christopher Menaul

Cast: Dominic Cooper, Emily Browning, Dan Stevens, Max Deacon

Cert: 15

Running time: 93mins

Year: 2013


The lowdown: Downton Abbey alumnus Dan Stevens is joined by Dominic Cooper and Emily Browning in this unconvincing based-on-true-events love triangle drama set in pre-World War I Cornwall.  Cooper is renowned British painter AJ Munnings, a tempestuous soul who attracts Browning’s troubled Florence to his flame, to the dismay of Stevens’ upstanding army officer who has fallen for the willowy female.  Downton fans should find sufficient distraction amidst the longing looks, love pains, tragedy and horse painting for which Munnings achieved fame...

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