Stardust And Other Favorite Movies

Back in late November I read Stardust by Neil Gaiman and, over the weekend, finally got around to watching the film made from the story. Twice. The movie is quite faithful to the book, much better than most book adaptations. Of course it helps that Stardust is a relatively short novel. The director is serious about doing as much on set as possible so the various CG effects really didn’t feel added on at all. There are a number of things that you have to jump a bit to get (such as Tristan becoming competant with the sword in less than a week?) but, hey, this is a fairy tale so anything can happen. I like that Tristan and Yvaine slowly and gradually fall in love with each other, seemingly without expecting it. The only items I can think of which weren’t quite consistent with the book: the market where Tristan’s father went was actually something that the people of Wall went to every 9 years in the book and the other was to make Captain Shakespeare fairly obviously gay, a rather superfluous extra the movie added. Nonetheless, the weaving of all the threads together worked out well, just like in the book. I really liked the song played during the credits titled “Rule the World” by Take That (apparently a fairly popular UK pop group). I think I’ve played it at least 10-11 times today after recording it off the DVD. It doesn’t seem to be available from digital download and the only other way to get it would be to spend $10 on the single.

My current three favorite movies are all based on books. I contend that the best films are sourced in good books, generally novels. And if I can I try to read the book first, even though I know it’ll probably kinda spoil the movie since it is extremely hard to squeeze everything in a book into a couple hour movie (even at almost 12 hours, LOTR doesn’t quite succeed fully either). I haven’t counted, but I’m gonna guess that a good majority of the nearly 120 DVDs I own are book based or novel related. In the case of these three, I think they’ve struck a chord with me personally in various ways and so I’ve promoted them to ‘favorite’ movies.

  1. October Sky – I admit I haven’t read the book for this one, but I have read one of Homer Hickam’s other books and was suitably impressed. As a model rocketeer in 4-H, I have a particular connection to this movie. Plus, I’ve always been interested in space and anything related. It was impressive to me that the movie was based on a real guy who ‘made it’ out of a little coal-mining town and worked as a NASA engineer.
  2. Bridge to Terabithia – I own two copies of this book and I’m sure I’ve read it at least 5 times, probably more. There’s probably only one or two other books I’ve read as many times (The Singing Tree and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader are ones I can think of off the top of my head). Every time I read it (or watch the movie) I cry, just can’t help it. It’s sad, sure, but ultimately about dealing with where we are put in this world and the decisions we make.
  3. Stardust – Now that I’ve both read the book and watched the movie, I’ve added the book to my wishlist for certain. I especially want to add to my adult fairy tale collection (including the three by Mark Helprin).

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1 Response to “Stardust And Other Favorite Movies”

  1. March 11, 2008 at 18:46

    Bridge to Terabithia was definitely one of my favorite books as kid. I just can’t bring myself to watch the movie.

    I haven’t read the book for October Sky either, but I liked the movie too. Jake Gyllenhaal may have had some help in that, but good story anyways.

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