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To Read or Not To Read?

Every year hundreds of books are adapted into movies. The adaptation process is (if Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman are to be believed) hell for the writer – but it’s also somewhat of a complex question for the film reviewer. Unlike the few films these days that have started their life as a script and have never before been offered to the public, the ideas, themes, characters and contents of the work now being produced as a blockbuster have all been let loose years ago. If reviewers should aspire to be educated in what they review, should they read the books before they see the films in order to properly judge them, or should the film itself stand on its own two feet to be judged as a success or failure on its own merits? On a more superficial level, is a reviewer better able to access what the audience expects from the film if they’ve read the book or should they act on the presumption that few moviegoers read the original work? Should they even care – is an attitude towards literary adaptations necessary for consistency in a film reviewer?

Book him, Leo...

Book him, Leo...

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Non-Review Review: Revolutionary Road

That was depressing. Really depressing. Soul crushingly depressing. What we have here is a good movie that flirts with greatness but never really comes to life. Perhaps Mendes is trying to evoke the dull lifelessness of suburban life, but the movie just doesn’t sparkle enough to engage the audience. Still, it holds two of the best performances of last year, and is never less than intriguing in its exploration of 1950s America.

Yep... Anyone want to bet things are going to work out better this time around?

Yep... Anyone want to bet things are going to work out better this time around?

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