Saturday, May 28, 2011

Another week past, and no books read...and a movie review of sorts

Between a change in work duties that mean I spend a bit more time working, the headache that never seems to really go away completely (so persistent that my roommate asked me if I'm sure it isn't a migrane), spending more time on writing...and, not incidentally, watching the full series of Red Dwarf...I managed to go another week without reading through a book.

This does not mean that I haven't read anything. I've read a lot, just not a book all the way through. Most of it was research reading, either for work or for one of the writing projects I'm working on. That the writing is going at all is a great thing, but it really cuts down on my evening-time-hunker-down-in-bed-and-read time. Ah, well, this week if I had tried to read in bed I would probably have just fallen asleep and awakened the next morning with the corner of a hardback poking me in the ribs.

What I did do this afternoon, though, was see a movie, the film version of Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife. I loved the book, if only on the strength of the fact that I love time-travel stories, and when I heard that it was being made into a movie, I had high hopes. When the film came out, however, I didn't hear that much about it that was good. So, I didn't venture out to the theater to see it, and I didn't rent it when it came out on DVD. When I was at the library the other day, though, I found a copy (two copies, actually) available to check out. Free movie? Never a bad deal, I thought, so I checked it out and just got around to watching it today.

Meh. It wasn't a bad movie, at least, not nearly as bad as some of the reviews I heard and read. The problem was, I'd read the book. Having done that, the movie just didn't measure up to my expectations. It wasn't nearly the disaster that Raise the Titanic was. I loved that book, by Clive Cussler, too. Worst movie ever made, and, especially, badly cast. But it wasn't Silence of the Lambs, either, which is probably the best movie based on a recent novel that I've seen.

I don't know if The Time Traveler's Wife was confusing to me because I was looking for things I remembered from the book that weren't there to find, or whether it was just confusing. At any rate, having read the book did not help at all. At least, when I saw the theatrical-release film of Frank Herbert's Dune, which was possibly the most confusing movie ever made, having read the book helped with some of the confusion. With The Time Traveler's Wife, reading the book before seeing the movie was not a plus.

This is why I don't especially love seeing movies after I've read the book. As I said, Silence of the Lambs was an exception. I had read the book not too long before seeing the film, and I was still on the edge of my seat through the entire film, which seemed to stick quite closely to the story line in the novel, a rare thing. Gone With the Wind is another exception to the rule. Obviously, huge swathes of the novel are not there in the movie. Otherwise, it would have been twenty hours long, instead of roughtly four. But it feels like it is all there, even though you know that they've gotten rid of whole children of Scarlett's and a whole lot of the more, um, politically unpalatable, content of the book (not that this was as much of a consideration in 1939, when the movie came out). Other than that, I can't really remember seeing a movie after reading the book it was based on and being favorably impressed by the film.

Next week, I hope to get back to some reading that is not work or writing-project related. Since Monday is a holiday, there's hope. On the other hand, my roommate wants me to proofread a manual she is writing for the middle school program she teaches in.

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