Adaptations

Apr. 4th, 2012 12:07 am
williamjm: (Default)
[personal profile] williamjm
I watched the first episode of Game of Thrones season 2 this evening. I thought it was good, although it's possibly the least eventful episode of the show so far. I think the ever-expanding cast and number of plotlines may be a bit of a problem for the show's pacing (as it has been in the last couple of books), although maybe once they've got a lot of set-up out of the way the pacing will improve in later episodes. I have slightly mixed feelings about how accurately they should adapt the book, as a fan of the books I really like the way that they've been faithfully adapting most (although not quite all) of the plotlines so far, but at the same time I think there is a risk that fidelity to the source material could lead to them trying to squeeze too many plotlines into a limited amount of time.

I liked the introduction to Stannis and his court, the actor playing Stannis did a good job of capturing his dour nature and obsession with doing things the way he thinks his is right. The scene on the beach with the burning statues was quite striking visually, as well. Most of the other plotlines were done reasonably well, although I thought Littlefinger was a bit lacking in subtlety in his scene with Cersei. Dany's plotline could be a bit dull this season especially in the early episodes, and I think the last couple of Steven Erikson books may have left me with an irrational hatred of scenes where people spend a long time journeying through a barren desert.

Speaking of adaptations, I saw The Hunger Games at the cinema on Sunday. As adaptations go, it's another example of one that faithfully follows the book (although a couple of scenes felt a bit rushed), and I thought it did a pretty good job of turning an entertaining book into an entertaining movie. Adapting the next book in a similar way should also work fine, but I'm struggling to see Mockingjay working as a straight adaptation. It was a well-made film, it was mostly well directed apart from what might be the most excessively shaky camera work I've seen. The acting was pretty good, I thought Jennifer Lawrence was perfect as Katniss and the supporting cast did a fine job. If judged as an action movie it perhaps struggles to ever get into top gear and maybe only two or three action scenes really feel tense, but I guess action isn't really the main point of the story despite the superficially violent premise.

When judged against other "reality TV deathmatch" films, I'd say it was better than "Series 7 : The Contenders", but not quite as great as "Battle Royale" - the Hunger Games lacks Battle Royale's inventive violence, dark humour and Takeshi Kitano's scene stealing performance.

Date: 2012-04-04 09:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peadarog.livejournal.com
Can't disagree with any of this. I quite liked the movie of Hunger Games.

Date: 2012-04-04 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] regina-of-york.livejournal.com
Agreed on all counts.

I loved Hunger Games, but the camera work was annoying. The only part where I felt the shaky-cam was remotely acceptable was for the inital cornucopia bloodbath, because I admit it helps convey the violence and confusion while keeping the PG13 rating. But that sort of thing needs to be used extremely sparingly, if at all.

Date: 2012-04-04 06:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] williamjm.livejournal.com
I agree that the shaky camera is a reasonable choice for the initial cornucopia scene, but I've no idea why they thought it was a good idea for the opening scenes with Katniss going out to hunt. I think shaky camera work should be confined to action scenes, and even then only used rarely.

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