Before You See the Movie: August 2013

I don’t know about you, but most of the time I like to read books before I see their movie adaptations. I’ve been a member of Read It 1st since its inception, though it’s a Nerdfighter initiative that didn’t last very long. This summer I decided I wanted to pick up the mantle and talk about the movies released in August that are adaptations of books.

Here are the movies by release date:

August 2
The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp about a boy who’s always been the life of the party. When he meets this socially inept girl, he finds himself in a position where he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life. This National Book Award finalist was published in 2008 by Knopf Books for Young Readers.
August 7
Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan. This is the second installment of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series which began with The Lightning Thief. This time, the safety of Camp Half-Blood is threatened when the tree that guards the camp is poisoned. Percy & company set off to find the Golden Fleece in an effort to save both camp and all the demigods.

I saw this one, and enjoyed it more than the first. I think that might have had something to do with the fact that I didn’t reread the book right before I saw the movie. And I got over the fact that the screenwriters decided to make the characters older. Oh, and Nathan Fillion made a Firefly joke. No one in the theatre laughed. 

August 16
Kick Ass 2 by Mark Millar. This is the sequel to, you guessed it, Kick Ass, where a geeky guy decides to become a super hero. This time, his primary adversary is Red Mist, who changes his name to something that would have to be censored,, who’s upset about how things went down in the first installment and is determined to exact vengeance on Kick Ass and Hit Girl.

Paranoia by Joseph Finder. Reviews of the book suggest it’s a technothriller about a low-level employee in a high-tech company who is caught doing things he shouldn’t. As a consequence, he is offered an ultimatum: go to jail, or become a mole for the company’s biggest competitor. And when he goes from low-level to top dog and tries to cut off the people holding his puppet strings, he finds out that nothing is as it seems.

Austenland by Shannon Hale. This 2007 novel and movie adaptation follows a woman who has an obsession with Mr. Darcy. But not any Mr. Darcy, because there have been many adaptations of Pride & Prejudice, but the Colin Firth Darcy, specifically, which is kind of inconvenient as no IRL man can match up. A wealthy relative ponies up to send Jane (really?) on a trip to an Austen-themed resort, where she’ll either decide to give up the fantasy or find a Mr. Darcy of her own.

The Patience Stone by Atiq Rahimi is a novel about the reality of how some intelligent women are oppressed under Taliban rule in Afganistan. The patience stone, in Persian folklore, is a stone to which people confide, and the stone absorbs their confessions. The stone will explode on the day of the Apocalypse, which will be the day that has absorbed too much of its confidant’s pain. In the case of this narrative, the patience stone is a man who is brain dead, having been injured in the war.

August 17
Blue Exorcist by Kazue Kato is based on a Manga series of the same name. It is a hero journey that follows the character Rin, whose quest begins when he finds out that he is the son of Satan. His mission is to keep his origins secret, while ultimately defeating the monster who begat him. From what I understand, this is also an animated series.

August 21
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is the first installment of The Mortal Instruments series.  In her quest to find her mother, who has been kidnapped, Clary Fray discovers a number of interesting things about her past. Primarily that she’s not just a mundane human. She’s somehow part of this world of Shadowhunters whose purpose it is to rid the Earth of demons. Which she didn’t previously know existed.

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