Nerdy 30 Activity 16: The Movie and The Book

A while back, I read The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey. It was a fascinating take on a zombie apocalypse with a fungus taking over humanity. Children who were somewhere between human and infected were kept and studied which is how we meet Melanie. I’ll stop there because surprising little info has leaked about this book and the less you know, the better.

I don’t know if that was why the movie was never screened in America but it may have been a factor. The trailer was the spoiler for me in that it concerned zombies. It only got a theatrical released in Europe and I don’t think it was very big over there even then. It is available on DVD which is how I managed to see it.

One of the starkest differences between the film and the movie are that Melanie and Miss Justineau swap races. How pale Melanie is and Justineau’s dark skin are regular things she makes observations about in the book. Another big change was how much of the activity at the base was condensed or cut out entirely. Little details were squished in like a tube of gel on the ground or a side conversation about squad changes. I still think it didn’t do the stories any favors.

There was a scene where hungries needed to be distracted. In the book, it was a wild fox who hadn’t learned to fear humans. In the movie, it was a dog that used to be someone’s pet. It was a small terrier that didn’t have a prayer of outrunning the hoard of hungries. As a crazy dog lady, this was very upsetting for me.

Overall, the movie did a good job but I hated how they changed the ending. It went from facing a harsh reality to making a choice. The end result was the same but how you get there matters, especially with the message of the movie. It was a decent representation and an enjoyable movie but the book was a lot better. 4/5 for the book and 3/5 for the film.

I’ve done this particular challenge multiple times. It creates added pressure and, much like this time, the movie winds up being a faster but shallower than the original. I’ve started thinking about what next year’s challenge might be and I don’t think the movie/book combo will be on it.

Valerian Movie Review

FHubs and I got to attend an advance screening of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. It’s based off a French comic series originally published in the 1960’s and was titled Valerian and Laureline. The comic series influenced Star Wars so if you see this film and want to call shenanigans, you can’t.

I went into this with middling expectations. It’s a summer sci-fi blockbuster so the writing wasn’t meant to please all the nerds so much as put butts in seats. My expectations were definitely met. It’s a ‘Fate of the Furious in space’ type of deal with lots of action, an interesting premise, but weak writing.

I was not a fan of casting Dane DeHaan as the smooth, arrogant, ladies’ man Valerian. He looks permanently 15 so it was hard to take seriously. Cara Delevingne did a good job with Laureline considering she was very underwritten. I still feel like she was a bit young to take seriously as a federal agent. Was there no actress closer to 30 who could handle the role? I liked Rihanna’s character but holy crap did they not do enough with her either. The villain was obvious to the point where it almost felt lazy.

FHUbs’s summary was Douchebag and the City of a Thousand Special Effects. The city of Alpha was fascinating and incredibly well done. There are so many different civilizations and worlds there that it’s fascinating to think about. The Inter-Dimensional market was such a fun bit to film. The effects were excellent and the 3D was very tastefully done.

Because Valerian and Laureline is a series, trying to squish all of it into 2 hours meant some things weren’t done justice. I think to really flesh out this world, it would need to be a miniseries. Maybe if the film does well enough, that will happen someday. If you like the trailer, it’s worth seeing. Go be entertained and don’t think too hard if you don’t want the plot to fall apart.

Writing – 2/5
Casting – 3/5
Effects – 4/5
Overall – 3/5

The Playlist Book Tag

I thought it was time for another Tag Tuesday so I bring you my latest installment for the playlist book tag

Where the People Are by Jodi Benson (AKA The Little Mermaid)
Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton TBR

Back to the 80’s by Aqua
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Boy Brand by Jon Cozart and Peter Hollens
Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Modavsky

Born to Be Wild by J2
Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives by Thomas French

John Wayne by Lady Gaga
The Curse of Jacob Tracy by Holly Messinger

How Many F*cks by Erika Jayne
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson TBR

Waste by Smash Mouth
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Holding Out for a Hero by Van Canto
Leaving Megalopolis by Gail Simone

Best Game Ever by Mikey Mason
NPCs by Drew Hayes

If I Had a Heart by Todrick Hall
My Fairy Godmother Is a Drag Queen by David Clawson

Tie It Up by Kelly Clarkson
Altared: Bridezillas, Bewilderment, Big Love, Breakups, and What Women Really Think About Contemporary Weddings edited by Colleen Curran

Rabbit Heart by Florence + the Machine
The Trees by Ali Shaw

Party in the CIA by Weird Al
The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

Coming Back from Mars by Aqua
The Martian by Andy Weir

Music Monday Bonus: Connected Songs

There’s a recent theory that swept the internet that two popular songs by Robyn are from the same place at the same time from different perspectives, the ex-girlfriend and the new girlfriend.

I liked these two Rachel Potter songs even more if they’re from the same relationship. When it’s your first big love, you tend to get completely bowled over which means it hurts even more when it ends badly.

I’ll think about doing a full Music Monday about these sometime if I can find enough songs.