Choices

“When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong. Every time.”

Chief Elder, The Giver

Jamie Marks Is Dead | Review

Directed by Carter Smith (The ruins) and Starring Cameron Monaghan (Shameless), Noah Silver (Tyrant), Morgan Saylor (Homeland) and Madisen Beaty (The Master) is an American drama film based on Christopher Barzak novel “One for Sarrow.”

The Plot: Adam McCormick (Cameron Monaghan) becomes fascinated with Jamie Marks (Noah Silver), a classmate who was found dead by the river by Gracie Highsmith (Morgan Saylor). Nobody really knew Jamie or interacted with him except maybe to bully him. When Jamie’s ghost starts to appear to both Adam and Gracie, Adam forms a deep connection to him, which brings him closer to the world of the undead.

Review: I probably never would have seen this movie now, if it wasn’t for this blog. I mean, it eventually would have caught my attention, mostly because of the castand I’d ended up watching it.

Anyway, the film has an eerie feel to it and I mean that in a good way. The cast managed to keep their performances emotionally realistic to turn the movie into a drama and not an horror movie. Although part of the movie didn’t really make sense to me, like the word thing, WTF? or what happens to Adam’s mother (Liv Tyler). It is obvious that a lot of scenes were cut and that’s probably why I feel weird about this film. I kind of liked it even though I think something’s missing.

If you’ve seen the movie or read the book drop me a line and let me know what you thought?

The Giver | Review

Starring Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Alexander Skarsgard, Taylor Swift, Cameron Monaghan, Brendan Thwaites and Odeya Rush. The Giver is directed by Phillip Noyce (Salt) and is based on Lois Lowry’s acclaimed novel. It depicts a seemingly perfect community, whose dark and deadly truths are discovered by a young member of the community.

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The Story: of the Giver centers around Jonas, who grew up in a seemingly ideal world of conformity and contentment, a community  without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice. Jonas, is chosen to learn from an elderly man – The Giver – about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world.

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*WARNING* I feel like I should warn you. This article is unusual. First, I always try to write spoiler free articles but this one will have some spoilers. Second, I always try not to compare the book and the movie but I did with this one. I must also say that I loved the book and think that it was great the way it was written but in my comparisons it might not look like I loved the book. *WARNING*
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About the cast, I may not have known some of them – Odeya Rush (Fiona) & Brendon Thwaites (Jonas) – but I did not have a dream cast in mind so I really don’t mind who they’ve chosen specially since I think they did an excellent job. Katie Holmes (Mother) is right in her wheelhouse they was not way she could have messed it up – the same goes for Skarsgard (Father). Meryl Streep (Chief Elder) is just brillant, let’s just count her out the woman clearly knows her craft but I loved seeing her as the “vilain.” Jeff Bridges (The Giver) was truly how, in my twenty something mind, what a giver should be but I’ll talk about it later and Cameron Monaghan (Asher) was intense, his micro-expressions said so much, he was great.

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Review: The movie was…let me start by saying that as soon as I saw the first trailer it was clear to me that the movie was merely inspired by the book.That it was the same universe but with a slightly different story. This much was clear to me from the very first trailer so I had time to cop with it, besides it said based on the book.
Although, the book is a very interesting read, I loved it, it probably would have been a boring movie if it was adapted exactly as it is written. It probably would have been long and tedious. Some things can’t be translated into the screen as they are written, it’s a different medium so people should have expected differences.
I also think authors nowadays, write with a movie prospect in the back of their minds, so they’re influenced by movies. The Giver was published in the early 1990s and I don’t think that authors wrote with a prospect of a movie deal in the back of their minds.

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The movies was interesting and very entertaining, I loved the way they did the ceremony, it added an edge to Jonas’ angst, we feel anxious for him and with him. The changes made to Asher’s and Fiona’s jobs were smart, it allowed them to kept that small cast and add layer to the characters. They took everything that was suggested in the book, every subtlety, and brought it to life in to the big screen and that was another smart move. The movie makers added, some much needed, substance to the secondary characters. These character development are crucial for a movie adaptation of this book.
I think a love triangle was added, it’s very subtle, but that’s what it was. I do not understand what’s it’s doing in the movie but I guess it adds a little flavor to it. Even though, it doesn’t really makes sense, since one of the parties involved is still taking his morning injections which takes away emotions so how can he be jealous?

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Jonas’ relationship with the Giver was sweet and felt more genuine in the movie. From someone who had all those memories, emotions, and knowledge the Giver was a little too much like everyone else in the community in the book. He was too passive and seemed helpless in the book, he had more fire in the movie.

I enjoyed the way colors slowly and discretely crept their way in every frame that involved Jonas until they were all there and it became completely natural. Then when it goes back to black and white to illustrate how the characters in the scene are still under the influence of sameness it comes unnoticed.

I also command them for keeping the baby release scene, I never thought that it would make it into the movie but i was glad to see it. It was important to the dark and deadly truths about the community.

We get to see what’s happening in the community once Jonas has left, which is much more interesting for a movie than staying with Jonas the whole time like it is in the book. A friend of mine complained about it and that was probably the most stupid complaint I heard about this movie. In the book I was left with the impression that everything went smoothly in the community once Jonas ran away. As if no one suspected he left with the baby but the film is more realistic than that.

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In conclusion, The movie may differ from the book but the spirit of the book is there. The film is honest and in my opinion it’s as good as the book is.

Please comment and let know what you think?