Happy Friday everyone. I hope that you have all had a successful work week and have a very relaxing and fun filled weekend planned. I have a book review for you today. Allow me to speak to you about If I Stay by Gayle Forman.
If I Stay was an amazing read. And a fast one. It tells the story of a teenager Mia, who is an extremely talented cello player; has a rock solid relationship with her best friend; a family bond that any kid would dream of; and the love of a rocker boyfriend who sees only the best in her. Mia’s life is full of ups and downs, but the worst is yet to come. After suffering through a car accident, that leaves her parents and younger brother dead, Mia now clings to life. However, she has been given the rare gift to choose, whether to stay or to go. Mia is having an outer-body experience, witnessing the hospital staff, family and friends visits, and Adam her boyfriend, waiting by her bedside to see which way she chooses. Told through flashbacks as well as actual time, Mia must decide should she stay with her family, or stay and experience life in a whole new way.
Please do not think that since it the character is having an outer-body experience that this is a supernatural like tale. Mia is the teenager we all once were. The one who questions her decisions. The one who falls head over heels in love, only to be unsure if this is the one she wants. The teenager who must decide what her future holds, and how she wants to live her dreams. This is a story we can all relate to, on some level.
This is a must read. Furthermore, the powers that be have decided that it would make a great feature film. It comes out this August, please check out the trailer below.
So Catching Fire the second movie in the Hunger Games franchise raked in a whopping $161 million dollars this weekend. WOW!!!
I am trilled that a book series turned movie franchise generates this kind of fan base. So I am even more thrilled when students are emailing me over the weekend and telling me
“Dear Mrs. S
You have to see Catching Fire! It was wonderful. Please see it this weekend so we can talk about it on Monday.”
This was the best movie ever! So much better than Hunger Games.”
“Hi Ms. S
Catching fire was great. And I still think Peeta is cuter.”
These are just some of the emails I received over the weekend. And even if some of the people who are seeing the movies have never read the book, I’m ok with that…because 9 out of 10 have and that makes me smile.
So to answer the emails…
I will be seeing the movie, just before Thanksgiving. I am waiting until Friday.
I hope it is as good as the first movie because they did a great job with that.
Both Gale and Peeta are cute…but Gale is a tad cuter. Just my opinion.
Do not get me wrong, I love the movies. Really. I do. I love everything about them. But I must say that when Hollywood gets its hands on a book, tends run into difficulties. Some cases being the mere size of the work (ex. Anna Karenina), or maybe the subject (ex. The Road), or more often than not the extremely strong fan base attached to the work and want to see these epic features (ex. The Watchmen). However, it is in these cases we forgive, for they took a chance of bringing meaningful works to the big screen, which is truly not an easy feat, since one must stay true to the original work, but also condense said work into a 2 hour feature. Some have the potential to bring to life the characters on the page with great success (ex. A Clockwork Orange; To Kill a Mockingbird); while others are viewed as good even though they still didn’t quite measure up ( ex. A Time to Kill)
But for every good case of book to movie, there have been bad, no horrific ones. Hollywood tends to take several liberties that skew away from the original material. I give you The Scarlet Letter starring Demi Moore and Gary Oldman as a prime example. I love Gary (paging Sirius Black) and Demi Moore has had her fair share of good roles. But my goodness, what happened in this movie would have Hawthorne rolling over in his grave. Why do I use this as my example, well lets see: THEY CHANGED THE ENDING! That should be reason enough. What makes it even more astounding is that they felt the need to change the ending because they believed that not many people read the book so they wouldn’t know the difference. Well I read the book. I saw the difference. And so did most of America.
But I digress. I speak to you today as a reader and a movie watcher. And one who takes both roles seriously. So when books become movies, I start to get anxious. My mind races with “Who are they casting and are they a good fit?” ” Are they planning on removing/adding anything to the movie that was/was not in the book?” “How are they going to shoot some of these scenes, or are they going to rely on CGI effects?” So when I heard about the following books that are coming out or currently in the works I became both excited and nervous. So hopefully the screen versions will live up to their written counterparts. I am looking forward to seeing them, but remember, for every Hunger Games there is an Bonfire of the Vanities.
1) Ender’s Game
2) The Book Thief
3) The Wolf of Wall Street
4) Gone Girl
5) Blue is the Warmest Color
Filed under Art, Books, Movie
Another day and another way to express yourself. So this time I would like to introduce some apps that provide the opportunity to get creative. Similar to my post about the app Paper these apps allow you to create amazing images and videos. Now remember all of these apps can be used for school based projects. Some might work for the educator while some might be more fun for the student. But don’t forget, all are fun for everyone!
TYPE DRAWING for the web and iOS $1.99
This app is amazing for typography. All you do is type the sentence you would like to use and then by using your finger or mouse to draw an image and the words from your sentence becomes the body of the image or use the text to go over current images.
OVER for iOS
Everyone knows a picture is worth 1,000 words, but sometimes only a few will do. Now a great way to enhance your images is with the app Over. Over allows you choose from different fonts and type what you would like to say anywhere over the image.
STEP for iOS $1.99
I can not tell you how much I am in love with this app! I can devote a all blog post to just this but I would simply keep repeating myself with this one phrase: THIS APP IS AWESOME!!! This app makes it easy to create amazing animated GIFs and Quicktime movies. You get full control of everything from the frame rate, to deletion of images, to exposure and timer settings. This is a great app for students to use to create amazing stop motion videos.
iSTOPMOTION for iPAD $9.99
Another create stop motion app that was the winner for the Macworld Best in Show 2013. This app is used in hundreds of classrooms and allows you to create your own animated movies.
WHAT THE FONT for the web iOS and coming soon for the Android Free
Did you ever see a font used in media, like say a magazine, a website, and ad or even a poster, and did you ever say wow I really like that I wonder what font that is? Well wonder no more. Simply take a picture of the font in question, and by uploading it from your photos What the Font will give you the details. Like many barcode scanners for your phones, the technology can read the image and provide you with the information about the font in question. This is perfect for designers who might see a particularly interesting font and wonder how they can get that.
LUME for iOS $1.99
The first light only drawing app out there. Instead of using paint or pencil, use light to draw images, text or enhance already taken photos. A great way to make a photo stand out. Just think what one can do with this app if you want to enhance an image of Thomas Edison?
CINEMAGRAM for iOS and Android Free
So lets say you have picture saved as a GIF, and you want to add a little animation to it. Well how about picking and choosing which part of the image you animate. Similar to instragram but you are using video instead. Buy using the different features you can freeze certain parts of the image while the rest stays animated. Its definitely worth a look.