Stories about adaptations

Alita: Battle Angel is not a cinematic masterpiece, but it is a visual spectacle

Western adaptations of Japanese manga have largely been commercial and critical disappointments (Scarlett Johansson, anyone?). But that hasn’t deterred Hollywood from continuing to explore the genre and trying to tap into its worldwide fan base. The latest effort to do so comes in the form of Alita: Battle Angel, an adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s Gunnm series. With the filmmaking effort of writer and producer James Cameron and director Robert Rodriguez, the movie is set in a dystopian future where the world has been left ravaged by war. The population is divided into two factions: the privileged, who live in the floating sky city ...

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The Hunger Games: Stimulate your mind

If the best games stimulate the mind and the body, then The Hunger Games belongs near the top of the pile. Adapted from a novel bearing the same name by Suzanne Collins, this first installment in a trilogy is a superb dramatic action film, which engages the grey matter on various levels, thanks to its rich depth in characterisation, as well as a subtle multi-layered narrative. Set in a dystopian future in North America, things start with 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), who feeds her little sister Primrose (Willow Shields), and her widowed mother (Paula Malcomson), ...

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The Deathly Hallows: Harry Potter comes of age

The Harry Potter series has come a long way since the first book. The film adaptations have managed to stay true to J K Rowling’s books and the latest film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – the  seventh in the series – tells the darker side of the that story audiences world over have come to love. The film takes us into the mind of Lord Voldemort, the darkest wizard of all time whom Harry must defeat by the end of his quest. Unlike previous films, there is no attempt to tone down the dark cruelty of the Death ...

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Super comic-book adaptations: How to do it right

Comic book movies have been doing very well. The Dark Knight, Spider Man and its many sequels, and the X Men bought comic books to the masses and earned lots of money in the process. No one can dispute that comic book movies are the right way to go. All of the large production houses are picking up rights to adapt comic books. The Green Hornet, Thor, X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern, Captain America, Cowboys and Aliens, the Avengers are all going to be coming to the big screen soon. Movies and comics have a strange relationship because comics are open to ...

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The Birdcage, distorted in Pakistan

Having first learned of the theatrical debut of ‘BirdCage’ in Lahore, I could not help but feel jubilation and mirth. A gay-themed play? I almost fainted with anticipation. This was something I was definitely going to watch. First things first. The producer Dawar Lashari, co-producers Waleed Zafar and Shaheryar Khan and director Ijlal Khan must not only be thanked for bringing us this light-hearted comedy amidst these insane times to our country, where one cannot switch to news channels without expecting another macabre breaking news, but also they should be lauded for their courage to even think of staging a gay-themed play. However, ...

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We are Family: A movie to watch with the kids

“Merey paas en ka guzra hua kal hai aur tumharey paas en ka aney wala kal!” This cliched line is from Indian movie  “We are Family.” The line summarizes the whole story. The film is a re-make of Chris Columbus’ blockbuster Stepmom which starred Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts. In the familiar story a mother is diagnosed with a terminal illness and a young step-mom learns to fill in. The cast of the Indian version includes Kajol, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal. The film is a Dahrma production and is produced by Karan Johar and debutant director Siddharth Malhotra. What they got right Casting: The director wins half the ...

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Aisha: Beauty without brains

My sole purpose of watching Aisha, was to see how Sonam Kapoor who claims to be an avid Jane Austen reader would recreate her master piece ‘Emma’ on the silver screen. Alas! Aisha was no ‘Emma.’ Although it was an adaptation of the book, the film could very well be touted as a desi Sex and the City. Aisha Kapoor (Sonam Kapoor) is the archetypal uptown girl from super rich Delhi. She’s smart,  sassy and devotes her time to animal rights, art exhibitions, polo matches and shopping sprees along with her newly found obsession – matchmaking. The film takes us on ...

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