Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Game of Thrones "In Production" Trailer Released

 HBO has released an “In Production" trailer for Season 3 of Game of Thrones!

Take a look: 

Executive Producer David Benioff explains that, “this is the season that Dan and I have been anticipating from the very beginning.” If you have read the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, you know that this will be one the most epic season on television because of the abundance of twists and turns that catch you completely off guard.

It is clear that the expectations are very high for season three, but the producers are sure that they have created something that will satisfy those expectations.

The difference between locations for the season really shows how immense this world that George R. R. Martin has created.

Nothern Ireland (around Belfast), Iceland, Dubrovnik, and Morocco are among the various locations that they filmed in for the season. Gemma Jackson, the lead production designer, found beautiful and natural locations to film the series, making the show that much more real for the viewer. 

“Gemma is incredible in what she does for sets. A lot of the time you are driving around going ‘this is just natural beauty.’ It looks absolutely incredible and this is actually here,” says Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen).



Season three also brings in a lot of new cast members who really churn up the plotline, and this trailer gives us slight glimpses of them. Jojen and Meera Reed are among the new characters you can expect to see within the next season, along with Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall.

Jojen and Meera Reed

Mance Rayder

This trailer has given fans a little glance of what they can expect from season three and the amount of work the production team and the actors have put into the show to make it the best season yet.

I know there are many scenes from A Storm of Swords that I am looking forward to, but I want to know which you are most excited about! Just leave a comment below.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Challenges of Adapting a Novel to the Big Screen

If you ask any author if they would want their novel to be adapted into a film, the majority of them will say, “yes” with great enthusiasm. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see their story come to life right before their eyes.

Many of the successful films from the past couple of years have actually stemmed from novels. The Hunger Games, published in 2008, was adapted into a movie, which was released in 2012. This movie brought in a non-sequel record of $152.5 million in North America alone. The Harry Potter books created one of the largest film franchises of all time. The Time Traveler's Wife brought in tears not only from readers, but from viewers in movie theaters as well. The classic Pride & Prejudice brought Mr. Darcy to life through the movie adaptation for all those who fell in love with him through reading the book.

Although these were all extremely successful adaptations, they were not made over night.


The first challenge in adapting your favorite novel into a film is that the length of the book is generally much longer than the screenplay itself. Generally, each page of a screenplay generates one minute on screen. If the screenplay is 120 pages long, that correlates two hours of screen time. Most movies do not last much longer than that. Most books are longer than that, which means that the screenplay writer is going to have to cut a lot out of the book in order to fit it all into the suggested timeframe.

A great example of this is the Song of Ice and Fire series that has been adapted into Game of Thrones on HBO. George R. R. Martin is infamous for his extremely long books, each averaging around 1,000 pages. So far, for the first two books, HBO has decided to cut them into 10 episodes, each running about 55 minutes long. If HBO wanted to cover everything in the books, they would need a much longer season. However, they made the choice to cut things out in order to make the best experience for the viewers.

The first four books in the Song of Ice and Fire Series, the longest of which is around 1,216 in US paperback. 

Character Development

The second challenge that many screenwriters face is keeping the essence of character alive. In books, we are able to see into the characters mind. We are able to hear and understand what they are thinking. However, in film we have to be able to grasp these characteristics through their actions and dialogue with other characters. Listening to a person think throughout the entire movie would not exactly be the most entertaining. This is where the famous line “show, don’t tell” comes into play.

George R. R. Martin likes to have a lot of inner voice within his books. Whenever we read a chapter, we know exactly what each character thinks about a particular situation. The reader often gets to know a lot of background information about the character and we hear stories about their lives before the beginning of the first book. It would be really boring if HBO decided to keep in all the stories that were told because all we would be looking at on screen is someone sitting there talking for a long time. This is not very pleasing to a viewer, which is why HBO decided to cut a lot of this out.

Daenerys Targaryan and Khal Drogo

Plot Changes

When companies decide to buy the film rights to a novel, they include a clause that says they are allowed to make some changes to the plotline. This is not because they did not like how things played out in the book; they just feel that something else would be more pleasing for an audience to watch. These changes are generally very small and the overarching theme and plot of these books are held intact.

For example, in the books of Game of Thrones, Jeyne Westerling is a character who moves the plot in a very specific direction (I won’t give anything away for those who have not seen the TV show or read the books). This character has a family lineage that is important to the plotline. However, in the second season on HBO, Jeyne Westerling was changed to Talisa Maegyr, a girl from a completely different realm with a different background. Since the characters name and background was changed, the writers may or may not have something different in store for her in season three. There are also two very important characters that were eliminated from the second season completely, and their features were combined into a pre-existing character.

Talisa Maegyr

These changes are going to be very difficult for those fans who first fell in love with the books. They will hate the writers, producers and directors for making these changes. However, the thing is that the show or movie is never going to be exactly like the book. No matter what, something, even if it is minuscule, will be different. Fans will just have to trust in the writers to make the best possible adaption they could.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Best Horror Movies to Chill You to the Bone

Since Halloween is just around the corner, I thought it would be a great time to talk about the best horror movies out there. There are so many different horror movies; some classics, some terrifyingly bone chilling, and some really terrible ones that end up just being really funny.

There are many different subcategories of horror movies that it would be impossible to talk about them all. There are monster movies, alien movies, horror movies that are actually funny, and demonic possession movies. Here I will talk about the different subgroups of horror movies that I believe to be the scariest or most interesting.

The Classics

Psycho, The Shining, Carrie, The Exorcist, Silence of the Lambs, Rosemary's Baby, Poltergeist and Jaws are all examples of classic horror movies that everyone should see at least once in their life. This is because these movies are referenced in television shows so frequently that if you haven’t seen any of these you wont understand half of the comments made. A simple line like “Hello Clarice” can have so much more meaning coming from an actor in a different show, but if you haven’t seen The Shining you wont understand and the reference will be completely lost on you.

Personally, after watching all the horror movies that are produced today, I don’t find these movies particularly scary, but back when they were first in theaters, people were terrified with what they saw on screen. They set the bar for great horror films, and many of them have won several awards for their brilliance.

The Shining

The Horror Movie With A Twist

This is a great category of horror movies because these movies really keep you on the edge of your seat. What you think is real is not. The ending turns out to be something completely different than what you were expecting.  

A list of movies for this category is: Shutter Island, Orphan, Sorority Row, Hide and Seek, The Uninvited, The Sixth Sense, and A Perfect Getaway. I wont say too much about these movies as to not give anything away for you, but just prepare yourself for a twist!

The Sixth Sense
Shutter Island 

The Teen Slasher Movie

The teen slasher has a multitude of crazy situations, but there is one thing all have in common. Death. A lot of gruesome, horrible, disgusting murders that will make your stomach churn. They usually start with a group of high school or college students getting together and going on some sort of adventure, whether it be to a creepy wax museum (House of Wax), a cursed Mayan temple (The Ruins), or a weekend getaway on a private island with a killer on the loose (Fear Island).

House of Wax

Not only do these teen slashers take place in weird and creepy places, but they also take place right in the main characters home. The slashers have that one mysterious killer who is out to get the main character and all of their friends. Examples of these are Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. In each of these movies there is a masked killer who is out to get the main character, and kills a lot of their friends in the process.

Ghostface from Scream

These types of horror movies are perfect for those who like a lot of gore and suspense. Teen slasher movies are perfect for viewers who like to have things pop out of nowhere and scare the crap out of them.

The Haunted House

Haunted house horror movies are extremely popular among horror movie buffs. There are so many out there that it is can be hard to find ones that are actually good. My favorites have always been The Grudge, A Haunting in Connecticut, The Amityville Horror (2005) and The Messengers. These are your classic haunted house movies where an unsuspecting family moves into a beautiful house, only to realize that it is actually haunted. All of these movies are generally the same, but they have a classic plotline that appeals to a large range of movie-viewers.

The Amityville Horror

The Franchise That Just Will Not Die

Paranormal Activity, Halloween, Scream, and Final Destination all started out as great movies. They were terrifying, creative, and new. The original of each of these franchises is always a must see. Sometimes the sequel is too, but once you get into the third, fourth, and fifth installment, the movies start to dwindle into the terrible movie category.

Final Destination

For example, Final Destination told the story of death coming after a group of high school students after they escaped a deadly plane crash. Each of these students die in a gruesome and horrible way. It was a great movie, and the sequel was even good, focusing on a massive pile-up on the freeway instead of a plane crash. In the sequels after those two, the producers just tried to come up with different ways to kill a bunch of characters in the grossest way possible. The fourth installment was actually called The Final Destination, yet they still came out with a Final Destination 5. There is no telling how long this franchise will go, but I do know that it should end. Soon.

The Creepy Little Kid

Personally, I find these to be the scariest of them all. Creepy little children really know how to chill you to the bone. A great example of this is Orphan. The little girl has some unnerving qualities such as hurting other little children, pushing people in front of cars and locking people in burning tree houses. However, there is a very unexpected twist at the end that will have you thinking, “What just happened?”


The Omen is one of the classics, yet it has one of the creepiest boys I’ve ever seen. I guess it’s probably because he is the son of Satan. Even though he looks adorable, you can tell that there is something seriously wrong with him.

The Creepy Dead Girl

Ghosts are always terrifying, especially when you can barely see their face and their body contorts in ways that aren’t humanly possible. The movie that I always think of for this category is The Ring. When I was younger this movie absolutely terrified me. The first time I tried to watch it I had to turn it off ten minutes later. I couldn’t watch the whole thing until the next morning with all the blinds open and the lights on. “The Ring Girl,” as I like to call her, is one of the most terrifying creatures I have ever seen on television. If you are looking for a good scare that will last with you for at least seven days, watch this movie.

The Ring

As you can see, there are so many different types of horror movies that there is no doubt you will find one to chill you to the bone.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

64th Annual Primetime Emmy Award Winners: The Best of Each Genre

The Primetime Emmy Awards started in 1949. Each award is determined by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. In order to be considered, a show must originally air on an American TV station. There are many different categories, but the over-arching ones are: Programs, Directing,Writing, Lead Role, Supporting Role and Guest Role. Within each of these categories there are subcategories depending on the genre. 

Here I list the best programs for each genre in order to show you who the Academy deems outstanding. 

Outstanding Comedy Series: Modern Family

Premiering on ABC in 2009 with an astounding 12.6 million viewers, this show has won the hearts of any comedy buff. It tells the story of three different families and the hilarious trials they face throughout their lives together. Entertainment Weekly called it “immediately recognizable as the best new sitcom of the fall” in 2009.

Not only did it win this award for the 64th Annual Emmy Awards, but it won the two previous years as well. Along with this award, the show also won awards for Directing in a Comedy Series as well as Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor in a comedy series.

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program: The Amazing Race

The competition involves teams of two who race around the world against the other teams to win the one million dollar prize. Each episode the team must arrive at a “pit stop.” The team who arrives first wins a prize that will give them an advantage over the rest. The team who arrives last either gets eliminated, or they get seriously disadvantaged against the other teams.

The Amazing Race premiered in 2001 on CBS as a cutting edge competition. It has won the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program for every year from 2003-2012 except for 2010.

Outstanding Drama Series: Homeland

With only one season, Homeland managed to bring Showtime it’s first award in this category. Along with Best Drama Series, it also won Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Lead Actress in a Drama Series. The second season premiered on September 30, 2012.

The show is about a CIA officer who is put on probation after she pulled an unauthorized operation. With the help of her old mentor, the two work to prevent another terrorist attack in America.

Outstanding Variety Series: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Craig Kilborn originally hosted The Daily Show on Comedy Central from its original airdate of July 21, 1996 until December of 1998. Jon Stewart then took over the late night satirical program, making it more about politics than pop culture. The show makes a comical satire out of the news of that week.

With 1.45 to 1.6 million viewers each night, The Daily Show is clearly very popular. The main audience is young adults and well-educated individuals. All together, The Daily Show With Jon Stewart has won 18 Emmy Awards.

Miniseries or Movie: Game Change

Game Change is a political drama about the 2008 presidential election. The film follows Sarah Palin and John McCain through their race against Barack Obama. This film was not played in theaters, but rather on HBO as their original movie.

This film was greatly received by critics and has earned awards such as: the Critics Choice Award, Golden Nymph Award and five Emmy Awards. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Harry Potter: A Look at a Successful Film Franchise

The story of Harry Potter started out as a series of books and escalated into one of the top film franchises of all time. There were seven books and eight films made out of the story of Harry and his friends. The films have grossed a total of $7,709,205,984 worldwide. The Harry Potter series is so immensely popular that you must be living under a rock to not know who he is. But for those who have, I’ll bring you up to speed.

Harry Potter was an average boy who found out he was actually a wizard at age 11. Ever since that fateful night he has gone on a whirlwind of adventures with his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, to ultimately kill Lord Voldemort, the dark wizard who is not only out to take over the wizarding world, but the muggle world too.

The first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was published in 1997. The film adaption, however, was not released until November 16, 2001. It was ranked in the number one spot at the box office for the first three weeks after its release. After the fourth week, it started to steadily dwindle down on the box office charts.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second installment in the Harry Potter series, was released almost exactly a year later on November 15, 2002. This film did not do as well as the original installment, but it still did far better than many hoped, grossing $878,979,634 worldwide.

The next five films stayed in the $796K - $975K range for worldwide income. It was not until the final installment – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – did the worldwide gross jump to over one billion.

From these films came eight video games, countless Harry Potter products (such as an iPod), an interactive website where fans can immerse themselves into the tale (Pottermore), and even it’s own theme park, located in Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida.

With the books, the films and all other products, the Harry Potter brand has been estimated to be worth an astounding $15 billion.  

It is clear that the Harry Potter Franchise has made a lot of money, but the real question is why? How did this lonely boy make us love him so much? Why did fans camp out to get their tickets to the midnight premieres?

The main reason that Harry Potter did so well at the box office is because of all its faithful readers. The film’s popularity stemmed from the books. There are tons of films that come out every week that don’t produce the kind of fandom that Harry Potter has. The book drives the people to the theater.

Other top film franchises such as Batman, Spider-Man, Twilight, Lord of the Rings, and The Hunger Games have all done well because each franchise had a large fan base before the films even came out. It is very easy for a film to do well when they already have a large group of people who will go see the movie whether it is good or bad. Everyone wants to see their favorite book – or comic book – come to life before their very eyes. This happened with Harry Potter to a level far beyond the rest. 

The Harry Potter franchise is a model for any aspiring book writer. A great book will lead to a great film, and ultimately to a successful franchise (and a ton of cash). 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Top Five Romantic Comedies That You and Your Boyfriend Will Love

One of the best ways to spend a relaxing night in is to break out the popcorn and pop in a movie, but the question always is: what movie should I watch?

Whether you’re with your boyfriend, or it’s a night in with the girls, the go-to genre is almost always a romantic comedy. There’s enough comedy that your boyfriend won’t be continuously checking his watch waiting for the movie to be over, and they have enough romance to give you that warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

Since there is an overabundance of romantic comedies out there in the world, I have picked my top five that not only you will love, but your boyfriend (who absolutely refuses to watch The Notebook with you) will love too.

Ally Darling (Anna Farris) comes to terms with the fact that the number of men she has slept with is not socially acceptable. She vows that the next person she sleeps with she will marry; however, after a few too many drinks, she sleeps with her ex-boss with a bizarre fetish. She realizes that this man cannot be her husband, so she goes on a search for all the men she has previously slept with in order to hopefully make one of them her husband so her “number” will not rise. With the help of Colin Shea (Chris Evans), she finds her true love.

With a raunchy script, What’s Your Number? is a great pick if you want a laugh. There are not too many sappy moments, but your heart will melt nonetheless. This movie is thick with comedy that will make your stomach sore from laughter by the end. 


A drunken evening leading to a one-night stand between an unemployed Ben Stone (Seth Rogan) and a professional businesswoman, Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl), results in an unexpected pregnancy. The couple decides to give a shot at a relationship for the sake of their unborn child. There are a lot of laughs amongst the countless obstacles created from their polar opposite personalities with heartwarming moments sprinkled in to restore our faith in these characters.

This movie is not one of the most conventional romantic-comedies, but it is one that not only you will love, but one your boyfriend will love too. Ben Stone is not the most attractive or well-mannered male lead, but there is something in his character that makes us root for him. Alison Scott is the complete opposite from Ben, which is a perfect recipe for a great romantic comedy.

Devastated from his breakup with famous actress Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell), Peter Bretter  (Jason Segel) decides to take a get-away trip to Hawaii only to find out Sarah is vacationing at the exact same resort with another man. With the help of Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis), Peter learns to love again.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is casted to perfection. Peter’s character is the opposite of manly. He is not afraid to cry or act desperate in order to get the girl, which means you are in store for some pretty funny scenes. With its full frontal male nudity and almost graphic sex scenes, this movie strays from the traditional love scenes of romance movies. It is not too heavy on the romance, but there are a few scenes that will satisfy your need. Overall, this movie perfect if you are looking for a good laugh without a bunch of sappy romance.

Adam Sandler plays Danny Maccabee, a plastic surgeon who pretends to be married in order to get women to sleep with him, in this hilarious yet heartwarming movie. When he thinks he’s met the right woman, his plan backfires. In order to get the girl, he enlists Katherine Murphy (Jennifer Aniston) to pretend to be his about-to-be ex-wife. Through many hilarious twists and turns, Danny finds a way to end up with the girl.

Sandler is definitely not the most attractive or smooth man, which makes this movie comical in the fact that he is able to get all these beautiful women to fall for him. Aniston is extremely likable in this girl-next-door role that it makes it hard to not watch.

Friends With Benefits tells the story of a couple, Dylan Harper (Justine Timberlake) and Jamie Rellis (Mila Kunis), who decide to have a completely platonic relationship… while having casual sex. However, keeping their relationship completely platonic proves to be not as easy as they expected.

This is my number one choice because the chemistry between the two characters is flawless. Justin and Mila work really well together in being a plausible couple. Woody Harrelson, who plays a charismatic Tommy Bollinger, steals the show with the most comedic scenes. Though there are some heartbreaking scenes, the director always broke the tension with either a really funny scene or a heartwarming scene to balance your emotions. Overall, Friends With Benefits made me laugh and cry throughout the entire movie.