Tag Archives: The Book Thief

YA Movie Countdown: How Successful Were ‘Warm Bodies,’ ‘Beautiful Creatures’ and the Other 2013 Young-Adult Movies

Warm_BodiesYoung adult book-to-film adaptations have been in the spotlight for quite some time thanks to the colossal success of Harry Potter and The Twilight Saga, but if you look at the total number of new YA-to-film releases this year, 2013 marks an undeniable peak in the craze. But of course, that doesn’t mean every single one was a winner and that means they all won’t be coming through with us into the New Year.

WARM BODIES

Was it any good? Even though Jonathan Levine’s film doesn’t mimic the experience of reading the book, he manages to take Isaac Marion’s original material and turn it into something fresh, fun and big-screen appropriate by upping R’s wit and not taking the supernatural creature/human romance too seriously.

How it did: Levine’s unique, comedic twist proved to be a very appealing promotional component, reeling in a wider audience and making Warm Bodies the month’s sole YA-to-film hit. This one cost just $35 million to make, but wound up pulling in nearly $117 million worldwide.

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Interview: The Book Thief’s Sophie Nelisse, Geoffrey Rush & Emily Watson

thebookthieftvBased on the Markus Zusak book, Brian Percival’s The Book Thief takes place in Nazi Germany and tells the tale of a young girl named Liesel Meminger (Sophie Nélisse). Liesel and her brother are given up for adoption, but when her brother passes away en route to their new family, Liesel is sent to Hans and Rosa Hubermann (Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson) alone. Even though the Hubermanns barely have enough to support their new family of three, they also take in the Jewish son (Ben Schnetzer) of a man who saved Hans’ life in WWI.

Just like Zusak’s book, Percival film adaption will tug your heartstrings until your tear ducts are tapped. However, even though the narrative is a bittersweet tale of a girl who suffers through a vicious cycle of love and loss, Nélisse, Rush and Watson seem to have had wonderful time making the film.

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Review: The Book Thief

The_Book_Thief“The Book Thief” celebrates love and life in one sequence and takes it all away in the next, only to come back around to give your heart yet another bruising, but it always does so with purpose, making the film a well-earned flood of emotion.

After being put up for adoption, Liesel Meminger (Sophie Nélisse) is sent to live with Hans and Rosa Hubermann (Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson) in a pre-war German town. Heartbroken over the passing of her brother and her mother’s abandonment, Liesel has difficulty adjusting to her new life until Hans discovers her passion for books and takes it upon himself to teach her to read. Liesel warms up to the Hubermanns and befriends her neighbor Rudy (Nico Liersch), but as the pressure of the Nazi regime bears down on the town, Liesel finds it increasingly difficult to fall in line, especially when the Hubermanns agree to care for the son (Ben Schnetzer) of a Jewish man who saved Hans’ life in the First World War.

Even though Markus Zusak’s book comes with a wealth of cinematic material, “The Book Thief” is a particularly challenging piece to adapt to film. The book takes place over a lengthy period of time during which Liesel begins as a child and winds up a young woman. Nélisse is the film’s one and only Liesel, but thanks to excellent hair, makeup and costume choices, the filmmakers successfully bring her from innocent, frightened girl to knowing young adult over the course of the film’s 127-minute running time.

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The Best – and Worst – Movie Trailers of the Week

Parkland_TrailerThe Bad Robot mystery promo packed the intrigue, stunning visuals and a consuming tenor to get it into the Best Stuff, but we can’t jump to conclusions just yet. The piece randomly popped on EW.com and was given zero context, so it could be for just about anything – a film, TV show, Web-based project, etc. However, should Stranger end up heading towards the big screen, it could end up a Best Stuff contender soon enough.

The Best Stuff

1. Parkland

If the full feature is edited as deftly as this trailer, Parkland could be an exceptionally unnerving and riveting retelling of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. If it weren’t for Zac Efron’s familiar mug, this combination of film and archival footage would be completely all consuming, practically transporting you back in time and making you feel as though you’re there as the event unfolds.

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