10 Films You May Not Know Were Based on a Book – Part I

The Prestige Book CoverI. The Prestige (2006)    

Secrets to magicians’ tricks are often mundane – it is the way those tricks are performed which makes all the difference. Christopher Nolan’s “The Prestige” is a complex, clever film about two magicians competing against each other in the 19th century, but the film is actually based on a Christopher Priest’s 1995 novel of the same name. The novel starts in the present time, but, as in the film, we are being fooled and do not realise that we have had all the clues to the puzzle in front of us at the beginning. Whatever you thought was clever in Nolan’s film – the chances are that it is also in the novel.   

Drive Book CoverII. Drive (2011)

Nicolas Winding Refn may have directed this stunning film and Hossein Amini (“Two Faces of January” (2014)) penned the script, but “Drive” is based on James Sallis’s 2005 novel of the same name. In fact, allegedly, the “Drive” producers first encountered the story by chance in Publishers Weekly. In the book, as in the film, it is the intriguing character study which becomes the focus. The merit should go to Refn for visionary creative choices, but the film was fledged out of the already existing story, which also feels strangely nostalgic for the decades long past. Continue reading “10 Films You May Not Know Were Based on a Book – Part I”

My 20 Favourite “Legal” Films

In no particular order:

1)   Twelve Angry Men (1957)

2)   My Cousin Vinny (1992)

3)   The Juror (1996)

4)   A Civil Action (1998)

5)   Michael Clayton (2007)

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“Identity” Review

Identity (2003)

As I was walking up the stairs, I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today; I wish, I wish he’d go away.”

Ten strangers: a family of three, a limo driver, a film star, a call girl, a police officer, a convict and a troubled newly-wed couple, get stranded at a remote motel in the Nevada desert on a stormy night. Each of them has a dark secret to hide. When gruesome murders begin to take place at the motel, and the newcomers are killed one by one in a sinister fashion, they soon realise that their encounter is less coincidental than they might have originally assumed. In the background to these events, there is also a post-conviction death penalty meeting taking place, the centre of which is a man called Malcolm Rivers, a mentally-disturbed serial killer. Although at first the movie may appear confusing, all the movie events inevitably lead to a logical, well thought-out and fascinating finale.

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