December 2013 Movie Prequel Guide: A Checklist
With the turn of the calendar comes one of the most stressful months in each film year. December is reserved for the “best” movies with the quotations there to emphasize that this is a subjective thing.
Like the past couple of months, I have compiled a Prequel Guide that will rundown all the prequel materials before seeing the December films. Again, I’ve broken each film into categories of materials based on importance with it ranging from Essential to Useful to Extra.
In chronological order, here we go:
“Twice Born” by Margaret Mazzantini – The first book-to-movie adaptation comes for Twice Born. Check out the book first if that’s what you like to do.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – If you aren’t going to read the book (I’ll get to this in a moment), you better check out the first film in the three-part film series. If not, you are going to be behind. I believe this even if I think the first movie was disappointedly subpar.
“The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien – The real way to go is to read J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel. Like most adaptations, there is no way you can get the book 100% right. Therefore, read the book (it’s a classic!).
The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy – Before The Hobbit movies were adapted, there was another epic journey in Middle Earth. This involved a certain ring you’ve probably heard of, and Peter Jackson’s film trilogy captured the fantastical world like nothing we’ll see in a long time. I’d marathon these, even if they take place chronologically after The Hobbit films.
“The Lord of the Rings” Book Trilogy – If you’re really hardcore, you could check out the J.R.R. Tolkien’s book trilogy that came out after The Hobbit. There’s even more Middle Earth!
Mary Poppins – Saving Mr. Banks is a movie about the production of another movie. The period drama will be about more than just Walt Disney, though, because it’ll focus primarily on the production of Mary Poppins in and around 1964. You better brush up on this film.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy – Just like most sequels, you should probably see the original first. Anchorman 2 will feature a lot of the same cast, even if the story seems to be completely segregated. However, any chance to revisit Ron and his “news team” should be taken, and you can bet there will be some “inside jokes” from the original to the long awaited sequel.
Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie – Did you know there was a movie made entirely of the outtakes of Anchorman? Yes, it’s a long shot this movie will mean anything compared to Anchorman 2, but again, the more Anchorman, the better.
“Let Me Off at the Top!: My Classy Life and Other Musings” by Ron Burgundy – Another little known fact is that Ron Burgundy himself released an autobiographical book. It apparently fills in some of blanks from the first movie to the next. Check it out!
“August: Osage County” by Tracy Letts – Before Letts wrote the screenplay for this upcoming adaptation, he was the playwright for what turned out to be a very popular play. If you have a chance to see it somehow, it might be a truer representation of the source material.
“Lone Survivor” by Marcus Luttrell – Lutrell’s nonfiction account of a botched mission in Afghanistan sounds like a pretty interesting read. From the outside, it reminds me of Mark Bowden’s “Black Hawk Down,” so I’d check the book out.
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber – The latest adaptation of Walter Mitty still has the same source material. James Thurber’s 1939 short story could be an interesting read before checking out the movie. At a shorter length, this shouldn’t be all that difficult either.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – A 1947 comedy is a direct adaptation of the short story. I haven’t seen the film, but it would be fun to compare the two, especially since Thurber himself was dissatisfied with the first film adaptation.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” by Jordan Belfort – Martin Scorsese’s (Hugo) latest film is actually based on Jordan Belfort’s source material. Belfort wrote the memoir about himself and it must be pretty nice have Leonardo DiCaprio cast as you, huh? I’m interested in both the book and the upcoming movie.
That does it…now get to work on all that!
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