Category Archives: Movies

The Secret Garden (Film Adaptation)

Classics Retold is a project created by Alison @ The Cheap Reader and hosted by a number of bloggers. This project encompasses reviews of some original classics, as well as their adaptations, retellings, and/or sequels. Click here for more details. The master post for Children’s Classic can also be found here.

classicsretoldThe Secret Garden animeDuring the early years of my life, while I spent most of my time watching too much cartoons as my source of entertainment, I was only familiar with the anime adaptation of The Secret Garden. I only found out recently that there was a film adaptation of it during the early 1990s. Therefore, intrigued to find out how it fared as an adaptation, I allotted some time to watch the film.

The Secret Garden movie posterIt’s quite fun to see how movies improve as time passes. With technological limitations, I actually did not expect much from the movie in terms of visual quality. As much as this holds true, it’s still impressive to see how the production team makes use of real places to shoot instead of merely utilizing the green screen technique.

I would say the same for the cast. It’s like everyone is perfect for his/her role. Surprisingly, Maggie Smith is in the movie as well! She’s like the Professor McGonagall of The Secret Garden. Her stern look and facial expressions definitely justify her role as Mrs. Medlock. Kate Maberly also perfectly captures the personality of Mary Lennox, from being snobbish and rude to being a happy and optimistic child. The same goes for Heydon Prowse playing as Colin, Andrew Knott as Dickon, and Laura Crossley as Martha.


While there are some details that are left out and changed in the movie, I still enjoyed the film adaptation. The message and theme of the story is still demonstrated suitably just as what the book intends to do. The setting is also so realistic and the props used express the antiqueness of the manor. And the garden! I love how the production team reveals the transformation of the garden from being neglected to something that is carefully tended – full of colorful flowers of every kind. This made me wish to visit a place like that someday, with the castle-like house and a secret garden.


Movie: Captain America

It seems that we have become part of today’s geeky generation as film adaptations of famous comic books are so prevalent that they are being produced and released in theaters almost simultaneously. In this modern world, with the growing advancement of technologies, film adaptation proves to be a significant medium for the preservation of comic book stories. While there are still existing comic books enthusiasts, we cannot overlook the fact that the popularity of such product may slowly decrease some time in the future. And I believe film adaptations are helpful enough to boost up the comic book sales again. Otherwise, the outstanding artworks of comic book artists will only go to waste and unappreciated.

The reason why I’m bringing this topic up is because after the recent release of Green Lantern movie, Captain America: The First Avenger came out one month later here in the Philippines. Of course, not being a fan of comic books, I watched the movie with no idea of what the story was all about. All I know was that the stature of a certain soldier-wanna-be was enhanced physically in order to become an eligible, strong soldier.

I came to admire the character development of Steve Rogers AKA Captain America, the protagonist of the movie. One specific scene that touched my heart was the part when Steve spontaneously covered his body around the dummy grenade to “supposedly” protect the people around the area from being killed by the grenade. Despite his weak physical nature, he possessed a strong personality that would rarely be found in any person. His attitude and act of selflessness became an inspiration to the audience and he certainly demonstrated a good example/model to everyone. It was amazing how he continued to abide with his principle not to kill despite having a strong passion to fight for his country. Because of that, he evidently showed to be a deserving Captain America.

These are some of the quotes I found in the movie quite inspiring:

Steve Rogers: There are men laying down their lives. I got no right to do any less than them. That’s what you don’t understand. This isn’t about me.

Steve Rogers: I don’t wanna kill anyone. I don’t like bullies. I don’t care where they’re from. Well, there are already so many big men fighting this war. Maybe what we need now is the little guy, huh?

Dr. Abraham Erskine (to Steve Rogers):  …The serum was not ready. But more important, the man. The serum amplifies everything that is inside. So, good becomes great. Bad becomes worse. This is why you were chosen. Because a strong man, who has known power all his life, will lose respect for that power. But a weak man knows the value of strength. And knows compassion.

Dr. Abraham Erskine: Whatever happens tomorrow, you must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man.

Overall, the movie was entertaining and enjoyable. The storyline was good and the message implied was meaningful as well. It was able to show how Captain America became the First Avenger and how he managed to be alive until the present time. I guess the purpose of the movie was to tell people that superheroes don’t necessarily need to be perfect and possess great powers to defeat enemies. The motive and goodness of one’s heart is what truly matters.

Movie: Green Lantern

The ring chose you. This might be the most peculiar statement one would encounter in this universe. But in the case of Green Lantern, it’s not.

I was able to watch Green Lantern last Friday. Having seen the trailer for the first time before, I felt a bit hesitant to watch it in a movie theater, as it may have just been a waste of money. I have never encountered this Green Lantern superhero in the past. What his superpower was, I did not bother knowing. When I watched the Big Bang Theory series, it was only then that the “Green Lantern” name was mentioned a few times. The concept of a mystical green ring and lantern as its source of power/energy, as well as the green costume, did nothing to impress me. Even then, I still did not try knowing what kind of power the ring possesses. After all, he was not as famous as Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and the like. I deemed him as a minor superhero. You get the point, unless you’re a Green Lantern fan.

As all of you might already know, the Green Lantern movie was a film adaptation of Green Lantern comic book created by DC Comics. The movie received mixed reviews from the people. Some were disappointed, while some thought it was actually good. Since the movie was based on comics, I guess people were kind of expecting that the storyline of the movie would be similar to that of the comics. However, as always, books are better than their film adaptations – given that books provide more details and a meaningful avenue for the utilization of the readers’ imagination.

It was a good thing I gave the movie the benefit of the doubt. In the end, found the movie quite entertaining, with a mixture of comedy and action. Sufficient information that audiences need to know was also well-disclosed in the movie, although I am not sure if it was disclosed adequately or was overdone a bit as I have not read the comic book series. But, I’m happy to say I learned a lot. I realized that a species being chosen by the ring requires a lot of responsibility. You might ask: What’s with the green color? Green was considered as the color of will. According to Tomar-Re (a character from the movie), “The Guardians harassed will, because it’s the strongest source of energy in the universe.” What about the lantern? From what I understood, the lantern served as the energy battery for the ring. Once the ring touches the lantern, energy is transmitted from the lantern to the ring. Without this energy, the ring will not perform at its fullest. So how powerful is the ring, you might ask. One can only wear the ring if he is without fear. With the use of the ring, a person can turn his thoughts into reality at his will. This requires a higher level of one’s imaginative skill because the ring’s limits are only what you can imagine. So even an object as small as a ring, one should never underestimate its capability.

This movie seems to be a little bit philosophical, doesn’t it? Meanings of “without fear” and “courage” were also differentiated. The movie showed that a person without fear doesn’t mean that he has courage. To have courage is to humbly accept one’s weakness which is the primary key to overcome fear. Hal Jordan was able to defeat Parallax on his own because he knew he was afraid, and yet he accepted this fact which made him become stronger. (I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed that Hal was the only one who defeated the enemy. I was expecting more action wherein all green lanterns will combine forces to fight against Parallax. So much for expectations, haha! Oh well.) But on the brighter side, I love how the movie conveyed meaning regarding our human limits – that even though all knowledge can’t be contained in our minds, this weakness has become our strength.

The movie ended with this statement that is surely worth pondering:

“Of all the Lanterns who have ever worn the ring, there was one whose light shined brightest. At first, his humanity was thought to be weakness, and yet it proved to be his greatest strength.”

Keep the light burning!