This picture isn't mine; I got it here.
I saw The Host on opening day. Yeah, and after much discussing, my friend and I decided we have a lot to say about it.
This rant/review is about the movie. As far as the book, The Host is a favorite fluff book of mine, one I can enjoy a lot without really having to think, but I do like it a lot. And I'll assume the people reading this post knows about one or the other, so yes there will be spoilers to the storyline.
I'm still not sure if this movie is okay, or super crappy.
I'll try to separate this into topic sections, because otherwise I could go on for hours on every little detail. It's a collaboration of my and my friend's thoughts, I have to give her some credit! :)
Warning: This is turning to be a very long rant. Heh.
Actors: Oh dear. Maybe I shouldn't have started with these.
Diane Kruger (The Seeker): She was kinda super awesome! Especially when The Seeker was removed and Lacy had her say, that was probably the most well done part of the movie.
Saoirse Rowan (Wanda/Mel): I haven't seen her in anything before, but I can tell she's a good actor. She did the best she could with the part, and I could only hear a tiny bit of her accent, which I didn't mind.
Max Irons (Jared): Eh. I don't know why he's so popular, I wasn't impressed. Although Jared isn't a favorite character of mine, so I might be biased.
Jake Abel (Ian): Now Ian is my favorite character in the book, but they absolutely destroyed his character in here, it hurts to talk about. Bleh. They just made his relationship with Wanda so cheesy and stupid. That's all I can say without blaring the caps.
Chandler Canterbury (Jamie): So adorable! Though it was weird at first, I soon got used to him. Really captured his whole "Mel, I'm older than I look" vibe of the book.
William Hurt (Jeb): Perfect for the part, even though a lot of his lines were direct quotes from the book. He did the part well and I felt like he very well could be Jeb.
Things they took out include:
-Walter and his heartbreaking cancer
-Wes and his sweet romance, oh but they did kill him still. Which is when they mentioned his name.
-Game room scenes
-Both the trials
-Kyle's girlfriend, Jodi (so we never see his kind side)
-A sense of community. It felt like our main ten people were...all the people in the entire cave system.
They just took a LOT out. It's a 600+ page book, and a two hour movie, with at least 35 minutes being stupid make-out sessions. 'nuff said.
New for the movie:
Lot's of Seeker's POV scenes. Almost too many. It did give another element to the story, and was visually exciting, so I can't complain too much.
Setting: There aren't a lot of different places shown in the book, but you don't realize how small Wanda's world is until you actually see it. There is one scene in the kitchen that lasts, oh, two minutes. Wanda's cell. Doc's place for one terrifying scene and one normal scene. Ian's bedroom. Jared's bedroom. (Wait, I think they used the same set.) And the baths. The mirror field was extensive, but looked visually unrealistic. The mirrors themselves were awesome!
Acting/Script: For so many big names, they kinda sucked. I blame the script writers. Everything Wanda said sounded very rehearsed to my ears, and that goes for the physical moving around too. When Ian tries to strangle Wanderer in the beginning I winced from the pure awkwardness. Like...really? That's the best you guys can do? For the fight scene between Kyle and Wanda in the baths (one of my favorite scenes in the book), it was filmed terribly, and looked like an SNL skit. The camera showed one angle, and the pool looked two feet deep. And when Wanda finds Doc's experiments she goes all wide eyed and freak-out-mode, but it all felt too staged.
Effects That Weren't Crap: The intro. The eyes. Boy they were eerie! It really felt like you were looking at the glowing soul inside. Which is the second okay-effect I liked. The...two? parts that showed them removing/placing a Soul made the being look pretty and otherworldly.
Music: I tend to really pay attention to the soundtrack and scores to movies. For the most part, the score wasn't bad. It's the way it was presented which was the problem. Scene of talking, then some overall dramatic music, scene of fighting/talking, music over a setting change....etc. It just didn't blend well. Also, you know the Dreamworks theme music for the man in the moon clip? Yeah, it reminded me of that the entire movie. One exception, I remember a single scene where I heard some vaguely southwest-y theme music that reminded me of Firefly, probably because of the AZ setting (which is where I live!) It only lasted a minute though.
I don't know if The Host had a soundtrack besides that song in the trailer and the ending credits, Radioactive by Imagine Dragons. That is a pretty cool song by the way.
Plot: The entire 2+ hours I felt like I was floating. There's a sense of disconnection. Like a HUGE sense of disconnection. This is unfortunately what killed the movie for me. Everything happened at an almost dreamlike state, and the music-placement didn't help that. For the book, I think it's supposed to be almost bildungsroman but the movie-creators either didn't catch on to that, or decided nobody would notice. Wanda is supposed to grow, as a soul, to love the humans, and essentially pull a Pocahontas. So, that did technically happen, but I didn't feel involved. This may be due to a lot of important decisions Wanda makes is in her head. Not counting the internal/external dialogue with Mel, but actually her own thought process. Even the movie's decision to delete the character of Walter, that's a huge part of what shows how she gains humanity. Hopefully you'll understand what I'm talking about.
Pet (Wanda): I really mean no offense to the actor who played Wanda's new body at the end, known as Pet, but HOLY SHIT it scared me so much. When her face was revealed, I literally jumped in my seat and my friend and I turned to each other with a look. O.O I don't know why, it's just super unsettling. Thankfully there were fewer than ten minutes left by then.
Overall Feel: This is a silly movie. Really. At least five times the whole audience laughed at something, be it awkward or actually silly (but the book wasn't a laughable sort at all). I would have been happy if they never made this movie at all. It's one of those books that shouldn't be bothered with. Just my opinion. And as bad as it was, I...couldn't really stop watching it. I was curious how at every turn they would screw it up yet again. Like a scientific study. And my friend sat next to me cracking up the entire time, so that helped too.
What did you think about it? This isn't the worst book-to-movie adaptation I've seen! Don't get me started on The Hobbit.
Now, what am I looking forward to next? Warm Bodies! That was such an amazing and beautifully written book, I can't wait to see how they'll destroy it for the movie. ...I mean, maybe they won't kill the book, but that trailer sure isn't a good sign. (And yes I know this came out two months ago.)
Wow, you've stuck around this long? Thanks for taking the time to read this. :)