Books to Movies

In the past ten years a trend in Hollywood has taken over blockbuster movies.  Studios love to make movie adaptations from popular books or comic books. The bigest and most popular has been superhero movies, both Marvel and DC, with adapting comic books into record breaking movies.  The audience for people who are going to see these movie adaptations are broken into two groups: people who have read the book/comic and people who haven’t.

The people who have previously read the book come into the theater with high expectations.  They have already pictured every aspect of the story and its world in their heads and are anxious to see how the big screen adapts it.  These people are more likely to be let down than the other group because unless you personally made the movie, it won’t be 100% like what you pictured in your head.  If fans of the book don’t like the movie than it could impact its sales as the movies reputation spreads by word of mouth. But no matter if the fans of the book like to movie or not, the movie is almost guaranteed to have a big opening weekend if the book has a big fan base.  People haven’t seen it yet to form their opinion, and generally people try to go into the movie with an open mind because they know that the movie won’t look exactly like what they are picturing in their head.

People who go to the movie but haven’t read the book are often less critical because they have nothing to compare it to.  The movie could generate positive word of mouth reviews from these fans if the movie was good but maybe didn’t follow along well to the book.  The problem that these viewers face is if they can fully follow the plot through the entire movie. Some movies assume that the audience at least has a small understanding of the plot or characters before walking into the theater leaving people who didn’t previously read the book with questions.

An example of movie adaptations that did well in the theaters with fans that read and didn’t read the books are the Marvel movies.  Now the movies have a three types of viewers: fans who have read the comics and seen all of the movies, fans who have not read the comics but have seen all the movies, and fans who only sporadically watch some of the movies.  An example of an adapted movie series that went poorly was the Divergent series. The fan base that read the books were disappointed in the movies portrayals, and it didn’t gain any new fans that did not read the books. The movies did so poorly that the third movie had only a tv release.

Movies that are adapted from books are almost guaranteed to have a big opening weekend and then the feeling that the first couple audiences have will determine the success of the movies.  The popularity of the movie also depends on how much it relies on its audience knowing the plot of the book beforehand, the more the audience needs to know about the movie before it starts, generally the worse the movie will do.

Technology in Entertainment

New technology can change an entire industry.  In the entertainment industry, the invention of the camera, and then the video camera changed the way that people consume there entertainment.  The most popular form of visual entertainment used to be plays, until the video camera came along and people became fascinated by movies. Technology has changed the way that people consume media throughout time.

For a long time the most popular form of live entertainment was plays, and operas.  People would go to a theater to have a day of entertainment of long plays by Shakespeare or other famous playwrights.  Once the video camera was introduced, plays and operas declined. The general public was fascinated with the new medium of entertainment that the video camera brought.  Plays and operas eventually found their niche audience, and have stayed in the spotlight. The niche group that plays and operas found was an elite group of people. Plays were for the highest class of people and not very accessible the general public.  This stigma is still attached to plays and operas, but it is smaller than it once was. Now plays will travel around the world so that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy their work.

Video cameras were a huge development in the entertainment industry.  Movies became very popular for the entire public, not just one demographic.  Movies popularity grew with the number of movie theaters that were added around the world.  Movies were much more accessible than plays were because people only had to travel to their local movie theater and not the nearest performance theater.  Movies were also much less expensive than plays so all types of people had the opportunity to enjoy them. With the innovations of video cameras also kept movies in the limelight.  From silent films to speaking films, then from black and white to color, and then the video quality continually improving, and finally with the introduction of the 3D movie. These innovations kept the movies new and exciting for everyone.  The theater didn’t have as much innovations as movies, which could contribute to why its popularity did not grow like the popularity of movies did.


The University of Michigan is a large campus composed of many buildings with diverse purposes.  While the majority of the buildings on campus are used for lectures and discussions, some are there for everyone-even non university students- to use.  A good example of these is the many museums that the University has on campus.

This most popular museum on campus is the University of Michigan Museum of Art, or better known as UMMA.  Art museums are common throughout the world.  Some art museums are specific to a type or subsection of art, for example photography or sculptures. Major cities often have multiple art museums of different sizes.  Chicago has dozens of art museums, the two most popular being the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Apart from that, most of the Universities have their own art museums as well.  College art museums tend to be smaller than the others that are found in big cities.

Another popular museum at the University of Michigan is the Museum of Natural History.  The museum has exhibits that show dinosaur bones and the process of evolution. Just like art museums, there are natural history museums in most of the big cities throughout the world.  Unlike art museums, there is generally one big natural history museum per city, this could be because natural history is not up to interpretation like art is. Most of the natural history museums have the same general information with different bones and animal exhibits to show the history of that area or others in the world.  These different bones and exhibits are what make each natural history museum unique.

The University of Michigan has an archeology museum that showcases artifacts from places in history like bowls and other artifacts that people of the past used to use.  Archeology museums are more uncommon than art and natural history museums. Some very large natural history museums have an archeology section in the museum that will give guests a small taste of how people of the past used to live.  Full archaeology museums are just larger versions of the small sections in natural history museums.

The University of Michigan has a Museum of Dentistry.  This is somewhat unique, most cities do not have a dentistry museum.  Museums of trades and specific events and places are common all over the world.  These types of museums have a niche audience for people who are very interested in the topic that the museum spotlights.  For example: the Museum of Dentistry at the University of Michigan is at the School of Dentistry at the University. So this museum has its audience of people that would enjoy the museum right on campus.

Museums are wonderful places to find to new interests and to learn about a variety of topics.  There are so many different categories of museums to learn about, and small museums are great to harvest that curiosity.  College museums are great to investigate topics on a small level and form curiosities that one can apply and go to larger museums to continue looking at and discovering their interests.  The museums at the University of Michigan are no different. People should utilize them and further their interest in a variety of things from dinosaurs to paintings.

Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again will be coming to theaters this summer.  The new movie is set to have the entire cast from the first movie return.  Mamma Mia 2 is set to be a prequal that follows a young Donna (Meryl Streep) as she is pregnant with her daughter Sophie (Amanda Seyfried).  This movie looks like it will bring back some of the classic songs from the first movie and hopefully a few different Abba songs to go with it.

Mamma Mia is such a unique musical when you think about the structure.  The songs blend seemlessly together with the plot.  It makes one think how was this movie made?  Was the plot created around the song?  Were all of the songs from the same album?  Did the writers just choose Abba’s greatest hits to add in the movie or did they choose any Abba song that fit in with the plot that was created?

Mamma Mia was created from Abba’s greatest hits.  This means that the plot was written around the songs, because the songs used were already very popular.  The songs that were used in the musical were not from a specific album, instead they were taken from all of Abba’s old albums.  The majority of the songs in the musical were Abba’s greatest hits.  This could have helped the musical to gain popularity because a majority of the audience already knew the words to the songs.

Mamma Mia was originally a musical that came out in 1999.  The writer of Mamma Mia, Catherine Johnson, thought of the idea of a musical from the song “The Winner Takes It All” in 1983.  The musical wasn’t expected to be a success, but it is still running today all over the world.  Mamma Mia has helped Abba stay popular well past when they finished creating music.  Even now, children as young as ten know the words to Mamma Mia and many other songs by Abba.

Marvel Universe

The newest Marvel Movie, The Black Panther, is coming out this weekend (2/15).  This movie is the last one to come out before the much anticipated movie The Avengers: Infinity War.  This new Avengers movie will bring together the entire Marvel Universe to try and defeat a common enemy: Thanos.

The Avengers: Infinity War will feature and bring together characters from the majority of the Marvel movies since Iron Man in 2008.  This first Iron Man movie rebooted the Marvel brand.  In the first several Marvel movies after Iron Man each one faced a new and different villian, the movies do not seem to connect much.  As the movies continued they began to mention other Avengers and superheroes’ names to show that they are aware of each others existence and that they are indeed in the same universe.  The first Avengers movie that came out in 2012, and was the first movies that truly connected some of the characters.  At that point the main Marvel characters were Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor.  Iron Man has remained the main Avenger throughout the Marvel reboot up until the movies in 2017.

Since the start of the Marvel reboot in 2008, Marvel has greatly expanded their universe.  After the second Avengers movie they have branched out to show other characters than the major four of five with movies such as Ant-man, Dr. Strange, and more recently, Deadpool.  These movies all seem very different and to be fighting very different enemies.  As the universe expands, the villains get bigger and the audience can slowly see connections between villains through subtle comments and calls from their bosses.  This foreshadowed that there could possibly be a connection through the villians in these seemingly different movies.

There has also been many crossovers or cameos of other superheroes in single superhero movies.  The most recent example of this is Thor: Ragnarok featured Thor, but the Hulk was also a major part of the plot and the movie.  Spiderman Homecoming also heavily featured and depended on the timeline of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ironman.  These cameos and features of other characters in each others movies show how dependant they are on one another.

This dependence on one another is a thread that was slowly entwined into the franchise since 2008.  It started out subtle and will now end with a big bang in 2018 when all of the characters come together to fight the same powerful enemy.

Winter Olympics 2018: Curling, Speed Skating

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea starts this Thursday.  The Winter Olympics has less sports than the Summer Olympics and with it a smaller audience.  The names of the sports of curling and speed skating are well known, yet their rules are not.

Curling is a team sport that is played on a sheet of ice.  Most people compare curling to shuffle board, only on the ice and with a team.  The teams of four players push a 40 pound granite rock down the ice and try to get it as close to a target as possible.  Two teams compete against each other, and the team who gets closest to the target wins.  One player throws the rock and the others sweep in front of it to try and help the rock keep straight and hit the target.  If no one swept in front of the rock then the rock would curl, or veer left and right.  The sweeping keeps the rock straight.  Each team throws sixteen rocks, with each player throwing twice.  Scoring the game is the team who has more rocks closer to the center than the other team.

When people hear the sport of speed skating  they think that it is pretty self explanatory.  Speed skating is essentially track on ice with players skating around the ice arena at different distances.  The races are separated between men and women with 7 different events, 5 individual, 1 team pursuit and 1 mass start.  The team pursuit is when three athletes start on opposite sides of the oval and skate six or eight laps.  The winning team is the team who has all three athletes cross first.  The winning team moves on to the next round and the losing team is eliminated.  The mass start event is a sixteen lap race where all 24 athletes race at once instead of only having two athletes racing in elimination style.  Mass starts also have sprint points which athletes can gain during laps four, eight, twelve, and sixteen.  In each of these laps the top three finishers get extra points.  These points are added to the points that the first, second, and third place athlete get.

The Winter 2018 Olympics are starting in less than a week and there are many sports to watch that are not always in the spotlight.  Curling and speed skating are two of them that will be in the spotlight over the next two weeks.