Johanna’s ‘The Host’ Review: Not the Novel, but Still Well Worth Your Time

The Host Character Posters Together

 

 

 

 

This past May has marked two years since I came on as co-author of this site. They have been an exciting two years to say the least, and have culminated in what I would call a very good film. For those who have yet to see it, I strongly encourage you to do so. I cannot say enough great things about the collaboration that went into the creation of this film, including the actors and director, Andrew Niccol. My co-author, Sarah, has given a good background on the film in her review, and I would echo most of what she says there.

 

 

That being said, I think there are two lenses which you can use to look at this film: as a stand-alone movie, and as a book adaptation. Compared to many other book adaptations I have seen, this one surpasses them all. No, it’s not perfect and bits and pieces are left out, but what can you expect in cramming a 600+ page novel into a 2 hour movie? With what they had to work with, I think they did a magnificent job. Andrew gives the film his own spin with the expansion of the science fiction element and it fits well with the atmosphere of the novel and the story being told. It is a great companion to a great book.

Jared Melanie Wanda Third Trailer

On the other hand, taking the movie by itself, I feel that it falls a little short. Granted, not everyone will feel the same as I do and I have taken over a month to think before writing this review because I wanted to understand my hang up with the film. When I watched the movie each time, I was completely engaged in the story being told and cried at the emotional climax near the end, as I do with the novel at that same point. My mother, who attended a screening with me in DC, even admitted to loving the film, though she typically is not drawn to science fiction. It really is a good movie, but it could have been great. With a novel the size of Stephenie’s, you have the time and space to create this intricate web of themes while telling the story. If you take that large, complex web and try to squeeze it to a smaller size, you lose that beauty and end up with a confusing mess. Unfortunately, I think that is what happened with this film. From beginning to end, the film moves at high speed, trying to include all these elements that make the book so spectacular: the warring romantic relationships, the sisterly bond that grows between Melanie and Wanderer, the brotherly bond with Chandler, the tension-filled relationship between Ian and his own brother Kyle, as well as larger themes such as this conflict between the aliens and humans, Wanderer’s budding love and affection for her humans, and the fatal flaw of our humanity. And of course, with Andrew directing, the alien element was a larger part of the film than it was in the novel. It is too much for any film this length to tackle successfully.

Melanie Wanda Cave Table Third Trailer

I won’t demean the great work that everyone did on this film by going into detail about how I would have done things differently. I am not a filmmaker and don’t understand all the pressures the way those in the industry do. We all have our opinions and ideas and I have the utmost respect for those who collaborated on this film. Though this might upset avid protectors of the novel in its entirety, I feel the film would have been better served if one or two key directions had been chosen for the film, rather than trying to include them all. I think it would have lent itself to a much clearer, concise story if they had done so.

All in all, this is a really good film and I applaud all of the hard work that went into it. I hope that you have the opportunity to see it if you haven’t already. Enjoy!! (And here’s hoping for the future books to be made into film adaptations, as well)

thehostphotochain02

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Posted on by Johanna in Andrew Niccol, Boyd Holbrook, Chandler Canterbury, Diane Kruger, Emily Browning, Frances Fisher, Jake Abel, Lee Hardee, Max Irons, Mustafa Harris, Raeden Greer, Saoirse Ronan, Scott Lawrence, Shawn Carter Peterson, Stephenie Meyer, William Hurt
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Ronan Talks ‘The Host’ and Other Films

Nathan Ligon, from RedCarpetCrash.com and TYFW interviewed Saoirse Ronan (Melanie) about the slew of films she has recently or soon will be starring in. These include our own ‘The Host’, ‘Byzantium’, ‘Violet and Daisy’, and ‘How to Catch a Monster’ (which she is currently half-way through filming). This is a great interview if you want to get a taste of Ronan’s recent work. He asks her a little bit about ‘The Host’ near the end of the interview, but it’s very basic information on how she played two characters within one body. Since I’m not familiar with her other work, I thought those parts of the interview were interesting and informative, though, so listen in if you’d like to learn a little about Miss Ronan. :)

 

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Posted on by Johanna in Saoirse Ronan
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Saoirse Ronan Up For a Teen Choice Award for ‘The Host’

Melanie Wanda Crash Third Trailer

Saoirse Ronan is up for a Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy for her role as Melanie/Wanda in The Host.

The awards are chosen based on online voting.  You can vote at www.teenchoiceawards.com, but you have to be between ages 13 and 19 years old to have your vote count.  The awards show is on August 11, 2013.

So if you fit the voter category, go VOTE for Saoirse!

Here is who Saoirse is up against in her category:

Choice Movie Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Mila Kunis, “Oz the Great and Powerful”
Gwyneth Paltrow, “Iron Man 3″
Saoirse Ronan, “The Host”
Kristen Stewart, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2″
Michelle Williams, “Oz the Great and Powerful”

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Posted on by Sarah in Movie News, Saoirse Ronan
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Saoirse Ronan Discusses ‘The Host’ While Promoting ‘Byzantium’

Saoirse Byzantium

Saoirse Ronan has started another promotional tour, but this one is for Byzantium where she plays a vampire alongside Gemma Arterton.  Byzantium releases May 31st in the UK.  Seeing as the last film that was released starring her was The Host, the film came up in interviews.

Scotsman.com interviewed her in Glasgow, Scotland.  Below are the excerpts referring to The Host.

“The Host was also her first brush with a new kind of film fame. Until then, she’d been a poster child for the arthouse circuit, fascinating to watch, and Oscar-nominated for her preternatural performance in Atonement. In person it’s not her looks but her ease that is startling. It’s not a hot-housed precocity, but a natural, cheerful confidence that only falters when we talk about the possibility of another film, bringing potentially rabid, Twilight-level fame to her doorstep, especially since both The Host and the vampire saga are based on books by Stephenie Meyer.

“It’s a different kind of attention, a lot more intense and a younger audience. They’re more involved in social media. They tweet and use Facebook. It’s much more immediate, and when you see the reaction at premieres to Twilight, or the Harry Potter people, it looks a little extreme.” Then she adds: “But I don’t really think The Host is that kind of film.” It’s as though she is trying to reassure herself, but the film, released last month, makes her meaning clearer: Ronan always knew The Host, although popular with tweens, was not destined to do Twilight style-box office.

Byzantium has reignited talk of boyfriends and romance, because her character is drawn to a frail teen, played by Caleb Landry Jones. However, as Ronan briskly points out, she’s been kissing boys for the camera since she was ten. “As long as you feel comfortable, it’s just another day,” she says, although Max Irons in The Host caused her some soul searching. “He smokes like five cigarettes between takes,” she rolls her eyes. “And he drinks coffee. My make-up artist looked after me though. If she saw him puffing away, she’d be after him with mints, saying ‘You need to have this before you go near my baby.’”

Irons is the son of Jeremy, and despite the fag breaks, they bonded over acting dynasties, and an Irish upbringing: his father owns a stately pile over there. “Max understood the Irish way. We could tease each other and he’d take it for what it was.” At the Twilight premiere they attended, someone kept calling him Jeremy “which I thought was really funny. So I’ve been calling him Jeremy since”.

The Independent also interviewed her.  Excerpt below:

“Earlier this year she played the lead in The Host, an adaptation of the book by the Twilight author Stephenie Meyer. Her co-stars said they would love to be appear in any sequels, but Ronan is typically cautious of committing to a franchise. “Um, yeah, I’d like to in theory but it would depend on the script. It always depends on whether the script is good.”

Source: The Scotsman, The Independent

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Posted on by Sarah in Max Irons, Movie News, Saoirse Ronan
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All the Details on ‘The Host’ DVD/Blu-Ray and Digital Download

The Host DVD

All of the official press releases about The Host hitting the home video circuit have been released.  If you just want the digital download of the film, you will be able to get it first on June 25, 2013.  The DVD and Blu-Ray are hitting the shelves on July 9, 2013.

The special features will include a commentary with Stephenie Meyer, Andrew Niccol, and Nick Wechsler. Anyone bummed there isn’t a commentary by Jake Abel and Max Irons?  Bringing The Host to Life, which is a behind the scenes look at the filmmaking process, will also be on it.  And of course there will be deleted scenes, and I am hoping for more than two or three considering all the things we have seen in the trailers, featurettes, etc. that were not in the film.

Below is the official press release:

Based on The New York Times #1 bestselling novel,world-renowned author Stephenie Meyer presents The Host, the epic lovestory starring Academy Award®nominee Saoirse Ronan (Hanna, The Lovely Bones), Diane Kruger (National Treasure, Inglourious Basterds), Max Irons (Red Riding Hood) and Oscar® winner William Hurt (Kiss of the Spiderwoman, A History of Violence). The Host will be available to own on Digital on June25, 2013 as well as on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack with DVD and Digital including UltraViolet™ on July 9, 2013 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over humans’ bodies and erasing their minds, Melanie Stryder (Ronan) risks everything to protect the people she cares about most, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world. Directed and adapted by Oscar® winner Andrew Niccol (The TrumanShow, In Time) and co-starring Frances Fisher (Titanic, Unforgiven), Chandler Canterbury (Knowing, Repo Man) and Jake Abel (I Am Number Four, The Lovely Bones), this modern romance is… “Wildly entertaining! Full of love, thrills and romance!” (Manny Dela Rosa, NBC-TV).

The Blu-ray Combo Pack allows fans towatch The Host anytime,anywhere on the platform of their choice.  It includes a Blu-raydisc, a DVD and Digital Copy including Ultraviolet™ for theultimate, complete viewing experience.

·       Blu-raydisc unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watchmovies at home, featuring perfect hi-def picture and perfect hi-def sound.

·       DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playingthe movie in more places, both at home and while away.

·       Digital including UltraVioletis a revolutionary new way for fans to collecttheir movies and TV shows in the cloud.  UltraViolet™ letsconsumers instantly stream and download to tablets, smartphones, computers andTVs.  Now available in both the United States and Canada.

·       Also includes an additional choice of digital formatsfrom a variety of partners, including options to watch on iPhone®,iPad®, Android, computers and more.

BONUS FEATURES (BLU-RAY™ and DVD):

·       DELETED SCENES

·       BRINGING THE HOST TOLIFE: A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, featuring interviews with Stephenie Meyer, Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, and Jake Abel.

·       SEEKER PSA: Feature Commentary with Author/Producer Stephenie Meyer, Screenwriter/Director Andrew Niccol, and Producer Nick Wechsler.

CAST AND FILMMAKERS:

Cast: Saoirse Ronan, DianeKruger, Frances Fisher, Jake Abel, Max Irons and William Hurt

Directed by: AndrewNiccol

Based Off Novel by:Stephenie Meyer

Screenplay by:Andrew Niccol

Executive Producers:Ray Angelic, Claudia Bluemhuber, Marc Butan, Uwe Feuersenger, Bill Johnson, John Brooks Klingenbeck and Jim Seibel

Producers: Stephenie Meyer, Paula Mae Schwartz, Steve Schwartz and Nick Wechsler

Co-Producer: Jamie Audia, LizzyBradford and Roger Schwartz

Director of Photography: Robert Bock

Production Designer: Andy Nicholson

Editor: Thomas J. Nordberg

Costume Designer: Erin Benach

Music by: Antonio Pinto

 

TECHNICAL INFORMATION – BLU-RAY™ COMBO PACK:

Street Date: July 9, 2013

Copyright:  2013 Universal Studios.  All Rights Reserved.

Selection Number:  61123848

Running time:  2 Hour,6 Minutes

Layers:  BD-50

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1Widescreen

Rating:  Rated PG-13 for some sensuality and violence

Languages/Subtitles:  EnglishSDH, Spanish, French

Sound:  DTS-HDMaster Audio 5.1

TECHNICAL INFORMATION – DVD:

Street Date:  July 9, 2013

Copyright:  2013 Universal Studios.  All Rights Reserved.

Selection Number: 61123838

Running time: 2 Hour, 6 Minutes

Layers: Dual Layer

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1Anamorphic Widescreen

Rating:  Rated PG-13for some sensuality and violence

Languages/Subtitles:  English SDH, Spanish, French

Sound:  Dolby Digital 5.1

Source: The Host Facebook Page, Hypable

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Posted on by Sarah in Movie News, Photos
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