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Books adapted for Film & TV Recommendations

Reviewed by our staff, don’t miss these underrated films.

Anthony Ortiz is a library aid at the Oak Bluffs Public Library who loves science fiction and graphic novels. Some of his favorite authors include such popular science fiction writers as Steven King and Ray Bradbury. A graphic novelist he enjoys is Mark Miller who has authored several graphic novels based on popular comic books. As a kid, comic books fostered Anthony’s love of reading.

Presently, Anthony is reading The Complete Short Stories Vol. I by Argentine author, Julio Cortazar.  His collection of short stories is written in his native Spanish, but can be found translated to English.  His works are available on Overdrive through the Boston Public Library. (Any Massachusetts resident can access their digital collection with a BPL e-card, please see their website to sign-up.) For videos, Anthony is watching Wu-Tang an American Saga on Hulu, as well as, foreign films on the library’s streaming services, Hoopla and Kanopy. Please see below for some of the movies Anthony has reviewed for the library’s website.

Graphic Novels and comics adapted for TV and Movie. Click here to download a list of popular titles available to read and/or watch with your Oak Bluffs Library card.

Foreign Films

Amores Perros (2000), adapted from Guillermo Arriaga’s novel (Alan Page, translator for English version.)

  • Direct link to film available on Hoopla with Oak Bluffs Library card.
  • The language spoken in the film is Spanish.
  • Reviewed by: Anthony Ortiz

Amores Perros is considered by many to be one of the greatest movies to ever come out of Mexico and Latin America.  It has been included among a list of the 1,001 movies you must see before you die.

The film was co-written and directed by Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu who is also known for such critically acclaimed films as The Revenant and Birdman. Amores Perros was his first feature film.  The movie is divided into three different story lines all connected by a horrific car accident. The film’s characters deal with love, regret and the harsh realities of life. The entire movie takes place in Mexico City, showcasing the different social classes among the three main protagonists. One of the main protagonists is actor Gael García Bernal, who has countless movie credits in both international and U.S. films. One of Bernal’s most recognized roles in the U.S. was the Amazon prime series Mozart in the Jungle.

Amores Perros opened the door for Iñarritu to break into Hollywood.  He joined Mexican directors Guillermo Del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón as some of the most respected movie directors to come out of Latin America.  

City of God (2004), adapted from Paulo Lin’s novel.

Based on true events set in and around the slums of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil from the 1960’s through the 1980’s, Cidade de Deus depicts gang violence, poverty and class struggles. Most of the film’s actors were residents of the slums portrayed in the movie. Narrated by Rocket, a main character, the story revolves around a group of teenagers, following them as they grow and change. All Rocket wants is to become a photographer and he spends the film desperately trying to escape his situation. It is an incredibly compelling story of resilience and strength in the face of insurmountable odds. This film received widespread critical acclaim in the U.S. and around the world and I would recommend this move to anyone who is captivated by stories of human struggle and the resulting courage to change one’s fate.

A Man Called Ove (2015), adapted from Fredrick Bachman’s novel

Swedsh director, Hannes Holme tells the story of Ove, a man recently forced to retire. Ove suddenly finds himself with more time on his hands while grieving the death of his late wife. Ove is both stubborn and grumpy.  Sadly, he has given up on life. Over time he develops a routine that keeps him busy. He watches over his small gated community and considers himself to be charged with making sure everyone obeys the communities rules and regulations.

Unexpectedly, a young amusing family from two very different cultural backgrounds moves in across the street from him. An unlikely friendship begins. This relationship forces Ove to come out of his comfort zone. With A Man Called Ove you get comedy and drama that plays out on the screen in ways that are unpredictable, yet incredibly enjoyable.  

What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

  • Direct link to film available on Hoopla with Oak Bluffs Library card.
  • Language of the film is English.
  • Reviewed by: Anthony Ortiz

What We Do in the Shadows is a horror comedy from New Zealand, directed by Jemeine Clement (Flight of the Concords) and Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit).  This movie is about vampires, but unlike most movies from the genre, it was filmed in a mockumentary style. For those of you unfamiliar with the mockumentary format, the television series The Office is a great example of this style. This film follows the lives of three roommates, who just happen to be vampires. They are over three hundred years old and hilarity ensues as they attempt to deal with modern times in Wellington, New Zealand. This is a very entertaining and well paced movie that was written and directed by two of New Zealand’s finest. I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoyed the series The Office or Parks and Recreation.  If there was ever a time that we all needed a good laugh, it would be now. * In addition to Hoopla, you can also find an adaptation of this movie that takes place in Staten Island, New York, as a series on the FX network and Hulu.*