Call of the Wild, Little Women, and Emma – New Movie Adaptations

I’m always interested in screen adaptations of classic literature—at least, the ones which promise a modicum of “trueness” to the story. We have at least three (!!!) coming up in the next three months:

Little Women (Dec 2019) – Link to trailer on YouTube

Emma (Feb 2020) – Link to trailer

Call of the Wild (Feb 2020) – Link to trailer

Ok, my thoughts…

The feminist take on Little Women is somewhat misleading since the trailer doesn’t even show Jo’s love interest Professor Bhaer (who is going to be in the film, albeit as a Very Young and Suspiciously Handsome Guy). However, the plot looks fairly close to the book, so I may go see it. If I’m disappointed, at least we’ll still have the amazing 2017 PBS version, which has become my new gold standard. (I still like the Winona Ryder film, too).

Emma—wow. I’m curious about this one, but it looks potentially horrible. (For one thing, Mr. Woodhouse is completely out-of-character.) Again, I’m really happy with the 2009 Masterpiece Classic series, which managed to be hilarious and classy, so I’m not itching to see this.

I haven’t read Call of the Wild, so I can’t comment on the trailer as it pertains to adaptation. It looks like a traditional, feel-good, Disney live-action film for families, which is not a bad thing. The CGI is a bit unfortunate, but other than that, it looks like it might be the best of this bunch.

I’d like to take this moment to observe the dearth of adaptations of other, equally worthy classics. I posted a list of suggestions earlier this year, but there’s so many, many more.

The Cruise of the Snark – Jack London and his trip across the Pacific

StateLibQld 1 165259 Snark (ship)
The Snark, named after Lewis Carroll’s poem “The Hunting of the Snark”

Jack London’s squall-infused, sickness-filled, Snark-y voyage is a sailing classic and product of its time, for better and worse. Compare his tongue-in-cheek narrative with his very real sufferings, his sympathetic view of Molokai versus his feelings of white superiority, or his socialist convictions with his celebrity lifestyle, and you’ll find a fully flawed, yet vivid memoir with plenty of takeaways. I would have liked to hear more about his small crew, which is why Penguin was smart to include some excerpts from Martin and Charmian in the back. Overall, an educational adventure into the South Pacific of the early twentieth century.

Jack and Charmian London in Hawaii (PP-75-4-018)
Jack London and Charmian in Hawaii

Jack London the building of The Snark 1906
Jack London at the building of the Snark

The Sea-Wolf and Other Sea Monsters – Episode 4

On this voyage through classic literature, we join Humphrey van Weyden and follow his struggle to survive on the ominous ship The Ghost.

A couple of notes on this episode:

  1. At one point I mistakenly imply I rated the book 3 stars.Β  (I actually gave it a 4.)
  2. I apologize for the amount of background noise.Β  It may have been the chair I was sitting in – I’ll try to improve the setup next time around.Β 

Have you read The Sea-Wolf (or other similar sea stories)?Β  Let me know what you thought of it!