Sunday, May 25, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow--Book to Movie From Original Book: All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka [BONUS: Graphic Novel Review Included!]. Now Available on Blu-ray & DVD!

Edge of Tomorrow by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.
This is a paperback edition that was re-titled
from the original book, All You Need Is Kill by
Sakurazaka as a movie tie-in edition for
the upcoming movie, Edge of Tomorrow.[1]
Book Review by:
Sharon Powers.

The clock radio hits 6:00 a.m. and music comes over the speakers and Sonny and
Cher sings, I've Got You, Babe." [2]
...then the music breaks and we hear the D.J say: 'Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties cause its cooooold out there today.' D.J. #2 says, 'It's coooold out there every day. What is this, Miami Beach?' D.J. #1 responds, 'Not hardly. And you know, you can expect hazardous travel later today with that, you, that, uh, that blizzard thing.' D.J. #2: [mockingly says,] 'That blizard - thing. That blizard - thing. Oh, well, here's the report! The National Weather Service is calling for a "big blizzard thing!"' D.J. #1 says, 'Yessss, they are. But you know, there's another reason why today is especially exciting.' D.J. #2 responds, 'Especially cold!' Then D.J. #1 reiterates, 'Especially cold, okay, but the big question on everybody's lips...' D.J. #2 cuts him off, saying, 'On their chapped lips...' D.J. #1 answers back, 'On their chapped lips, right: Do ya think Phil is gonna come out and see his shadow?' D.J. #2 exclaims, 'Punxsutawney Phil!' D.J. #1: 'That's right, woodchuck-chuckers - it's...' [in unison both D.J.s shout,] 'GROUNDHOG DAY!' [3]

I love this graphic--can you
see Bill Murray's eyes
moving back and forth? [4]
     In the legendary "time loop" movie, Groundhog Day, Phil Conners (played by Bill Murray) wakes up every day to the above scenario. The same day. Every day. He's angry, at first, at not getting out of Punxsutawney, then disbelieves. He goes through the gamut of emotions as he tries to figure out what to do about the time loop he is caught in. He commits a variety of crimes, puts the make on all the attractive women, kills himself--a number of ways-- and is rude and assaultive to people. Eventually, Phil gains experience, knowledge, and skills (ice carving, speaking French, playing the piano, etc.), but most important, he learns how to care for others. Then, the perfect day and the time loop ends.


Rita Vrataski commands the respect and admiration of every-
one. Her nickname, "The Full Metal Bitch," is far from
disparaging--it is more a battle cry and hope on the
battlefield because of the lives she saves and the mimics
she kills. In the book she wears a large battle suit (or
jacket) painted bright red so everyone, especially the
mimics (the aliens), can see her and go for her instead of
the poor green soldier across the field of battle. In this movie
still, you can see her armor isn't very red; nor does it appear
as described in the book, a disappointment to many fans
of the book, All You Need Is Kill/Edge of Tomorrow. [5]
     The Edge of Tomorrow by Hiroshi Sakurazaka involves just such a time loop. Publishers have told us that Keiji Kiriya is one of many new "green" recruits who have been shoved into battle armor and put on a transport to the battle zone. Keiji's day goes horribly wrong, and he is killed in battle...or is he?

     When he wakes up the next morning, he believes he merely dreamed the whole, horrible nightmare about his death. Then he meets the touted savior of humanity--"The Full Metal Bitch," Rita Vrataski, AKA, The Valkyrie. The only question is, is she the answer to his escape, or is she his imminent death?

     Here's a little addition to the short synopsis. Entertainment Weekly's Summer Movie Preview, April 18-25, Double Issue #'s 1307 & 1308, page 56,  has an article about the upcoming movie, Edge of Tomorrow. It reveals that Cruise's character crosses a general and gets sent to the front lines; of course, it's different from the book. It also discloses that the reason that the alien's are winning the war is because they "...'can replay the day over and over again until they figure out how to win,' says director Doug Liman ([who also directed] Mr. & Mrs. Smith.)."

     First, I can't give you my favorite quote, because if I did, it would give away a MAJOR plot element. So, I must be satisfied with giving you my second favorite quote. Here it is:
Rita had often wondered what the world would be like if there were a machine that could definitively measure the sum of a person's potential. If DNA determined a person's height or the shape of their face, why not their less obvious traits too? Our fathers and mothers...ultimately every individual was the product of the blood that flowed in the veins of those who came before. An impartial machine could read that information and assign a value to it, as simple as measuring height or weight. What if someone who had the potential to discover a formula to unlock the mysteries of the universe wanted to become a pulp fiction writer? What if someone who had the potential to create unparalleled gastronomic delicacies had his heart set on civil engineering? There is what we desire to do, and what we are able to do. When these two things don't coincide, which path should we pursue to find happiness? (Edge of Tomorrow; p. 148.)

 Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in the upcoming
action-packed movie, Edge of Tomorrow,
Friday, June 6, 2014. [7]
   Rita appears to ponder philosophical issues as if she had choices in her life spread upon a platter or buffet from which she can pick and choose. Rita's talents, e.g. being a mimic killing machine, may not coincide with what she wanted as a child, but perhaps what she really wants is a deeper and more meaningful dream than whether or not to play horseshoes or become an actor and cry on cue. I'll leave that for you to decide. See p. 255 about "choices."

     Another aspect of this quote that I like is that it alludes to one of the book's themes--dreams. Dreams are something we have at night--like many do in this book. Dreams are also something we have when we aspire to something bigger or better or more lovely in our lives. Something we want for ourselves...or others. Then, there are things called "daydreams;" Tom Cruise seems to wonder, at least at first, if it is something he has been doing. And, finally, in this book we also have somewhat of a mystery about dreams that surrounds the mimics and the human race. You can find out what that is if you read the book.

"Kermit THE frog, here. "[8]
     I've mentioned one motif in the book, so far, dreams. Let's take a brief look at a couple more. I thought this was a fun one when I spotted it: the color green. The first time Rita speaks to Keiji, she asks him, "Is it true the green tea they serve in Japan at the end of your meal comes free?" (p.21). The topic of green tea comes up a number of times in the book.


On the last page of the book, page
266, the author describes a cup of
coffee with blue-green mold. [9]
      Keiji also talks about being various shades of green (Oh, yes...and he has green eyes.). He says, "If I was tea-green now, I must have been lime-green back then (when he had enlisted) (p.52). Here's one I like, "These green-horns didn't know what it was to walk the razor's edge between life and death" (p.127). And, of course, the ocean: "The water off the coast had turned a livid green" (p.227). Why "livid?" (You'll see.) And, on the last page of the book, we have the following: "A small colony of blue-green mold bobbled on the surface of the coffee." Nice metaphor.

This is the first book I read, All You
Need Is Kill
 by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.
This is the paperback edition, but you
can also get this book on the Kindle,
or in e-book format. If you want, you
can also get the book-to-movie tie-in
edition (see, above).  I've read both
books--they are identical, but for
the cover and an ad in the back. [10] 
     Seen in an abstract collection, these quotes mean little, but when you read the book pay attention to them and you'll soon see why they are important. In fact, color, in general, helps set tone in the book. Think about Rita's red armor and red skies, brown coffee and earth, green tea and green recruits (and bloated frogs), blue skies and Keiji's blue armor. Look at all the mentions of color as you read the book and pay attention to what is going on when the color is mentioned.

     Second, it was notable that Bill Murray, in Groundhog Day, woke up to a radio playing music and then the D.J.s giving a short weather forecast about the cold weather. In Hiroshi Sakurazaka's book, All You Need is Kill (and the retitled book-to-movie edition, Edge of Tomorrow) Keiji wakes up everyday the same way, too. That is, Keiji's paperback book was on his pillow next to him. He hears a radio on the bunk above him playing rock music, and then the "DJ's over-caffeinated voice chirping away with the weather forecast...Clear and sunny out here on the islands, same as yesterday, with a UV warning for the afternoon. Watch out for those sunburns!" (p.26).

     The rest of the time loop is the same too--until or unless--Keiji makes a change in the routine. Then he gets a different result. The only problem with that is that it all resets back to the way it was the day before--everyone forgetting or not knowing about the previous interactions. Everyone, that is, except for Keiji. The two major differences between the two stories are 1. Rita Vrataski knows about the time loop because she's experienced it, and 2. Keiji must die every day (Bill Murray, it seems, had a variety of options). Oh, yes, Keiji keeps track of his "iterations" (or rebirths) by writing the number days that have passed on his hand--apparently, everything doesn't reset back to 0.

     I also like the theme of "mimic." We, of course, have the aliens who are called, "Mimics." And then, throughout the book, we see evidence of one person "mimic-ing" another. Notably, when Keiji (AKA, Cage in the movie) mimic's Rita Vrataski's fighting style and strategy.

     Just one other little "aside," here. I think it is funny that the woman Keiji is attracted to and interacts with in the time loop is named "Rita." In Groundhog Day, Bill Murray pines away for a "Rita," as well. Very funny with even the names being the same!

     Finally, I've seen the trailer for the movie and noted a number of differences between the book and movie that are quite apparent. The first is our protagonist's name. In the book, it is Keiji Kiriya (a Japanese name). In the movie it is Cage. On page 261 of the book Keiji says that someone had scratched on to the breastplate of his armor the term "Cage." But he understood--"That was how the Americans pronounced my name." Apparently, that's how they came up with the name for Tom Cruise's character in the movie.

     Also, all the troops in the movie appear to be white and/or American. I'd say it was racially motivated, but I doubt it is. More than likely, it was a move motivated by money--wanting a really big name actor to be a big box office draw and make lots of money for all those financing the movie. If you could cast the movie with a Japanese actor, who would it be? While you're thinking about that, let's take a quick look at the trailer for the movie, Edge of Tomorrow, courtesy of YouTube. [12]

      Directing Edge of Tomorrow is Doug Liman, Writers: Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth (screenplay) and Hiroshi Sakurazaka (novel: All You Need Is Kill). Starring in the film is Tom Cruise as Cage, Emily Blunt as Rita, Bill Paxton as Master Sergeant Farell and Brendan Gleeson as General Brigham. The movie is slated to open in U.S. markets on June 6, 2014. The MPAA rating is PG-13 and is classified as Action/Sci-fi (the Metascore is 70/100).

All You Need Is Kill: Graphic Novel,
by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. [13]
By Hiroshi Sakurazaka, and
Adaptor: Nick Mamatas, and 
Illustrator: Lee Ferguson

     A graphic novel is, in form, a bound book with material similar to full novels. They can be hardcover or card stock and include topics of fiction and non-fiction, or even such things as anthologies or collections. 

     The graphic novel is distinguished from comics or comic books even though the bulk of the material consists of art work. Comic books are printed on inexpensive bulk paper and graphic novels are printed on much higher quality of paper. Some are truly beautiful with glossy pages and beautiful illustrations. Moreover, comics contain advertising whereas graphic novels do not. Also, graphic novels invariably contain a story line that has a beginning, middle, and end; comic books tend to be episodic in nature. Comic books are much, much, shorter than graphic novels (some graphic novels I've seen approach 150 pages--an average seems to be around 100 pages.

Vampire Academy, The
Graphic Novel
 by Richelle
Mead. [15]
     I've talked about graphic novels elsewhere on my blog. This is an example of a very good graphic novel: (1) Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel--to read about that graphic novel, click here. This is an example of a very bad graphic novel: (2) Thor: The Dark World Prelude (A Graphic Novel) by Marvel Comics--to read about that graphic novel, click here
Thor: The Dark World
 Prelude, A Graphic
 by Marvel
     I mention these attributes to graphic novels because some purported-to-be graphic novels are nothing more than a few comics put together with a card stock cover. It is so disappointing when a title is described and billed as a graphic novel and you spend your money expecting to get a graphic novel, but end up with a glorified comic book. (See the Thor: The Dark World Prelude, AGraphic Novel by Marvel Comics, above link.) Now, let's take a look at All You Need Is Kill, Graphic Novel to see how it stands up under scrutiny.

See the dialog bubbles--they are few in number, and the
quantity of words used in the dialog bubbles are small. Also,
the square boxes usually used in describing action, plot, or
just what is going on that can't be told from the picture only
has one small rectangle (center bottom); these pages (16-17). 
     All You Need Is Kill, Graphic Novel has 96 pages--more than a comic book, so it does fit into the size of a graphic novel. The cover is card stock. Again, not something a comic book usually has, so good, so far.

     The only advertising I saw was on the last page--the author advertising his own original novel, All You Need Is Kill (and one other novel by him); so that's very good. The cover art and the illustrations inside, by Lee Ferguson, are beautifully rendered and colored and the art is on glossy paper that is, indeed, beautiful to look at. Additionally, its dimensions are 10.2 x 6.9 x 0.2 inches, weighs 4.8 oz. (shipping), and it is in the English Language [ISBN-10: 142156081X; ISBN-13: 978-1421560816]. 

Another page showing how little dialog is used in the graphic novel...
and, how few in number the rectangular boxes are to describe scene/
action/background info. See pages 40-41. A thank you to my husband,
Carl, for helping me out with these photographs.
     The story is adapted by Nick Mamatas, and it is clear that the story is adapted from All You Need Is Kill (the novel). Remembering that it is a graphic novel, we know that not everything can be included from a full size book--this one (in- cluding the "After- ward") is 269 pages; distilling the book down to 96 pages of art, it seems that the requirement of having a complete story arc is met. And, while the adaptor does a good job selecting what to include in the graphic novel and includes all of the critical story elements, the dialog and scene descriptions fall far short of what I consider good. To me, it just looks as if they rushed this graphic novel into production too fast to get it right. Disappointing.

It is terrible that this brand new book is already falling apart!
If you look closely at the spine you can see the whole spine
seems to be starting to come loose as well as the individual
pages. I LOVE my books and I have gently read the book
and handled it, only to see this happen. I really don't like
it that some publishers permit shoddy craftsmanship like
this.  This is factored into my review of the book. 
NOTE: I published a review of this graphic novel on 
Amazon (where I purchased the book) and posted this
picture--but Amazon wouldn't permit it to be posted with
my other two photos. Apparently, they didn't want 
people to see the book falls apart.
     Technically, all the elements appear to be met to consider this a graphic novel. I did love the beautiful art, the cover, and the story line, but thought that the execution of the dialog and scene descriptions were far below what I'd consider to be good. Moreover, I've only read the book once and opened it a second time to take pictures.  It is disappointing that the book is already falling apart.

2.5 Stars out of 5
for the graphic novel [17]
     What had started out as a 5 star graphic novel has dropped to 2.5 stars because of these failings. My advice is to skip the graphic novel and go straight for the novel. Save your $8.75--I'm sorry I bought it.

All You Need Is Kill (also titled as book-to-movie)-Edge of Tomorrow  by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. 

The movie is rated PG-13, and I would
rate the book likewise. [19]
     The Action/Sci-fi movie is rated PG-13 by the MPAA movie guidelines (from IMDb [18]), obviously, due to violence, blood, and death shown on screen. I would, likewise, caution all parents to follow these guidelines in screening books for your children. For all adults, who are of a mature age, and not given to a sensitive nature, this book, graphic novel, and movie, should be a blast. I am looking forward to seeing it, myself.

This rating is well-earned! [20]
     This book was one of the easiest books to rate that I have ever reviewed. I LOVED the book! The action was in there, the plot intriguing, suspenseful 'til the end, love, sex, killing, mayhem, alien invasion, fight to the death, jumping out of aircraft, bombs and has it all. WOW! I can hardly wait for the movie. Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton, here I come. This book gets 4.5 stars--WELL EARNED! Congratulations to Hiroshi Sakurazaka on writing a GREAT book. This book will be a sci-fi classic, undoubtedly.

     Thank you for joining me this week as we looked at a truly exciting and intriguing action/sci-fi book, All You Need Is Kill retitled book-to-movie as, Edge of Tomorrow. I look forward to meeting with you, again, next week as we will look at brand new NetGalley book, Shaman Rises by C.E. Murphy--release date June 24, 2014. This book is dramatically different from Edge of Tomorrow, but it looks to be an exciting review, as well.  God bless you, be kind to one another, and don't forget to read something that stirs your blood, excites your mind, or calms your spirit. It's all good...when you read.  

Until next time...

...many happy pages of reading.

All my love,

Sharon Powers.

[1] "Edge of Tomorrow." Retrieved 05-22-14.
[2] "This could be real good." Retrieved 05-23-14.
[3] "Groundhog Day Quotes." Retrieved 05-23-14.
[4] "Happy Groundhog Day." Retrieved 05-23-14.
[5] "Trailer for 'Edge of Tomorrow Releases.'" 05-24-14.
[6] "God is Heart." Retrieved 05-24-14.
[7] "Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt...." Retrieved 05-24-14.
[8]"Top 5 Hard Ways to Care for Creation." Retrieved 05-23-14.
[9] "Christmas Coffee Mould." Retrieved 05-24-14.
[10] "All You Need Is Kill." Retrieved 05-24-14.
[11] "Keep Calm Because My Name is Rita." Retrieved 05-25-14.
[12] "Edge of Tomorrow - Official Main Trailer HD." Retrieved 05-23-14.
[13] "All You Need Is Kill, Graphic Novel." Retrieved 05-22-14.
[14] "Graphic Novel 'Hatter M' Goes to the People!" Retrieved 05-25-14.
[15] "Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel." Retrieved 05-25-14.
[16] "Thor: The Dark World Prelude, A Graphic Novel." Retrieved 05-25-14.
[17] "Movie Review: After Earth." [2.5 Stars] Retrieved 05-25-14.
[18] "Edge of Tomorrow." Retrieved 05-25-14.
[19] "What Happens When Life is PG-13?" Retrieved 05-25-14.
[20] "Big Bang Blues." Retrieved 05-25-14.
[21] "28 White Roses Pictures For Free Download." funstock. Retrieved 05-25-14.

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