Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tomorrow When the War Began - the Movie

On Wednesday I finally went to see it (!!!) I was kinda nervous - for all you non-Aussies (or non-New Zealanders) the Tomorrow series is bigger than The Hunger Games - my generation devoured them - teens and adults. The first book came out in 1993 - so it's been a long wait for it to arrive on the Big Screen. I posted the trailer here.

It's opening night was the third biggest for an Australian film (coming behind Australia (Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackson) and Happy Feet. It debuted at #1 and made $3.86 million during its first weekend in Australia and grossed $358,653 with a #1 debut in New Zealand

First of all: the books are brilliant and I swear, the characters are real - out there...somewhere. Reading them, I felt like I was with Ellie and Homer and the gang and fought alongside them. Each new book that was released caused a Mockingjay-like fever. Especially #7 The Other Side of Dawn.

My mother in law is a high school art teacher at a Private Boys School in Sydney and she said that John Marsden and The Tomorrow Series were responsible for getting a whole generation of boys reading. 

Okay, I can feel an essay coming on, haha, so I'll just move right along to the movie.

The Movie:

I absolutely loved it, hey.

It was faithful to the book (minus the hermit's hut) and as soon as it started I was back there - feeling nostalgic to be with the gang. I was caught up in it and it felt so similar to the movie that happened in my head when I read the books :)

The sound track is seriously rocking too. Can I hear an amen?

I knew what was coming but that didn't stop me from feeling the suspense. And, I cried. Okay, so I don't normally cry in movies (really) but it was like watching my mates (not just characters I was meeting for the first time - but mates from my teen life) and the ending hit me hard. No spoilers but those who've read the book can imagine the scene that just killed me. It was really powerful, hey.

Robyn and Lee in Hell
Ellie and Homer in Hell
The setting: filmed in the Hunter Region and the Blue Mountains (the book is set in Victoria though). It felt like home to me, having grown up in the Blue Mountains. It definitely had an Aussie vibe. Really stunning.

The characters

  • Ellie (Caitlin Stasey): Just brilliant. I loved her as Ellie. Ellie is my literary hero and I didnt expect I'd love Caitlin being Ellie as much as I did.
  • Homer (Deniz Akdeniz): How awesome was he? Homer is one of my fave YA boys ever and I just loved Deniz acting him. He was funny and tough and so Greek Australian. You know you love him.
  • Corrie (Rachel Hurd-Wood): It took me a while to warm up to Corrie, but then I was into her. 
  • Kevin (Lincoln Lewis): He had a great character arc and really matched the book. Loved it - loved how he showed the fear and how unashamed he was of his own wuss-like tendencies.
  • Lee (Chris Pang): I think he came across better in the book- although his dialogue wasn't the best to showcase his intensity, IMO. He is a bit ambiguous as a character in book one. I loved the snake moment. And him and Ellie on the couch. sigh...
  • Fiona (Phoebe Tonkin): I already liked Phoebe from H2O Just Add Water (I like watching Aussie MG shows, okay? :)  At first she bugged me and her lines felt more like a US movie than Aussie - but she came really good. So more love from me. She was pretty beautiful and I never imagined Fi was the hot in the book (?)
  • Robyn (Ashleigh Cummings): At first, she felt timid to me. And I wanted her to be more tough. But one of my fave moments was Robyn at the bridge, I teared up then. It really hit me. I was so proud of her and completely conflicted in my pride considering the scenario.
  • Chris (Andy Ryan): Okay, how funny was he? In that perfect Aussie stoner way. My husband and I were killing ourselves in his scenes. He was so deadbeat - it was awesome. I dont remember him being that funny in the book? 

Sometimes the girls sounded POME*. I know Caitlin Stasey is a POM so I was wondering what was going on with the others. My husband reminded me (we're original Westies) that some Aussies do talk that way - kinda posh - you know, from the North Shore, etc. And, yeah, I get that :)

* Prisoner Of Mother England. Aussie term for our UK mates :)
Homer and Fi
Kevin and Corrie
Bonus Section. (Haha) 
After the Movie:

I wanted to stop in @ the shops and buy a new copy of the book (some of you may remember my husband left my first edition copy on a plane somewhere in Uganda in July. Hardcover first edition just sold for $756 on ebay (!) but husband hates the shops - so we skipped that.

Figured I'd do it later. But then when I got home, I had an email from Pan MacMillan saying I'd won an exclusive movie edition of the book! Wahoo!

I was kinda pumped after that so I went for a bushwalk (to soak up the Hell/Taylor Stitch vibe) and a huge red belly black snake slithered right across the track in front of me. Which was really cool as I was thinking about the gang in the bush at the time and the story, etc. And there's the whole red belly black scene in the movie. Which, how cool was it? :)

Such a cool ending to the TWTWB day. I'm still kind of buzzing thinking about it and the series and how profound and brilliant and impacting a book can be.

movie tie-in edition
available at book shops
Edition I won from Pan Macmillan
Here's the boys signing John Marsden's Book  - which is kinda weird
(seeing as they are not the author) but also cool by me :)

So who's seen the movie?
Read the books? 
Read the books and seen the movie?
Planning on it?


  1. Holy Jesus...seriously Nomes, after mockingjay, this is my next series. I'm hoping and praying to God that my bookstores carry this series (do we even cary Australian authored books?). I'm going to call TODAY. Based on that trailer alone...omg. I got the chills watching it and there was one scene when the girl is crying and my eyes welled up. Insane. This is so a movie I will LOVE LOVE LOVE. But, I really want to read the books first because the movie will ruin the reading experience for me (it's just how I am). I MUST find these books. If the books are as good (or even better I'm guessing) as that trailer...OMFG I think I will have a new favorite series. I can't believe that hasn't made it big in the US. Or have I just missed it??? Thank you so much for this post. Think I'll go watch that trailer again. It is soooooooooooooo f'n amazing!

  2. Haha, I find it kind of bizarre that they guys were signing the book - but I guess it's all promotion so it's all good :)

    Lovelovelove these books more than anything and thought the movie was wonderful. LOVED this post! I absolutely adored Homer, who is my favourite in the books. By the end of the series, Fi ends up being my favourite girl - intially I wasn't overly pleased with Phoebe, but by the end I thought she was great and would do well at becoming the person that Fi becomes later in the series if the movies continue.

    So jealous about the special edition you won! That is awesome :) It makes me so happy that this movie will bring John Marsden's amazing books back into bestsellers. I work in a bookstore and it was already in the Top 15 for last week only a couple of days after the movie was released. Hoping this week it'll be in the Top 10!

    Haha, I'm a nerd. Excuse the babbly comment! :D

  3. Waaaaahhh...just called the huge book store we have here and they only carry the first book in hardcover. Will check out their website and now.

  4. LOL Mel - you crack me up.

    i can send you some books if you cant track them down. they are everywhere over here. especially as the movie came out 6 days ago.

    i went back and re-watched the trailer myself after your comment. i watched it heaps before the movie came out. was so psyched.

    send me an email and i can send you some books :)


  5. @ Linda,

    I'm glad you loved it too - i was pretty nervous and am even now still amazed at how much i loved it. I'm going to read it agin as soon as i get my book :)

    being in a book shop - have you seen the edition i won? i havent seen it anywhere.

    also hoping it makes the top ten! i'm so glad its gotten popular again. i think it's a timeless series.

    i know what you mean about fi. i loved her by the end of the movie.

    they have all signed contracts to go ahead with more depending on the success of the first one. they're thinking of making the first three into a trilogy and then doing a spin off tv series.

  6. I'm with Mel. I have to get these books!!! Yeah, kind of weird about the guys signing the books, but hey if the author doesn't mind then I suppose we shouldn't either. I would assume they got Marsden's ok on that? Lincoln Lewis is just cute beyond reason. I could go for the movie based on his face alone. This is a great movie review. :)

  7. I had to look up what a goanna was. Craters, girl! Be careful in that bush!

  8. wowowowowowowow.


  9. I know Angie - Lincoln Lewis I'm sure has played his part in getting some teen crowds into the movie :)

    i guess if youre going to get the actors authographs, why not get them to sign it on the book rather than on a random piece of paper - plus it probably had more people buying books :)

    LOL @ not knowing what a goanna was. heheheh. having grown up with them i just assumed everyone knew about them.

  10. I was pretty nervous too, haha.

    I haven't seen the edition you won anywhere, either. Definitely didn't come in at my work at all. Must have been a very limited print and only for prizes or something. Very cool!

    I just read your entry about your first edition hardcover :( Must have been devastating! I am someone that prefers reading paperbacks, so I got rid of all my first edition hardcovers when the paperback versions came out. Oh how I have regretted for the past decade or so!

  11. yay for my edition being a bit unique then. i was surprised when i saw the copy of what i had won - originally assumed it would be the same as the one everywhere else.

    shame about your original versions!

    i have hardcover first editions of the ellie chronicles and #7 and that's all. I lilke paperback better too - but i didnt want to wait for the paperback release of #7 and i got the ellie chronicles as gifts.

  12. Ha, I didn't realize that I put that last post on your blog instead of mine. LL as Sam? I'll have to think about that one. It does kind of fit, yet I wrote Sam up as having dark hair (that's negotiable) and dimples (non-negotiable). It's hard to tell from some of LL pictures if he does, and he has a little bit too much of a babyface. But you make it awfully tempting. *wanders away scratching head*

  13. This sounds awesome!

    I'm going to have to pick up these books some time soon.

    And LOL @ POME.

  14. I haven't read it yet but I can not wait for the film. Whoot whoot!

  15. So jealous! Hope it comes to the states soon! Planning to get the books from the library - glad you had fun!

    Teens Read & Write

  16. How have I never heard of this series??? Or this movie? I am adding the first book to my list now!

  17. I love the books and I'm so jealous - I hope the movie will be released in the states or at least on DVD.

  18. Haven't seen the movie but will defintiely check it out. Reminds me of Red Dawn, which was popular several years back and had a similar premise. Sounds like you had a great time. Super post.

  19. Rachel from Neighbours!! I didn't know she was the lead. Never read the books but I shall definitely watch the film! You've sold it to me :P.

  20. I love, loved the books when I was a teen and the movie was really good. Better than I expected.

    'How funny are dogs'! Lol.

  21. I can't wait to read and see it-- I added it to my list a few weeks ago when you mentioned it on my blog.
    LOVE hearing some more Aussie slang. POME is new to me.

  22. New to me too, though I'd heard "pom" for years. Rachel Hurd-Wood is a Brit too - she was Wendy in the 2003 Peter Pan.

    I haven't read the novels, but I did enjoy the film which I saw on opening night in Melbourne. Some of the characters seemed a little sketchy to me, but maybe they'll be more developed in the sequel(s).

    I've no idea if TWTWB will get a UK release - it's very hit and miss if Aussie films get shown over here, and when they do they often get limited arthouse releases. This is why I blind-buy DVDs from Australia a lot. Having said that, I suspect this film will get a release here as it is a big-budget commercial movie with a major studio (Paramount) behind it, though when it will get one I don't know.

  23. Hey Nomes, I went to work (as the bookstore) today and unfortunately we had copies of the TWTWB book you were sent. However, we only had 20 copies and it seems that it IS a very limited print: ie. they'll do this one print and that's it, it's back to the blue-covered Ellie movie tie in version.

    I admit to buying it myself, though. Apparently the three different versions I already had wasn't enough! Haha, I'm not a nerd or anything :)

  24. hey Linda. LOL @ you buying it yourself! At least its a limited print :) I like the Ellie one too - more after seeing the movie and bonding with her there.

    Hi Gary - I hope it gets a UK release - but it seems doubtful. more than that I guess the books also get an international audience. I had forgotten rachel Hurd-Wood was in Peter Pan!

    Jade - I adored that quote. have said it a few times since. such a classic.

    @ Liz - i dont follow neighbours, but she was great in the movie, hey?

    and everyone else - so pumped you guys are crushing on the Aussie scene! I'm feeling the love <3

  25. deffinetly seeing it and starting reading it soon. i was going to read it last year, so almost 2 years ago, but my brother lost it. it turned up in his cupboard where i said it would be, but he wouldn't let me look. it's next on my 'to read' pile. it very good to see it so highly recomended. i've loved the other books oh his that i've read.

  26. At the start you said

    "It' is also the biggest budgeted movie in Australian movie history (a budget of over $20 million)

    It's opening night was the third biggest for an Australian film (coming behind Australia"

    I checked the budget for 'Australia' it's $130 million so how is the budget for 'Tomorrow when the war began' more than that of 'Australia'?

  27. @ Cheesecake - good point. I should clarify - i read that fact in the paper - and i think it was referring to an Australian Studio Production.

  28. Is Bigfoot Genuine or mock? For over 400 many years, there have already been reporting’s of a man like animal that is fully coated in hair.


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