We Bought a Zoo by Benjamin MeeMy work in the office is to be in front of the computer for almost the whole day. Iím an information technology-systems analyst guy assigned on North American projects so I rarely talk to anybody except during lunch time. Due to this, I can don a headset and listen to a radio station. 8 hours a day.
Since early this January, my favorite afternoon station, RJ 100.30 has been airing the teaser for the movie adaptation of this memoir We Bought a Zoo with one line that goes something like: ĒYou donít need a lot of knowledge to run a zoo. What you need is a lot of heart.Ē The voice sounds sincere and the irony (who would thought of buying a zoo and declare it as if what you bought was just a new set of plasma TV?) is just intriguing. Then one evening, I saw a poster on top of a waiting shed along EDSA and when I saw Scarlett Johansson (my well-kept secret crush) and Matt Damon (who to my disappointment lost the lead role in the latest The Bourne movie that is currently shooting here in Manila), I said whoa this seems to be a fun movie. Then the following day, I saw a copy of this book at NBS with exactly the same people on the poster along EDSA, so I bought it right away forgetting my new yearís resolution of not buying books, especially brand new books because they are expensive and they derail my monthly budget. But anyway, I resolved that I would not see the movie anyway so the cost of the book approximates the savings from not seeing the movie with my family.
I liked the book particularly that fact that this was based on a true story. It was hard for me to bring my own experiences that would have made this a memorable read. My childhood experiences in zoos were not that really beautiful. The Manila Zoo was the first zoo I visited, once when I was a small boy and I was so young I could not remember anything about it. All I remember now was the stinking smell and the big scary elephant. I also remember that I wanted to eat another ice cream but my mother would not allow me to have another cone. My wife had a somewhat strange memory about her visit: she fell on the pavement and all she remembered when I asked her was that she was crying endlessly because of the pain. When my daughter was young, we bought her to the same zoo, Malabon Zoo and the ones in Tagaytay. She also had the chance to visit Ocean Park (in Hongkong), Singapore Zoo and Zoobic (in Olongapo City) and I know she enjoyed those. Itís always nice to give somethings to your children especially those that you were not able to have when you were young, right?
There is nothing really wrong about the writing. Mee tried to capture everything that happened in an organized manner. Not sure if he exerted effort to make the telling interesting but I just did not feel anything while reading. Okay, he bought the zoo for his mother as he would like her to have something to excite her now becoming boring twilight years. Okay, he was losing his wife, Katherine, to cancer and he probably thought that this would be a diversion of his grief. Okay, his two kids were all excited to own the 200 animals in the zoo and their father seemed like a God-sent hero to save those animals. Sure Mee has all the heart, and I salute him. Itís just that the writing is a bit boring because it is so plain and predictable. There are heartwarming scenes but from page 1, despite all the hurdles thrown by Mee in the air for me to believe otherwise, I knew that the ending would be happy: that they would succeed in running the zoo.
If you are interested on animals, however, I still recommend this book especially if you are planning to buy your own zoo. Quite informative, I would say.
That radio teaser is still being played. I just heard it while typing this review. After reading this book though, I donít have any interest to see the movie.
We Bought a Zoo 2011 Movie - Matt Damon & Scarlett Johansson
We Bought A Zoo Production Notes
Benjamin Mee, the inspiration behind the new Matt Damon film, recalls a mad week of tigers and premieres. In , after a career in journalism, Benjamin Mee, with his wife, Katherine, two young children and mother, bought a large house in Devon, and the zoo that came with it. Some months later, Katherine died from a brain tumour, and in July , the Dartmoor Zoological Park, which counts lions, tigers, wolves, bears and monkeys among its animals, opened to the public. Benjamin wrote a book about his tumultuous experiences, We Bought a Zoo, which was adapted by the American writer-director Cameron Crowe into a film starring Matt Damon as Benjamin and Scarlett Johansson. The film was released on Friday in Britain.
Sign in. Stars on the purple carpet at the Emmys decide which TV show characters would make great superheroes or supervillains , and more. Watch now. Take a look back at Scarlett Johansson 's movie career in photos. See more Scarlett. Teenage surfer Bethany Hamilton overcomes the odds and her own fears of returning to the water after losing her left arm in a shark attack. With his wife doing a book tour, a father of twelve must handle a new job and his unstable brood.
Sign in. Get a quick look at the the week's trailers, including Villains , Countdown , Like a Boss , and more. Watch now. Take a look back at Scarlett Johansson 's movie career in photos. See more Scarlett. Teenage surfer Bethany Hamilton overcomes the odds and her own fears of returning to the water after losing her left arm in a shark attack. With his wife doing a book tour, a father of twelve must handle a new job and his unstable brood.
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Please refresh the page and retry. T his piece was first published in March , to coincide with the release of the film We Bought a Zoo. This is not a drill". The home, which Mee had moved into four days earlier, was a dilapidated zoo, and a lb jaguar was on the loose. Benjamin Mee is a very persuasive man. After his father died in early Mee had convinced his year-old mother to sell the Surrey home in which he and his three brothers and sister had grown up, and to buy an old house on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon with a failing zoo attached. He had also persuaded his wife that they should leave their barn conversion in France, where they had been living for two years, and move their young family back to England to live with his mother and his brother Duncan.
We Bought a Zoo is a American family comedy-drama film loosely based on the memoir of the same name by Benjamin Mee. It was written and directed by Cameron Crowe and stars Matt Damon as widowed father Benjamin Mee, who purchases a dilapidated zoo with his family and takes on the challenge of preparing the zoo for its reopening to the public. Dartmoor Zoological Park originally Dartmoor Wildlife Park , on which the film is based, is a acre zoological garden located near the village of Sparkwell , Devon , England. Benjamin Mee is still grieving the loss of his wife Katherine and dealing with the expulsion of his year-old son, Dylan, from school, and decides to make a fresh start by buying a new house. He tours many houses with his 7-year-old daughter, Rosie, and his realtor, Mr. Stevens, but finds none he likes until his daughter finds a listing with what seems like the perfect house. They drive to an old large house and Benjamin inspects the property, telling his realtor it is perfect.