The Movie that Shouldn’t Have Bothered

Movies that Shouldn’t Have Even Bothered

Confession:  I’m becoming somewhat addicted to Audible.com.  It’s perfect for someone like me who needs background sound in their head while they work, and has no time to sit down and read through a book.  It literally takes me months to read a book, and it’s only because of time.  Okay, I do have some time, but my job involves me staring at a computer for eight hours a day reading things, so I really have no desire to read any other kind of text when I get home.  I fall right asleep trying to.  No, this isn’t an advertisement for Audible.  The main point is that in the span of time it would take me to finish one book, I’ve listened to fourteen books, going on sixteen.   I’m eating them up.

My favorite thing while reading a book is fantasizing about what the scenery, characters and scenarios look like.  How they would be portrayed in a movie.  There are times when I become literally giddy with excitement while reading a scene at the prospect of watching it acted out with real people.  To this day I still geek out over how well Quidditch was portrayed in the Harry Potter movies.

There is nothing worse than getting excited about a novel turned movie, only to watch it shatter to pieces in an utter car wreck of a failure.  It’s like thinking you’re about to sip on a Sprite, but it turns out it’s actually luke warm tap water.  You want to spit it up all over the place in revulsion.

My older sister often tells me to come to terms with the fact that when someone makes a movie, that it is their interpretation of the book.  To brace yourself for a new story.  On some books I can handle this.  Some.  I’m not the nit picky person who points out the minor things that are left out of the movie.  I’m not the one who gets mad that Tom Bombadil wasn’t in Lord of the Rings.  (as important as he was) The movies were still great.  Awesome in fact.  Yes they changed things.  No I didn’t care because they kept the main essence and base storyline of the book in tact.  Hobbits needed to get the ring into the fires of Mt.Doom and by God they were going to do it!

But when a movie completely goes against the novel…  Or only plays with the idea the novel was trying to get across, it pisses me off.  Why did they even bother?  I feel like, if you’re going to make a movie based off of a book, don’t try to get across your “version” of the book.  You should be creating the novel in real life for the die hard fans to enjoy.  That’s as irritating to me as people who tell me things they would have done differently in my own book after I’ve published it.  Go write your own!  Writers rage!

Here are two recent books that I’ve read, watched the movie and then decided with disgust that the producer shouldn’t have even bothered.

  1. The Shining

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Go ahead and gasp.  I’ve had a whole bunch of people (mostly from the generation that saw it come out) look at me like I’m crazy.  Yes, I’m sure it was awesome when it came out but it is NOTHING compared to the book.  I’m currently wrapping up this book, and decided half way through that I wanted to go ahead and watch the movie.  Spoilers aren’t a big thing for me, in fact I like them.  So I was pretty excited to see the film and save myself from some horrifying scenes later.

What the hell…

To me after reading the book, the movie was a total failure if it was trying to recreate the story.  In the movie he just goes crazy.  He watches them all creepily while they play, gets cabin fever, and goes bonkers without looking back.  Like there is no humanity left in him from the get go.  It’s a little unbelievable.  There is literally no way to grasp the internal dialogue going on in Jack’s mind throughout this novel.  The turmoil and battles he is secretly going through dealing with his alcoholism, accidental abuse of his child, daddy issues of his own, and struggles within his marriage all lumped into one, topped off by the supernatural effect the hotel has on him.  Often alone in the hotel, he has nothing BUT his thoughts to keep him company which are often dangerous.

The book takes on the feel of a Disorganized Schizophrenic sub type at times, constantly repeating phrases from advertisements, age old sayings and things he’d heard long ago.

“Curiosity killed the cat, and satisfaction brought him back.”

Once you’ve gotten most of the way through the story, you begin to feel a little crazy yourself.  Did he really see that?  What would you do if you saw that?  But with the movie it’s the same buckets of blood scene over and over with little twin girls.

“Come play with us Danny…  Come play with us forever…”

I have four hours left of narration in the book and those little twit twins haven’t made an appearance yet.  It will irritate me further if they don’t show up at all.

When you compare the novel to the movie, it makes the movie look like a freakin flop!  I understand that it’s a very old film.  The sound track is that eerie, nails on a chalkboard mixed with high pitched notes that play endlessly to keep you on edge.  The wife is not only a brunette when she should be a blond, but they turned her into a total wuss.  In the novel when her husband is being a dick, she spits back at him with her own arguments.  I haven’t gotten to the part where he’s trying to murder her yet, but so far she’s doing a lot less hysterical sobbing and a lot more arguing.  And he’s not completely a douchebag in the book.  Not yet at least.  He’s mostly losing his mind but he had many many cognitive, snapping back to reality moments when he at least tries to be a good father/husband.

And the part that got to me most was the little boy Danny and his “friend.”  In the movie Danny says that Tony is a “little boy who lives in his mouth”.  And when Tony wants to talk he talks through Danny while Danny uses his finger like a little puppet.

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WUT…

In the book Tony talks in Danny’s head.  In fact through a large portion of the novel Tony is unable to speak with Danny because of the monsters that live within the hotel.  He’s this freaky little far off child that’s slightly older than Danny, and he’s always around some corner or hard for Danny to see.  Tony so far hasn’t spoken an audible word.  He just shows things to Danny in his mind.  He’s like some little ghost child.  I was severely agitated by this whole “boy in my mouth” crap.  How hard would it be for them to voice over another child to talk to Danny?  I think it would have been much creepier to hear some child’s voice saying,

“Toooony….this inhuman place makes human monsters….” – Quote from the book.

Instead of that guttural pretend voice that Danny used with his little finger puppet crap.  I actually sighed every time he did that.

And there have been SO MANY amazing, freakish scenes in the book that would have been so much better.  I keep finding them and thinking “Why the hell didn’t they do that scene?”

Shouldn’t have even bothered.  Although it’s created many hilarious spoof scenes so I’ll give it that.

  1. Eragon

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So much rage at this movie.  So much.  I read the book, super excited because I knew a movie was already out about it.  I spent the money to rent it on demand, and changed the channel half way through it.  I spent MONEY and then changed the freakin channel.  I couldn’t even stomach the rest of it.

They turned Arya, the beautiful, closed off, kept to herself, hard to get to, elf and transformed her into this playful, smiling, sweet and only slightly unattainable creature.  When it came to Saphira (the dragon), I was angered by this too.  In the novel Eragon hid Saphira for months while she slowly grew.  They developed a bond during this time, and hiding her became even harder when she learned to fly.  They started speaking with one another through their minds and it was this awesome gentle thing that left you in awe.  How hard would it be to create a cute montage of her growing?  All I asked for was a minute or two of believable dragon growth.

In the movie, he goes out with her on his shoulder.  She takes off of his arm, flies into the air, there’s a bright light and she instantly turns into a gigantic dragon who can suddenly talk.  They even got rid of the cute little banter from the book where he’s naming her and had no idea that she WAS a she!

And then there’s the scene where he’s going to save Arya.  They changed up who was involved, ruined the best fighting scenes and it was just… BLEH!

The only thing that I enjoyed was recognizing the villain as Mr. Gold/Rumplestilskin from the TV show, Once Upon a Time.

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I turned that crap off though and was bummed out for the rest of the day.

Confession:

I’m terrified to go see Ender’s Game.  I completely nerded out for weeks when I saw the trailer.  I LOVED Ender’s Game when I read it in college, so much so that I bought it on Audible to enjoy it again.  It was even better when I knew the twist ahead of time.  I got to watch out for subtle hints about the twist later on.

I’d wanted it to be made into a movie for the longest time, and now that it’s out there I’m scared to watch it.  I’m so afraid it won’t live up to my standards, and it’s going to ruin Ender’s Game for me completely.  It’s like if I don’t go see it, it will keep this perfect little memory of the book in my head.  But then if I also don’t go see it, I won’t ever get to see my favorite scenes created before my eyes.  So conflicted!

By now I’m sure it’s out of theaters so I’m just going to have to wait until it’s on demand and then I can hate it or love it in the privacy of my own home.

I’m sure I’ll think of more later.

End rant.

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