Monday, June 29, 2009

Let's Go To The Movies

Actually, with the fast growing pace directors are taking with the cranking out of books into movies, I am probably the last person you want to be taking to the movies. Book movies annoy the hell out of me. They truly do.

It all goes back to one of the first movies I ever watched in the theater, "The Black Stallion." Fortunately, I went in opposite directions and saw the movie before I actually read the book. The movie was fantastic. Heat, sand, beaches, islands, lagoons, and of course, The Black, met every expectation a true horse lover could have. I was riveted. And when Alex Ramsey rode The Black, injury and all, down the final stretch, I was in my seat, grabbing the reins, and riding down that stretch with him. Only sheer will power kept me from leaping from my seats as The Black made one last tremendous leap that carried him over the finish line. And as fast as a leapin lizard, I carried myself to the local library and checked out "The Black Stallion" (yes, I know books should be underlined, but I haven't yet mastered the talent of underlining in blog easy...I am working on it). Needless to say, the movie which had won over my heart in the opening credits, now paled in comparison.

Flash Forward a few decades.

Like the chicken and the egg, I can't remember which came first: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, or Lord of the Rings. And yes, I know I can do a quick search and find the dates, but I'm lazy, and am writing this late in the morning as opposed to early in the morning. My time is limited. I first read Mr. Potter's story in 1999, so when the movie soared to the big screen, I scooped up my children, bought popcorn and snickers (best combination in the WORLD), and lined up with the crowds. Movie crowds don't bother me, it's part of the ambiance that theater going is supposed to have. I once watched Batman (part one) while sitting on the stairs of the movie aisle. Anyway, I digress. The movie, while filled with sparklies, troll snot, and unlimited boogeys, fell short of the thrill behind the book, however, I did enjoy it. It could have been due to the length of time between the reading and the viewing, but I did enjoy it. HOWEVER, parts 2, 3, 4, and 5 cannot share the same fate. While the effects, and Richard Harris's excellent rendition of Dumbledore, were pleasing to the viewer's eye, the book purist in me demanded accuracy! Persephone actually moved to a different seat for The Prisoner of Azkaban after enduring only thirty minutes of elbowing, underbreath muttering, and exclamations of "Hey, that wasn't in the book!" Unfortunately, I am addicted, and the July release of Mr. Potter's sixth year will have me lined up in the theater, towing my unwilling with me.

Let's get this straight. For some reason Hollywood cannot do fantasy right. They've had a few accidents such as The Labyrinth (sheer brilliance), The goonies (applause), and Excalibur (a moment of silence). Okay, perhaps a few more, but I am talking about REAL dungeons and dragons (and the nerd in me rears its ugly head again...back nellie, back!). Hollywood (sorry Jeremy Irons) has not been able to do a decent dungeons and dragons type movie ever. And while I am in NO WAY comparing dungeons and dragons to Lord of the Rings (blasphamy), I had my doubts and misconceptions when I discovered LotR was coming to the big screen. Did I let those doubts get in the way? NO FREAKIN WAY! I was giddier than a school girl sitting next to her first high school crush on the school bus...all trembly and shaky inside. How could I could seriously maintain my "school teacher persona in the public eye" control? Oh My Lanta! It was amazingly wonderful. Beautiful. Lovely. Aragorn (actually, I'm more of a Strider kinda girl than Aragorn, if you know what I mean). It was truly outstanding. Immediately after wards, being that I hadn't read the books since high school, I re read the series. And with a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, I grudgingly admitted that Hollywood had done a perty good job with their first attempt. Oh, and when the extended version came out on DVD...shudder...shake...drool...quake. Someone once said that the theater releases of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was just a trailer for the DVD extended versions. Oh, yes, they were right. While being a bit disappointed with Merry and Pippin's luncheon with the tree ents, along with a few other exclusions (adaptations), Peter Jackson did a helluva job. I envy those who watched the movies with absolutely no knowledge of the book for they definitely were treated to a fantastic movie.

Did Lord of the Rings cure me? Hell no. Just last year I took my daughters to see Twilight. And yes, my daughter would nudge and pinch when I began my mutterings...she wasn't in his room, she was in the car...oh..that didn't happen. Did that happen in the book? I don't remember that part. But I was pleasantly pleased. They did a good job. Personally, I think Bella kinda overdid the teenage angst head nudge awkwardness a bit, but overall, not a bad film rendition. HOWEVER, I did happen to see the trailer for "New Moon," and already I am chomping at the bit. Jacob did NOT phase in front of Bella when Laurent tried to kill her. Enough said! Well, not really. I do plan on seeing this one when it is released as well!

I'm a glutton for punishment. What can I say?


  1. There are some movies I am grateful were brought to the big screen simply because it will renew interest in the book(s). (The Chronicles of Narnia immediately come to mind.)

    Some books are expanded and the movie is better for it. (The Shawshank Redemtion is one...)

    But for the most part, they just can't do the book justice.
    An S.E. Hinton dork in jr high school, seeing the Outsiders in the theater threw me into a funk for days. It was then that I learned the lesson that my imagination and the vision I saw in my own head would always be superior to what is put up on the screen.

  2. Yes, I totally agree with you. For example, "For Whom the Bells Toll," was just as horrible in film as it was between the covers (sorry, Tyronne, I love you, but that wasn't the best of your best).

  3. I liked the movie 'The Soloist' better than the book. But that is a completely different genre.

    I am so excited about the new HP. I don't expect them to mirror the books - they can't - there's way too much - but they are such a delightful supplement.

  4. Ok, first I must admit, I didn't read the HP books, my husband did, and he loved them. I love the movies, even if they are just a sampling of the real information.
    I'm not typically a lover of books to movies, they rarely capture the same emotion.
    I'm doing a review of the movie My Sister's Keeper later this week............I'm sure you know where I stand.

  5. I'm so excited for HP that I'm about to pee in my pants! I don't even care, just as long as my butt doesn't eat the toilet paper...wink wink.
    I watch all movies that are books because I can't get enough. And Bella SO OVERDID the teenage angst thing, but I'm gonna be first in line to see that hot underage, jail bait Jacob. Er, to see the next installment. Ahem.
    I can't wait for HP! Wish we lived near you, I'd tag along with you and your victims. : )

  6. Macey, I'd love to join you at the movies. It would be nice to have company when I go to jail for overage drooling. My drool vice? Emmett!

  7. Okay about the New Moon trailer.... I had the same problem!!! He did NOT change in front of her like that, but if you view the trailer more carefully you'll notice that its 2 different scenes... Bella's wearing a different outfit in the Laurent scene than in the scene where she's yelling at Jacob.

    I'm with you! I'm the worst person to see a movie rendition of a book. I don't understand WHY they have to change scenes or lines. It was perfect the way it was written. Esp with Twilight grrr Anyway can't wait for New moon.


  8. Tammy and Anita

    I love when a favorite of mine comes to life on the big screen...there are so many books that I just can't get enough of.

    I just need to get into the habit of reading the book after the movie!

  9. Hey, Jillian? What do you think about the new True Blood Season? I'm glad they didn't kill off Lafayette (yet), but they are soooooo off of the storyline!

    Likes: Jessica (she plays her character well)
    Lafayette is still alive (minor book character but he comes to life on the HBO series)

    Medium: feeling so-so about the changes of the whole "sex" gang connected to the Wildwoman and what's this Daphne thing all about?

    Dislikes: ERIC's new HAIRCUT! What were they thinking????

  10. "but they are soooooo off of the storyline!"

    are they really?!?!?! I've not seen the second season yet. Although I have seen pictures and heard about the new season. So i have to totally take your word on it! But even with the first season they deviated from the storyline, so I'm taking that they've gone even further.

    Eric: The actor who plays eric looks better with short hair but ERIC does NOT have short hair and it annoys me. Esp since in the book, vampires cannot change their physical attributes like that... remember Bill, when asked about his sideburns?

    I think they did a good job building up Lafayette's character too! He's wonderful in the TV series.

  11. you said it well LOL!

    I will also be to Harry Potter with all my kids, grandkids and wheelchair bound mother in tow!

    I'm a little hesitant for new moon, twilight was pretty good, but I do hope they fixed the lack of sparkling skin.

    I can not wait for the Hobbit :)

  12. Oh, Kaye! Are they making a new Hobbit? I remember watching the cartoon version over and over and over again.

  13. Book movies are never as good as the book. I always make sure to read the book before I see a book movie, and then I'm always disappointed.

  14. I know, Yaya, I try to do it in reverse by watching the movie before the book, but movies take so darn long to make that I just end up giving in. Although, I imagine I'd have loads to read if I did wait until the books were made into movies. Why, I'd still be waiting to read the seventh HP book!

  15. Wonderful movies. I use to read the books first now I just love the movies.

  16. I am waiting for the next HarryPotter movie. I haven't read the books and have already decided to read all the books after I see the last movie. Books are always better!! The mail problem with the HP books is that they are so long- especially 3-5, which is very hard to capture in a movie.

  17. I can't wait for the next Harry Potter movie. I have way to much going on to read them. LOL

  18. I totally agree. Books are always better. There are so many details they leave out in the movies that are crucial! Thanks for stopping by the BOB blog. Kristen and I are very excited about our movement, and how we can help other biz owners!