When it comes to books made into movies, 9 times out of 10 I’ll send you back to the source material. There’s more depth to the plot, more characterization, more sense of authorial intent… it’s just a better experience. And then there are the times when you just need to set the book down, jump up and down on top of it a few times, and then pop the movie in the DVD player instead.
–A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. UGH. Dickens was paid by the word, and it shows. It shows hard. What other explanation is there for a paragraphs-long treatise on how a door nail isn’t really all that dead, and it would be better to use the phrase “dead as a coffin nail.” Instead, let me point you to Scrooge, a fantastic musical version starring Albert Finney. The songs are clever and Albert Finney is a delight as Ebenezer.
-Trying to get through The Shining nearly made me go crazy & start killing people. The book just drags, and drags, and by the time Jack Torrance finally goes mad, you can’t really blame him. Luckily they cut all of that out in the movie and get straight to the creepifying horror.
-Don’t be surprised if “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” doesn’t sound familiar. It was the basis for the brilliant movie Blade Runner, but they have almost nothing in common. Blade Runner contemplates the nature of the soul, god versus humanity versus robots, and what it means to truly live (why yes, I did use it in my BA’s thesis, how can you tell?). I’m a big Philip K. Dick fan, but “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” is, frankly, dull. Deckard in the book is simply not interesting enough to capture my attention at any point in the narrative.
In the mood for a movie night? What would you recommend?