Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why I hate most modern movies:

I just read this hilarious article called “Help! My Favorite Book is Becoming a Movie!” by Frank Paiva. Written in response to the upcoming film adaptation of the beloved children’s novel, “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”, this article is all about Hollywood’s desecration of classic literature. It’s hilarious, very nicely written. And entirely true. Exactly how I feel about so many movies these days, which is probably why we never go to the movie theater. I will not spend $20 to watch some director trash a treasured story. It’s complete garbage.

Here are a few excerpts with which I identify:

“My stomach is queasy. I'm sweating profusely for no reason. My hands are slowly balling into angry fists. I want to unleash my rage but have nowhere to turn.
Hollywood is making a movie out of my favorite book.”

“Remember that overwhelming mix of boredom and dread you felt when you realized "The Da Vinci Code" movie wasn't going to get any better?”

“What's that high-pitched crying sound? Oh. It's my childhood dying.”

“There's something uniquely jarring about a bad book-to-movie adaptation. It's only natural that Hollywood makes films from things that were successful in other forms of media. But I don't recall "Dukes of Hazzard" fans taking to the streets when Jessica Simpson became the new Daisy Duke. Gamers didn't take their hands off the controller when The Rock inexplicably became the lead in a movie version of "Doom." And did anyone throw a rock through Julie Taymor's window for "Across the Universe"? No, they did not.

That's because reading a book is an entirely different experience from watching a TV show or playing a video game or listening to a band. A book requires every reader to form his or her own vision of its characters and world as he or she goes along. Every person's visual conception of the novel will be different. Reading requires you to create your own reality through silence and thought. In that sense, it's the most anti-social of media forms.

Movies are the exact opposite. Unless you're at the art house, they require little thinking. They are meant to be an escape. There is no room for personal visual interpretation. Visual interpretation is the job of the filmmaker.

When people say the common trope that "the movie wasn't as good as the book" what they're really saying is "the movie wasn't as good as my perception of the book." Your perception is always going to be more pleasing because you created it.”

“Movies of novels should not be facsimiles of the original, but they should at least resemble the original. That's where my problem with "Mr. Popper's Penguins" lies. It's banking on affection for a great book to which it bears little likeness. In the past year I already had to sit through a desecration called "Yogi Bear" that had nothing to do with Yogi Bear. My inner child can take only so much abuse.”

It’s a great article and hits the point right on the head. As much as I enjoy a good movie, I love books more. It’s a depressing realization that this is actually becoming a thing. And it makes me sad for all those great stories out there that have yet to meet this fate. Their time is coming.

Read the entire article here.

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