Tag Archives: movies

They ruined my favorite book!

I have yet to actually see Ender’s Game but I have not been hearing very encouraging things.

Actually, I know the point I got really worried (besides the casting of Harrison Ford and Moises Arias). It was the line “game over” in the trailer.

This isn’t the first movie that disappoints its fans, and it won’t be the last. But it did get me wondering what’s the best way to look at a movie like this.

Last year the little red haired girl and I saw The Hunger Games shortly after we both read the book (for me it was an audiobook but that’s not cheating 😉 ). My wife was very disappointed in the movie, citing all the things they left out of the story and how it would be hard to pick up on certain things without knowledge of the book. Conversely, I thought the movie made certain characters way more sympathetic (I’m looking at you Katniss who I honestly did not always care for in the book).

In both cases, our reaction to the movie was informed by our relationship with the book. We both loved the book overall, and definitely preferred it, my wife to the point she finished the trilogy in fairly short order (I still have yet to read the last).

This year my wife briefly thought about boning up on Catching Fire to get in the spirit of the movie, but decided against it for the time being, as she felt her recent reading of the book negatively colored her view of the movie.

I’m still mixed on this. When Watchmen was coming out I had no relationship with the graphic novel, other than knowing it was one of the iconic graphic novels. I devoured it and was generally pleased with the adaption even if some think it was “too faithful” to its source material. I had a similar experience with Scott Pilgrim. I’m often a little late to parties, but I’m happy to do the work to catch up.

As for Ender’s Game  I didn’t read it until a couple of years ago. When I was in high school I had a choice between it and Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama. I chose Clarke (yes I’m sad to say I also read all of his 2001-3001 series. Just remember in the 31st century it’s fashionable to be uncircumcised.) This was long before the movie was announced, but I still have a young enough relationship to the book that my ideas of its execution are fresh and pliant. Despite the bad reviews I might still give Ender a chance, just in the dollar theater.

As for my total geek out fantasy movie which will never ever be made?

The Sandman.

I’m fairly specific on this one, so I doubt this will ever happen except in my wildest dreams. I’d cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Morpheus King of Dreams (You see it right? Just take his Kahn outfit and give him black eyes). Death’s tricky but all I know is not Helena Bonham Carter. And one more thing, it’s not a movie. Each of the 10 volumes would work best as a mini-series, maybe 20 total episodes of 1.5 hours. And I don’t really trust Americans to make this so I’m looking at you Stephen Moffat or pretty much anyone at the BBC.

Ah, well. A man can dream.

Do books ruin movies for you? Do you think there’s a relationship between how long you’ve lived with a book and how much you’ll judge any movie adaption? Who would you cast as Death?

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Quotable Lines

I’m reading the first book I’ve read in a while that has quotable lines.

A character hearing voices says, “I’m going out of my mind.” to which the voice replies. “Good. It’s getting crowded in here.”

Okay, it’s not “tis a far far better thing”. It’s more along the lines of “You’re turning into a penguin. Stop it!” But still, it’s fun, it’s memorable, and it leaps out at the reader.

How in the heck do you do this as a writer?

I have a feeling it’s deliberate, that such lines are not written by accident. After all, a good author will parse sentence by sentence, tweaking each til its the best it can possibly be.

But there’s a spontaneity to it as well. This particular book has a playful nature, so I can totally see it as being the result of a riff on the character that just flows naturally.

I think this is a level of writing I have yet to get to, if I’m being honest. Maybe it’s happened once or twice by accident, but all the other times I’ve tried to make it happen it seems forced. I could make the claim since I’m more of a genre writer than a literary one, that quotability is not important, but the book I’m reading is clearly a genre piece, and a genre satire at that.

Good lines are original. They speak from a specific character viewpoint, or the author’s view. And they’re fresh, or recycled in an ironic way. They can be at the beginning of a scene, the end, or scattered throughout the middle.

Maybe it’s just good prose, but I don’t know. It seems to be something special, just a little bit bent, or different.

If I figure it out I’ll let you know.

What are some of your favorite lines?

1 Comment

Filed under Books + Publishing, Writing, Writing Goals

On Valentine’s Day, You Won’t Die Hard Alone

This valentine’s day take your special someone to the movie she really wants to see, A Good Day To Die Hard.

Here for the first time, courtesy of myself and the Little Red-Haired Girl, is the definitive list of alternate titles for Die Hard V:

– Old Habits Die Hard

– Only The Good Die Hard

– Live Long And Die Hard

– All Good Things Must Die Hard

– Eat, Pray, Die Hard

– Live And Let Die … Hard

– Kiss Kiss, Die Hard

– Die Hard: The Musical

– Crawl Into A Hole And Die Hard

– Die Hard And Goodnight

– Die Hard Another Day

– Eat, Drink and Be Merry … For Tomorrow We Die Hard

– Let Them Die Hard

– 50 Ways To Die Hard

– CSI: Die Hard

– A Very Special Die Hard Christmas

– Die Hard Unchained

– Die Hard V: Die Hardest

– Die Hard, Charlie Brown

– Chitty Chitty, Die Hard

– Tomorrow Never Dies Hard

– The Man Who Died Hard

– Born To Die Hard

– Die Hard With Me

– Don’t Speak, Die Hard

– A Die Hard Day’s Night

– A Die Hard State Of Mind

– Another Day To Die Hard

– Be Of Good Cheer And Die Hard

– Show Me How To Die Hard

– Forgive And Die Hard

– I Would Die Hard For You

– Ticket To Die Hard

And don’t forget the official movie tie-in:

Monopoly – The Die Hard Edition

Happy Valentine’s Day Everybody!

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Big Deal. We Made Star Trek 7 Back In ’94.

As you might have guessed (full disclosure), I’m a Trekkie (and a B5’er or whatever you call people who like Babylon 5). But it’s not because I hate Star Wars, or think Star Trek is somehow better (I just watched an episode of Next Gen that basically involved the Enterprise fighting a flying pirogi). In fact I love the original trilogy, and even some moments of the prequel trilogy (if nothing else from an ironic stance).

But I don’t know if Disney’s the right fit.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that we’re getting George Lucas out of the picture. That man has been screwing with a good thing for years. The special edition re-release was one thing, but all the additional tweaking and nonsense in the BluRay releases is just ridiculous. It’s worse than the fifteen releases of Blade Runner! Give me my crummy special effects (I’m looking at you too CBS for your Star Trek: Original Series “remaster”), and Han shot first dammit!

And as bad as the prequel trilogy was it was by no means the worst thing to happen to Star Wars. For that we only need look to the dozens of TERRIBLE video games (interspersed with some excellence), the animated Clone Wars, and well, anything Clone Wars related (sorry kids). Hell, my favorite series took 11 movies to make six good ones, so I can cut the Warsies (?) some slack on this one.

And Disney at first glance doesn’t seem like a bad choice. Star Wars isn’t just for the sci-fi crowd after all, it’s fun for the whole family, and nobody does that better than Disney. I’m actually reasonably certain that Star Wars 7 will be excellent, it’s 8 and 9 I’m worried about. I’m not convinced Disney is good at series. Just take Pirates of the Carribbean. The first movie is an excellent romp with a nice love interest, a lot of action and humor. By the end of the third movie, the main love interest is dashed, as one part of it is doomed to steer the dead home and only see his love once every ten years (after knocking her up of course, cause nothing says love like dooming people to single parenthood). And did we really need a Cars II, or any of the direct to video nonsense Disney produces?

And for that matter, do we really want a company that likes to put things in a vault in charge of when and how we get to see Star Wars?

On the up side, I bet there’s a reasonable chance the original movies will see theatrical re-releases prior to the new movie, and that’s always fun. And Disney has had decent success with Marvel super hero properties (hell if you can get Joss to write the Avengers, why not a little lightsaber action?).

I think Star Wars is always going to be a generational argument (and I mean quite literally given the almost twenty years between the start of each trilogy). The originals will always be the best in my heart, and I don’t feel like I need anything else, but that won’t stop Disney from making Spaceballs II: The Search For More Money (though if they did make that I’d definitely watch it). A new generation will grow to love this new trilogy, and maybe cast a glance at what came before, and that’s fine.

And you know what, I’ll watch too, especially if a promo has Donald Duck saying “may the forks be twith you.”

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized