I don’t watch a lot of movies. I want to say it’s just a season of life I’m going through, but I don’t think I’ve really been a huge movie watcher since high school.
I don’t avoid them, and don’t dislike movies, but I just don’t feel compelled to watch too many. In the last year, I’ve watched maybe 6 or 7 movies in the theater—and two of them (Planes and The Lego Movie) were with my 3-year-old.
So if I watch that few feature films, I can say with absolute certainty I have no idea the last time I watched a made-for-television movie.
Don’t they usually suck?
I don’t know. What I do know is that horribly long lead-in was meant to introduce the made-for-television version of Their Eyes Were Watching God. The film aired on ABC and was produced by Oprah Winfrey.
Halle Berry played the female protagonist, Janie Crawford. Now I get that Zora Neale Hurston describes Janie Crawford as an attractive woman in the novel, but Halle Berry’s level of attractiveness? I didn’t have that in mind. Wow.
So to recap today’s post:
Philip K. Dick might have believed he was Elijah, and he might have believed he was the disciple Thomas, and he might have believed he could communicate with a pink beam of light—yes, he was a little “out there”—but there’s no disputing that the man was the Energizer Bunny of science fiction writing.
When he died at age 53 in 1982, Dick had written 44 published novels and 121 short stories. What might be even more impressive than that was the amount of Dick’s novels that were turned into feature films. Of course, he didn’t write the screenplays, but his novels were the basis of many productions in Hollywood.
Here’s the list of movies based on Dick novels, from Wikipedia:
Here’s the thing about movies.
If you’re going to remake a film, a film that won multiple Academy Awards and received rave reviews, then you better do an unbelievably good job.
That’s why I believe the Gatsby film was a success. The previous film versions of the classic novel sucked, so the bar was set pretty low when Baz Luhrmann got around to making the movie. It wasn’t just better than previous Gatsby movies–it was a very good movie on its merit.
On the flip side, what about All The King’s Men?
With the novel, which is also my current read from the Time list, Robert Penn Warren won the Pulitzer in 1947. Playing off that success, Robert Rossen directed the 1949 movie, which won three Academy Awards, including the big one—Best Picture.
Here’s a trailer for the 1949 film, which starred Broderick Crawford.
I missed the boat.
I missed the boat filled with people who believe the new Gatsby movie sucked. That ship sailed and I wasn’t on it. I don’t know what’s up with those people.
In this post, I’ll explain why I disagree with most critics on The Great Gatsby movie. The film has been critically panned, receiving 49% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’ve read several recurring arguments online, and I want to take a look at each of those.
As a reminder, I’ve read the Gatsby novel five times. It’s my favorite book, and if a director did a crappy job of putting Fitzgerald’s story on screen, I would be more than happy to ridicule said director.
In this case, I think Baz Luhrmann did a (mostly) excellent job of making this classic novel into a Hollywood film. But let’s take a look at what some of his critics are saying.
We’re coming up on a little over a month until the new Gatsby film comes out. May 10 to be exact.
Seeing as Gatsby is my favorite novel and Dicaprio is one of my favorite actors, I’m slightly excited. I think I might even review the movie on this blog, something I’ve never done before.
A few days ago, they released character posters from the film..and here they are in all their glory.
As you may know, a new Gatsby movie is coming out next summer, starring Leo Dicaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan.
It was originally scheduled to come out on Christmas Day, but the film got pushed back—hopefully not because it sucked.
I’m beyond excited about it. I love the novel and Dicaprio is one of my favorite actors, so it’s a win-win.
The novel has been adapted to film six times. I’m not sure about this, but that has to be close to a record. It’s interesting to look back at the history of Gatsby on film, just seeing how it has evolved over the years.
The more I read through Atonement, the more I can see how this novel became an Academy Award nominated movie. It’s a great story, just made for Hollywood.
At times, though, the plot feels almost too Hollywood with too many perfectly timed coincidences. A few incidents in the plot are the action movie equivalent of the sniper who shoots the gunman seconds before the gunman shoots the hostage in the head.
When I heard that The Bridge of San Luis Rey 2004 film starred Robert Deniro, Kathy Bates, Gabriel Byrne and Harvey Keitel, I immediately added it to my to-watch list. Quite a cast.
The book lends itself to a great story that could be a powerful film. That’s why I was surprised when I saw all the poor reviews.
And it’s not just critics. Regular people like you and me hate it too. Misty, a commenter on this blog, had this to say about it:
Many bad movies have been made from great novels. But I’d say that very few bad novels have been turned into great movies.
So when a novel is turned into a feature film that wins 6 Academy Awards and the first Golden Globe for Best Picture, you can safely assume that the original novel was excellent.
An American Tragedy was published in 1925. Twenty-five years later, the novel was turned into a wildly successful film called A Place In The Sun—starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, and Shelly Winters, “three flaming young stars,” according to the movie’s trailer below.
Hollywood has never been shy about embellishing and/or totally changing the meaning of a novel to make the story sell to a film audience.
Stanley Kubrick was a master at this. He changed the ending of A Clockwork Orange, and in Lolita he seemed to make Humbert the victim of Dolores’ seduction, instead of a sexual predator obsessed with a 13-year-old girl.
When I did a Google search for a cover of Wide Sargasso Sea to display on my blog, I found two things—as is the case with most novels that become movies. I found a variety of cover images of the novel—exactly what I was looking for—but I also found all sorts of movie posters and images from the film.
What struck me about these posters is how misrepresentative they are of the story—at least the book version. Wide Sargasso Sea is not a romance. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Maybe there’s one or two scenes of a sexual nature, but that’s it. And they aren’t much to speak of. I hardly remember them.
But by looking at the movie posters, you would think Wide Sargasso Sea was some kind of romance novel fit for a Fabio cover or an Antonio Banderas starring role. It’s just silly.
Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at a few of the novel’s covers versus a few of the movie posters.
We’ll start with the book.