17 December 2007

"I Am Legend" Smashes Box Office, Gives Warm Fuzzy Feeling

Vampire flick "I Am Legend" reeled in 76.5M on opening weekend , supposedly making it the number one December opening ever.

Meanwhile, I am sitting back in my chair, shaking my head.

I know I'm a harsh critic, and I know the movie was going to be different than the book, but consider these things.

1. This movie was already made. It was called "28 Days Later" which was not based on a book and already did a great job of rejuvinating the zombie genre.

2. The ending of the book is not "Hollywood", so they had to change it to one of those warm, fuzzy, "hope goes on" endings. I'm sick of Hollywood treating all of us like 10 year olds that need a happy ending, but I guess that's what happens when 25% of the U.S. has not read a single book in the last year. Endings aren't always happy. I'd much rather have a sad-ending thinker movie than a plotless action flick, but I guess the opening numbers for the weekend say otherwise for the general population.

3. The best scene in the entire movie is the most tragic, occurs only about halfway through the movie and has little to do with the rest of the plot.

4. The vampires in the book could talk and were generally sentient, not just brainless monsters. The movie shows a glimmer of this and then disregards it for the rest of the movie. It also half-asses the fact that one vampire seems to know the main character...but since they can't talk, that kind of all goes out the window.

5. They bring God into the last quarter of the movie for no reason whatsoever. This was non-existant in the book. I don't have any personal quarrel with God, but in this case it was utterly superfluous.

6. His reason for being "Legend" in the movie sucks.

Just...step away from your car and go read the book instead. It'll be just as much as a movie ticket, but more enjoyable and thought-provoking. Plus, you can always donate it to your local library when you're done and let someone else discover the joys of reading a book. Plus, the proceeds of the book don't support the MPAA. What other reasons do you need?

Except you, the one that wants the happy fuzzy ending. You can go see the movie.

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15 December 2007

Next: The Mysterious Vanishing Ending!

So I'm not crazy in thinking I saw scenes that were from the end of the book in the movie trailer when I watched it online. Apparently they filmed more scenes for the movie but they were cut due to *Foamy voice* "run time". At a paltry 113 minutes, I don't see how that is applicable.

Epic Fail.

You can watch one of the deleted scenes here:



13 December 2007

The Disappointing Compass

I saw "The Golden Compass" opening day. As I sat through the movie I became more and more disenchanted with the way it was presented. By the end I kind of just stared at the screen and thought to myself..."They're kidding...right?".

I understand that to make a book into a movie there are some compromises that need to be made. Plot arcs to take out and changes to account for that have been caused by said plot removals. Where did the Hobbits get the wraith-killing swords from? Who are Tom Bombadil and Ghan-Buri-Ghan? If you watch the movie, you don't know. I understand this.

However, changing around the sequence of the plot, without which the story still could have been completed in time, angers me. In the book, Lyra travels to Bolvangar and THEN to Svalbard. In the movie it's the other way around. Why?

Second, and most infuriating of all is a change that Pullman himself authorized. The entire ending of the book is not included in the end of the movie. Instead it ends on a kind of sigh, an "eh" feeling. Nothing epic. Just a meager cry of "yeah, we'll show them bad guys...!" One of the most enjoyable aspects of the book was the coming together of the plot in this climaxing, overarching, HOLY SHIT ending. If it doesn't make you go "OH SNAP", nothing will. But don't expect this from the movie.

I suppose I did myself in the moment I decided that I'd read the book first, however, my boyfriend hadn't read the book, and he was equally as puzzled and frustrated by the anti-climactic ending.

There were redeeming factors of the movie. It was generally entertaining, and they did a wonderful job of the battle between Iofur and Iorek. A jaw went flying and children had to be taken out of the theater and all was well. But next time don't rate your movie PG, k? This is not for the same age of kids as are watching Chronicles of Narnia.