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J is an unpublished author, represented by Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency. J's first novel is a YA fantasy horror, regarding a siren who must choose between the haunting life and humanity. J draws on occasion, reads quite often, and is a founding member of the critique group 'Thoughtical Verbosity.'

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Movies of Books

Hello, readers, and welcome to SKaM's (oh dear, I just realized what that spells out...) very first rant!

Recently, a movie came out called 'Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief' (or something very similar). I went and viewed said movie with two of my younger sisters. I have had the remnants of it stewing in my cauldron of a brain until it has finally bubbled over in a fuming mist of irritation at it and all its ilk.

For those of you who don't know, the Percy Jackson series is a quintet (that means fivesome) book series by author Rick Riordan. Good things seem to come from guys named Rick. Or maybe I'm just thinking about Rick O'Connell, the mummy-stomping hotty hot hotty from The Mummy series, played by Brendan Fraser. Anyway, it's a fun, action-packed, Greek-Mythology based younger people series that I devoured in about two weeks, which I owe to my awesome brother-in-law owning the five books and letting me steal them.

The books are good. The main driving force in them is a prophecy regarding children of 'The Big Three' (that Poseidon, Hades and Zeus, for those of you non-Greek Mythos...knowers) and the end of the world. It also deals a lot with who you are versus what's in your blood, the true meaning of a hero, the true meaning of strength, there's some gender-boundary things in there, and all sorts of other fun stuff including monster slaying and chariot races. All taking place in the modern day, of course.

The movie, however...chops out the bit with the prophecy, guaranteeing that if they want to make the rest of the books into films they're going to have to do some real out-of-the-air work to make it fit in at all; changes the villain and the reason for the theft of the titular lightning bolt; smooshes my favorite character in with the lead female character for no apparent reason at all, changes the overall behavior, characteristics, and attitude of at least half the cast, removes major characters 'because'...

I could go on, but instead I'll get to the major point of the rant.

I hate. Hate. Hate...no, loathe movies that are incorrectly labeled. So many times, a preview comes on with the subtext of 'based on the best selling novel by such and such a person that you've all read and/or heard about!' when it should instead say 'with vague similarities to a book that millions of people have read religiously but one dude in a director's cap decided he'd change around because he thinks he knows what they all want better than the author did!'

Really, now, Hollywood. When I see the name of my recent book obsession in a trailer, I don't squeal and clap and freak out the people next to me because I'm interested in how someone in a multi-decked mansion that never has to do their own shopping thinks that the novel should have gone down. No.

I want to see my favorite characters in the flesh (or digital flesh, whatever), I want to see the magic crystals activate and incinerate the dragon in vivid CGI, I want to see the villain unmasked and hear the surprise of my friends who I somehow couldn't bully into reading the book. I want to see the epic battle in Hogwarts as the students fight off the school's invaders while Harry chases down Dumbledore's murderer. I want to see the Phantom hideously disfigured to the point where he'd actually have to wear the mask and it makes sense that he hides himself away from the world.

I'll admit that not all changes in the adaptation process are bad. I can't even get through a full page of the yuck that makes up Twilight in 'novel' form, after all, but I quite enjoyed the film.

And Uma Thurman's Medusa was way cool.

Alright, that's all I've got for now. Good night, folks!

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