Screw Mythos, Canon be Damned

Movies and Television

Take your “original” book, play, original movie, or comic and shove it.

There’s an Oscar for screenplay adaptations, because someone took original source material- book, play, comic or fucking theme park ride – made it something different. Different and quite possibly, better.

Bitching and moaning about how “something changed” like it’s Sacred Gospel from on High

  • Never read the Harry Potter series and from what I understand, the movies are decent but not 100% faithful adaptations.
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy certainly made changes, just to get the running time down to a manageable 324 hours. Unless you’re watching the umpteenth box set special edition, where you may as well call into work. For the next month.
  • The DaVinci Code was too much like the book and the movie suffered for it.

There have been excellent adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, that take different liberties with the books. Don’t here much outcry there, but then they’ve 1) stayed true to the source and 2) didn’t totally suck ass.

Changes Suck. Sometimes.

I pretty much hated the Star Wars prequels and Lucas’ fuckery with the originals.

Tim Roth had an “idea” for the Planet of the Apes, that went stupid. After decent success with the first two X-Men movie adaptations, Bryan Singer failed with his weak Superman Returns remake. Then some other hacks screwed the next X-Men sequel and prequel to making me wish it’d just stop.

Changes Rock. If we’re lucky.

M*A*S*H was an irreverent movie that generated one of the best TV shows of all time, with plenty of changes along the way. The sappy Broadway musical Wicked retold The Wizard of Oz story in a fresh, completely different way.

JJ Abrams totally retold Star Trek, a franchise with a devoted fanbase, into completely new mythos and canon. Hell the Onion made a hilarious parody video of fan outcries at the lack of sucking. Heh.

Changes Happen. Deal with it.

Thank goodness Chris Nolan gets the Batman legacy right, not that I’ve read those comics because here’s my thing:

  • If I loved The Book so much, I wouldn’t see The Movie lest it taint the purity of my imaginings.
  • If I held the X-Men or Iron Man movies in such high regard, I wouldn’t go back and read the comics. Lest I discover how poorly TPTB got the specialness of the story.
  • If I wanted to read your epic graphic novel, I would have. Instead I paid good money to see Sin City and Watchmen.
  • If I’m only interested in the comic book version, that’s what I would follow. Instead suffer through shitfests like Smallville and Hulk and Craptastic Four.

The Vampire Diaries has made changes from the books. True Blood has let Lafayette live. I’ve read neither, but IMO both shows are much better for it.

This by way hoping that Captain America and Green Lantern will 1) not suck, please and 2) have plenty of shirtlessness, pretty please. I’ve given up hope on Smallville, that finale is sure to fail. Only question is just. how. fucking. bad.

Faithfulness to source material can stifle creativity, sacred mythos can kiss my ass. It’s fucking entertainment, just get it right.

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  • Ouch. First of all, that Onion bit about Star Trek stings. Really bad! I’ll be walking funny for a while because of that one.

    As usual, though, I think you make a really interesting point. Sometimes the liberties taken in the movies pay off, but sometimes they don’t. I’ve heard many a grumble about how movies weren’t “faithful” to the book.

    One example is the Stieg Larsson books in the Millennium series. I’ve seen and enjoyed the Swedish movie trilogy based on the books, too. This will be a very interesting case because not only can we compare the books to the movies, soon we’ll be able to compare the American movies with the Swedish movies, too. A comparison lover’s dream!

    Here’s an interesting read about the movie vs. book issue regarding Forrest Gump.

    • See what you did there, didn’t even know there was a Forrest Gump book.. now I’m getting edumacated. Nikita and its various spawn started as a French film, Birdcage too.. the Office (not that I watch) was from the UK I think. Yup nothing screams creativity like remaking the remake of the import that retold the original. Again.

      I don’t mind the faithfulness debate; sometimes changes work, others they don’t. Basically every adaptation ever made has pissed off someone, I get that . But in some circles like comics, graphic novels I’ve seen devotion nigh unto fanatical. Imagine the unfunny, “walk the long way round them’ version of that Onion vid (heh, should a put a warning on that, my bad).. which I just don’t get. Nothing’s that sacred to me, except maybe .. no can’t think of anything snarky enough.

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