Sunday, June 13, 2010

What's In A Movie?

Tonight I went to see the new Alice In Wonderland with my boyfriend. And I came away with two thoughts to ponder.
1. There is an unbreakable rule that Johnny Depp is awesome in every movie in which he appears. 2. Can a book turned into a movie ever be good?

And after some late night tea and crochet I have come up with some answers. There have been several instances in which books turned into movies just aren't as good as the book. For example, several of the latest Harry Potter movies, or The Golden Compass. It almost seems like an unalterable truth of the universe that the movie will never be as good as the book. Except... when the movie takes a wild turn down a different path and ends up riding on top of a bandersnatch. Tim Burton, the mastermind director that he is, took the story of Alice In Wonderland and sculpted into something beyond the original story, but working around the same theme and setting. And the results were thought-provoking and magical. So in honor of a successful book-into-movie, I've uncovered other successful movies that played with the book.

1. Peter Pan By J.M Barrie and Finding Neverland - Okay, so maybe this doesn't count exactly. It's a movie about J.M Barrie writing the book. Peter Pan was in fact inspired by Barrie's neighbors as this movie suggests. And once again, Johnny Depp is awesome.

2. Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg and Jumanji - I really have to give props to anyone trying to turn a picture book into a movie. But the Jumanji movie took the mood and theme of the picture book and sculpted another story around it.

3. Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and Where The Wild Things Are - It's a wild ride either way for this book. One line of this book still sticks in my head. As Max is leaving, the monsters run after him and say, "Don't go, we'll eat you up, we love you so." Sometimes I hear patrons say they don't want their children to read scary books. Well, I think, if you look close enough at some of the classic favorites, they can all be a bit scary.

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