L.A. Confidential

How in the sake of fuck did this book get translated into a movie? No no, don’t get me wrong. I adored the book. I like all of his writing. But what rocket scientist did they find to make this into a movie script? It’s just so … freaking… I don’t even know. It’s so complicated and involved.

However it happened, I’ve got the movie on my Netflix queue. I think I’ll move it to the top to ease my curiosity. Plus, apparently it’s got Kevin Spacey in it, and I adore him.

The back of the book has the best way to describe the style of this book: Noir written in shorthand.

I’ve been trying to explain to people how it reads by using the words “razor blades” “quick” and “jagged”. Nobody quite gets what I’m saying though, so I think I’ll resort to the reviewer’s explanation.

By the way, no matter how smart you think you are, the ending will fuck you up.

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It – Movie VS Book

Alright. So when I finally read It, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I thought that I would immediately pick up the movie and sit down and have a watch, but that didn’t happen until today. As I have previously written, I have never seen It the movie. I don’t know how. I went all these years and never even thought to pick it up on the cheap. Netflix finally sent it to me, and I finally sat down and had my viewing experience.

First things first: There wasn’t enough blood.
It is a very very bloody book. A kid gets his arm fucking ripped off. A little girl is absolutely mutilated. At one point Bev’s bathroom sink explodes with so much gore that it’s supposed to look like a murder scene.

I know it’s a made for TV thing, and they couldn’t include all the really gory stuff, but they certainly could have made things more to the actual story in that area.

Secondly: There were a lot of things I felt were pretty integral to the book that were completely missing from the movie. Like Mike’s story of seeing It for the first time. Where the fuck was that? What about the explanation of how they all got out of the sewers the first time around? HOW ABOUT the fact that the promise they made was a promise made in blood? That’s kind of important.

A lot of other things too. I mean, I know you’ve got a certain amount of time you can have for things like this, but if you’re going to make something three hours long, why cut so much out? Go for that fourth hour and get all the really important stuff in there.

Third and last: The ending was crap. Not the part of what It is, because that’s the same in the book. There’s a lot more involved there, and I think they should have put it in, but whatever. What I’m upset about is the fact that Derry didn’t sink into the ground. Um. Hi. The entire underground is falling apart, how is the city staying up?

All in all, I did enjoy it. I certainly enjoyed Tim Curry in it. He’s so freaking wonderful. I could watch it again, and I would probably get it on DVD, honestly. But that doesn’t mean I’m not sorely disappointed in how things went.

I propose that this is remade. We bring back Tim Curry as Pennywise and we do everything right. I’m sure that we can make that spider thing look a lot more realistic and terrifying. Just imagine what the screen artists of today could pull off if given the reins.

Transitions

When you’ve finished reading one thing, a lot of people don’t even think before picking up the next book and beginning it. I think this might be why some obviously intelligent people detest some obviously amazing work.

It’s because there are some authors you can jump between with no issue, and there are some that shouldn’t even be attempted. The authors I will use in my examples are Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Charlaine Harris, James Ellroy, Bret Easton Ellis, and Chuck Palahniuk (here we get the most dramatic effect)

Going from Koontz to King is an easy jump. Back is also not an issue. But Koontz to Harris is not a good one to try, and Harris to King will fuck your brain sideways. Harris to Palahniuk would go smoothly, but I don’t think I’d try to reverse that, ever. Palahniuk followed by Ellis would be a smooth transition, as would Ellis into Ellroy. They’ve got that kind of disjointed, raw thinking style, and while Palahniuk doesn’t do that, he’s gritty and raw enough in other ares to keep up. Your head might explode if you went Ellroy to Harris, and especially if you went Ellis to Harris, however, and I can’t think of a good reason to do that sort of thing.

I have just discovered, through actions taken by me in life, that finishing a novel by King and immediately picking one up by Ellroy is not the smartest thing in the world to do. Muscle relaxers and pain killers did not help this in any way, but I don’t think it would have been an easy transition to make even without the help of narcotics.

Moving from a novel of fluid and heavy handed explanation that paints a picture even a blind person could imagine, to a novel of abrupt ends and a serrated edge was like a slap in the face with a block of ice.

I can’t really think of anything that would have made it easier other than just waiting until morning to start the new book. Give my brain some time to digest King’s work and then slowly consuming Ellroy’s.

Cujo

This is my first go around with this book. In my book reading reality, I feel like I should have read this many years ago, but that’s not what happened. Actually, I’ve never even seen the movie. But it’s hard to wander along today’s world without encountering the synopsis of something Stephen King wrote. Popular media, culture, trivia, there’s always something that will carry the breeze of knowledge to you.

Thus, I already knew Cujo was about a dog that killed people.

Of course, it being Stephen King, I was under the impression that it had something to do with a supernatural cause. NO idea at all that it was just rabies. Just rabies, as if it’s such a normal every day thing.

I guess I was a little disappointed to find that out. And a portion of me was looking forward to a massively intense bloodbath caused by the dog.

But in the end, it’s a pretty good book. Four people dying isn’t anything to shake a stick at, either.

I wonder what it would have turned out like if King had written this novel in his later years instead of his earliest ones. Would the dog have been possessed? Would the slaughter have been more rampant than it is? It’s an impossible thing to have a conclusive answer for, but it’s still sort of fun to think about.

The greatest difference that I see in this book compared to others, is King trying to end the dog’s story on a positive note. Saying that it ultimately wasn’t the dogs fault that he wrought destruction and death. I don’t think he bothers with such things in his newer books, because it takes away from the horror of it all. It interrupts the reader. The happy ending for us was that the dog was killed. We didn’t really need to be told that had he survived and somehow miraculously gotten better, Cujo would have felt guilt for what he’d done. The fact that he’s a good dog is established very early on.

But I can see what he was trying to do there.

Again, it’s not a bad book. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Gabriel

Alright.

See, I went into this with the idea that it wasn’t going to be very good. I mean, I don’t recall it ever even being in theaters. I hadn’t even heard of it until I saw it in Netflix.

I’ve been putting it off for a really long time, though, because I have a thing for angels, and I knew it was going to be bad, and I didn’t want to be frustrated. But I finally watched tonight. The problem is, it’s not a bad movie, per se. Just the dialog is complete crap. I’m pretty convinced that whoever wrote the dialog is bordering on retarded. Like, actually mentally deficient.

Despite the epically bad writing, the actors still managed somehow to not come off as complete assholes. I’m not sure how they managed it, but they did. It doesn’t make anything better, really. It’s just nice to know that some actors CAN try to overcome the utter shit that some people spew. The only actor that didn’t really manage that was the guy who played Ahriman. He really felt forced.

So the movie itself, it’s about angels, I already said. Specifically, it’s about the archangel Gabriel. And Michael, and Uriel, and Raphael, etc. Seven of them vs seven fallen. In a battle of good and evil for the souls of this very strange city that I’m not sure about. In the start of the movie, it seems as if they want you to think it’s Purgatory, but everybody is still alive there, so it doesn’t quite work.

The whole thing had a very Crow-esque feel to it. Like The Crow with angels instead of avenging spirits and criminals. Very dark, very gloomy, very gothy. I can see what they were trying to go for. I mean, it’s obvious that somebody was a big fan of The Crow franchise, I would say this is a clear homage. Right down to the big battle scene at the end on a rooftop in the rain. (oops, spoiler. Like you were going to watch it anyway)

The fight scenes were actually pretty well done, and there were some special effects that I’m fairly impressed with. But I still can’t call it a good movie. I certainly wouldn’t tell anyone to watch it, or put it on if I had people over. But let me be completely honest, if I found this movie on the cheap – I’d buy it. And I’d watch it while locked in my room so nobody could see what I was doing.

A question of requests

I have a few requests still left over from the last time I asked if anyone had any, and I want those people to know that they’re still going to be watched and written about. The delay came when my cable and internet got cut off about a month before I moved, and I still don’t have my 360 connected. I can watch netflix on my laptop, but I get really squirmy, so I haven’t been doing much of that.

When everything is settled again in Nerd Land, those reviews will happen. I promise.

The Stepfather

Craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap.

Seriously. I don’t know what they were even trying to do here. It could have been such an interesting movie, and it’s not. It’s a flop. It’s worse than a flop, it’s so lifeless that it can’t even flop.

You have this guy who gains entry to families with no father, then when something goes wrong, kills them. Seems pretty basic and straight forward. But you’d think that a guy who has done this as many times as they’re hinting at in the course of the movie would be better at it.

But he’s absolute shit. He can’t keep things straight. He’s got people suspecting him right away. Alright, I can buy that. But if he has all these people who suspect him, yet his bride to be doesn’t, does that mean she’s a complete idiot? I mean, it would be one thing if he weren’t forgetting things like his own supposed daughter’s name, but something that big, even if brought up by a possibly spiteful older son, would certainly be something worth checking into. And the whole thing with him not wanting to give his ID to people. In this day and age, that’s so commonplace that a refusal definitely sticks out.

This movie was an hour and forty minutes long, and it seriously took me over two hours to get through it, cause I had to pause to do something else and wake my brain back up.

There is no redeeming feature of this movie. There was no point where something really neat happened, or I thought that it might get better. It didn’t get worse, thank god, but it was definitely flat lined through the entirety.