Tuesday, November 16, 2004

If reviewers are right, the wonderful, enchanting book Polar Express has been made into a lifeless, mindless big-budget movie that turns a story about doubt and imagination into a Christmas Eve car chase, only with trains instead of cars. The quality of the movie aside, what's striking is that the studio bought the title and the look of Chris van Allsburg's haunting illustrations, then changed everything -- most of what happens in the movie has nothing to do with the book. Since the book was very good, in order to make it into a movie, that aspect had to be eliminated!

Film studio Twentieth Century Fox bought the rights to Isaac Asimov's I, Robot tales, then produced a movie that bears no resemblance to those stories. So rest assured if you haven't read Asimov: There's no way he, or anyone with an IQ higher than a Chilean striped bass, could have produced anything as stupid as this summer's movie starring Will Smith. Nor did the recent big-budget movie The Cat in the Hat bear any resemblance to the book, though the protagonist was, in both cases, a cat. The Cat in the Hat movie was especially distasteful because it was full of crude jokes and bathroom humor -- crude jokes and bathroom humor constituting about the only things, besides cleavage and explosions, Hollywood produces these days. Theodore Geisel despised coarseness and prided himself on amusing children without rude references.

Today seems to be my day to cut and paste stuff from other people's sites. Here we have reason # 348,973 why I love to read Gregg Easterbrook's Tuesday Morning Quarterback column. He is, of course, so right on the money here that I'm awestruck. For what it's worth, I've tried, twice, to sit through that Cat In The Hat flick since it's been airing on HBO lately, and it's so wretched bad and stupid that I just can't do it. What a waste of talent and money.

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