15 March 2009

Weekly Geeks 3/14

I haven't done Weekly Geeks in forever! It isn't that i haven't wanted to but some of the topics haven't appealed and then for others i just forgot! Here's this week's:

Worst movie adaptations: The recent release of Watchmen based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore got me thinking about what I thought were the worst movie adaptations of books. What book or books did a director or directors completely ruin in the adaptation(s) that you wish you could "unsee," and why in your opinion, what made it or them so bad in contrast to the book or books?
OK, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The first graphic novel is fantastic. It has a great premise: what if all those Victorian (and previous) characters were real, running around Europe, and banded together to help England? So we meet Mina Murray, newly divorced from her husband Jonathan Harker, who becomes the leader of the group. With the help of Captain Nemo, she detoxes an opium-addled Alan Quartermain and they recruit the Invisible Man and Dr. Jekyll and his alter ego, Hyde. These people are all fully formed characters, not just cut from their previous stories and dropped into this one. While they do a bit of travel while forming the group the majority of the story takes place in London.

The movie changes this completely. The filmmakers add in Tom Sawyer and Dorian Gray who compete for Mina's love. Now, i can't complain about Gray because he's played by Stewart Townsend who's just lovely to look at. If all the filmmakers had done was add in those characters and played up the love angle it would have been ok. BUT they completely change the story. Quartermain is now the leader and Nemo just randomly pops up with a bit of technology or fighting skills.
Instead of Mina being the brainy leader she is the hot, half-vampire love interest. Tom Sawyer is a goofy kid who immediately learns to drive Nemo's car even though he's never seen the vehicle before. The entire plot is different and the group globetrots around the world. They kill off a few characters then leave a blatant "hey let's hope this does well then we can bring this one person back" opening at the end.

R had not read the book and felt it was an ok, B grade action movie. I also probably would have enjoyed it as a throwaway movie if it was a completely original work. But the graphic novel is dense with allusions, the same way Sandman is.
There are literally dozens of little pieces of background in the comic that the movie can't hope to get right. It is a comic you've got to pay attention to and the filmmakers turn it into a run of the mill action movie. *SIGH*

want more? all is very spoilery for each piece.

Wikipedia bit for the film.

Wikipedia bit for the graphic novel.

Update: so today i reread this and yeah, it IS as cool as i remember. 6!

2 comments:

  1. I had no idea this was a graphic novel! I liked the movie but found a lot of the same plot holes you did. Tom Sawyer seemed to grasp technology very quickly. The car scene did make me laugh. I liked the idea of the different book characters coming together. I will have to go look for the novel. It may be my first graphic read.

    Sari
    PS I love the name of your blog!!

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  2. Thanks! Hope you like the graphic novel.

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