Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Five Bestsellers on the Top 100 List that WILL Become Movies

1.       The Hunger Games: This series was honestly probably written with film adaptation in mind… it’s all action and chase scenes and token romantic subplots and, on top of that, it’s absurdly popular. With the teen/ young adult demographic. Which translates in movie-speak into $$$$$.  It’s probably already being filmed. I’m not going to google it, but I kinda don’t need to.
2.       The Help: It’ll be a thoughtfully cast film that Oprah will endorse. It will take the basic plot of the novel, but will also take emotional liberties. Outraged middle-aged women will ensue.
3.       Those Stephanie Plum Books: The film industry will give that same middle-aged, middle class women demographic a double hit by conglomerating this entire, ridiculously long series into one chick-flick adventure film. It’ll probably have somebody like Sandra Bullock in it, and the plot will revolve around her love escapades thinly laced together by the actual crime fighting. (The books are about a thirty-something New Jersey bounty hunter with two boyfriends and a fast metabolism). It’ll do pretty well and some people will go out and buy it before it passes quietly and contentedly into movie oblivion.
4.       In the Garden of the Beasts: About the American ambassador in Nazi Berlin. They will put time and effort into this movie. It will get good reviews. Most people will have no idea that it was based off of a book.
5.       Jaycee Dugard’s book: This will DEFINITELY be a movie. Maybe it will debut on Lifetime. Probably it will. Many will watch. Everyone will come out of it with the exact same feeling they had going into it- morbidly fascinated and chilled to the bone.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Power of a Word

Let's say you want to recommend a book to someone, but you are a horrible person and don't read. That's okay! All you need is the one giant word emblazoned on the book's cover, and you'll know exactly who to recommend it to.

Moving: People who watch Oprah
Poignant: People who watch the news
Thought-Provoking: Middle-aged men with dens and heavy eyebrows
Visceral: The hipster you want to impress
Dazzling: Women who wear red lipstick
Thrilling: People who don’t read
Fun: Other people who don’t read
Titillating: People who read too much
Quirky: Internet nerds
Ground-breaking: People who pay their bills on time.
Awesome: Everyone
Presh!: No one

Growing Up With Books

The way we view things changes so much as we get older…
Charlotte’s Web: Terrific, radiant, humble animals
Lord of the Flies: Evil oppressors of psychotic young Brits
Animal Farm: Human greed and cruelty incarnate
Rain Babies: What? No such thing. Babies come from dew drops, silly.
Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret: Sex is a thing. It is a part of growing up.
Modernism in general: Sex. Sex. Sexity sex sex. SEEEEEEX.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: …will probably inherit an enormous magical facility for making candy
Harry Potter: … will probably go to a magical school and grow up to save the world
Oliver Twist: … will probably fall in with a ragamuffin group of petty criminals headed by an abusive drunkard
Are You My Mother?: No cats.
The Princess Diaries: Cat is a pet. Unremarkable.
Harry Potter: Cats are pets. Unremarkable unless actually a wizard in disguise.
Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats ( T.S. Eliot): Cats dance around and do magic tricks and participate in all kinds of crazy f***ery
Allegories for Christ
The Chronicles of Narnia: Jesus is a lion.
Maniac Magee: Jesus is a white kid.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: Jesus is a Texan.
The Future
Ender’s Game: People use kids’ play for death
A Clockwork Orange: Kids use people’s death for play

Five Worst Castings of Literary Characters

Making a book into a movie is like insulting the latest ipad- ostensibly innocent, but absolutely guaranteed to outrage some nerds.
Here's the top five casting choices that make me think the nerds might be totally justified:

1) Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon: Okay, here's the thing: Dan Brown really went absurdly out of his way to outline what he wanted for his main character to be. The man is described REPEATEDLY as "Harrison Ford in Harrison tweed". It's not the subtlest, most tasteful thing in the world, but it gets the point across. Sorry, but Mr. Hanks and his inexplicable hair-do do not fit the bill. Can't get the actual Harrison Ford? Fine. It's Hollywood. There are a MILLION backups. If there's one thing I know about aspiring actors in LA, it's that aspiring actors are pretty much everyone in LA. Seriously. If you needed a lesbian Chinese dwarf with a lazy eye and a good singing voice, you could probably find one. An Indiana Jones look-alike should be nothing at all.

2) Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins: Frodo of the LOTR books is supposed to be a middle-aged hobbit with- get this- a stiff upper lip! The substitution of youth and beauty for age and stoicism, I can forgive... it's just the hollywood standard- but where did the toughness go??? Youth is fine, but we could have been spared HOURS of that goddamned simpering! Did no one else notice that the kid only has one damn face? Not EVERY situation warrants a doe-eyed look of terror.

3) Keanau  Reeves as Don John is Much Ado About Nothing: Reeves pretty much universally takes the cake for worst roles ever. He was also a wildly inappropriate choice for Jonathan Harper in Bram Stoker's Dracula, but he got that role too. I just don't understand how whoever was casting this read one of Shakespeare's greatest comedies and said "hmm. You know who'd be good for this role? That dude from speed.... yeah. He'd be perfect here."

4) Nicholas Cage as the Sorcerer in The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Okay, I'm gonna level with you... I didn't even READ this book... but I can still tell you that N Cage was a bad call. N Cage is ALWAYS a bad call.

5)Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi from Breakfast at Tiffany's: Not only was this the most patently racist thing EVER, but it was also just utterly absurd. Why? Why Mickey? Why not somebody who was actually Japanese? Why not pretty much ANYBODY else?