I know its hardly topical, but I am so incredibly disappointed by the movie version of Alex Garland's The Beach. The bastards.
I was writing the other day about how excited I was about being about to see it, after a honeymoon that took in the locale, as well as reading the book and getting the soundtrack.
And for the first 20 minutes I thought, great. It's pretty much recreated the scenes from my imagination, its done as much as a film adaptation can really do.
Christ I was disappointed from then on.
How the hell you can just go and disregard the source material - Jeez, Rich & Francoise's love affair for a start, let alone that with Sal - I don't know. It was characters with the same names and the same background fills not only acting utterly unlike what readers of the book will know, but doing what THE OTHER characters were doing when it more "suited" the movie screenplay. Getting rid of Jed and getting Sal and Etienne to take over his scenes was not only pointless but destructive.
I read the book, excited about being about to see this recreated on film. And lets face it, the book's a hell of a lot better crafted than the film cinematically. I was looking forward to the Ko Phangan couple, one dead, the other coked up and mosquito-covered. I was so looking forward to lots of Mr Duck, the most important part of the book. And the climax to the story, would they have had the guts to do it.
Disappointment on top of disappointment over and over again, from the petty differences - the disregard for secrecy on their marine park hideaway (rather than hiding their fires, lets shove some flame-lit balloons into the heavens) - to the aforementioned disregard for anyone who has ever read the book, the people they have really pissed on big-time here.
I'd have got used to Leo in the title roll, despite his differences from Richard, no problem. But use and abuse your actual character templates and you're really poisoning something good. A real shame.
The best bit, aside from the first 20 minutes, and the scenery (the main personal reason to get with it)?
The absolutely fracking ridiculous "Leo-in-third-person-computer-game" scene. One of the most (inadvertently) funniest things ever. Worth watching for that pieceashit scene alone.
I guess the whole thing would've been a lot better if I'd not read the book, and lets face it, it wouldn't have fucking gave away what happened in the book...
Not read the book or seen the film. When the book came out, everybody seemed to be reading it, so I (probably unreasonably), avoided it. Then when the film came out, everyone who'd read the book said that the film was tripe in comparison.
Similar thing happened to 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' - when I eventually forced myself to read the book, I thought it was fantastic - the film version was utter shite though!
The gulf between good novel writing and good screen-writing seems as wide as ever...
I would have never spoken to you had you not identified the worst/best bit - in fact that vidoe game segment is probably one of the worst in cinema PERIOD (he says coming on all Ay-merican).
The film was so bad (I saw it at the cinema at the time and can't remember the detail of either the book or the film now as well as you obviously can, but it was horrendous) that it had the unfortunate effect of me backwards-evaluating negatively all the other stuff Boyle done - Trainspotting became massively overrated, oppurtunistic and dated, Shallow Grave became more shallow and less grave, a life more ordinary... 28 days later redeemed himself a little although the ending was rubbish and the digital camera work just a bit TOO self-conscious.
Back to the beach - I've just remembered Robert Carlysle at the start - awful, awful.
Ugh, just re-read last night's anger-fuelled writing - certainly could've done with some proofreading!
As could the screen-writing... ROAAAAR!
Mr Astolath, I have indeed been put off reading 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' due to the negativity surrouding the film, despite knowing the book is meant to be rather good.
And Mr Stu, hah, yes, the videogame bit was so incredibly, embarrassingly bad, I almost turned away from the screen. And then I replayed it, just in case I'd dreamed it. Crikey, what were they thinking. Guffaw...
Still, lieing in bed last night, I realised that I'd forgotten everything to do with the film, but the slight reminders of the book had revitalised it in my imagination...
If only someone could remake it. Fight Club showed how something so steeped in cinematic imagery can be perfectly adapted without breaking the source material.