[The following was written by Synthesis Weekly columnist Emilie Clark. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
It’s a well-known fact that people like to adapt movies from books. It’s also a well-known fact that most of these efforts suck. So it’s my job to warn you about upcoming adaptations so you have ample time to read the book. This gives you the chance to complain about inconsistencies and general â€œsuckinessâ€ while still in the theater, making you look learned and therefore more attractive. You can thank me later.
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, July 4th: This is a documentary, so I guess it won’t really do to get mad about liberties taken with the adaptation. But it can’t hurt to read some of the famous Gonzo’s work if only for your own amusement. From the description it seems like the filmmakers are big fans, which can be bad in a documentary if you’re trying to eek out truth. The gist I get is that the point the film makes is that Thompson did what journalists are too afraid to do nowadays, namely get high and write caustic things about politicians. This may be true, but I easily tire of â€˜60s and â€˜70s nostalgia. Sure people were a bit crazier back then and I’m sure there are things to be learned from that era, but it’s over, so deal.
Journey To the Center of the Earth 3D, July 11th: Based on the classic Jules Verne novel about a rogue scientist who travels to, you guessed it, the center of the earth. According to Wikipedia, this novel didn’t age as well as some of Verne’s other works, because he was mostly wrong about what is contained in the center of the earth. However, none of that really matters because this movie is in 3D. And I will watch anything in 3D, even if it stars Brendan Fraser.
more upcoming adaptations after the jump.
Brideshead Revisited, July 25th: Based on the novel by Evelyn Waugh. I think this movie is trying to ride the Atonement coattails. They both involve good-looking young actors dressed in period costume who are separated because of the war, although Brideshead is lot more debaucherous than Atonement. The movie seems to play up the homosexual relationship between Charles and Sebastian, as you might expect, and the whole thing looks pretty intense. The novel wouldn’t be a bad choice for a summer read, especially if you like things set in estates as much as I do.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, August 8th: No one will actually think you’re cool if you can point out how the movie was different from the book on this one. The one good thing about this movie is that it stars Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera and Blake Lively, who all star in sitcoms that I like. In fact, instead of reading The Sisterhood you should purchase and read all the Gossip Girl novels. And then you should let me borrow them. I’ve only read the first one, but I sense an addiction coming on.
Blindness, September 19th: Now this is a novel you have to read before September. No seriously, that’s an order. I’m sure I’ve discussed before how awesomely frightening and compelling it is. Written by Nobel Laureate JosÃ© Saramago, it is the story of a plague of blindness that takes over a city and the awful conditions the afflicted face in quarantine. The movie has an all-star cast including Julianne Moore, whom I love, in the lead. It should be interesting to see how the film interprets the sense of blindness imposed on the reader by the scarcity of punctuation that Saramango wields so deftly. I’m excited, and you should be too.
Choke, September 26th: Let’s get more excited, hipsters, â€˜cause they’re rolling out another Chuck Palahniuk movie. Anyone who’s familiar with his oeuvre has probably already read Choke, so you better hurry if you want to catch up. Angelica Huston plays the protagonist’s mother, which is something to look forward to. And Palahniuk’s gotten lucky before in that Fight Club is on the short list of movies that were as good as the novels they are adapted from. So things look good for this one. Read the book now and you’ll be one step ahead.
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