By November 9, 2007 3 Comments Read More →

Loved the Book, Hated the Movie

Another link to the Onion? What is this, Friday? Yes. Their print list of “5 good books made into not-so-good movies” is expanded to 20 online. With YouTube links. If you haven’t seen the film version of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slapstick, you’re in for a…what’s the opposite of treat? From “Lost In Translation: 20 Good Books Made Into Not-So-Good Movies,” by Donna Bowman, Jason Heller, Josh Modell, Noel Murray, Keith Phipps, Tasha Robinson, Scott Tobias:

3. Bicentennial Man (1999)

Isaac Asimov’s original novella – later expanded into a novel – subtly examines what it means to be human, by telling the story of a robot with a mechanical brain so advanced that he begins to develop emotion and creativity. But big Hollywood movies don’t do subtle well, especially not with Chris Columbus directing and Robin Williams starring. Columbus and screenwriter Nicholas Kazan pour on the schmaltz, while Williams bats his eyes innocently and pats little children’s heads. Meanwhile, moments that are supposed to involve deep ruminations about man and machine become impassive stare-downs, accompanied by 101 Strings. Here’s a tip: If you want to know what it means to be human, don’t ask the creators of Mrs. Doubtfire.

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About the Author:

Keir Graff is the editor of Booklist Online and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix.

3 Comments on "Loved the Book, Hated the Movie"

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  1. skuenn@ala.org' Stevie says:

    Cool! I think they did book-to-movie translations that are just as good as the source material on Monday.

    But I’m here for a correction — I’m married to Keith Phipps, and I know he’d prefer you refer to them as “The AV Club” and not “The Onion.” It’s a little like calling “Booklist” “ALA Review Magazine” — same company, different publication.

  2. Keir says:

    Correction duly noted. But I think it’s going to be a common mistake so long as the AV Club continues to be published inside pages of The Onion….

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