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RABiD BUNNY FEVER
K.T.K

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The Peter Pan Chronicles
Good children stories can be fun no matter how old you are

I’ve been on a bit of a Peter Pan kick lately. It all started with catching Hook a few weeks ago, which I’ve always loved and enjoy watching from time, on the boob tube. After finishing it, I remembered that I was given the original Peter Pan novel for a Christmas when I was around 9 years of age or so, and I decided to pick it up on my next trip to my parents’ house in Dallas. I downloaded all the other official Peter Pan films in the mean time for a watch, as I had never seen them before.

One of the main reasons for this was I was also curious as to how the stories differed in the film versions from the original story, and from each other. I found out they all varied greatly, especially in the tone from the novel, except for Hook, which got it perfect. I’m not going to go into a comparison of the stories here, as that is not really important. All I’d really like to mention about the movies is that the Disney’s 2002 “Return to Neverland” was a rather poor rip off of the Hook plot line, and I didn’t really find it worth it. Disney has really lost it’s flair since The Lion King, IMO. “Walt Disney’s Peter Pan” (February 5, 1953) and “Peter Pan” (2003) however were both well worth it.

The main difference I was referring to between most of the movies and the novel is the heavy presence of a dark and sinister theme in the original book. The Lost Boys were just as cut throat as the pirates, as it mentioned the often battles and killing each other in cold bold, and it even mentioned something to the extent of Peter Pan “thinning out the ranks” of the Lost Boys when their numbers got too large, IIRC. The mermaids were silent killers when they got the chance, and there was also talk of “fairy orgies”. I thought this was all great for a children’s book, as it didn’t concentrate on these aspects, but they were there to give a proper setting. It was a very interesting and fun read, but a far cry from the brilliant status it has been given, IMO. Makes me wonder what all the people out there that complain about Harry Potter would say if they gave this one a read. Oh, the only thing Tinkerbelle pretty much ever says throughout the book is “You ass” :-).

Speaking of Harry Potter, it came as a bit of a shock to me seeing Maggie Smith, who plays Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter movies, playing as Granny Wendy in Hook. She did an amazing job at looking decrepit.


One final non-related note… the very briefly overhead Neverland island view shown on Hook really reminded me of my Eternal Realms map.

Eragon
How to destroy movie from novel adaptations

I read through Eragon and Eldest, the first two books of the Inheritance Cycle, by Christopher Paolini, a while back, and was very happy with the novels, mainly for the relationship between the two protagonists, Eragon and his dragon Saphira.  The fantasy novels brought in a bunch of new possibilities of fun with dragon lore and their abilities, a topic which has, to my knowledge, never really been elaborated or expanded on in the past to this kind of extent, though I have heard the lores in these books bears a large resemblance to a novel called Dragonriders of Pern.  I would recommend the Inheritance Cycle to anyone looking for a fun, though not necessarily quick, fantasy read.  The series was originally supposed to be three novels, but as of a few months ago it was announced that it would be four.  The third book should be coming out in September of next year, which I am waiting in anticipation for, though nowhere near the level of excitement as any of the Harry Potter books brought me.

The reason for this post though is to actually rant about the movie adaptation.  One pet peeve of mine is people that say movies or TV shows are horrible without ever having given them a viewing, let alone a chance.  I am the kind of person that will usually sit through anything, no matter how bad I feel it is, just so I can talk to people about it afterwards and be able to validly say why I did or did not enjoy it.  This, however, did not apply to the Eragon movie.  I was retching after about three minutes and think I got through five to ten minutes before I was so thoroughly disgusted I had to stop and just fast forward through the rest to see different parts I was curious about.  Which was a mistake as the rest was even worse than the beginning.  It was that bad.  The movie was very obviously a ploy by the studios to milk in some money by throwing out a half baked fantasy movie trying to parallel Lord of the Rings in style.  I honestly don’t know how it got as far as it did.

I went to do some research and found out the director, Stefen Fangmeier, who had mainly been a visual effects guy in the industry, had no prior experience as a primary director, and only one as a secondary director, and was about as suited to the job as Bush Jr. would be to playing Jeopardy.  What’s even worse is who wrote the screenplay, Peter Buchman, who’s only previous screenplay work had been... get this... Jurassic Park 3.  I’m not even going to go there.

I really have to wonder how the hell those 2 got ahold of the license to make the movie.  The book was, after all, a New York Times #1 seller.  The publishers must have really dropped the ball on this one, or maybe Paolini, being pretty much still a kid by the time he finished the first novel (19), somehow got taken advantage of.  I just find the situation to be horribly sad.

It probably didn’t help that I didn’t expect much at all from the movie as I had heard about its huge flop after opening, with many dedicated fans of the novels walking out of the theater in tears of disappointment.

On another slightly-related note, it has been rumored as of today that it is now official that Peter Jackson will be producing 2 Hobbit movies.  We shall see, but I would be very happy if it was true.  I thought Jackson did the best possible job that could have been done on the movies.  I only had one major complaint, in that Gimli was really given a short end of the stick throughout them, though at least they picked John-Rhys who was perfect for the part.  Gimli was one of my favorite characters in the novels, and they substituted any of his glory to his pretty-boy counterpart elf, Legolas.  I also had a few minor quibbles with it, including some scenes I had wished to have seen (ie Bombadil), but were left out for obvious reasons, and that they changed around bits of the story so some actors would get more screen time and they wouldn’t have to introduce others, like Arwen stealing roles of multiple other elves.  Alas.  The thing I liked most about them was how well the CG was integrated with the live action shooting.  I still consider it the best job done integrating CG into a movie I’ve seen; so well that you can no longer tell that it’s clearly computer generated.