Friday, October 19, 2007

Blaphemy or Faithful?

It's time for more easy content on Friday... er... Blasphemy or Faithful!

It's based on "The Golden Man" by Philip K. Dick. The film says so right in the credits, even!

Pro: Well, there's a guy who can see the future and a government agent...
Con: Everything else. Different main character, different setting, different plot, different themes. If it wasn't for that credit I'd never connect this movie to Dick's story which featured a race of mutants being hunted to extinction, one which had golden skin (hence the title of the original story) and the ability to see the future. This movie has something to do with some kind of unexplained terrorist plot to detonate a nuclear bomb for unspecified reasons with indeterminate goals by European terrorists and the FBI seeking the help of a stage magician who can see a few minutes into the future as part of a plan that doesn't really make sense to intercept them.
Result: The only way this movie could be more blasphemous toward the original story would be if Nicholas Cage dug up Dick's grave and raped the corpse for the camera. My theory is that the scriptwriter said he took the idea from a story and the studio lawyer just did a google search for "short story see the future" and credited what came up when he hit "I'm Feeling Lucky".

Fantastic Four
Based on "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine". It says so right over the title of the comic and if you can't trust Stan Lee, a.k.a. the Astounding Hyperbolic-Man, who can you trust? I'm not referring to the unreleased Roger Corman film here, I've got to save that one for later.

Pro: Four astronauts are caught in a radiation storm with inadequate shielding get super powers; so far so good. The one that looks like he's been dipped in orange play-do is unhappy about it and rages against the others; still good.
Con: Oh, and Dr. Doom is also with them in the radiation storm and gets super powers. That's like a Superman movie where Lex Luthor is from Krypton (yeah, I'm aware of that horror show of a script that was planned). I know that comic book movies feel the need to justify their bizarre character's existence but that one's right off the deep end.
Result: For comic nerds Dr. Doom is just as popular as his enemies and getting it that wrong is unforgivable.

Dungeons and Dragons
A film a long time in the adapting the world's most popular role-playing game.

Pro: Generic fantasy setting? A plot that drives characters from location to location but doesn't actually make much sense? Ridiculous creatures and settings? Major characters that are referred to only by their race and never by their name? While all of these might be cons for film quality it sounds like the vast majority of D&D games I've encountered.
Con: They didn't keep track of their spell components and forgot to bring a cleric. No stopping the quest to go get pizza. No long winded rules lawyer arguments delaying the climax.
Result: Pretty faithful and it serves as a stern warning against making fantasy novels based on someone's D&D campaign.