The Desolation of Statistics: Book Length vs. Movie Length, Part 2

More overthinking about those bloody idiot directors and their self-indulgence.

Or not:

gone-with-the-wind-Captureby Mark Lee

In last week’s article, I started with a simple question: how do book lengths, as measures by word count, compare to their adapted movie run times, as measured by seconds? I was mostly looking for a statistical basis to express my displeasure at The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (and by extension, parts 2 and 3 of this unnecessary trilogy), but I wound up comparing the density of the Hobbit movies, as measured in Words in Book per Second of Movie (WIBPSOM), to other prominent movie adaptations of books: The Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games, and the Twilight franchises. read article

An Unexpected Journey: Book Length vs. Movie Length in Adapted Franchises

Overthinking It strikes again, with a lesson for all of us who write for the visual media. (Um, you know, like not just films but also TV.) And wait’ll you see the neato graphs!

The-Hobbit-Movieby Mark Lee

I know I’m late to this party, but I finally got around to seeing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey after hearing much belly-aching over how the story of a single book is split into three separate movies: it seems like a blatant cash grab by the studios, a cynical move that put franchise movie economics ahead of things like storytelling and pacing.

After seeing the movie, I can definitely sympathize with these complaints. It felt slow at times, particularly during the multiple expository scenes in the first half and the interminably long action sequence in the second half. Most importantly, I felt like the story didn’t advance far enough to justify taking up an entire movie on its own, especially compared to the Lord of the Rings movies. read article

LB: Screener Report – 2

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK stars Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence can play Gwen the Beautiful and yours truly any time…just as they do here

Time now to continue my heartwarming mini-reviews of the screeners I’ve received from Oscar, DGA, and WGA award contenders. When we last met on this playing field, I reported on 5 films, only one of which my wife, Gwen the Beautiful, and I disliked little enough to watch all the way through. Here’s how the next 4 fared:

    Both Gwen and I wanted to like this film. First, because it stars and was co-written by Matt Damon & John Krasinski (and Frances McDormand’s here too), and I’ve always liked Matt and Frances both as people and as actors. Second, because my son is President of Production at Focus Features, which is PROMISED LAND’s producing/distributing angel. Unfortunately, Gwen didn’t make it past the 38-minute mark, and I made coffee, let the dogs out to do their business, drank the coffee, and brought the dogs back in when they were done while trying to make myself watch the rest. Back in the ’70s, on a show I wrote called MEDICAL STORY, we did crusading stories like this every week, and all of them were more interesting than this film because – sorry, Matt & John, when we did this kind of thing it was new. Now both the story and I are sadly antiquated and predictable.
    Gwen wasn’t interested, so I watched this alone. For about 10 minutes. The opening is like a slightly more intense version of the TV show ER its first season. Pediatrician George Clooney – oops, sorry, airline pilot Denzel Washington – wakes up after a night of crazy drinking and sex, sobers himself up with cocaine…and inasmuch as I didn’t feel one thing for the guy and the dogs wanted to go out again, I turned the DVD off and never remembered to turn it back on.
    I genuinely enjoyed every minute of this film and did, in fact, watch all 5000 minutes of it. Okay, so it was “only” 2 1/2 hours long. Believe me when I say it felt a lot longer. Also believe me when I say that I also genuinely hated every minute. Because to me this wasn’t THE HOBBIT. This was some generic prequel to LORD OF THE RINGS. And that’s far from the same thing. Oh, we watched this with Oscar, our 8-year-old child genius neighbor and his family. At the 35 minute mark, Oscar turned to me with what’s got to be the kiss of death for any film based on a children’s book. “Larry,” he said, “this movie isn’t engaging my interest at all. Do you mind if I go outside and play with the dogs?”
    In a word: Garbage. Gwen was gone by minute 7. I stuck around for 25 minutes more thinking this piece of junk would turn into something more than a lo-ong trailer for a book I’ve never read and, now, never will read. Maybe it all comes together at the end, but none of the non-scenes at the beginning made me want to find out. Total trash.
    Ahh. Everyone in the room watched this one all the way through and thoroughly enjoyed it – even the dogs. Bradley Cooper completely won me over, totally believable in the kind of part that Adam Sandler has thoroughly destroyed over the years. And Jennifer Lawrence was my dream date of dream dates. In fact, Lawrence and Cooper reminded me so much of Gwen the Beautiful and myself that I giggled crazily at even the serious parts. I know it’s just another romcom following the numbers, but, man, it hit each one perfectly, reinvigorating the format and, well, me too. A screener deserving Oscar accolades, at last!

I still have more DVDs to watch, with LINCOLN ensconced at the top. So brace yourselves for another nail-biting go-round.

LYMI, read article

So THE HOBBIT Film is Going to Look Like a Rembrandt Painting?

Could be worse. It could resemble the work of the Brothers Hildebrandt. (Obscure fantasy illustrator joke. Sorry.)

From Entertainment Weekly
EW again (not an expression of opinion, merely an acronym for the source)

Dan sees THE HOBBIT trailer…

…And is giddy — GIDDY!! I tell you — with excitement.

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A few things: read article