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This Pig Won’t Fly!

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HeadRAZZBerry View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HeadRAZZBerry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: This Pig Won’t Fly!
    Posted: December 09 2006 at 10:25am

WHEN THEY PAY SO DARN MUCH to BUY a BELOVED CHILDREN'S BOOK, WHY CAN'T HOLLYWOOD LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE?  CHARLOTTE'S WEB IS YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE of MOVIE-MAKERS "RE-IMAGINING" SOMETHING THAT WAS PLENTY IMAGINATIVE to BEGIN WITH.

IF THEY WANTED to MAKE BABE III, WHY NOT JUST MAKE BABE III ? ?

Fanning: "That'll do, pig...That'll do!" 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nasty Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 09 2006 at 10:47am
As someone who's always hated the earlier animated version of "Charlotte's Web," I was hoping they might get it right this time. But from the trailers and TV spots, I've gotta say, it looks like you're right. They've turned a charming, beloved children's book into yet another blatant knock-off of a previously successful movie (in this case, BABE). The only bright side is that at least they're ripping off something worth ripping off -- BABE was a deserving Best Picture nominee, and was a wonderful film in its own right ...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote wetbandit82 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 10 2006 at 9:10am
When I first read the synopsis of all the voice talent they were bringing on board--and the additional roles in the story that were being added--my first instinct was, "The fools!  They're going for star power over story AGAIN!!"  Too many characters can scuttle a film like this by diluting attention away from what should be the main focus...not to mention that some of the material seen in the trailers throws the film's G-rating into deep queston.  One of the major pluses of Hanna-Barbera's version is that it doesn't fall into either of these traps; they keep it simple and clean, and what they do add makes sense.  I see this one perhaps doing reasonably well its first weekend, but then it'll slack off in a large way, probably ending up, I'm going to estimate, around $90 total domestic gross.   
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nasty Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 12 2006 at 4:56am

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have a 10-year-old child. When my son has read a book (like he was assigned to read Charlotte's Web in third grade) I am always leery of taking him to see a movie version -- Largely because of the near total lack of respect with which Hollywood often adapts children's novels. The most egregious example, also from Paramount (the company releasing Web) was Lemony Snicket. My son and I had so enjoyed reading that entire series of witty, engrossing and totally un-condescending books together. But the movie, in which Jim Carrey was obviously allowed to ignore the script and improvise in ways that destroyed the film's sense of time and place, was total garbage. Other recent examples include Cat in the Hat, The Grinch, and almost every novel-into-movie aimed at kids of late -- With the notable exception of the Harry Potter movies. Critics often object to how "slavishly" the films adhere to the plots and events in the novels -- But that's exactly why younger audiences love the Potter series: They know that the movies won't violate what they loved about the books.

Why can't Hollywood take a lesson from the makers of the Harry Potter movies, and stick to what the author wrote?? Movie companies may think it blasphemy to say so, but I would argue that E.B. White is a far greater writer than any hack working by committee to write screenplays in modern Hollywood!!

Response from Head RAZZberry: My son and I also despised the LEMONY SNICKET movie, in which all three of the first novels were glommed into one film, and the ending of the first novel was moved to take place after the ending of the third one(!).  My son and I have also enjoyed the many HARRY POTTER books and movies. And speaking of Hollywood learning a lesson from their success, I just checked Box Office MoJo: Between them, the four HARRY POTTER movies released to-date have a combined worldwide box office of more than $3.5 BILLION DOLLARS (video sales, TV syndication and other ancillary markets not included).

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Post Options Post Options   Quote sportsartist24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 12 2006 at 5:09am
I actually read the book of Charlotte's Web back in 2nd grade.  But Hollywood has a habit of ripping-off beloved children's novels, like DR. SEUSS' THE CAT IN THE HAT (that film ended up being so bad, it DID win a Razzie). Perhaps there is something wrong with modern Hollywood, but right now, Hollywood can't seem to figure out the problem.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HeadRAZZBerry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 12 2006 at 5:27am

I think the main "problem" is hubris: People in Hollywood today spend so much time telling one another how brilliant, creative and "fabulous" they are that everyone begins to believe their own hype after a while. So naturally when it comes to making a movie of CHARLOTTE'S WEB, these hacks-for-hire assume they know better than E.B. White.

The other big problem is that every main stream movie made these daze costs about $100 million (between prduction and marketing) so naturally everyone in charge is going to play it safe, look for projects with "guaranteed audiences," and endlessly replicate what box office figures tell them movie-goers have bought before. How else can you explain a travesty like CAT IN THE HAT (a book which takes all of 7 minutes to read, and clearly hasn't enough material to sustain a 100-minute feature film). CAT was doomed to failure from the minute they decided not to make it as a short subject, but all its backers looked at in deciding to make a feature film out of it it was how many gazillion copies Seuss' book had sold over its 50 year publishing life. When it's ALL about money, it can no longer involve art, self-expression, or even simple respect for the audience...

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Post Options Post Options   Quote wetbandit82 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 12 2006 at 1:42pm

And of course they're too vainglorious to care that "what's time-tested and guaranteed" really translates to, "what once worked 10 years ago but no one will stay with for a long time."

What the Potter films do prove conclusively is that consulting with the author beforehand, and keeping them at least somewhat involved (as Warners has with J.K. Rowling) increases the odds that things will turn out at least somewhat right (if not wonderful).  Thus, they've earned every cent of their multi-billion dollar gross, and will likely  continue to do so, as long as Warners maintains a sense of humility.   

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Post Options Post Options   Quote ArtGirl138 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 13 2006 at 1:01pm

Hey, Head Razz...for the record, I kinda liked Lemony Snicket. But it DEFINITELY could've been better (though it wasn't exactly Razzie material), and I wish it had been more faithful to the books. Maybe if they ever get around to that sequel, they'll try doing that...

Also, I hate to burst your bubble, but Charlotte's Web is getting an 85% approval rating at RT, and it doesn't look like it's going down soon. Might wanna replace this one with another movie...like the 31%-approved Pursuit of Happyness, or 36%-approved Good German (weren't both of these movies supposed to be...oh, I don't know...GOOD?) Granted, both movies haven't gotten all their reviews in yet, but still... 

Response from Head RAZZberry: Thanks for the Hedz-Up, ArtGirl. I have a personal peeve about elegant children's books being turned into run-of-the-mill "family movies," and CHARLOTTE'S WEB sure seems to fit that description. Though Roeper and whoever-his-co-host-was-last-week did give it 2 Thumbs Up, they were both kinda perfunctory "thumbs up." Anywaze, I've replaced WEB as our Worst of the Weak pick with the likelier laughable loada-you-you what ERAGON.  Here's a LINK to that discussion elsewhere on this Forum... 

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Movie Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 15 2006 at 12:29pm
The paper that I read rated Charlotte's WEb an A-, saying it was faithful to the book.

And speaking of "Babe III', George Miller DID talk about wanting to do another (along with another MAD MAX)

Oh, and Roeper's co-host last week was Aiesha Tyler. I subscribe to their weekly podcast.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HeadRAZZBerry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 16 2006 at 2:26pm
Just as important as critics' ratings in determining RAZZIE Contenders is the public's reaction to the film. And I just saw at Box Office MoJo that CHARLOTTE'S WEBB pulled an opening day number of UNDER $1,000 per screen, meaning that unless it defies Hollywood gravity (about 99.3% of all movies released see their grosses DROP from opening weekend) WEB looks destined for Semi-Bomb status...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Olif Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 22 2006 at 1:10pm

One of the two memorable events I experienced when I was in the fifth grade (c.1971-72) was 1)-going on a school field trip to a downtown movie theatre to see the road show version of Fiddler On The Roof (in 70mm), and 2) Having to read E.B. White's Charlotte's Web as a school assignment. I didn't care much for reading, but I really did enjoy the book! About two years later, I saw the cartoon feature released by Paramount, and I was disappointed! That film lacked all of the magic that the book seems to have. However, I was amused over the cartoon, and of course, I saw it in a "scratch" theatre paying 50 cents for the privilege! (I liked going to this second run theatre because the management allowed me to bring a whole shopping bag full of snacks from home, and they had a couch in the back of the theatre where you can sit on and watch a movie--just like at home--except the couch in my living room didn't look as dirty and ratty at the theatre's sofa. Perhaps they dragged the thing from the alley??)

As to this new film? Well, in a world where kids are too plugged into “high tech’, maybe the kids, and perhaps adults, will find this rather slow, and maybe, they never read the book—let alone ever heard of it! Then again, what do I know…?

Response from Head RAZZberry: Welcome back, Olif -- I like your style: Berry Personal, Berry Read-able, and Berry Funny!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote cvcjr13 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2006 at 11:40am

I feel the makers of Cat in the Hat could have pulled off a good movie, but maybe that's just me.  I knew that movie was in trouble when the producers expressed concerned about there not being a plot, and Michael Meyers insisted on adding a couple of sex jokes.  There goes the book!

Now, I know this is a family forum, and it's no place for making annou ncements that could scare the public into a stampede, but you still should all be aware that there is now in the works, scheduled for 2008 release, a computer animated movie of. . . . Horton Hears a Who (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0451079/).  Jim Carrey does the voice of Horton, Steve Carrell does the voice of the mayor of Who-ville, and Dr. Hoovey is nowhere to be seen. 

Are you scared yet? 

Response from Head RAZZberry: Wow! It's not even 2007 yet and already we've got potential contenders for The 29th Annual RAZZIE Awards! And if HORTON turns out to be anything like either the GRINCH or CAT IN THE HAT movies, maybe it ought be re-titled HORTON HEARS A BOO!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote moviewizguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2007 at 10:57am

I thought Lemony Snicket was fantastic, one of the best films of 2004.

Response from Head RAZZberry: I would guess, then, you must not have read any of the brilliant "series of books" from which the film was so horribly adapted?  If you had, you'd be ashamed of their author for what he allowed Jim Carrey and Paramount/Dreamworks to do to his novels...

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Post Options Post Options   Quote wetbandit82 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 23 2007 at 4:03am
Has Daniel Handler publicly stated his opinion of it, if he has one? 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moviewizguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2007 at 9:19am

Response from Head RAZZberry: I would guess, then, you must not have read any of the brilliant "series of books" from which the film was so horribly adapted?  If you had, you'd be ashamed of their author for what he allowed Jim Carrey and Paramount/Dreamworks to do to his novels...

It has great reviews in rotton tomatoes and yes, of course I'm a fan of the movie! I'm happy that they made it much lighter than the dark books. I mean, the deaths weren't too harsh in the movie. And I thought Jim Carrey was PERFECT for the role of Count Olaf, sorry. I just loved the movie that much!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote ArtGirl138 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 12 2007 at 2:09pm
Originally posted by moviewizguy

Response from Head RAZZberry: I would guess, then, you must not have read any of the brilliant "series of books" from which the film was so horribly adapted?  If you had, you'd be ashamed of their author for what he allowed Jim Carrey and Paramount/Dreamworks to do to his novels...

It has great reviews in rotton tomatoes and yes, of course I'm a fan of the movie! I'm happy that they made it much lighter than the dark books. I mean, the deaths weren't too harsh in the movie. And I thought Jim Carrey was PERFECT for the role of Count Olaf, sorry. I just loved the movie that much!

Sorry for starting TWO debates with you (and for bumping this thread), but I HAVE to disagree with you on something like this - you ARE pretty much saying my second-favorite series of kids' books is inferior to a watchable, but unfaithful, movie adaptation.

What, I ask you, is so wrong with a dark children's book? The Harry Potter books contain dark elements, and they're perhaps some of the best literature for kids and young adults out there. And Lemony Snicket's works brilliantly combine similar dark themes with humor, literary references, and mystery to create a truly engaging and intelligent story.

Besides, it's called A Series of Unfortunate Events. What do you expect?

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