I haven’t seen The Hobbit yet, but the weekend after writing this I will have done. In anticipation I have avoided all spoilers. I know nothing about the film. That is apart from reading the book, only twice, about 26 years ago. As well as all that received knowledge over the years, details from friends, reading Lord of the Rings, etc.
I know nothing about the film.
Will I enjoy the adaptation?
Well I assume the differences I remember in style between novel, The Hobbit, and the the sequels, Lord of the Rings trilogy (six books according to my mate, Dave, I only see three books. “There are three books!”) will be addressed. The are definite differences I recall. The Elves for one. The Dwarves too, but is that fair as in the Hobbit there are many to compare with the lone Gimli?
One thing I can be certain of. If I like the film there will be many that don’t. All down to how much we can accept a film diverging from the source material.
So let me turn this away from a fondly remembered book, and sequels to that book, of my youth. Let me consider a subject so much closer to my heart. Judge Dredd.
Almost 36 years of reading Dredd. Yes I know people are still saying ‘35 Years of Thrill Power‘ but that was February.
In 1995 we got the Stallone version. I hated it, it wasn’t Dredd. The whole character was wrong, the backstory was wrong, almost every character was badly handled. The name of a very popular support character was appropriated by a needless comic support fir the film. I can continue for hours before even mentioning the helmet.
Stallone Dredd would have been an OK sci-fi cop film if they hadn’t mentioned the name Dredd or set it in Mega City One. OK the city was pretty.
This year the Karl Urban Dredd. Uniform was wrong, bike was wrong, gun was fine, city was wrong, citizens looked wrong. Character and feel was bang on the nose. Alex Garland, bless him, he understood the character. He met with John Wagner. He clearly agonized over getting it right.
I love Alex’s film and will talk much more in detail about it later this month.
Then there is Judge Minty, fan film by Steven Sterlacchini. This is a must see (spoiler free review here). Not only is the city, bike, gun and uniform right but so is the tone. This film is almost slavishly true to the source material, see my spoiler review to find out how it varies slightly. Plus we got Planet Replicas as a bonus!
Again, I love this film. Go see it of you can. Check the Minty blog for updates on screenings.
For all those who, like me, loved Joss Weedon’s Avengers Assemble there are others who say he ruined it. Mass market agrees with me and as a fan of the Hulk since 1979, he got the green guy spot on!
But I can allow more leeway with DC or Marvel; they constantly do it to their own characters. New 52 Hawkman is nothing to do with the one I know… So varying a character from those stables is fine by me, so long as the feel is right.
Book and comic adaptations are notoriously something to cause fans to argue.
But I am still right Stallone Dredd sucks. Alex Garland makes great Dredd movies. Judge Minty should get a graphic novel adaptation.