I came away from reading this book feeling most of the key scenes were overly chatty and character driven. Written from the start as dialog for a script. I never felt a strong sense of place I personally enjoy in well written Science Fiction. You could take all that key dialog and change the background to a Historical or a Western and the story would need little adjusting in order to change the freaking wallpaper.
So there you have it. I came away feeling I was reading the literary equivalent of a coloring book where I could see some faint outlines of scenes and sense the vague sci-fi light characteristics the writer was going for while the movie I ended up seeing was a whole different beast.
Suzanne had hemmed and hawed about what things should look like in her post apocalyptic factory franchise so the director of the movie had no choice but to find a visual direction and base his story telling decisions off those real honest to god choices. The initial filmed scenes reminded me of The Waltons (1971-1981) which is just the television adaptation of Spencer’s Mountain (1963) for all you movie buffs out there. Never mind the out of place Gap clothing the movie provided them for the glamorous job of mining coal and running around being poor and destitute.
Did you catch her leather jacket? What the hell was that about? I figure Abercrombie & Fitch models probably are starving to death in real life but um I don’t see many in the woods hunting squirrels in fashionable brown leather attire you know. I say if you want to make a logical statement slap an old baggy Gunny Sax dress on the bitch and some sensible shoes and call it a big old day. The highest fashion I should see in some futuristic post apocalyptic Appalachian mountain village should be stuff I bought from the Carhartt catalog circa 1990.
The bulk of the film ends up feeling like a faint echo of The Wizard Of Oz (1939) making the whole thing I guess a depression era based sci-fi goof of good old Dorothy and Toto (her boytoy love interest with a big basket) going to meet the powerful wizard in the Emerald City. Sean Penn as the Cowardly Lion! Lenny Kravitz as the Tin Woodsman! Even having that discussion about this highly packaged crap is way more interesting than the cheap knock-off Stephen King shit that the book is trying to pull. Thank god there was very little referencing that other film. You know, that Arnie one with the bad hair. Although now that I think about it…
Here I am in the reverse situation I typically find myself in where my opinion is the movie is far more appealing to me for taking all those risks and finding a unique style of it’s own and simply providing far more substance than the book it was based on.
It still gets a Grade B only because I am not so sure if I care to see the sequel but oh well good job on that silk purse.