Wednesday, July 24, 2013

HotDamnTV Book Club : Chapter 1

Books are neat. They are full of words, punctuation, and all sorts of different notions! The HotDamnTV Book Club is going to be an ongoing semi (heh, semi) regular feature about literature.

Chapter 1: Or, Why Haven't THEY Made This Stuff Into Awesome Movies Yet?
EDIT: I wrote this post like 2 years ago and I'll be damned if all of these things aren't either going to be built into movies or have already become one!

I do realize that a good portion of these authors/books that I am about to discuss may or may not be in various states of production and well on their way to becoming films, or may have already been made into a really stupid animated movie (Watership Down, I'm looking you squarely in the eyes) but I don't care. Moving on, I am going to discuss a few properties that should be movies and express my indignation at their absolute lack of box office presence.  If you haven't read 'em, go out and get your learn on!

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

I'm working on another blog specifically about this book, but suffice it to say that it is incredible.  One of my favorite books of all time.  Ernie Cline wrote Fanboys (easily one of the most under rated and over looked geek movies of all time) and if you liked that movie you'd love this book. This book is chalk full of video game and pop culture references from the 80s and would be a licensing nightmare to try to produce, but ohhhhhh so worth it! It would be so epic.  In a dystopian near-future a willy-wonka esque contest plays itself out in a virtual world not unlike The Matrix or Snowcrash and it is awesome.  That's why it should be a movie. The other blog is way longer, so stand by and I'll do some cross linking when I'm done with all the typing and whatnot.

UPDATE: The movie rights have been sold and Ready Player One is currently in production!  It is my life's work to become a part of the cast or crew of this film.  I'd spit-shine lenses for just copy and credit if Ernie would have me.

Redwall (series) - Brian Jacques

I was once a young boy, and at some point I was in the third grade. Even at this early age I had been told constantly how much potential I had and that I was special or something because I read so much and barely had to study to ace tests like it was my job. Once upon a yesteryear I walked into my school library and asked the Librarian if she had anything in the occult section. I had learned the word the previous week and had read a pretty fresh book about a vampire that lived in a library and did vampire stuff to roast beef sandwiches instead of people's necks. The kindly lady replied that there was not really an occult section because this was a public library in a grammar school. Undaunted I demanded that she fetch for me her largest tome. According to her the longest book in her repository of knowledge was one by none other than Brian Jacques, and it was called Redwall.

I was enthralled!  These were tales of high adventure and more than that they had pages and pages dedicated to describing delicious feasts.  I'm a big fan of stuffing the old gob so these passages really spoke to me.  Every one of Jacques' books are full of battles, suspense, escape, slavery, possible racism, moles that have serious speech impediments.  I couldn't put them down and over the years I have read just about everything Jacques wrote.  If you like young adult furry fiction look no farther than this series.  Get eyes on some crummy fan made trailer or something.  Its all more or less rubbish.

I recently found a website to stream the animated series online supported the author's estate and bought a copy of the cartoons.  The cartoons are absolute shit and so repetitive it makes Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children books seem like they're not just 6-14 pages of descriptions of prehistoric ferns.  This property could do with a good CGI movie full of excitement and peril.

The Dark Tower (series) - Stephen King

When I was unemployed for an extended period of time a few years ago my then current and very muscley flatmate Steve introduced me to Steven King's The Gunslinger, the first tale in the epic meta-fiction and genre bending journey that would become known as the quest for The Dark Tower. I was hooked, I couldn't put them down! For something like 2 months I spent pretty much every spare minute reading through all of the ponderous tomes (Sorry Steve, but you and I both know that your books are worth their weight in gold and no editor would dare remove so much as a semicolon.) and eventually I got to the end. No spoilers, but I'm sure we all know that if a journey is grand enough the destination doesn't really matter. There are periods on the end of all of our man's sentences and that's good enough for me.

Bringing the entire scope of this sage to life on celluloid (or whatever is inside of memory cards) would be a challenge. I'm not even sure if HBO could do it. Perhaps focusing on one movie at a time and making it as amazing as possible would be the ticket.

The Dragonriders of Pern (series) - Anne McCaffrey

Much to my (and I'm sure Ms. McCaffrey's) chagrin the only bit of media produced under the Pern banner has been a by all the gods awful dreamcast game. It was like Shenmue bad. I cringe just typing about it. I feel like I need to clorox wipe my keyboard.

How can such a rich body of work be so long neglected? There are countless amazing stories to choose from, to say nothing of the incredible world that Anne McCaffrey built with so many thousands of pages. Take the Harper Hall Trilogy (just three of 22 novels in this verdant landscape) and make that into an epic HBO mini series!  Or literally any of the novels could stand alone and fill 90 pages of script and be a pretty fun summer event.  Dragons, Killer thread falling from the skies and devouring anything not made of stone, medieval stuff, DRAGONS!  These books were so much fun to read as a kid I would literally devour one in a sitting.  Staying up way past my bed time and destroying my vision by the dim glow of my lava lamps I would read them cover to cover.

Here, clap eyes on some of the shitty gameplay.  Its all more or less like this:

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game is the quintessential precocious child book. Kids read this at a young age because the protagonist is a kid who does something that is almost unheard of in any type of fiction (or literature in general), that is behave like an adult and have complex views on what is going on in the world around them.  Card for years said he refused to give an Ender's Game movie his blessing because he hate's CGI.  That is all well and good, but I guess science has caught up to Card's moderately homophobic but otherwise excellent vision of the future where small kids should beat up aliens.  I have read all of the Ender's books, and even the weird ones with grown up Ender and all sorts of time travel and existential science fiction and its all great stuff.  I am very excited and I can't wait for Ender's Game to come out.  Also it has Han Solo in it!  Here, dig the trailer and try not to develop a serious case of the goosepimples:

That's it for this classy discussion of literature by learned men.  Do you have a favorite book that you think would make a dynamite movie?  Post it here in the comments!  Or go back to our dumb facemash page and leave one there.

BONUS: Brian Jacques seducing the shit out of you:


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