February 21, 2013

Bait & Switch

Seriously, why even say your movie is based on a novel if you aren't going to base your movie on the novel it's named for?

About 45 minutes ago I got out of a showing of the movie Beautiful Creatures.

This post will contain SPOILERS so if you don't want to know what happened, stop reading! I will say this, if you haven't read the book, you will like the movie. The movie isn't bad...it just isn't based on the book. And since I was going to see a movie based on a book, I feel like I was lied to. I got hit with the ole bait n' switch. Because basically, it was a movie that used the book's name.


The movie barely had anything of the book in it. It should have been called "A Movie with the Same Character Names Used in the Novel Beautiful Creatures and Just a Few of the Elements."

First of all, the novel Beautiful Creatures was over 550 damn pages. And after reading all those pages, to get to the end & find out that the story was over was a major point of contention for me.  So guess how unsettling it was to have read all those pages, which held many good things & a lot of unnecessary, extra, inane, dull details that could have been left out, to go see the movie & about 20 pages of the novel were included.

What did the movie & the book share?
  • The town's name: Gaitlin, SC
  • The quote Ethan's mother told him to describe the people of Gaitlin
  • The religious fanaticism where everything different, new & not immediately understood was deemed evil/the work of satan.
  • Some of the characters: Ethan, Lena, Macon, Amma, Link, Ridley and a couple of Lena's family members.

What was different?
  • Lena drove a yellow Mercedes hatchback/station wagon...not a black hearse...which made her stand out the moment she set foot on the school grounds. Aside from being Macon Ravenwood's niece
  • Boo Radley was NOWHERE TO BE SEEN in the movie & he was in almost every single chapter in the book.
  • Ethan had Link's car with him at all times just about
  • Amma was Ethan & his father's housekeeper & the town librarian...Marian the librarian & best friend of Ethan's mother, didn't exist
  • The Castor Library was open daily, not on holidays when the regular library was closed
  • The Castor Library was under the regular library. Not across town in one of the Civil War society building's back gate (major irony in the novel) 
  • Ethan's mother held no significance other than dying (no books, no legacy, no Keeper, no guiding spirit)
  • There were no aunts of Ethan
  • Macon came to Ethan's house twice. Never set foot in it in the book
  • Everybody was allowed to enter his father's study instead of it being off limits
  • His father never made an appearance
  • There was no Carrie-esque dance where Lena is treated horribly & Ridley ruins the event
  • The school board meeting to get rid of Lena was a church meeting instead (again, no Marian means Macon made his entrance on his own)
  • Lena was not at the meeting & neither was Ethan
  • There was no teenage squad in the school to "keep order" (can't remember the squad name right now)
  • The Book of Moons was in the caster library....never the case in the book
  • The Book of Moons never left the caster library...again, it was never in the library in the book
  • The Civil War visions brought on by the amulet were all wrong...no slave servant who gave Genevieve the Book of Moons, no showing the Genevieve's family was burned to death & her loss of everyone she loved caused her to 1st ask for the Book of Moons, then use the spell that caused the curse
  • Ethan didn't die in the movie, in fact, in the movie, Lena makes Ethan forget they ever met...
  • Ridley never loved Link
  • Link didn't have a band
  • Again...no presence of Ethan's father, so no almost-death at the hands of Ridley
  • Lena's aunt who saw both past & present was missing...Since she lead them to the Book of Moons, she was kind of important...but then again, no Marian or Ethan's mom's spirit, who were also pivotal in the book

I could easily go on & on & on. There was sooo much of the novel that wasn't used in the slightest bit for the movie. I mean...I didn't even touch on the villain in the story.

I repeat...over 550 pages, about 25 pages used in the movie.
Its like the title was just used to get people to come & spend their money on the movie. I am so glad I got to see it FOR FREE!

Now, having said that, I will repeat, the movie isn't bad. If you haven't read the book, you will more than likely enjoy it. But if you have read the book, don't expect to see it on the big screen.

I had decided, after reading 550+ pages on the INTRODUCTORY novel of the series, that I was not going to read the other books. It's just too long. I said to myself  "self, you can just wait for the other movies to come theaters."  But now, after seeing that the 1st movie wasn't based on the book, I can only conclude that the other movies won't be either. So I may have to suck it up & read the rest of the series so that I at least get the original stories.

Decisions, decisions.


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