Hello, hello! While you’re prepping your body to ingest mass quantities of food at your respective Thanksgiving celebrations tomorrow (sorry, non-American peeps), how about pausing a moment to vent with my friend MovieRob about another potentially great film gone awry? That’s right, Rob is back with a second NOOOOvember disappointment (and you can read his first one here). That’s dedication. 🙂 The floor is yours, Rob!
So for some inexplicable reason, Cara decided to let me write another entry for this year’s Noooovember.
So I once again tried to contemplate which movie I could review that I highly anticipated, but was totally disappointed by what ultimately we were presented with on the screen.
I once again chose another film adaptation of a novella that was sandwiched between two of the best adaptations from page to picture.
Take a look at what I thought about Apt Pupil written by the master of horror, Stephen King.
Thanks again to the wonderful Cara for hosting this!
“All great achievements arose from dissatisfaction. It is the desire to do better, to dig deeper that propels a civilization to greatness. All of us have heard the story of Icarus, the young boy who took the wings his father built for him. Wings that were meant to carry him over the ocean to freedom and used them instead for a joyride. For a brief moment Icarus felt what it was like to live like a god, to touch the sun, to soar above the common man. And for doing so he payed the ultimate price. Like Icarus we too have been given gifts: knowledge, education, experience. And with these gifts comes the responsibility of choice. We alone decide how our talents are bestowed upon the world. This is our destiny and we hold it in the palm of our hands. ” – Todd Bowden
Number of Times Seen – 2 (17 Aug 2000 and 24 Nov 2014)
Brief Synopsis – A teenager who suspects that his neighbor is a Nazi war criminal decides to blackmail him instead of turning him in.
My Take on it – As a kid, I was a huge fan of Stephen King’s writings and this story was included in the collection known as Different Seasons which has two other very well known stories that were also adapted into movies. Perhaps you’ve heard of them; Rita Heyworth and The Shawshank Redemption and The Body (better known as Stand By Me) 😉
Those two novellas were adapted amazingly onto the screen and when I heard this movie was being made, I was very excited due to the potential.
King is widely known for his horror stories, but this collection is different in that manner because each of the stories deal with some form of escape from their current situation.
The book delved into dark psychological places that the movie just couldn’t recreate and for anyone who loved the book like I did, it’s quite disappointing.
Brad Refno, who tragically died of a drug overdose ten years after this movie was made is adequate as the main character Todd Bowden. Ian McKellen who had to play a character almost twenty years his senior did a wonderful job like he always does whether he is a mutant, a wizard or even a suspected Nazi war criminal.
How can such great book not live up to its potential on the screen when you have Bryan Singer as director? King trusted him so much with the source material that he sold the rights for just a dollar when he knew Singer was involved.
Even King’s perfect way to end the story was cashed in so that it could be a ‘somewhat happy ending.’
Yea, I think it could be said that this is perfect for Noovember.
Bottom Line – Not nearly as gripping or as dark as the source novel and therefore it loses a lot of its impact. McKellen is the one bright spot in this.
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)
Thanks for being willing to take another crack at this, Rob! It’s not often people come back for second helpings of disappointment. 😉 I’m hoping to get a post up for you lovely folks tomorrow, but with all the holiday business…we’ll see. But I’ll definitely see you on Friday for the last NOOOOvember guest post…*sniffle*…Anyway, see you soon!