I am very distraught at the moment. I have watched a movie that was little more than poorly written fan fiction based on a series of books that I absolutely adored. WTF Hollywood? Is it not bad enough that HBO takes such huge liberties with their own shows calling it “adult” tv that you need to fuck shit up too?
I am talking about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
I was soo excited to see this movie when I heard they were making a movie. I gobbled up the books as fast as I could and sat in awe over a story that I could only dream of writing. When I heard about the movie, I was giddy with excitement to see the characters I read about on the big screen and experience their adventures in a whole new way.
I first became uneasy when I saw the cast. I wasn’t sure about Eve Green…she isn’t what I envisioned. I was also curious about the Hollows. Then I saw the trailer, and I wasn’t wowed in the least. Then I read the reviews and my dreams crashed and burned. I pretended it didn’t exist and never went to the theater to see it.
Yesterday, I had some time between coming home from something and going back out for something and decided what the hell, I will take a look at it On Demand. Much less than a movie ticket and had hopes it may be more than I everyone else was saying.
It was dreadful.
!!Stop here if you don’t want spoilers!!
Most people that know me know that I am a little bit purist when it comes to making movies/shows from books. If a story was so good that you wanted to put it on a screen, then leave it as intact as possible. Lord of the Rings did this pretty well with changing little things that weren’t central to the plot. You also have to have a cast of amazing actors – not necessarily top-notch big names, just a cast that works well together and knows how to deliver their lines properly. LoTR did this as well. You need BOTH of these things (IMHO anyway).
Two movies and one HBO show have disappointed me to the point I don’t want to write good stories and if I do I sure as hell would not sell the rights to Hollywood or HBO. One of these movies is Miss Peregrine’s. UGH, I wanted to stab myself in the eyes.
Let’s look at the story. There is a kid who has special “peculiar” powers who doesn’t know it. His grandfather dies in a horrible way and his last words to the boy is to find someone specific to explain. The boy does this and finds out he is peculiar and that there are many other people of the same persuasion but with different powers.
In the books, the boy, Jake, is the hero. He has a rare ability to see things other peculiars can’t and so he embarks on the Hero’s quest to save peculiar-dom from a Wight who is bent on being the most powerful Peculiar there is. As we follow Jake’s story, we find out that when Peculiar’s die, their souls go to a place called The Library of Souls. This Wight is in search of this Library so he can absorb more powerful souls and become The End All Be All, so to speak. This wight is also on the look out for Jake. The tricksy part to the Library is the jars the souls are in can’t be seen…except by a Librarian…who happens to be Jake and his grandfather before him that just died. Jake could also see the invisible Hollowgasts as well as talk to them and command them which was kinda central to the plot as well as he uses Hollowgasts to fight for him later in the book. Turns out the Wight is also Miss Peregrine’s brother (one of two) and he had a huge jealousy thing going on with his sister over her peculiar powers. The whole story was very nuanced.
That is the bare bones of the story and why Jake was involved.
This was pretty exciting stuff!
The movie…it was just bad fan fic!
Jake is still there, his G’father still dies…but the whole plot is changed!! W.T.F. The plot here is that Baron is a power hungry wight who eats peculiar children’s eyes and wants to be immortal. The only thing Jake does is see the Hollows. Helpful, yes…but in the original plot so much more than that!
They didn’t eat their eyes for immortality. Hollows ate everything because they were feral. Emma had the fire power…which was central to the plot later as she had to use her power to help them escape. We never got into the nuance of the story with Emma being in love with Abe first, then her complicated feelings for Jake later. Never developed Jake’s character into the hero by finding his powers on his own, learning them on his own, and helping his friends. These characters were never fully developed!!!
Then…THEN…omg. The cast was ok, but Christ on a Cracker…why did they make Miss Peregrine so fucking weird with her hand?? I get they were going for a bird quality…but for fuck’s sake it was just weird!! The acting on almost everyone’s part seemed forced and un-natural. I noticed it most when the Aunt came in to give Jake his birthday present. No one seemed comfortable in their roles and didn’t seem comfy giving their lines except Eva Green. She did a great job taken as it is, I just don’t like how they made Ms. P out. And O’Dowd and his American accent…Lord have mercy. I wanted to punch him in the face. I have to say, for a work from Tim Burton…it isn’t his best work at all.
So much potential. And someone decided they could tell the story better. Butchered it. Made it into something they can’t even fix with a sequel. Ugh.
Rates right up there with those three Star Wars movies that shall not be named.
The gist is this…if you haven’t read the books you may enjoy the movie for what it is worth. It was ok, but forgettable.
If you read the books, don’t see the movie especially if you are a purist like me. It will just piss you off.