Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Land That Time Forgot movie vs. book

The Land that Time Forget by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Land that Time Forgot with Doug McClure

I think the movie was pretty close to the book this time. Most of the major pieces were all the same, how they came to be there, the kinds of people and animals they bumped into, how they planned to get out, how Tyler’s message got out of Caspak, and the ending was even very close. The movie made the German captain much more personable. You could like him in the movie whereas you really couldn’t in the book. The woman was more annoying in the movie. I think they were trying to make her a stronger character by making her a scientist and having her contribute more but I was left to roll my eyes when the native drew stick figures in the dirt and she comes out with ‘what he means is’ and continues to postulate some involved theory of evolution. I just wanted her to shut up. They also were able to figure out more stuff in the movie then they were able to in the first book of the trilogy but nothing they didn’t figure out eventually. Both the book and the movie are good, campy fun. And the annoyance of the woman is balanced out by the fact that I do like the German captain better in the movie. I think this one might be a tie.

The People that Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The People that Time Forgot with Patrick Wayne

They are not even telling the same story. In the movie they head out to find Bowen Tyler, and the woman they meet when they get there is named Ajor but that is the last thing that even resembles the book. Except for the dinosaurs. There are dinosaurs. I can’t even say where it went different from the book because there are no common points of reference. At first I wanted to give the movie the benefit of the doubt, so when they had a whole team of people go in instead of Thomas Billings being there all alone, or when Ajor spoke English, I just chalked it up to those differences that movies always make to make filming easier or to add drama. But then it went widely off base and there was no way to pretend it was even remotely following the book. And as a movie I didn’t even think it was cheesy fun like I had hoped. Again the woman was annoying with her ‘I can do a man’s job’ attitude that always comes off as arrogance instead of confidence. The hero of the sorry tale is a bit of a jerk too. And then when the guys in what looked like samurai armor show up it was too much even for me. It was cheesy to be sure. It just wasn’t fun. And I didn’t like the ending. The book is certainly better and I can’t even say that the movie was okay if you don’t compare it to the book. It isn’t. Don’t bother.

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