Tag Archives: Adaptations

Ryuk the shinigami destroys a ferris wheel.

“Death Note” (2017) Review

I love Death Note, but this movie is not Death Note.  It may bear the title of “Death Note”, but it’s really not.  It doesn’t surprise me that this movie is bad.  I fully expected the American version of Death Note to be bad, but I didn’t expect it to be quite as terrible as this.

What is Death Note?

In case you’re not aware, Death Note is an anime about a Japanese high school honour student named Light Yagami who finds a shinigami’s notebook, which allows him to kill anyone whose name he writes in it—usually by heart attack.  Light decides to use the notebook to become, as he puts it, “the god of the new world” by killing all the world’s criminals, followed by anyone else he sees as unworthy to live.  A brilliant detective named L realizes early on how dangerous “Kira the Saviour” is and makes it his goal to catch the serial killer.
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Orcs singing in the Rankin/Bass Return of the King cartoon.

Review of Rankin/Bass “The Return of the King” (1980)

Orcs singing in the Rankin/Bass Return of the King cartoon.This cartoon…  This is the one that broke me…  I feel drained after watching this.  Before there was Peter Jackson, there were three cartoons almost unrelated to one another, and I made the mistake of deciding to review all of them.  The first was a children’s animated TV special by Rankin/Bass that removed almost every element that made The Hobbit great.  The second, based on the first half of The Lord of the Rings, was at least for adults, even if it was a poorly-rotoscoped cartoon that payed little attention to the subtleties of the book.  The third, which I’ll be reviewing today, is called Frodo: The Hobbit II, but it’s more commonly known as The Return of the King: A Story of the Hobbits.
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H. M. Turnbull's Top 10 Worst Book-to-Film Adaptations

Top 10 Worst Book-to-Film Adaptations

H. M. Turnbull's Top 10 Worst Book-to-Film AdaptationsThere’s been some controversy concerning Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Hobbit, with some criticizing decisions such as making a three-part movie, the addition of original background characters, and many even pettier complaints.  Some have even gone so far as to say that it “wasn’t very true to the source material,” despite staying far truer to its source than almost any other adaptation has.  When I’ve listed the reasons for which these changes are all either insignificant or necessary to adapt the story to an utterly different medium, I’ve heard people retort that it was “the worst possible way to do it.”  As someone who has read and loved many books, so many of which have been horribly bastardized in film adaptations, I cannot help but wonder…  Have these people ever even seen a bad adaptation?

It is for this reason that I decided to compile a list of truly abhorrent adaptations, movies that actually did exactly those things of which Peter Jackson has been falsely accused, including earlier attempts to adapt Tolkien to the screen.  In fact, many of the films on this list go beyond even the craziest of accusations, and it’s hard to believe that some of these actually exist.  Rest assured, however, that these abominations do indeed exist, and rest assured too that they are all bloody awful!
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The inspiration for one of Peter Jackson's scenes.

Review of Ralph Bakshi’s “The Lord of the Rings” (1978)

Frodo, Sam, and Gollum in Bakshi's cartoon.Last year I reviewed the 1977 Rankin/Bass cartoon adaptation of The Hobbit.  Today I’ll be taking a look at another such cartoon: Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 attempt to bring The Lord of the Rings to the screen.  As I did with the Hobbit cartoon—and as I’m planning to do with the final instalment in the cartoon trilogy—I began by live-tweeting as I watched Bakshi’s film, the highlights of which can be found here.  As I had feared going into this, Bakshi largely failed to capture quite what he needed to capture with this one.
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Abandon hope.

“The Last Airbender” Movie Review

Abandon hope.You may remember my article on the greatest show of all time, Avatar: The Last Airbender.  You may also remember my mentioning that M. Night Shyamalan decided to adapt the first season into a movie.  I saw this… movie… when it first premiered.  I entered the theatre expecting to love it; by the thirty-minute mark I loathed Shyamalan with every fibre of my being, and when at last I stumbled out of that accursed theatre I would gladly have throttled the bastard.
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Stannis Baratheon arrives at The Wall on his horse.

Stannis Baratheon: Another One-Note Asshole

Stannis Baratheon, a character in Game of ThronesIn my last article concerning A Song of Ice and Fire, I discussed a character called Jon Snow.  He was, as are all George R. R. Martin’s characters, incredibly bland and unpleasant.  Although they’re all basically the same character, there are more of the same character to tear apart in these articles, so let’s get started with Stannis Baratheon.
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The ridiculous character design for Treebeard in the Bakshi cartoon

Bakshi “The Lord of the Rings” Twitter Highlights

The ridiculous character design for Treebeard in the Bakshi cartoonOn Saturday I watched Ralph Bakshi’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, and it wasn’t exactly bad—although it wasn’t good either!  Instead, I would define the Bakshi version as “precisely what you’d expect from a ’70s cartoon that tried to adapt a masterpiece.”  In short, it was doomed to fail.  That doesn’t mean, however, that it wasn’t fun to tear it to pieces, so here are some of the highlights from the live-tweeting session!
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Cartoon Gandalf spins around while speaking the Black Speech in The Shire.

Live Tweet of Bakshi’s “The Lord of the Rings” at Noon

Cartoon Gandalf spins around while speaking the Black Speech in The Shire.This is the last of many reminders!  The day has finally come; at noon (Pacific Time), I will tweet my thoughts on Ralph Bakshi’s “The Lord of the Rings” cartoon at twitter.com/hashtag/lotr78.  I happily invite you to tweet along with me if you’re interested in making your thoughts known about this cartoon!

Bakshi “The Lord of the Rings” Live-Tweeting Tomorrow

The animated version of Gandalf in Ralph Bakshi's cartoon.Greetings!  Tomorrow at 12:00PM (Pacific Time), I’m going to watch Ralph Bakshi’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings and tweet my thoughts live at twitter.com/hashtag/lotr78 as I do so.  You’re invited to join in on the discussion at noon tomorrow, and if you want to make sure you don’t miss the event, you can follow me at twitter.com/HM_Turnbull.

A Ringwraith in Ralph Bakshi's cartoon.

Live Tweeting Bakshi’s “The Lord of the Rings” Adaptation on Saturday

A Ringwraith in Ralph Bakshi's cartoon.Greetings!  This is just one of a good few reminders that I’ll be live-tweeting my thoughts on Ralph Bakshi’s adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings” this Saturday at 12:00PM (Pacific Time).  If you’re interested, you can join in at twitter.com/hashtag/lotr78 or follow me at twitter.com/HM_Turnbull.