Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Preview is Sucking

Long before Harry Potter and His Dark Materials, I loved me some The Dark Is Rising. It's a five-book series that has everything you could want in a timeless fantasy story: British children with supernatural destinies, battles between good and evil, King Arthur mythology up the wazoo.

So my horror was very intense when, during the previews before the Harry Potter movie, I saw a preview for The. Worst. Possible. Movie. Version. Ever. I didn't even realize what it was for the first 30 seconds or so of the preview. It featured a pointy-faced blonde American kid who appeared to be liberally employing both lip color and cheek-contouring powder, and who looked like a 14-year-old Sebastian Bach,* except in a an upsetting rather than a sexy way. There was some clangy electric guitar music, and that guy who does the voiceovers of those slapsticky Christmas movies featuring Tim Allen saying, "Everything about Will Stanton's wife seemed pretty ordinary," and some other boy-actor calling Will "Bro." I thought to myself, "Why is this preview for one of those slapsticky Christmas movies showing in July, and where is Tim Allen?"

But after several scenes of boy-has-crush-on-girl, boy-goes-to-mall, all of a sudden the preview busted out the real actors and the portentous music, and it all became clear that it was The Dark Is Rising, except with an American instead of a Britsh kid, set in what looks like California but is apparently really Romania, and without any King Arthur mythology.

This is an easier casting do-over than All the King's Men:

Will Stanton: Modest British child who wakes up on his 11th birthday to find the rest of the world is in a magical sleep, and who finds out from a mysterious wizard-like figure that he is the last of the Old Ones, the Seeker who must collect Signs that will help the Light defeat the Dark. Does not have crushes on girls. Theirs: The aforementioned mini-Sebastian Bach, all with the iPod buds and the crushes on girls. Redo: Freddie Highmore! From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Finding Neverland! Obviously!!

The Whole Point: Arthurian mythology, good vs. evil, British children. Theirs: The mall, American children with iPod buds. Redo: Read the books instead.

*I also love me some Sebastian Bach, both in his incarnations as the alluringly womanish front man for Skid Row and as the hilarious sandwich shop owner and guitar player on Gilmore Girls, but 14-year-old versions of him do very little for me or, I suspect, for anyone who is not a 12-year-old girl.

1 comment:

plentyo'moxie said...

I Just finished His Dark Materials last week after reading Golden Compass at a time when I couldn't follow it up with the other two (it killed me) but then forgot about it and then remembered after seeing the preview to The Golden Compass movie online. I will say that I think it looks pretty good - has the right overall golden muted color look at the characters look right - except that why why why? do they have to compare it to LOTR?