Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Here's To Hoping the Movie is Better Than the Book

It is not often that I hope for a movie to outshine the book on which it is based. Wanting it to do the book justice? Yes. Wanting it to contain actors who can actually act? Of course. But sitting here actually hoping that the movie exceeds the book, by leaps and bounds? Well, in this case, I most certainly am.

It should come as no surprise that I am a big fan of Cormac McCarthy. I inhaled his dystopian novel The Road in one sitting. He weaved his backwoods country spell on me with Child of God and Outer Dark. He kept me intrigued with his Borders Trilogy. With each book I read, he climbed higher and higher up my list of favorite authors.

Of course, one cannot be expected to love every book an author puts out, and for me - Sunset Limited ranked lowest on my McCarthy scale. It's a screenplay that deals heavily with God and religion as two men sit at a kitchen table discussing life and death and attempted suicide.

I was not impressed - it came across as preachy, pro-religion, and lacked the haunting poetic prose McCarthy is so well known for. I forced myself to finish it, wanting to get it behind me as quickly as I could.

While watching TV with my kids the other night, however, I saw a preview on HBO for a film adapation of this book starring Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones. Now, color me crazy, but when you mention Samuel L. Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones in the same sentence, my ears prick up. These two guys, while great actors on their own, creating movie magic when they work together, and the previews actually look quite good. Here, take a peek:

Tell me this doesn't look good! I am planning on watching this. And I have high hopes that Jones (director, executive producer, and actor) will blow this adaptation out of the water. Crossing my fingers that the overwhelming religous undertones won't come across as strongly in the film as it did in McCarthy's screenplay/book.

What do you think? It premieres February 12th on HBO. Anyone making plans to watch it?


  1. I think you have a pretty good shot. HBO usually does pretty good stuff plus add Sam and Tommy and your odds are better than most.

  2. Hey Nicole! I was really impressed with HBO's take on True Blood, and it's creative changes to the Sookie books - and seeing the trailers for Sunset Limited has given me hope that Jones will do the same here. Have you read the screenplay by McCarthy?