The House With A Clock in it's Walls

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AArdvark
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The House With A Clock in it's Walls

Post by AArdvark » Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:08 pm

Well it finally happened. One of my most favorite children's books has been made into a movie. Forget about A Winkle in Time, forget Where the Wild Things Are, this is top tier AArdvark favorite material.
I discovered this book in my elementary school library. I thought it was old at the time but looking back at the publishing date I see that it was only out about a year before I found it. This book was the reason I fell in love with Ed Gorey artwork. He did the illustrations. Nobody else could have done them and added to the overall creepiness like Ed Gorey. I want to be Ed Gorey, or at least be mistaken for him on a pen and ink level.*
I still have the book. I never consciously planned to steal it from School 43, it just happened. Maybe I wanted it to happen. I dunno but the book never left my ex libris.
So now it's a movie, and not that lame-ass After School Special hosted by Vincent Price either. Starring Jack Black and a bunch of other people I didn't recognize from the trailer. They steam-punked it up a bunch and added some weird stuff but it's the same Gothic ghost story for kids, as one book reviewer put it back in the seventies.
So now I have to see it. I'm getting this vibe where Hollywood is catering to us older generation people. I saw it in Super 8. I saw it in Wrinkle in Time** and I'm seeing it now. They must think we've got all this disposable income or something.


THE
FUSEBOX DWARF
DREEB! DREEB!
AARDVARK

*if Ed Gorey ever drew a guy having sex with a lobster you couldn't tell us apart

**Never saw this. I have a definite image of Meg Murray and Charles Wallace and I don't want anyone spoiling it.

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Re: The House With A Clock in it's Walls

Post by AArdvark » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:08 pm

Review

Spoilers ahead (as if anyone cares)

So what I'm seeing is a trend. Hollywood doesn't want my money. I'm not the demographic they were aiming at when they made this, even though it's people my age that would WANT to go see it. OK let me get back to the rant in a moment but first the review...

See, they turned a really good ghost story into a long Goosebumps episode. It could have been good, but it wasn't. Jack Black was doing his Jack Blackiest acting (he was doing his Jim Carrey acting style, actually)
Kate Whatshername was not bad. She was limited by the bad writing but did OK within those confines. Not old enough to play the character properly.
Dork kid that played Lewis was a poor showing. He didn't need the steampunk goggles to show he was a dork-in-training. He could have done it with, you know, acting. Oh, the director had him using a magic 8-ball to talk to his dead parents. Ug.
It felt like a sloppy big budget mess. Too much CGI, way too much. There was a chair, a recliner that acted like a house dog. There was a topiary shrub shape like a griffin that pooped leaves, in case cheap laughs were needed.
There were jump scares, of course. I feel sorry if anyone brought small chillun to the theater to see this.

No fusebox dwarf!
No Spanish Armada!
No cool galleon hookah!

They kept the basic plot but added so much junk I had to walk away a couple of times. They turned it into an empowerment theme, where Lewis (the kid) learns magic spells to become more popular. They changed it from 1948 to 1950 to explain why there were so many minorities. (hint: in 1948 African-Americans didn't go to white schools) But this is Hollywood, make believe, am I right?
They also made the clock in the walls so big that it looked more like underground mining equipment. In the book it was just an ordinary seven- day regulator that had the power to end the world. Apparently this had to be a big huge CGI monster to be believable.
Hollywood doesn't understand context. Any ordinary object can be scary in the proper context. Take a harmless book-bag or backpack. Sitting on the hall table it's not scary at all, BUT take that same book-bag and put it in an airport corridor with yellow tape, sniffer dogs and lots of police wearing bomb-squad armor and it becomes scary. It's all about context.
Ordinary clock can be scary, doesn't have to be big huge CGI mining equipment. IF they were to take the time to make it scary, instead of stupid moving chairs and lawn hedges that shit.
Here's another thing Hollywood doesn't get. Make the movie for the adults that want to see it and they will bring the kids. They made the movie for the kids and forced the adults to sit through it. That's ass-backwards. It felt like a cash grab to me.
I didn't spend any money on this, BTW. I'm not going to buy the Blu-Ray, because it sucked.

THE
TWO OUT OF SIX
STARS
AARDVARK

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Re: The House With A Clock in it's Walls

Post by Bugs » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:01 pm

I also loved that book as a kid. And Gorey.

/took lye by mistake

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Re: The House With A Clock in it's Walls

Post by AArdvark » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:08 pm

Oooo gonna put up that animated Ghaslycrumb tinies.

Got the poster framed in my man den

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Re: The House With A Clock in it's Walls

Post by AArdvark » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:10 pm


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Re: The House With A Clock in it's Walls

Post by RetroRomper » Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:33 pm

Saw this thread and decided to watch the movie (without reading it or anything about it at all.) And you're correct, Aardvard: the movie comes off as plain goofy, even excluding the stilted acting. It also did feel like a long Goosebumps episode, to the point that I checked out the source material to confirm if it was written by R.L. Stine or not. On the plus side, at least it had Jack Black?
This has been a...
RETROROMPER CLASSIC TM

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