Sunday, March 28, 2010

A short review: Lord of the Flies in 1990

Lord of the Flies
Director: Harry Hook
Cast: Balthazar Getty (Ralph), Chris Furrh (Jack), Danuel Pipoly (Piggy), James Badge Dale (Simon), Andrew and Edward Taft (Sam and Eric), Gary Rule (Roger)
Screenplay: Sara Schiff
Length: 1 hr. 30 min
Verdict: SKIP
Rated: R (Obviously not for children either)
Rating Scale: 30%  (Faithfulness is really missing)

This one is the Americanized/ modernized version of the infamous LOF. Now, seriously, what's the point in doing that? Sir William Golding, who wrote the book, had a point when he made these school children British, NOT American millitary school kids. That took out the whole pleasure of watching this trash. Maybe if it was better made I would have given it an OK, but it's not.
One improvement made on the '63 version (which I liked a lot better even though I had given it a mild RENT) was that Jack was so much scary than that other guy was. The Furrh guy knows scary. Mr. Getty, the Taft guys and Dale are "good" as their roles, and Simon actually looks like a 14 or 13 year old, so that's nice.  The only problem with the acting of the character (more of a screenplay choice than anything) WHY DO YOU GUYS CUSS? There is incessant cussing, 20 or more times they say Sh**, and four times they use the F*** word. I mean, even the little guys cuss! That's not really professional to me, I was giggling every time Jack or someone cusses. Not Hook's point, so not a great choice there either.
Since the beginning, you can really tell that this movie is going to be different from the book which is a real no-no. That might not be so much of a big deal: if they hadn't brought up the almost dead captain of the plane out of the water and make the kids go on wild goose-chases to find him or what not, that was just so ridiculous and unnecessary. Speaking of unnsecesary, there were a lot of thing in this book that was unnecesary, and more important plot points from the book that are so important. We don't need endless conversation between boys saying "I wonder what's on TV right now!" Excuse me, what? Why is that so important?
The savages weren't as scary as they were in the '63 version, they just looked like a bunch of brats face painting themselves and killing people. Plus, with all that hillarious cussing, it took a lot of the scary out of savages.
Overall, a trashy remake, which is incredibly long and stupid. It just goes to show you how sometimes, adaptations that take that many liberties from the book don't always work. So, SKIP IT. You're not missing the gold here.

This version is available on DVD

Steve: Sir, are you the leader?
Peter: Jack is the oldest, but Ralph is the colonel.
[group voices votes for Ralph]
Jack Merridew: I guess you just won the election.
Ralph: It doesn't matter who's in charge. We've just got to work together. First, we build a camp.

Tony: What are we gonna do with thieves when we catch them?
Ralph: We can't have kids stealing and just running wild. We're going to have to have stricter rules and hand out demerits... I guess.

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