Thursday, November 18, 2010

Very Brief Thoughts on the Gulliver's Travels Trailer

Why am I supposed to be so offended that this thing actually exists?

I see so much outrage online regarding the idea that someone would take the premise of Jonathan Swift's novel and turn it into a Jack Black comedy vehicle, and I'd like to know, honestly, why?

I mean, I know there are a lot of people out there who hate Jack Black. I'm not one of them, but whatever, it's a personal taste thing. And I can understand a person who thinks it looks stupid because they think Jack Black movies are stupid. I can respect that, certainly.

What I just don't understand are the people who are angered on behalf of a classic work of literature that is, to hear them tell it, having its very existence angered by what will be yet another unfaithful adaptation.

Let's be honest about a couple of things here, alright.

First off, this is nowhere near the first adaptation of Gulliver's Travels, nor is it likely to be the last. And most of those previous adaptations weren't very good, either. And 95% of them only concerned themselves with the first portion of the novel--Lilliput--anyway, so it's not like they were concerning themselves with the social points Swift was making in the first place.

And second, how many of the people getting so angered by this have actually read the Jonathan Swift novel? My suspicion is: not the majority of them. I think it's another occasion where it's just hip to be against something for phony intellectual reasons.

My point is: who cares? Film after film have done nothing to destroy Swift's novel, because it's a classic piece of literature that really deserves to be read instead of merely respected. It is a fantastic novel. Just because Jack Black is in a movie that does whatever it wants with the book doesn't mean anything happens to the book.

Personally, I think it looks cute. I like Black. A like a lot of the comic actors who are in it--Jason Segel, Catherine Tate, Billy Connolly, etc. I'll see it when it hits DVD. I see a lot of things. And some things I don't see. But I don't waste my time getting offended about things like this which are completely and utterly inconsequential to anyone anywhere.

I'm more easily offended by movies that pretend they're making deep points and utterly fail at that--movies like Slumdog Millionaire and Crash and Babel--but that's just me. I hate those movies because they pretend they're solving social injustices, instead of portraying them honestly like, say, Sin Nombre. That's being talked down to and having my sympathies exploited. I tend to reserve my hatred for those than someone taking the premise of Gulliver's Travels and making it a comedy vehicle for a comic actor I don't like and could easily ignore.

Big fucking deal.

1 comment:

MC said...

Gulliver's Travels is a satire. Why wouldn't you want to have someone with comedic chops in it.

If the story could survive Ted Danson, I think it can certainly survive Jack Black.