Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Friday, February 8, 2019

The Not That Faithful Adaptation

Off The Rails Adaptation Of Inane Book Is Released To Savage Reviews

Los Angeles (AP) The first few weeks of the year is often a dumping ground for films that the studios deem a waste, of poor quality and poor potential. So too is the case with a new film opening this weekend coming from the creative talents (if one wants to use that word) of two of the worst hacks on the planet. Director Michael Bay, who has given the world so many loud, explosion prone films over the years such as Pearl Harbor and the Transformers franchise, has just released Hopeless Yearning, the adaptation of a novel by Nicholas Sparks, who’s carved out a reputation as a hack himself, churning out pretty much the same plotline in every book. To call the two hacks is an understatement (editor: stop saying that! Michael Bay is a visionary, and my wife loves reading Nicholas Sparks books!)

The movie differs significantly from the book- at least as told to this reporter by the paper’s movie review columnist, who was forced by the very requirements of her occupation to sit down and waste two and a half hours of her life watching a Nicholas Sparks adaptation by Michael Bay. Her zero star review appears in today’s edition. The book featured a standard Sparks plot- the star crossed young lovers, class difference, disapproving parents, heartbreak, and so on, pretty much the same thing in the rest of the author’s works (editor: he does not write the same plotline over and over again!).

Bay made significant changes, turning the mechanic protagonist, Jonah McKay (played by Shia LaBeouf) into an Army bomb disposal expert. His romantic interest Clarissa (played by Megan Fox) was the daughter of a high society family, with a mother who turned out to be a megalomaniac villain, played by Julianna Margulies. The actress was outspoken about her dislike of Bay throughout production and has refused to take any part in publicity for the film. “**** Michael Bay!” Margulies said in a recent tweet.

Nicolas Cage, a perennial player in Bay films, appeared as McKay’s mentor Jeb Gallagher, and the film was plagued with interruptions due to drinking binges. What would usually be a bittersweet film (and an endless bore for anyone who hates Nicholas Sparks adaptations) was turned into an explosion prone, logic ignoring mess of noise, quick cut edits, an Aerosmith theme song, and babes in high cut shorts waxing cars in slow motion.

Bay is, as usual, ignoring the bad reviews. Found at his production offices at Digital Domain, the director was in a good mood. He looked his usual self- the dishevelled hair, the three days of stubble, the casual clothing, the vacant look in the eyes that suggested nothing much was going on inside his head, and the demented smile (editor: stop insulting Michael Bay!). “Who cares about the critics? They rip apart my films, and why? Because they just don’t understand them. My audiences understand them. My audiences love my films. So they come for the explosions and the Aerosmith theme and the action and the explosions and the hot babes and fast cars and the explosions and the… did I mention the explosions?”

Bay grinned even more. This reporter, doomed for the rest of his career to cover things he didn’t like because he had a cranky editor who was subject to a restraining order preventing him from being in the same space as this reporter, and who hated this reporter (editor: for good reason! Shut the hell up!), had to put up with this self absorbed nitwit (editor: what did I just say about not insulting Michael Bay?). “And then there are the Nicholas Sparks fans. I mean, women love this stuff. The star crossed lovers, the bittersweet endings, the sappy sentimental drama, the whole nine yards. Or ten yards. Or maybe there’s not even a yard involved, unless it has a white picket fence. Come to think of it, there’s a lot white about Nicholas Sparks. It’s as if people of colour don’t even exist in a Nicholas Sparks world.”

This reporter was momentarily stunned. Was Michael Bay having a moment of clarity? This, from a director who usually used minorities for comic relief in his over the top explosion prone films? This realization that Sparks has been criticized in the past for presenting a white bread sort of world? Or would it pass as quickly as ripples in the water of a mountain stream? Bay shrugged. “Well, that doesn’t matter. What matters is I’ve got double my audience, and this weekend we’re gonna do big box office numbers, baby, because people are gonna flock to this movie in droves. And we’re gonna prove the critics wrong next year at the Oscars, because if there’s anything I know, and I know a lot….” This reporter highly doubted that (editor: stop insulting Michael Bay!) “….it’s that the Oscars love tear jerkers. Which reminds me, why didn’t anyone ask me to direct The Notebook? I’d have been great at that.”

The last word goes to the author himself. Sparks has been spending years churning out the same plotline with different names and titles. He fashions himself as a unique writer, not willing to label himself a romance novelist (all while failing to keep his marriage together, how’s that for you?). He disregards criticism and shrugs off the irritation of people who dislike his books, such as this reporter, who regards him as a plague on the planet. “I didn’t know who he was,” Sparks admitted while at a cafĂ© in his North Carolina hometown.

“I mean, sure, I’d heard his name before, but he didn’t present himself with his real name. So I signed off on an adaptation. I mean, I’ve had lots of my books made into movies that people have really been touched by and moved over and all that, so I assumed it would be more of the same. When you adapt one of my novels, you’re talking about true love and heart wrenching plot developments and cancer diagnosis moments and… why are you rolling your eyes?” Sparks asked, looking offended.

This reporter inquired, “are you aware that not everyone in this world likes your books? Because I don’t.”

Sparks seemed shocked. “That’s impossible.”

“No, it’s true,” this reporter assured him.

Sparks shook his head. “Then there can be only one explanation.”

This reporter wondered about the answer. “And that would be?”

“It means you have no soul,” Sparks stated with confidence.

This reporter sighed, shrugged, and walked away rather than spend another minute in the company of a buffoon of a writer, wondering what inane assignment his cranky editor would send him on next time (editor: if he’s right and you have no soul, that must make you a vampire. And thus no one will blame me for putting a wooden stake in your heart and ending you.)

This reporter would like to remind the authorities that his cranky editor keeps making death threats upon this reporter’s life, and should be dealt with accordingly (editor: shut up! I hate you! Oh, do I hate you! I hate you infinity plus one!)


  1. Replies
    1. I don't think he'd appreciate the way I write him.

  2. I quite enjoyed reading, even though I've not read Sparks books or seen his films. I have seen three or four Bay films.

    I hope if I ever make a film or publish a novel, you review it.

  3. I guess I've missed out on a lot of bad films and cruddy books. Go, me!

  4. I admit I've read most of the Sparks books and find them entertaining.My favorite film adaptation is The Choice, although the book is better. I think every husband should read it.
    Anyway, you're a funny guy and I like your posts.

  5. Sooo, let me get this right: you reallly hate anything to do with the word "Spark" in it. And you truly hate "Bay", unless it is with Bay Watch.

    I have seen one N. Spark movie, with James Garner and Gina Rowlands. It made me cry, because I see it happening all around us.

    1. Oh, I wouldn't like Baywatch either. Eye candy is one thing, but I can't abide stupid people, and when you're dealing with a Pamela Anderson, that's really stupid.


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