Precious -vs- Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire

February 3, 2010 Bryce Zabel

Sorry. Just can’t do this any more. Can’t waste any more of my precious life energy writing it all out. So, here it is, one last time… all 38 blessed characters…

“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Okay, we’re done here. From now on, it is the policy of this website to refer to this Oscar nominated film as “Precious.”

How did it happen that a film could be called by a title that sounds this unnecessary and pretentious? After all, all of the films in the “Adapted Screenplay” category could give themselves the same treatment. Then we’d be looking at films like “Up in the Air: Based on the Novel ‘Up in the Air’ by Walter Kim.” Or how would you have liked to see this on the big screen — “Star Trek: Based on the TV Series ‘Star Trek’ by Gene Roddenberry.” Ugh… […]

The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009) -vs- The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

June 15, 2009 Bob Nowotny

Both films share the same basic underlying premise from the novel by John Godey. And Godey’s premise is a goody — four gunmen hijack a New York City subway train and demand a huge ransom be paid within the hour. The money must not be late in arriving because for every minute thereafter, one of the hostages will be shot. No exceptions. What ensues is a deadly cat and mouse game of verbal sparring between the leader of the highly armored gang and the unlucky transit official who must do everything possible to delay the inevitable. It’s said that Benito Mussolini kept the trains running on time. Does Tony Scott do the same for the New York Transit Authority? Or is the original the better ride? It’s time to get out the subway tokens — all aboard!
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Mad Men (2009-2007) -vs- Revolutionary Road (2008)

June 13, 2009 Mark Sanchez

In the age of instant communication, instant gratification looking back 50 years seems like a trip in the way-back machine. Many of us remember this as the time our parents scrambled to attain a level of security described by the catchall American Dream.
We tie this period before the Cuban Missile Crisis to hula hoops, fallout shelters, drive-in movies, TV dinners and American Bandstand. This was a time when people in the background –mostly men– worked overtime branding these cultural signposts as passports to the good life. This period matters. It directed the shape of many of our lives.
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