Saturday, August 22, 2009

Page to Film :: The Canterville Ghost

Basic Plot Summery: An American family, the Otises, move to the English countryside and purchase the rumored haunted Canterville Chase. Ignoring the warnings from the previous owner and the neighbors alike, they move in and set about cleaning the place up, including the centuries old blood stain that adorns the sitting room. After learning who made the stain and of whoms blood was involved, the family is soon visited and terrorized by the Canterville Ghost himself, once Sir Simon Canterville and eternal owner of the mansion.
But try as he might the American (and Americanized) family simply won't be scared away, and only the 15 year old daughter Virgina takes any pity on him, and ultimately saves him from his eternal damnation.

List of Characters:


Lord Canterville: Previous owner of the mansion, and supposed relation to the Ghost, he sold the house to Mr. Horace B. Otis readily but didn't shy from the details when telling Mr. Otis what he was getting himself and his family into.

My Cast Choice: Christopher Plummer


Mr. Horace B. Otis: The boisterous head of the Otis family, Mr. Otis first dismisses tales of a ghost in his newly purchased English house, arguing that the modern country of America has already bought up anything of value from the Old World. A calm man, he scolds the twin Otis boys for throwing pillows at the ghost, then reasons that if the ghost will not use the lubricator, the family will take away his chains. Silly, Stubborn, American.

My Cast Choice: Kevin Spacey


Mrs. Lucretia Tappan Otis: The spirited matriarch of the Otis clan, Mrs. Lucretia Tappan Otis, a former New York beauty, is renowned for her “superb profile.” Sir Simon views her as a gross materialist because she offers him Dr. Dobell’s tincture for indigestion after having misunderstood his ghostly laugh as a sign of a medical disorder. Generally undisturbed by the Ghost’s performances, Mrs. Otis possesses a “really wonderful amount of animal spirits.”

My Cast Choice: Kyra Sedgwick


Virginia Otis: The somewhat puritanical, beautiful fifteen-year old daughter of the American Minister, inspires the love of the young Duke of Cheshire as the story begins. And unlike the rest of her family who try and "cure" the ghost, when Virginia encounters Sir Simon, she pities him and tries to help the weary spirit.

My Cast Choice: Emma Watson


Duke of Cheshire (Cecil): Desperately in love with the fifteen-year old Virginia Otis, the boyish Duke of Cheshire proposes after watching her win a pony race. However, his guardians pack him off to Eton, and he must wait to marry. But his impetuousness cannot be quelled.

My Cast Choice: Michael Angarano


The Twins (Stars & Stripes): The youngest children of the Otis family, the twins are wild hooligans. They throw pillows at the ghostly Sir Simon’s head, hit him with their peashooters, and throw nuts along the corridor in an effort to trip the Ghost. Irrepressible, the twins achieve their greatest triumph when they create their own ghost from a hollowed-out turnip, a bed curtain, and a kitchen cleaver. Their constant pranks leave Sir Simon shaken, as his every plan for revenge is thwarted by the twins’s efforts.

My Cast Choice: Brent and Shane Kinsman


Sir Simon Canterville (Ghost): Haunting Canterville Chase since he was starved to death in 1584 by his dead wife’s brothers, they murdered him because he had murdered his wife for the trivial reasons that she was plain and a bad housekeeper. For three hundred years since, Sir Simon has frightened the inhabitants of Canterville Chase and has relished his role as resident ghost.
However, when the rational American Otises arrive, the Ghost realizes that his audience does not appreciate his performance. No matter what he tries, he cannot frighten the Otis family. Initially the butt of the twins’s pranks and an annoyance to the practical Otises, the Ghost becomes an object of sympathy. Weary and despairing, Sir Simon begs Virginia Otis to pray for him so that he can finally achieve eternal rest.

My Cast Choice: Jason Isaacs


Have you read the book? Agree with my casting choices? Are totally in love with Mr. Plummer like myself?!
Then please comment, and share your thoughts.

Up next: "The Westing Game". ^-^

From Page to Film: Books I'd love to see made into Movies.

History is a prophet in reverse. And one of the many things History has showed us over and over is that book to movie adaptions fail. 95% of the time they just flat line. Graphically.

But just like the need to eat at that one Taco place despite all the "incidents", we as people (who enjoy watching other people in a dark room for hours) must have our chance at ruining every literary masterpiece we can get our hands on.
It's just our thing.
Like Pixie sticks.

A few movies I'd like to see the Film Industry seriously produce are as follows:

* Cantervillve Ghost - Oscar Wilde
* The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin
* The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
* Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
* Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
* The Sword In The Stone - T.H White
* War & Peace - Leo Tolstoy
* A Separate Peace - John Knowles
* A Wrinkle In Time - Madeleine L'Engle
* Scaramouche - Rafael Sabatini
* Dracula - Bram Stoker

Many (if not all in my opinion) are regarded as classics in most circles, thus raising the stakes.
The price of failure is a steep one when you take on well established literature, and I don't know of any director who'd like to be pegged as the person who single-handedly caused bookworms and literary snobs 'round the world to riot, protest, and send strongly worded e-mails.

But when someone who has insight, patience, lots of money and (most importantly) a love for the story decides to take that risk, sometimes the end result is surprisingly good.

My plan is, book by book, to give you my ideal cast for each movie and maybe why I think they'd be best suited for the part.

'Til then, feel free to share your own thoughts on the matter. ^-^

Friday, August 21, 2009

Movie Trailer :: Fantastic Mr. Fox

Came upon this lovely looking romp a couple weeks ago while browsing the good 'ole Internet Movie Database.
It looks odd and the animation is pretty old school...
But that's why I like it.
Apparently based off the book of the same name (also by the author of "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory), "Fantastic Mr. Fox" looks nothing short of utterly enjoyable.

And whats not to like about the distinguished and and dashing Mr. Clooney voicing an equally suave and mischievous Fox? *smile*
Billy Murry, Owen Wilson, Meryl could it -not- be amazing?

Guess we'll find out come Thanksgiving time... ^-^

Thursday, August 13, 2009

||Joe Pug Music ||

Yesterday I down-loaded the Lollapolooza sampler from iTunes and was pleasantly surprised to find more than a few good tracks. The best being, in my opinion, Joe Pug's offering "Hymn #101".
I was so impressed that I hit up the 'ole Google search engine and found his official site.

After skimming it a bit (ok...after reading the first page) I saw that he was offering a sampler of his new EP "In the Meantime" for free in
mail-able and download-able form.

Side note on the mail-able copy: They're running a little behind in that department due to currently being on tour and having received a lot of requests. So if that's the way you'd like to go, be prepared to wait a whiles. -But- if patience is not your strong suit...I suggest to you the fast download which comes ready with the album artwork.

And now, before I leave you to savor the wonderfully richness of "In the Meantime", I'm going to post the lyrics of my favorite track from the whole EP: A Thousand Men.

"A Thousand Men" ~ Joe Pug

See Thomas Jefferson on the eve of Bunker Hill.
Writing words to die for.
Writing sentences to kill.

They've come to paint his portrait
So he grabs a chair and sits
As the surgeon orders cotton
For a thousand tourniquets.

For God and country...
For us and them.
Every good idea kills at least a thousand men...
At least a thousand men.

See the able-bodied Christian in a dark and savage land
Tellin' all those who will listen
That God was once a man.

Through needles eye so narrow.
He will lead them four by four.
He's got nine hundred shackles.
He needs at least a hundred more...

A thousand men.
A thousand men.
Every good idea kills at least a thousand men...
At least a thousand men.

See the able-bodied student in his laboratory coat.
Whispering calculations
Like prayer stuck in his throat.

Soon he will discover
Some flawless medicine.
But right now he needs an oven
That holds at least a thousand men.

Some are the means.
Some are the ends.
Every good idea kills at least a thousand men...
At least a thousand men.

One thousand one...
One thousand one...
Every man I know
Thinks that he's one thousand one.

Nine hundred nine...
His day is done.
Every man I know
Thinks that he's one thousand one.

...I know I'm one thousand one...