4 Film Adaptions That Match or Surpass the Quality of the Book

Fans of the original source material often get a sour taste once they see a movie adapt from their favorite book. Usually, they are right as the novel tends to beat out the Hollywood edition like some recent Stephen King adaptions. In rare cases like these, the film can reach the same level of quality or rise above the author’s creation.

Before anyone riots, this is based on what I have seen and read. If anything gets missed, it is because I only watched the movie and not read the book.

#4: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, adapted by David Fincher

David Fincher is a master at taking someone else’s work and making it his own while still being respectful to the author’s work. Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is undoubtedly better than the movie by how it develops Nick and Amy as individuals and as a couple (played by Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike). But the film reaches the bar by perfectly casting the already memorable characters, beautiful cinematography, and hitting all the right beats in the narrative.

If I had to choose my favorite adapted screenplay, this might get the award as I adore both the book and Fincher’s on-screen depiction.

#3: The Mist by Stephen King, adapted by Frank Darabont

I could pick a far better Stephen King novel that hit the big screen like the 2017 reboot of IT or the classic Shawshank Redemption, but I chose the sorely out of date 2007 flick. Sure, it has some painful CGI and could have plenty of other criticisms thrown at it. What puts Darabont’s film on the list is by how it matches up with what was written back in 1980 by the King of horror and its ending.

SPOILER: The ending of the book comes when the survivors escape by a car and run out of gas. Uncertain of death or rescue, they are trapped and must wait to see what happens. It ends with an ambiguous conclusion that felt too easy to be put on the paper.

The movie makes the protagonist, David (Thomas Jane) resort to shooting his son, and other survivors due to being stuck in the middle of the mist, surrounded by monsters. Then as he steps out of the vehicle to await his demise since he does not have a bullet for himself, the military arrives to save the day. It is heartbreaking and far more memorable than the bland end that King delivered.

#2: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, adapted by Mary Harron

Unpopular opinion, Mary Harron’s American Psycho reigns over the novel. I enjoyed Ellis’ writing, but the pacing was off, and the ending did not satisfy as much. Both share all of the same characteristics, but the film was given that extra push by better social commentary and Christian Bale’s stellar performance.

Ellis has too much psychopathic nonsense with Patrick Bateman without much substance. The filler hinders the actual plot and characters. When it starts to read well, it is brilliant and brutal, but the film tightens everything up so well.

#1: Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, adapted as Let Me In by Matt Reeves

Sorry, I am not talking about the Swedish version that was directed by Tomas Alfredson. I only have seen Reeves’ Americanized adaption, so that is where we are going.

Lindqvist has the development of characters, a deeper narrative, and the violence to satisfy the horror fan in me. Reeves was able to take that to a more American audience by keeping the emotion and terror in this relationship between a boy and a vampire.

Reeves keeps it tighter, which in some ways hurts the film, but also enhances its experience. He makes it his own while maintaining the most essential ingredients to not step on Lindqvist’s masterpiece.

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5 Things About Borderlands That You (Probably) Never Knew

Borderlands 3 is ready to arrive, depending on your time zone you may already be playing or gearing up to jump into the long-awaited sequel. There is always a bit of information nobody knew that could have radically changed the game or gives some insight into its development. These facts will undoubtedly make you think differently about this cel-shaded shooter.

#5: Borderlands Taken Seriously?

The series has always taken a light-hearted approach to its characters and story while having some moments of seriousness. The first game is darker in tone compared to its sequels and the spin-off Telltale game, but it was meant to be even more serious.

The iconic aesthetic initially was more realistic, so was the narrative and personalities that inhabited the world. This shift in visuals caused rewrites and rerecordings of dialogue to fit the art style.

#4: Nathan Fillion Inspired Handsome Jack

Let’s all agree that the writing and Dameon Clarke’s performance makes Handsome Jack one of the greatest villains in history, across video games or any other medium. The inspiration for the character may surprise fans, it is Nathan Fillion.

The Firefly and Castle actor had an interview with Jimmy Kimmel. Something sparked in the minds of the writers when they watched this interaction to base the antagonist of Borderlands 2 on Fillion’s mannerisms. He was described as “charming and funny, but also slightly arrogant in a down-to-Earth kind of way,” and not to insult the star as a psychopath.

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Nathan Fillion speaking at the 2014 Phoenix Comicon. Image via Flickr/GageSkidmore

#3: Dedication to a Fan

Michael Mamaril, a 22-year-old fan of the games, passed away in Oct. 2011 due to cancer. To memorialize his dedication to Gearbox’s looter-shooter, they made him an NPC that hangs out in Sanctuary.

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Image via YouTube.com/AZxWOLFMANx

#2: How Ashly Burch Became Tiny Tina

Quite a few divisive characters lie in the Borderlands universe, Tiny Tina is one of them. The story behind her actress getting the part for this bloodthirsty girl is quite simple. Her brother Anthony wrote Borderlands 2, Pre-Sequel, and Tales from the Borderlands. Connections work, especially when it is family.

#1: David Eddings Getting to Become the Most Annoying Character

Clap Trap might be the most controversial video game character ever. Not because he says anything offensive, it is due to his annoying nature. You need a voice to give a headache to gamers, that is when you blame David Eddings.

The alleged abuse which left him to leave Gearbox and Claptrap behind is well documented, but not much has been on how the VP of business development became the dumb robot companion.

In a Rooster Teeth video, the company that Eddings now works, founder Burnie Burns talked with the former voice actor about his time at Gearbox Software. He gained voice acting experience from radio and working to fill in gaps during the development process at other studios. The character was described as an “afterthought” as the developers needed something to help guide the player in certain areas of the story, eventually landing this opportunity in Eddings’ lap.

When the Pre-Sequel came, the idea for Claptrap to be a playable character had emerged. Eddings suggested this was a bad idea as many people hated the little robot, yet the yellow moron with wheels is just as popular as he is despised. It went through, so did the multiple warnings to prepare players that being Claptrap for dozens of hours might be a bad thing to do to yourself.

Was there anything I missed? Give me any interesting trivia about the cel-shaded looter-shooter that I did not know about, try and surprise me if you can.

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8 Most Satisfying Headshots in Video Games

The ingredient for great gun mechanics in video games comes from the sound and overall feel of its impact. Headshots, in particular, are beyond satisfying as you get that one shot kill that gets signified with a ping, splat, or pop. I wondered which are the best of headshots, and these are what I came up with.

#8: Halo

No exploding head or any else that is violent in Halo. The first game in the series does have something which is its ragdoll as you snipe another player’s face. The spinning animation is a classic that makes this series special when getting that one perfect shot.

#7: The Last of Us

Naughty Dog not only delivered an emotionally exhausting story, but it also had the gameplay to back it up. While punches and shooting any part of the body had the right thud or juicy sound of flesh, its headshots were particularly enjoyable. It came mostly from the sound which was equal parts disgusting, violent, and dopamine inducing.

#6: Killing Floor

As Valve refuses to make games, especially a third entry to Left 4 Dead, Tripwire Interactive made the cooperative zombie-killing experience that I was craving. Blowing apart heads is gratifying, but doing it in slow motion makes it far better.

#5: Destiny

I can go on about the problems of the Destiny games, but the gunplay is superb. Handguns, shotguns, and assault rifles all have that weight and power to make up for the weaker elements. Exploding heads of enemies may not be too violent for this rated T sci-fi shooter, but it still manages to be just as delightful as the goriest of games in the genre.

#4: Sniper Elite

Sniping in any game is a popular choice of weaponry. It often highlights the brutality of the combat mechanics, and Sniper Elite is that in one experience.

X-rays and slow motion camera work make every bullet jaw-droppingly violent. Seeing teeth turn to shrapnel inside of someone’s skull, eyes bursting, and brains turning to goop never gets old for morbid players wanting realism and brutality.

#3: Fallout 3 

Fallout 3 marked the first FPS in the series. The new take on the titles that have been around since the late 90s took a turn which granted a new bloody experience. Blowing off limbs was one thing, but head explosions were another. Bethesda made these apocalyptic games its own with modern RPG mechanics and a combat system that holds up today.

#2: Resident Evil 4

Another sharp turn for a franchise came from Resident Evil 4. The undead shooter turned from fixed camera angels to the modern landscape of gaming with its over the shoulder perspective. Popping heads was not only satisfying but dangerous as infected villagers could have something to surprise players.

#1: Gears of War

The first game to shock me with its violence was Gears of War. Chainsawing through the locus army was enough to make anyone want to live out their Leatherface fantasies, but this went a step above. Headshot galore should be the nickname for the Xbox exclusive as most weapons can pop heads easily. The sound effects and gore make it impossible to outgun this sci-fi shooter.

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5 Wholesome Moments Involving Terrifying Metal Bands

Outsiders of the metal community always say how scary they find this music. Little do they know, plenty of bands contradict that in both their work and lifestyles. Groups like Cannibal Corpse are just everyday people with families, hobbies, and careers. So, I want to prove those haters wrong by showing a wholesome side of terrifying metal bands.

#5: George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher From Cannibal Corpse and Target

Corpsegrinder, the vocalist of the legendary death metal band Cannibal Corpse, has his favorite store like most people. No, it is not a taxidermy shop or butchery. It is Target, an American retail chain where you can get anything from electronics to essential clothing. The man has needs and can meet them by going to his local Target.

#4: Adam Nergal Darski From Behemoth and Yoga

Since defeating cancer, Nergal, the face of the Polish blackened death metal band Behemoth, does his best to take care of himself. The healthy musician took a turn for the worst when he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010. Now he regularly posts on Instagram of his delicious food and working out with yoga being one of his favorite methods.

#3: Phil Bozeman and His Dogs

One of the most brutal vocalists to come to the metal scene in the last 10 plus years has been Phil Bozeman from Whitechapel. His gutturals and low screams gave him a name in the genre. When he is not belting out roars that echo for miles, he spends times with his two dogs, Max and Coco.

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Shout out to all my single dads out there.

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#2: Corey Taylor is a Comedic Genius

The vocalist for Slipknot and Stone Sour might come off quite intimidating, especially when he puts on the mask for his nine-piece metal outfit. In reality, the guy has a great sense of humor. Read any of his books or watch some interviews to see he could easily be a comedian if he decides to quit music.

#1: Vincent Bennett Plays Rock Band

He might write some extraordinarily aggressive and sometimes offensive lyrics, but he does more wholesome things than that. After an interview, the vocalist of The Acacia Strain played Rock Band with his interviewer and her crew. On top of that, during the actual interview, Bennett drank from a juice box which was adorable.

Image via Flickr/Yonolatengo

10 Superhero Movies That Changed the Genre Entirely

Superhero movies dominate the industry, and with that power comes a risk of going stale. Things need a refreshing take to balance out the formulaic releases. From R rated comedies to the epic ensemble battles keeps the train running for comic book adaptions. These films changed the game for the better.

#10: Spider-Man (2002)

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy does not age well when looking back, even the first two that are beloved to this day. The first one to star Toby Maguire as the wall-crawling hero showed the world that these can be big-budget blockbusters that please fans, critics, and make a ton of money ($821 mil).

#9: X-Men (2000)

Sure, the X-Men movies are not good, especially some of the later ones like Dark Phoenix. The first two that were acclaimed back during their release do not hold up, just like Raimi’s Spider-Man. Coming out two years before Maguire swinging around New York, X-Men took its relatively low budget ($75 mil compared to Spider-Man‘s $139 mil) to get a solid cast for something to build up into its own universe. The MCU has its own 23 movie franchise, but the X-Mansion is home to a roster of characters who built up a 19 year run of adventures before the Avengers arrived, even if it mostly sucks.

#8: The Dark Knight (2008)

You can look at Batman Begins as a step up for the superheroes coming to the big screen, but The Dark Knight is a masterpiece of a film due to its score, cinematography, cast, and epic story, whether people want to turn their noses up at it for its genre. Christopher Nolan got a great Bruce Wayne/Batman out of Christian Bale, the first Harvey Dent/Two-Face that was given justice by casting Aaron Eckhart, and possibly the best Joker from the departed Heath Ledger.

The tone differs from anything before it. Building off of its predecessor, it is a dark, gritty crime drama that takes into account the source material. For people wanting that extra maturity to the comic book adaptions, this was the first to nail that execution for that demographic of fans.

The level of quality in the second entry in this trilogy sets the bar so high that only a few have been able to reach, and that is an argument many will disagree on. Even those films that can match The Dark Knight, none of them have hit that same feeling like it was when watching this for the first time.

#7: Iron Man (2008)

The MCU will get mentioned a lot here, and starting with the movie that kicked it all off before Disney even purchases Marvel came from Jon Favreau’s Iron Man. Many actors have had the perfect casting with their heroic roles, but it is hard to beat Robert Downey Jr., who brought the spotlight to a character that not everyone knew.

For today’s standard’s it might seem reasonably formulaic, but it was the first ingredient in that recipe. To get this trend moving, it needed to be standardized. Iron Man laid out the groundwork for more experimental films could come into the genre.

#6: The Avengers (2012)

The first genuinely epic ensemble to go to the screen unlike anything ever created came in 2012. The world thought it would end due to an ancient calendar; instead, it went from an invasion of aliens and Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Earth’s Mightiest Heroes had great success at the box office, but this cemented this franchise’s legacy.

Unlike X-Men, we get much better chemistry between characters and higher stakes that are felt. Moving forward, characters get fleshed out and have better dynamics between their partners in saving the world. This was the beginning, and we would not have these incredibly grand adventures with Infinity Stones and cosmic threats if it weren’t set up from The Avengers.

#5: Deadpool (2016)

Eleven years in the making, Ryan Reynolds fought Fox to bring this foul-mouthed hero to the big screen. The executives were not necessarily wrong as superheroes were meant for the whole family as the darkest it ever got was Nolan’s trilogy of Batman movies, and those were only PG-13. Bringing adult humor to a costumed crime-fighter seemed insane, and it worked to be one of the highest-grossing R rated films ever made, sealing the fate that adults can put the kids to bed to enjoy seeing someone save the world while cutting people in half and saying “fuck.”

#4: The Incredibles (2004)

An animated family movie that created its own unique heroes for people of all ages. Pixar created an iconic group of superpowered characters that gained a devoted following, despite waiting 14 years for a sequel.

The Incredibles showed you can step down the violence and mild language for a younger audience while still having success. This was a different landscape for the genre, but the sequel proved that things can always be worth the time investment.

#3: Logan (2017)

The most depressing superhero flick ever created. The ultimate sendoff for Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Xavier (Patrick Stewart) with this brutal final journey. Full of limbs getting chopped off and cursing, this is not for the kids to see their favorite heroes do.

Logan is my favorite by its emotional narrative. It tells something important about family and trauma. Nothing in the world of crime fighters wearing their spandex and underwear on the outside of their pants has gone this deep. With the reach these movies have, I hope more take a lesson from the storytelling from Jackman’s final run as the clawed member of the X-Men.

#2: Black Panther (2018)

The emphasis on African culture allowed for a level of diversity and appreciation that has not been seen in a mostly white genre. Black Panther opens the door for people of color, women, and the LGBT+ community to have their time to shine and stop future world-ending threats.

#1: Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame (2018/19)

I have to discuss both of these films as the final entry on this list because of their connection and what they brought to this massive genre.

Infinity War and Endgame did something unlike anything I have seen before, the number of main characters is immense. The first movie, in particular, is incredibly complex with its numerous stories and heroes. Narrative complications from the scattered Avengers from IW and the big final battle to defeat Thanos (Josh Brolin) in the ending of the Infinity Saga.

No story has ended or built up in this way before on film. 10 years of world-building, character development, and planting the seeds to unleash one of the greatest and most intimidating villains to be shown on the big screen. Captain America (Chris Evans), Tony Stark/Iron Man, and Thanos were all given the proper exit from the MCU along with plenty of other beginnings and endings to iconic members of the Avengers.

The third Avengers does something that was never done before, the protagonists lost. Watching the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes die, see the villain escape, and billions of people and aliens die around the galaxy is the ultimate loss. Ending IW that way was a punch to the threat unlike anything done by Marvel or any of its competition.

On paper, something of this scope should not work. Having dozens upon dozens of characters who all get a fair share amount of screen time sounds like a nightmare to orchestrate. Somehow, the Russo brothers who directed both films managed to piece everything together into a magnificent finale that fans have followed since 2008.

Future superhero movies, Marvel or not, can learn that anything is possible. A massive idea or a different tone should not intimidate anyone. With a seemingly endless supply of source material and characters to continue adapting comic books for nerds like me to devour.

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Ranking Every Stephen King Adaption From Worst to Best According to Rotten Tomatoes

Stephen King has terrified this planet for decades with horror’s most iconic novels like IT and The Shining. Bringing his ideas to the big and small screen have not always done well with some exceptions that can rival the quality of his original work. With IT Chapter 2 coming this week, let’s take a look through the plethora of adaptions from the author’s vast history of books.

Disclaimer: Not everything adapted has a rating on Rotten Tomatoes from critics, not audiences and for our purposes in this article that is how I am ranking these movies and shows, so some trash will slide.

#50: The Tommyknockers – 8%

#49: Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace – 11%

#48: Cell – 12%

#47: Graveyard Shift – 13%

#46: Thinner – 15%

#45: The Dark Tower – 16%

#44: Maximum Overdrive – 17%

#43: The Rage: Carrie 2 – 20%

#42: Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice – 22%

#41: Pet Semetary 2 – 24%

#40 (TIE): Bag of Bones and Sleepwalkers – 25%

#39: Riding the Bullet – 26%

#38: The Mangler – 27%

#37: Dreamcatcher – 29%

#36: Needful Things – 32%

#35 (TIE): A Good Marriage, Creepshow 2, and The Night Flier – 33%

#34 (TIE): The Lawnmower Man and Firestarter – 35%

#33: Children of the Corn – 36%

#32: Tales From the Darkside – 39%

#31: The Shining (TV Series) – 42%

#30: Rose Red – 45%

#29 (TIE): Secret Window and No Smoking – 46%

#28: Silver Bullet – 47%

#27: Hearts in Atlantis – 49%

#26 (TIE): The Langolries, Big Driver, and Carrie (2013) – 50%

#25: Pet Semetary (1989) – 52%

#24: Apt Pupil – 53%

#23: The Dark Half – 57%

#22: Pet Semetary (2019) – 58%

#21: IT (Miniseries) – 59%

#20: Cujo – 61%

#19: The Mist (TV Series) – 62%

#18: The Running Man – 64%

#17: Cat’s Eye – 67%

#16: Under the Dome – 69%

#15: Christine – 70%

#14 (TIE): The Mist and Creepshow – 72%

#13: Storm of the Century – 75%

#12: The Stand – 78%

#11 (TIE): 1408 and The Green Mile – 79%

#10: 11.22.63 – 80%

#9: Dolores Claiborne – 83%

#8: The Shining – 85%

#7: IT – 86%

#6: Salem’s Lot – 88%

#5: 1922 – 89%

#4 (TIE): Misery, The Shawshank Redemption, and The Dead Zone – 90%

#3 (TIE): Gerald’s Game and Stand By Me – 91%

#2: Mr. Mercedes – 93%

#1: Carrie (1976) – 94%

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10 Best Easter Eggs in Stranger Things

The third season of Netflix’s sci-fi horror love letter Stranger Things unleashed over a week ago and yet again it is filled with 80s Easter eggs. I went through each season to dish out my favorite references and hidden gems found in the show. No worries, no spoilers here, only fun details found in this nostalgic world.

#10: Alien References

Many movie franchises get a nod across all three seasons, and in the first year the show came out, a great shot gives some love to the 1979 classic, Alien. The lighting and camera work makes this egg come close to the eggs found in the iconic sci-fi horror flick.

This is not the only reference to the franchise. Plenty of shots are heavily inspired the Alien movies.

 

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Image via Netflix

 

#9: Dungeons and Dragons

The ultimate tabletop game to play in a basement back in the 80s, Dungeons and Dragons. The crew of friends spent much of their time playing when they were not avoiding death or the drama of school.

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Will (Noah Schnapp), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), and Dusty (Gaten Matarazzo) enjoying a campaign of D&D. Image via Netflix

#8: ET is Everywhere

The first season heavily dives into references to ET. The way Mike (Finn Wolfhard) hides Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) to giving her an extra girly disguise are just a few of the many times the Spielberg classic gets some love.

 

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Image via Netflix

 

#7: Evil Dead Poster

Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) has an awesome poster in his room which can be seen here and there. The poster in question is the original Evil Dead. When promoting season 2 with many twists on classic movie posters, Joyce (Winona Ryder) made an appearance as a demon controlled by the Necronomicon grabbed her.

When Eleven digs through the basement which reveals new information about Hopper (David Harbour), the whole scene’s atmosphere and cinematography recreate the iconic moment when the protagonists find the Book of the Dead in the Sam Raimi film.

#6: Video Games

The arcade in the first episode of season two has a plethora of old school games. Pac-Man, Galaga, and Dig Dug are only a few of the many that can be spotted.

 

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Image via Netflix

 

#5: Mad Max

The name of the first episode from the second season titled after the Mel Gibson post-apocalyptic action flick. The real reason is to introduce a new character, Max (Sadie Sink), but it is an easy and perfect way to wink to the audience.

 

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Image via Netflix

 

#4: The Goonies

Sean Astin’s beloved Bob has a similar arc to another movie he featured in, The Goonies. From translating the map, referencing pirate treasure, and the way he saves people’s lives from the monstrous creatures all take right from his role as Mikey.

 

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Image via Netflix

 

#3: Temple of Doom

Towards the middle of the second season, Hopper’s hat falls off of his head when in the upside-down. Pulling a Harrison Ford, he goes back for it. This might seem small, but The Duffer Brothers, the minds who created this universe, confirmed that it is indeed a reference to Indiana Jones.

 

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Image via Netflix

 

#2: The Terminator

The timeline gets more defined by releases of brand new movies, like James Cameron’s Terminator enhances the immersion of season two’s Oct. theme. If only a scene of the film or cameo from Schwarzenegger could have happened to complete this reference.

 

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Image via Netflix

 

#1: The Thing

The best pop culture tip of the hat goes to the poster found in Mike’s basement, The Thing. My favorite horror movie getting its time to shine in the background made this series complete for me back when I started watching the first season.

A clip gets shown when Scott Clarke and his significant other Jen are watching the film on VHS.

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A small glimpse at the poster in the background. Image via Netflix

The Netflix hit relishes its time period with subtle and blunt ways to give some love to the significant influences that helped shape the series. I know I missed out on plenty in this list, so was not mentioned that caught your attention?

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