Were I to make Kerouac's classic novel into a film, first and foremost, I'd set it in the current day. Sal Paradise, played by the ever-youthful Tobey Macquire sets out from New York City, literally from the Ground Zero site, to "find" what's left of the American ideal in a time of economic depression, war in the Middle East, and a general lack of faith in mankind. Accompanying Sal is the anti-authoritarian, Dean Moriarity, played by Viggo Mortensen. Sal and Dean crisscross the country stopping in the ravaged remains of New Orleans, racing to avoid 1000 plus acre fires in California, and ultimately losing their car at gunpoint in Las Vegas. Like the novel, Sal finds some happiness, but in the end, is mainly left dejected by modern America.
Too dark and apocalyptic? What would you do different?
Recently discovered diaries of Benjamin Franklin’s daughter tell of her forbidden romance with the young Afghani who helped with Franklin’s early efforts to harness electricity.
A group of American expatriates settles in a quiet Mexican village, where they enjoy spacious adobe houses and the tolerance of the natives but eschew the larger crustacean food sources after investigating the ethics of boiling a creature alive in order to enhance their own gustatory pleasure.
Captain Jack Aubrey, accused of fathering a child out of wedlock, is relieved of his command. Stephen Maturin, doctor and spy, returns to England after a two year separation from Aubrey.
Will Aubrey reveal the mother of his child?
Can Maturin have his friend's command reinstated?
And why is Aubrey wearing that ridiculously large "A" on his pantaloons?
Sun Zu comments on and criticizes the overall effectiveness of battlefield strategy in the Napoleonic Wars.
Were the legendary Sun Zu to show up during Napoleon's 1812 Russian Campaign, what advice would he offer both the French and the Russian armies?
One of Zu's most repeated maxims is "All warfare is based on deception". Does this quote resonate with Tolstoy's plot?
Can you directly apply any other of Zu's rules of war to Tolstoy's masterpiece?
Polish Anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski lives among and observes a group of "stoners", in an effort to understand their habits. He comes to the conclusion that Freud is wrong, and that all of these people are "d@#chebags".
I can't even begin to imagine how one would go about adapting the book to film. Can you?
Does Lee turn to CGI a la The Hulk?
In 1986, the Soviet Union and Cuba invade the United States of America; unfortunately, they brought something even deadlier with them... A plague created by the Chernobyl meltdown which causes the reanimation of the dead. Within a matter of days, the entire soviet invasion force succumbs to the virus and begins preying upon human flesh across the country.
The story follows a small group of suburban Milwaukee survivors who are on the run from their undead would-be foreign conquerors. After running low on ammunition and supplies, they decide to barricade themselves in a downtown shopping mall and defend the facility until help arrives.... If they just wait long enough, help will surely arrive...
Dr. Funkenstein constructs an enormous tower to harness the pure power of funk music with the intent of reviving the dead. Following his succsessful completion of the creature called "Funkenstein," the doctor hosts a party for fellow eccentric scientists. Unfortunately, the party is cut short when massive amounts of hairspray in the air ignites following a lava-lamp mishap on shag carpeting. While the doctor and friends are busy partying, nearby villagers learn of the existence of the funk monster and wish to punish Funkenstein for what they see as an abomination. To that end, they have sworn to tear the roof off Tower Funkenstein in order to force Funkenstein to give up the funk. Meanwhile, as his party guests attempt to evade the collapsing building, Funkenstein attempts to save his greatest creation during a freaked out fantastic voyage of action and danger.
This is the strange story of a young man, a future Harvard alumnus of some note, who grows up on a remote island (in a city of eight million people, twenty-six percent of whom share his ethnicity), but is forced to attend the elite Punahou Academy on the island's Upper East Side where he experiences racial troping when he's frequently mistaken for the son of a U.N. diplomat.
Every summer he and his brother are shipped off to the family's house in the black Hamptons, where he learns to connect with what Toni Morrison, in describing Bill Clinton, called "almost every trope of blackness": working for minimum wage at fast-food joints, learning to "play the dozens," and engaging in gunplay. In fact, when he gets a job at the ice cream parlor he's required to ask each customer, "Would you like any allegorical implications with that?"
The family is extremely strange too. His father chose a career in podiatry because, and I quote, "All the black people I knew, they had some bad feet," eerily echoing the sentiments of a former Secretary of Agriculture. His mother, a New Yorker and future corporate lawyer who would one day inherit one of her parents' two summer homes, seems to recall getting on the grapevine "to spread the word" when the TV sitcom "Julia," starring Diahann Carroll, premiered in 1968, that memorable year.
Finally, it must be said that this is The Autobiographical Fourth Novel, not The Autobiographical First Novel, however, it was once widely believed that The Autobiographical Second Novel had already been written, with its Harvard-like setting and it's main character, a young journalist who works for a (Village Voice-like?) New York City tabloid.
I give it three stars, a solid "good" rating. And thanks again to B & N and the group!