Facebook Actor Game: James Franco

Like many things on Facebook, this game has waxed and waned in popularity over the years, and, for whatever reason; I never participated until just recently. Essentially, it functions kind of like a chain letter. Someone mentions who asked them and if you like the status you’re assigned an actor by the author of said post.

In my first time playing I was assigned James Franco, which is a pretty interesting choice, and not just because he’s already in the running for Entertainer of the Year this year. So I figured I’d share my thoughts in something slightly larger than an Facebook post here. Also, if you’re so inclined you can like The Movie Rat’s Facebook page here.

Movie I Loved: This is the End

This is the End (2013, Sony Pictures)

It’s too early to tell if this film really is a game-changer, however, what can be said is that it’s a fantastically executed concept and uproariously funny. Crass and immature, yes, but funny too.

Movie I liked: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011, 20th Century Fox)

As the above linked-to review supports, I did like the film. I can’t say that I slammed him for this one but it seemed to be one of his disconnected parts though. Those, unfortunately, do come around from time to time.

Movie I hated that I liked: Pineapple Express

Pineapple Express (2008, Columbia)

I interpreted this one as kind of meaning overrated. There’s no so-bad-it’s-good in his works, those are rare. This movie is OK but no big whoop like some made it out to be.

Movie I hated: Spider-Man

Spider-Man (2002, Columbia)

This selection has very little to do with Franco and a lot to do with the effects I never liked, the casting and the story that didn’t get me to engage at all.

Movie(s) I keep meaning to see but haven’t yet: 127 Hours, Howl

127 Hours (2010, Fox Searchlight)

I really wanted to see 127 Hours in the year it was released. Essentially, it would’ve been just to see him. Unfortunately, that never happened. Same story for Howl except that I was anticipating that a bit more as a film.

Movie(s) I can’t wait to see: Spring Breakers, The Little Prince, The Sound and the Fury

Spring Breakers (2013, A24)

Spring Breakers has a lot of hype for his part so I’d like to see it. The last two titles are if they happen, obviously as they are in development and pre-production respectively. If he get to tackle The Sound and the Fury as a director I’d want to see that. However, even more intriguing to me, albeit another animated version, would be a The Little Prince. It’s a book I’ve read in three languages so any new version is something I look forward to.


I was glad to have participated in this game. At times we seem to always be in the present or thinking about the future, therefore it was good to do a little retrospective.

10 Keys to a Better Life as a Fanboy: 8. It Won’t Change a Thing

Jeremy Sumpter and Rachel Hurd-Wood in Peter Pan (Universal)

This series of articles is designed to help you, the fan, try and divorce yourself from your attachment to source material and judge a film on its own merits and not in comparison to another work. These tips come from my own experience. I hope they are helpful.

The problem I think a lot of people have, and it’s a nasty trap that I’ve seen ensnare many, is that people seem to think that films are somehow definitive; as if that’s the final word on the work and that’s how it will be remembered for all eternity. While it’s true in a theoretical sense that film may be the most concrete and immutable art it by no means claims to be the coda, furthermore the verdict on the worth of a given piece of narrative.

Your favorite book or comic is being adapted into a film and you are pissed? Why bother? What for? I’ll explain why and this even works for remakes to an extent. It still doesn’t change an iota of the written piece that you love so dearly. If you disliked the mini-series based on Stephen King’s It the words in your copy won’t smear.

That’s an extremely hyperbolic example but surely you catch my drift. It’s all about perception and those can change as much as anything. So while it will be next to impossible for the film adaptation of The Catcher in the Rye to match the book in terms of acclaim I won’t deny it’d be interesting to see.

Not only is it waste of your ire to rail against an adaptation of something you love, it also is to an extent pointless, that piece you hold so dear is still there.

I’ve seen The Little Prince butchered on film. It’s still one of my favorite books and I can always turn to it and know that the story will turn out in my head just the way I see it. Just the way I interpret Exupéry’s words.

And that’s another thing: every adaptation is just an interpretation of a director’s vision regardless of how involved a studio is. It is by no means definitive, lest you agree, it’s just a variation on a theme. I personally think P.J. Hogan perfected Peter Pan and Spike Jonze got Where The Wild Things Are, others may disagree.

We all have baggage; it’s best to check yours before entering the auditorium lest it weigh you down.