Gaming. You know… in general.
When it comes to video games, I’m all over the place.
For example… over the last three months, I played all the way through South Park: The Stick of Truth and The Fractured But Whole. Then I was playing Need for Speed: Payback. Then I stopped to play Assassin’s Creed: Origins. After playing a pretty good chunk of that game, I started feeling guilty about having abandoned a Mass Effect: Andromeda playthrough and went back to that. Then I realized I was behind on SWTOR and went and played that. Then I wanted to play Wolfenstein 2, but decided to play through Wolfenstein: The New Order again first. I got almost to the end, then felt guilty about leaving AC:O hanging like that, and went back to Egypt. Then I got VR, and had to play all the VR as much as possible. Somewhere in there, there were a half-dozen other games (or more) that I played for varying lengths of time — I found myself playing Dead Island for a couple of hours one day, for example. I’m still playing an hour or two here and there on my latest BioShock Infinite playthrough. I started playing Watch Dogs again. I restarted Dead Rising 3. There was Observer, and Kholat, and I started playing Fallout 3 AND 4 again. Then I focused on Skyrim VR, because, you know… that’s why I got VR in the first place — Job Simulator, Farpoint, Rush of Blood, and Accounting+ notwithstanding. Then I had an idea for a new SWTOR character, and anyway, I needed to check on the stuff I’m selling. Then I went back to AC:O, because they’re doing what with Final Fantasy?! (Full disclosure: I haven’t played a Final Fantasy game since… I don’t know when. It was probably on the PS1.) Then I slipped and picked up Persona 5.
And I still haven’t actually started playing Wolfenstein 2. Or so much as touched Death of the Outsider.
I do not have a short attention span. I have moods.
And I always finish games. Eventually. Unless they suck.
I need to get this under control before Red Dead Redemption 2 hits, because unless they manage to totally eff it up, I anticipate that it will bring all the rest of my gaming to a screeching halt. And there’s Far Cry 5, and they’re remaking System Shock…
Speaking of watching stuff…
I still haven’t gotten fully caught up with Mr. Robot. Or Daredevil. Or any of the other Netflix Marvel shows. I still haven’t watched the final season of Da Vinci’s Demons, because the end of the second season fucked me up, and I’m just not ready yet. I’m also still working through the first season of Vikings.
I’m waaay behind, obviously, and I’m clearly not the first person to notice this, but… the physical similarities between Ragnar on Vikings and Jax Teller on Sons of Anarchy are eerie enough to be jarring. Just when I get totally sucked into an episode, Ragnar gives me Jax face and messes up my brain. There are other similarities, but… nah. That face.
And now, the thing.
Ok, all that stuff up there? That was all just fluff. I mean, yeah, it’s stuff I was thinking about, but really, it was just a warm up. Or maybe an easing-in. Because boy, I’m just insanely irritated today.
IT became available digitally, so I finally sat down and watched it. And part of me wishes that I hadn’t.
Here’s the thing.
As a movie, it was probably fine.
As an adaptation, it sucked ass.
Seriously, I can’t imagine why I haven’t heard more complaining about this. It can’t just be me. It’s not just that they changed things, because they always change things, it’s that they a) changed things for no good goddamned reason that I can see, and b) they made offensive changes. There were definitely evil clowns involved, and I’m not talking about Pennywise.
*Even worse… rant ahead.
Let’s start with… why the fuck are Mike’s parents dead? Why is he living with his grandfather? Why is he living on a sheep farm, instead of a vegetable farm? Just so they can give us cringey sheep-killing scenes? As far as I can tell, they fucked Mike up all to hell and back because… because slingshots are dated? Guess what? I was a kid in the 80s. And guess what else? I had a slingshot. Not a toy. A real one. It was like they completely changed his character so that they could cut the slingshot out and use a much more familiar weapon… a cattle gun. Because we all see those every day, right? RIGHT?!
Or maybe it was because they didn’t want to waste time making silver slugs. Ok, fine, just keep the slingshot and skip that part. Or maybe they didn’t want to put the giant-ass bird in there. Hey, we’ll kill off his parents and make that the subject of Mike’s fear! Which is just stupid. Kids can be afraid of anything, there doesn’t have to be a backstory.
And why did they give Mike’s most important contribution to the group — the history of Derry, and thus, the history of It — to Ben? And why was Ben the new kid in town all of a sudden? Ok, so, we killed off Mike’s parents, so now Mike can’t share his father’s interest in the town’s history (because he’s dead), so we’ll make Ben the new kid just so we can give him a reason to look into all this history business, because… BECAUSE WHY?! Black kids can’t be smart and interested in history? WTF? Taking that away from Mike completely fucks up his entire future. Mike = historian = librarian = guy who stays behind, remembers everything, and keeps watch in case the cycle begins again. If Mike’s a sheep farmer in Part II, I’m going to blow chunks.
And Beverly. Oh, Beverly. First, where the hell was her mother? She was just… missing. Ok, fine, I can deal with that. What I can’t deal with is the bullshit they pulled with her. Beverly was the dead shot, ok? She was the one who got the weapon, because she was the one with the best aim and steadiest hands. In other words, in a group full of boys, she was the one they were counting on to kill It for them. Not only are we going to take the weapon away from her, we’re going to… yeah, let’s get her kidnapped! That’s why they go into the sewers — to save her!
Because that’s what happens to girls. They get kidnapped, and then they have to be saved by boys.
Objectively, IT was probably a pretty decent horror movie. Subjectively, I couldn’t stop being utterly confused and/or disgusted by some of the changes. I’m prepared for things like Beverly not having a mother, or Henry’s father suddenly turning into a cop, or stuff like the Standpipe and Stan’s birds being cut entirely. But that whole bit where the Losers turn against each other was utter bullshit, in the same way not having them all go into the house together was utter bullshit. The whole point of the group was that they worked together, and stuck together. Eddie’s arm getting broken by It, instead of by the bullies when he was alone, was bullshit, because it undermined the entire point of Eddie’s arm getting broken.
As usual, you could try to blame it on time constraints… and, as usual, that doesn’t really work for me. No, you can’t faithfully translate even half of a book as long as IT into two hours of screen time. But you could get a hell of a lot closer if you cut out the shit you just made up for no apparent reason. Like everything having to do with Stan’s bar mitzvah. Not only was it not in the book, it didn’t really serve any purpose in the movie, either. Cut out the bits when Ben is talking to anybody about being new in town… there, we saved more minutes. Cut out everything having to do with what’s-her-name signing Eddie’s cast in the drug store and, well… you could have had the actual scene where the Losers actually sign the cast. Imagine that! Or… wait, get this… you could have left Georgie’s body on the street to be found by a neighbor, like it was supposed to be, and then cut out every last bit of bullshit where people talked about him being missing, and all of the bullshit bits about Bill obsessing about looking for him.
I had this same problem with the goddamned Lord of the Rings movies. First, they justify making changes by complaining that they can’t possibly film everything in the book(s). Sure. I get that. Cool. Then they completely invalidate their own argument by making a bunch of crap up and filming that shit, instead. No. Nuh uh. Not cool.
I really try to go into a movie that was based on a book with an open mind. I do. I try to accept that some things will be left out, and other things might be changed. Case in point? I didn’t have a problem with the Harry Potter movies. There were things I wish they could have included, sure, but as a whole? I’m pretty happy with what we got. No ranting needed. Bits might have been changed, or left out, but the spirit was intact.
IT, on the other hand, pushed my bullshit meter into the red zone, and that made it impossible for me to let it go and just enjoy the movie. I wish it hadn’t, but… there is some shit I will not eat. Transforming Mike from a thoughtful historian-slash-farmer’s kid into an orphan whose only real contribution was to bring the gun? Transforming Beverly from the cool hand they were counting on into a damsel in distress? That, my friends, is inedible bullshit.