Saturday, November 17, 2012

Friday at the Movies: Going Postal

Read this, it's amazing!
I really need to change the title of these posts, they haven't landed on a Friday in weeks. I'm thinking of something more along the lines of "Now Playing," but it will take a bit of work to change up the button... And I don't feel like it at the moment.

What I do feel like doing at the moment is talking about something I watched on Netflix this week: the two episode mini-series (if two episodes a mini-series makes...), Going Postal, based on a Terry Pratchett novel of the same name.

The series takes place on the world of Discworld, which is a crazy fantasy universe with Golems, Goblins, Trolls, Werewolves, Vampires, and the whole gamut. It is campy, satirical, and all around hilarious. Terry Pratchett's writing is phenomenal, and I personally need to catch up on my reading of the series, there are a ton of novels.

The first one I ever read, however, was Going Postal, which is about a con man who gets caught, hung until nearly dead, and then "saved" at the last minute by the tyrant of the city Ankh-Morpork to be reborn as the Postmaster of the city's defunct Post Office. The con man, Moist von Lipwig, is an incredibly well written character who is excessively charismatic and very quick on his feet, while the tyrant, Lord Vetinari, is a man with plans for his city.

The movie follows the book VERY closely. In fact, I tried to hunt down my copy to see if they got ANYTHING wrong, beyond not giving the grand scale that a novel can give. Unfortunately, I couldn't find my copy, which means I lent it to someone. Woe is me. Even so, Terry Pratchett's funny and intelligent writing really came through in both episodes. I was a bit weary at first; the Golems look REALLY stupid in this. That being said, I still love Mr. Pump and think the Golems got fair treatment after all. I think the ending was altered a touch, but not enough that it would matter.

I laughed out loud several times. Moist is the quintessential witty, roguish protagonist, and the characters he interacts with are perfect backboards, especially Lord Vetinari and Adora Belle, Moist's love interest in the film.

Mr. Pump and Moist
I... legitimately have no complaints about the movie. Even the campy creatures (the Golems, the Banshee) remind me of the on-the-nose style Pratchett writes with. And the story, despite some of the ridiculous occurrences and characters, still manages to be serious and suspenseful when appropriate.

I'd rate the movie a 9/10, which is about as high as I rate a movie. The book was better, but only due to the scope of Discworld you can uncover with over a hundred pages of words versus two hour-and-a-half segments. I want to see more of Pratchett's work on film, though I'm concerned about some of the titles (seriously, Hogfather is a Discworld novel/film?). I haven't read enough of Discworld to know if it's really the characters in Going Postal that make me enjoy it so much. That being said, I will strongly suggest this book and the film versions -- I'll get back to you when I get the chance to read some more!

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