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I saw Less Than Zero yesterday and...

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I saw Less Than Zero yesterday and...

Old 06-17-05, 12:13 AM
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I saw Less Than Zero yesterday and...

I saw Less Than Zero yesterday and...

Let me start from the beginning... So I was thinking of something to do about 2:00 in the morning about 2 days ago and I thought hmm... I'll read a book... I look around and see Less Than Zero, I bought it from a thrift store about a year ago for a quarter, I'ts short I'll read it. I read and I loved it.

I went up to Best Buy and bought the movie for $6.99 on DVD. I thought, I could rent it or I could buy it for not too much more.

I watched it last night, and I'm pretty excited before I watch it because I liked the book so much.

To cut the story a little shorter I am now very angry and It's an anger I don't think I have ever felt before. The movie was nothing like the book. I know, I know... I knew there were going to be differences and I was even prepared for some big ones but not a completely different story and by completely I mean COMPLETELY... Is there anyone else out there that feels what I am feeling right now... Please don't let me be the only one, though I have a feeling that I'm not.
Old 06-17-05, 12:37 AM
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I felt the same way after seeing American Psycho

Meanwhile I actually saw Less Than Zero before reading the book. But I have to say after reading the book,the film was even more laughable than previouslly(which was still laughable!).


The big things wrong with the film are as you said,they completely changed the plot around. To make things even worse, it's too preachy and made for tv like with every cliche in the book(no not the 'book'...figuratively speaking here),and just feels forced and dryly inoffensive as possible.

Also Clay has been turned into a pathetic goodie two shoes clean cut straight guy,compared to the bisexual depressed/introspective person he was in the novel. This leads to some serious laughs in the film!

Oh yeah,the studio imposed happy ending was really lame.

The only good things I can say about the film is Robert Downeys performance,and a few sporadically good sequences here and there in the film.

It is mostly best viewed as a 'what not to do' adaption,and offers some amusing moments from how play it safe the material is handled. So for $6,it's not a bad buy, and I am thinking of picking it up sometime myself.

I actually own two posters for the film. Why? Well I liked the artwork
Old 06-17-05, 12:39 AM
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Oh yeah and this and American Psycho definitely need to be remade....the right way
Old 06-17-05, 10:06 AM
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Yeah, American Psycho needs inner monologues via voiceover every five minutes of Christian Bale discussing how the room he's in is decorated, and what everyone around him is wearing.
Old 06-17-05, 02:57 PM
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I haven't read LTZ, but I have hated the movie ever since I first saw it. I don't remember much about it now, other than hoping that Downey Jr.'s character would just die, already.

Presumably in the book, you actually felt some sympathy for that character?
Old 06-17-05, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by andicus
Presumably in the book, you actually felt some sympathy for that character?
In the book you did feel sorry for him because you didn't really see what he was into and it made you think and not knowing what was going on was a lot scarier than actually knowing, he really isn't in the book very much, maybe 10 pages or so, he's talked about mostly. The only time he is really heard from in the book is when he wants Clay to give him money and towards the end when you find the most out about him. You really do feel sorry for him because it doesn't make him look like a screw up, like the movie does, the movie just makes it look like he threw his life away and doesn't care too much about how he's screwed up.
Old 06-17-05, 09:58 PM
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The Unbearable Lightness of Being: though not completely different, it also wasn't anwhere near as faithful to the novel as it should've been (and I'm not even referring to the "unfilmable" philosophical and political commentary, but to the chunks of the fundamental storyline and the entire linear structure that was toyed with). The movie was still very good, but in a way wholly different from the novel (which was superior in every way).

-JP
Old 06-18-05, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Nosebleed
Yeah, American Psycho needs inner monologues via voiceover every five minutes of Christian Bale discussing how the room he's in is decorated, and what everyone around him is wearing.

No we don't,but there were some other great inner monologues which truly paint a larger scope of the world it takes place in and Batemans thoughts on things(some were pretty thought provoking..and others immensely disturbing!). But the film practically omits it all along with many other things.

The stuff with the overflowing of bums on the streets would have made for some great haunting visuals. Along with the charecters attitudes towards the bums(which is highly offensive..but important in the satire of it all). But in the film,we get one bum,hardly seeing the scope of 'excessive 80's culture' and the affects on the less fortunate.

I would say the film is jusy barely slightly better than the Less Than Zero adaption,but still pretty damn mediocre.

It's not even on the level with Kubricks The Shining which while a completely different animal to the novel. It is at least atmospheric with enough positives to make me like it as it's own terms. I can not say the same for the AP adaption at all(besides praising Bale for a good performance).

Meanwhile I did like The Rules of Attraction immensely despite being very different from the novel. It at least affected me in almost the same way as I react to Ellis novels once I really get into them and sucked into this bleak world until the bitter end.
Old 06-18-05, 02:17 AM
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I disagree with the slams of the film version of LTZ. This is one of my favorite films from that era. Although I enjoyed the book, its structure doesn't lend itself to being filmed. I think you could open the book to any random page, read to the end, then start at the beginning and read to where you originally began, and the experience would be the same as reading from cover to cover. There's no real beginnning, middle or end to the book. People come and go, mentioned and disappear, a random, shiftlessness, and blurring of events, parties, sexual encounters, and with no real through line or arc to hang a screenplay on.

As for cleaning up the character Clay: I think audiences want to have some character that they can identify with, who can lead them through the story. To make every character completely unredeeming just disengages the audience. I saw this film over winter break from my freshman year at college in L.A., and remember thinking even then that a story like this would only play in smalltown America if there was an "outsider" character that the audience could identify with. Clay gets some distance form the partying HS crowd with his trip east to school, and comes back seeing his HS friends with different eyes.

I guess I saw this film at a particular time in my life that resonated with me in some way. A guy from rural TN attending college in L.A.--quite an eye-opener. I suppose if I didn't have that L.A. experience, I might not have believed that people behaved and lived that way. But my college experience exposed me to quite a few people similar to those in LTZ, unfortunately.

Robert Downey, Jr., next to CHAPLIN, did his best work in this film, and Jamie Gertz & Andrew McCarthy had more weight to their performances than just about any other work I've seem from them. And Spader? Is there anyone else so slimy?

Oh, and The Bangles cover of Hazy Shade of Winter.... as much as I admire the original Simon & Garfunkel version, the remake is terrific. And Roy Orbison's contribution played over the end credits ain't bad, either.

As with many things of the late '80's, this film may be more style than substance, but I remember it more clearly than almost any other film of that time in my life (Say Anything is lodged in my mind for all time, too.)

I need to re-read the book and see if my opinion of it has changed. But I honestly don't see how it could have been filmed in a way that faithfully retained it structure...
Old 08-07-13, 04:10 AM
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Re: I saw Less Than Zero yesterday and...

Can someone please explain to me how they are going to have Robert Downey, Jr. in the film sequel if his character, Julian, dies in this movie?
Old 08-07-13, 07:08 AM
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Re: I saw Less Than Zero yesterday and...

There is no movie being made of Imperial Bedrooms.

Read the book and you can see how they could maybe do it.
Old 08-07-13, 08:28 AM
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Re: I saw Less Than Zero yesterday and...

The only good thing about Less Than Zero: the Bangles' cover of "Hazy Shade of Winter" on the soundtrack.
Old 08-07-13, 10:29 AM
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Re: I saw Less Than Zero yesterday and...

Originally Posted by Julie Walker View Post
Oh yeah and this and American Psycho definitely need to be remade....the right way
Personally i really liked the movie version and preferred it to the book. I read the book first and found it hard work to get through. I know the writing style is specific for the Batemen character and those chapters on the music of Phil Collins, Whitney Houston and the others were demonstrating his personality, but i found the whole book tedious and a chore to get through.

The movie version i felt handled the black humor very well and did a great job of inserting aspects like the musical chapters into the storyline without detracting from it.

Been on a long time since i saw Less Than Zero, and never read the book. I do remember feeling the movie was laughable in its attempt to be serious.
Old 08-07-13, 11:21 AM
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Re: I saw Less Than Zero yesterday and...

I was disappointed that both the book & the movie were completely different from the Elvis Costello song.
Old 08-07-13, 11:40 AM
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Re: I saw Less Than Zero yesterday and...

Originally Posted by Mr. Flix View Post
The only good thing about Less Than Zero: the Bangles' cover of "Hazy Shade of Winter" on the soundtrack.
This, x 100. I read the book when it came out and loved it. Hated the movie. Not because it was nothing like the novel. It was just a terrible film. And come on, Jamie fucking Gertz at Blair!?
Old 08-07-13, 12:26 PM
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Re: I saw Less Than Zero yesterday and...

I believe Bret Easton Ellis novels are inherently impossible to adapt to the screen. I haven't read American Psycho yet, but the movie is on all the time on cable, and I get a kick out of watching it.

The novel Less Than Zero is amazing. The movie isn't terrible, its just is nothing like the book.
Old 08-07-13, 12:49 PM
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Re: I saw Less Than Zero yesterday and...

American Psycho doesn't need to be remade. Yes, the book has a lot more things happen, but for an adaptation it is excellent. Mary Harron was true to the spirit of the book and followed the story as closely as possible, and even found a clever way to insert the music reviews.
Old 08-07-13, 01:12 PM
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Re: I saw Less Than Zero yesterday and...

The only thing the LTZ film got right was the photography. The film has a great look. Everything else is a mess.
Old 08-07-13, 01:54 PM
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Re: I saw Less Than Zero yesterday and...

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
The only thing the LTZ film got right was the photography. The film has a great look. Everything else is a mess.
This I will agree on. Had a great look to it. Liked the movie poster too. But I would never sit through that film again. In addition to my comment above on Gertz, I'd like to add Andrew McCarthy. Who has the emotions and acting range of a door knob.

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