Monday, February 20, 2012
To The Movies: Rodrick Rules (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #2)
When a storyline from a book is turned into a movie, the movie becomes its own text. The basic storyline may be the same, but when changes are made in order to fit the movie within a time limit or to highlight an element or theme that the people involved in the movie feels is important—they make the story their own. I will focus these features on movies made based on books I have read—I want to look beyond whether I think the movie is better or worse than the book. I want to appreciate and review the movie as a companion to the book.
Genre: Comedy, Family
Actors: Zachary Gordon, Devon Bostick, and Robert Capron
Director: David Bowers
Scriptwriter: Gabe Sachs, Jeff Judah, and Jeff Kinney
Date DVD Released: June 21, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Info: IMDB | Website
Order Online: Amazon.com
Rating: 3 stars
Borrowed movie from the library.
In A Nutshell:
Overall, I felt this movie was much more laugh-out-funny than the first which made it much more enjoyable for everyone in my family. The message of the importance of family was clear but not so overdone that it distracted from the overall fun of the movie. I may not rush out to watch this movie again, but I would not avoid it either.
I appreciated that the movie changed the overall focus slightly by using two different family outings to frame the story. In the beginning, the family is going to the roller skating rink together. In the ending, the family is going to the talent show together. This framing made it clear that the emphasis was the family.
However since this thematic focus was different from the previous movie, I felt this movies lacked continuity from the first to the second. For instance, where was Angie Steadman? For a character who had been a major force in Greg's story in the first movie, I am not sure I saw her even one time in the second movie. Which made me question why the movie creators had made her such a prominent part of the first movie if they had not intended to continue that?
My favorite scene taken from the book into the movie had to be the party--more specifically the bathroom door. The entire sequence from when Greg and Rodrick changed the door out, to when the father tried to lock the door, to when the mother told Rodrick that sometimes the time she locks herself in the bathroom is the only privacy she has all day (and thus she knows there was a lock on that door) left me laughing out loud. Those moments alone made the movie as a whole worth watching.
The moment that absolutely broke my heart was when Rodrick told Greg he may be his brother but he would never be his friend after Rodrick found out that their mother knew about the party. After all the time they had spent together and Rodrick's tutoring Greg on the fine art of getting away with doing as little as possible (the philosophy that Rodrick lived his life by), I was crushed. And I felt that that emotion came through so much stronger and more effectively in the movie than it had in the book.
The next movie coming out is Dog Days (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #3) which comes out in August 2012. But the Dog Days books is the fourth in the series, so I need to read the next couple of books before August: