This is topic Jumper, with spoilers in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
I have not yet seen the movie. But the book it's based on is one of my favorites, and from what I'm seeing in the reviews I'm going to be very, very annoyed.

Davy, in the books, is earnest, introspective, shy around women, and generally a nice guy who can teleport and robs a bank exactly once, which he remains guilty about. Davy in the movie, apparently, is shallow, womanizing, and robs banks for pocket change.

I can live with the addition of mythology involving a race of jumpers and paladins who kill them, and I can live with Hollywooding up Davy's beginnings and how he met Millie, but changing Davy's character takes away the whole point and worth of the story.

I'll probably see it this weekend, when I can avoid the races. But I suspect I'll be gritting my teeth. Anyone seen it yet?
Posted by 0Megabyte (Member # 8624) on :
Wait, there was a book?

To me it just looked like a rather mindless Hollywood action movie starring a group of rather cookie-cutter Generation Y twenty-somethings and Samuel L. Jackson with white hair.

Oh, and some cool special effects. It looked like it might even be a bit of fun.

I suppose, never even hearing of the book, and putting my targeting somewhere between The Brothers Grimm (may Ledger rest in peace) and, say... Transformers, in quality.

i.e., potentially entertaining, in the mild SFXy sorta way.
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
I enjoyed the book but it's not a favorite. I think the movie looks fun.
Posted by Icarus (Member # 3162) on :
I love the book. Gould is one of my favorite authors. I am very worried.
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
I think I read the book, although it is jumbled in my head with The Time Traveler's Wife.
Posted by Godric 2.0 (Member # 11443) on :
My film critic friends have had very negative impressions. I haven't seen it myself. Nor have I read the book.
Posted by 0Megabyte (Member # 8624) on :
Steven Gould?

I know another Steven Gould, but he's one of the main proponents (well, was; he's dead now) of punctuated equilibrium, in evolution.

He seemed to use his middle name "Jay" inbetween. It's not the same person, yes?
Posted by JonHecht (Member # 9712) on :

Check out the cover.
Posted by dean (Member # 167) on :
I went and saw the movie last night without any knowledge of the book (or even that there was a book). As a person who knows nothing of the book, I found the movie good, but disappointing. I was disappointed that they spent no time at all explaining the rules of jumping so that at various times through the movie, someone does something, and you're left going, "Since when could they do THAT?" Also, the movie ended with about a bajillion loose ends that just scream sequel and that made me feel like they just randomly ended the movie in the middle without bothering about an ending. I'd like to try out the books to see if I like them better, but if there is a sequel, I will probably go see it
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
The book is largely about the limitations of teleportation, and the author is fairly careful about remaining consistent.
Posted by Uprooted (Member # 8353) on :
0Megabyte, I'm pretty sure that's Stephen Jay Gould. I didn't google it, but I had the same initial reaction.
Posted by rollainm (Member # 8318) on :
I saw this last night, but only because there was a three hour wait at Carrabba's and we had nothing else to do to pass the time.

It was bearable. That's the best I can say about it, really - it wasn't so bad that we felt like leaving before it was over. In fact, I kept thinking the entire time that it just might get better if I kept watching. But alas, it did not. There were a lot of good moments, some pretty cool effects, a few jokes and gags that didn't reek of cheese. But the plot was nonexistent, and the story was just plain convoluted. I had no prior knowledge of an original book, but if it's anything like the limited description Chris gave, I don't see how the author couldn't be pissed.
Posted by Icarus (Member # 3162) on :
That author, based on his blog, isn't too pissed because he knew he had no control over the project, but the money from the film option has allowed him to write full-time. And it has brought him a good deal of exposure.


They both have the middle name Jay, but one is Steven and one is Stephen. And they're not the same guy. Stephen Jay Gould, the scientist, is deceased, I believe.
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
Originally posted by JonHecht:

Check out the cover.

Wow! Publisher's Weekly really liked it!
Posted by Icarus (Member # 3162) on :
Originally posted by Icarus:
They both have the middle name Jay, but one is Steven and one is Stephen. And they're not the same guy. Stephen Jay Gould, the scientist, is deceased, I believe.

This turns out to be mistaken. Weird. I think I've been calling him Steven Jay Gould forever. (Well, since I read Jumper, anyway.) I guess I'd heard the other name enough times that I couldn't see "Steven Gould" without my brain inserting a Jay in there.
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
Saw it. Got what I expected; a fairly vapid movie with no one to really root for, some hefty plot holes, and some great special effects.

Sigh. At least Gould got some money and hopefully some more readership out of it.
Posted by MoonRabbit (Member # 3652) on :
I saw it on Thursday and I have to say it spoiled Valentine's day. I've been trying to get my wife to read it for years, so when I found out the movie was coming out I begged and begged and finally she read it. Then she quickly devoured Reflex and Griffin's Story. She was as hopeful as I was that it would be good. So we spent the evening after the movie with both of us in a foul mood.

I expected it to be Hollywooded to the point of near-unrecognizability, but I really didn't expect it to be a slap in the face to the original story.

To sum up:


1. In the book, Davy is alone. The adults around him are unreliable, abusive, or missing. There are no other jumpers that he knows of, so he has to figure things out on his own. And he's smart. He does the things that a reasonably smart kid his age would do given the circumstances. The whole point of the story, for me, was that Davy was unique. You know how every teenager thinks no one has ever gone through what they're going through? Well, in his case it's true. The movie quickly destroys his uniqueness (oh yeah, there are lots of jumpers!), and instead of a coming-of-age story about a young man trying to do the right thing, we get a steaming pile of "Underworld meets the DaVinci Code." Instead of a smart kid, Davy is a stupid, selfish, womanizing jerk.

2. There are subtle hints of abuse in the movie, but apparently the Hollywood idiots didn't get the point that the relationship between Davy and his father was important. One of the most powerful scenes in the book, for me, is when Davy jumps his dad home when he shows up at his mom's funeral. In the movie, when Davy goes back to his hometown, he hangs out at a bar and drinks beer like a good old boy. Did they even read the book?

3. I realize the whole hijacking storyline had to go in the post-9/11 world, but what they did with Davy's mom was unforgiveable. In the book, she left because Davy's father beat her nearly to death and then she dies at the hands of a terrorist; a brutal, senseless death that spurs Davy into action. In the movie, she left to protect Davy (huh?) because she's one of the Knights Templaresque paladins who hunts and kills jumpers, and she lives in a nice house by a river with her daughter, that is, when she's not hunting down and killing jumpers.

4. In my opinion, the most egregious thing they did was omit the Aerie. In one of the previews, you see what you think is the Aerie, but it isn't. That, in my opinion, is bait and switch of the worst kind. When I read the book, the passages where Davy finds the pit, levels the floor, builds the wall to enclose the Aerie, and relaxes there with Millie are, in my opinion, some of the most compelling. I really, really wanted to see the Aerie. In the movie, he has an extremely ostentatious apartment in New York, nothing like the book. In the book, except for the bank robbery, he works and struggles for everything he has. In the movie, he's a bank robber living the high life. Could they have missed the point any more thoroughly?

5. "They've been hunting jumpers since the middle ages. The Spanish Inquisition? That was them!" Oh. My. God. Which studio exec's girlfriend wanted that put in?

6. Don't get me started on the whole X-men ripoff *bamf* sounds and trailing wisps thing. Yeesh.


So yeah, it sucked. I hope Steven Gould got a bunch of money for it. He deserves it. The writers who butchered it can DIAF (preferably with a flamethrower).
Posted by HollowEarth (Member # 2586) on :
I'm sure that George Lucas is happy that it's now been show that Hayden Christensen is terribly wooden actor no matter who is directing.
Posted by The Reader (Member # 3636) on :
Given Lucas's opacity to the opinions of the moviegoing public, he probably thinks that Hayden Christensen is a great actor who has been corrupted by a bad filmmaker, himself not included.

Disclaimer: I haven't seen Jumper, nor do I intend to.
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
The worst part, in my view, was this: I expected changes. I even gritted my teeth and tried watching it as a movie with the same name and no other connection, tried to view it on its merits, and it still failed because there wasn't a single person in it I was rooting for.

Davy? Shallow, womanizing, doesn't pay attention to details or consequences and can't come out and tell the love of life anything at all but is willing to risk her life.
Griffin? Closer. But still, he shows no humanity or concern, and apparently has no problem killing normal people in the fight against paladins.
Roland? One dimensional. He's a human terminator, with no more thought processes than a robot. Jumpers = evil so kill 'em and anyone around them, end of story.
Millie? I came the closest to rooting for her, but she didn't really do anything besides go along with him and be bait. Yeah, he saved her life, but only after getting it threatened in the first place and wrecking her apartment in the process.

Th characters in the book were rich, multi-layered, complex. These are cardboard cutouts, stuck in to act out a cops and robbers game with bamfing added to make it cool. No one grows or changes in the movie, no one. At the beginning, when Davy is watching TV and they make mention of the drowning victims with no one to help them, and he walked away unconcerned, I thought that was a foreshadowing of the growth he would make later on. Nope.

There was no one to like in this movie. So there was no reason to like the movie.

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