Shaddup Already!


Give a Hoot

I just finished reading the book Hoot with my students.

If you haven't read the book, I highly recommend it. And read it before you see the movie that is coming out in a week.

The mother of a student works at the big Orlando paper. My student came in and asked if I would like two passes to the sneak preview of the movie Hoot.


So I get to see it on Saturday instead of having to wait until May 5.

I've been telling my students for a while that I will be an obnoxious person to see the movie with because I'll pick out everything that has changed from the book to the movie.

I know the book pretty well--I do the reading for my students. We read the book last year, I read it at least twice to prepare and then I read the novel 6 times (once for each of my classes). Then I read it again over the summber because I knew I was going to teach it again. I read it again two more times so I could prepare for this year and then 6 times (once for each of my classes). So I've read the book no less than 17 times.

At any rate, now my tickets were a gift and I shall have to behave myself in the theater. I wish I could just be one of those people who doesn't care when they change important facts in the making of a movie from a book.

They have made significant changes--I know that because it shows in the previews. I'm just hoping that the only changes are the ones I've seen in the previews as I've already become accustomed to them.

Warning--I'm going to discuss the changes, don't read if you don't want any of the details of the book/movie.

First, I take exception to the movie poster:

See the kids are standing in front of a bulldozer that is being driven by someone.

That never happens in the book. They never have a standoff with a bulldozer--with people, yes; bulldozer, no.

I wasn't so concerned by the poster, but then I saw the standoff in a preview! No, say it ain't so.

Then there is Beatrice Leep. She is a really cool character, but they've changed her appearance

In the book she is described as having curly blonde hair and red glasses. Now in some of the movie stills, she is wearing glasses, but it never says in the book about her not having to wear them all the time.

Yes, this is a petty point, but still, it irritates me.

Also, look back at that picture, you see the shoebox? It should be falling apart because of being carried around by Roy in a huge thunderstorm.

Then there is the sticky subject of boats.

Mullet Fingers, the blond kid, NEVER drives a boat in the book. He never rides in a boat, he doesn't get around any other way than running! For goodness sake, he's called "the running boy" throughout the book.

Yet, what do I see here? Roy and Mullet Fingers riding around in a power boat.

Roy does ride in a boat--an airboat tour of the Everglades with his parents. Yes, it is an extremely important aspect because it is a major turning point in Roy's thinking about FL wildlife. But he shouldn't be hanging out with Mullet Fingers in the boat. It just doesn't happen.

Then there's another boat. This one seems to be Mullet Fingers's hideout--and it's just WRONG.

Mullet Fingers hides in an old junker of an ice cream truck--not a fricking house boat.

I have suspicions that this boat is a special place in the book, but that is the weathered roof of a sunken crab boat--not a fricking house boat. And definitely not one that is still floating.

There's this character in the book, Curly, who is a bald foreman.

That would be him on the left--the one with the buzz cut. That man is NOT bald.

Finally, the producer, who is this relatively unknown performer named Jimmy Buffett (grin) plays Roy's teacher Mr. Ryan. In the book Mr. Ryan is a social studies teacher--I just read in the movie that he is a science teacher.

Also, the teacher never shows up at the protest, but what is this?

Oh my goodness, that's Mr. Ryan amid all those students at a protest. Grrr.

A funny note about Mr. Ryan--I've had a movie poster up in my room since we started the book. The kids kept pointing to Mr. Ryan's picture and asking who he was. I answered Jimmy Buffett more than once. They almost all turned around and said, "Oh, have we gotten to him yet?" I was tempted to respond, "yes, back in the 70's and 80's, in fact."

Now the good news about the movie is that they preserved the main conflict, "Those darn owls."

Aren't they cute? They're burrowing owls and the silent main characters of the book.

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