Getting ready for Gatsby

Have you ever been reading a good book and thought, hey, they should make a movie out of this. Many movie directors take note of this, and when they do try to conjure up some sort of masterpiece from a book, it can either end up in the trash or at the top of the charts. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s greatest achievement and perhaps one of the best books to come from American Literature, has been made into a movie and is set to open next Friday, May 10th. Did the director, Baz Luhrmann, pull it off, or will it just end up out the door? I think we are all hoping it will be a success. This isn’t the first time some hot shot director has come along thinking they can take on the task of depicting one of the greatest novels ever written. Back in 2000, director Robert Markowitz thought he was up to the job. Markowitz’s movie was rated a 5.6 on IMDb and won no awards whatsoever. Some might say 5.6 out of 10 is a pretty good rating, but considering this Robert guy is trying to depict a highly respected novel, one would think he should have at least won some sort of award for his movie and received a much higher rating. Another director by the name of Jack Clayton also tried to portray Gatsby back in 1974. Clayton received a 6.2 on IMDb for his movie and won two Oscars from the movie. Clayton’s movie is acceptable, not the greatest, but decent. While it could use some improvement, it is for sure still better than Markowitz’s sad attempt. The upcoming Gatsby movie was directed by Baz Luhrmann, who according to Mr. Ahlers, Elder English teacher, has extraordinary soundtracks in his movies. From the trailers that have been released for the movie, I can strongly agree with his statement of having amazing tunes. The music from the trailers has an almost enticing effect that will make you die with anticipation for the upcoming release. Not only will the soundtrack be amazing, but the lineup of actors set to be in the film is remarkable. Toby Maguire, best known from his spiderman movies, Cary Mulligan, the astonishing actor from the hit movie Drive , Leonardo DiCaprio, who is just well known from his entire slough of movies he has been in. Great sound, great actors, this is starting to look promising. When talking to Jimmy Alexander, junior at Elder, about his expectations for the movie, he jokingly said, “If I don’t see spiderman flying through New York, I’m not going to like it.” Jimmy says this because Toby Maguire, who is basically only known from his spiderman movies, is playing Nick Caraway in the new movie. Nick Caraway is the narrator and gives the main viewpoint throughout the book. It’s going to be a shock seeing Toby dressed up in early 1900s clothing and hanging out with sophisticated rich people, instead of spitting webs and swinging around the city. Peter Aguilera, also a junior at Elder, said that his expectations for the movie aren’t looking too good. When I asked him why he thinks this, he said, “Movies are terrible nowadays. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a good one.” I only partially agree with his statement. I feel that directors try to focus too much on special effects and make lots of fast paced scenes which ultimately ends up with the film’s story drifting away. Films that do this end up with a final product of tons of action but no gripping story that keeps the audience captivated. Luckily The Great Gatsby already has an exciting story and the trailer looks intense, so with any luck the movie will be a big success and have an equal amount of action and story.