Thr3e, as a book, awesome. Thr3e, as a movie, cheap.
If you are a Christian, like I am, then you have probably heard the phrase "Don't cast your pearls before swine." If you have something good, don't let some turd with a camera ruin it.
Book: Thr3e the book is fast paced, keeps you guessing, and leaves you satisfied at the end. It is a great story first. At no point during the book do you stop and say, "OK, this is unrealistic, that dialog is cheesy, what the crap was the author thinking." It is just a fantastic novel, regardless of your stance on Christianity. My sister doesn't claim to be a Christian and she thought Thr3e was great, she read it twice.
Movie:While the movie doesn't suffer from trying to be too "Christian", and it never really gets preachy, it just sucks as a movie. The movie was made by Fox Faith, the same people that made a train wreak of a film known as The Visitation (based on the novel by Frank Peretti). Robbie Henson directed both of these movies and is currently working on another movie called House, based on the novel by Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti. House will be a one of a kind film, but more on that later.
The movie suffers most of all from the makers and the actors trying too hard, and sometimes not hard enough. Pretty much every actor in this movie does a piss poor job of delivering a believable performance. If there were any good actors in this film, I couldn't find them. They must have been given bad lines and poor directing, there was certainly plenty of both going around. Not to mention the over acting on a character named Princess. The movie tries to portray Princess as she is in the book, but sometimes you have to tone that stuff down for movies. No matter how serious a moment in a movie, when a old women with too much make-up and a tiara bust on to the screen, it's going to get people to snicker. Then the actress drives it home with an overdone performance.
Most of the Dekker fans I talk to say that Thr3e is there favorite novel. I think it is the best piece of fiction he has done, just because I think anyone could read it and wouldn't have to try to get around a bunch of preachy digressions. It's is also just a great read from start to finish. That being said, why would you give it up to some low budget film makers? Christian movie studios are about 10 years behind in there technology and experience. They are a one way ticket to ruining your story.
Left Behind is the best selling Christian novel of all time. Don't quote me on that, but even if you are not a Christian, you most likely have heard of it. You might have even read it. It had the best chance of turning into a huge Hollywood production. After the success of Passion of the Christ and Narnia, movie studios are more open to doing Christian films. The problem is it is hard to get Christians to go to the movies. Fiction isn't a huge success in the Christian market as it is. There are a handful of novels that have the following that would allow them to be made into a mainstream film. Left Behind would be number one on the list of books that a movie would work for. But, there won't be a good Left Behind movie made. Why? Because the rights have already been sold to a small Christian film company, Cloud Ten Pictures, that put out three sub par films.
If the authors would have waited, and sold there movie rights to a major film maker they would have made a great deal of money. I think it would attract the same crowds that went to see Passion. Most likely not the same ticket sales, but it would be a successful film.
Honestly, Dekker would have probably not been approached by a major company. Even though his books sell well in the Christian market, he doesn't even make a blip on the secular radar. This may be the best version of a film version of Thr3e we could ever hope for. This is the state of Christian media. We write our stories for Christian publishers, we make our movies through Christian companies, and for the most part, the only ones that notice are Christians.
My sister was reading the user movie reviews that were on Fandango. All 15 or so users rated it a must see. I am willing to bet that they are all part of Dekkers "street team". What happens on these street teams is this, lets say Styrafoam releases a new album called "Disappointed Yet?". Then we would get on our myspace and tell all of our friends to go to Amazon.com, where we are selling it, and post a butt load of positive reviews. Now all of the sudden people who just happen upon our crap CD, see all these great reviews.
Granted, there are some people who genuinely like Thr3e the movie. That's cool, whatever. But, the people actually making these movies are convinced that they are producing films every bit as good as the stuff in Hollywood.
Now onto House. House is a book written by two of the premier Christian novelist, Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. A recipe for a great novel. Only problem is that they have two completely different ways to approach writing a novel. Peretti likes to research his books for months before he even begins the actual writing of the story. Dekker, on the other hand, gets an idea, then he just starts writing, letting the ideas come to him as he writes. While Dekker said in Pages Magazine that he would love to do a sequel with Peretti, Frank said he would never do another collaboration. The fruit of their works ended up being an utterly confusing story that just left me dumbfounded. My sister compares the book to a Sci-fi original movie meets a competitive eating contest. Anyway, the story is weird, and would be very difficult to turn into a movie. But, why would you want to? House the movie is going to be like Baby Geniuses 2, but way more confusing. It will truly be a unique film if nothing else.
I can't wait to see it!