Sunday, April 1, 2012

A - Adaptations

Film or series adaptations of our favorite books, that is. After all the Hunger Games hoorah (which I still can’t participate in because I haven’t seen it yet. poo on that.), I started thinking about some of the best and worst film or series adaptations of books we love. It would take too long to talk about all of them so I’m just going to start an image list of recent endeavors that come to mind...

What are your favorite movie or series adaptations of books you read? What are your least favorite? – I have to say I was deeply disappointed in the first Twilight. The colors were so bland (almost as bland as the acting. But not quite) It felt like the book itself had so little ‘happening’, the movie version could have amped things up a little.  Alas…

Any adaptations you’d add to the list?

So excited to see you all here! Let the A-Z madness begin!

52 comments:

Shelly said...

Creepy Q, I have to agree with you on Twilight, both the movie and the book. It took 100 pages to get me into it and then I was hooked. Lucky for the book, I was trapped on a plane while reading it.

I'm doing the A to Z Challenge at http://www.secondhandshoesnovel.blogspot.com/

Shelly

Emily White said...

The best adaptation I've ever seen (and I'm a staunch LOTR fan, so this means it was REALLY good) was for Speak. That movie captured the entire feel of the book perfectly.

Jessica Bell said...

Unfortunately I can't really comment on this because I'm a bit stubborn. If I've read a book I rarely see the film adaptation and if I've seen a film adaptation I rarely read the book. But one that stuck in my mind as CRAP compared to the book, was The Handmaid's Tale. The film did NOT do it justice!

Sarah Pearson said...

One that springs to mind (as I've only just read and seen it in the last week or so), is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I saw the film first. I know a lot of people didn't like it, but I liked it enough to read the trilogy that I'd had sitting around since Christmas :-)

Em-Musing said...

West Side Story, Bridges of Madison County.

Kittie Howard said...

What a creative approach to A-Z. Love it! I've seen a couple of movies that came close to the book (Gone with the Wind; Bridges of Madison County) but have never seen an adaptation that left me with the same degree of satisfaction as the book. But, that's just me. I loved ...Dragon Tattoo but didn't see the movie for fear it would spoil the book. The second book was too violent for me, so put it down midway.

farawayeyes said...

Have to admit the movies rarely come close to the thrill of printed words for me.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I loved the LOTR series. It's one of the few that I have to watch multiple times. And most of the Harry Potter movies.

Kimberlee Turley said...

Worst book to movie adaptation for me was Ella Enchanted. Completely ruined the romantic tension and turned a lovely story into a commercial comedy wannabe. Ick.

I like The Count of Monte Cristo and Pride and Prejudice movies much better than the books. (Sorry Jane.)

Old Kitty said...

The first Harry Potter film was way disappointing (as well as the penultimate one! LOL!) but I looking at lovely Julie Andrews here on your sidebar - I reckon Sound of Music the film was far superior to the book - sorry Maria Von Trapp - but I couldn't get into your bio! Yikes! Take care
x

Tracy Jo said...

I totally loved Sex and the City! Probably because I was that single girl in my 30s. :-) Happy A-Zing and looking forward to reading your posts!

M.J. Fifield said...

The colors in Twilight were almost as bland as the acting... hahahaha.

I really enjoyed the Lord of the Rings adaptations. The books (sadly) bored me but I loved the films.

I also feel the same way about most Jane Austen book/Film adaptations.

M.J. Fifield
My Pet Blog

Theresa Milstein said...

Harry Potter was pretty good. The Accidental Tourist and Bridget Jones's Diary and The Devil Wears Prada are a few of my favorites.

I like A for Adaptations!

Laura Marcella said...

I'm deeply disappointed by the Harry Potter movies. I can't watch them without getting so agitated with how wrong they are. I guess part of it is because I love the books so much!!

Some of my favorite movie adaptations are Little Women, The Princess Bride, Sense and Sensibility, Chocolat, and The Lord of the Rings.

Happy A to Z, Katie, and have a great day!!

Anna Smith said...

I thought The Golden Compass was pretty crap compared to the book, was really disappointed :)

Universal Gibberish

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

My favorite is It by King. Love the book and the film.

Quite an undertaking for a first challenge post. I really liked it.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Best film adaptation? Gone with the Wind. Worst? Youngblood Hawk, about an American Indian, a role which was played by blond-haired blue-eyed Richard Chamberlain. (What were they thinking???)

stu said...

I rather liked the adaptation of Stardust, because it had the sense to be its own story, and not just present the book. I absolutely hate some of the TV adaptations of Pratchett's stuff, because the things going on in narration and character thoughts just make them clumsy in a medium where those things don't feel like whimsical diversions so much.

Retro-Zombie said...

Clive Barker's: Cabal to film Nightbreed... it is one of my favorites and the first to come to mind.

Great start... to the challenge "A" is for Awesome!
Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
A to Z Co-Host
IZOMBIE: Visit the Madness

Heather Spiva said...

Awesome blog. Yes I haven't read the hunger games books yet but I feel the same about twilight. Slow! And the movies, pretty just okay. Greetings from a fellow A to Z blogger!

Dawn Ius said...

I am DYING to see Hunger Games, loved the books and the movie has awesome reviews. I'm picky about adaptations but I really love True Blood - in fact, I think I even love the show more than Charlaine Harris' books. Another show I think is better than the books is DEXTER. Brilliant show. Books are kind of "meh." So glad you joined A to Z :-)

Shannon Cyr said...

Great topic, Katie. :) Personally, I try not to compare film adaptations to the book; they are both such different medias, it's hard to compare apples to apples. As far as films that did the books justice, I'd say LOTR, Princess Bride, Stardust, Harry Potter, Devil Wears Prada, Time Travelers Wife, and Lovely Bones.

Timothy Brannan said...

Yeah!

I "discovered" you last year thanks to the A to Z challenge and glad to see you doing it again.

Looking forward to seeing what you do!

Tim
The Other Side
The Freedom of Nonbelief

Tonja said...

I usually like the book better. But if I see the movie first, it's hard for me to read the book.

Stephsco said...

The Harry Potter movies are the best example of a franchise that nailed the overall tone and concepts of the books. Not an easy task, and each movie improved on the last.

DL Hammons said...

I'd have to say one of the biggest adaptation disappointments of late was THE LAST AIRBENDER. The animated series was awesome...but the movie was downright uninspired. Somebody didn't get it!

Martha said...

Great start for the challenge! I can't really give an opinion since I usually do one or the other, hardly ever read the book and see the movie. Books are almost always 100% better. Actually I've pretty much given up both over the years and just blog instead! Happy A Day :)

mshatch said...

great theme! I usually find the movie lacking if I've read the book but I will say LOTR did a damn good job. I only have a few complaints...Didn't like the Twilight movies anywhere near as much as the books.

Carrie-Anne said...

One of my favorites is the original 1921 version of 'The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.' When I read the book after having watched the film several times, my experience was enhanced, and the next time I saw the film after having read the book, I also understood some things more, things that were left out of the film or only hinted at.

I think the movie version of 'Fiddler on the Roof' did a pretty decent job, though they left out some significant things, like how there are 7 daughters in the book, 5 of whom get love stories, the deaths of certain characters, and how Chava repents of her intermarriage at the end, divorces her husband, and comes home where she belongs. I suppose the real ending wouldn't have been very popular in the everything goes Seventies.

One of the movie adaptations I hated was Leon Uris's 'Exodus.' It just made me mad, seeing how many liberties were taken with the characters and plot, particularly how intelligent, strong, brave Karin was made into some platinum blonde bimbo who uttered silly, inane lines and spent a lot of time mooning over Dov. I was also upset at how short, weak, blonde Dov was in turn made into some strong, dark stud. A total slap in the face to a great novel!

jabblog said...

I enjoyed Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter - couldn't get on with the books, though.

Nancy Thompson said...

Great topic! I hate that I always look forward to adaptations even though I know I will be disappointed. I don't think I've ever seen one as good as the book.

jaybird said...

I generally dislike adaptations. They must be exceptional for me to like them. Snow Flower and The Secret Fan comes to mind as a great adaptation. Also, I believe The Help was well acted, and although different, definitely a compliment to the book.

Kristi said...

Great topic!

And have to say, I was really disappointed with the Percy Jackson Lightning Thief movie. They could've done so much more with it.

And in general, the movie adaptations are forced to leave so much out that I love, most of the movies fall in the less than spectacular range.

Hunger Games was pretty decent compared to most, but even still, there were things I missed. :)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

HUGO was a thick book that they had to streamline to make into a movie. But all in all, they did a fantastic job of staying true to the book and still making an endearing, fun, magical story, Roland

Cindy Dwyer said...

I think we're sisters - I've been feeling like an agent stalker myself lately!

As for your question, I loved The Lord of the Rings movies, I never imagined they could live up to the books. Maybe I wasn't disappointed because I had such low expectations?

Annalisa Crawford said...

Best adaptation - Pride and Prejudice, BBC version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Elhe. Just perfect.

Worst - Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightly. Nooooooo, she is NOT Lizzie Bennett.

Shaun_ShutterBug said...

Michael Critchen's Jurassic park. The book was a work of sheer inspiration. And then they made it into the film, now i was ready to write the film off because the book was soooo darn good. But they didnt do bad. (even with their dodgy CGI dinos !!!)
I hope you can find the time to visit my photo blog sometime
Shaun
Valleys ShutterBug

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I really liked the modernized Romeo and Juliet. Different enough that it felt new again - and the final scene was truly heart-wrenching.

prerna pickett said...

Ella Enchanted was AWFUL adaptation of one of my favorite books.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Best was LOTR. Worst was The Relic. Book is fantastic and the movie left out the main character, Agent Pendergast!

Libby said...

Oddly enough, I really love the movie "Adaptation" but mostly because of Brian Cox's speech in it. Also, JAWS is my favorite movie, but I actually didn't like the book much at all.

Ricky Bush said...

True Grit (both the John Wayne and Jeff Bridges version) stands out as a favorite of mine, so does the Lonesome Dove mini series based on Larry McMurtry's classic. Strange that they both happen to be westerns.

Can't venture a choice for the worst, because I tend to forget those movies that stray too far from my expectations.

STILLMAGNOLIA said...

Loved your book choices. I am an avid reader. Thanks for sharing those.

Horst Peters said...

Don't watch a lot of movies and almost no TV but... The Help was funny, disturbing, and a great subject for discussion afterwards. Lord of the Rings continues to be a popular selection in my small collection.

I'm doing the A-Z thing at:
http://horst-peters.blogspot.ca/

Konstanz Silverbow said...

Very cool post. I love to think about different adaptions.

Konstanz Silverbow
nothoughts2small.blogspot.com
A to Z Co-host
www.a-to-zchallenge.com

Erin L. Schneider said...

Oh, what a great topic for A!!!
There are my favorites - all of the Harry Potter movies, which I thought were well done and stuck pretty close to the books, the LOTR's movies, and of course, The Hunger Games.
A few were I didn't quite like the movie: Twilight was eh. Sex and the City movies = boo, but loved the show.
And then there are the movies or shows, that I liked more than the books: Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries (have you read those books? Ugh...I think I stopped after the 3rd one), and True Blood (the visual of Eric Northman is what sealed it for me!).
Anyhow - great topic! Can't wait to see what you come up with for the rest of the month!

Erin L. Schneider said...

Oh, I completely forgot one of my favorites:
The Princess Bride
Loved both the book and the movie is one of my all-time favs!

Jo said...

I think that the enjoyment that readers get from screen adaptations depends heavily on what we expect. If we go expecting to SEE the book, I think we often walk away disappointed. How can we not? How can a movie really capture all the crazy mind-numbing terror that Stephen King is so GOOD at? Or even in, say, the Hunger Games, where a lot of the book is getting inside of Katniss's head. It's very difficult to bring that to screen. They're completely different mediums, so if we go in expecting to SEE the exact book we read... it's hard to be satisfied. But if we go in simply expecting to be entertained and seeing the frame of what we read... it's easier to be happy.

All that pseudo-blogging said... *ahem*

I really liked LOTR. I liked the first Narnia as being a good replica of the book... I enjoyed the 2nd two movies less in THAT sense as they strayed more in plot and context, but still enjoyed them.

I've always liked the PBS Anne of Green Gables movie... but always had a bone to pick with its sequel because they left out Davy and Dora.

Jo
In Which We Start Anew

Laura Barnes said...

Hmm, there are many that I have liked and disliked. I thought Hunger Games did good with the time allowed and the first Twilight did suck (though I still watched it twice in a row). I thought Lovely Bones missed the point too.

Mama J said...

I'm a huge Marian Keyes fan so the worst adaptations are a toss up between Watermelon and Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married. I'm going t go with Lucy Sullivan because at least Watermelon was over quicker. I didn't get past episode 3 of Lucy Sullivan.

nagzilla said...

Please tell me Interview with a Vampire was a disappointment for you. There were some parts that were good, but I just couldn't get past the miscasting of Tom Cruise as Lestat. *sigh*

Karen Peterson said...

I think the Lord of the Rings was pretty much the best adapted movie series ever.

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