30 Day Book Challenge Days 19 & 20 – Best/Worst Book Turned Into Film

I am combining today’s post with tomorrow’s for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, I am going to see one of my favourite ever bands, Incubus, tomorrow night straight after work, and so won’t have enough time to hop on and blog during the day or night. Secondly, while I at first thought I could do a catch up blog the next day, I realised that the topic for days 19 and 20 go hand in hand, and feeling that I perhaps won’t have as much to say about both, I figured why not combine these two instead.

The Lord of the Rings

Seriously...how awesome is Gandalf?

For many book lovers, the idea of books turned into films usually induces rages and rants about how much books are always better than the film adaptations. To be fair, usually the book is considerably better than the film. However, I can think of one example where I personally feel that the film is better – the Lord of the Rings trilogy, based on Tolkien’s epic story that set the standard for that particular type of fantasy book. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the books, and there is clearly something special about them, but the films just did it so much better. The casting, the backdrop, the music, everything about Peter Jackson’s screen adaptation was just so spot on, and what’s more, it cut out a lot of the unnecessary rambling that tended to appear in those books (I mean, I loved the writing, but geeze he could take a long time to say something relatively simple sometimes). I know that many people are divided about this – some I know much prefer the books, but many prefer the films. But let’s be honest, they’re both great, and are both classics in their own medium.

The Cat In The Hat

We call him "fail cat"...did anybody actually like this film?

As for worst film adaptations of books…where do I begin? I can think of several. I’d say Twilight, but let’s face it, the book wasn’t exactly mind blowingly original, nor did it possess great characters and an interesting storyline, in the first place. The film The Cat In The Hat which starred Mike Myers in the lead role certainly butchered the Dr Seuss book, possibly because it was trying to copy the style of The Grinch, which, despite a lot of criticism, I thought wasn’t that bad. Then there’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which although based on a comic book I still feel is worth mentioning just due to how appalling this movie really was, from it’s complete lack of soul and character, to it’s over abundance of special effects, and annoying historical inaccuracies (tanks in 1897? I don’t think so…) which, despite my attempts to “suspend my disbelief”, I simply could not (the saddest thing is, this was Sean Connery’s final film). There are many I haven’t seen but have heard about, as well, in particular the film of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which the author of the novel, de Bernieres, openly said he did not like – the same goes for the film of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.

What’s your favourite book turned into a film? What’s your least favourite?

6 thoughts on “30 Day Book Challenge Days 19 & 20 – Best/Worst Book Turned Into Film

  1. Agree totally about cat in the hat… The girls refused to watch it after about 10 mins…. Horton hears a Who was equally destroyed. The absolutely worst book/movie adaptation was ‘my sisters keeper’ by Jodi Piccoult. A tragic story with a tragic end….. which was totally changed in the movie….The wrong sister died, destroying the whole crux of the story…. YOU SUCK movie people with your happy (well not really… someone does die) endings. The worst broadway/movie is Rent….. again with the changing of stories……

    • Argh I hate when movies just change the story like that. It ruins the story. But yes, hollywood in particular is notorious for just doing what they want with films, because a lot of them are about making money more than making the art itself.

  2. I have to agree with your thoughts on ‘Lord of the Rings’. Peter Jackson certainly brought out the feel of the books in a mind-blowing way. I loved ‘The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe’, too. I recently watched ‘Water For Elephants’ and was just as blown away by the movie as I was by the book. As for the worst movie adaptation, you mentioned a few and at the moment, I can’t think of any others off the top of my head.

    • Yeah I didn’t mind the Narnia movies either, they weren’t mindblowing for me but they did a pretty good job on the whole. I haven’t seen Water For Elephants, but as I really liked the book, I am cautious about the movie hahaha.

  3. I completely agree with the Lord of the Rings viewpoint. I love and revere Tolkien for what he has done, but there is something special about seeing an entire fantasy world come to life in front of you. I enjoyed the actors and the development of Middle Earth unfold before my eyes. I truly enjoyed the film version of Richard Matheson’s What Dreams May Come because it showed a more personal experience to the characters that was separate from the supernatural element, which I found to be interesting. Also, I enjoyed the movie Rose Red based off several Stephen King’s stories. After watching the movie, I found some of the ideas came from the Winchester Mansion, which is very similar.

    There aren’t any movies that I particularly hated, but the upcoming movie version of Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card will determine whether I have found a movie I hate or not. It is a book very dear to my heart and if they screw it up, which they most likely will, I will be very angry. Until I see the movie I’ll give it a chance, but I’m not holding my hopes up for it. Enjoy the concert by the way!

    • Ah yeah, I remember liking What Dreams May Come too, actually. I’ve heard differing opinions of films based on King’s stories, I think they’re a bit hit and miss?
      I think that’s when it is most annoying, when a film interpretation of one of your favourite books is stuffed up. One of my favourite books is The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, and the recent movie of that was pretty…meh. Like it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. It just was.
      And thanks, the concert was amazing, I was expecting it to be good but even so I’m still quite blown away by it. 🙂

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