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.
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.
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?