Best/Worst Movie Adapatations
I mean, they're everywhere. Some are good. Some are great, even. Some are so horrific you hope the screenwriter, director, cast, and remaining crew receive a swift and just kick to the behind or get trapped inside an elevator with a clown or a skunk or something. This list is waaay over 10, just fyi.NOTE: Movie posters image credit to IMDB.com.
1. The Golden Compass sorta kinda based on the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. I can't, you guys, I just can't. No no no no and more no. The book is lovely and engaging and thrilling, but the movie fell short in every single way. As handsome as Daniel Craig is, he couldn't save this. The ONLY things I approve of are Eva Green as the witch and Iorek, who is a BOSS. And the music is lovely. Nothing else fit well. I could only stomach this gross bastardization once. Verdict: WORST. EVER.
2. Eragon vaguely based on the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. 19-year old Paolini entered the literary world with a bang with Eragon, and Hollywood was eager to get in on the action. Too bad they wanted money too badly to bother making a GOOD MOVIE. As much as I liked the cast (some of them, anyway because Joss Stone as Angela? REALLY? Ugh), the script was simply horrid. Music was great, set the mood, and the script killed it. Epic feel and cool cinamatography: ruined by the script. RUINED. And then Paolini went ahead and ruined the series so that was the end of that. I can stomach the movie if I pretend it's original. I am moved to extreme violence if I compare to the book. Verdict: WHAT THE CRAP IS THIS NONSENSE HAVE YOU EVEN READ THE BOOK.
3. Avalon High based on the book by Meg Cabot. Go home, Disney; you're drunk. To be fair, I had long outgrown the Disney Channel by the time Avalon High was adapted, but it just wasn't at ALL like the book I love. It's one of my favorites by Cabot and Disney ruined it. I mean, I read ya so it's not farfetched for me to like a movie marketed to teens, even a Disney Channel movie (I own all 3 HSM movies, true story). I couldn't even sit through the whole thing.
Verdict: Major disappointment.
3. Blood and Chocolate extremely loosely based on the book by Annette Curtis Klaus. Problems: 1. They kept Klaus out of all parts of production. 2. They aged the characters. 3. They moved the setting from the US to Europe. 4. They changed the characters. Basically, the movie makers changed every single facet of the story. It's not a bad movie, but it's a horrid adaptation. Like Eragon, I have to keep the movie and the book completely separate in my mind. I will say this: Gabriel is freaking AWESOME in the book so don't judge him by the creepy pedophile factor Olivier Martinez brought to the role. Verdict: Not even close!
4. City of Ember based on the Book of Ember series by Jeanne DuPrau. I haven't read the book, but I really enjoyed the movie so I want to read the book. Saoirse Ronan is like the queen of book to movie adaptations and I love her. After seeing her in this, I kinda wanted her to be Katniss, but I think the roles may be a bit too similar.
5. Inkheart based on the Inkworld series by Cornelia Funke. Good cast. The movie didn't have quite the same magical feeling of the book, but I still enjoyed it. Verdict: Not bad at all.
6. The Princess Diaries based on the series by Meg Cabot. Lots of changes from the series to the movie, but Meg Cabot signed off on everything, especially the death of Mia's dad and the change from Grandmere to stuck up biddy to nice but intimidating and classy world leader because she got Julie Andrews as trade. I think it was a good choice. Plus Erik von Detten in his prime teenage glory. Plus I knew after #2 that Chris Pine was gonna be major. I was right.
Verdict: Not an honest adaptation but a movie that will still make you smile.
7. The Twilight Saga based on the books by Stephenie Meyer. The epic Twilight debate aside, the movies are pretty solid adaptations of the source material. I liked the cast (most of them), the music, the setting, the feeling. Truthfully, I really enjoyed them. I even like the major freak-out moment in BD#2. Way to surprise your audience! Verdict: Both good and bad.
8. The Host based on the book by Stephenie Meyer. This is one of my favorite books ever, but it is very, very large. I think the screenwriter and director did a marvelous job slimming it to a good size without watering it down. I would have liked the actors to be slightly older as the characters are in their 20s and even though the actors are in their 20s, they look like teens. Still, I really enjoyed it.
Verdict: Pretty dang good.
9. The Hunger Games based on the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. Very, very good at getting the material and the feel of the movie right. Good casting, good music, but shaky effects make this bird fly a little lower than I'd have liked it to. I don't know why directors think shaky-cam is a good idea in this day and age, the way technology has adapted and improved, but it's not. Just say no to handheld camera work, guys!
Verdict: Good but could have been the best
10. The Harry Potter series. Books by J.K. Rowling. I don't even know what else is to be said about these babies because it's on everyone's lists. Not closer to the end of the post for me because while epic and amazing, there are many, many details I would have liked to see be a bit truer to the books. So much was changed, even if it was slight, so many things taken out (moment of silence for Peeves). I think the problem lies with the many directorial changes. Also, Alfonso Cuaron was completely wrong for Prisoner of Azkaban. It's my favorite out of the series so that one movie is what really keeps this from being ranked higher.
Verdict: A must-see but quality/faithfulness really depends on which film
11. Mean Girls based on Queen Bees and Wannabees: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence by
Rosalind Wiseman. As a general rule, nonfiction books don't work as movies. Unless the script is written by Tina freaking Fey. Mean Girls resonates with every single one of us, which is why everyone ever quotes it every five seconds. Cheers to being Lindsay's greatest gift to the world before she went crazy. Come to think of it, she and Cady have a lot in common...
Verdict: Four for you, Glen Coco! You go, Glen Coco!
12. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe based on novel by C.S. Lewis. I haven't read any of the Chronicles of Narnia, which is a shame, but I had a bad experience with The Magician's Nephew and never went back. Still, the movies kept the magic that everyone assures me is an integral part of the books.
Verdict: Magical and wondrous
13. She's the Man based on Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. Whaaat? You didn't know this was based on Shakespeare? Well, it was! She's the Man was part of Amanda's golden years similar to Mean Girls for Lindsay. It's sharp and plays up the wit that made Amanda and William both top of their craft...before she went crazy and he died. Also, here's to Channing Tatum's abs before he became super A-list famous. One of my most favorite movies ever.
Verdict: This and 10 Things I Hate About You make Shakespeare totally understandable, relatable, and modern.
14. The Lord of the Rings based on the series by J.R.R. Tolkien. This is what you get when a movie is made by die-hard fans with a mind-blowing budget. Sure, JKR had script control for the Harry Potter films, but sometimes she okayed the changes that I wasn't happy with. Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens, and Fran Walsh dedicated years and years to getting this story just right and expected the same high quality of work from everyone around them. Everyone around them rose to the challenge. At an impressive 12+ hours, this trilogy is impressive and faithful and utterly gorgeous. JRRT would be proud, I think.
Verdict: If you didn't think I would list this as The Best, you're crazy. If you didn't list this as your #1, you're crazy. :P