Favourite Least Favourite Book Adaptation
For years now movies have used books to make money with a film, few are good, less are great, most are hated because you just don’t get the time to tell the whole story. this latest round we get to look at the ones we hated the most, so let the hate commence.
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Darren – Movie Reviews 101
I will be honest, I don’t read many books, since leave school you can count the fictional books on one hand, so this made this category harder than it should have been. Angels and Demons is one book I truly did enjoy, I love a good mystery and twists that dive into historical events and this book offered it all. The film didn’t it turned out to feel flat and lacking the shock value I felt it should have had.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Least favorite book adaptation? Hmm. I quite often try to read any big books before their movies come out (I don’t like doing it the other way around). But it also means I’m often disappointed with the film adaptations. I don’t mind stuff being left out but don’t at all understand the movies that don’t even resemble the books (such as World War Z & The Scorch Trials). Why completely change from what’s in the book?! But I’m going to choose something else as my answer since, well, I suppose I just didn’t like it since I love the book SO much. My choice is the 2005 Hollywood adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. The thing is, they’d already done a low budget BBC adaptation of the book that will always be the far far better version than that weird ass Hollywood film. Which I can’t remember much of now since I put it out of my mind…. Please just read the book instead if you haven’t. It’s brilliant.
Kim – Tranquil Dreams
The Last Song
There are lot of book adaptation these days. Honestly, I’m not too picky about these things. The Last Song was an immediate choice mostly because I’m tolerant of Nicholas Spark movies and yet, Miley Cyrus’ acting is just not cutting it for me. Seeing as that is the central role to The Last Song as she not only is a love interest but also the father-daughter element here was important, it fell short making the film really not good.
Milo – Stuff and That
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series
Of all the kids books in the ether, the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series is by far the most irritating yet befuddlingly popular out there. So, why not follow the trend with three (wait, four?!) insufferable movies featuring some real douchebag kids.
Tom – Plain Simple Tom Reviews
The Colour Purple
Perhaps it’s a controversial choice but I loved reading The Color Purple so much that the film version, even if it was helmed by Spielberg himself, couldn’t possibly do the film justice in my opinion.
I’m probably biased but I think that it’s an average adaptation of an amazing book.
Rachel – 54 Disney Reviews
Alice in Wonderland
There are a lot of terrible book to movie adaptations but the one that annoyed me the most was the 2010 Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland. On the surface Burton seems like an ideal choice for the nonsense of Alice but it was not meant to be. For some reason he decided to take out all the nonsense and instead craft a garish, boring prophet narrative that didn’t have anything to do with the original novel or the 1951 Disney film.
One of the best things about Alice in Wonderland is that it is non-linear without a central plot to lead the character. This creates little vignettes that surprise and delight the reader/viewer. With the Burton version we turned Alice into a warrior woman, the Hatter into an emo annoying clown and the visuals grotesque instead of fun.
It’s just a joyless enterprise if I’ve ever seen one and that’s the last thing I should be saying about Alice in Wonderland!
Rob – Movie Rob
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Book was sooo much better. Cruise still isn’t a good Reacher and helps ruin such a great story. The adaptation tries to give us a grander story than the book did and as a fan of the series of books (I’ve read them all), I was extremely disappointed by this. This is truly action packed but it really feels like it doesn’t present the character or his abilities very well. The changing of some of the geographic locations actually hurts the story somewhat also. I propose that if they ever decide to make another film in this series, they recast the lead and also give us a story closer to the one from the book.
Emma – Emma Explains It All
Starter for 10
This isn’t a bad little film all things considered. Let’s look at the minimal facts – it’s a British comedy set in the 1980s and has a decent cast, a great story and a fun soundtrack – yep, definitely sounds good. But the main problem for me is that I loved the book. Absolutely LOVED the book and though it has many highlights, a big highlight for me was the humour – particularly the self-deprecating humour read via the thoughts of protagonist Brian Jackson (played in the film by James McAvoy). And the film, sadly, lacked all of this, which I did find hugely disappointing.
Though it was still funny to a degree, it lacked his innermost thoughts, which for me, really brought the character of Brian to life and made you love / hate him. It has an excellent story but really it’s all about the hapless main character and the way he brings that story to life. I understand it would be hard to portray ‘thoughts’ in a film, but still, I found it a let down. And I’ve loved many books in my lifetime and though those with film adaptations will never really cut the mustard, I’m sad to say this one really did stand out for me as a film that didn’t work.
S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason
While it’s far from the worst book adaptation I’ve seen, the one that sticks out to me as a disappointment is 2006’s Eragon, based on the first book of Christopher Paolini’s debut series. I loved the novel and eagerly anticipated the movie’s release. I wanted to like it and even saw it in the theater three times (more than any other movie for me), but it just couldn’t match the book. Jeremy Irons is great as Brom, as is Saphira the dragon and the other visual effects, but the pacing is unavoidably rushed as it tries to cram such a long novel into less than two hours. (Saphira grows up literally within seconds, and I guess we’re just to assume that’s normal for dragons?) Most of the acting is decent, though sometimes overdone, but there’s something lacking when I see so many pieces of the novel that just aren’t given enough time to develop properly. For once, I actually wish it would be rebooted as a miniseries someday.