Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Book Was Better - The Top Ten Best and Worst Movie Adaptations

Picking the Top Ten Best and Worst Movie Adaptations sounded easy, but has become a bit of a difficult one for me.  I don't think I've ever watched a movie and thought, wow, that was better than the book.  Not once.  If I happen to see the movie first, I often don't read the book; there are no surprises when I know what's going to happen.  There have been some good adaptations though.  I've split my list up, five best and five worst (or something).  In no particular order (sort of):

Best:

1. The Lord of the Rings series - Deserves the number one spot.
2. The Harry Potter series - So great.  I need to watch all the movies again... and again.
3. The Hunger Games - I really enjoyed the first movie and I have high hopes for the rest of the series.
4. Dracula - The movie is insanely over-sexualized, but still grabs at the essence of the characters in the book.  It definitely brought darkness back to vampires after all the campy stuff that came before.  Will the new Dracula demolish the teen vampires I see everywhere lately?
5. Interview with the Vampire - I still enjoy watching this movie.  It was one of my first vampire movies/shows.  It was bloody and interesting and I loved Claudia.

Worst:

1. The Time Machine - Deserves the number one spot.  Have you seen it?  It was brutally awful.
2. Confessions of a Shopaholic - The movie was okay, but absolutely nothing like the book, which I love.
3. The Da Vinci Code - The book was long with lots of explanations... and they kept pretty true to that in the movie, to its snoozy benefit.  Sometimes cutting stuff out is a good idea.
4. Superman III - I think it might have been the worst of all the Christopher Reeves as Superman movies.  Superman has such rich source material, but they just weren't using it well.  (It counts.  Comicbooks.)

How do I only have 4 for this section?  Basically, because if I hear that the adaptation is bad, I don't watch the movie.

Not Sure:

1. Memoirs of a Geisha - They only really adapted the middle of the book, but I still really enjoyed it.  I'm not sure if it's a best or worst though... Opinions?
2. War of the Worlds - I thought the modern interpretation was really interesting.  I enjoyed Dakota Fanning in it.  I'm not a huge Tom Cruise fan (though this is the second movie of his I'm mentioning), but I think he did the desperate-single-dad thing well.  Opinions?

We'll See:

1. The Hobbit series - I couldn't help but mention this one.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.  I enjoyed the first movie, but felt it was a bit long.  I also still can't believe they are making three movies out of one book.
2. World War Z - I haven't seen it yet.  I want to and I don't want to.  Basically because I can tell from the trailers that it's not like the book at all.  I've heard there's no Battle of Yonkers.  Also, Zombies don't run!

More than 10, I know, especially if you count the series.  What do you think about these adaptations?

Usually I link to books on Goodreads.  Today, however, I've linked to Rotten Tomatoes

Thanks to The Broke and The Bookish for hosting.


20 comments:

  1. I'm not sure how I feel about The Hobbit either. Why did they drag it out so?

    Here's my Top Ten Best Movie Adaptations.

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    1. It could have been well done in one, even two movies. Three just seems excessive.

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  2. Ooooh, good call on Interview. Another one I forgot!

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    1. Interview probably started my love of vampires.

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  3. Confessions of a Shopaholic was awful! I really liked Memoirs of a Geisha (the book) and while the movie didn't tackle the same scope, I still was just blown away by the beauty of the film.

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    1. I was so excited when I first heard about the Shopaholic film. I love the series, but the movie made me mad.
      That's pretty much how I fell about Memoirs of a Geisha.

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  4. War of the Worlds I think was a good (not great) movie. I agree that Dakota Fanning did a stellar job; Tom Cruise did play his part well too.
    The Hobbit made my worst book to movie adaptation list. I understand your uncertainty with this one. Great cinematography, poor editing! Yawn, yawn, yawn. It seemed bent on marketing than story telling. "Stretch it out into two movies! Make twice the money!!" ugh.

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    1. Umm... it's going to be three movies. Ack!

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  5. Love this list! Okay so I haven't read The Time Machine yet but the movie was ... bizarre. I have to read the book to compare but I didn't know whether to nod off or just go "WTF?" all the way through. Plus it was oddly depressing.

    I agree, I didn't much like what they did with the Shopoholic movie at all. Didn't like that they made her American, didn't like all the tweaks they made to make it yet another formulaic rom-com Hollywood movie - would be interested to see what kind of adaptation the Brits would have made of it; reckon it'd be much more watchable!

    I never bothered to watch The Da Vinci Code - I quite enjoyed the book at the time but I certainly didn't want to have to sit through it all over again! So much exposition!

    Hey wait, did you say "new Dracula"??? Are they making a new movie of that one? I'd seen the Gary Oldman one several times so when I finally read the book a few years ago, I was surprised and confused at first that there was no seduction or sex or anything at all - I just had no idea they'd added all that in! It threw me for a bit. I kept expecting it and it never came, just because of that film. Ugh.

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    1. The Time Machine novel is one of my favourite classics. It is more of a commentary on British class structure. There is also no romance.

      I yawned a lot during The Da Vinci Code.

      Yes, new Dracula. Scheduled for release Summer 2014. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0829150/
      I don't know if it's going to be like to book or some kind of historical thing. I can't really tell from the website. I'm looking/hoping for some dark vampires though.

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  6. I haven't read World War Z YET, but my friend did. The way the book is set up is apparently a bunch of stories in one. I was hesitant to see the movie too (because of the running zombies mainly), but it was EPIC! I highly recommend it!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    -Sonnie @ ParaDays

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    1. World War Z (the book) is amazing and I highly recommend it to everyone.

      I'll probably see the movie eventually...

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  7. I, too, was really excited about the Shopaholic film, but I was left disappointed by it! I loved the Harry Potter series and The Hunger Games.

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    1. I wish the Shopaholic film was better... I wish it was a series of films, with a British Becky driving Luke crazy in all her wonderful ways.

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  8. Great list! There are some YA adaptations coming up that I'm really wary about because it's such a rare thing that they're done well. I think I get really resentful when they change things - my faves are where they stick to the book!

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    1. The Da Vinci code is an example of sticking too much to the book.
      I'm a little nervous about some of the movies coming out too, but I'll give them all a fair chance. Harry Potter and Hunger Games were pretty great.

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  9. Great list! I'm glad I'm not the only one who hated the Shopaholic movie. I haven't read Memoirs of a Geisha, but I enjoyed the movie. You can also never go wrong with HG, LoTR, or HP!

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    1. Memoirs of a Geisha is a lovely novel. You really get a sense of her whole life, not just the "Geisha" part and the romance.

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  10. Great top ten! Loved HP and LotR too:) The Davinci code was just horrible, I quit watching after half an hour.. Thanks for stopping by!

    evelinesbooks.blogspot.nl

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