Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Best and Worst Movie Adaptations

This is a weekly meme hosted by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish.

My Top Ten Best and Worst Movie Adaptations

Now, before I go into these, I feel I should explain what my criteria for a good movie adaptation is: it follows the book. Literally, that is all. I am not asking for the moon. I just want my characters to be recognizable, to remember why I loved this book so much, and for it to at least fit in the story described on the pages. I don't expect every actor to look like my imagination because that's impossible, but if they have red hair, then give them red hair damn it. If they're black in the book, they better be black on screen etc. Also, don't go changing endings. I can forgive reworking minor scenes, but you change plot points entirely, I tend to get eye-twitchy. That will hopefully explain to you why some of these are on my worst adaptation list.

Best movie adaptations:

1) A Little Princess-Directed by M. Night Shamylan-You can have your Shirley Temple version of A Little Princess, this is the only version I will let into my house and if god forbid, I have kids, they will watch this one (though at a younger age I may show them the Shirley Temple movies for kicks because everyone should know the classic films). Oh Shamylan, you used to be so good. What happened, dude?

2) The Secret Garden-WB 1990s version with Maggie Smith-The Secret Garden is one of my favorite childrens books ever and I adore this version the best. It's the most accurate and it's wonderfully acted. Also, Maggie Smith.

3) The Hunger Games-I was so so nervous about the Hunger Games movie adaptation. You honestly don't want to know how nervous I was. But damn, did they deliver. It looks like the second movie is doing just as well in the keeping to the book department. I can't wait to see it.

4) The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by Disney-Talk about near perfect adaptations, this movie was literally as if it was lifted from my imagination. About the only thing different was that I always pictured Lucy with double braids like in the illustrations. But everything else was bang on and the kids are great in it.

5) The Hobbit by Peter Jackson-Well, I don't know how the sequels are going to go, but if the first movie and the trailer to the second one is any indication, it's going to be near perfect as well. I seriously cannot wait for Smaug.

Other good ones: To Kill a Mockingbird with Gregory Peck, Twilight films (sorry fans, these were good adaptations, the only reason they were bad was because the source material was bad to begin with), Pride and Prejudice (I like the Kiera Knightly version, DEAL), Harry Potter movies, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (more accurate then Willy Wonka, sorry. Though I do love Willy Wonka too), Coraline, The Diary of Anne Frank (black and white film)

Worst movie adaptations:

6) Percy Jackson-If one ignored the book and looked at Percy Jackson as just a kids movie someone came up with, I'd say it was good. Because movie-wise it's fun. The guy who plays Grover is hilarious, the effects are wonderful, and so on. But as a adaptation of a book...it's bad. I honestly don't know why they're doing the sequel when they cut the Kronos storyline which is what made it possible for the sequels in the first place.

7) Avalon High-I'm counting a tv movie. Sorry. But dear god, this was the worst adaptation. I adored Avalon High as a teen and this just ruined it. Merlin wasn't a sassy old teacher, the main character's purpose was entirely changed, Mordred was suddenly GOOD, I just...can't with this movie. It took all of the "oh, that makes total sense because of the legend" of Cabot's book and chucked it out the window.

8) The Golden Compass-GC was actually decent up until the last fifteen minutes where you realize, they're leaving it there and they totally changed it and why the hell are you leaving the entire last three chapters out? That kind of ruined the whole thing. Seriously, my own mother is afraid to mention Golden Compass to me, because she knows how ticked off that chopped off ending made me.

9) The Princess Diaries movies-Like Percy Jackson, when you look at these movies as just movies, they're cute and fun. I adore Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews. But as an adaption of a book series, it makes my heart hurt because I seriously love book!Grandmere and they didn't even put in Tina who is like one of the best book friends EVER. Even Cabot sort of makes fun of how different they are in her own books. Cute as movies, bad as book to movie adaptations.

10) Cat in the Hat with Jack Black-No. Just a million times NO.

Others: The Little Mermaid by Disney (yes, I'm fond of Ariel and co. But do not get me started on how much it bastardizes the original intent of the Little Mermaid), Hunchback of Notre Dame by Disney (see Little Mermaid), aww heck any Disney animated film based on a book, really. Any Three Musketeers film (I've yet to see one that's exactly like the book), Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (love Martin Freeman and the actors in it, hate the film)

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