Movie Adaptations- Yay or Nay?

So I said this blog was about words, in all their forms, but so far I’ve been focusing on books. Never fear because today I’m gonna talk about movies AND books.

All us book lovers come down on different sides when it comes to a movie or TV show adaptation of our favorite stories and characters. Hate it OR love it? Either way, we tend to be very vocal about our feelings when our favorite stories are being redone for the screen.

I tend to be cautiously optimistic whereas some of my friends try to pick apart the actors chosen for the main roles and what color their hair is in book vs. film. I find that when I read I don’t think about what the characters look like when they are being cast. I am more worried that they won’t have those undefinable characteristics that I love.

Stories we love

Stories we love

When Delirium was made into a TV show a lot of people worried about what the story would lose, and Lauren Oliver had this to say on her tumblr. “The books will always be the books. No adaptation, either for film or TV, will or can completely replicate and remain faithful to them—it’s a totally different art form! I like to think of this as a new riff, a new interpretation of the story I’ve written. TV, more so than novel-writing, is a collaborative art form.”

Even though the show didn’t get picked up I found this was the best advice when approaching the release of a new movie.

When it came to the newest Percy Jackson movie I was excited, but I didn’t remember every aspect of the books, since it had been a while since I’d read them. It gave me an opportunity to watch as a fan of the books, but without feeling like I was constantly tearing apart every scene. And it was marvelous.

Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters Trailer

What movie adaptations did you hate? Or love? Which are you looking forward to?

I’m gonna make a side note here really quick. What do you guys think of move covers for books? I’m of the opinion that if it brings new people to the books who wouldn’t have picked them up before that’s ok with me. I like how the Harry Potter books never took the movie covers, and I guess that proves the point that you don’t need to change the covers to get people to buy them. But let’s admit that Harry Potter is in a league of his own when it comes to readership. I will say that I cannot stand a novelization of a movie. It would be less time to just watch the movie, and ultimately the novelization will be the movie word for word except you’ll miss that visual quality that makes movies different from books.

Sorry I got sidetracked. What do you think about movie covers on books? Or novel adaptations?

2 responses to “Movie Adaptations- Yay or Nay?

  1. the thing people constantly forget about book vs movie is that books are written to be consumed over time, a bit at a time. Books don’t have to follow time or thematic continuity, and you can skip ahead if some parts bore you. But movies are like meals. They are made to be eaten at one sitting, in order. That difference will always mean a movie adaptation simply can never be “like the book”. The best you can hope for is that it will be true to the spirit of the book, remind you of the book etc. People point to adaptations that work well as movies and assert that somehow makes them more faithful to the book, which is often nonsense. Lord of the Rings is a prime example. Great movies. Great books. And neither is much like the other at all in tone, style or even key plot events. They just both share characters with the same names, who often act in the movies vastly differently, from different motives than in the books.

    My favorite adaptations are the two David Lean ones from Dickens; Great Expectations, and Oliver Twist. Dickens wrote stories that were serialized week to week. That works well for telling a story in movie form too. My pick for the worst would be Stanley Kubrick’s version of Stephen King’s The Shining. King’s books move, and the movie is all about some sort of invisibly-building sense of dread, and nothing moves for eons onscreen except that kid peddling down the hall on his Big Wheel. They both work more or less, but the two versions are too unrelated to each other in intent, so I would call that an “unfaithful” adaptation.

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