Hey bookworms, I am a big proponent of reading a book before watching the movie or TV show adaption, but I know how exciting it is when a book you love is suddenly getting the big screen treatment. However, as we all know not all of these adaptions are gems. In fact some are downright cringe worthy. I have compiled a list of my top 5 favourite adaptions, and 5 that totally missed the mark.
I should note that I am not really going for how accurate the adaptions are, more for my impression of them overall.
Top 5 Best Adaptions:
1. The Harry Potter series
So this one sort of goes without saying. I will never stop being impressed with how the makers of the Harry Potter movies stayed so loyal to the books, consulting with J. K. Rowling and really trying to capture the magic of the story. Their casting was amazing, some of the characters look so much like I imagined them it’s almost creepy. Sure, they did start leaving things out in the later books, and tweaking the story a bit, but I will forgive that because overall the movies are brilliant. My only real complaints are with the fourth movie (mostly because it is my favourite book and I think they left out some important information), and the end of the last movie (spoilers: I liked how Harry killed Voldemort in the books, and in the movie it didn’t feel the same). But other than that I really have nothing bad to say about this adaption.
2. The Hunger Games
This is a tricky one because I actually like the movie better than the book. I never read past the first book, partly because I never got around to it, and because the story felt over after the first one. The movies on the other hand had me engaged until the very end. I thoroughly enjoyed all the films, though I recognize that if I had liked the book more I may feel differently.
3. Life of Pi
Though not a YA book, I had to include this on my list. I saw the movie before I read the book (I know, I am ignoring my own book philosophies but I hadn’t heard of th ebook before the movie came out). This books, and movie aren’t for everyone, but I loved them both. The movie not only had amazing special effects, but it had powerful emotional aspects that actually brought me to tears. And if anyone else has had the experience of sobbing in an almost empty movie theatre while the staff look at you like you have gone insane, you know it is a powerful experience.
4. The 100
This adaption is a TV show and not a movie. I kind of like it better when books are turned into TV shows because I feel like they become more complex and leave less out. I understand that The 100 the show went a very different direction than The 100 the book. In fact they are almost better treated as two separate things. I love the show, and felt unsure about the book. I personally feel that the show is much better, as it captures the moral complexities and character dynamics the book was lacking.
5. Princess Diaries
I had to include this adaption on the list because it is one of my favourite childhood movies! Much like The 100, I did not enjoy these books, and though the movie went in a very different direction, I think it turned out much better. I hear there is talk of a third movie, so I will have to keep my fingers crossed, because that would be amazing.
Top 5 Worst Adaptions:
1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians
This one was one of my biggest disappointments when it comes to book-movie adaptions. I loved the Percy Jackson series, and the movie was all wrong. There wasn’t much the movie did right, which was sad because the adaption had so much potential to be great. Personally I think it would work better as a TV show.
2. The Golden Compass
This is another adaption that just missed the mark. The original book Northern Lights by Philip Pullman was a great read, and the movie failed to capture the same magic and suspense, at least for me.
3. The Hobbit
Ok before anyone gets mad let me explain. The Hobbit movies are not on this list because they were inaccurate adaptions, in fact I think they were very accurate. I put them here because I think they were somewhat unnecessary. They turned a 300 page book into 3 very long movies. I think one movie would have been sufficient to capture the essence of the book. The result for me, was that the movies felt drawn out and frankly boring.
Inkheart is another one of my childhood favourites, and when I found out they had made it into a movie I was thrilled, until I actually watched it. There are some of the book elements present in the movie but overall I felt that it really missed the mark. There was a lot of potential for great movies, but either the filmmakers didn’t know how to incorporate all the elements nicely, or they didn’t want to.
5. Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
This movie was laughably bad in my opinion. The current adaption (a TV show on Netflix) is also not much better. Some of the lines in this movie were so cheesy and out of place, and having read other works from Cassandra Clare I am surprised an adaption turned out that way. This series had such potential, and though the TV show seems to be faring better than the movie it still doesn’t do the books justice.
What about you guys, do you agree or disagree with any of my choices? what are some of your favourite or hated adaptions?