Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Movie Adaptations


So this week it's the top ten best/worst movie adaptations, you can join in over at The Broke and the Bookish. Man this one is a toughie! I think because it's hard to categorically say that a movie adaptation is the best/worst. Instead I've broken it up a bit more. . .

Two films that were better than the book

1. The Social Network, based on The Accidental Billionaires, by Ben Mezrich. The book is probably the most biased, ill-researched piece of so-called journalism I've ever read. The film, although still by all accounts inaccurate, actually softens the accusations made in the book dramatically and is an all-together well made film.

2. The Prestige, based on The Prestige, by Christopher Priest. The book isn't actually bad, it's just that the film is better. I enjoyed the film's one-uppance plotline, showing just how far humanity will go when pushed, far more than the books fairly ho-hum by comparison storyline.

Two films that did the book justice

3. The Princess Bride, based on The Princess Bride, by William Goldman. I've never met anyone that doesn't like this film. Good news, the book is even better!! But there's no denying that the film did the book justice. It has the same magic, humour and love as the source. It's just a shame that the whole 'good parts version' part of the novel's story couldn't be translated to film (for understandable reasons).

4. The Hunger Games, based on The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. I honestly think that this book couldn't have been made into a film any better than it was. It stayed true to the plot, brought the characters to life and was just. . . satisfying really.

Two films that butchered something great

5. Inkheart, based on Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke. The book is a joyous exploration of the power of the written world wrapped into a fun adventure story. The film is the same story and actually very true to the book, but somehow becomes a train wreck along the way. The script is clunky and with the exception of Paul Bettany, the casting doesn't feel right.

6. The Handmaid's Tale, based on The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood. We get requests all the time in the library where I work for the film, from high school students to lazy to read the book. Sure, the film is (sort of) true to the plot, but it has none of the depth or hard-hitting thematic brilliance.

Two films that changed too much

7. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, based on Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, by Paul Torday. The film was actually doing really well, until it completely changed the ending. Don't you hate it when films do that?? Especially when there seems to be no logical reason for it. Ugh.

8. World War Z, based on World War Z, by Max Brooks. The Oatmeal sums this up in a way that puts all of my feelings into a handy Venn diagram.

One not-film that makes a great thing greater

9. The BBC TV series Sherlock, based on the stories of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle. I think only the BBC could make the brilliance that is Sherlock. While staying completely true to the spirit of Arthur Conan Doyle's characters and mysteries, this series updates them for the modern-day in a way that just makes them even more GREAT than they already were.

Some adaptations that I'm scared to watch

10. I'm sure we all have these. The adaptations that we're scared to watch because they might butcher our favourites. I'm currently putting off Cloud Atlas. Life of Pi is on the list of to-watch shortly, because I didn't actually enjoy the book that much so I'm less concerned about them butchering it. I'm nervous about Divergent, because it could make a great film, but would have to be done right. The Book Thief is also a book I didn't particularly enjoy (I know, I'm the only person in the universe that didn't like it), but even aside from that I have no idea how it would be possible to translate it into the movie medium.

That's my list! What adaptations are you most scared about at the moment?


  1. I like how you broke your list up and I thought both the book and movie "Life of Pi" were very interesting. The film was very well done, I think you'll like it.

  2. Hmmm... I didn't know The Accidental Billionaires was horribly inaccurate... But boy was it a gripping read! I think I read it in one sitting (having previously known nothing about the story). And no, I'm not on Facebook!

    Haven't read Salmon Fishing but interestingly, I liked the movie up until the ending when I thought it was all a bit 'Hollywood'.

  3. Great list! I didn't include The Princess Bride in my list, since I haven't read the book yet- glad to hear it is so good!

  4. Social Network/Accidental Billionaires is a good call. I read the book after seeing the movie and I agree that the movie was much better. Great list!

    And thanks for stopping by my blog!