Monday, October 22, 2012

Blog Chain - Book Adaptations

It was my turn to pick the topic this round and I want to know:

There are so many book-to-movie adaptations out there. Which are your favorites? Which are your least favorites? Why? Do you make sure you've read a book before you go see the movie adaptation, or do you prefer to read it after, or not at all?

I am almost always firmly in the "the book is better" club. However, this does not mean that I don't love the movie versions. I tend to read the books before I go see their movie adaptations whenever possible. I know that this biases me a bit. And yes, I often sit there thinking of what got cut, etc. But I also think it helps me understand what is going on better.

Take the Hunger Games movie, for example (one of my faves, btw). So much of the book took place in Katniss' head. And while they did a great job adapting this book for the screen, I think knowing what was going through her head in each scene helped make the movie better for me. My hubs agrees (and he's not a reader at all).

After seeing the movie, he read the book. And then went with me when I went to see the movie again :D He enjoyed it much more the second time around with the book to help bolster what was happening on the screen.

Some of my favorite adaptations = Hunger Games, the Harry Potter films, Ella Enchanted (one of my exceptions for the whole "the book is better" thing - I actually enjoyed the movie more), John Grisham's books to films, Holes and LOTR (though I haven't read the books yet). The Twilight films...I'm a bit on the fence about these. They sort of grew on me and I like the later ones much better...the first film is my least favorite of the ones that are out so far. But I do enjoy them so I'll add them to the list :)

My least favorite = Queen of the Damned. I loved this series by Anne Rice. And Interview with a Vampire wasn't too bad. But Queen of the Damned was horrible. So far removed from the book that it was almost unrecognizable. I mean I get that changes have to be made, but the changes in this particular case were just too much for me.

Another disappointment (at least as a book adaptation) = the Sookie Stackhouse novels/True Blood. This one is a bit more complicated for me. I LOVE the books. And season 1 of the True Blood tv series wasn't too bad. But they strayed more and more from the book storylines until now, very little of the original stories exist anymore.

I still, for the most part, enjoyed the series in an of itself, even though it was no longer an adaptation of the books but more like a spin off....some sort of weird fan-fiction that used the characters and world but little else. This is the only example that I can think of where an adaptation has strayed so far yet I liked it for itself.

At least for a little while :) While it seemed as though some effort was being made to at least keep the characters true to the book characters (even if the story lines were waaaay out of left field), the characters, other than their names, are no longer even recognizable as belonging to the books that Charlaine Harris wrote. I take issue with that :) And yet still can't help tuning in (in large part, I think, due to Alexander Skarsgard LOL I'll put up with a lot just to watch him) ;D

How about you? What are your most or least favorite adaptations? Do you read the books before seeing the movies?

Make sure you check out Lisa's take on the subject and head to Alyson's blog tomorrow to see what she has to say! :) If you want to follow the chain from the beginning, start with the lovely Kate's blog :)


Stephanie McGee said...

I do usually, if I know the movie is an adaptation, I'll read the book. Unless the book doesn't interest me. Sometimes (like Hunger Games) I go because someone I know wants to see it but won't see it unless they have someone to go with them. So I'll go see it with them even if I haven't read the books.

My least favorite, or at least one of them, is the third Harry Potter movie.

Michelle McLean said...

I had a hard time with The Goblet of Fire because they had to leave so much out.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

I've never seen Ella Enchanted, but always thought it looked good - I may need to do an old movie night sometime soon.

Margie Gelbwasser said...

I had big issues with Goblet of Fire the movie as well, for the same reason. WAAAY too much left out. And I never read or saw True Blood but wanted to.

Jen Chandler said...

I usually love the books more than the movies. They did a good job with Harry Potter (though there are some details that really bugged me in the films..). The LOTR was done brilliantly but I must say, the books are far superior to the movies just because of Tolkien's use of language. You really should read them (and I realize this is a HUGE commitment!)

The one movie adaptation that i liked better than the book was Jurassic Park. The book was good, but the movie was so much better! The characterization was better and, of course, it was fun to actually see the dinosaurs!

Movie from book I did not like: Eragon. I won't even start on that one.

Great post!