books vs film


This post was inspired by my baby brother, who is becoming obsessed with watching the series True Blood on pay tv. I admit I find it a tad disturbing considering I’m a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris on which the show is based.

The worst thing is that he insists on telling me about the characters and the storylines as well as the vampire gags he thinks are insanely funny like fang-bangers, Erik’s nightclub Fangtasia, etc, etc. Being a typical of male, he conveniently ignores all my “yeah, I knows”, “I KNOW I’ve got all the books” and the “for fuck’s sake would you just read the books alreadys”. Grrrrr.

Anyway it got me thinking about the adaptation of books to film – whether it be television or movie – and the hits and misses that can happen when this occurs.

Let me make clear, I’m definitely not a person who is adamantly opposed to film based on print… when it works that is. *g*

In fact, I’m a huge fan of graphic novels and comics and (some) video games which have made their way to the big screen like Max Payne (Mark Wahlberg *sigh*) and Wanted. I am THE Action Flick Chick after all.

I also tend to be one of the first in line at the cinema for adaptations of books I absolutely love. A case in point being the Twilight movie, which I was dying to see and had many conversations with my Mumma’s high school students about the trailers and the actors playing the characters. LOL. I know perhaps a little sad. πŸ™‚

I talked about why I was disappointed with the movie here so don’t want to go into it again, but what else has or hasn’t worked for me??

Here are two that immediately spring to mind.


All others fall beneath the sheer awesomeness of the 1995 BBC production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennett and Colin Firth as Mr Darcy were simply magic on screen together.


I adore everything about the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. The cast, the setting, the cinematography, the cgi, the soundtrack, everything was just lush… and then came the ending of The Return of The King. WTF!

I don’t care why. I. Just. Don’t. Care. Leaving out the last section of the book where Froddo and Sam return to a home devastated by Saruman and their fight to save it was just wrong. Sorry, but it seriously was.

Deep breaths, Kris, deep breaths.

Okay, calming down now.

Well, what about you?? Is adaptation something you hate? What’s hit or missed in your world?

About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
This entry was posted in books, Charlaine Harris, film, further randomness, True Blood. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to books vs film

  1. Tam says:

    I don’t have a problem with movies made from books. The only ones I would say (so far) that really worked for me are the Harry Potter movies because they were fairly accurate. I am usually pretty easy going and can accept that movies can’t be 8 hours long to accommodate novels. I’ve never read Lord of the Rings and fast forwarded through the battle scenes of the movies. *blush*Something I refused to see was the Get Smart movie. I was a total fan of the series and as much as I love Steve Carrel, I could NOT go to the movie. I just knew I’d be so furious it would be a waste of $12. I have more of a problem with remakes of movies or television than book adaptations.I’m debating taking my daughter to the Watchmen this weekend. A friend sent me all the “graphic novels” (comic books) and I just finished them. I thought it was pretty emo and angsty, not really my thing but the trailer looked great. So I’m waiting for them to report. I’m not usually a die hard fan of most books. Oh my daughter refused to see Twilight even though she loved the book because she was sure it would suck. LOL

  2. Kris says:

    You did WOT with the battle scenes for LOTR?? Bad Tam! Bad.I liked the ‘Harry Potter’ movies too, although I admit I didn’t like Gary Oldman (who I normally love) as Sirius Black.Don’t get me started on remakes! They seriously shit me. ‘Get Smart’ was crap – you didn’t miss anything there – and the Hollywood version of the Asian horror films don’t even come close to the originals. Probably the only thing I’ve seen recently that worked as a remake was ‘I Am Legend’, but that could be because Will Smith is a fave of mine and I’m just a bit biased. LOL.’The Watchmen’ was one of the other things that inspired this post because I was trying to work out who I could drag along to see it with me. :)Tell your daughter she made the right choice with the ‘Twilight’ movie. The best thing about it was the perve factor because of the guy who played Edward. *g*

  3. Tracy says:

    I have a serious problem with seeing movies after I’ve read the book. I’d just rather not. I’ve seen so many bad adaptations that it’s just sickening for me to see them.That being said I never saw Twilight. I hate the actor that plays Edward. Ok, will I see it eventually? Probably but not anytime soon.I think the one that I was most impressed with (off the top of my head and take into consideration that I’ve had a margarita) is Jurassic Park. I think it was because I knew going in that there was no way in hell they could EVER make it as good as the book so I went with the flow. It was good and I love it but I just don’t compare the two.I loved LOTR – all of them, but I never read the books so there ya go.FYI – this: “for fuck’s sake would you just read the books alreadys” had me laughing my ass off. Brothers!

  4. Kris says:

    Miss Margarita (aka Tracy),I try to go into a movie with the attitude that it will never be as good as the book, but my expectations inevitably end up high. *sigh* I’m hopeless.Geez, I haven’t seen ‘Jurassic Park’ for ages. I enjoyed the movie, but never read the book although I do recall getting a lecture from my Dad at the time about how the ending of the movie wasn’t as good as the book. LOL.Brothers. *snort* We’ve had similar discussions about ‘Eragon’ and ‘The Golden Compass’. The latter was just the other day with his response being “would you fucking give it a rest. you know I don’t DO books”. *sniff* How such a bibliophobic can possibly be related to me I’ll never know. But does it stop him from asking what happens next??? NO!BTW, I hope that’s an original margarita with a salted rim otherwise you might get disowned. *g*

  5. Kristie (J) says:

    I think the best book to movie I’ve ever read/seen is Tim by Colleen McCullough. The movie starred Mel Gibson and Piper Laurie. It was VERY faithful to the book and since it was at the beginning of Mel’s career, he was absolutely stunning to look at – which is what the character Tim was.Another one I really enjoyed was The Outsider based on the book by Penelope Williamson – Tim Daley as gunslinger Johnny Cain – yum.The worst I ever saw – and nearly wanted to cry over – was Morning Glory by Lavyrle Spencer. I ADORE that book, but the movie was Horrid!! Christopher Reeve was totally miscast as who I pictured Will as looking like. But was even worse – it was sacrilegious how they changed the story half way through to the point that even the villain was different in the movie compared to the book. What really astonished me though was the author was involved in the production. I was wondering after how she possibly could have allowed them to do that to her wonderful story.And I hear you about LOTR. I read the books numerous times over the years before the movies came out and I was SO impressed with how they captured who I pictured as the main characters – except for Aragorn – he was much better in the movie!! And then we came to the final movie and I was so disappointed with what they didn’t do with Faramir!!!!!! He was my favourite character in the books. But then I saw the extended version and was somewhat appeased – but not totally.And didn’t I just ‘talk’ up a storm on my first visit here *g*Hi! And nice to ‘meet’ you πŸ™‚

  6. Kris says:

    *waves* Thanks for dropping by, Kristie, and nice to meet you too. :)Ohh, nice choices, especially 'Tim' with an Aussie author and main actor. Not that I'm being patriotic or anything. *g*Actually you inspired me. As soon as I read your comment I immediately thought of some of the earlier books to film that were such winners like 'To Kill A Mocking Bird', the original b&w of 'Lord of the Flies' and 'The Collector' – Terence Stamp was absolutely chilling in that. *shivers*Another terrific one was 'The Year of Living Dangerously', but the author, C J Koch, also wrote the screenplay. Isn't it funny how sometimes this can work really well and other times a collaboration falls flat?? I wonder if this has more to do with post production editting etc than anything else?? Hmmm. *ponders*

  7. Jenre says:

    Ooh I totally love that adaptation of P&P. I've watched it loads of times.I have to admit I'm a huge fan of the LOTR films and I like them better than the books, which IMO are far too overblown. The parred down film works much better. When I got to the end of the book (about 20 years ago) I remember thinking – What! More fighting. Aren't we at the end of the book now?! Heh, heh.I also like the Harry Potter films, and the recent CS Lewis adaptations were also very faithful to the books.I'm wracking my brains to see whether I can think of any book based fims that I've seen where I was disappointed. The Keira Knightly P&P springs to mind. There are probably others but I haven't quite got my brain in gear yet.

  8. Kris says:

    Jen, you could be hunted down and killed for making such remarks about the LOTR. You’re lucky I love ya. *g*I forgot about the movies from the C S Lewis books. I’ve seen the first and thought that was very well done.I think there are a bucket load of Jane Austen adaptations that should never EVER have seen the light of day. The Gwyneth Paltrow one is a case in point. Yuck.Mr Darcy. *sigh* I think I know what I’ll be doing tonight since I have the BBC production on DVD. πŸ™‚

  9. Sean Kennedy says:

    Although the book is still better, I love the adaptation of “To Kill A Mockingbird” – I think the casting in that film is so perfect and brings the characters to life.I am so disappointed that they’re not making the rest of “His Dark Materials” – I would have loved to have seen the fundies explode when the gay angels turned up on the screen.

  10. Kris says:

    Hi Sean, and thanks for stopping by. :)”The book is ALWAYS better” is one of my favourite sayings, although it doesn’t appear to work that well on younger brothers. LOL.I’m with you; the cast for ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird’ was outstanding.They’re definitely not continuing with ‘His Dark Materials’ then?? Bugger. My recollection is that there was already an explosion – granted not as potentially nuclear as if the gay Angels appeared – because of the anti-religion message of the books and hence the film. I’d hazard a guess the powers-that-be caved, wouldn’t you?? Far be it for me to be a cynic, but it doesn’t quite have the same wholesome goodness as something along the lines of ‘High School Musical $$$ million’.

  11. K. Z. Snow says:

    Usually, screen adaptations suck the big one, but I gotta say, Brokeback Mountain was extraordinary. I read Proulx’s story after I saw the film. Wonderful story, yes, but the movie had so much more emotional resonance.And really, really nice skin. πŸ˜‰

  12. Kris says:

    Shallow, KZ, so shallow. Hehehe.I admit I’ve never read Proulx’s book, but I tend to avoid doing the back-to-front screen-to-read thing ever since my disastrous experience with ‘I, Robot’.I thought the movie was great for a sci-fi action flick and then The Grandad, who had come to watch it with me, told me it was nothing like Asimov’s original short stories and MADE me read the collection. Utter. Devastation. The movie was so, so wrong and I’ve never been the same since. :(Now I will only take the GD to movies like LOTR where we’ve both read the book first. LOL.

  13. Sean Kennedy says:

    I think it’s hard to believe it is anything other than religious controversy preventing the sequels from being made. Although the film wasn’t a hit in America, it did extremely well overseas and gangbusters on DVD. Sequels have been made for less success.And in comparison, the atheist sentiment was really toned down in the movie! I thought the girl who played Lyra was excellent, but Nicole Kidman was horribly miscast.I could rant about movies all day.

  14. Kris says:

    I also thought Dakota Blue Richards was amazing and absolutely blitzed the other acting in the film.I could ditch my cynicism and say we can live in hope that another production company will pick it the sequels, but realistically… not going to happen.I wonder if the bigwigs realise that the film was actually criticised because it watered down Pullman’s original intent. *snort* I doubt it!Okay, I need to stop. I feel a serious rant coming on.

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