Top Ten Tuesday: Best / Worst Book to Movie Adaptations

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Although I am really not anywhere close to being a “book blogger,” I do like books, and I do have a blog–and I follow a number of really awesome book bloggers who constantly inspire me with their prolific reading and reviewing. So, this week, I thought I would participate in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. (Wonderful name for a blog, right?)

This week’s theme is Best/Worst Movie Adaptations. I was somewhat limited in the items I could choose, since of course I had to have both read the original book and seen the movie. I also chose to remain faithful to the title and only chose movies, although I think that there have been some pretty amazing TV series adaptations of books out there recently (Game of Thrones, anyone?). I also went a bit further–read on to hear about my top 10 best movie adaptations, my most disappointing movie adaptations, and the movie adaptations I’m most looking forward to in 2013!

Top 10 Movie Adaptations

  1. Clueless (1995)
  2. Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
  3. The Godfather (1972)
  4. Anne of Green Gables (1985)
  5. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
  6. Gone with the Wind (1939)
  7. The Princess Bride (1987)
  8. Jumanji (1995)
  9. The Harry Potter series (2001-2011)
  10. The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) / The Hobbit (2011-2013)

Most Disappointing Movie Adaptations

Most of these are cases where I really liked the book, but for some reason, the film version just didn’t do it for me. Most of these aren’t actually bad movies, and I actually quite liked a couple of them, but read on for my (spoiler-free) rationales.

  1. Beautiful Creatures (2013)
    I liked this book a lot, but I found the film version wanting. Interestingly, I thought that the casting and acting was actually really good–way better than the Twilight series, for example. Instead, the problem seemed to be with the screenplay. Various items from the book were omitted from the movie, presumably to make the movie plot more intelligible, but then other equally complex details were added for some mysterious reason. The ending was also altered in a strangely dramatic and unnecessary way.
  2. The Twilight series (2008-2012)
    I actually quite liked this series of books, but I found the movies totally flat. In all fairness, it was probably pretty difficult to adapt a set of books where the vast majority of the narration and action goes on inside the minds of the main characters. But still, better casting and acting could have helped make these movies much better.
  3. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)
    So much of this film was done pretty well, but I was fairly disappointed that they failed to mention the deeper (and more interesting) storyline that underlines Percy’s first adventure. Let’s hope that they make up for it with the second film (see below).
  4. The Golden Compass (2007)
    I actually loved the vast majority of this film. I thought the casting, acting, visuals, etc. were generally pretty fantastic, and I am really disappointed that they have no plans to adapt the other two books in this trilogy. But for me, the altered ending was a real disappointment, as other fans of the book will certainly understand.
  5. Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
    Unlike some of the other examples above, there’s no one thing that really let me down about this movie–rather, it was something about the whole tone. I just didn’t really like this film.

Most Anticipated Movie Adaptations of 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Coming December 13
I’m a huge huge Tolkien fan, so I’ll take whatever big screen goodness I can get when it comes to seeing his fantastic world brought to life. Too bad no one will ever make The Silmarillion, which is one of my favorite books of all time.

Ender’s Game
Coming November 1
The book is pretty amazing, and the trailers for the movie look pretty exciting. Can’t wait!

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Coming August 7
As stated above, I thought they rather botched the first movie, but the sequel could be a chance for redemption. The book series is so great that I really want to be optimistic.

The Great Gatsby
Released May 1
I saw this recently, and I quite liked it.

What do you think are the best and worst movie adaptations? What adaptations are you most looking forward to? Tell me about it in the comments!

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