Favorite Book-to-Movie Adaptations

 

Some of us get excited at the idea of our beloved books being turned into movies/shows, and then there are some of us who cringe when the news breaks about the upcoming adaptation. Which is understandable because so many times I sit down to watch my favorite book be played out on the big screen only to sit there horrified at the train wreck in front of me. Seriously, do some of these writers and directors even read the books they are trying to bring to life? However, there are times when the people in charge know the material and get it. So today I want to talk about a few of my favorite book-to-screen adaptations.

 

 

How could I start this list off with anything other than Harry Potter?! Now, I know they cut a lot out of the books. I mean, those novels are massive and filled to the brim with imagination. However, I will be the first to admit that while I love the HP franchise and would like nothing more for the story to never end, two and a half hours is more than enough for me to sit and watch a movie. I don’t know if I could have handled sitting in a theater, or my own living room for that matter, for longer than that. So while the movie did cut out some stuff, I felt like they left the essence and magical aspect of the series intact. Not to mention, all the crazy mystical stuff that Rowling came up with was so hard for me to imagine. I needed it to be brought to life on the big screen for me to wrap my head around it all. Which brings me to how well they did with the special effects. So many movies today rely heavily (too heavily in my opinion) on CGI. However, I loved that while there are parts that are clearly computer generated, it still felt authentic and believable.

 

 

Hunger Games was one that I will admit that I fell under the cringing side of things when they announced the cast. I mean, a pale, blonde, beach babe playing an olive skin-toned teenager with black hair, and grey eyes. Don’t even get me started on the whole Gale and Peta thing. I mean, they pretty much took two perfectly fine guys who fit the description of each of the male roles, and then swapped them, thus making them dye their hair and change their appearance. This had Twilight written all over it. I just imagined horrible wigs, spray tans, and just a whole lot of NO going on from me. However, when the trailers started to drop… my jaw did too… right to the floor. I mean, Jennifer Lawrence did a phenomenal job playing Katniss. I felt like I was in the capitol watching the Hunger Games play out. While I didn’t agree with the casting at first, I can’t imagine anyone else playing Katniss. And, just like with Harry Potter, a lot of stuff that goes on during the Hunger Games is manufactured by the game master. However, even though there were fire balls, killer bees, blood-thirsty moneys, and all sorts of crazy stuff going on that was clearly computer generated after the filming was complete, I felt like it was all real. Thinking back on Mocking Jay and that toxic gas… maybe a bit too real. Bleh!

 

 

And lastly, one that is a bit controversial… Game of Thrones. I say it’s controversial because one, I haven’t actually read the whole series, and two, the writers are pretty much finishing the series off for the author since they caught up to the books he’s written so far. Granted, he’s had a hand in letting the cast know where his story will end, I feel like ultimately it’s the writers of the show who are now moving the pieces around on this game of deadly chess. Now, I did try to read the first book after I watched the first season. I’m a sucker for wanting to read the written word of a show/movie that I really enjoy, because I know there are more nooks and crannies that aren’t shown on film. However, it was so boring! I’m not a fantasy or sci-fi reader for a reason, I get bored quickly by all the fantastical wording thrown around to describe something. One thing you should know about me, I don’t do wordy… JUST SPIT IT OUT! So, I may not necessarily be a fan of the books, but the show has my full attention. Which, let me be honest, it took a handful of episodes for me to fully get on board with this show. I mean, what is with all the sex and boobs?! However, once Khal Drogo came on scene, this girl was locked in. And yes I’m still very VERY angry with how they did my man wrong. I miss you, My Sun and Stars! I do want to point out that they got older actors/actresses to play the leading roles. For instance Daenerys is 13 in the novels, 15 in the show, but is played by someone who looks in her early 20’s. Basically, they took all the kids in the books and aged them by 2-3 years, and most were played by actors much older than that. So, it wasn’t until I picked up the book that I realized that Sansa was supposed to be 11 years old in the story. This is a girl whose head is filled with hearts and cupids over a vile boy. A boy whom she can’t wait to marry and have his children… at 11! So, I suppose I can see why they aged the children up because I don’t know how I would take to Daenerys’ being married off at the age of 13, and bearing witness to her wedding night. Nope! Totally okay with the things they changed.

 

 

 

What about you? What are some of your favorite book-to-movie adaptations?

 

 

 

 

26 Thoughts on “Favorite Book-to-Movie Adaptations

  1. I really need to get around to watching the Harry Potter movies lol

    • WHAT?!?! LoL Yes. Yes, you do. LoL We watch them ever year starting at Halloween. It’s like our yearly tradition. Especially since the stories kind of follow the holidays, it seems like the perfect Halloween-Christmas movie selection. 🙂

  2. I haven’t read any of the books. I did like the movies though. I don’t watch Game of Thrones.

  3. Lauren Becker on 28 March, 2018 at 11:58 am said:

    Oh, I’m so with you on the Harry Potter movies. I thought they did a fantastic job and I didn’t mind the things they left out/changed a bit because you really could NOT fit it all in. Plus, that’s what the books are for – I don’t need it to be word for word. I just want the movie to play out the books for me. 🙂 I also really love The Hunger Games films. I think the casting was fantastic.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    • I completely agree. I know that some things will get left out, but there’s a difference between reading a book for a few days and watching a movie for a couple of hours. There’s only so much you can fit into that time-frame.

  4. Books to movies can be tricky, I have sat through some bad ones indeed. I think some of my favorites are Gone with the Wind, and I thought the movie adaptation of Practical Magic was so much better than the book, which almost never happens.

    • Wow. It’s very rare to like a movie more than a book. I haven’t read Practical Magic, but I own the movie. 😉 I will have to give the book a try.

  5. I agree with the Harry Potter adaptations. I believe they did the story justice. Another one that I loved was Lord of the Rings. The books are massive, but I still feel the movies did a great job.

    • The movies are fun to watch, but I never gave the books a try. I took one look at them when the movies came out and decided to stick with the film. LoL I’m glad to hear that they did a good job representing the books though.

  6. It’s crazy how that can happen with a series and them passing him by with it. I don’t think I’ve read any books then seen the movies/shows other than True Blood and those were just so terribly bad on tv vs the books. lol

    • Oh man. HaHaha Yeah. That was pretty bad. I didn’t finish the show… did it even finish out the books? I struggled through the first season hoping it would get better once they felt they snagged an audience, but it never did. I think I gave up somewhere during the first season.

  7. I agree on Harry Potter and The Hunger Games (I actually never read the Hunger Games books). I actually watched HP in the theater. All of them.

    Now…I read GOT and stopped at the 4th. I read them when nobody had heard of them and I’d been waiting for George RR Martin to release the next one in this series. Today I’m over it. I’d rather watch the tv show 😀

    Great post!

    • HaHa. Yeah, I don’t think he ever caught up to the show, did he? I know at one point the writers consulted with him as to where to take the show next because he was still trying to write the series. :\

  8. I always like books better than movie/TV adaptations. The only exception when movies are equally good, if not better than books is Lord of teh Rings trilogy. I adore Tolkien and his novels but I think that movies may be even better 🙂

  9. I really enjoyed the Harry Potter movie adaptions, you just can’t fit everything into a movie though. I have watched Hunger Game, liked them but I don’t think I will ever read the books. And I really have enjoyed Game of Thrones although it can be a bit too violent at times. But I do love the plot 🙂

    • One thing that I think I love about the GoT show is the opening. The Mister pointed it out to me that the beginning intro where they show all the kingdoms, they change based on the progression of the story. So walls crumble, fires burst, or whatever. I had never noticed that the opening changed until he pointed it out. There’s a ton of thought that went behind the story and it’s really like a massive game of chess.

  10. Nadene on 30 March, 2018 at 9:15 am said:

    I am not big fan of books becoming movies as most times they do not turn out well. That being said I am yet to read any of the books mentioned in your post. I did watch Hunger Games and I viewed a few episodes of Game of Thrones.

    • A lot of the times it’s a miss for me. However, these were ones that I actually enjoyed. It’s just so hard to get them right, especially when we’ve all probably imagined things differently in our minds while reading.

  11. I just saw Love, Simon and it was soooo good! Another good book to movie adaptation. 😀

    • I’ve been seeing a lot of good feedback about that movie. I haven’t read the book, but I’m thinking I may need to because everyone is raving about the movie.

  12. I’m firmly in the see the movie OR read the book camp lol I still haven’t seen THG. I saw Twilight and a few seasons of True Blood and they completely ruined how I thought things were so I don’t do it anymore.

    I have seen HP and recently Love, Simon but it was so long after reading the books that I barely remembered enough to get upset.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    • Eeeesh. Yeah… those are not a good representation of a book-to-movie adaptation. Those were both awful and painful to watch. Everyone is raving about Love, Simon. I’m curious to see what all the hype is about.

  13. These are my top three faves in book and film. Big Little Lies does well and so does The Handmaid’s Tale.

    • Oh yeah? A lot of people loved The Handmaid’s Tale. I will admit that I haven’t read nor seen either but I have heard of them. I will have to check them out. 🙂

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