Hello everyone! Remember these? The last time I did one was literally ages ago, but I've been spending a lot more time reading discussion posts lately compared to reviews and thought it'd be fun and interesting to start writing a bit more discussion-y posts. I will admit, these are pretty hard for me since my thoughts are often to jumbled up I can't put them into words. But, I'll giving this a shot.
So today's topic comes from a recent podcast episode that Claudia and I did (LISTEN HERE) where we talked about books to movie adaptations. I also stumbled across this article on Book Riot who by the way have some awesome things so be sure to check them out!
The article talks about not caring whether movie adaptations stick true to the books. With the recent explosion of books to movie adaptations in the film industry, I think it's a pretty important and relevant topic to discuss. Let's start off with a general list (off the top of my head) of movies I've watched with book inspirations:
- The Lord of the Rings/Hobbit
- The Chronicles of Narnia
- Harry Potter
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians
- Guardians of the Ga'Hoole
- If I Stay
- City of Bones
- Safe Haven
- The Longest Ride
- Ella Enchanted
- The Lovely Bones
- The Bridge to Terabithia
- The Book Thief
There are probably a whole bunch more but those are the first that came to mind. Now the ones that I've read the books as well as watched the movies, I bolded. Actually, looking back on the list - I did pretty good in terms of reading books before watching the movies...Either way, let's pick three movies and discuss.
1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Did anyone see this coming? Percy Jackson was and still is such a crowd pleaser and thousands of readers lose themselves in the amazing world of Camp Half-Blood. The movies, not so much. I'm actually agreeing with the crowd by saying the movies were completely horrible, but not for some of the same reasons. I remember talking to my cousin about the first movie and hearing her complain about Annabeth's hair - blonde not brunette (get it straight producers!) To be honest, that never occurred to me.
What upset me more was definitely the plotline and how jumbled up everything seemed. Both movies just lacked the excitement and buildup that the books did. The first one especially just seemed like producers were throwing random Greek monsters into the film. Seriously, what's the Hydra even doing? My point is - the movies sucked, but some of the crowd complaints (appearance) seemed a bit silly.
Question: How much does the appearance of actors/actresses affect your perception of a movie adaptation?
2. Guardians of the Ga'Hoole
I don't know how many people read the books and watched the movie since the movie came out pretty late. For those who don't know I absolutely adored the Guardians of the Ga'Hoole series by Kathryn Lasky. Soren was actually my first ever book crush (♥). The movie was eh. I can't exactly place my finger on why I didn't love the film. I enjoyed it, but I didn't feel like it did the books justice. However, I definitely wish they had continued on with the movies since the series is 20+ books.
Question: How do you determine if a movie does a book justice? What are some topics on your criteria?
3. City of Bones
I had to include this one because this movie sunk straight to the bottom with the Mortal Instrument fans. And once again I find myself in the small minority that actually enjoyed the movie for what it was worth. I didn't really like the first book, but then again a lot of people don't. Do I think the fandom was a bit harsh - yeah a bit. The movie had the right components to make an enjoyable film - what it lacked according to fans was its accuracy to the books. Which brings me to this question:
How accurate must a movie be to its book? Are the producers allowed no outlets of creative change?
Alright, before this post gets waaaaaay too long which it is starting to, I just want to answer those questions myself.
1. The appearance doesn't bother me at all. While I would like the actors/actresses to look like the dream cast in my mind, most of the time I'm just happy I can put a face to the name. Sometimes authors create these gorgeous characters that in our heads look like angels. News flash, angels aren't human which therefore means if we over-imagine characters we'll be disappointed no matter what.
2. A movie does a book justice if it brings the essence of the story through to the audience. I'll talk about what I mean in the next question, but essentially the movie must make me feel what the book did and maybe even excite me even more because I am getting the experience to see something literally come to life.
3. So what do I mean by essence? The essence of the story is the heart of what the author is trying to convey in his or her book. I would like the movie to accurate, but the truth is producers making the film have the rights to change things according to what they think the public will enjoy. The public meaning everyone and not just fans of the book. On top of that, it's difficult to include every small detail in a 300 page book into an hour and a half (on average).
Wow this is a lot longer than I expected...I definitely need to work on making my thoughts more concise. Anyway, please let me know in the comments below what your thoughts are regarding books to movie adaptations. Let's get the discussion going~