Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thursday Thoughts (1)

Thursday Thoughts is a weekly meme hosted by Ashley over at OK, Let's read!

I've been meaning to join in on Thursday Thoughts for the past 2 weeks, but I was smack-dab in the middle of the book boyfriend tournament and couldn't fit in any additional posts. But now that it's April and March Madness is over, I can finally participate! This week's topic is Books to Movies. I have quite a bit to say about this topic, so let's get started!
(Speaking of adaptations, it was announced today that Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell has been optioned by DreamWorks! AND she's writing the screenplay. Here's the story on Huzzah!)

Okay, on to the discussion...I'm not firmly in one camp or the other. If it's a movie I'm interested in, and have read the book, chances are I will see the movie at some point. On the reverse side, I'm not likely to go see an adaptation where I have not read the book. 
I have recently made a self-imposed rule that I will not re-read books before the movie comes out. It used to be the opposite for me. I would reread the book the week before the movie is released. Which only set me up for disappointment. I would nit pick EVERYTHING. It was very much a "how *dare* you leave out this ridiculously miniscule detail that no one else will notice but me?" So. I did not reread Divergent before going to see the movie on opening night. Due to that fact, I think my rating was higher than it would've been otherwise. (It should also be noted that I often reread books in series before the next one comes out. So before seeing Divergent, I had already read the book 3 times...)
Onto some of my favorite (and least favorite) adaptations. For the purposes of the rest of this post, I shall break it in to three categories: The Great, The Pretty Good, and The Don't Touch This With a 10 Foot Pole.


 Harry Potter. The gold standard on which I judge all book to movie adaptations.While it would have been impossible to include every. single. detail. included in the books, I felt the creative decisions made were the right ones (who really needed the S.P.E.W. plot line in the movies? No one. That's who.). If books like these with SO much detail can be this well made, why can't everything?!

The Help (2011) Poster

The Help. This was one of the truest to form adaptations I've ever seen. Another example of how adaptations should be. Check it out, especially if you've read the book. There's a reason Octavia Spencer won an Oscar for her role.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999) Poster

10 Things I Hate About You. In case you didn't know. this totally an adaption of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. I was, and still am, obsessed with this movie. My husband actually bought it for me for Christmas. It's Heath Ledger's first starring role, and I love him in this movie so much. It's late-90s awesomeness in all its glory.

Clueless (1995) Poster

Clueless. Another one that most people don't know is an adaption. This time, it's Jane Austen's Emma. Alicia Silverstone as Cher is wonderful. And the catch-phrases? As if! Did I mention that it has Paul Rudd?!? Need I say more?

Pride & Prejudice (2005) Poster

Pride and Prejudice (2004 movie version). I love this movie so very much. I know what scene to skip to on my DVD to watch my favorite Lizzy & Darcy moments. Still to this day, I remember seeing it in the theater with my now-husband.
 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) PosterThe Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) PosterThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) Poster
The Lord of the Rings. This trilogy is so amazing. As a huge fan of Tolkien's original work, I may actually love the movies just as much. With the exception of a couple of glaring omissions (Tom Bombadil, anyone?), it really is a very true-to-story adaptation.
Gone with the Wind (1939) Poster
Gone with the Wind. Loved the book. Love the movie (all 4 hours of it). I don't even care that the most famous line from the movie isn't actually the direct quote from the book. It's just that good.

 The Hunger Games (2012) PosterThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) Poster
The Hunger Games & Catching Fire. This is so close to being in the great section, but for a few things I don't understand why they cut them out. The avoxes? Darius? Madge? Bonnie & Twill? I know this is a bit nit-picky, but I don't care. I did enjoy Catching Fire quite a bit more than The Hunger Games though (and not just because Finnick is quite possibly my favorite person in the entire series).

Divergent (2014) Poster

Divergent. So there's a few things I didn't understand why they changed them, namely no Edward eye-stabbing and the ending... but overall I thought it was true to the book. The casting was fantastic (why hello, Theo James), and the acting was incredible. For the record, I don't usually support completely changing the book for the movie, but in the case of Allegiant, I desperately hope that they will... for more reasons than I can enumerate here.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) PosterThe Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) Poster
The Hobbit. As much as I loved LOTR, The Hobbit has not captured me in the same way. Peter Jackson has added SO much from additional books (ie: The Simarillion) to create additional stories that are no where to be found in The Hobbit. But I do love the movies for what they are. Also, CUMBERBATCH.

The Host (2013) Poster

The Host. Oh my word this was horrible. Weird casting. Unnecessary and completely strange additions and subtractions from the book. And don't even get me started on the voice-over for Wanderer. But I did love the book. So.. there's that.
Twilight (2008) Poster

Twilight (especially the first movie). Not that this stopped me from seeing all of the movies. Let's pretend I didn't know any better at the time these were released. The movies did get better, but still not great. However it did spawn THIS from Jimmy Fallon (click on the Daniel Radcliffe one). Enjoy.

What are your thoughts on books to movies? Love 'em or leave 'em?


  1. I LOVE how you did this. The examples and pictures and everything is just fab. I love 10 Things. I also had no idea that Clueless was Emma, but I don't know that story so I guess that's why. Clueless is like *hyperventilates* good. There was a show, right? I don't know. I just remember watching it on TV when I was younger.

    I desperately wish I knew how great the LoTR movies are to the book, but I haven't read it yet.. Eventually.One day. It's a distant goal. :P

    Awesome Thursday Thoughts post. I'm SO excited that you joined the party!!

  2. I've also learned the hard way that it's better to see the movie when the book isn't too fresh in my mind. Otherwise, all my energy goes into spotting the differences.

    Joy's Book Blog

  3. As I’ve been reading the HP books for the first time recently, I can say that the movies, for the most part, did a good job of showing what needed to be shown and to entertain. The only complaint I had was finding out that the Percy/Ministry story line existed in the books, but was never explained in the movies. And I wished they had gone into Voldemort’s back story more. Because I wanted to know why/how he was a baddie. What caused it. They glossed over it in the movies, so I got more of that in Book 6 especially.

    A terrible book-to-movie that I absolutely hate: Percy Jackson – The Lightning Thief. Talk about changes. I read the book with my book club students, and then we watched the movie, and I couldn’t believe the liberties they took with it. But it did make for good discussion topics with the kids about how the book and movie were different, what was left out.

  4. LOVE YOUR LIST!!! I literally just saw Divergent tonight so missed it off mine but I ended up really loving it. I finally broke my own rule and didn't reread just before seeing it and I think that helped me enjoy it more. Usually I just sit there, getting more and more worked up as they miss things off. I got why some things were left out but not others.

    LOTRs made my list, I absolutely adore those films BUT I haven't read the books. I just worry I won't love them anywhere near as much, like the reverse of how I usually am when I go see the movie after reading the book.

    The Hunger Games movie one did disappoint me quite a lot but then I ended up loving Catching Fire a lot. Totally not because of Finnick ;)

    The Hobbit... eurgh. I kind of enjoyed the first one but the second one bored me so much. So many people left the cinema whilst I was watching that, and they didn't come back. I didn't blame them and I kind of wished I could join them. I love Cumberbatch but did he need to speak at the rate of one word a minute as Smaug, I almost dozed off during that. I felt like the Hobbit doesn't require a trilogy, it felt like that was more for money making purposes than to make an amazing trilogy because the book required it.

    The Help also made my list, beautiful adaptation. I loved it. Great picks, here's my post.

  5. Great post. I generally try my best to separate books and movies as two completely different art forms. I think there is no way any movie can live up to books in my mind, so I just don't even bother comparing the two anymore.