Book to Movie Adaptations

This weekend I saw Mockingjay Part 2, the last of four film adaptations based on The Hunger Games book series by Suzanne Collins. I had read and fallen in love with all three of the books before the first Hunger Games film was made, causing me to have rather high expectations and at the same time some concerns about the movies. Now that they have all been released, I can safely say that I did enjoy all of them. Were there some discrepancies that still bug me slightly? Sure. Most were in the first movie, which was probably my least favorite of the four. But I understand why the filmmakers made the choices that they did, and I have accepted it and moved on. It was still an entertaining movie, and the three that followed lived up to or even exceeded my expectations, which can be hard with a series like this one. The book to movie adaptation that I tend to use as a comparison quite a bit is Holes, which I believe was done extremely well. I loved the book when I was younger, and to this day I get excited to watch the movie. The story and ideas of the book were transferred to the screen without losing anything important, and the casting and acting were on point. Unfortunately, not all books are treated so well in the process of taking them from page to screen.

When I think “bad book to movie adaptation”, I think Eragon. The book is the first of a series of four, but here we can only discuss the one because the movie was so bad, continuing the saga was not even an option. It has been years since I read the book, but I have read it several times and I remember a book of around 500 pages, with a good deal of complex and interesting characters in a well-written fantasy story. The attempt to cram it all into an hour and a half or so of screen time was simply awful, and the characters and plot suffered hugely from it. Another case of disappointing film adaptation for me was The DaVinci Code. In this case, I had watched the film first a few years ago and I finally read the book this last summer. When I first saw the film, I thought it was boring. I was happy to find that the book was great, with a fast pace and story full of twists and turns. I watched the film again after finishing the book, thinking it would definitely be better since I knew the story and the characters. I was wrong. I still found it somehow slow, difficult to watch in one sitting, and overall lacking in living up to such a good book.

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7 thoughts on “Book to Movie Adaptations

  1. Angels and Demons is also an average book to movie adaptation, and also written by Dan Brown. The book so great!! They changed some of the relations between some of the charters to make it easier for the audience to understand and not cause any political issues. I also like to think that the Harry Potter series was pretty faithful, especially in the beginning.

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  2. The way I see it is that books and movies are two separate outlets for art and they should be treated as such. So when there’s a film adaptation for a book we should treat that film as its own piece of work and try not to compare it to the book.

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  3. Thats great to see that you thought the last Hunger Games film was well done. I really like this series and am glad to hear that it ends well. I did not read the Hunger Games books, but I do know what you mean when you talk about a great book that gets made into a crappy movie. I felt that way with Clive Cussler’s Sahara. The movie was not horrible, but could not hold a candle to the quality and adventure of the book.

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  4. I feel like this is such an ugly transition sometimes. I haven’t seen a movie where I have read the book first in a long time but when I was younger, movies just tend to F up the books. I remember being excited for the Cirque Du Freak movie and that is so far from the source material its really an abomination. But there are also weird instances where the film is better than the book. Jaws is much better on film than in the pages.

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  5. I alwats have that fear when they announce a film based on a beloved book of mine in fear that they’re going to ruin it completely. One example that broke my heart was The Fault In Our Stars. The books is so amazing and just brought me to tears, and while the movie did as well (I’m an emotional person) it was just not as good. They left out so many parts that made the book what it was, and while I know they can’t include every little detail in a film, it makes me wonder how they choose one scene over another.

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  6. A lot of the times these adaptations are usually bad or actually have little to do with the books real plot unless the author has a rather large control of the movie(s).

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