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.