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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sunday Funday List: Top 10 Worst Book to Movie/TV Show Adaptations

Sunday we meet again!

Hi everyone. This week's Sunday Funday List is the Top 10 Worst Book to Movie/TV Show Adaptations. We all know how we feel when we see one of our favorite books being turned into a blockbuster. First we're excited "Yay! It's coming to life!" Then we worry "What if they screw it up?" Then we're angry "How dare they?! They left everything out!" Below I have compiled some of (but not all, as that list would be a million years long) the worst adaptations, at least in my opinion. In no particular order, here they are:

1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
First, yes I know these books weren't the best books, but listen. I enjoyed them for what they were, and honestly I think the hype and the horrible movies ruined them even more. Yes, in the book Bella is obsessive and whiny, but at least she emotes! Sorry KStew, but you're a brick wall. Her "happy", "sad", "scared", etc. all looked the exact same. How am I supposed to know if she's scared or happy that Edward is creeping on her while she's sleeping? (For the record, she was happy, not that you can tell). But it wasn't only her, everyone was horrid. It was so cheesy. These actors are in other movies and they're great, but this just was sad. The special effects leave a lot to be desired as well. If you've seen the movies and feel the same way, or haven't seen the movies but don't want to actually watch, or just need a good laugh, go watch this: Honest Trailer: Twilight.There is so much more I could say about this, but I'd be here forever. And all the other films are pretty bad too. Eclipse and Breaking Dawn Pt. 1 made some headway, just a little, but it all went back downhill in Breaking Dawn Pt. 2.

2. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
They changed the ending. THEY CHANGED THE ENDING! Jodi Picoult, how could you let them do this?! That ending is the WHOLE POINT of the book. Like...just...ugh. Even the movies made for Lifetime based off of your novels are better than this! Sure, the ending of the movie was sad, but not what was written in the book. The movie didn't even come close to the emotional punch and complexity of the novel. I was working at Six Flags at the time I was reading it and had it with me at the food stand I worked. It was August so a lot of kids were going back to school, so I had ample time to read. When I got to the end I was crying like a baby, much to the concern of the customers. And Cameron Diaz did not fit the mom character, no offense, but she is not at all what I pictured. I was quite disappointed by the movie. I recommend reading the book, don't bother with the film.

3. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
To any girl, especially girls around my age, this book was the s*hit. We discussed it like we were in book club and had a test on it at school. My copy is so worn due to obsessive re-readings. Everyone wanted a Prince Char to come rescue them from some weird curse, heck, we wanted a weird curse! Ella's adventure is so cool. She meets giants and fairies and a talking book. I want to go re-read this right now. But the movie? Oh the movie, it hurt. They turned it into a comedy. Yes the book had funny moments, but it was serious too. And the cheese factor in the movie was horrible. The step-sisters were practically comic book characters and VERY unrealistic. And the random break out into song and dance scene? That was just so Anne Hathaway could show off. This is one of those movies that when you're sick at home and nothing else is on TV you leave it on since it won't make you think (I did that). If you haven't read the book, do it, this movie will do nothing for you.

4. Bag of Bones by Stephen King
This novel terrified me. I couldn't sleep after I read it. I had to wait until I had company staying the night in order to finish it. And it was so good! The characters, the plot, the ending, everything. But the TV miniseries on A&E? Horrid. They tried to keep to the main plot, but then changed one of the most important parts of the big twist/ending. You had a perfectly good story, why keep some of it and then completely change the rest? And no offense to Pierce Brosnan and Annabeth Gish, but they did not fit the main characters, at least to me. They felt (again, apologies) too old for the characters described in the book. And here it goes again, they had the bad guys almost comically cheesy. I had a hard time taking them seriously. In the novel they're scary and you wouldn't want to run into them anywhere, but in the miniseries  I just shrugged when they showed up. Also their portrayal of the haunted house left something to be desired. There was so much potential for a great movie/tv show/miniseries in this novel, but unfortunately they floundered it.

5. Under the Dome by Stephen King
Again, another Stephen King. What's going on dude? Keep Hollywood in line. This novel was great. Even though it's 1,074 pages long I tore through it in just a few days. This novel has such an interesting dilemma and makes you think about what you would do if you were in that situation. It's scary! There is, again, so much you can do with this novel. So CBS turned this into a TV show. I watched the first, two, maybe three episodes. Awful, just awful. I think you either need to stick to the story or TOTALLY make it your own. This show is somewhere in the middle, and it's not pretty. For anyone that read the novel you'll be sorely disappointed if you watch this. The characters are different, but they still try to throw the same storyline in there. It's just not going to work. They also made it so people in the dome can't talk through the dome with those outside of it, which is a big point in the book. And again, there's a big cheese factor. For me the final straw was watching a cow get sliced in half when the dome came down. The way they changed the characters, there's no way that they could possibly stick with the story line, unless it's incredibly convoluted. And even if I hadn't read the novel, I don't think I would want to watch it, it bored me. *sigh*

6. The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
I really liked this novel, like the rest of the general populace. It was intriguing and the mystery kept my attention. There were great twists and turns and made for great story telling. Fitting all of that into a movie is difficult. It almost felt as if everything fell into the characters' laps the whole time. It all seemed too easy, which is you read the novel, you know it's not. They do way too much to fit into a 2 hour movie. Also I did not see Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon. I love Tom Hanks, he's a great actor, but he did not fit this part. That ruined part of it for me. And, little peeve since it plays a fairly big part in the ending, Sophie didn't have red hair. When it's a big plot point in a book, don't change it. Ian McKellan was fantastic though, he may be the saving grace of this film. He makes, at least his parts, worth watching.

7. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
This is hands down my favorite book by Dan Brown. And again, Hollywood screwed it up. You can't fit everything that happens into the timeline of a movie. Which I get, I know they can't do that, but when it comes to these books, you NEED everything. Without everything the story doesn't make sense. It's not like they were trivial little scenes that had nothing to do with the plot. Everything had to do with the plot. And I still can't take Tom Hanks as Robert. It just doesn't work, even in this second film (even though this book was first). I've only seen this once, as I was so disappointed, so I can't say too much about the little details, but this is not what I was expecting. I think most other fans agree, as they haven't made The Lost Symbol into a movie yet (which is good, 'cos I really liked that one too).

8. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
I read this book in 8th grade and fell in love with it. I couldn't put it down. So when I heard they were going to make a movie about it I was excited, but nervous since there was a lot they could screw up. I checked it out from the library and unfortunately, they did. The visuals are stunning. And I really enjoyed how they did the training scenes, it looked like I envisioned it. But I was just bored. It couldn't keep my attention. I found myself going on my phone, reading articles, picking up books. I had to constantly rewind. After what I thought was maybe an hour and a half, I was only half an hour or so in, so I gave up. It did not catch my attention at all like the book did. Maybe if I could just look at the pretty visual sequences, I'd be fine.

9. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
What a great book. What a great series. I couldn't wait to see the movie. The actors were great for the parts, the visuals were beautiful, the effects were good. But the storytelling. Oh the storytelling. It starts out okay, but starts to disintegrate as it goes, especially the ending. They change it, a lot. It defeats the whole purpose of the ending in the book. Why movies do this I'll never understand. Why stay true to a book, at least mostly, throughout and then change the ending? Especially when the ending is integral to the book and the rest of the series. This film isn't the worst adaptation from a book, but the ending is what put it on this list. I may just stop the movie before I get there next time and pretend it didn't happen.

10. The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
I was excited to see ABC Family adapting Sara Shepard's other series since I enjoy Pretty Little Liars (go ahead, judge me). I was really enjoying it at first, but then it started to drag. The same things kept happening and nothing was really moving forward. The books haven't been as big as PLL, but they're quite popular and very well rated. The story line moves forward quickly and keeps you intrigued. The show started lacking that quality. The reason I kept watching was that Charisma Carpenter joined the cast and I have to watch anything that Buffy alum are in, plus she's a great actress. The show managed to get a second season, but unfortunately kept going downhill. If you're interested in this, I recommend just reading the books.

Honorable Mention:
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare - The movie just didn't cut it.

So there's my list for this week. Do you agree with these? Is there something you thought you'd see on there that you didn't? How do you feel about all these books being turned into movies and TV shows?

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