Monday, September 2, 2013

Novel Films

Happy September!

Madeleine Sara over at Scribble and Edit is hosting a Novel Films event. This topic has come up many times before, but I always find it fascinating.

Everyone's had that experience where they read a book and think, "This would make a great movie!"
Or loved the movie so much, they ran right out to buy the book. And of course, that sinking feeling of seeing the movie based on a book you loved, and it just not being up to par.

Quick note, I saw a tee shirt once that said, "The book was better. "

LOL. Love that!

Usually, that's the case. However, here's a few titles that I actually enjoyed the movie story better in some way, shape, or form. (Don't hate me) o_O

JAWS -- I love the movie in every way. The book disappointed me. The ending was so different, I didn't care for it at all in the book. And the characters did not draw me in like the movie does. But props to Peter Benchley for a classic story that has scared people outta the ocean for years.

THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO -- The most recent version of the movie is my fave. The book is a gem. It has everything that makes a good story great. BUT! I prefer the ending of the film. The characters end up happier, and it makes me feel better because of it. But Alexandre Dumas was a genius!

STARDUST -- I adore this movie so much. It's funny, fantastical, romantic. The book did not have the same feel to it. Don't get me wrong. Neil Gaiman is amazing and the entire concept is magic. But I did not fall in love with the book the way I'd hoped.

DRACULA -- Actually, this book is my all time fave. And the Coppola version of the film is deliciously gratifying, but the book did not have that romantic thread the movie has between Dracula and Mina Harker. I really missed that in the book. Even so, the book still rocks and Bram Stoker was a true literary pioneer.

Now it could be that I saw these film versions BEFORE I read the books. Maybe because I loved the films so much, the books couldn't compete. Doesn't matter. It's rare that this happens.

Now for a few films that did an incredible job of living up to the grandeur of the book:

Lord of the Rings (Peter Jackson is my hero)
The Help
Out of Africa
Silence of the Lambs
Hunger Games
Harry Potter
The Green Mile

Just to name a few.

Films that couldn't quite cut it are abundant. I think what gets me the most is when there's one characteristic that stands out in the book and the film makers don't include it. Really feels inauthentic.
For instance, in The Da Vinci Code, the main character, Sophia, has red hair. That's a significant part of the story, yet it was left out of the movie. Sometimes it's the little details that count most.

Today's also the cover reveal for NA author, Vincent Morrone:

Is Bristol Blackburn about to meet the love of her life...or her killer? 

After the death of her parents, Bristol Blackburn's life is thrown into chaos and she's forced to move to Spirit, a small town where shadows are stirring. As she learns to navigate her new school and figures out how to keep her psychic abilities secret from her family, Bristol comes face to face with the boy who makes a regular appearance in her dreams: the gorgeous, possibly deadly, Payne McKnight. Soon she’ll find out if Payne will be the love of her life, or the end of it — and she has no idea which possibility scares her more. And that's not even the worst of it. Strange shadows are haunting her dreams, and they're up to something that could put Bristol and the lives of everyone she loves in jeopardy.

As they say in Brooklyn: Yo, you got something to say to Vincent?
Check out where you can learn about Vincent and leave him a comment.  You can also connect with Vincent on Twitter and Facebook

Also, you can add Vision of Shadows to your to-read list on Goodreads:

What are some of your novel/film titles and why?  Remember ISWG post is this Wednesday! 


Old Kitty said...

I never knew Jaws was a book too! How ignorant am I!?! LOL!

I think the English Patient the film worked better for me than the book - but then again the book by itself is something else special! So I tend to see both this book and the film as two separate things!

Yes!! LOTR and The Hobbit as books and films totally rocked!! Take care

Roger Lawrence said...

It's great to finally find someone else who liked Dune. The Shawshank Redemption would definately be included my list

Mark K said...

Personally, I still think and feel that, with the standard of CGI today, something like 'The Hobbit' should have been 100% CGI. Seeing as a large slice of CGI is already used in the film (which most folks wouldn't even realise) I think it could have been elevated to something exceptional.

I think the transfer of book to film something is always lost, and sometimes gained. If it is labelled as an 'adaptation' then you know it isn't going to be 100% faithful to the book's story, which in turn gives the film makers carte blanche to fiddle and tweak, remove and add. Sometimes to their credit, sometimes not.

I usually prefer to read a book before watching the film , only because doing it the other way round can spoil the book's characters for me, as I then tend to visualise them as the actors. The problem here is that if they have used an actor for whom you have a dislike or loathing of, then whilst reading the book, all you see in your mind is said actor. Whereas the other way round, you can get a better appreciation of the choice of actors for the parts within the book.

Interesting post as usual :) - sorry for the wittering comment.

M.J. Fifield said...

I agree with you on the Count Of Monte Cristo. I love the most recent film version.

And of course, I loved LOTR, Hunger Games, and Harry Potter.

Peaches Ledwidge said...

Great Expectations, Carrie...
I liked both and some others.

Thanks for sharing the pronunciation of your name.

Natalie Aguirre said...

So loved LOTR and Harry Potter. I've watched both of these more than once.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

LOTR exceeded the books.
I saw Stardust and thought it was all right. Then somehow we ended up with the book and I read it. It was also all right but nothing great. I think the beginning rather through me for a loop and I didn't enjoy the book as much.

mshatch said...

I loved the movie Stardust. And Jaws! LOTR was very good but I do have a few complaints, especially where Jackson deviated substantially from the book for no reason. Other parts were so spot on it was breathtaking - like Rivendell, or the Balrog.

Norma Beishir said...

I liked The DaVinci Code--but I liked Angels & Demons better. The Hunger Games, definitely. And all the LOTR films (Return of the King was, in my opinion, the best of the three). The Harry Potter films.

I know there are more, but I'd have to give it some thought....

Andrew Leon said...

I really enjoyed the first Percy Jackson movie, but the book was awful. Horrible. One of the worst things I've read.

SC Author said...

Lord of the Rings and Perks of Being a Wallflower are my two most FAVORITE book-to-screen adaptations. LOVE those two movies/series.

Lexa Cain said...

"Jaws" is the best example of a film far outdoing the book. Most of these I've only seen as movies. I can spare 2 hours. I cannot spare the weeks it takes me to plow through books. (I enjoyed reading when younger, but the time commitment and constant complaints of my inner editor have ruined reading for me...)
Great post! :-)

Ruth Schiffmann said...

I agree, The Help was a great book and the movie didn't disappoint. One of my all time favorite reads is The Book Thief. I saw the movie trailer the other day and I'm so excited. It looks like it's going to be amazing.

William Kendall said...

So many good choices there, many of which I've read and seen.

My favourite novel is The Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara. It was adapted into the film Gettysburg, which is just as good as the novel.

Trisha F said...

I haven't read most of these books. I have read the Da Vinci Code but barely remember it. I've also read the Hunger Games & Harry Potter. And seen the movies for both. I'd be interested in reading the Jaws book, just out of curiosity. :)

Anonymous said...

You've made me want to watch all these movies again :-) Great picks!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I want that T-shirt!

Oh, and I want to read Vincent's book when it comes out. It sounds good.

alexia said...

Ah, yes, books and movies. Being a huge Gaiman fan, I'll argue that Stardust the book was simply different than Stardust the movie, but I can't say I liked one over the other. I adore them both. It's not my fave Gaiman book, but I loved the ending, where they get "unavoidably detained by life" and travel the world for years.

Lately I've been obsessing about Mortal Instruments. I saw the movie and hadn't read the book in so long, I reread it. Now I need to see the movie again to compare, LOL.

Denise Covey said...

How could you ever forget Out of Africa? Amazing book and movie. I too never knew Jaws was a book. I enjoyed Da Vinci Code as book and movie (mainly for the scenery!)

Cathrina Constantine said...

Nice cover, good luck with the book.

Vincent Morrone said...

Thanks for being a part of my cover reveal!

Blogger said...

BlueHost is ultimately the best web-hosting provider for any hosting services you require.