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when books become movies

image from Ginger at GReads!

i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. this is my favorite meme. and not just because Ginger is an elite book blogger with incredible design talent. mostly, i adore this meme because she poses a great question for us to discuss and share more about who we are as a reader and as a person behind the blog. she’s insightful, that way.

so, without further gushing, let us get to this week’s question!

Book to Movie: 
Which book turn movie do you feel did the best adaptation? What about the worst?

book to movie that got it right - Harry Potter
yeah, i know a lot got left out of the movies (i was really hoping for S.P.E.W to make it on screen) but very rarely did the director venture wildly off the path (with the exception of Barty Crouch, Jr. and his tongue tick).
what i love about the book to movie adaptation for HP is twofold:
1. nerds can talk about what was different/what was left out and debate the finer points of the series. i love that a lot.
2. the movies were a gateway to the reading of the series for many. i think that’s really rad.

book to movie that got it wrong - Eragon oh my. i had SUCH high hopes for this movie because i loved the book. my husband had also read it and we were discussing our hopes and dreams for it.
“John Malkovich is Galbatorix! He’s great!” we exclaimed.
“Dragons in movies are always cool” we agreed, without debate.
“I can’t wait to see what Tronjheim looks like!” we giggled.
we were wrong. 
so wrong.
Galbatorix was absurd and comical, not threatening and crazytown as he should have been.
Saphira was pretty cool...but the computer animation wans’t as captivating as i’d wanted it to be.
the acting was hokey and it didn’t achieve that epic fantasy status it was shooting for. i really really REALLY wish it had.
but that’s the deal with fantasy movies, i think. they fall into one of threee categories:
1. ZOMGAMAZING. these are your Lord of the Rings, your Harry Potters, your Star Wars, Game of Thrones, etc.
2. Cheesy, yet endearing. these are your Clash of the Titans (classic version, obvs), Jason and the Argonauts, Soylent Green, Troy and Escape from New York.
3. Total Crap. these are your Eragons and your The Last Airbenders. you had such high hopes for these movies, yet they are so bad you are embarrassed to admit you paid money to see them in the theater.

what about you? what book to movie adaptation did you LOVE and which did you loathe. let me know in the comments and be sure to link it up over at GReads!

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. where are you on The Road? i did this meme today and put it as my best. just curious.

    i also threw a little fantastic mr fox on there, with a certain disclaimer...but you have to go look at it, i'm not regurgitating it here. i know how you feel about stop motion. but it rocks.

  2. Agreed. The Harry Potter movies were wonderful, despite not having every single little detail included. :)

    And I really didn't like Eragon as a movie either, which makes me sad because the books are so good!

  3. I could not agree more and in fact chose the same two!

    My TGIF!

    ♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

  4. I loved the Harry Potter movies. For whatever reason I wasn't as bothered by stuff they did or didn't put in the movies. Probably the only time in adaptations I've just sat back and enjoyed without being critical!

    I'll admit I haven't read or seen Eragon. Pretty sure I didn't see it 'cause I haven't read it. And not I'm not planning on it...It's been on so many fail lists!

  5. Percy Jackson was possibly the worst book to movie adaptation EVER, and Eragon was pretty bad, too. I didn't like the HP movies because they didn't get everything exactly right. (It's really hard to make an adaptation I actually like!) The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was pretty good and so was The Help.

  6. Ash - i've read the book, and we have the movie at home from Netflix as we speak! i'll keep you posted. :)
    Sara - I've heard that...it makes me sad panda. That book ROCKS. I did think Narnia was decent as well.

  7. LOL- Lisa your post was hysterical!! I agree Eragon was terrible!!! I think you can add Beastly and Inkheart to the that Total Crap list...:D

  8. When adapting books to movies, it seems that the director has a choice: to make it as faithful to the book as possible, or to turn the elements into a film that can stand alone as its own art form. I personally feel that the latter is the better option. The die-hard book fans are going to see the movie anyway, and they're going to bitch about all the things that were "done wrong" (like you can possibly do right by the individual imaginations of seventeen million people). When you concentrate more on the film medium, you can reach out to the people who haven't read the book, and create an engaging and lasting film that doesn't rely on knowledge of the book to carry the plot or characters. (And like you said with the Harry Potters - you can turn people onto the books!)
    For these reasons, I feel like the third Harry Potter movie was the most successful. The director took the elements that made the book series so successful and created a world that captured the essence of the Harry-Verse, although it didn't follow the book point-for-point. It was much more lively than movies 1 & 2 which were stodgy, by-the-numbers rehashes of the book's material.
    I was fairly indifferent to numbers 4-6. The 7's were fantastic.
    I haven't seen or read Eragon.


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