Today, my friends, I’m going to complain a little bit. I saw this picture online and it made me laugh.
And the fact is, They are not wrong. I would seriously sit through a six hour Harry Potter movie if they put more details. I definitely would. And yeah, I probably would still complain about what they left out. It just got me to thinking. How many times do we go to movies to see the adaptation of our favorite books and come out feeling disappointed? How often do we come out actually feeling satisfied?
Now, I’m not going to be the first one to say that there are no arguments…the book is always, always, always, better than the movie. Always. (Except Chronicles of Narnia but that’s a whole ‘nother story).
Example number one, Harry Potter. Now, if I sit and watch the movies, I have an enjoyable time. I like the movies. I like actually seeing Hogwarts and seeing magic and the uniforms and the classes and Quidditch and its awesome. Seeing Hogwarts gets me teary-eyed every single time. Hogwarts is my home.
But there are sooooo many things that drives me insane. I could go on for pages and pages and pages about the things that are missing. They completely left out the Marauders and the importance of them in Prisoner of Azkaban. They butcher the crap out of Goblet of Fire (don’t get me started on GoF) and they don’t even get into the story of Barty Crouch Jr. (More David Tennant on screen time? I’m down). In Half Blood Prince, where the heck are all the memories, explaining all of Voldemort’s past! Where are the explanations of what the actual Horcruxes are? And in Deathly Hallows, how bout we actually talk about the DEATHLY HALLOWS! We have that awesome animated scene of the Tale of Three Brothers, and there is no ending for the Hallows at all.
But the movies aren’t all bad. Definitely not. I love them, I waited in line for the midnight showings, cried when everyone died (except Dobby…I just don’t like Dobby) and cried my bloody eyes out when Harry uses the Resurrection stone to see James, Lily, Sirius and Lupin. WATERWORKS. The Feels!!!!
And how bout Percy Jackson? Now, I enjoy the movie; its entertaining. But damn, did they butcher The Lightning Thief. For one thing, Logan Lerman plays Percy at, what, 16? Percy should be 12. And even though Logan Lerman is a very very good looking boy, that part kind of bothered me. The girl who played Annabeth was a brunette. Poseidon didn’t claim Percy during the Capture the Flag game. There’s a lot in that movie that drives me absolutely insane. I’m not a big fan of the guy who plays Grover and Pierce Brosnan as Chiron? Ugh ugh.
Both adaptations of Meg Cabot books are HORRIBLE. Princess Diaries and Avalon High, ugh, ugh, ugh. Princess Diaries just doesn’t capture Meg’s voice. Those books are written in diary form and its all about Mia’s voice and how she sees the world around her. Its so funny and sarcastic and amazing and the movie just doesn’t capture that at all. And they marry her off to some random dude, when all us Cabot fans know that she is meant to be with Michael Moscovitz. Ugh. And Avalon High. There was so much wrong with that movie. The very fact that they made Allie (who’s name is supposed to be Ellie!) to be the King Arthur incarnate was just dumb as hell. She’s the Lady of the Lake, and Will is King Arthur. Read a book! Those movies I can’t even watch because of how much they were butchered.
There are movies that are okay adaptations. I liked Hunger Games, I think they followed the story pretty well and I liked most of the actors. I wasn’t really feeling Lenny Kravitz as Cinna but he was great as Cinna. Woody Haralson nailed it on the head with Haymitch. I even liked the three leads for Katniss, Gale and Peeta. Elizabeth Banks for Effie. Not stoked on Donald Sutherland for President Snow but it worked. But I think they failed to capture the characters themselves. We didn’t get to see Katniss and the kind of stubbornness she had and the love she felt for Prim, the frustration with her mother, her debts to Peeta and Gale. The importance of the Mockingjay was forgotten. But the movie was good. I think they got enough of it to make it very enjoyable.
But then there’s Howl’s Moving Castle. Howl’s is soooo much different from the book, oh my goodness. But the movie captures the essence of the book and its an amazing movie. It captures that connection between Howl and Sophie and it captures the magical essence to it. This is a great example of an adaptation.
I also find the more classic movies to be really good adaptations. To Kill a Mockingbird is an AMAZING transition and definitely one of my favorites. Every time I watch that movie…ohmyRowling. Its so fantastic. I mean, my dog’s name is Scout for a reason. Gregory Peck captures the very essence of that novel. He IS that movie.
One of my favorite movies of all time is Gone with the Wind, which is a great movie. Gone with the Wind is an extremely long book and it would be so insanely hard to get everything that’s in that book in the movie. It would be impossible. But they got all the important things and they captured the essence of the film. That was the most important. Vivian Leigh made a great Scarlett O’Hara and Clark Gable is one fine looking Rhett Butler.
I’m nervous about the upcoming movie adaptations. I’m a little nervous about The Hobbit (though, come on, Peter Jackson killed it with Lord of the Rings…GREAT movies), The Great Gatsby, Percy Jackson’s Sea of Monsters, and the Mortal Instruments’ City of Bones. I’m sure some of them will be good and some of them will be bad. But I’ll go out and see every single one of them.
I guess my point is, the more movies that are made, the more we’re going to get angry and frustrated and have complaints. We’re always going to find something wrong with it. We’re never going to be happy with a movie adaptation of a book, never. But here’s the thing, that’s almost a good thing. Sure, we can go to the movies and enjoy it. But we’re always going to want to come home and reread that book that made us happy beyond belief. We’re going to want to experience things they way the author meant them too.
So I like movies, and I like movie adaptions and I’ll continue to go see them. And trust me, I’ll continue to find things wrong with them. But I guess that’s what makes books so awesome. There’s just nothing better than escaping into a book.
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