Thursday, July 12, 2007

Booking Through Thursday - Celluloid

Booking Through Thursday:

1. In your opinion, what is the best translation of a book to a movie?

2. The worst?

3. Had you read the book before seeing the movie, and did that make a difference? (Personally, all other things being equal, I usually prefer whichever I was introduced to first.)
And, by all means, expand this to as long a list as you like. I’m notoriously awful myself at narrowing down to one favorite ANYTHING. So, feel free to list as many “good” or “bad” movie-from-books as you like. (Heaven knows that’s what I’ll be doing….)

1. Well....this is a really hard question. Without a doubt, I almost always prefer the written word to the movie version. That being said, there are some AMAZING adaptations out there. Let's just go down the list of some of my favorite books/stories:

First, I will have to say To Kill a Mockingbird. Not only is it one of my favorite books, but it's one of my favorite movies as well. Gregory Peck made Atticus Finch come to life. He was fantastic!

Gone With the Wind was an amazing book. The movie is a Classic!! Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh were born to play Rhett and Scarlett. (Although, in the book, Scarlett wasn't nearly as sympathetic as Leigh made her out to be in the book. She was a Royal Bitch!)

The Stand is my all-time Favorite Stephen King book. I thought the mini-series (and let's face -- mini-series is the ONLY way this would have worked on film) was exceptionally well done. The casting alone was phenomenal!! (except for maybe the addition of Mollly Ringwald as Frannie!) Gary Sinese, Rob Lowe, Ossie Davis, Rudy Dee, Matt Frewer, Ray Walston. Suburb!! And casting Bill Fagerbakke as Tom Cullen was a stroke of Genius!!

I am rather hit or miss with Stephen King adaptations. I do so love his books. But sometimes they just don't translate all that well. Stand By Me, The Shawshank Redemption, Misery, The Shining (although Kubrick took a lot of liberties with this one) and The Green Mile were all amazing.

2. I guess we should just start with some of Stephen's worse adaptions. Umm....can we ever forget Maximum Overdrive or Children of the Corn? True, they were only short stories, but the movies were complete garbage.

There aren't a lot of movies from books I've read that I really disliked, to be honest. The latest version of The Count of Monte Cristo wasn't too bad. Exciting, and all. But it pales in comparison to the book.

3. I very rarely go see a movie without reading the book first. But that's just me. I can honestly say, though, I read the book The Devil Wore Prada and absolutely HATED it!! But the movie surprised me. The characters were so whiny in the book, I hated all of them. But Meryl Streep was amazing in the movie. She gave the "Devil" a little bit of a soul....not much, but more so than the book!!

I could probably go on all day about this one!! Any of you have any other ideas???


Sarah said...

I'd have to agree with all your best choices! Makes me want to take the summer to watch all those movies again!
SmallWorld , visiting from Booking Through Thursday

raidergirl3 said...

Oh, I forgot about Children of the Corn. But that was so bad, it veered into good/mocking territory. I remember watching that in a dorm common room with a ton of people. It added to the experience, so I have good memories.
I also forgot to mention The Green Mile in the good adaptation category.

Rhinoa said...

I didn't like the film of Pet Cemetary either, the cat was so rubbish!

Yay for Scarlett and Rhett!

Marianne Arkins said...

I agree with the hit or miss of Stephen King's book/movies. I remember not liking Misery because they toned it down so much.

Good choices, all!

Thanks for swinging by earlier.

kookiejar said...

As far as general book to movie adaptations go, I thought they did an excellent job with 'The Lord of the Rings'.

And with Stephen King books specifically, one of my favorites is 'Stand by Me'.

Barbara H. said...

I really do need to see and read TKAM -- I don't know how I have gone so long without it. I haven't read any Stephen King but I liked the film of Stand By Me.

annie said...

Great choices! Poor Stephen King :)

Chris said...

I was watching Martha and she had Jennifer Weiner on. She said writing a screenplay for your own novel is like circumsizing your own baby! If it's hard for US to watch, what's it like for them.

Chris said...

Stand by Me, The Shining, Lord of The Rings, I echo all of these as excellent adaptations. I'd also like to add the third Harry Potter..Prisoner of Azkaban...I thought that that one was done perfectly! My favorite to date, though I haven't seen Order of the Phoenix yet.

Secret Window was ok, though I'm a big fan of Johnny Depp. Wasn't great though as far as Stephen King goes...anyone seen 1409 or whatever it's called...the new King movie?

Literary Feline said...

I haven't read much by Stephen King. Okay, so one book so far, Misery. LOL I do plan to read more by him.

I admit that most of his movies turn me off. I'm really paticular about my horror. I have seen a few of his movies though.

I've been wanting to read The Stand, but haven't managed to break the forklift out to get it downfrm my shelf. ;-)

Nymeth said...

I loved both The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption. I really should read some Stephen King.

Mei said...

I agree--TKAM is both an excellent book AND movie; I can't believe I left it off my list!
I'm not a horror fan, but I did read Pet Sematary and it scared the bejeezus out of me. I've never seen one of King's films because I'm too chicken!

Anonymous said...

Yes TKM is a classic all the way around.

Melody said...

Hi Stephanie, thanks for visiting! Wow, you've such a great list. I like 'The Shining' - both the book and the movie version, but haven't got the chance to watch his other movies yet.

Happy BTT!

Alice Teh said...

Yes, I must watch TKAM one of these days. AND read+watch "Gone with the Wind". I've heard so much about it...

Lightheaded said...

I totally forgot about The Green Mile! It was a good movie (I watched the film first) then I read the book afterwards.

I should watch the other films you mentioned here. I haven't seen To Kill A Mockingbird (though I've read the book). Reverse the situation with Gone With the Wind though.

Maybe I should put an Addendum to this BTT entry in my blog.

And thanks for dropping by again! In my blog, that is.

jean pierre said...

"the stand" is very cool. i really enjoyed it. i hadn't read it (i haven't read any of his books) but i still liked it. i liked its slow pace and how well they developed things.

the actor who played that simple-minded blonde guy was so good!

what did you think of "secret window"? i really enjoyed that.

i totally agree with you about "the count of monte cristo". i've seen the one you saw and the french version and neither really did it for me. the book is just so vast and dantes is so complex a character that you always feel short-changed by the film.