Movie adaptations are big business. Great books are turned into movies ranging from excellent to truly awful. Terrible books sometimes make excellent movies. I reviewed a couple lists when I was putting this together to ensure I didn’t forget something I should have included. What actually happened is that my TBR pile grew significantly. There are a lot of movies that I didn’t know were based on books. Damn you, B&B.
There are a couple movies coming out that I’m looking forward to, but I’ve decided to focus on book to movie adaptations that I like. These are not all stellar adaptations. These are simply movies that, for whatever reason, I like.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
I’ve loved all three movies so far, but this was my favourite of the books. I love the way they turned it into the movie. Phillip Seymore Hoffman, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland are casting perfection.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Again, I love the movies (Half Blood Prince is the best book and arguably the worst adaptation), but this is the one where the tone really changed. Things got darker. It happened in the book and they captured it so well in the movie. They stopped being ‘kids’ movies with this one.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
I cannot choose between the original Swedish movie and the American adaptation. I was so sure they were going to screw this up with the English version. Surprisingly, it was equally as good as the Swedish versions. If you haven’t seen them, do it. I am super unimpressed with the idea of the second American movie being made without Craig, Mara, or Fincher.
Flowers in the Attic
This was one of my favourite books as a kid. It was scandalous. The original movie was pretty terrible, but I enjoyed it for its camp factor. Then Lifetime released a new adaptation series and it’s fabulous. If Ellen Burnstyn was my grandmother – ack, the terror.
I was incredibly leery when I saw the casting for this movie. Ben Affleck is really hit or miss. And Neil Patrick Harris? Love him, but how will his schtick fit? Hmmm, how is this all going to come together. Well, it came together like delicious cake. Affleck was the perfect guy to capture that good looking but kind of useless guy. Pike was adorably offputting as Amy. And Harris’ small role in the movie was exactly right.
A Time to Kill
John Grisham used to write pretty entertaining books that were made into mostly awful, but extremely successful, movies. Then he started writing books in order for them to be made into movies and it all went to hell in a handbasket. But way back when, he wrote A Time to Kill. I power-read this thing while trapped in a hospital bed. And then the movie came out and reallyexecuted the racism and the heat – everyone was so glisseny. You could feel their heat.
Stand By Me/The Body
I am not a fan of Stephen King. I do not read his books. All the ones I’ve read have been pretty meh. But he does do the short story adequately. And his adaptations are always pretty entertaining. One of the best is Stand By Me. Always. It’s one of those stories that has stuck with me far longer than I expected. I haven’t seen this thing in probably at least a decade and a half and I still see it in my head.
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
I am 100% talking about the BBC version. Objectively, it’s terrible. But I have so many positive family memories tied to this book and movie that I cannot not love this forever.
Romeo and Juliet
I do not like Romeo and Juliet as a story. Or at least not as a love story. However, I do appreciate the Baz Luhrman version. Say what you will, but it’s got something that makes it pop. And the music. It captures that darker side of the story that gets glossed over too frequently. Harold Perrineau as Mercutio – yes. Forever, yes.
Anne of Green Gables
Oh Anne. I love you so much. There’s no need to explain. If you don’t get it, move along.