Every book fan has had their favourite book butchered in either movie or television form. (Trust me, I used to be an Eragon fan.) But sometimes you get a very faithful adaptation of the books that are in some ways even better than the source material. See: Harry Potter (done well) and Game of Thrones (sometimes even better, sometimes worse but generally done well). One of the things that really annoys me about movies these days is that they’re remaking movies that no one wants to see remade: movies that just came out a couple of years ago, classics, etc.
Then that got me thinking: what if the movie industry decided to adapt more worthy books instead of remaking old movies again and again?
One of the books I would love to see on the silver screen is Feed by Mira Grant. Zombies are popular now and Shaun and Georgia are main characters that are fairly easy to relate to. Mira Grant wrote the book in such a cinematic fashion that it would be very easy to adapt and make a two to two and a half hour movie out of the novel without really cutting all that much. Plus, there’s a ton of humour, political intrigue and of course zombies (with extra added science!). If the right director got his/her hands on it, I would probably be first in line to go see it as a movie.
What I want to know now is this: If a good director that stayed faithful to the source material was going to adapt any book, what book would you want to see as a movie or a TV show? Why?
As Hollywood seems to run out of ideas what with all of the reboots and such, they’re turning more and more to books for new material. Some books are easy to imagine as movies, you know. The Return Man by V. M. Zito, for example. Zito’s writing is already quite cinematic and zombies have done pretty well on the big screen in recent years.
However, some books are just not meant to be movies or TV shows whether because the technology to do them justice is not there yet or because it’s too complicated for that medium. One book that comes to mind that would be utterly unadaptable is The Color of Rain by Cori McCarthy. It’s a book that explores some pretty heavy things like sex slavery so you just know that the prudish North American ratings boards would give it an R rating and pretty much doom it at the box office. It also relies heavily on the main character’s inner monologue because without that monologue, she would be an utterly horrible character with almost no redeeming qualities in some spots. Basically, it would just not do well either as a television show or especially a movie.
What books do you think are unadaptable? Are there some that you could easily see turned into movies? Why or why not?
If, for whatever strange reason, someone had been tracking my thoughts as I watched Eragon the movie, they would either by impressed or offended at my ability to swear in several languages. I’m not a person that swears often, but when there’s nothing else to say I make an exception. And believe me, Eragon the movie was an exception.
I have a lot of bones to pick with the movie adaptation, so I’ve divided it into different categories, each with its own score.
I don’t think they could have possibly gotten the characters any more wrong. It just doesn’t seem possible. Murtagh, Angela, Brom and Arya…they were all so different from what they were like in the novel. Okay, I get that they can’t put every little detail from the book into the movie, but they can try to get the character’s personality right. Right?
Well, it seems like they didn’t even try. Murtagh was cheerful and eager to go to the Varden, in stark contrast to the moody, tortured warrior Murtagh in the novel. Garrett Hedlund was about as believable a warrior as my little sister would be. Arya wore a dress and actually seemed to like Eragon in a romantic way. In the novel, Arya was a strong warrior who never wore dresses except in her homeland; she wore men’s clothes because they were practical. She was a practical and, at times, ruthless character. And she certainly did not warm up to Eragon very much throughout the whole cycle, let alone the first novel. I think one of the problems was that the filmmakers decided to put too much emphasis on the ‘sexy’ aspects and in doing so, did not stay true to the characters. They didn’t even really achieve ‘sexy’ either.
The one character I did like was Saphira. Rachel Weisz did such an excellent job with her voice and by extension, her personality. Since we cannot directly see her thoughts as we did in the novel, the few lines Saphira did have were so important and Weisz nailed them, in my opinion. Continue reading
I’ve been thinking a lot about some new things I can do to change things up here on The Mad Reviewer. Articles, book reviews and interviews are fine, but I find that I’m getting bored with writing the same things all of the time and I’m sure you’re getting bored with reading the same things all of the time. That’s why I searched around the internet to see if I could
shamelessly steal borrow ideas from other book reviewers. I’m not going to give too much away because I want some things to be surprises, but here are some things I’ve thought of:
- Articles about how certain historical figures are often portrayed in fiction, especially figures in ancient history. I know a lot more about ancient history than I do about any other period, so expect a lot of Roman, Greek and Egyptian articles.
- The Best and Worst…sequels, opening lines, characters, etc.
- An in-depth look at books that became movies and what my opinion is of them as compared to the general consensus of fans.
However, there’s one thing I want to ask you guys:
So what do you think of these ideas? Do you have any of your own? You can always comment or email me if you want an article on a specific book-related topic.
Hollywood has gone through a bit of a creative dry spell lately, what with all of its remakes of earlier movies and book adaptations. The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The Lightning Thief…what next? Well, I have a few suggestions of my own.
I am actually shocked that some ambitious Hollywood director hasn’t picked up the rights to Conn Iggulden’s bestselling Genghis series. There have been other movies about Genghis Khan, most notably the one where Omar Sharif was Genghis, but I have a feeling that Conn Iggulden’s version is much more accurate. If an ambitious director with a large budget (I’m thinking along the lines of James Cameron) was to secure the rights to the series, it would not only be more historically accurate, it would appeal to the masses. The tale of the khan’s second son who unites the entire Mongol nation and goes on to conquer the largest empire ever is your classic underdog story, which people love. Oh, and of course it will have lots of battle scenes, which are very popular among theater-going audiences. Continue reading