Since everyone loved, sarcasm, my last list, I thought of giving this another shot. I will try my best to explain the real reasons why I chose these films.
Firstly, I am not doing any comics or graphic novels. I do not read them so they are not in my list. Secondly, I have had to have read the books. I do not read too many books that are based on movies, so this list is a lot smaller than my others.
This list was not made to piss everyone off, but I bet it will irritate someone, but at least I attempted to really explain why I hate/love these book to film adaptations.
My Top Five Worst:
5: Phantom of the Opera
I know this is based on the Broadway musical, but I never saw the musical so I’m basing this off the book. In all honesty, I do enjoy this film.
I chose this film because it does not follow the book very well. Everything that happens in the movie happens in the book, but in a different order. I also have two big complaints with this movie. 1) Why did they get rid of the Persian? He was the reason Raul knew that Erik, the phantom, was a real person. 2) The chandelier falls in the middle of the book, but it does not burn down the opera house. In fact only one person was said to have died in the “accident”. The characters all seemed to be different from their original creation.
If anyone wants to see a good adaptation of the book, watch the original 1925 silent version which almost mirrors the book.
4: Cold Mountain
I hated this movie. I was bored throughout the film. I thought the film was trying to make another Gone with the Wind, but they failed miserably. I gave the book a chance so I could actually try to understand what the author was trying to create. I loved the book. The book created a universe that seemed familiar and yet completely unique, even though this universe is based off the real Civil War. I genuinely cared about the characters in the books, while in the film I didn’t give two shits about them. I cared about the characters that lived, and felt sorrow for all the characters that died. If anyone wants to watch this film, all I can say is don’t do it, read the book instead. It is not a long book; it’s only about four hundred pages long.
I have never seen any of the other adaptations, so this one will have to do. I hate this movie because I had read the book long before I saw this film. This is one of my favorite novels ever written. I usually reread this book once ever two or three years. But once I saw this I need to ask one question: What the hell did you do Ford Coppola? All of your other films are masterpieces, but why did you have to make this film. The one saving grace of this film is that the main story of the film is close to the novel, not the love story between Mina Harker, her real name, and Dracula, which did not exist in the book. The book also has a better ending than what Coppola attempted to do. Dracula was killed by Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, while Mina was still under his spell and Jonathan and Mina Harker have a son named Quincey. In all honesty, I was bored all the way through this film, so don’t attempt to watch it. Not even Gary Oldman, who is a great actor, could make old Dracula look any less silly. I don’t even need to say that Jonathan and Mina Harker were cast terribly.
2: Cat in the Hat
This one I didn’t even finish because it was so stupid. I guess the studio was trying to make another hit like the Grinch was a few years before this. There really is nothing positive about this film. The story is stupid, so stupid I don’t even remember it and I don’t want to look it up. The acting was terrible with Mike Myers acting like Mike Myers acting like a rejected SNL character. I guess kids might like it because it has nice colors and loud noises. Actually no, only children with A.D.D. could enjoy this film. There is really nothing else that can be said about this film other than it must be destroyed.
1: The Shining
This is one sad attempt to bring Stephen King’s masterpiece to life. What was loved about the novel is nowhere to be seen here. I guess that the story of Jack, Wendy, and Danny Torrence to be caretakers for the Overlook is the same, but that is about it. What was unique to the novel was that there really is no other book quite like it. Instead, the movie turns just into a psychological ghost story. If you cannot tell I read the book before I saw the movie. The characters were wrong, the plot was wrong, the setting felt wrong, the characters that lived and died were wrong, and the ending was wrong. I guess I was supposed to take that Jack, Wendy, Danny, and Hallorann were in the movie, but I didn’t see them. All I saw was actors filling in the physical space of them, not really even acting. The novel focuses more on the family as a whole because of Jack’s old alcohol addiction. You see everyone’s side of his past, Jack’s abusive father, Wendy constantly nagging Jack and Danny’s side, who you have to sympathize with or you have no soul. In the novel, I constantly felt isolated, while the movie just looked like any hotel I had ever stayed in. The movie focused so much on the ghosts, not the hotel. The only main character, out of the four I have listed, Jack is the only one who dies. Sorry if I ruined it for anyone, but you need to know the truth. Now for the ending; it was different and far superior to the film. Jack didn’t just become jealous and try to kill his family. The hotel possessed Jack and tried to kill Danny because his shine would make the ghosts more powerful if he were dead. Jack did not just chase his family into the hedge maze, he quickly ran to the boiler, which blew up the entire hotel, allowing the Torrence’s and Hallorann to leave. I guess if you look at it as the film being loosely based on the novel, it is a pretty good film. You just have to deal with the film being VERY loosely based on the novel.
Okay, I do not hate the Shining, I was just really disappointed by how unfaithful the movie was to the novel. I love the movie as a movie, but I love the novel more.
Okay, now that I have pissed enough of you off with the worst, I hope I can cheer some of you up with the best.
Top Five Best:
5: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
This is the only time on this list I will say this: I love this movie more than the book. I don’t really hate any of the novels, but I just don’t think they are the best children books ever written. This movie had everything that the books did. The story was close. All the kid’s, except for Lucy, all looked how I pictured them to look. There is nothing else for me to say that it is a good movie, and a faithful adaptation to the novel.
4: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
This one might just be on here because of nostalgia, but it is close to the original novel. It has a fantastical world that is similar to the novel. Everything in the movie looks like it would be in a factory. The children are just as they appear in the film. The movie even ends similar to the novel. But… there are some differences. The most obvious being the room Veruca gets thrown out of. It was a room full of nut cracking squirrels that found “bad nuts” and threw them down the garbage shoot. Here they tried to make a different room, but still be similar to the novel by making Veruca being a “bad egg.” The Oompa-Loompa songs are also different from the book. If you are a kid, or a kid at heart, you need to see this film. And don’t even get me started on the Tim Burton version.
3: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
I didn’t really like the book that much, because Tolkien is far too descriptive in his work. I thoroughly enjoyed all three movies. Many people I know say that the movie butchered the books, but I do not see it. I guess Tom Bombadil was that important to everyone. I don’t really remember him that much in the novel; all he seemed to do for me was explain what the Ring was. I don’t remember his speeches that much, so don’t hold it against me.
2: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
This is what I call children’s literature. I don’t care what anyone says; in fifty years people will still be reading Harry Potter and watching the movies. This is the closest one of the movies, out of the first five, that seemed to follow the book the closest. It has the washed out look the book seemed to have about it, it seemed to always be raining in that book. This is the movie/book that we start to see a more mature version of Harry and everyone else. They are still very childish, but here is where we see that people really want Harry dead. The movie even added more things that I liked, like having Harry and Hermione taking part in the past, not just waiting around for things to happen. The only real problem I have is that they never explain who created the Marauder’s Map, but other than that I have no real complaints. This is one movie a fan of the books can enjoy.
1: Gone with the Wind
Ha, surprise, surprise. Yet another list with this film. As some of you might have noticed, I do like this movie. This film is almost page for page identical. There are only three things in the film that are different from the novel. 1) There were more characters in the book, but these were condensed into the main characters. The most notable example was India Wilkes, she was actually two characters combined. 2) The book was a bit more vulgar. The characters regularly cursed and sex was openly discussed. The most notable change was Rhett saying maybe Scarlett would have a miscarriage, instead of an accident. 3) Scarlett had three children. I can understand them omitting this because the children added absolutely nothing to the story. The only child Scarlett had was Bonnie, in the film, which of course ended exactly the same way as in the novel. I recommend people to read this novel, but since the novel is almost one thousand pages, I recommend you watch the film instead.
I hope you enjoyed this list more than my last one.