Bad-aptations

Do you think filmmakers have a responsibility to the reading public to make a good filmic account of a book?

I know this is a topic that gets talked about ad nauseum, but seeing the Vampire Academy movie the other day put me in a right tizzy about how book-to-movie adaptationists (otherwise known as filmmakers) really have a lot to answer for. There are going to be a lot of people (well, a few anyway) that see Vampire Academy at the movies and assume that because the movie is a stinking pile of crap the books are as well. And it’s just not true – I thought the VA books (the two that I’ve read) were quite good. The title is pretty lame, which would automatically put some people off, but the writing was smart and the idea was at least a slight of a deviation from the usual vampire lore. But the atrocity that is the movie is going to mean lots of people never get to experience the books. Likewise, City of Bones. Ok, the books were no literary masterpiece, but they were nowhere near as bad as that bloody movie.

I realise that it’s a tough job being the person to adapt a much-loved (or even somewhat-loved) book to a movie – haters gonna hate. And, to be fair, I am usually one of those haters. There are very few adaptations that I can think of where the movie is better than the books, but the movie shouldn’t be so bad that it stops people from even wanting to read the book.

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6 replies »

  1. SO MUCH AGREEMENT! I hate that damn train wreck of a movie. I feel like they made the movie of a book they hated and got to rip on the storyline a whole lot. Why bother making a movie of a book you hate? Why not leave it to the people who truly love the book. Basically, why couldn’t the guys who did Hunger Games also do VA? The people who do the Hunger Games movies obviously LOVE the books. The Hunger Games movies may be the only book adaptations that I actually enjoy.
    You’re right when you say that people who see the movie will not read the books because the movies are just…godawful.

    Though, I have to disagree with you about City of Bones. Not the movie part, the book part. Although I much prefer The Infernal Devices, because Clare had a chance to grow as a writer and, well, Will Herondale, The Mortal Instruments are fantastic. Maybe the plot or writing isn’t up to the genius of Neil Gaiman, maybe, but Clare knows her character sin side and out and it shows. Give me believable, well-rounded characters over a fast-paced plot any day 🙂

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    • Yeah, I only read the first Mortal Instruments and the whole brother/sister thing kinda weirded me out, but I really enjoyed the Infernal Devices – thought it was much better written, although I thought the way she solved the love triangle was a bit of a cop out.

      I know what you mean about the Hunger Games – those movies have been SO damn good! I also thought the Divergent movie wasn’t too bad – at least the actor they got to play the hot guy was actually hot, as opposed to the guy playing Dimitri in the VA movie, who was wrong, wrong, WRONG!! 🙂

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      • DIMITRI DIDN’T LOOK AT ALL LIKE THE COWBOY GOD HE WAS SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE! I was so angry. Though, Danila looks more like Dimitri in the pitch video for Frostbite than he did in the actual movie.

        The brother/sister thing gets resolved in Mortal Instruments. I promise it’s not as freaky as it sounds! And I suppose the end of TID was a bit of a copout BUT because we’re so invested in the characters, we don’t really care. Or I didn’t. Because Jem is one of those totally pure souls who are just truly good and he deserved some happiness too.

        Am yet to read/watch Divergent. I’ve lent Insurgent to my step-mum and she’s taking her time with it, so I may leave the trilogy til last. That way she has a fair shot of finishing both Insurgent and Allegiant before I need them 🙂

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  2. I was much more Team Will than Team Jem – I thought Jem was a bit wet and bland, but maybe I’m just a cold-hearted bitch!?

    I’ve only read the first two books in the Divergent series – I think they’re pretty good. Nothing amazing or earth-shattering, but an interesting idea that isn’t executed too shabbily.

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  3. Hhhmm I’ve not read the aforementioned books but am curiously to see the movie versions.

    I’ve watched Divergent and I find it OK but battle scenes were cool. First, personality isn’t a stable trait i.e. MBTI indicates preference so people can change from an introvert to an extravert if situation warrants it. Hence I don’t believe that a person will have the same type of personality throughout his/her entire life. Your life experience will definitely affect your personality. That being said, I look forward to 2nd & 3rd movie.

    If you are talking about YA books, what about Beautiful Creatures? It’s interesting to watch the movie narrated by a teenage male. The movie was hhhmm corny.

    If you’re talking about fiction books in general, I was VERY disappointed with My Sister’s Keep. Why did they change the ending? Aaarrrggghh!

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    • Beautiful Creatures is a perfect example of what I’m talking about actually – I saw the movie and thought it was pretty terrible, so it put me off reading the book. Maybe I should reconsider…

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