Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Books I'd Love to See Made into Movies (or Maybe Not)

Sometimes, I read a book and think, "Wow! That would make a great movie!" In a way, it's a complement to the author. It means I loved their story so much that I want to see it in another format, see how someone else interprets what I've read.

But how many times have I said that then was disappointed by the film? Probably more often than not. Which annoys me to no end. It doesn't reduce my love of the book, but it does make me wary of movies made from books I haven't read yet. Watching a less than boffo movie will likely delay, if not suspend, my reading the book. Which is a shame and something I need to remedy.

Lucky for me, we don't have a movie theater here. But we do have a decent library. Yay! If a book-to-movie does come out, chances are I'll be able to read the book first. Or buy it at our local, independently owned bookstore. Yay! Or order it online and have it in my hands in a matter of days. Okay, a week. Maybe two, depending on how it's shipped.

Whenever your favorite stories are put into another person's hands (ie: director, screenwriter, etc) you are taking chances. All the nuances and subtleties of a novel can't be expressed in a two hour movie. And not all of them should. You don't want to bore your audience. You have to go into movies based on books assuming not everything will be in there. And that's fine. As a reader of the book, you already know the inside info necessary to fill in any holes. It's when those holes are huge, gaping, confusing chasms that make a novel-to-move transition difficult. Or when someone decides the ending of the original story wasn't "right" and changes it. What?!?!?

There are some books I've read recently that I'd love to see as movies. Maybe. It would depend on who is running the show, but I'd probably still go see them. Or rather, wait until they're out on DVD. Dang, we need a theater here....

Anyway, a few from my list, in no particular order:

"The Hunger Games," by Suzanne Collins. Still need to read the other two books, so no spoilers!

"The Little Stranger," by Sarah Waters. I've seen the adaptation of her book "Affinity" and loved it. She has other movies based on her books "Tipping the Velvet" and "Fingersmith" that I really really really need to watch. Really.

"On Basilisk Station," by David Weber. The first book of a scifi series starring Honor Harrington, one kickin' ship's captain. I think it was supposed to have been made into a film but things fell through. Anyone know? The other books in the series would be great too.

The "Titan," "Wizard," and "Demon," books by John Varley. This trilogy knocked my socks off the first two times I read it. The world Varley created begs for visual representation. James Cameron, look out if this ever comes to film.

"Ammonite," by Nicola Griffith. A thinking woman's scifi story. The world she created is also amazing, in a different way from Varley, but still, wow!

"Touched by an Alien," by Gina Koch. A grand mix of action, romance and alien bad guys. Pass the popcorn and hang on.

So what books would you like to see as movies? Which ones would you *not* want to see as movies, too afraid they would be massacred like Custer at Little Big Horn?

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6 Comments:

At 1:31 PM, OpenID merettapater said...

I think you are lucky to not have a theatre as you are avoiding kidlet pressure to attend and are thus saving BIG BUCKS. If we want to go to the movies and attend on cheap night Tuesday, we still drop $50 and almost $70 if the movie is 3D.

And actually, the $50 price tag is a steal as we get movie admission, medium popcorn and medium pop. We could cut back to just the admission and get in for $25, but then the kidlets are less than satisfied as they watch all the other people snarf down their popcorn.

SO, back to your question, the movie that DID NOT in any way shape or form live up to my expectations was Simon Birch based upon the phenomenal novel, "A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving. I had such high hopes. But alas they were not to be realized. *Sigh*

The book I'd like to see on screen is, "Fast Women" by Jennifer Crusie. It's about a woman recovering from her divorce and has a whole slew of interesting characters including her gal pals which would make it a "chick flick," but it would be a good one...if the write (sic) people did the screenplay!

 
At 8:42 AM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

It does save money, Meretta, but the diversion would be nice once in a while. Or seeing a movie close to the time when it comes out rather than waiting for the video : P

I haven't read the book or seen "Simon Birch." But I completely understnad the disappointment. I hate it when Hollywood messes with a good thing. Why? To assure that people leave the theater feeling happy? The "Hollywood" ending thing is annoying. I don't mind stories in books or movies being less than HEA, as long as it makes sense.

Jennifer Crusie books would make fun movies. And yeah, it would take the write :) people.

 
At 2:03 PM, Blogger LVLM(Leah) said...

Hmm... It's always my assumption that the movie is never as good as the book.

If I watch the movie first, I'm probably not likely to read the book. Although there have been a few that I have done so. Gone With the Wind, The Name of the Rose, Carrie, Caravans- James Michener to name a few.

Sometimes the movie will grab me so much that I want more and will read the book.

I'm almost always disappointed in the movie version of a book if I see it after reading it. However, an actor can bring a character to life in a different way that might grab me as well.

I loved both versions of The Stand. I think the TV mini serious was amazing, just as amazing as the book. All the Robert Ludlum Bourn books that went to movie were really good.

John Grisham movies don't do his books justice. But I think the Perry Mason show with Raymond Burr totally brought Earl Stanly Gardner's books to life.

It can go both ways.

I've seen those two Sarah Waters movies and will read The Little Stranger So I will get to compare the differences in her writing compared to how the movies were.

I know that Sarah Waters was very happy with the movie renditions of her books, so that says something about them.

I can't think of a book I've read lately that I'd love to see in movie format.

Maybe J.R. Wards books. I think they'd translate amazingly to movie, sans the 70's lingo, which would have a general audience laughing I think.

I almost never go to the movies. Never have the time to do so and I hate going on weekends with tons of kids. heh. So I usually get a good movie from our library system, which is pretty extensive.

Can't you get Netflix?

 
At 8:02 AM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

The Little Stranger is very different from Waters' other books. The protag is a male doctor in post-war England. More of a classic gothic story, but quite good. Then again, I'd read Waters if she wrote cereal box copy : )

I haven't read the Ward books, but I've heard a lot (mostly chuckles) about the lingo. It wouldn't surprise me if they were made into some sort of live-action format, given their popularity.

We can get Netflix sent here, but the streaming video thing wouldn't work. Until we get fiber optic connections, our download speed is painfully slow. A 2 minute YouTube video takes well over 5 minutes to load. I may look into the regular Netflix thing.

Thanks for dropping by!

 
At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Abigail Sharpe said...

I'm petrified of any big screen adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. That books, if it were to be recreated, needs to be a 12-hour mini-series, not a 2.5hr movie.

I'm also a little wary of Janet Evanovich's One for the Money. I think it would make a cute movie, but it's Katherine Heigl. Ugh.

I saw the movie How to Train Your Dragon and LOVED LOVED LOVED it. Bought the book - and it is NOTHING like the movie. Still an entertaining read, though.

 
At 10:34 AM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

I haven't read the Outlander series (I know, I know--bad Cathy) but from what I know about it, I'd agree with you there, Abigail. It would deserve much more time.

Heigl is doing the Evanovich movie? Arg. We'll have to see if she manages not to mess it up : )

I also saw How to Train Your Dragon without reading the book. It was a fun movie. My oldest daughter read the book and saw the movie but she didn't mention differences. Then again, getting details out of a 13 y.o. is never easy : )

Thanks for stopping by!

 

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