Armchair BEA 2015: Book to Movie Adaptations

Book bloggers unable to attend the BEA Bloggers Conference or Book Expo America (BEA) in New York City, but would like to ‘meet’ other book bloggers and publishers to discuss books and book blogging can participate in this virtual event.
Book to Movie Adaptations

There's somewhat curious story behind my ardent love and complete obsession with Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Both are on the upper echelons of my fangirling and I discovered both through the movies.

I discovered Harry Potter when the TV showed a movie trailer where this bespectacled boy, pushing a trolley, went through a solid brick wall only to emerge onto another platform where a scarlet steam-engine train was ready to go on journey. I was intrigued but I still didn't know it was based on a book. A TV game show asked a question about Quidditch and I remember asking out loud What the hell is Quidditch? I was then curious enough that my mother and I rented a CD of the movie and watched it. I begged my mother for the books after. I was 12 at that time, just finished with my first year of high school, and she gave me a Harry Potter book. It was the fourth one. *laughs*

I watched the Lord of the Rings movies first, all three of them. However, despite the sheer brilliance, I was not remotely interested in reading the books even if one of my friends just showed my name, Myrtle, in the Brandybuck family tree. I tried to read the first book in the middle of second year high school, but the writing style was so alien to me (I was afraid I'll get a nosebleed) that I stopped after just a few pages. Don't worry. I read them later that year.

There are two emotions warring whenever I hear the news that a book I loved would be turned into a movie or a TV series: excitement and dread.

It is exciting to know that a book is going to be adapted to the big/small screen. You anticipate when production is going to start, who the actors and actresses are, and when it's going to premiere. But the accompanying dread also makes you a kind of a stage mother: anxious if the actors and actresses look like how the characters are described in the book, if they portray the characters as they are written, and whether the whether the writers follow the plot of the book faithfully or will they deviate so much that it hardly resembles the original source. A little creative liberty could be allowed of course, if it will enhance the story.

Then, the movie/first episode is released and hold on to your breeches.

I never did criticize the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings movies (and The Hobbit films later) much because they led me to the books. I lamented the important parts left out (Harry Potter) and some changes (I wanted Glorfindel!), I still absolutely love them.

But the subsequent book to movie adaptations? No mercy.

One example is the Percy Jackson movies. I am still not over the money I wasted when I watched The Sea of Monsters in 3D. While much better than the first one, I still did not get the same satisfaction I had when I read the books. The special effects were Woohoo! but the storytelling was bland.

I had a Twilight stage, I won't deny it. I was even drawn into the idea of romance with a vampire even though I was throwing disbelieving glances at the books whenever Bella did something stupid. I watched the movies, Maker help me, and aside from Bryce Dallas Howard and Lee Pace, I did not like them. I promised myself that I was not going to touch anything related to Stephenie Meyer. That promise was broken when I watched The Host in DVD. It was not as bad as I thought it was because there was something artsy about it, in a post-apocalyptic kind of way. Brilliant performance by Saoirse Ronan but getting to ogle Max Irons and Jake Abel was an added bonus.

Watching The Help on HBO over and over again was one of those times I did not regret spending in front of the TV. I loved it so much I read the book. I absolutely loved it, too, and I am going to listen to the audiobook just to hear Octavia Spencer.

I haven't read a book in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin but I've watched three seasons of Game of Thrones. I do not see myself reading the books in the near future but I am still saying that R + L = J.

Then, of course, there are the multiple adaptations.

I have watched the 1995 BBC series of Pride and Prejudice but I will always hold the 2005 movie above it. I fangirled over The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, too. Meanwhile, I completely lost my composure and laughed when I heard the dialogue in both the 1996 and 2013 film adaptations of Romeo and Juliet but Baz Luhrmann's MTV-inspired version, although kooky, is more favored.

This is getting long so I'm leaving you with a little table of some recommendations.

What is your favorite book to movie adaptation?

Ayanami Faerudo

4 comments:

  1. OM goodness I LOVE this chart too cute! Such a wonderful Idea for this!

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  2. Omg I love your table! So organised ;) I'm going to use it for movie recommendations! I also LOVE LotR and HP, because they're just beautiful movies. Although they did leave out great parts of the books (so glad someone else misses Glorfindel!), they both really captured the spirit of the books! I do like Game of Thrones as well although sometimes it pisses me off xD
    Thanks for sharing :)
    My ABEA post
    Juli @ Universe in Words

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  3. Hahah your little chart is so perfect!

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  4. I love the chart thing that you have going on. I haven't seen a lot of those, but have read a few.

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