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Friday, March 16, 2012

I haven't read that book...I'll just wait for the movie!


                                                                                        


I think Hollywood would dry up and blow away if it wasn't for authors and graphic novelists. Can you name me five movies in the last couple of years that weren't based on a book or a comic?

Next week is the eagerly awaited movie premiere of The Hunger Games. (But you probably know this already, though, unless you have been living under a rock.)

Just like Twilight and Harry Potter before it, fans of the series are practically salivating at the thought of the novels being played out on the big screen for them.

Hey, don't get me wrong. I'm not knocking the book-turned-into-a-movie thing. Personally, some of my favorite movies started as novels or comics. I drooled over...um...adored the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice.


Hello, Mr. Darcy...

And Gwyneth Paltrow's Emma was so funny, and as they say where I live in the Deep South, a hot mess. This may sound random and weird coming from a Regency author, but two of my all-time favorite movies, Hell Boy and Blade (Blade Three, really. Let's be honest. It's all about Ryan Reynolds.) started as comics.

Sherlock Holmes, The Lovely Bones, The Never Ending Story, The Help, Where the Wild Things Are, Eragon, Mary Poppins- all started as novels.

Batman, American Splendor, Constantine, The Losers, Men in Black, The X-Men- all started out life as comics.

I just find it odd that Hollywood comes up with so few original ideas. Is it because people want to actually see their literary favorites come to life, or is it because all the great ideas have already been written?

There are a few movies that I've really enjoyed that were original screenplays.

50/50, just out in 2011, was one. Man, I cried and laughed, and laughed and cried... and that was just in the first half hour. I was wrung dry by the end of the movie, but in a good way. I also loved Juno. What a weird, awkward, funny, painful, heartwarming movie that was. Gladiator was another original movie that I still love. A wounded hero, a heroine caught between two worlds, an epic tale of battle and revenge, and Joaquin Phoenix played the most twisted, dark, selfish, sister luving emperor ever.
EVAH.


What are some of your favorite books turned into movies? Do you find that movies based on novels or comics thrill or disappoint you? 
                                                    
Did you ever think that a huge, red dude with broken off horns and a bad attitude could be sexy? (Umm, yeah, me neither.)

37 comments:

  1. Olivia ~ Great post! Like soooo many out there, I am dying for THE HUNGER GAMES. (Thanks to Deb Marlowe for suggesting the series way back when.) Honestly, it wasn't the sort of book I usually go for, but it was sooo gripping. AND I really hope the movie won't disappoint. That is almost aways the case the for me.

    Why does Hollywood pilfer...I mean adapt books or graphic novels all the time? VERY EASY ANSWER. The film industry is just that, a for profit industry. Sure they could make more original films (and there are still a good number of them out there - Inception was amazing) but with successful books/comics, there's a built in audience and that means money! Yes, there are still some art-for-the-sake-of-art film makers, but the big studios want a return for their money.

    My favorite movies really aren't adaptations though, maybe because they rarely live up to my expectations. But that isn't what you asked. So here goes. (And maybe it's a Robert Downey Jr thing,) I can't choose between IRON MAN and SHERLOCK HOLMES!

    I haven't seen HELLBOY. Should I?

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    1. I think EVERYONE should see Hell Boy, lol! I have no idea why I like it so much. It's kind of lame in parts and a bit predictable, but there's something about Hell Boy himself. He's the quintessential brooding, wounded hero. His sense of self worth is very low, he pines for a woman who looks at him and can't decide if he's the love of her life or her downfall and he hides it all behind a wise-cracking, rude, gruff exterior. Yeah. That's why. ;D

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    2. Ava- I personally like Jude Law as Watson and that is the main reason I go to see Sherlock Holmes. However, I was kinda impress on the last one.

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    3. I couldn't believe it, but I actually liked Hellboy. It was funny, odd, snarky - I think you would like it, Ava ;)

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    4. Melody - I do like Jude Law's Watson. He's a great straight man; but there's something about a smartass I find appealing... I think that's what Erin was getting at in her response to me. ;) LOL

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  2. One of my fav books turned into a movie is Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta. Its a glimpse into Australian culture as a teenage Australian girl deals with the traumas of everyday life. Tends to make me cry but it is wonderful.

    Hellboy never really did anything for me. He's just too much bulky muscle. I'll take Constantine though. Keanu!

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    1. Ooo, I haven't seen Looking for Alibrandi. Thanks for the recommendation! That sounds fantastic. Something along those lines, maybe, is Sandra Bullock's The Blind Side. That movie was so heartwarming, but it made me cry.
      Constantine is also a hot mess. But a HOT hot mess. Lol....

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  3. In our house, it goes like this: Read the book, love the book. Long for the movie. Hear things about the movie that annoy you. See the movie. Love bits of the movie, but spend long hours detailing to your mother (who has both read the book and seen the movie) all the parts that disappointed you.

    Lather, rinse, repeat. :-)

    My oldest has read the Hunger Games series several times. He's already complaining about the danged movie and it isn't' even out yet. You cannot say "Percy Jackson" without starting a debate in this house. And don't even bring up Harry Potter. No SPEW. Shoot the danged director already.

    As you can tell, we're into books and movies.

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    1. LMAO! I feel the SAME way. I feel completely betrayed by True Blood (Sorry, I know many of you love it.) It literally shocked me when they introduced Tara's character. I can't watch the show, because I have a rabid loyalty to the novels and it makes me crazed to see the change in plots and characters. That's why I refuse to read The Vampire Diaries- I love the show too much and it would ruin it for me!
      I just saw Percy Jackson the other night. I was not impressed. If the books are better, I'll check them out, though. Did you know Galeen Foley has a YA series coming out, somewhat like Percy? I'm excited for that!

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    2. Deb, that sounds soooooo familiar to me. I'm usually very disappointed in the film versions of my favorite books. There are very few where I think the film stands up to the book, and fewer still where the film is better. So sad.

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  4. Olivia,

    Great post! My husband loves Hell Boy, too. He's a huge comic book fan. I bet he would love Sandman to be made into a movie, but it might get all messed up.

    I really enjoyed Iron Man and Thor. Oh, and recently I took my daughter to see The Lorax. I thought is was wonderful.

    Not that you asked, but one of my favorite original movies was Little Miss Sunshine. At least I don't think it was based on a book. :)

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    1. Oh, I loved Little Miss Sunshine! Steve Carrell is at his funniest when he's not trying to be funny. Have you seen Crazy Stupid Love? I adore that movie!

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  5. I volunteer as Tribute!!! OMG, I died when I saw the trailer for THe Hunger Games. Still need to read the last book though.

    Hot Builder and I are big Hell Boy fans. And I really like watching all the Marvel Comic book stuff come to movies, because HB can tell me about what was in the Comics or why this person doesn't like that one. He also puts up with me saying: That didn't happen in the book!

    I loved the movie Big Fish with Ewan MacGregor, hated the novel. HATED IT! Same thing for Practical Magic-loved the movie, hated the novel.

    As for Twilight...well, I'm not a Twihard so I don't get too crazy about it. But I've read all the books, the first chapters Meyer's wrote of Twilight from Edwards POV and seen all the movies, so far.

    I will say that Meyer's other book The Host is actually really, really good and wigged me out. They're making a movie of it. I really want to see it.

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    1. I haven't read either Practical Magic or Big Fish, but I loved both those movies! I was so, so disappointed by the Twilight movies. I can't stand watching Kristen What's Her Face twitch and gasp her Bella lines. That is NOT how I ever pictured Bella. I think that part was severely miscast.
      I haven't read The Host. Maybe I'll check it out. :)

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    2. I actually have the hardback copy of The Host. I can bring it to Lady Jane's to give to you?

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  6. One of my favorite books was actually The Help. The movie was good, but my imagination was a little more into certain parts of the book. I love Emma and Pride & Prejudice. However, I just couldn't watch Kiera Knightly version of Pride & Prejudice; I just couldn't see her as Elizabeth. Plus, Colin Firth will always be Mr. Knightly to me. Plus, I like the BBC version of Emma better than the Gwyneth Paltrow's version. It was a good one up until BBC redid that one and I love that one. Gotta love mini-series that follow closer to the book.

    Drawing a blank here.

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    1. My mom gave me a copy of The Help a few months ago, but I haven't gotten around to reading it. I bet I'm going to love it, though. I haven't seen the movie either- I wanted to read the book first!
      Speaking of Southern movies- Fried Green Tomatoes! OMG, I loved that movie. Was it a book first? I need to watch that again. Talk about a strong heroine, lol....

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    2. Oh, Melody May, you are after my heart! I couldn't stand the 2005 P&P either. (Unlike you, however, I loathed the Gwyneth Paltrow Emma, but that might be because I have a serious and inexplicable aversion to Gwyneth Paltrow. I was thrilled when the BBC did a version of it.)

      I haven't read The Help yet, but Erin Knightley watched it while I was in NC in January.

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    3. And mine! KK is *not* Elizabeth Benet.

      BUT Colin Firth *is* Mr. Darcy. Someday he'll be 80 years old and they'll do some lifetime achievement thing on TV and I'll see him and say to my grandkids "That's Mr. Darcy!" It won't matter how old he gets or how much time goes by... He is Mr. Darcy.

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    4. Ava- I was thinking Darcy and wrote knightly. The whole kiera knightly thing. Yes he is Darcy.

      Cathrine- the gwyneth paltrow one is all right. After reading the book I just couldn't see the mr. Elton in that one as mr. Elton. However, I just love the BBC mr. Elton so much better.

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    5. Melody - The Mr. Elton thing made me think about Clueless. That was such a charming adaptation!

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    6. I prefer Clueless to the Gwyneth Paltrow Emma by a mile. :)

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    7. I love clueless too. That movie makes me laugh

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  7. I have not yet read The Hunger Games. My sisters have read them and read them and read them again, and are trying to get me to read them. And I will...but I think this time, I'll wait to read them after I see the films, so I won't be disappointed in the movies.

    But you know what? IMO, the best film version of a book is Forrest Gump. In fact, if you like the movie, DON'T read the book. I did, and was so disappointed, and it has forever colored the way I see the movie until I almost can't enjoy the movie any more. Another one where, IMO, the film was better than the book was The Horse Whisperer. That one might have something to do with Robert Redford, though. LOL.

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    1. I loved Forrest Gump! Thanks for the advice- I hate having movies I really enjoy ruined. I loved Colin Firth's P&P, OF COURSE I DID, but for me, there was just something about the 2005 P&P. Maybe it was the quality of the movie itself? I feel too many BBC series have a sort of cheap film air about them, I just don't know what it is that bothers me so much. They got it right with Downton Abbey, though. :)

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  8. Great post, Olivia. My husband is a HUGE Lord of the Rings fan. He read it as a child and had insisted I read the all the books before we went and saw the movies. Now, first you must know my husband RARELY goes to movies. We've been married eleven years, almost twelve, and we have been to the movies together maybe six times. I read the books and loved them. I cried when Gandalf died and salivated over Eragon. I was very annoyed, however, at how incredibly wimpy they made Frodo. He wasn't like this in the books at all. It ruined it for my husband. It annoyed him to death. As a side note, I was at the gym two days ago talking to a friend of mine about the current book I'm writing. The guy on the bike next to us interrupted and asked me to tell him about my book. Turns out he works in the movie industry producing movies and he said they get most of their movies as adaptations from books because Hollywood had no original ideas!

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    1. Lord of the Rings is tough for me. I love the movies, but I loved the books too. I also, was NOT a Frodo fan. Those sappy looks and goofy smiles really turned me off. What were they thinking?
      And how cool is that?! Someone who works int he movie industry wanted to chat about your writing! Fun... :D

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    2. LOTR is one of those rare films-made-from-the-book that I love equally. There are some issues with the films (the characterization of Frodo is a big one, and the way they changed Arwen), but then again, I have a few issues with the book, too (like Tom Bombadil--I know, sacrilege). But overall, they are both so insanely good that those few things don't matter.

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  9. I love that movie too. When I was pregnant w/ my daughter when that movie was on tv I was hankering for some fried green tomatoes. I ate so many of those things. I just wish I could make them like they had in the movie.

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    1. This is the recipe I use, Melody, and it's really good. Just make sure not to leave them in the oil too long and pat them with paper towels when you pull them out, or they get soggy and greasy!
      http://www.southernliving.com/food/how-to/fried-green-tomatoes-00400000042808/

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    2. I'm going to have to try them. First I need to find green tomatoes

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  10. Do you know, my sister's latest script was turned down by a producer this week because he said it was too SMART?!?! He said audiences don't care about plot, they just want to laugh. Seriously, he thought the only thing audiences were interested in was the vulgar stuff (Bridesmaids, etc.) Don't get me wrong, I enjoy movies like that too, but I LOVE a good, smart, well-written movie even better!

    And yeah, even when movies are good, they never compare to the book :)

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    1. One of the things I adore about The Usual Suspects was that Christopher McQuarrie wrote the script with the idea that the audience *was* smart. And he won an Oscar for doing so.

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    2. I LOVE "smart" movies. I feel that Juno and Little Miss Sunshine fall into that category, and they both did very well and were highly entertaining. I hope your sister comes across a producer with some vision, for crying out loud!

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  11. Awesome blog post, Olivia! I love book movies! The remake of Romeo and Juliet with Leo was a lot of fun, I thought! Can't wait for Hunger Games! :D

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    1. Thanks, Tamara! I liked Leo as Romeo, but I wasn't fond of Clare Dane as Juliet. I much preferred Olivia Hussey...and not just because she had an awesome name. ;D

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  12. Great blog, Olivia! :) I can't wait for the Hunger Games, though I have no idea when I'll actually get to the movie.

    I loved the Hellboy. And Constantine. And all of the Marvel related ones. I'm a huge X-Men fan and those started as comics too. Great stuff.

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