Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014 Movies Based on Books

There is a post going around Facebook right now of 16 Books to Read Before They Hit Theaters. One post asked how many I had read. The answer was "not very many". Here they are:

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard
The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter
Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Serena by Ron Rash

I have read The Giver and Gone Girl. I thought I had read another by Gillian Flynn, but it was Sharp Objects, and I really disliked. Probably won't read more by her.

Unbroken and The Fault in Our Stars are on the list for my F2F book club, so I will read those, but I really don't have an interest in the others.

By and large, movies are a huge disappointment for anyone who has previously read the book. The movie that plays in the reader's mind is always far more colorful and less restricted than anything Hollywood is able to produce. There are some real stinkers, like "The Shining", directed by Stanley Kubrick; "The Shell Seekers", which was a Hallmark Hall of Fame production; "Pay it Forward", where they changed the race of the main character, which was pivotal to the story; and, "Jack Reacher", starring Tom Cruise (enough said).

However, there are also some very good ones. Although they have to leave a few things out in the interest of time, the omissions are not heinous and do not affect the story in an egregious way. In my opinion, some winners are: "The Shawshank Redemption", which I could watch over and over; the "Harry Potter" movies are brilliantly done, considering the huge amount of detail in the book; "The Green Mile" is another Stephen King book-to-movie that was exquisitely transferred; and "The Help".

I tried to stay with contemporary movies because it seems that the older the movie, the more true to the book. For example, "Rebecca" and "Rosemary's Baby" were both exceptionally true to the book. I think it's a modern-day screenwriter/director self-love mentality to try to put their own spin on the story. How haughty to think that the written word can't stand on its own without embellishment of some sort.

With that said, I think, of the above, the only movie I will see is "The Monuments Men". I think I may add Labor Day to my reading list, but none of the others.

What do you think?

1 comment:

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