• I have a couple. The original Hunger Games was woefully sucky which is a shame as it is is one my favorite book series (thankfully the films have become far better). I really enjoyed Congo as a book, but the only thing the movie has in common with it is the title. Memoirs of a Geisha is a favorite book but the movie either omitted important plot points or changed them completely…and not in a good way.

    • Tricia Ennis

      I haven’t read Memoir’s of a Geisha, or Congo, but I am right there with you on Hunger Games. I felt like I was one of the only ones who thought they did a bad job with the first movie, but they really stepped up their game with Catching Fire.

  • I have such a hard time with this. I never know if i should see the movie or not. I end up seeing it and then I’m mad because well, my book was ruined.

    • Tricia Ennis

      I’ve been lucky for the most part. Either the books that have been adapted aren’t among my favorites, or they’ve been well adapted. Things like the Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter were very well done.

  • This post is The Best.
    The Golden Compass was such a weird movie, because you are absolutely right; it was in no way good! There are other movies that I avoid, because in my mind they will always disappoint compared to the book, but that I know are at least good, because they are successful (like Harry Potter). But with The Golden Compass? It was just so, so weird. I felt like half the film was just scenes of Daniel Craig walking around in the mountains. To be fair, it is a difficult book to translate, because it’s so philosophical, but still.. They could have done better. On the other hand, I don’t have to fear getting the two versions mixed up in my head when I read, because I have deliberately erased the whole movie (apart from Craig’s mountain-scenes) from my head 😀
    I’m doing a Monthly Favorites on my blog this weekend, and I was wondering if I could link to this post?

    • Tricia Ennis

      Thanks! Link away.

      Yeah, The Golden Compass was weird because it was almost good. It was bad for dumb reasons, like making Bolvanger the climax instead of the middle, and changing random things just to change them. Daniel Craig’s walking in the mountains scene would have made sense if they’d then immediately referenced the fact that Asrael had be captured by the Magisterium and locked away at Svalbard, but I don’t even think they mention that. And then they end it bizarrely early, like they were trying to force a sequel with a cliffhanger, but didn’t realize that the book HAS A CLIFFHANGER.

      Ugh. Sorry. I just re-read the books and rewatched the movie for this post, and it still smarts.

      • I know, that ending!!! SO WEIRD! Although if they had gone with the book-ending, I’m pretty sure they would have to give the movie another rating, so maybe that’s why. They wanted it to be sort of a family-film, I guess.
        I should reread soon, too! It’s been like ten years – TOO LONG!

        • Tricia Ennis

          It was rated PG-13 as it was! That ending wouldn’t have changed that. I mean, I get not wanting to be overly violent, but they obviously wanted to make the sequels and they would have been a hell of a lot harder without violence and death and all the religious stuff.

          • Oh okay, in my country it was rated free-for-all-to-see.
            Maybe they’ll try again in ten years!

          • Tricia Ennis

            Ah, interesting. I haven’t considered how other countries might rate it.

            And it’s been 7 years, so they should totally get on that remake, but, you know, hire me on to pass judgement on the screenplay.

  • Great post and completely agree! I had to awkwardly explain to my friend after the film that the book was way better and she should read it. Also the only part I like about the film was Sam Elliot as Lee Scoresby, as he was my exact choice AND how I imagined him in the book but everything else was terrible. They should leave it alone now. I do wish that I’d seen the stage production though, looked epic.

    • Tricia Ennis

      I loved a lot of the casting. Nicole Kidman was exactly who I pictured as Mrs. Coulter (even though she’s described as a brunette), and Eva Green is pretty perfect for Seraphina.

      I do want them to try again though, because I think it can be done, and there are so many great visual aspects of those books that I’d love to see played out.

  • KatyRochelle

    Great post! A movie adaptation I struggled with was The Time Travelers’ Wife. I thought the style, casting, cinematography, etc. was great but it didn’t push the envelope with the highly intricate plot. It really gives the bare minimum, and it pains me that there are deleted scenes but the director refused to release them saying the official movie version is the one audiences deserve to see. It’s an adaptation that I always want to watch but then realize it just doesn’t live up to what it could’ve been. :/

    • Tricia Ennis

      That’s too bad. I was just thinking the other day that I really need to read The Time Traveler’s Wife, because I want to watch the movie, but would rather read it first.

      • KatyRochelle

        The book is definitely worth it to read, and the movie isn’t as horrible as it could’ve been. For me, it just felt like a lot of their relationship/the time traveling is too simplified.

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  • We walked out of The Golden Compass, it was such a wreck! 🙁 Which is a shame because it seemed to have such potential. Maybe better as a miniseries.