Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Discussion Point – Weekly Geek – Book V Movie





With the release of Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince this past week, I thought it would be good to turn once again to movie adaptations. In March, with the release of Watchmen (using that as a jumping off point for discussion), I brought up the subject of worst movie adaptations. This time, I'd like to bring up best movie adaptations (not saying if the recent Harry Potter movie is or isn't faithful to the book since I'll be honest I haven't read the book, but using the subject as a jumping off point for discussion).

So what are some of your favorite movie adaptations of books? Include trailers or scenes from Youtube if you'd like.


This weeks Weekly Geek topic once again deals with the whole Book V Movie theme. I was going to pass on this topic but decided to jump on my soap box and say a few words - about how I feel about the  topic.

I never get this whole comparing book against screen adaption. When  I watch a film which in itself is very rare I accept the film, drama or mini series (Whatever) on it's own merit. Why would I compare words against human limitations?

There is a fluidity to words that cannot be translated to screen no matter how good, how creative or even how daring a director is - and that is the bottom line of it all. Clearly also trying to get the little nuances that makes up the physical form from books cannot be adapted to screen. The readers imagination also will never be totally satisfied by anything that the most gifted director toss at them – if that is his or her whole plan of lifting a book into film.

Even films that were not books before are hard even to sell, without critics harping on about what worked and what didn't work if the script was originally a book. 

Two of my favourite film are book adaptation -

From Here to Eternity -  James Jones novel was an underappreciated novel for years and only with the release of the film did this novel come into it’s own.

That said – a good portion of the book never made it into the film adaption and what did was so cropped and sanitized that you would never believe it actually had anything of Jones original work in it.

And despite all that both the book and the film has a permanent place in my personal collection of DVD and books for totally different reasons..



Ladyhawke - Ladyhawke is a 1985 fantasy FILM directed by Richard Donner, and starring a slew of famous names.  It was NOVELIZED by Joan D. Vinge in the same year.

This is one of my all time favourite fantasy film. Although adapted after the film to book – I could easily find things wrong with the film – like something as simply as the good guys and the bad guys rode the same horses, it might not seem like much, but purist would know that would never happen in that time  - pure heresy. But guess what, I love the film just as it was and I watch it as least once a month.

The book is the same story, but because of the elasticity of words – Ms. Vinge was able to be more creative with the emotions, more passionate with some of the scenes and with no limitation like human constraints she as able to elaborate on the events and made sure my imagination went wild.



I have watched quite a few film from book adaption and while I have different feeling toward each and every one of them, I approach each one on it’s own individual merit.

The perfect book to film cannot happen, it will never happen - There will never be a perfect or even a near perfect adaption of any book to film, and it’s really best to either love or hate a film on it’s strengths or weaknesses.

What's your thoughts on this - I think I have just broken my soapbox.


4 Speak To Me:

Blodeuedd on 21 July 2009 at 06:35 said...

I must say this *hides under a rock and whispers* I preferred the LOTR movies to the books.

But yes so many bad ones out there, so many that doesn't get there. Like Dune, my 2nd fav book ever. They will never be able to catch that magic

Erotic Horizon on 21 July 2009 at 10:59 said...

Hey Blodeuedd

you better hide under a rock and whisper - LOTR book was brilliant but i can't argue with about how good the movie was .. really good..

I enjoy either book or film just as they are...


Donna on 22 July 2009 at 03:47 said...

I feel the same about movies adapted from books. My reasoning, your imagination can take you places that modern technology just can't. So, when I go into a movie that I've read the book on, I try not to condemn and keep on open mind. Although, sometimes it's hard, especially if they change the ending from the book, like they did in Da Vinchi Code.

Erotic Horizon on 22 July 2009 at 09:33 said...


I even forgot about that bit - the power of the imagination that screen cannot compete with..

Thanks for chipping ...