Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is Top Ten Best/ Worst Movie Adaptations.

Ah, tough one. I don't watch too many movies and am fairly picky about movies adapted from books, especially if I've loved the book. But then, I googled "books to movies," found a Goodreads list, and realized that I've seen more than I thought.


1. The Lightning Thief. My friend and colleague Regina and I saw this on a Tuesday night at a local movie theater. I believe we were the only patrons in the entire theater, which I showed three or four movies. It had been a while since we read the book, but this was not the book we remembered. We actually laughed out loud several times, and not in a good way. I hear that Sea of Monsters is due to release on July 17 and a quick check of IMDB reveals that the same cast is in place for book #2. Sigh. Logan Lerman is too old to play Percy Jackson and Alexandra Daddario is not Annabeth. I can't believe that an author with the clout Riordan must have signed off on this debacle.

2. Twilight. By the time this movie released, I was so over Twilight, but it was an obsession with my students and felt I had to see the movie. I'm not a fan of Kristin Stewart, so I wasn't disposed to like the movie from the start. She has one expression and no emotion. Robert Pattison is usually nice to look at, but was ruined in this particular movie by the make-up and his single, stalker-ish expression. One thing I did like about it? The music. 

So-so, or not the worst, but not that great, especially if you've read the book.

3. The Golden Compass. Visually gorgeous, but does not do justice to the book. And Nicole Kidman was totally miscast as Lyra's mother. 

4. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Loved, loved, loved the book. Loved the music in the film, oh and some of the scenes of New York but very little else. The film did not capture the intensity of the novel. Cera as Nick? Meh.

5. Speak. First off Speak happens to be one of my favorite novels ever. Secondly, Kristin Stewart stars as Melinda. (See above) Well, actually, this part suited her since Melinda is deeply depressed and suffering a form of PTSD, so the deadpan sulk fit. This was a cable movie, Lifetime, I think and its low-budget britches showed.

6. Hugo. While beautiful and very faithful to the book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, I found the film lagged terribly. My husband, who only listened to the book, found the film enchanting. (This could be because he missed all the art of the  groundbreaking Caldecott winner.)

Trivia bit: The authors of the last three entries all had cameo appearances in the films, which may be why they've all been quoted as loving the films. Just sayin'.

Liked: Didn't want to, resisted, but found myself liking. Very much.

7. Bridge to Terabithia. When I saw the trailer to this one, I thought, "Oh no! They've ruined it!" But the author's son wrote the screenplay and it turns out, I really liked the movie. (And Jessie grows up to play Peetah in another book to movie adaptation that I have not seen.)

8. Charlotte's Web. I had the opportunity to watch a preview of this one at the NJASL conference in 2006. I was fully prepared to despise it. I loved it. 


9. Into the Wild. A fair number of years elapsed between when I read the book (with my ears) and saw the movie. Certain events seems compressed or shifted to suit the storytelling and Chris came off much more sympathetically in the movie than in my reading of the book. Kristin Stewart. Again. Thankfully, a small role.

10. Inkheart. Brendan Fraser. That is all.

Okay. That's ten, but I didn't love any of these. So here's the one I love and, dare I say, is even better than the book?

Holes. Did I love this because the screenplay was also written by the author? Possibly. I do recall seeing a trailer and seeing whatshisname cast as Stanley Yelnats and silently screaming, "No-o-o-o!" Stanley is explicitly fat in the book! But whatshisname, whom I haven't liked in any of the two movies I've seen him in since Holes, embodied Stanley. Loved Sigourney Weaver as the Warden.

Other movies that I've seen but didn't make the top 11:
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Harry Potter
Of Mice and Men
Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy
Because of Winn-Dixie
The Spiderwick Chronicles

Movie I have inexplicably not seen:
The Hunger Games

Upcoming movies that I am very afraid for:
Ender's Game
The Spectacular Now
Daughter of Smoke and Bone


  1. Don't even get my started on the epic fail that was The Lightning Thief. I get the impression from interviews I've seen with Rick Riordan that he wasn't involved in the movie in any way. It shows.

    TTT @ Krista's Dust Jacket

  2. Oh yes, The Lightning Thief :( We share that one :)