Thursday, June 11, 2009

Books Into Movies

We all know that the movie is never as good as the book. Ever. Right? Hold on a sec. That ain't necessarily so.

Recent case in point: Angels and Demons. Now this is your basic summer action flick. Nothing too deep and meaningful here. But it is a fun watch. Tom Hanks is good, as always. And the movie is made just a tad bit more watchable because of the presence of Ewan McGregor, who makes everything a tad bit (or a lot) more watchable. But I digress. Most of the people I know who have read both books think that Angels and Demons was much better than The DaVinci Code. But there were still some problems with A&D. Time lines didn't always make sense. Laws of physics were broken. Etc. The movie drops a ridiculous bit near the end of the book that had me screaming "I call no way!" So, movie better than book.

On Twitter last week, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy of MST3K and now Riff Trax fame were compiling a list of movies that were as good as the books they were based on. My own imperfect list follows. The movies may not all be better than the books, but they are good movies, IMHO.

--The Lord of the Rings
--To Kill A Mockingbird
--The Godfather (in which the movie dropped an icky unnecessary storyline about a bridesmaid and her. . .uhm. . .attribute)
--The General's Daughter (read and then seen because of Jenny's shortlived Book/Movie group)
--The Secret Life of Bees
--Black Hawk Down
--The Bone Collector
--Pride and Prejudice
--Brokeback Mountain
--The World According To Garp
--The French Lieutenant's Woman
--Bladerunner
--The Hunt For Red October
--The Harry Potter movies, especially the more recent ones

I know I'm forgetting some. There are also movies that I really liked, but didn't read the book so those aren't on the list.

Anyone have some to add?

3 comments:

Courtney Suzanne said...

I think the first Bridget Jones Diary captured the spirit of the book really well. The sequel...not so much.

This isn't really a movie, but the Anne of Green Gables miniseries has been one of my all-time favorites. After seeing it, I read ALL the L.M. Montgomery's books I could get my hands on. I liked the sequel, but the third one was just awful and was not based on any of her books at all. Very sad.

Some more off the top of my head:
Gone with the Wind
The Wizard of Oz
Coraline
Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Debbie said...

I agree with your list. If we're adding miniseries, I'd add Dexter and True Blood, although the TV shows veer away from the books in Season 1 and, I hear, even more in Season 2.

Oz, the Mad said...

I haven't read the book, but it's on my list: The Sandlot. Good movie, based on a book.

I enjoyed The Princess Bride, book and movie.