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film adaptations

Favorite books to movie adaptions

Favorite books to movie adaptions

My daughter is about to start reading Anne of Green Gables. After she’s done, I told her we would watch the television miniseries. It is one of my favorite book to movie adaptions ever. The actress chosen to be Anne Shirley was everything I had ever imagined Anne would be from her carrot-y braids to her penchant for over dramatization.

So often when you see the transformation of a book into a movie there is this let down, a certain disappointment that the movie failed to capture the spirit and magic of the characters you have built up in your mind.

Books have been a ripe source of movie inspiration both in the past and more recently. I don’t have Starz but the production of Outlander has captured the attention of much of my Twitter feed and there are tumblrs devoted to the rising star Sam Heughan who plays Jamie.


I can see why. He emotes in a picture. (I think 50 Shades should have picked him as Christian Grey rather than the Dornan character who looks like he has about as much sex appeal as a thimble)

While the whole of YA books transformed into movies haven’t done as well as the original spawn, Harry Potter, the moderate success of Divergent and the stunning success of the Jennifer Lawrence lead Hunger Games, leads me to believe that Hollywood will take more chances on YA books despite the bombs of Beautiful Creatures and Mortal Instruments.

I’ve been utterly captivated for years by the Tolkien productions of Peter Jackson and anxiously await the third and final installment of the Hobbit. But I think my appreciation for these movies has more to do with the fact that the books themselves were such a distant memory and I hadn’t loved them enough to create the characters in my own mind. Thus Jackson’s rendition was perfectly fine to adopt as my own.

Who the lead characters are is important but the story is as well. When I watched the Harry Potter movies this past year (my daughter was reading the books and then we’d watch the corresponding movie after she finished) almost none of the movies lived up to the books in part because some of the acting was poor but so was some of the on screen storytelling. The Goblet of Fire was my least favorite with the last two being my most favorite. I felt it had a lot to do with the director and the parts of the story the director choose to tell.

As a kid I remember thinking the Swiss Family Robinson movie was loads more interesting than the book because the movie had pirates. The book is just full of awful colonialism. I re-read that with my daughter a few years ago and cringed hard throughout the whole story. The whale is my favorite part in the book–that and the salt cave.

Recently the book Princess Bride was on sale and I mentioned that I loved the book. In the comments someone mentioned disliking both the book and the movie, but the movie had such charm. The casting for that movie was spot on. Cary Elwes played the perfect stableboy turned swashbuckling pirate.

As a young teen I cried buckets over The Outsiders which my brother had rented surreptitiously from the local video store. My parents would never have approved but I saw the movie first which can have a huge impact on one’s opinion of a book.

Stand by Me and Shawshank Redemption were both award winning movies adapted from short stories by Stephen King. Yes, the casting was great in both movies but I thought the actual movie making itself was gripping. I can still vividly hear Morgan Freeman narrating parts of Shawshank Redemption in my head.

The movie version of The Silence of the Lambs was incredible and it actually sent me on a Thomas Harris binge which I regret because I then read a number of mysteries and still have nightmares about the one with the blind girl, the snake and the dish of milks. *Cries*

But there are no shortage of terrible movie adaptions. The Princess Diaries is one of them. I loved those books and even with the smart casting I felt that they never really captured the adorkable charm of Mia. I love Katherine Hepburn but could barely finish the Little Woman movie. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist was another movie I thought was awful. Or maybe I just don’t like Michael Cera.

The list of books to movies seems endless. Why not share with your favorite or least favorite books to movies!


Thursday News: SCOTUS rules against Aereo, unanswered questions from the Aereo ruling, SCOTUS may hear Marvel case, and the In Death books may finally come to film

Thursday News: SCOTUS rules against Aereo, unanswered questions from the Aereo...

Aereo Loses at Supreme Court, in Victory for TV Broadcasters – So I don’t know how many of you were surprised by the Supreme Court’s ruling against Aereo, but I do hope the ruling encourages more debate and discussion around how to “enable choice and freedom” in media presentation. Aereo was founded on that ideal, and in an environment where cable and satellite television dominate the market (in the US, at least), we *need* more breadth and diversity.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the majority, said the service was “not simply an equipment provider,” but acted like a cable system in that it transmitted copyrighted content. “Insofar as there are differences,” he wrote, “those differences concern not the nature of the service that Aereo provides so much as the technological manner in which it provides the service.”

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At the hearing in April, the justices had expressed concern that a ruling against Aereo would stifle technological innovation — a concern echoed throughout the tech industry. Justice Breyer took pains on Wednesday to say the decision was limited to Aereo’s service. “We believe that resolution of questions about cloud computing, remote storage DVRs and other novel matters not now before us should await a case in which they are clearly presented,” he said in announcing the decision from the bench. –New York Times

Four Unanswered Questions From Aereo’s Supreme Court Loss – This is a really nice piece that attempts a preliminary answer to four questions in the wake of the Aereo ruling, from the one below, to the legality of DVR and streaming services, and the major concern with the effect this ruling will have on innovation. Not only is there some great legal context here, there is also a pretty nice explanation of the issues and the significance of the ruling for those who are not necessarily familiar with the case.

1) Who took the legally significant action? It’s one of the most fundamental, yet unresolved, questions of Internet law: if online content is infringing, who bears legal responsibility? Is it the uploader, the downloader, one or more intermediaries helping move the content from uploader to downloader, all of the above, none of the above, or some subset of these parties? This “whodunit” question online has vexed courts for more than 20 years, and this ruling will likely exacerbate the confusion. –Forbes

Hollywood Guilds Want Supreme Court to Hear Marvel Characters Dispute – According to the Hollywood Guild, which represents artistic creators, a 2013 ruling by the 2nd Circuit “jeopardizes the statutory termination rights that many Guild members may possess in works they created.” The issue is related to a perceived trade-off within the lengthened copyright period, such that creators who have sold their rights to studios and other corporations can terminate those rights in the later years (reversion). Jack Kirby’s estate is heading the charge here, and their objection to the idea that Kirby’s creations are merely works for hire and therefore not eligible for termination and reversion of rights is getting a good deal of support and momentum toward the high court. Should SCOTUS reverse the appeals court ruling, the implications for other licensed works could be substantial.

Now that the high court might potentially review working agreements in Hollywood, SAG-AFTRA, the DGA and the WGA are weighing in on what they say is a “critically important case.” Lest anyone think that the ability to reclaim rights from studios is something merely for comic book artists, the guilds say the 2nd Circuit’s 2013 ruling “jeopardizes the statutory termination rights that many Guild members may possess in works they created.”

Similar to the amicus briefs already filed, the guilds argue that works made for hire are the product of traditional employment relationships, and that to extend the interpretation broadly to commissioned works as well would be a consequential power shift in the entertainment industry. –Hollywood Reporter

Let’s All Take A Deep Breath – So there seems to be some movement in the seemingly never-ending saga of turning the In Death books into film(s). I’ll likely be in the camp that will be critical of anyone/everyone cast in the main roles, because, over the course of 30-something books, the characters have taken on a pretty defined shape in my head. I long ago accepted that I am likely not a member of the audience for this particular film project. Although I can’t say that I was surprised at the vehemence of some of the reactions.

Yesterday we announced on the JD Robb Facebook page that Amber Entertainment has optioned the In Death books. And the comment section exploded. Reactions ranged from excitement and delight to abject despair and even anger–with every possible emotion that falls between. Casting suggestions (and demands) flew like grapeshot.

I’m going to take this opportunity to address some of those concerns, suggestions, demands. –Fall Into The Story