Category: Adaptations

Five Decent Film Noir Adaptations

Posted July 20, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Adaptations, Top 5 / 0 Comments

top-5This might be the last in a series of film adaptation posts for a while. Recently I listed ten of the worst adaptations and then five decent adaption; now for Film Noir. I’m a big fan of Hard-Boiled and Noir fiction so it’s time to look at some of the better Film Noir adaptations from these classic novels.

5. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? by Horace McCoy

4. The Grifters by Jim Thompson

3. L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy

2. Double Indemnity by James M. Cain

1. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

 I’m not going to go into too much explanation about these movies; some of them are faithful to the novel and some very different but they are all decent books and film noir classics. I could have also added The Post Man Always Rings Twice, The Black Dahlia, The Long Goodbye and even The Maltese Falcon but I didn’t want to have too many of the same author on the list. Now if you are a fan of Film noir and pulp novels, let me know what I’ve missed.

Five Decent Movie Adaptation

Posted July 10, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Adaptations, Top 5 / 0 Comments

top-5Yesterday I did a Top Ten Tuesday list where I looked at ten of the Worst Movie Adaptations in my opinion. These were books that really don’t translate well to the screen. But as a counter balance I thought I would give you five good movie adaptations. Yes only five, there are not many adaptations that I feel work as well as the book. So in no particular order:

5. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

4. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

3. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

1. Scott Pilgrim Verse the World by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Also I would like to include The Virgin Suicides, Revolutionary Road, Perfume, Fight Club, The Road, American Psycho and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy which are not perfect but they are still pretty decent compared to some of the other adaptations out there. Now it’s your turn, what do you like that worked well as a book adaptation? Maybe next time I’ll look at decent Noir adaptations.

Top Ten Tuesday: The Worst Movie Adaptations

Posted July 9, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Adaptations, Top Ten Tuesday / 0 Comments

I had so much fun doing Top Ten Tuesday last week that I thought I would join in again. Top Ten Tuesday is a book blogger meme that is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week the theme is: Top Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations. I want to look at ten books that should have never been made into movies because they never work and never will work in this particular format. These are mainly books that have a strong internal monologue, the emotions and inner turmoil is vital to the book and/or they are too many narrators to really work.

10. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
There was a mini-series that wasn’t too bad but the latest attempt at adapting this movie was so bad. I’m a fan of Zooey Deschanel, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Stephen Fry and John Malkovich but no one could save this movie.

9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I’m sorry but the 2005 film just doesn’t work for me, there is none of Austen’s wit and only really covers the basic story. I only recently read Pride and Prejudice and adored it but most of the things I love about this book don’t translate to film.

8. Dune by Frank Herbert
David Lynch was faced with the impossible task of turning this seminal sci-fi classic into a movie and he failed, hard.

7. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
One of those movies, I wish I could unsee. The book was so great, why would they destroy that with a film adaption?

6. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The most recent adaptation was a horrible, horrible adaptation of such a wonderful book. It was weird how they did the movie and they left so much out. I’m not a fan of Keira Knightley so I was looking forward to the end. I’ve not seen any of the other adaptations of this classic and I never want to see them.

5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I keep meaning to write about the Baz Luhrmann version but keep putting it off. This is a book about unlikeable characters and symbolism, and that never worked. To be honest I don’t think Baz read the book and just tried to remake the old Robert Redford movie.

4. Dracula by Bram Stoker
I’ve never seen a Dracula movie that actually works, it’s hard to be faithful to Bram Stoker’s seminal piece of literature and still try to adapt it.

3. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
I’m looking at you Demi Moore, Gary Oldman, and Robert Duvall. It doesn’t work and it shouldn’t be tried again. Try something like a modern retelling like Easy A, it’s not The Scarlet Letter but at least it works.

2. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Most of this novel plays out in the mind of Rodion Raskolnikov; mental anguish and moral dilemmas don’t translate on the screen, I never have watched a Crime and Punishment adaptation and I don’t think I ever will.

1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
No, just stop it, you will never get it right in a movie, you can’t tell both Victor and Monster Frankenstein’s story at the same time and explore their thoughts and emotion on the screen. Stop trying to ruin my favourite book.

Adaptation Smackdown: The Rum Diary

Posted July 11, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Adaptations / 0 Comments

I haven’t talked about an adaptation for a while, so I thought it was time to bring out another adaptation smackdown. The idea is to look at the book and then compare the movie and see which one was better or worth your time. I thought this time I will take a look at Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary which was made into a movie late last year. Set in the 1950’s this story involves a tangled love triangle of jealousy, treachery and alcoholism of the staff of a Puerto Rico newspaper.

The mediocre semi-biographical novel focuses on a very ill tempered, drunkard of a journalist. I was expecting something with a bit of excitement but the plot seemed to drag on and while hinting at a plot this book never really took off. So when it came to seeing the movie it was nice to see them really cut down the story to give a resemblance of a plot but like the book it still seemed to drag on way too much.

Advantages of the book

There are no advantages, this book drags on and there really isn’t any point in wasting too much time reading this book.

Advantages of the movie

Well for one, Johnny Depp plays the lead role and let’s face it, he is an expert in playing a drunk. Amber Heard is a beautiful and great actor but still she isn’t enough to pull this movie through. Other than that this movie feels a lot longer than 120 minutes.

Winner: No one’s a winner, unless you skipped them both.

Hunter S. Thompson adaptations seem to follow closely with the novels, which is good for books like Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas where you have a bizarre plot to read and watch but when you have a below average one, it really doesn’t translate well to any format. Now I’ve had a little vent about this book and movie, I might have to work on a new adaptation smackdown, so if anyone has some good suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Read it 1st – Coming Adaptations

Posted July 5, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Adaptations / 0 Comments

readit1stSince become a bibliophile I’ve tried to read the books before seeing the movie adaptation, but this is often difficult; there are so many books being made into movies and often I don’t find out about them until closer to the release date. There is a site called Read it 1st which sends out newsletters of books being turned into movies but sadly this site has been inactive for a while and Hank Green is just too busy doing all the jobs. So with a little help from an article from iO9 and some Google searching I’ve decided to give people an idea of the 30 new film adaptations currently in the works. Just a warning some of these movies are still in development and some may never make it to a release date.

  • All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  • Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo
  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • Maximum Ride by James Patterson
  • Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson
  • Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  • Ready Player One by Ernie Cline
  • Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
  • The Forest of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan
  • The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Hobbit by JRR Tolken
  • The Host by Stephenie Meyer
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
  • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  • Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
  • Wettest County by Matt Bondurant
  • World War Z by Max Brooks