I’ve read 200 books this year and they don’t get read by themselves, my friendly fiends. I don’t have time to watch movies which is a sad fact of life.
And if there’s something that genuinely strikes fear in my bones, it is the whispered words of: look this book is being made into a movie. How about…how about we panic now? I can’t even count how many book-to-movie adaptions have been so horrendous I just sat there screaming. And that’s because there are A LOT OF HORRENDOUS ADAPTIONS, not because I can’t count very high. I’m great at counting. I’m practically a Count to be honest.
I just love books, I really really really love books. And when they get RUINED by a horrible movie adaption, my soul breaks. So even though there are good adaptions * I still mostly yell “NO NO NO I DECREE IT NOT BE SO” ** whenever I hear of one of my favourite books getting adapted.
But do I still try and watch book-to-movie adaptions? Yes. Apparently I like pain. And there ARE some good parts about movie-adaptions! THERE ARE. And bless you (and me, obviously) for I am about to give you a glorious list.
I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesday for their prompt “Movie Freebie” and I’ll list 10 pros and cons of YA book-to-movie adaptions which is obviously going to be fun because we all love pros and cons lists! And I’m completely being a rebel today! But that’s fine because when it comes to discussing something I frequently panic over (aka adaptions) THEN HECK YES I AM A RABID MONGOOSE AND HAVE THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS AND I’M GONNA THROW ‘EM ALL AT YOU. SIT TIGHT, SUSAN, HERE WE GO.
* Here are some adaptions I loved: The Help, The Book Thief, Catching Fire, The Giver, The Maze Runner, Game of Thrones, The Fault in Our Stars, City of Bones, Matilda, A Series of Unfortunate events, Lord of the Rings.
** Hey it rhymes! Someone give me a cookie I’m so clever!
#CON 1: MOVIES CAN BE INSUFFERABLY BORING.
I have the attention span of a wayward grape * and after an hour of watching a movie, I’m generally actually scrolling #bookstagram or napping or summon the dark dragon forces to give them instructions on what planet I want to take over next. Like GET TO THE POINT, please, movie.
Books are just more concise about a lot of things. A book gets to say “the road stretched far so he began walking” which is much nicer than watching 2.4 hours of them walking something. AM I TALKING ABOUT LORD OF THE RINGS? WHO CAN KNOW.
* I don’t know what this means either?? But yet it feels accurate??
#CON 2: WHAT IS UP WITH THE SOUND.
Can we just talk for a moment about how movies really wish to torture our ears? Because it’s the worst.
Actual Accurate Representation of A Movie’s Sound Levels:
Movie: *EXPLOSIONS! SHOUTING! LOUD MUSIC! BOOM!*
Me: Woah that’s intense and I have sensitive ears. I’m turning the volume waaaaay down.
Movie: *actors start whispering*
Me: Okay I’ll turn it up–
Movie: *BOOM LOUD MUSIC*
Me: Would you just–
Me: I HATE YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR CHILDREN’S CHILDREN AND DISHONOUR ON YOUR COW AND MY EARS ARE TOO TRAUMATISED FOR THIS NOW.
You know what? No. I’m going to read a book where no one is yelling at my sensitive ears or whispering into their scarf so I’m forced to ask my family for translations.
#CON 3: A LOT MORE IS LEFT OPEN TO INTERPRETATION.
People think reading is more work but hahhaha #NON. Books are easier. THEY TELL YOU THINGS. They say in black-and-white what people are feeling, what they’re thinking, and wha his oceanic golden fiery beautiful etc. etc. etc. eyes are conveying.
Whereas in movies there’s long stagnant pauses and meaningful looks and I’m like “SO IN THE BOOK WE WOULD HAVE INTERNAL MONOLOGUE HERE BUT IN THIS MOVIE I’VE GOT NO CLUE.” Cutting out the interior bookish monologue is almost always disastrous. And spoken backstory??? Like how does anyone even understand Game of Thrones without having read the books? I ASK YOU.
#CON 4: IT’S NEVER HOW YOU THOUGHT IT’D BE.
That’s the thing with books: they’re really personal! We all imagine them differently and different parts of the book will speak to different people. Like, for instance, the scene in The Fault In Our Stars book where they discuss if scrambled eggs are sad about always being a breakfast food REALLY SPOKE TO MY SOUL. Did they cut it out? Yes. Despicable.
And then there are just so many other changes. And someone is acting differently to how they did in the book. AND THAT ONE HAS THE WRONG HAIR. And dialogue that was funny on the page is now awkward and stilted said out loud…and basically it’s an overwhelming conglomeration of NOT. WHAT. YOU. IMAGINED.
#CON 5: THE FILM MAKERS DON’T READ THE BOOK.
I mean, I’m surmising here. But I’m guessing that’s what happens or how the flippity freaking flop did Annabeth end up with brown hair? Or like how that book is about TEENAGERS in HIGHSCHOOL so what is this 30-year-old kumquat doing on this screen?
Actual Conversation Amongst Film Makers:
Film Makers: This book would make an epic movie!
Film Makers: Should we read it?
Film Makers: ….
Film Makers: NAh.
I know they say “adapted” and “based on the book” but these days it’s more like “hEY WE’RE USING THE SAME TITLE AND CHARACTERS NAMES BUT EVERYTHING ELSE IS NEGOTIABLE LOL!”
Look I’ve taken an oath not to thwack people so hard they end up on Jupiter, so I’m going to have to delegate my rage. Stay tuned. It will be done.
#PRO 1: EPIC SOUNDTRACKS OF AWESOME.
Because all your life is missing is epic music playing constantly in the background to warn you when something amazing or terrible is going to happen. It’s a fact. You know it. I know it. My pet kraken knows it. So adding heartbreaking cello chords to a death scene IS REALLY GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN MY LEVELS OF LOVE FOR SOMETHING.
#PRO 2: EXPLOSIONS AND ACTION ARE BETTER.
I hate hate hate admitting something is better on screen than in books, because….do I have to revoke my booknerd card??? Do I have to lock myself away in a library for 90 days and apologise to all the paperbacks I’ve offended? I FEEL BAD OKAY!?
Yet the truth remains. It is 100000 x more awesome to watch something explode on the screen than it is to read about it. Plus you get that whole effect of the slowly-walking-away-without-looking-back-at-explosion effect on the screen which is downright awesome.
I actually don’t really like reading long action scenes in books??? Because what the heck is going on Susan? Let me laugh nervously and skip to the end where everyone is DEAD because that’s fun. And yet I LOVE battles/fights/explosions in movies. Best part. Basically when my dad says, “Shall we watch a movie?” I say “HOW MANY THINGS GO KABOOM?” because that is my criteria for movie-watching.
#PRO 3: HELPS IF YOU ACTUALLY HAVE A DULL IMAGINATION.
Look I’ve confessed this before, but I don’t have the best visual imagination ever. I am a visual person. So I didn’t even know there was a wall around Chicago in Divergent until I saw the movie.
Actual Conversation between Sister And I While Watching Divergent:
Me: Woah what is up with that wall, eh? That’s so unexpected!
Sister: It was in the book????
Sister: DID YOU NOT READ THE ACTUAL BOOK????
I read it twice, in fact. Haha. There’s a wall! Fancy that!
So yes I am imagination-challenged at times. And sometimes it’s handy to actually HAVE a movie give a character a face (I never imagine faces either) or SEE the layout of the castle or get to APPRECIATE the detail of an epic costume because I’d been just imagining everyone in jeans and various coloured tee-shirts. Forget that it’s the 14th century. Don’t annoy me with your details.
#PRO 4: IT MAKES YOU GO READ THE BOOK.
Because yes I do commit the bookworm taboo, on occasion and go see the movie first. But sometimes I don’t even know it’s a book?! I didn’t know Mary Poppins or How To Train Your Dragon or The Help was a book until last year??!
Or, in the case of City of Bones, I tried the book, got confused after 2 pages, abandoned ship, watched the movie, reread the book = NOW I AM SO OBSESSED WITH THE SHADOWHUNTERS THAT I OWN 14 CASSANDRA CLARE BOOKS AND WANT MORE.
#PRO 5: IF IT’S REALLY REALLY BAD AT LEAST YOU CAN LAUGH.
Instead of, you know, crying. And I’m aware this is the worst “pro” to ever appear on a list BUT I RAN OUT OF THINGS AND I HAD TO COME UP WITH 5. But I literally can’t think of many good reasons why book-to-movie adaptions should exist.
I laughed half way through Insurgent before deciding I needed to go calm down because it’s not actually a comedy and I was about to LOSE MY MIIIIIIIND.
Truth is: I usually avoid book-to-movie adaptions.
I do want to see Miss Peregrine’s, however…and I’m excited about Illuminae, Red Rising, and Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda. And GAME OF THRONES IS KINDA AWESOME WITH THOSE DRAGONS THERE. (I’m aware it’s a TV series but shhhh.) But otherwise I cannot even express how badly I want them to do adaptions better.
Like if they try to adapted my FAVOURITE BOOK and it’s horrible — it will literally tear out my heart and stomp on it with boots made out of the spikiest of sea coral and then burn it with the fire of a thousand suns all squashed into a microwave and set on highspeed for 90 days until it explodes and the whole world dissolves into the void. (I’m not dramatic, no.)
Also here’s a better idea: Let’s cancel movie adaptions and have RESTAURANT ADAPTIONS where we go eat the delicious food as described in books. #winning