Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009-27: Best Movie Adaptations

With the release of Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince this past week, I thought it would be good to turn once again to movie adaptations. In March, with the release of Watchmen (using that as a jumping off point for discussion), I brought up the subject of worst movie adaptations. This time, I'd like to bring up best movie adaptations (not saying if the recent Harry Potter movie is or isn't faithful to the book since I'll be honest I haven't read the book, but using the subject as a jumping off point for discussion).

So what are some of your favorite movie adaptations of books? Include trailers or scenes from Youtube if you'd like.

Also along with that question, or instead of that question, what book or series would you like to see be made into a movie or movies? Tell us why you think it or they would work as a movie. If the book already has a book trailer, include that, to help make your point.

Most of my favorite movies are based on books, and there are many factors that I consider when deciding what makes a good adaptation. Here are some of my favorites and I why I think they are so great:

The Lord of the Rings (2001, 2002, & 2003)

To me, The Lord of the Rings is a great example of a film that allows for necessary plot changes without losing the heart of the author's original work. Yes, there were quite a few changes to plot and characters, but the overall tone and spirit of Tolkein's original is preserved. However, I'm not sure if I'll ever forgive Peter Jackson for what he did to Faramir, but that's a story for another post.

North and South (2004)

North and South is a great example of a film that takes a book and smooths out the wrinkles. The novel is not the most sophisticated of Victorian novels, and this adaptation fixes some of the original story's weaknesses while still preserving it's beauty and heart. Plus, it's worth watching just to see Richard Armitage's performance. *SIGH*

Bleak House (2005)

The wonderful thing about Bleak House is that it takes the sprawling and intricate plot of Dickens' original and streamlines it into a cohesive and quicker paced story. It also does wonders on the character of Esther Summerson, releasing her from the sentimental chains of the Dickens heroine. It is probably my favorite adaptation of all time.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984-1994)

This isn't exactly a movie (it was a television series), but it is still a wonderful adaptation. To me, Jeremy Brett is Sherlock Holmes. He captures every aspect of the great detective from his humor and friendship with Watson to his brilliance and addictions. Basically, he takes a beloved character and brings him to life. I LOVE these!

As for books that I would like to see turned into movies, there aren't many. Most of the books I have read have been turned into films (some numerous times). But here are couple that pop into my mind:
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry


Maree said...

Lord of the Rings is on my list too.
Happy Weekly Geeks :)

Care said...

I love the LOTR films, too. I haven't read nor seen Bleak House but you've convinced me I should.