Welcome to the world where producers take your favourite books and ruin them! *starts clapping* Bravo! Thank you! Thank you so much for ruining my childhood!! Thank you so much for ruining my life.
…Okay, I’m exaggerating here. Harry Potter was phenomenal and Hunger Games fated pretty well. I’ll give some franchises the benefit of the doubt, but come on, 60% of the time our book-turned-movies don’t feat very well. 99% of the time, us book lovers, can find at least one thing wrong with the movie. Anything from casting to story line to quotes, we will find something we don’t like. I think book lovers are the most pickiest critiques out there! Nonetheless, it’s not like we don’t appreciate the movie itself. It’s a BOOK come to life, but to what extent do we tolerate the book to screen adaptions that don’t always turn out how we envisioned them on the flat screen TVs in our heads? (That was a mouthful.)
Tolerance Scale: Level 1 – I guess I’ll deal with it
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)
What made me tick: Mmm.. Let’s me see, the fact that it didn’t get a second movie because they completely directed this film with a target audience of very young viewers. Seriously, what were these guys thinking?! It was so childish and not very interesting for a teenager!! Moreover, wouldn’t you want to target adults than children?! I mean it’s the adults that have the money!! Next, I want to critique the visual effects. They were bad. Reeallly unimpressed here. All I got from the movie is that you guys can use green screens and CGI. Yay. Good for you. Any movie can show me that. I’m so impressed. The way the characters used the stele was horrible. You don’t just wave it around like a magic wand!! This is not Harry Potter!! You DRAW on runes not wave it over your arm and expect to suddenly see runes appear!!
What made me a happy fangirl: Well, since the release, I’ve approved of the actors and actresses chosen for the roles. Ever since the release of the TV show, Shadowhunters, I have appreciated it even more. Jamie Campbell Bower (Jace) and Lily Collins (Clary) played the perfect Jace/Clary dynamic. The chemistry was there, the movie scenes were there and the quotes were there as well! I really liked it when they integrated some book quotes into the movie. Very happy with that.
Final Verdict: It’s a shame they didn’t plan for such a poor movie franchise. And that’s their own fault. Producers/companies/whoever-you-guys-are should’ve better calculated the response to the movie. Maybe fans like me wouldn’t be stuck with an okay TV show that forces fans to start a love/hate relationship with it. But you guys did pretty well with the casting and the acting, so I guess I’ll deal with it.
Tolerance Scale: Level 2 – I’m very disappointed
What made me tick: The bland, ordinary, and PLAIN feel of the pilot episode. (I just used synonyms that mean the same thing…) I mean Fox discontinued the series for a reason. There’s hardly any music in the background. There are extensive moments of silence as we watch the people on screen walk inside a building or make eye contact with the hot guy. The whole thing was so BORING. I’m going to keep repeating that because that is all this episode was about. I wanted to fall asleep because there was no hype and no hook to any of it! It’s like the writers had no imagination!! Also, the whole episode had such a young feel to it (it’s looking like a recurring theme here). AND the pilot was pretty much the whole book summarized in 43 minutes. No time to get to know the characters. Nothing. It was more like a mini movie and that’s just horrible. You don’t do that to a good book.
What made me a
happy disappointed fangirl: The acting was pretty damn good. They acted exactly like the characters from the novels. That being said, it was more like a wolf wearing sheep’s skin. Producers chose talented actors that could pull it off, but the characters weren’t for them. Emma Roberts and Daren Kagastoff are awesome and their chemistry was there (sorta, kinda, maybe), but I still couldn’t get into the episode despite that. The procession of events were also true to the novels, but that isn’t enough for me to be happy with the adaption. This series had so much potential!!
Final Verdict: Some YA novels aren’t meant to be TV shows and some aren’t meant to be movies either. It’s heartbreaking to see such a good novel like Lauren Oliver’s Delirium to be ruined by a horrible pilot episode with actors that can act but don’t fit the mold, and a story line that is a little bit too young for the target audience. Fox discontinued for a reason but I think with more editing and planning, Delirium could have been a very good TV series. Therefore, it’s without a doubt that I’m very disappointed.
Tolerance Scale: Level 3 – You’re annoying me
What made me tick: THE REALLY BAD ACTING FROM CLARY (Kat McNamara) and the non-existent chemistry between Jace (Dom Sherwood) and Clary. I adored Jace and Clary in the novels. Loved them hands down; they were my favourite ship. Their love story made my heart skip a beat and wail in pain at the same time. This is where the movie got the chemistry, the TV show, however, did not. It was forced and I wanted to squeal and I did but I didn’t. (See where my dilemma is?!) I just couldn’t feel it and that made me so angry and annoyed because these are my favourite books. Season 1 is over and Season 2 is in the making, I’m just hoping that Kat picks up her game and gives me some decent acting. (By the end of the Season 1, it did get much better, though it still needs a lot more work) SAME WITH THE CHEMISTRY BETWEEN DOM AND KAT. Come on, I want to swoon people! I’m angry because I want to completely despise Shadowhunters but I can’t!! *cue frustrated noises*
What made me a happy fangirl: MALEC. MALEC. MALEC. MALEC. MALEC. MALEC. MALEC. MALEC. MALEC. MALEC. MALEC. MALEC. MALEC. MALEC. MALEC. MALEC. IZZY. IZZY. IZZY. IZZY. IZZY. IZZY. IZZY. IZZY. IZZY. IZZY. IZZY. IZZY. IZZY. IZZY. IZZY. IZZY. SIMON. SIMON. SIMON. SIMON. SIMON. SIMON. SIMON. SIMON. SIMON. SIMON. SIMON. SIMON. SIMON. SIMON. SIMON. SIMON.
^^ Pretty much that right there. They nailed everything else. They got how the stele works (Yes, we draw on our runes with a stele not a magic wand *death glares at movie*) and the pain involved when drawing them on!! Thank you! Magnus’s (Harry Shum Jr.) magic, sass, and glittery personality is perfect. Alec (Matt Daddario) is so freaking attractive and I want to make him mine. Alec may be gay on the show, but the actor isn’t. I think I have a chance guys. 😉 And the Malec kiss killed me. They nailed it. I rewatched it so many times. Izzy (Emeraude Tobia) is badass as hell. I want to be her. I officially have a girl crush on her. AAANNND she’s Latina!! Another point to the rise in ethnic diversity on screen!! Finally, Simon’s (Alberto Rosende) arc with being a vampire was A-mazing and his acting is brilliant!!
Final Verdict: There’s really no big difference between level two and three right now. It’s all very interchangeable. I saved this spot just for this show because I both love it and hate at the same time because it’s really cheesy yet mature. Level 3 is my halfway point. I’m willing to give Ms. McNamara a chance to improve her acting and for Dom and her to get over whatever is going on to form some kind chemistry or swoony Clace scene. It’s just super annoying that I both hate and love this show. I’m not satisfied, but I loved many other different parts of the show. Again, conflicted fangirl right here. *huge ass arrow pointing at my head*
Tolerance Scale: Level 4 – You tried, but not hard enough
What made me tick: HahahahahahahahahahahaNO. This whole franchise is a joke. The first movie, Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief was released in 2010. THREE YEARS LATER, Sea of Monsters came out and everything went downhill from there. If they didn’t release the second movie, it would’ve been a level 1 tolerance but they did and now I’m just shaking my head at the screen in distaste. I don’t even want to go into detail about how many things went wrong with both movies…you know what, I will. FIRST, Annabeth’s hair colour went from brown to blond from movie one to movie two. What?! Okay, you made a mistake the first time, but to try to make up for it in the second movie without even an explanation is just stupid. They also completely strayed from the books in the first movie and tried to make up for it the second. AGAIN. WHY?! You messed up the first time. Don’t try to reconcile with the fans at this point. And to wait three years?! What is this? The second movie was worst than the first, it was no fun, and lacked the essence of the novels. Everything was anti-climatic and when you think it got exciting, it would be for 5 minutes and then back to the boring nothingness with monsters and fighting. Note: I love monsters and fighting and when I say it was boring, you should be very concerned. It was mediocre and not GOOD. You tried, you released, but you really shouldn’t have. You should have left it at the first movie where everything was good enough. The second movie just ruined the first.
What made me a happy fangirl: …The CGI was cool?
Final Verdict: The producers/directers really tried to make it up to the fans in the second movie but it worsen the blow. By trying to do that, they completely exhausted the plot, the characters and the oomph of these books. Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters was kinda pushing it. You tried, but not enough. Sorry.
Tolerance Scale: Level 5 – NO. JUST NO.
What made me tick: Oh this mini rant is gonna be good. Here’s a little background information: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead was one of my top favourite book series. I would say it was up there on my top 5. Needless to say, I had high expectations for this movie. Very high. Now, have you ever hated a movie so much that it ruined the books for you? Well, I hope it never happens to you…because it’s the worst feeling ever. Vampire Academy (the movie) did that for me. It actually came out on Netflix, and I decided to rewatch in hopes that my feelings would change. Sadly, they didn’t. It made it all the more painful. I was scrubbing the movie to find specific scenes to rewatch again to only be disappointed, angry, pained, sad, and offended all at the same time. I didn’t even finish the whole movie.
The entire movie gave the books this comedy/drama genre and I hated that. I wanted the movie to be serious and romantic and full of action. Instead, it became a legit joke. Vampire Academy is not the fantastical version of freaking Mean Girls. No. That’s not what the books are all about!! It was unnecessarily cheesy and dramatic than it needed it to be. Further, Dimitri didn’t look like I wanted him to look which made that necklace scene appalling. That was not satisfying whatsoever. Gah. I can’t even think properly anymore!! You know when you get a book hangover from reading an amazing book? You get ambushed by all these feelings ranging from negative to positive? Well, I’m experiencing something similar but the range is more negative than positive. I’m going to need a lot of chocolate to nurse the death of a favourite book series because of a damn movie. I feel ashamed.
What made me a happy fangirl: Dimitri’s accent, Rose’s sass, the end of the movie when Rose flips Dimitri instead of kisses him, and that the directors/producers/writers somewhat followed the story line in the novel.
Final Verdict: I felt the books were mocked in the movie. The characters were made into these “mean girls” and that the books are about typical high school cliques and problems when THEY REALLY AREN’T. The books weren’t taken seriously and the movie made me dislike the books. How horrible is that?! I will never be able to read Vampire Academy the same ever again!! The movie didn’t do the books one speck of justice to the amazing story and world. Nevertheless, I think I might have to reread the series to cleanse this horrible movie from my brain. (We’ll see if I can even get through the books at this point!!) I’m seriously scandalized.
Shayla did an in-depth opinion piece on Vampire Academy here. Her and I both read the series and actually watched the movie together in theaters.
I had to write this post in sections because I got worked up after going through every single adaption that I chose. Geez. That was mentally exhausting. If you made it to the end, a) sorry that post was damn long XD and b) thank you!! It’s very difficult to balance between allowing leeway for film and television companies to take a novel and modify it for the screen to keep things “fresh” while keeping fans happy and staying true to the story.
There is no doubt that at the end of the day, books will always be better than the movies.
So what do you think? Have you experienced similar feelings towards some book to screen adaptions? What were they and what tick you off? Made you fangirl? Also, what are your opinions on the adaptions I mentioned above? Have you read the books? Seen the movies? Let me know in the comments below!!
Keep calm and read the books, (not watch the movies!!)
3 thoughts on “Tolerating Book To Screen Adaptions?!”
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Ohmygod, I adored Vampire Academy when I read it a few years ago, and I heard the movie was awful! I just can’t bring myself to watch it because everyone I know who’s read the series hates the movie.
I actually have an extremely low tolerance for The Mortal Instruments screen adaptations. I couldn’t fully watch the movie nor the TV show because I just kept cringing. I’m not sure if it’s because of the acting or the way the books were portrayed. I just know that I couldn’t stand the adaptations.
That being said, there are some screen adaptations that are done well. Like you said, Harry Potter was done really well, and so was The Hunger Games. Not all screen adaptations turn out poorly, but I’ve personally found that they more often turn out bad than good. Maybe it’s because I have an extremely high expectations for the movie if I loved the book? Whatever it may be, I much prefer books in any case. Great discussion! 🙂
Oh yes, the cringe is real when I’m watching the TV show. *shudders* It’s definitely a good idea to stay away from the adaptions especially if you don’t want to be extremely disappointed and angry… It’s like an instant protective mechanism of the books we read!! They’re are babies, and our babies better be adapted wonderfully. All in all, I’m definitely with you when it comes to books or movies. Books will always be our best friends.