I have trouble forgiving book-to-movie adaptations sometimes.
People were confused that I wasn’t one of those super-fans up in arms over The Hobbit movies and the Tauriel-Kili romance.
What they didn’t realize was how much I’d already forgiven Peter Jackson for with the original trilogy.
The absence of Tom Bombadil.
Replacing Glorfindel, a truly epic character, with Arwin so she could be in more of the movie.
Having an army of elves show up at Helm’s Deep.
DEPRIVING ME OF THE EPICNESS THAT COULD HAVE BEEN THIRTY RANGERS SHOWING UP AT MINAS TIRITH.
Cutting out the scouring of the Shire.
Leaving Quickbeam in the background of the Entmoot.
Leaving out Galadriel’s gift of Lorien earth to Sam.
Ignoring the story of Bill the pony and why he’s actually the coolest.
I could go on.
So when Peter Jackson decided to mix parts of the appendices and The Silmarillion with The Hobbit to make his movies, it wasn’t much of a surprise. If I could get over the changes to Lord of the Rings, I could get over anything he did to The Hobbit.
And I did.
What I can’t get over, is the butchery that was the Prince Caspian movie.
Anyone who tries to argue that the Hollywood version of Pride and Prejudice is the best on-screen adaptation will probably get hit in the face with the complete works of Jane Austen. That movie is why I have a personal feud with Keira Knightley.
As I have stated in an earlier post, I refuse to watch any adaptation of Jane Eyre. I’ll just get angry, no matter how well done it is.
Don’t even talk to me about the Ella Enchanted movie. My reaction will be something you can never unsee.
Now, you might take from all this that I never like book-to-movie adaptations.
You would be wrong.
Basically any book that the BBC turns into a miniseries will be well done.
The Book Thief is almost better as a movie than as a book. Almost.
The Hunger Games movies were very well done. I’m sad that they wrote Madge out, but the way Mockingjay Part 2 ended almost makes up for it.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe made such a good movie it makes the failure of Prince Caspian look even worse.
The Ender’s Game movie managed to tell a very complete story of Ender Wiggin, despite almost half of the book being completely left out.
The movie Unbroken made me cry almost as much as the book did.
I’m not even sure if I could explain what it is that makes some adaptations better than others. Because every movie changes things from the books. Characters get written out. Changes are made to story arcs. Characters are made more or less important.
Sometimes it works.
Sometimes it makes me want to rampage.
A big part of it is probably how true the characters stay to their book selves.
Another is how true the storyline stays to the book.
Is the same truth I found underlying the text found on the screen? Or is it lost?
Did the directors and producers try to improve on a good thing?
Did the homemade apple pie simplicity of the book turn into an overly sweet store-bought monstrosity topped with way too much whipped cream when it was put on screen?
Do I have ridiculous expectations?
Am I going to change them?