Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Top Ten "From Book to Movie" Adaptations

You guys know me. I very rarely participate in meme's. But this week's topic from The Broke and the Bookish caught my eye, coming so closely behind my "Sunset Limited" post, that I decided to indulge in a little Top Ten Tuesday myself!

So here they are in no particular order:

My Top Ten Book to Movie Adaptations

1: A Scanner Darkly - The book was a 4 star read for me. Philip K. Dick's writing was heavily influenced and impacted by his drug abuse. Some of his novels are way out there, but this one was an amazing read. I was very impressed with the movie adaptation, which contained live action animation. It definitely surpassed my expectations and may have even surpassed the book, in my opinion!

2: High Fidelity - I saw this movie YEARS before reading the book. And I loved the movie, so I was afraid the book wouldn't be able to hold up against John Cusak and Jack Black on the big screen. But I had nothing to fear. Nick Hornby is a creative, humorous writer and I was thrilled to see that the movie followed the book nearly word for word. Thumbs up on both here. I call a tie.

3: Sunset Limited - You can read all about my love of this movie and my dislike of McCarthy's play here.

4: Bringing Out the Dead - Another movie that I watched years before I read (or knew it was based on) the book. Nicholas Cage embraced the lead character and breathed such life into him. As with High Fidelity, the movie is a near perfect adaptation of the book. Tied again.

5: I Am Legend - This one probably breaks the rules of the meme. The movie adaptation is almost nothing like the book itself, but it is a great interpretation. It's an awesome stand-alone film. I was terribly worried about the casting though. I mean, Will Smith? But hello... it's WILL fucking SMITH! He rocked the movie sideways.

6: Princess Bride - Man, half of the books I am mentioning here I didn't even know were books at the time I saw the movies. The Princess Bride is another. I adore this movie, I've watched it countless times, and its held up so well over the years! The book was good, but couldn't touch the movie. Not with a ten foot pole.

7: The Green Mile - This book was released serially, and I religiously ran out and purchased each part because it was so well told and I needed to know what happened next. Stephen King shows his range as a writer with this one! When the movie released I couldn't wait to see it. Tom Hanks is such a great actor and he fit his role so well. The movie may actually have exceeded the books... may have... the jury is out on this one.

8: Beowulf - We had to read this epic poem in school (not sure what grade) but I remember not being able to understand or decipher much. It was recommended reading, we all know how that goes... But the live action animated film brought Beowulf down to my level. The action, the actors, the storyline.. it all works so incredibly well. And it's sad and heartbreaking too. Poor Grendle.

9: Shutter Island - Great book with a great twist. Great movie with an additional twist. Chalk another one up for a movie that follows the book nearly word for word and does it justice.

10: Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury is hailed by some as one of the greatest sci-fi writers of all time. I fell in love with Fahrenheit 451. I could appreciate The Martian Chronicles. But I did not find much to like when I read this book. It was clunky and plodding. The thrill and anxiety and creepiness of the movie just wasn't there.

Honorable mentions go to:


  1. Oooh Shutter Island! I still haven't read it and I ALMOST watched the movie one night because I thought I was never going to get around to reading the book. Should I read the book or just watch the movie?

    And I LOVED About A Boy!

  2. Do not watch Shutter Island until you read it. Read it and IMMEDIATELY watch it. It works better that way, trust me!!! And you will love both, I think!

    Did you read About a Boy or see it, or both?

  3. Good list. I think it has some things in common with mine. I have had "I am Legend" in my TBR for quite some time now. I did like the movie.

    Check out my list here: http://hawthornescarlet.blogspot.com/2011/02/top-ten-tuesday-on-silver-screen.html

  4. Although it was made for television, the CBC version of Anne of Green Gables is the very best movie from a book I have ever seen. Everything was perfect.

    Get Shorty was good too.

  5. Nice list! I agree about High Fidelity and Princess Bride -- both great books and great movies in my opinion. I disagree about Something Wicked. I didn't see the movie but found the book terrifying. I think it's always better when you read the book first.

  6. Bookstop - I usually do see the movies AFTER I read the books. In this case, the movies were out when I was younger, and unaware they were based on books. The Bradbury is probably a good example of why someone SHOULD read the book first. But I will never know for sure, since I can't unsee the movie. When I read the book, I had expectations that I may not have had prior to seeing the movie. But I am ok with that :)