The weekly assignment for Weekly Geeks:
Worst movie adaptations: The recent release of Watchmen based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore got me thinking about what I thought were the worst movie adaptations of books. What book or books did a director or directors completely ruin in the adaptation(s) that you wish you could “un-see,” and why in your opinion, what made it or them so bad in contrast to the book or books?
The Golden Compass was one of the worst film adaptations of a book I have seen. Entertainment Weekly agree with me, and voted it the most disappointing movie adpatation of all time. I loved the book; it’s rich, original plot was packed with great characters, vivid descriptions and thought provoking topics, making it one of my favourite novels of all time.
The film failed to come anywhere close to my expectations. It was so short, that it felt as though everything was being crammed in as quickly as possible. Many of the most interesting religious aspects of the book were not included, or glossed over really quickly. I’m not sure how anyone who has not read the book would have have managed to follow the plot, but I urge you to read the book, and ignore the film.
I’m not sure that it counts, as I haven’t actually seen the film, but I can’t imagine how they managed to make a screen version of Blindness, which I read recently. The reviews seem to indicate that they haven’t. The unique feature of this excellent, but scary book, is that the characters have been affected by an epidemic of blindness, and so cannot see a thing. This leads everything in the book to be described through the other five senses, making the reader effectively blind too. Showing the action on camera will ruin this main feature of the book, diliuting the intensity of its message. Many of the scenes were powerful and disturbing, and I find it hard to imagine how they could have been sensitively shot. If you have read the book, and seen the movie, then I’d love to know your opinion of them.
The Cat in the Hat has to be the worst movie adaptation of a book for me. The book is a delightful, rhyming children’s story about a mischievous cat who entertains a young boy and girl with ever more daring and messy games. My children love listening to it again and again, so we were really looking forward to watching the film together over Christmas. My boys lost interest in it very quickly. The film is too slow, wih nothing remotely funny happening for half an hour. The action, when it does occur, is so spread out that I found myself clock-watching the majority of the time. None of the magic of the book is present, there is no rhyming, and the cat come across as annoying, rather than endearing.
The Cat in the Hat is my most disappointing movie adaptation. What’s yours?