Friday, November 13, 2009

Footloose and Fancy-free Friday Round 3

So, watching "Aliens in the Attic" last night with my nephew and mom brought wonderful knowledge to my awareness.

Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief is coming to theaters in February.

Now, I'm really excited about this.  But at the same time I'm mad.  Hollywood, yet again, is poised to ruin a perfectly good book.

Faux pas #1: They've cast an actor too old to play Percy Jackson.  (He's the MC.)  In the first book, he's only 11/12 and the kid they've cast looks about 16.

Faux pas #2: Well, they won't follow the book terribly closely.  You know this.

I almost don't want to go see it.  Except that Pierce Brosnan as Chiron, Melina Kanakaredes as Athena, and Steve Coogan as Hades.  And Sean Bean is playing Zeus.  I'm so excited by this part of the cast.  I just don't know about this all because they will ruin a book that I've come to really like.

My apprehension about Hollywood and book adaptations has me reluctant to ever enter publishing as an author because I don't know that I could live with being completely unhappy with the film version if it were made.

No guarantee it would ever become a film.  But still, it's something to consider.  And it makes me every publishing professional's nightmare.  On many levels.  Sigh.

I'm such a nitpicker that it gets annoying sometimes.  I drive my mother nuts with it.  And I drive myself crazy.  I dissect.  I always come up with something else to say should have been in the movie.  Always.  And I never like the casting.  Well, almost never.  Perhaps the only exception to my nitpicking was Peter Jackson's LOTR trilogy.

I'll stop rambling now.  And I won't be around a lot today.  I know I say that a lot but I will be with family today and not around the computer.


  1. I agree with you. Very few movies adapted from books actually live up to the book. It makes me mad.

  2. I always make sure to read the book first, so I get the whole picture.

    Movies adapt too much to trends and not the author intent.

    Have a great weekend!

  3. Yes, I agree w/ Tamika. Always read the book first.

    happy weekend!

  4. I think the only exception ever was Peter Jackson's LOTR series. Those movies were (no offense to Tolkien) as good, if not better, than the books.

    At any rate, I'm always disappointed, too. I remember when I discovered this: it was when Jurassic Park and then later Congo came out. I read both books before we went to see each movie, and I was disappointed in both movies, as a result.

  5. For me the biggest translation fail ever was The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum.

    Oddly, I thought the movie itself was good - it just wasn't Ludlum's story.

  6. I make a point to read the book before I watch any movie or TV adaptation. And 95% of the screen versions are lacking the depth of the book. The only exception I can think of is a certain HBO series with vampires that's popular right now. The series is better than the books!

  7. My favorite bookmark says, "Never judge a book by its movie!"

  8. I love Percy Jackson! So excited for Feb! And I learned with the Harry Potter movies that nothing will ever be the way I imagined it while reading. So now I don't expect it to be, and I love the movie. It works for me.

  9. HI Stephanie!

    I adore your blog! It's gorgeous! I've enjoyed reading up on your posts. I will be sure to come back more often. Excellent info!

    I seldom like the movie version of a book. It's so limiting. I love being able to sink into a story and its characters. Movies seem to give a very topical taste of what is usually a hearty dish. I want it all!

  10. Hi everyone! Sorry I'm so late responding to all your wonderful comments.

    Susan, it gets me riled up too. I once got in a very heated argument with someone over a difference of opinions. She believed a movie adaptation was far superior to the book while I felt the opposite. I was right, of course, but we had to agree to disagree.

    Tamika, I do that too if I know it's a movie I want to see. I did that with LOTR. I hadn't ever read the books (shocker!) in my life when the first Peter Jackson movie came out. I read most of Fellowship the day I went to see the movie with my friends. Imagine my surprise when there's a big battle and Boromir dies. Little did I know that Jackson had taken the film just a touch into Two Towers. I think you have a very good point about trends vs. author intent. Same to you!

    Tess, agreed. Same to you!

    L.T., I don't think Tolkien would be offended by Peter Jackson's film versions of his books. And he certainly wouldn't be offended by your opinion that the films are equal to the books. I can't speak for him, of course, but that is my opinion. I was too young to see Jurassic Park when it hit theaters and I've never read a Michael Crichton book but I know a lot of people were disappointed in Crichton when he chose to write Lost World continuing from the movie instead of the first book.

    Deb, I never saw Bourne Identity. I tried to watch it, but I just couldn't get into it. I never tried the book though.

    Stephanie, agreed. I don't watch HBO so I can't speak to that part of it. I always get most frustrated when they can't get the small details right. (i.e. the fact that McGonagall has square spectacles in the books, but does she have glasses at all in the movies? NO.)

    Angie, LOL. I want one!

    Elana, the books were really great. I should try that mentality sometime. I'm a bit worried about the movie version because it is directed by Chris Columbus. He did the first two HP movies and those were so corny in parts that it's painful to watch.

    Sarah, Thanks for stopping by! Glad you found something you like. I like that metaphor. It's very apropos.

  11. I try and always read the book first too. The movie isn't usually as good as the book, but sometimes I'm surprised or I can enjoy it in a different way. I love the Harry Potter books way better than the movies, but I love the movies too. And tonight we saw A CHRISTMAS CAROL and it was really good! Sometimes, however, I opt to miss the movie so I can remember the book the way I envisioned it.

    I know I would think of the "book is always better" theory if one of my books ever becomes a movie, but I'd also think it was really cool. I'm willing to take my chances! ;)

  12. Dawn, this is also very true. Sometimes, if you keep your expectations low, you're surprised. I won't be seeing Christmas Carol because a) that man already ruined a favorite (coughgrinchcough) and b) can any movie version of that story ever top A Muppet Christmas Carol? Really? I agree on the opting not to see the movie just so you can remember the book. I did that with Eragon. I'd heard bad reviews from fans and I just knew the movie wouldn't be a good thing for me to subject myself to. It's nothing against anyone. Just my own personality and such.

    That sounds like a good attitude to have about film versions of your own books.


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