Saturday, 14 March 2009

Weekly geeks: Worst Movie Adaptations

Todays Weekly Geeks task is about book to film adaptations. 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 "unsee," and why in your opinion, what made it or them so bad in contrast to the book or books?

I don't tend to watch a lot of films anyway, but I did think of couple that I wished I'd never bothered to see. I mentioned one in a post a couple of days ago but it upset me so much I'm going to mention it again, and that is the film version of Roald Dahl's 'The Witches'. Most of the film was OK but they changed the ending! Disneyfied would be a good word for it, and if there's one thing Roald Dahl wasn't it was sickly sweet and saccharine!

The only other one I could think of was Enduring Love, adapted from Ian McEwan's novel. I can't actually remember a lot about it, but I remember I didn't like it! I think what struck me most was that they changed character names, professions and even missed bits out and put different bits in that were not in the novel. As a stand alone film it was probably good, but since it's my favourite McEwan novel it narked me a bit (ok, a lot). So I wouldn't say it was the worst, but it was the only one I could think of!


Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. Haven't seen either one of these, but know what you mean about Dahl. I doubt he'd appreciate the Disneyification of his book, as you said.

And I have to say wow. Narked, huh? That's pretty serious, I'm guessing? ;)

pussreboots said...

I actually prefer the film version of Witches but I'm not a fan of Roald Dahl's kids books. I wrote about Lolita.

Kim said...

While I haven't seen Witches I can't agree, but I wrote about the horrific recent Charlie and the Chocolate Factory release. Don't mess with the Roald Dahl of my childhood! :) Have you ever read the small book of his, The Twits? I just read it last year and my 13 year old begged me to read it out loud to him, even though he had previously read it himself. Wickedly funny and delicious!!! We both laughed our way through it--Roald was definitely original, and pretty darn appealing to kids tired of the sugar sweet literature of the '60s!

Robin said...

Oh I so agree that they messed up The Witches. They actually shouldn't even try to do Roald Dahl books.

Ali said...

Actually, we watched an adaptation of James and the Giant Peach that I thought was better than the book, but I'm not a big Roald Dahl fan. Haven't seen the newer Chocolate Factory yet--it really didn't appeal.

SariJ said...

I hate to admit it, but I have never read The Witches. Shame on me. I love Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. I did not care for either movie.
I just thought of another movie that completly missed the mark. It is from 1981. Endless Love staring Brook Shields. The book by Scott Spencer is a social cometary on free love and parental responsibility. The movie is a soft porn love story with little redeeming least imho.

Jo said...

Unfinishedperson, I Think He'd of hated it. Surely any author would hate their book being messed with. Yeah,fairly serious, but I do think I'm just picking faults because I love the book so much.

Pussreboots, I've spoken to quite a few people who prefered the happy ending, my son included!

Kim, The Twits was one of my favourites as a child. I Haven't read it for a long time though. I think it's a toss up between that and Danny Champion of The World to be my ultimate favourite. I might dig the Twits out and read it to my daughter.

Robin, I think you're right. Impossible to do them justice.

Ali, James and the Giant Peach was one of my least favourites, although I like them all! I haven't seen the adaptation though.

Sari, The witches is one of the good ones, in my opinion. Scared me as a child though! And I haven't seen that film or read the book but it sounds like they butchered it!

Erika Lynn said...

I haven't seen the witches but I hate the new version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Johnny Depp and Dahl are not a good couple