Calista’s Cinema Conversations: Book to film adaptations

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Although the "Harry Potter" films are not 100 percent accurate, they are still excellent examples of what film adaptations should be. (followthesun/Flickr Creative Commons)

Although the “Harry Potter” films are not 100 percent accurate, they are still excellent examples of what film adaptations should be. (followthesun/Flickr Creative Commons)

When I was back home last weekend, I was looking through an old pile of books to see what I could donate and I found the entire “Harry Potter” series, which inspired me to dedicate this week to the good and bad movie adaptations of some great books.

Obviously, the book to movie series to end all others is the “Harry Potter” series. The books by J.K. Rowling are timeless and I think it’s safe to say that the movies are as well. Although the films are not 100 percent accurate, they are still excellent examples of what film adaptations should be. Another great film adaptation of my personal favorite book series by James Dashner is “The Maze Runner” trilogy. These movies, although not very faithful to the book material, had a stellar cast and an interesting take on the plot which they were derived from. In fact, SUBOG is running the final film of the trilogy “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” in the Student Union the weekend of April 26.

Some classic adaptations that stand as models for all adaptations are “To Kill a Mockingbird” by author Harper Lee, “Silence of the Lambs” by Thomas Harris, “Silver Linings Playbook” by Matthew Quick and the recent remake of Stephen King’s “It.” With the superlative use of the book to develop a unique take on the story, the movies are thoroughly enjoyable for fans of the book or casual watchers.

Specific authors, such as John Green, Nicholas Sparks or Stephen King, have a combination of good and bad films. Movies such as “The Shining,” “The Notebook” and “The Fault in our Stars” are just samples of the various adaptations under these author’s belts.

There are numerous films that many are not aware are books, films such as “Ella Enchanted,” “Shrek,” “Mean Girls” and “Pitch Perfect.” Some of the books may not have translated well into movies, since “Pitch Perfect” and “Mean Girls” were originally non-fiction research pieces, but they were a great inspiration to the cinematographic siblings.

There are quite a few adaptations of films that were not as popular as their novel counterparts. For example, the “Percy Jackson” series and “Eragon” completely break off from their material as well as creating a seperate story that does not fare well with casual viewers or followers of the books.

Film industries are still churning out these film adaptations, just a few examples of some that have came out recently are “12 Strong,” “Annihilation,” “Ready Player One” and “Love, Simon.” These films are still in theaters and all have gotten positive reviews. I personally have seen “Love, Simon” and I adored it. There are also a great deal of films that are set to come out in the near future, “Mary, Queen of Scots,” “Alita: Battle Angel” and “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” are a fragment of the plethora of films that Hollywood is waiting to release.


Calista Giroux is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at calista.giroux@gmail.com.

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