Top 5 book-to-film adaptations that worked
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With the recent release of the World War Z trailer, the angry people of the internet (You Tube, to be specific) have risen up and started shaking their unmerciful, egomaniacal heads in disgust over the prospect of Max Brookes’s book being “maimed” by Paramount. You wouldn’t think that a trailer, which lasts for less than three minutes, could receive so many hateful, blunt and objective criticisms. Well, it does. Clearly, You Tube is full of very smart people, who are all capable of making very astute observations… The comments range from the absolute ridiculous to the borderline psychotic. One person genuinely claims to have studied zombies for “some time” and goes on to say that the trailer doesn’t portray them correctly. I suppose we all need a hobby, but try not to take the word of an undead anthropologist too seriously. Unfortunately, the people who agree with this zombie zealot are fan boys of the original book, which I’m sure is a great read, however, it’s no reason to discredit the film before it’s even come out. Some of the best films in the world have their origins grounded in books. I’ll show you why film adaptations can be a fantastic thing and why cinema can sometimes be even better than its wordy predecessors. There are an abundance of adaptations out there; unfortunately I can’t say the same for my writing space, so I’m just going to pick my five favourite films that have been adapted from books. These are films that can hold their own, they don’t leave you feeling like you’re missing something, when you’re done watching these; people don’t usually tell you to read the book. 5. Psycho The first is Psycho, which has its roots firmly placed in the novel by Robert Bloch, however, it was Alfred Hitchcock that allowed it to flourish and grow. He provided the sinister mood and heart clenching tension that books couldn’t provide. A book can’t make you jump; a book also can’t offer the same kind of graphical terrors; the shower scene and the revelation of the “mother” are pieces that can only be understood through visual stimulation. This effect of cinema has been criticised for causing people to “lose” their imagination, but it’s films like ‘Psycho’ that have offered us new paths of creativity and expression. The film actually follows the book entirely and therefore credit should first be given to Bloch, however, it was Hitchcock that created a world we’d remember. 4. The Lord of the Rings The Lord of the Rings trilogy has often been criticised for not being true to J.R.R Tolkien’s original idea of “Middle Earth”. These criticisms have primarily come from the late author’s family and I agree that the books may be better but only a cynical, stubborn denier would say that the films can’t stand on their own two feet.
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