The book was way better


Mark Gibson

As Hollywood goes on what seems to be a giant remake rampage, there is one thing that remains constant: Movies based on books usually really suck.
Whether it’s a remake or first time experiment, there seems to be something that gets lost in the silver screen adaption of a novel. Then again there are a few that shine through as beacons of hope for a joint literary cinematic world…until Hollywood remakes them to death and the magic is ruined. (We’re talking about you, Planet of the Apes.)
The UP staff reads a lot of books and watches a lot of movies. Here are what we believe to be the top 5 worst and Top 5 best movies based on books:
5. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
If you saw this movie without reading the book, you might have actually found it to be an enjoyably mediocre, forgettable action flick for pre-teen boys. That said, if you did read the novel first, you endured a movie that lost the charm and heart pounding action portrayed in the book. How something that was exciting without pictures became lame with them is just mind boggling.
4. The Da Vinci Code
Tom Hanks is awesome. That’s fact, not opinion. So it was very surprising that The DaVinci Code was such a horrible novel adaption. First off, Hanks looked really weird with long hair. Once you got past that, Hollywood tried to make a movie based off of a best selling novel that sparked a huge controversy within the Christian community. The only problem is that they left out a lot of the plot information, which made the novel so awesome.
3. The Golden Compass
This novel was a best selling kids book. If you never saw the movie, good. You didn’t miss much. The highlight of the movie was watching Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig rock the silver screen like they usually do. But this movie … well … we’ll just chalk it up to a little bump in their career.
2. Eragon
Eragon is the first book in a four-part series known as the Inheritance Cycle. Before the film’s release, it was promised that all the books in the series would be made into movies, but the movie adaption of the first book was so bad it never got a sequel. The movie just didn’t seem to get the same following as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or even Twilight. Maybe it was because no one knew of the books existence, or maybe it was because the movie just sucked.
1. Planet of the Apes
Planet of the Apes is a movie based on a 1963 French novel by Pierre Boulle. The book is a compelling sci-fi adventure and sparked a franchise of movies in Hollywood. The only problem is that they aren’t very good. Not only did Hollywood attempt to make a movie adaption in 1968, but 33 years later, they tried it again. The attempted remake was even worse than the original. On their own, the movies are pretty enjoyable. But when compared to the novel that got it all started, there’s no comparison.
5. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
In 1988, the BBC aired a novel-to-screen adaptation that was actually pretty good. Then, in 2005, Hollywood took a stab at this beloved childhood series and nailed it. The remake was almost spot-on with the novel, and featured the soothing voice of LiamNeeson as Aslan the lion. The Chronicles continue as book three of the seven part series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, was released December 2010.
4. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
LOTR fans and fanatics will agree that the final movie in the trilogy was the most compelling and exciting. Alright, so Peter Jackson left out a few things from the novel, but overall it was the most thrilling of the three movies. Now Jackson is working on the Hobbit. Contain yourself.
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 1
The Harry Potter saga was a challenge to make into movies. As each seceding book in the series became increasingly encyclopedia-like, the need for detail in the movies became more intense. Hollywood got it right by dividing the final book in two movies, rather than trying to shove hours worth of material into one long film. Of the two concluding films, The Deathly Hollows: Part 1 was more accurate, as it had the most detail from the novels.
2. The Shawshank Redemption
The movie adaptation of Stephen King’s novella, The Shawshank Redemption, is the second highest rated movie on the Internet Movie Data Base website. What’s surprising is that the movie didn’t do so hot in the box office. Instead, it became a sensation on TV and in home theaters. You only really need to know one thing about this movie to get you roped in: Morgan Freeman. That man can talk about paint drying and it would be fascinating.
1. To Kill a Mockingbird
Out of all the films based on novels, To Kill a Mockingbird is the most accurate and well known, probably due to the fact that it was a required book for a lot of people in highschool. The novel won a Pulitzer Prize, and the movie ranks 25 on the American Film Institutes’ Greatest Movie’s of All Time list. AFI also named the story’s main character, Atticus Finch, the greatest movie hero of the 20th century. Bottom line: you’re going to want to check this movie out.
Want to be a part of next week’s top 10?
We’re looking for the coolest tattoos at FAU. If you think you have one, come to room 214 of the Student Union before Thursday, Sept. 1 and show us what you got. If you make our Top 10, we’ll give you a prize.