Top Ten Best Movie Adaptions
Top Ten Best Movie Adaptions
Welcome back, all! As promised, here's my top ten list for the BEST book/ TV show movie adaptions out there! For this list, I'll be going back to my usual way of listing, going from "worst" to "best". Even if none of these are the worst (well, maybe one is). Regardless, it's time to gush over the movies that actually put in the time and effort to recreate some of the best stories. Note that there are SPOILERS down the line. Now, on with the list!
~ Number Ten ~
Based off: the Twilight Saga books
OK, OK, I know. How does this even end up on the "best" list? There's a good reason, and I'm focusing solely on the first book and movie. Now, the movie isn't the greatest thing ever, it's full of cringe and flat characters and generic music from the early 2000's. All that aside, this isn't really the movie's fault. The reason it is on the list is because it is an incredibly faithful adaption, from the quotes to the setting to the series of events that carry the plot forward. They even went as far to make Robert Pattinson sparkle in the sun. Poor guy will probably never live that down, but kudos for throwing it in and being true to the book.
~ Number Nine ~
Based off: War Horse book
There is no lack of live action horse movies out there (Black Beauty, Spirit). However, it's a very daring move to take a horse book and turn it into an engaging, high budget war story that stays true to the book story. Joey is a farm horse in Britain, who is purchased by the military and turned into a war horse. He plays many different roles in the books, all fluidly told in the movie backed by World War I and its cast of characters. Also, there isn't much inner dialogue from Joey at all, unlike other horse movies. Yet we still get a strong sense that this is very much his movie, and he has feelings. It's a beautiful story. On a side note, when this movie premiered, the horse who played Joey actually got to walk down the red carpet all decked out in his movie gear. So cool.
~ Number Eight ~
Based off: Jurassic Park book
If you did not know that this iconic dinosaur movie was based off a book, I highly recommend it. Michael Critchton was a genius ahead of his time. Like War Horse, Jurassic was directed by Steven Spielberg. Clearly, he loves sticking to the source material, because he once again nailed it. The characters and storyline remain pretty much the same, including the cloning process. Admittedly, there were some scenes that were cut from the film, but really just for the sake of time. The raptors and rex were just as deadly, whichever version you choose to pick up. The opening scenes, where a construction worker is brutally attacked by a raptor, show two different perspectives and mirror each other perfectly.
~ Number Seven ~
Harry Potter saga
Based off: Harry Potter book series
Yes, I am referring to the entire series. Somehow, in some form of miracle that takes place only once in probably a thousand years, movie producers and directors came together and made eight movies that reflect seven books. The casting, setting, music, and plot are all so on point. We all got so lucky that they remained so consistent. And, yes, perhaps there were some things that could have been done better (like Harry's character), but that is a minor issue. Just look at the production design and thought that went in to making Hogwarts alone!
~ Number Six ~
Based off: The Outsiders book
Here is an example of when I watched the movie before the book. The movie is one of those classic 80's which saw a lot of unknown actors make their marks. So, how does it measure up to the book (which was written by a woman who lived during those times)? The answer is, fantastic. This is a prime example of when the book is actually used as the script. The lines and character blocking were taken straight from the book. I'm not kidding. Everyone who was working on the movie must have read it from cover to cover multiple times. With some tiny hiccups of casting choices based off book descriptions, this is nothing short of what a perfect adaption looks like.
~ Number Five ~
Samurai X trilogy
Based off: Rurouni Kenshin anime show
So, what can top something that's near perfect? This. The world of anime, is, truthfully, not for everyone. I didn't get into it until only a few years ago. Anyway, this anime deals with a wandering swordsman who refuses to kill. However, the sheer inhuman physics of the anime world are almost impossible to copy to a live action version. Unless you push the limits of the human body to where it becomes plausible. Even if anime is not your thing, this trilogy is worth a watch anyway, since it deals with ideals of killing vs. not killing, and some of the coolest, most insane fight scenes you'll ever watch. Can't believe we got three faithful movies out of this!
~ Number Four ~
The Lord of the Rings trilogy
Based off: The Lord of the Rings books
To be clear, I am omitting the Hobbit in this. This giant of the fantasy genre has a staggering amount of lore and worldbuilding that few have even come close to touching. Making movies out of this, while still being as true as possible to Tolkien's narrative, is no small feat. And, yet, by some miracle, it was pulled off. Entire locations were rebuilt in real life without the use of CGI, and armor and weapons forged. Actors underwent serious training, most doing their own stunts. The music, the production, the pacing, the dialogue, all of it. We can't gloss over the fact that a good deal of the cast was reading the books while filming in order to create an exact version. I dare you to name a more perfectly cast movie than this. I dare you.
~ Number Three ~
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Based off: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe book
Or, alternatively, the moment our childhood got a whole lot cooler. Just like LOtR, these are staple fantasy books, though the movie was based off the second book. I remember when it came out, and thought it was one of the greatest things ever (and still is!). This was easier to adapt than LOtR, since it was far more straightforward in its storytelling. Narnia was fully realized right on screen, from the wardrobe to the lamppost to the Cair Paravel castle where the Kings and Queens ruled. They stayed true to the plot, making sure everyone knew just how special humans were in this world. And the recreation of Aslan and the White Witch are so accurate I'm not sure which I liked better.
~ Number Two ~
The Maze Runner trilogy
Based off: The Maze Runner book series
I already know this is the most controversial pick on this whole list. In fact, this one probably deviates the most from its source material than any other on the list. But hear me out. I will be the first to say that I wasn't the biggest fans of the books. Don't get me wrong, a YA dystopian that doubles as a zombie apocalypse makes for a great story. However, I would argue that what the movie changed made things better. The characters were more realized and fleshed out in the films, and got more attention that they deserved. Theresa was treated as the traitor she was, instead of some sort sort of misunderstood girl. Plus, they made sure Newt was there the whole time up to his death, instead of having him disappear for the second act then come back for dramatic effect.
~ Number One ~
The Hunger Games series
Based off: The Hunger Games trilogy
Out of all the YA adaptions that swept audiences in the early and mid 2000's, this was by far the best of the lot. The books did not dance around the utter brutality of the Games, both physically and mentally. But they don't stop there. Suzanne Collins made sure to show the psychological effects that they had on the characters, and not just the main characters. While movies like to avoid this, these movies made sure to include it and make it a relevant plot point. Some people will be put off by this, saying the characters need to "get it together and stop whining", but this is because it is never shown. The Hunger Games is realistic. Teenagers are already emotional enough, but throw trauma into the mix and you get one heck of a mess of a human being. Also, the fact that Jennifer Lawrence sang The Hanging Tree overlapped by hundreds of rebels makes it all the better.
And there you have it! Do you agree with my picks? What are your favorite adaptions from a book or show! Comment below and let me know! Also, the House Special comes out next week, and we'll be covering villains. Comment below if you want to see a specific baddie sorted.