Bibliorape, or The Adaptation of Books to Film

When I watch a movie based on a book I like, I try to be fair. There are things books can do which movies are simply incapable of, and movies can be capable of showing things more swiftly than books. So I try to evaluate movie adaptations with consideration for the strengths and weakness of film as a storytelling medium.

Since books can contain a lot more plot than you can successfully convey in a 1.5-2 hour time period and no one is willing to put intermissions in movies, the plots of book to film adaptations must be boiled down. If the plot is fairly straightforward, this works. For a more epic story which takes multiple books to build to its finale, though, it’s a death sentence. Take Harry Potter, for instance. They’re making the 7th book into two movies because they have to fill in a lot of blanks they created by cutting pertinent information out of the second through fifth books.

That said, in the past 24 hours I’ve watched Twilight: New Moon and Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Neither were good adaptations.

Spoilers below for books and movies. Continue reading