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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 vice-versa. 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 movie and no one is willing to put intermissions in films these days, 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 can be a death sentence.

Take Harry Potter, for instance. They’re making the seventh 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.


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Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, Me Hating to Love it, and People Who Love to Hate It

About 95% of fan fiction is pure crap — the authors didn’t even care enough about their own work to put it through a spell check or ask someone to read and critique it or anything along those lines. Many of these are Mary Sue stories. Most of them involve sex. They have bad plots and little to no character development (or they develop the character in a way totally out of line with the original story). Anyone who knows what good writing is should avoid reading them. The authors should have kept these stories to themselves, for everyone else’s sakes.


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