June TCWT Chain



Back again! This time I am Excited because I get to start it. Hey, it doesn’t take a hang of a lot to make my day.

As if that wasn’t enough, this is the eleventy-first post on this blog. Wow.

This was the prompt: “What are your thoughts on book-to-movie adaptions? Would you one day want your book made into a movie, or probably not?” Actually, now I notice it, it’s prompts, plural. That’s two questions in there, John.

Answering the second question first: When Obi-Wan Kenobi turns to the Dark Side, yes. Because that will never happen, but if it did, then my writing life would be over and I would not care. To extend. Making a film of my current book would involve the cooperation of a couple of the greatest actors in the world, and a few of the best behind-the-scenes men. It would not be possible to do it well, so, like C.S. Lewis – excuse the hubris – I would prefer that it not be done at all.

Making a film of the book I currently have in the early planning would be slightly easier, but I would want to take an active part in the production of the film, and I would be damn picky. Furthermore, IWM would object. Hugely. So… no. No, I would not want my book, current or future, and certainly not past, made into a movie.

Answering the first question second: If they’re good, they’re brilliant. If they’re bad, they’re beyond disgusting. The best, the absolute best, are The Help and Schindler’s List. Perfect. Flawless. The book calls into memory the film, and vice versa, and most of the script is drawn straight from the novel. This is as it should be: if you are making a film of a book, for Force sake make the film of the book and do not tell me it is ‘based on’ when a retarded youngling can see it is not. Even telling me it is ‘inspired by’ is better than ‘based on’ in those cases.

Runners-up are the Clancy movies, Clear and Present Danger and The Hunt For Red October. These are okay, because they stick to the story. Obviously they have to leave out some of the finer details of the plot, but that’s okay, the books are brick-sized and pretty complex. Casting is everything in cases like this. And damn, Mindy Marin is a genius there.

The worst? Cheaper By The Dozen, no contest. Only two things remain from the shriekingly funny memoir by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. The number of kids, and the title. That’s it. The year changes. (The millennium changes!) The father’s occupation – which was the funnier half of the story anyway – changes. The surname changes. This is not a film based on a book. This is a film blatantly stealing the fanbase of an incredible, wonderful, brilliant book under false pretenses. And to add insult to injury, Steve Martin and his cronies made a sequel. A sequel! Force!

In general? Film-makers everywhere, don’t. Just… don’t. Especially if we loved the book. Unless the movie is somewhere between perfect and better, we will hate the movie, and the kids like me will literally fill pages with discrepancies and mail them to the director. I have done this. I will probably have to do this again. I hate bad adaptations. I even hate mediocre ones. Unless it’s truly fantastic, don’t show it to me because I don’t care. I haven’t even seen the Lord of the Rings because I don’t think Elijah Wood looks enough like Frodo.

Books are books. Movies are movies. If you can’t be bothered to read the book, that’s fine. Go the rest of your life without knowing that wonderful story, don’t wait for someone to do the dirty work for you. When you read a book, you direct the movie that plays in the mind palace. You control what the characters look like, how they talk, how sweet that kiss at the church door really was, and which piece of Wagner, Beethoven, or Orff would best complement that incredible fight scene.

When I am reading a book, I rule. Nobody can take that from me. Except perhaps a bad movie director. Even that is only if I let him. You do not get into the mind palace without my permission. You do not kriff up my favorite stories without my permission. You sure as Anakin’s a fool do not play games with my favorite characters without my permission.

And it will be a cold day on Mustafar before I give it to you.


PS: I suspect the others on the chain will be saner. Wanna check? At the time of writing, John hasn’t put the whole schedule up yet, so… I’ll write it out from the comments off the sign-up post.

June 6: Emily.

June 7: spreaderofawesomeness.

June 8: mattblack42.

June 9: Liam the Head Phil.

June 10: maralaurey.

June 11: Charley R.

June 12: Tara Therese.

June 13: TheUnsimpleMind.

June 14: Christina.

June 15: nevillegirl.

June 16: A. R. Files.

June 17: magicandwriting583.

June 18: orphu44.

June 19: Brooke Harrison.

June 20: Miriam Joy.

June 21: anqiyu.

June 22: unikkelyfe.

June 23: Miss Alexandrina.

June 24: Ana.

June 25: ErinKenobi2893.

June 26: Anah.

June 27: That seems to be all, so presumably we’ll be back to John Hansen.


About coruscantbookshelf

"A writer is an introvert: someone who wants to tell you a story but doesn't want to have to make eye contact while doing it." - Adapted from John Green
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26 Responses to June TCWT Chain

  1. Haha! Lovely post. Is Mustafar hot?


    • Very. It’s basically an entire planet of active volcano and lava everywhere. This should give an idea:

      One of the most awful, wonderful battles I’ve ever seen. And the end – God, I cried.


      • Who were you pulling for? They seem about equal in skill, which surprises me.


        • Obi-Wan!!! It shouldn’t. Obi-Wan trained Anakin, after all. taught him all he could.


          • Anakin’s so neatio, though. But, see, it seemed like Anakin was on top of things…especially in the beginning of the fight.


            • Anakin ≠ ‘neatio’.
              Er… yes, that would be because Obi-Wan had had a few other things on his mind, such as preventing Anakin’s wife dying, and not-killing-his-best-friend, and so forth. Anakin had no such qualms.


              • You think Anakin would have really killed Obi-Wan?


                • Yes. Absolutely. (In the end, btw, he did, no?)
                  Actually, if you look closely, just about a half-second before the mou kei stroke on the riverbank, that line Ani’s taking would have decapitated Obi-Wan if he hadn’t blocked it. Kid was trying to kill him.


                  • I concur! Anakin had gone, like, TOTAL PSYCHOPATH there!!! After that, I feel as if I’m going to scream and run if I ever see the actor in real life!!!
                    Well, not really. Unless he does his creepy act. Still, even though I’m WAY taller than Padme, unless it happens at the Oscars for photos, on the off chance I ever become an actress, I. Am. Not. Standing. Next. To. Him. (Besides, standing too near to guys–especially ones I don’t know–makes me nervous in any case.)
                    Cold day on Mustafar… Oh no. I just saw Frozen and now… bursts into tears Not only was the movie ruined for me by too many people talking about it and giving spoilers and in my household looking up the songs, but now I feel as if I’ve ripped off “Frozen” in my character studies.
                    But on the bright side, it led to a pretty funny humor thing. I’ll post it… sooner or later… 😛
                    By the way, I think that if Obi-Wan were to have “powers” as they seem to like to call it, it would probably be ice. Anakin owns the world of fire, so ice it is.


                  • Oh…I wonder if Darth Maul could have made the jump.


  2. Happy Eleventy-First, Rosalie!!! hugs
    thinks about it You’re right, Elijah Wood is definitely not what one thinks of whilst reading the book. (Different jaw line for one thing. 😛 ) But Sean Austin is perfect as Sam, in my opinion. And Sean Bean as Boromir! sobs
    I cry every time Boromir dies, book or movie. And I cry for Qui-Gon. Do I cry too much? (I don’t normally cry over any other deaths that I can think of, except for Cregga’s in the Redwall series and Beth’s in Little Women. Just Qui-Gon and Boromir. That’s it, actually.)


  3. Tara Therese says:

    One thing I find about movies is that I imagine all the characters looking like the actors once I’ve seen the actors. For example, I read The Hunger Games before seeing all the actors but now I always imagine the characters to look like they did in the movie. I have trouble keeping books in the book sector and movies in the movie sector. They merge! (If that makes sense …)


  4. John Hansen says:

    (The social-justice-y side of me sort of has to say this, but maybe don’t use “retarded” derogatorily? I have an autistic cousin so I know lots of people find that offensive. Just FYI.)

    Anyway, great post! I know what you mean. I can’t imagine the book I’m writing will work for film AT ALL since so much of the story is told through internal dialogue, and it would kill me to see it done with one of those cheesy, teen-movie trademark voice overs to supplement. So I know exactly what you are talking about. It’s just… no. Also, I totally need to read The Help! I loved the movie, and the adaption felt truly genuine.

    And you’re right, I sort of snuck the second topic in there. I’m evil, sorry! 😛


    • (Autistic is not retarded, just different. And I’ve been told everybody fits on the autism spectrum someplace.)
      Aaggghhhh voiceovers. Ew.
      Some stuff comes through in the book that doesn’t in the movie, but… not much. It was a very good movie.
      No sorry. It was heaps of fun.


      • John Hansen says:

        But my point is that a lot of people in that community find the word insensitive, just as a head’s up. 🙂

        And yesss, voiceovers are way too prevalent in the adaptions, and it is an automatic cringe moment for me. If you can’t make a movie without having the main character explain everything to the audience, why make it at all?


  5. Good post, although I disagree pretty heavily. You say if moviemakers can’t reenact the book exactly, it shouldn’t be a movie? Nah. As long as the moviemakers can put aside their greed long enough to make a good movie, I think they can make as many movies as they want. I wouldn’t care if they made a cartoon version of the Silmarillion, as long as they focused more on making good stories than on pleasing the geeks scattered through the theater.

    Nevertheless, good post! Way to start the chain.


  6. Pingback: TCWT Blog Chain: Movie vs. Book

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