Top 10: Ways Hollywood ruins book adaptations

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Brandee Lima

Just because a book is thrilling and entertaining doesn't ensure a great movie adaptation.

A great book doesn’t always make for a great movie. More than 50 books have been made into films since 2010. Sometimes they turn out a hit, like “The Godfather,” but other times a total flop. Letʻs take a look at what ruins these great stories.

10. When a movie uses way too much computer-generated imagery
The 2003 superhero film “Hulk” overuses CGI to a point where it would have been better to use pictures from the comic. The use of CGI is not only displeasing to the eye, but distracts from the story. How can the audience pay any attention to what’s happening to the protagonist when a hulking crayon green blob is floating around on the screen?

9. When a single book is made into a trilogy
“The Hobbit” trilogy ruined the story by breaking it into three unnecessary parts. To make it worse, in order to fill the movies, Hollywood changes parts of the story and adds characters.

8. When a character, who was never even a thought in the book, is added into a movie
In “The Hobbit,” in order to add some romance, the female elf Tauriel is fabricated and forced into the story. I guess adding romance into every single movie is more important than keeping the integrity of J. R. R. Tolkien’s work.

7. When the movie is a different genre than the book
Anne Rice’s “Exit to Eden” is a serious and dark psychological erotica. The movie adaptation is a detective fiction comedy. Yes, the movie is supposed to be adapted from the book, but how this is the same story bewilders me.

6. When a character in a book is taken out of the movie
Though the “Divergent” movie and book are fairly close, one detail stands out: the missing initiate Edward. In Veronica Rothʻs book, Edward was the top performing transfer. The second place initiate Peter was jealous and decided to take out the competition by stabbing Edwardʻs eye out with a fork. The movie was originally shot including Edward, but right before the movieʻs premier the character was completely removed. Fans and bloggers speculate that the eye-stabbing scene was too graphic to keep in the film.

5. When the movie is a child-proofed version of the book
“The Host” by Stephenie Meyer is about aliens taking over different worlds. Itʻs full of interesting tidbits and explanations, like why the aliens took over Earth. The book shows the dark side of humans and how it becomes more pronounced in times of fear and distress. It even goes as deep as to illustrate the cruelty that humans express when threatened. At one point in the story, a human attempts to kill the alien protagonist Wanda, and she is beaten to the point of near-death. In the movie this scene involves her getting chased but barely scratched. The darkness of the story is like another character, itʻs ridiculous to try and remove it.

4. When facts about the story change for the movie
In both “Spider-Man” stories, Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider. In the comic book, he engineers a mechanism that sprays web, allowing him to swing from buildings. This shows how clever and inventive he can be. However, in the 2002 film, Parker gains the ability to spray web from his wrist. Though the change is small, it affects the characterʻs personality.

3. When Hollywood dumbs down the story
“Starship Troopers,” a brain-numbing action flick, was based on a thought-provoking science fiction book of the same title. The movie is supposed to be a satire about war. Yet its concentration on flashy, action sequences distract from any story this 2-hour long film might have. On the other hand, the book goes into the politics and philosophy of society, government and warfare.

2. When the cast is wrong
The movie “Snow White and the Huntsman” shows us great casting with Charlize Theron as the Queen and horrible casting with Kristen Stewart as Snow White. Snow White is supposed to be fairer than the Queen. In no way possible is Stewart more beautiful than Theron. Later in the film, Snow White is supposed to deliver a riveting speech that “fires up the troops.” Stewart delivers this monologue with a deadpan face and monotone voice.

1. When the movie’s ending is different than the original book
After watching a movie or reading a book, what you remember most is the ending. The ending of the 1995 film “The Scarlet Letter” is completely different from the book. At the end of the book (spoiler alert!), Dimmesdale dies from his guilt. In the movie, Native Americans appear out of nowhere and fight with the Puritans, and then Dimmesdale lives and “rides off into the sunset” with Hester and Pearl. The ending is what makes or breaks a story. Changing the ending of the story is unacceptable.