This week's topic:
What movie have you seen that actually (gasp) IMPROVED on the book?
This one took a lot of thought, because it is truly difficult to improve upon a book by adapting it to film. I came up with a couple of examples, both of which will likely make me a target for die-hard fans of the books. I'm not going to say they necessarily improved on the book, but I will say that they made my experience with that story just that much better. So I guess they took something that was already fantastic and took it up to a whole other level of awesomeness. Make sense?
1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy - J.R.R. Tolkien
This one I'm sure will make me Public Enemy #1 on every Tolkien nerd's hit list, to which I say: Valiroimë * I'm not going to lie, Tolkien's love of the written language sometimes turned his books into a bit of a slogfest at times for me. Dear Tolkien fans: Please don't sick a Balrog or an Uruk-hai army on me for saying this. Sincerely, A Really Big Fan Too (I promise). Watching these same paragraph-long descriptions was SO much better. There is much that is visual about LOTR, and I felt the movies took something special and turned it into something beautiful. I love absolutely everything Peter Jackson and crew did with LOTR, and they will always be personal favourites.
2. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë
Let me preface this by saying that Jane Eyre is my favourite book of all-time, and there is NOTHING at all EVER that can improve upon it. But, I really enjoyed the most recent book-to-movie adaptation of this much-loved story. Truthfully, the first time around I felt it was lacking much of the gothic feel surrounding Thornfield and its bat shiz secret, and there were a couple of other things that gave me pause. It's been on Netflix for a while, so I thought I'd give it another watch and see if my opinion changed. I have to say, it really did. I loved (with a capital 'L') the way they started the movie with Jane on the moors and used flashbacks from that point on. What a fantastic way of imparting that information. I think Jane's situation lent itself well to this. She was pretty much on death's door when she landed at the Rivers', and not in her right mind given the events leading up to her departure from Thornfield. It felt logical that she'd experience one of those 'life flashing before your eyes' moments, and I feel this added something to a story that was pretty near perfect to begin with.
Let's just all agree that casting Fassbender in almost every role from now on is a great way to 'improve' upon a story.
* "Happy Hunting" in elvish—Yes, I looked this up on an elvish phrase site. Yes, I'm a dork. (Source)