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Weekly Geeks – 2009 – 10 – Worst book/movie adaptations

Posted in books, Jumper, movies, Weekly Geeks with tags , , , on March 17, 2009 by Paxton

Weekly Geeks

Weekly Geeks has really been on a role lately with some very good topics. Last week was the favorite author quotes and this week they want you to discuss what, in my opinion, is the worst book-to-film adaptation ever. Here’s the challenge:

Worst movie adaptations: The recent release of Watchmen based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore got me thinking about what I thought were the worst movie adaptations of books. What book or books did a director or directors completely ruin in the adaptation(s) that you wish you could “unsee,” and why in your opinion, what made it or them so bad in contrast to the book or books?

This is an interesting topic because people can really get bent out of shape when their favorite books are supposedly done “wrong” on the big screen. To me, a book-to-film adaptation has to be taken as something completely on its own.  The movie can be a good movie on it’s own merit, but also still adapt the source material poorly by changing the story or characters.  To me, that’s still a win.  If the movie makers take the source material and make an interesting movie, then I’m happy.  I figure, if the movie is good, maybe it will entice people to check out the source material for themselves. That is a big win, because now more people will read the book and get the author’s original vision. But if the movie turns out, on its own, to be a bad movie, then you have people turning away from the original source, and that’s bad.  So the question is really this; Is the movie bad, or is it just bad because you care so much about the source material you can’t separate the two? It’s the classic “chicken and the egg” syndrome.

So, having said this, I think, for me, the movie that is a poor adaptation of its source book, regardless of its merits as a movie, is Jumper.

Jumper book Jumper movie

I saw this movie without any knowledge of the book, or that there even was a book. I enjoyed the movie as a whole, even though there were flaws. Hayden Christensen isn’t great as the main character. He’s a little whiny and immature. I loved Jamie Bell’s character of Griffin and the entire concept of people born with the ability to Jump. So, overall, this was a good action movie with nice special effects. Then I find out it was based on a series of books. I was intrigued.

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