Books Vs. Movie Versions…Ramble

It’s easy to replace the original version of a book in your memory, with what happened in the film adaptation. Here are a few changes from popular books made into popular movies, you may not remember:

1. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen is a classic that has sparked a whole genre of books inspired by the original. In the film version starring Kiera Knightly, the film ends with Mark Darcy being told the nicknames he can call her i.e. “My Pearl” on Sundays. The classic book ends with a summary of the relationships between The Darcys and different characters in the book. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, do, once engaged, then become rather playful in the same vein as the movie, questioning how they could ever have fallen in love and what was the timeline.

2. Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding, not only based on Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, it sparked a whole genre of ‘chick lit’ itself. The genre is a fun, career women who bumble along when it comes to love. In the film, Mark Darcy and rival Daniel Clever have several scenes in which they are both present which climaxes with a fist fight on Bridget’s birthday. However, in the book, the two never face-off in person. Bridget also has a brother, who doesn’t add much to the book anyway,  which didn’t make it into the film.

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, like Helen Fielding, Collins was able to be part of the film adaption, which remained closely faithful to the book. In first book in the much beloved trilogy, Katniss Everdeen saying goodbye to her family, Gale, and the mayor’s daughter who gives her the pin of the Mockingjay for good luck. In the film version, we never meet the mayor’s daughter. The pin is given to her by her costume designer, Cinna.

4. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson is also the first book in a beloved, albeit, adult, not YA, triology. There is one huge difference the film changed, for the better. At the end of the film, Lizbeth wants to go see Blomkvist, to give him a gift and resume their romantic relationship. In the book, it is a cheesy license plate that says ELVIS on it. The film fortunately made it an expensive leather jacket, a much sexier gift. However, both end up in the trash.

5. The Princess Bride by William Goldman. The book added this interesting detail- the four white horses our heroes rode off in on the end, were used by Prince Humperdink to go hunting. He would jump from one horse to another, in order to maximize their energy in his hunting pursuits.

Small changes can add big drama or cut out unnecessary details weighing down a book. What are some of your favorite differences between books and their film adaptations?

 

Advertisements

Face-off: The Girl With The Dragon Tat vs. The Hunger Games Trilogy War…Ramble

Hype can completely come attached to any media. People hear and see things and they want it, especially on repeated exposure. It’s how marketing works, it’s how careers rise and we consume media. Mass transit in the publishing capital of America allows for extra ‘impressions’ every time you see a person reading a book with a colorful cover it leaves another impression, the feeling that ‘oh I keep seeing people with that book, it must be good’ creating a sense of urgency the way teens catch on to what their peers are into and adopt it.

Here, we face off two triologys- one that has been hyped to adults and one aimed at teens. Both have sold millions of copies and are being translated onto the cinematic screen. Now, their heroines must FACE-OFF!

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Lisbeth Salander vs. The Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen

FAMILY TIES:
Lisbeth is a twin but estranged from her sister. Her father is a powerful government figure who savagely beat her mother so hard it caused brain damage. Lisbeth tried to protect her mother by setting her father on fire, although it did not kill him.

Katniss is the oldest of two girls. Her father died in a coal mining explosion, sending her mother also off into a land of delusion and a fog descended upon the house. Katniss was left to fend for the food as they live in the poorest District (12 of 13).

Winner: ick, both have Father/Mother/Sister issues. If you want to go in terms of more severe suffering, Lisbeth is the ‘winner’.

SKILL SET:
Lisbeth is a genius hacker. The book’s author Stieg Larsson spends a ridiculous amount of time discussing the computer equipment (now of course completely outdated) she uses in the most boring way possible. Lisbeth has had to fend for herself being institutionalized herself and often sexually assaulted. She is stronger than her fragile malnourished appearance, great with a blade, fast and not afraid of hand-to-hand combat. She is also cunning and will use any weapon at her disposal to achieve her goal including sex.

Katniss is a huntress. She learned basic hunting skills from her beloved father before he died. He taught her to find the herb she is named after in the woods ‘you’ll never starve if you can find yourself.’ She is brave as she volunteered to take her young sister Prim’s place in The Hunger Games, where a boy and girl from each District annually face off in a death match. That’s right a death match. Katniss is also street smart and doesn’t full trust anyone even her best friend potential boyfriend Gale who refined her hunting skills and teams up with her to provide both their families with illegal game they find in the woods.

Winner: Each one’s skill set helps them survive and foil killers to the best of their abilities, and not without injury. This one is another hard category to pick. Lisbeth has skills that help her navigate the modern world, while Katniss’ skills are also include putting on a show and being an actress to win the crowd to her side. I’m going to go with Katniss.

LOVE TO LOVE YA:
Lisbeth dabbles in the lady pond but she also manages to fascinate men. Men who sexually assault her but also the unlikely journalist Mikael Blomkvist *played by Daniel Craig (hello James Bond) in the US Film Version out 12/21/11. Reading the books I found it highly bizarre. Blomkvist is a notorious ladies man and will shag just about anyone. It’s odd because Lisbeth is so private and when they first meet her partner is a woman.

Katniss has undeveloped feelings toward her best friend Gale. They are undefined but no matter how many girls throw themselves at Gale *played by Miley Cyrus’ man Liam Helmsworth, he only has eyes for Katniss. Of course, Katniss has a bit of a love triangle (well let’s face it both Lisbeth & Blomkvist have more than two partners in the first book) of her own due to the baker’s son, Peeta being pretty much in love with her. He is someone who gave her bread after her father died and got a beating for it. In fact, he is also the boy selected at random from District 12 to face off in The Hunger Games.

Winner: Personally I’m into amazing guys vying for my attention and since this is my blog I’m going to go with Katniss. Lisbeth doesn’t have the love of anyone, she can’t trust anyone so how can love blossom for her? It can’t.

TRAILERS:
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO:

THE HUNGER GAMES:

Winner: Woah, those are some great trailers but having not liked the Millenium series (yes that’s what they call The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series), seeing the trailer made me intrigued to see the movie. Comparatively I already want to see The Hunger Games so the winner is “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.” Purists who saw the foreign import version will beg to differ but I’m sticking by my choice.

BOOK REPORT: I’ll admit the 2nd book “The Girl Who Played With Fire” ended in a much more intriguing cliffhanger than “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” yet I still couldn’t be bothered to read “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest”. I have a feeling if Mr. Larsson had lived he would have done edits for the US market, a map of Sweden might have been placed in the books for reference and he probably would’ve changed the second book from having multiple characters with names starting with ‘B’ (I stopped counting at 8!) including one of the main characters Blomkvist and his boss/lover.

To compare, I delayed beginning “Mockingjay” the last book in “The Hunger Games” series because I didn’t want it to be finished. I was so engrossed in the triology I will have to read it again. I can’t wait for the movies! I will go see all of them in the theater- something I don’t really do as much given the bed bug freakiness of New York.

WINNER: The Hunger Games

OVERALL VICTOR: While these two characters both struggle to survive one has a target placed on her back and the other one inserts herself into the middle of trouble constantly. My choice is Katniss Everdeen who is far more likeable and you root for her. I find Lisbeth’s story harsh but it’s the similarity she has to the The Assassin character (in the US “Point of No Return”) that makes me want root for something fresh.

UPDATE 12/14:
MUSIC:
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – music by Trent Reznor and six of those songs are available for free download.

The Hunger Games: soundtrack not announced yet.

FASHION:
The Girl With The Dragon Tat: H&M fashion line is now in-stores this week so you can be, what my former intern, Julian would like ‘a badass’ without having to run from the law, be a victim of the system or rescue James Bond from getting killed.

The Hunger Games: Hard to judge here as the movie doesn’t come out until March and I can’t wait to see the clothing that Cinna, the costume designer played by another badass who will rock leather til the day he dies, Lenny Kravitz fills the screen with.

Winner: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on both accounts. While it’s too early to call on The Hunger Games, I’m guessing I’d rather rock the H&M line then the bodysuits the contestants in The Hunger Games have to sport.

NEW OVERALL WINNER: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo on Badass Cool points, but let’s not count out The Hunger Games (again books I clearly prefer) til it comes out in March.