Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Best and Worst Movie Adaptations - Top Ten Tuesday Thoughts

My daughter Savannah is a writer/blogger and along with her contributions to the Looks from Books column on www.collegefashion.net she also maintains her own blog (going on four years now) playinginthepages.blogspot.com.

From there she has occasionally caught my attention with a "Top Ten Tuesdays" weekly countdown meme, from the web site the Broke and the Bookish.

It is a multi author blog which describes itself as

"a group of college aged and twenty somethings that have an unhealthy obsession with reading and would spend every last penny on books even if it meant skipping a few meals. We are the people who lurk in the library, buy handbags based on how many books can be stashed in them, and who refer to characters in books as if they are personal friends."

This weeks theme was best and worst movie adaptations from books.  It was fun to read the numerous likes and dislikes from the various contributors.  

I have decided to narrow it down even further and provide what I believe to be the best and worst movie adaptations of Stephen King novels.

Best:
Two of the top movie adaptations come from the same publication, Different Seasons 1982, a set of four novellas.

Considering the two are The Shawshank Redemption 1994 (from Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption) and Stand By Me 1986 (from The Body) that is a pretty good read.  Apt Pupil also was made into a movie, but not with the same impact.  Shawshank was nominated for seven academy awards and Stand by Me won a Golden Globe for best picture drama and a Oscar for best adapted screenplay.

Carrie (from Carrie) has been made into two movies and recently a musical as well.  Another adaptation is due in theaters in October of this year.  It is the Brian DePalma 1976 adaptation though, that showcased a very young John Travolta and received Oscar nominations for Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie and featured one of my early movie crushes Amy Irving.

Misery 1990 (from Misery) featured an amazing James Caan and Kathy Bates, who won an Oscar for her role.  A relentless foray into claustrophobia, it was also adapted into a stage play by Princess Bride author William Goldman.

Christine 1983 (from Christine) had a movie treatment in the same year of its publication and if you have seen it, you will understand that there wasn't much Oscar worthiness there.  However, from the beginning of the film, when the automobile known as Christine moves down the assembly line to George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone", to the wrecking yard finish, this is one of my guilty pleasure movie treats.

Worst:
Stephen King's It (the miniseries1990), Television all-stars and Tim Curry may have scared me a little as a child, but now it simply disappoints on multiple levels.  The repetitiveness and the finale were ludicrous.
 
Maximum Overdrive 1986 (based on the short story Trucks) written and directed by Stephen King.  Loved the short story though.

Children of the Corn 1984 (from the short story collection Night Shift) has somehow spawned eight, count them, eight sequels, including Children of the Corn 666: Isaacs Return and Children of the Corn: Urban Harvest with Charlize Theron in a non-speaking role.

and Stephen King's The Mist 2007 (from The Mist) featuring one of the worst movie endings ever.

Special Mention: Great movie but King hated the interpretation The Shining.