Books to Movies: Staffer compares books to their movie representations

Tori Pippins, Staff Writer

As a general rule, movies can’t be perfect representations of books, but some are pretty spot-on. Others have room for improvement, while a few are just plain sad. Books are left open to a person’s own interpretation and visualization, and sometimes movies just don’t align with the mind’s eye. Just as well, sometimes a movie works out better than imagined.
“Harry Potter”
The story of Harry Potter is a famous one. Reading about Harry’s adventures with his friends was always popular, but the movie “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” which made its debut in 2001, only made the fanbase grow larger. As a whole, the series of movies is pretty close to the books, and the entire cast seemed to play their roles exactly as J.K. Rowling portrayed them in the novels. The last book, which was a whopping 759 pages long, actually had a two-part movie because there was so much going on in it and leaving too much out would probably have upset the entirety of the fans.

 “The Hunger Games”
“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins is a bloody story that became extremely popular just before the movie reached theaters in 2012. As far as movies go, this one somehow managed to present death and murder while keeping the rating down at PG-13. The movie did not contain as much blood and gore as the book described, which might be because a large portion of the fanbase is teens. But they didn’t just cut out the gore — they failed to include the daughter of District 12’s mayor, who, in the book, not only gave Katniss the mockingjay pin, but is also a pretty important character later in the series. They also left out some rather large details that would have normally impacted the lives of the major characters. The reason behind this might be the amount of content producers had to try to fit into what ended up being an over two-hour long movie.

“Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief”
Many fans of this popular series by Rick Riordan were more than disappointed. The makers of this movie went pretty far off-base from the book — so far, in fact, that they completely changed a character. Grover, who was meant to be shy and scared, was somehow warped into some sort of womanizer. Not only that, but they cut out many important scenes — like (spoiler alert) how, at the end of the book, Luke tried to kill Percy with a scorpion. This actually was the moment Percy learned Luke was against him, and, you know, Percy almost died. That didn’t happen in the movie, and I feel like it’d be pretty important. Seeing as how they had a lot of action to pack into a movie that was only about ninety minutes long, I’m not surprised they had to change a lot of things.
“A Walk to Remember”
“A Walk to Remember” by Nicholas Sparks is about a young man falling in love with a girl who isn’t exactly all that popular. It’s one of those stories that isn’t very well explained with words and makes more sense with pictures. Therefore, the movie was a wonderful improvement from the book. While the book was interesting, it was hard to visualize just what was going on and could be a little confusing at times. You just didn’t receive as much emotion from words on a page. The movie, however, included extra heart-warming instances and tear-jerking moments that beg to be remembered.

“Eragon”
Written by Christopher Paolini, “Eragon” was an exciting adventure of life and death, love and loss and fairytales come to life. Eragon must travel the strange, dangerous, mysterious world with the companionship of his dragon, Saphira. While Eragon’s story was a fantastic read, the movie did not live up to expectations. The special effects were lacking, and the acting was somewhat terrible. In addition, many important scenes from the book were cut from the movie, and it was a little hard to follow, even to someone who had previously read the book. Many fans who had been excited for the movie adaptation were disappointed. The movie was so bad, they didn’t even bother making a second one.
“Twilight”
At first, the “Twilight” movies were actually well-aligned with the books, but as the storyline progressed, the simple things became more defined. The camera work improved, the editing was better and the special effects were amazing. The last two movies, “Breaking Dawn: Part 1” and “Breaking Dawn: Part 2,” were as close to the books as seemingly possible. The entire “Twilight” series by Stephenie Meyer was very well-written and became increasingly interesting as the story progressed. By the last movie, Bella was no longer needy and helpless — she became strong. She finally fits perfectly into her life. Edward was no longer just her protector — he was her equal. The movies definitely did the story justice.
Movie Releases
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”
Book: Published in 1997
by J.K. Rowling
Movie: Released in 2001

“The Hunger Games”
Book: Published in 2008
by Suzanne Collins
Movie: Released in 2012

“Twilight”
Book: Published in 2005
by Stephenie Meyer
Movie: Released in 2008

“Percy Jackson & the Olympians:
The Lightning Thief”
Book: Published in 2005
by Rick Riordan
Movie: Released in 2010

“Eragon”
Book: Published in 2002
by Christopher Paolini
Movie: Released in 2006

“A Walk to Remember”
Book: Published in 1999
by Nicholas Sparks
Movie: Released in 2002

“The Fault in our Stars”
Book: Published in 2012
by John Green
Movie: Future release on June 6, 2014

“Divergent”
Book: Published in 2011
by Veronica Roth
Movie: Future release on March 20, 2014