Posted by: Mish | August 17, 2009

Movie Musing

My reactions to movies made from books I’ve enjoyed varies from adaptation to adaptation. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit and watch the characters while a plot unfolds. I usually give a film a chance so at least I can say how a good book was or wasn’t butchered. I’m not the type to read a book just because it’s being made into a movie, but if I end up liking the movie enough I might read the book.

Last month, I watched the “old” Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with my friends’ kids. When it was over they asked me to put in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. As a fan of Tim Burton’s work, I was thrilled when his adaption of Roald Dahl’s classic came out in theatres. I love, and own, both films because they each bring a different dimension to one of my favorite childhood books. Depending on my mood, I’ll watch the musical with Gene Wilder or the darker version with Johnny Depp. I think that stormy day was the first time I did a Dahl double feature.

A few other film adaptations that I was fairly pleased with, but don’t own, are Othello (with Laurence Fishburne), Les Misérables (with Liam Neeson), the DaVinci Code, the Mists of Avalon, and the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe– though I still fondly remember the old animated film. I found Memoirs of a Geisha lacking, but don’t really remember why. I can’t think of any I was dreadfully disappointed with off the top of my head so I may have blocked them from my memory.

So what about you?

Musing MondaysHow do you react to movies made of your favourite books (or even not-so-favourite books)? Do you look forward to seeing them, or avoid them? Do you like to have read the book before seeing the movie?



  1. I actually think of the Wilder version of the Chocolate Factory as the darker one! It used to scare me so badly as a kid. I hated it. I never got to the point where I liked it, but i do love the new one.

    I can’t see Laurence Fishburne without laughing. I used to be able to, but then I realized he was Cowboy Curtis on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, and now, all I can see is the weird purple cowboy outfit. I’m sure Mr. Fishburne would not appreciate that sentiment. 😀

  2. I guess one person’s dark is another person’s light. But there’s also different associations and age. Child and scared vs adult and none. That’s a jagged thought, but it’s late.

    I didn’t get the show as a kid, but I’ve seen a couple clips since then of him as Cowboy Curtis. Some roles people will Never live down. Othello with a cowboy hat and a twang… LOL

  3. I don’t think I saw the show as a kid, not very often at least, but my mom recorded the Christmas Special one year when I was in the hospital as a surprise for me. It became a family tradition to watch it together before Christmas every year, and I’ve continued that with my kids. Cowboy Curtis is in there a lot. So is Reba the Mail Lady, who turned into Lt. Anita Van Buren from Law & Order. Cracks me up. 😀

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