The movie industry regularly "borrows"
their stories from bestselling books. They obviously realize if the story is
popular in book form, then putting it on celluloid and adding big name actors
and a director will most likely bring people into the theaters, even if that
audience is attracted merely out of curiosity.
It's a popular refrain to hear that
the book was better than the movie and for that reason, many people believe
it's best to read the book before you watch the movie. But occasionally, moviegoers
do report the movie being better than the book. It's not always a completely
similar experience though, as sometimes the ending or certain other plot
devices are changed to make it a more dramatic story.
With the iTunes release this week of
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo based on the Swedish book of the same name,
we'll take a look at that film as well as some of the other movies that hit the
theater last year and were based on books.
The film is based on the Swedish novel
of the same name by Stieg Larsson. Interestingly, the original title, "Man
som hatar kvinnor" means "men who hate women" in Swedish. That
gives you an idea right there of what the film is about. It's the first story
in the Millennium series, with the other two being "The Girl Who Played
With Fire" and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest."
Daniel Craig stars as the co-owner of
the Millennium magazine. In order to help him in a libel case, he agrees to
investigate the disappearance of a woman who vanished forty years ago. He finds
a notebook that may help explain the disappearance, as a researcher and computer
hacker (Rooney Mara) aids him in his search for more clues.
The film was nominated for two Golden Globe
Awards and five Academy Awards, with Mara picking up nominations as Best Actress
in each. The only award it did pick up of those seven was an Oscar for Best Film
Water for Elephants is based on a novel
by Sara Gruen, who originally penned the story to participate in National Novel
Writing Month, a creative writing project on the Internet. It went on to spend
twelve weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List.
An older man explains through a
flashback to the Great Depression that he was once in the circus business. He
was originally a veterinary student, but after his parents' deaths, he literally
jumped a ride on a circus train. He gets a job working with the circus animals
and disagrees with the owner when instructed by him to treat the animals
cruelly. He also falls in love with the owner's wife. Robert Pattinson, Reese
Witherspoon, and Christoph Waltz star.
Pattinson and Witherspoon previously
appeared in another movie together. Vanity Fair, playing mother and son, instead
of lovers. The film won a People's Choice Award as favorite drama.
Moody And The Not Bummer Summer
While not based on just one book, Judy
Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer is based on a series of children's books about the
character of Judy Moody by Megan McDonald.
After graduating from the third grade,
Judy Moody sets out to have the best summer ever despite the fact that her
parents decide to travel to California, meaning Judy and brother Stink will have
to stay with their Aunt Opal. She makes a bucket list of sorts for herself and her
friends in order to assure that they do not have a "bummer summer". She
ends up in a race against her friends to see who will have the best summer, and
to hit even higher points, helps Aunt Opal and Stink search for Bigfoot.
The author has penned other children's
book series, but Judy Moody remains the most popular. However, the film has so
far not enjoyed the same level of popularity with viewers.
Mr. Popper's Penguins is based on a children's
book by Richard and Florence Atwater originally published in 1938. Richard originally
wrote the story, then suffered a stroke, leaving him unable to speak or write. His
wife then revised the story and submitted it to publishers.
In the film, Jim Carrey stars as the title
character. His father dies and a crate containing a living penguin ends up on Mr.
Popper's porch. Through a rather major mistake, he receives 5 more of the
arctic birds. Having the penguins around helps him become even closer to his children.
Mr. Popper struggles, however, to take care of the eggs the penguins lay and when
one doesn't make it he begins to lose faith in himself. Caria Gugino and Angela
Originally the film was meant as a starring
vehicle for Ben Stiller, but when he dropped out casting took a look at Carrey,
Owen Wilson, and Jack Black, with Carrey eventually winning the role.
The Lincoln Lawyer
This film is based by on the novel of
the same name by Michael Connelly. The crime writer has written several novels around
the same characters. Mickey Haller is the main character in The Lincoln Lawyer
and three other novels, and appeared in other Connelly novels as well.
Matthew McConaughey stars as Haller, a
criminal defense attorney who operates his office out of a Lincoln Town Car. His
newest client is accused of murdering a prostitute and once Haller begins
investigating he notices the striking resemblance of the case to one of his past
cases. His client ends up going to jail, but he begins to wonder if his new client
was the actual killer. Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe, and William H. Macy costar.
Connelly stated he couldn't have been happier
with the film and thought McConaughey "nailed" the part of Haller. The
character has proved popular, and ABC is considering developing a series around