12.20.2014

Good Adaptations of Classic Books

Phew, I have had one crazy week.  Mostly due to spending a day shopping and attempting to bang out a long research paper.  So yeah.  I'm glad it's the weekend.  Today I'm here to share some of the classic adaptations I think are worth watching if you're a fan of any of the books I've talked about this week.
Up first, Lord of the Rings.  Obviously, these are my favorite movies of all time and I doubt that will ever change.  You have heard me rave about them plenty of times, so I will just say that they are amazing and you have to watch them and they are totally a 10.  I will have a little space at the end of each summary/review of sorts where I will post good reviews/posts either from here or other blogs/sites.  Blog posts: 1, 2, 3, 4. (1 of my posts if you missed it, and 3 other very in-depth reviews of the movies) My rating: 10

And next, the Hobbit trilogy.  Now I confess, I have not read the Hobbit.  What?  I know.  I have listened to a good part of the audiobook, and my brother's basically given me a summary of the plot.  But I love anything Peter Jackson does and any story about Middle-Earth for that matter.  Therefore, while I definitely appreciated the way the LOTR movies stayed close to the books, I honestly didn't really care when it came to the Hobbit movies.  So while not having any emotional investment in the Hobbit movies didn't endear me to them like the LOTR movies did, I could simply enjoy them for the incredible acting and aesthetic.  And let me say, they did not disappoint.  The sets and shots in the Hobbit were out of this world.  I am hoping to see the final installment, "Battle of the Five Armies" in the next week or so, and I am so excited, but also kind of nervous.  Blog posts: 1, 2, 3 (good reviews of all three) My rating: 9.5

Then there are the Narnia films.  The first one was awesome in my opinion.  I think the characters were great and the writers managed to stay pretty close to the book.  It is by far my favorite.  The second also stayed pretty close to the book, and I really enjoyed seeing Peter all grown up.  The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was a miss for me.  Yes, Caspian is very good-looking, and I liked Lucy's subplot, but they strayed from the books to much for me.  The movie had darker undertones which I don't remember from the book, and I didn't really get on with that.  My rating: 9

And finally, the adaptations of Sherlock Holmes.  Okay, so I kind of have a lot to say about these.  Surprise, surprise!  In my opinion, Sherlock Holmes is one of those classic literary heroes who is so classic that anyone can do anything to him and he will still be Sherlock Holmes – within bounds, of course.  Now I think that the BBC Sherlock TV show is closer to Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes than the movies with RDJ despite the modern setting.  The episodes are based on actual cases Sherlock had in the book, and the show just hits the detective's personality out of the ball park.  Like wow.  Benedict Cumberbatch basically IS Sherlock Holmes.  He's just weird, his deducing powers are great, and I love how the show really highlights that.  I also think Martin Freeman makes the perfect Watson, though I didn't appreciate the brief mention of his "being gay" in some of the episodes.  That just wasn't necessary in my opinion.  Oh and when Sherlock faked his death?  Holy cow.  That was amazing.  My rating for the tv series is 9.5.

Now, if you just want to watch an awesome movie that will make you laugh and where you will just thoroughly enjoy yourself, take the two movies starring Robert Downey Jr. as the detective.  He is basically just perfect.  Now this is a case of messing with the character of Sherlock Holmes and it still works.  Like, Conan Doyle's Sherlock didn't beat guys up.  He wasn't particularly funny or devilishly handsome I don't think.  Still, I will watch these movies anytime, anywhere.  I watched the sequel last week (I'm wrapping up the first one tonight) and I had not laughed that hard in a long time.  Jude Law was a great Watson – I appreciated a Dr. Watson who was nearly Sherlock's intellectual equal.  That was a refreshing change from Martin Freeman's Watson who was always asking the dumb questions.  And I love the introduction of Irene Adler and how she played a more frontal role in the movies.  Basically, I think the truer adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's classic Sherlock Holmes was probably the BBC series, but I might love the RDJ movies a little more just because they are so amazingly fun.   And I think I liked the fake death in the series a little more than in the movies?  The series built up to it a little more and I think that worked a little better for me in the end. My rating: 9.5.
First up, Emma.  I've barely started this – it has four seasons that total up to about 4 hours.  I'm not sure if I'll finish it or not.  I probably will, but it's not something I could marathon or something.  Personally, four hours is just too long to drag out a story that I don't absolutely love.  But if you're an Austen enthusiast, I am sure you would love it.

Then we have Pride & Prejudice.  I certainly enjoyed the movie more than the book, but it's still not a movie I will need to rematch every year or something.  That said, the acting is very good, I love all the characters, and the atmosphere is just really nice.  Mr. Darcy is not the best-looking guy ever and Mr. Wickham is more handsome, but Keira Knightley killed it as Lizzie Bennet and her family was perfect.  Highly recommend if you enjoy Jane Austen!  Blog post: 1 My rating: 8 - 8.5

Now I have a thing with the Anne of Green Gables films.  I will forever cherish the story, so the movies had better be spot on.  The first one is great – extremely close to the book, which I really appreciate.  I haven't seen it in a long time, but the second one is pretty good too, and the third one is just awful.  I watched it once and I will never have to see it again.  Ugh.  Pretty much nothing in common with the books.  My rating: 8 (the movies are no where close to the books)

I have already sung my love of Agatha Christie from the rooftops, so it will come as no surprise that I love me some BBC adaptations of her beloved investigators.  I barely started an episode of Miss Marple – they are long episodes, but from what I watched, it stays very close to Agatha Christie's character and books.  I will hopefully get started with that show this winter.  So that's more of an honorable mention, but the next one, Hercules Poirot really is a favorite.  Ugh, this guy is so good.  David Suchet plays Christie's Belgian detective with the great mustache.  And he is perfect.  I read the A.B.C. Murders a few weeks ago, and so the first episode I watched was that one, and it was identical to the book.  Needless to say, that made me really happy.  I love this show and will hopefully get time to watch it this winter.  My rating: 9.5.

And that wraps up this long rant about some of the classic adaptations I have discovered and enjoyed!  I hope you enjoyed this and maybe found some new shows to watch.  I will be back on Monday to talk about some updates.  Thanks for reading!  xo, Ella

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