Books

Top 10 Most Epic Movies Adapted from Books

Jaws

10. Peter Benchley’s Jaws
Jaws (1975) became the preeminent summer blockbuster movie and the highest grossing movie ever at the time. Benchley based his book on some real life events and people that added to the intrigue, but Spielberg’s movie scared people out of the water and back into the theater to see it a second time. My parents took me to see this movie when I was 5 (no kidding), never dreaming the shock value involved even for adults.

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9. Stephen King’s Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption (1994) is a marvelous adaptation of the work by Stephen King. Andy Dufresne is a character you root for and are not disappointed with the movie’s depiction. Dufresne triumphs over surprising corruption and cruelty that is shocking. But the payoff is huge!

no-country-for-old-men

8. Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men
No Country for Old Men (2007) showcases the Coen Brothers’ quirky, magical touch, lifting this adaptation to the big screen. The bad guy’s musings reminded me of the first time I read Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find, showing depth and philosophical musings juxtaposed with cruel violence.

fightclub

7. Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club
Fight Club (1999) has a tremendous twist preserved in the movie and captures the frustration of bureaucratic, corporate America. Most of us take out our frustrations on pints of Ben & Jerry’s best rather than each other thankfully. Fight Club actually leaves you thinking long after you watch its conclusion.

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6. JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) was an adaption of one of the most beloved reads of my childhood. I was so pleased when I saw the film adaptation that it made me want to purchase the set for safekeeping. I was a bit surprised at the long shots of the evil minions building their army — not attractive folks. But I would say the worst part was the waiting inbetween releases of the three movies.

True Grit 2010

5.Charles Portis’ True Grit

True Grit (2010) is one of those movies that has it all: drama, revenge, underdogs, kid heroes, and cowboys. Jeff Bridges was amazing. My wife was so drawn in by the story and grit of the girl actress and didn’t mind some of the shocking violence. This tremendously successful western thrilled audiences even without John Wayne.

Silence

4. Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) is truly scary to read and imagine in your own mind. Surely no movie could reach those levels of intensity? Anthony Hopkins is Mr. Intensity in this film and impacts audiences’ dreams weeks afterward with his portrayal of Lechter.

Jurassic_Park_poster

3. Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park (1993) is another Spielberg blockbuster that both delighted and thrilled fans while avoiding too much of the lecturing on chaos theory. I still think of that cup of water, resonating with the footsteps of the approaching Tyrannosaurus Rex. But I don’t think I will forget the poor fellow meeting T-Rex — and his demise — in the outhouse.

godfather

2. Mario Puzo’s The Godfather
The Godfather (1972) is a brilliant masterpiece directed by Francis Ford Coppola, complete with violent moments that only a portrayal of the mob could allow. It replaced Gone with the Wind as the highest grossing movie when it premiered. Puzo assisted with the screenplay, no doubt lifting its production to the heights it achieved. And who can forget Marlon Brando? If you do, you may no longer be part of the family.

gone-with-the-wind

1. Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind
Gone with the Wind (1939) is the number one movie of all time on the charts for prices adjusted for inflation. The movie was epic, sweeping, moving, and star studded. It premiered in a day when the running time was not the obstacle it is today. It was honored as the first film to ever receive 5 Academy Awards. I can still watch this movie and be enthralled with it for hours. But the shock of Rhett Butler’s final words lives on in movie history, and it was truly shocking to the audience of the day.

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7 Children’s Books that Could Hit the Big Screen

Who Said Children’s Books Can’t Make Great Movies?

Bloggers love to talk about the books they have read that would make great movies, but then how many of us are truly unhappy with Hollywood’s version of our favorite reads? I compiled a list of great movie adaptations of books that you won’t see anywhere else … but already added the Hollywood twist that will leave a different taste in your mouth than the author intended. And did I mention these are all classic children’s books? Dream with me a little about the adaptations of these books into movies.

Goodnight Moon
Goodnight Moon – If you have kids, you have read them this book. It is so popular, some hospitals send new parents home from the maternity ward with this book. And the crazy thing is, this book works! Who knew that saying good night to everything in your room – from the clocks to the pets – can actually have a drowsy effect? But think of the money Hollywood will make on this movie. People would pay for it and fall asleep before the end. They are too embarrassed to admit it so pay again to see the end of the movie! Just wait until it hits Redbox — those extra night fees will kill you.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chick Chicka Boom Boom – This book invites you to start tapping a beat and put the words to rhythm. No matter who makes the movie, I am thinking the movie soundtrack will be out of this world. It will lead to a new genre of music: the hip hop-kids-stadium anthem genre. Time outs at major sporting events will never be the same, culminating in the Super Bowl halftime show featuring Kanye West rapping through the Schoolhouse Rock collection. Can’t wait!

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The Monster at the End of This Book – The first Hollywood movie to save the big scare all the way to the end of the movie. Unfortunately, the suspense and scare are too much for little kids and less adventuresome adults. But it leads to a resurgence of The Muppets and a remake of Where the Wild Things Are.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Very close to the previous horror movie entry is this disaster movie. That hungry caterpillar eats Tokyo and is moving toward the rest of the world. How can it be stopped? Only director Tim Burton could make this special movie in a way that is both scary and humorous at the same time. Plus, Hollywood loves the sequel. Stay tuned for Hungry Caterpillar 2: the Even Hungrier Butterfly.

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Frog and Toad – Moviegoers are drawn to this musical adaptation of the Frog and Toad series, plus film critics everywhere praise the film for its ingenious portrayal of the characters in a way that brilliantly addresses socio-cultural issues in today’s ethnically diverse melting pot milieu. In an unprecedented move, Frog and Toad end up sharing the Best Actor Oscar.

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The Wide-Mouthed Frog (in 3-D) – Who knew that this beloved pop-up book would shine so prominently on the big screen in 3-D? Audiences are shocked to learn that the wide-mouthed frog was genetically altered through the introduction of alien DNA in a secret government location inside of Area 51. WMF himself uncovers the conspiracy as he seeks to discover his own hidden identity. Matt Damon co-stars as Jason Bourne, faithful sidekick to the wide-mouthed frog.

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The Five Chinese Brothers – Let me begin by saying that I loved this book as a child. The movie could avoid any claims of stereotypes and focus on the cool superhuman things, such as swallowing huge amounts of water. Crazy! Who doesn’t want to swallow the ocean? This was a superhero book before there were cool superheroes. If this hits as big as it could, there will not only be Happy Meal toys, but bottled water moguls begging for the rights to include their faces on every bottle of water available. Talk about reaching new markets from superhero movies. They actually may make that Aquaman movie after all.