Some Good, Bad And Ugly Movie Adaptations Of 2013. A List By @thesimilist


As a big fan of books, nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing my favorite books on the big screen. It gives me an opportunity to relive those magical moments I had while reading the book. Someone once said, “There’s no feeling like getting to see your favourite movie again for the first time”. Well, movie adaptations of books do just that for me. They give me the chance to watch a movie I love for the first time twice.

I will be the first to accept that no movie adaptation would ever beat the book, but a few movies came quite close for me this year.

In no particular order, here are a few movie adaptations that were released in 2013, and what I thought of them. Enjoy.

Beautiful Creatures:


This is one of the movies I didn’t get to read the book it was adapted from, however, from the reviews it got, I can safely say it was quite an interesting read. The same cannot be said however of the movie. I had the opportunity of seeing this movie at a time when there weren’t a lot of movies for me to watch. Despite this, watching the movie was a torture for me. It was one of those movies I finished watching so I could say (without lying) that I had watched it, and then be able to write a review. It is one movie I don’t want to watch again, and I’m sure fans of the book would be very disappointed in.

The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl about a 16 year old Ethan Wate who dreams of leaving for college, and leaving his small-town existence behind. On the first day of junior year (penultimate year), he notices newcomer Lena Duchannes, who resembles the girl he had been dreaming about. Over time, they bond, and together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.

The movie was written and directed by Richard LaGravense and featured Alden Ehrenreich as Ethan Lawson Wate Alice Englert as Lena Duchannes Jeremy Irons as Macon Ravenwood Viola Davis as Amma Emmy Rossum as Ridley Duchannes Thomas Mann as Wesley Jefferson “Link” Lincoln.

To no surprise (to me at least), the movie did poorly at the box office, barely recouping its production cost of $60 million.

The movie is something I would call “the poor man’s twilight”, meaning it was a cheap knock off of the twilight series. The problem with the movie lies somewhere between the script and directing. When I learnt that it was written and directed by the same person, it all made sense.

While acting was not spectacular, it was quite good. Yes, they’re not likely they get any awards for their performances, however, Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert both did quite a good job, and I look forward to seeing them in the future.


The Host:


This is the movie I happened to be most disappointed in, seeing as I read the book, and thought it was one of the best books I read last year. When I heard there was going to be a movie, I was overly excited. I couldn’t wait to see my favourite parts of the book on screen. I went around telling my friends what a great book it was, and how it would make an even better movie.

When I saw the movie, I was devastated. Everything about the movie was a letdown. There was no memorable moment of acting that stuck out for me. The script was the biggest disappointment, having been poorly written (which is an understatement). Picture quality was poor, among other things. Truth be told, I regretted watching the movie.

According to renowned (now late) film critic Roger Ebert, “The Host is top-heavy with profound, sonorous conversations, all tending to sound like farewells. The movie is so consistently pitched at the same note, indeed, that the structure robs it of possibilities for dramatic tension”.

The movie is an adaptation of Stephenie Meyer‘s novel of the same name which was released in 2008 to relatively positive reviews. It is the story of Melaine, a girl who is willing to risk everything to protect the people she loves, when an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories.


Percy Jackson (Sea of Monsters):


*sighs* what can I say? This was a terrible movie. I was very disappointed. I thought the first part was not good enough, but I thought this second one was even worse. I’ll leave you to Sodas and Popcorn’s review of the movie. It basically says it all.


Warm Bodies:


This was a movie I really loved the beginning. I liked how its subject was something different from what we are used to seeing. There have been movies and more movies about zombies, but none of them ever showed the world from the perspective of a zombie.

As the film progressed however, it began to lose that unique touch it had. First, zombies began thinking, then they started talking, fell in love and eventually they turned human (Pleaseeee). This notwithstanding, I enjoyed the movie, and thought it was quite good.

The movie is a love story, about the power of human connection. After a zombie epidemic, R (a highly unusual zombie) encounters Julie (a human survivor), and rescues her from a zombie attack. Julie sees that R is different from the other zombies, and as the two form a special relationship in their struggle for survival, R becomes increasingly more human – setting off an exciting, romantic, and often comical chain of events that begins to transform the other zombies and maybe even the whole lifeless world.

While I haven’t had the opportunity of reading the book, most reviews I’ve read indicate that it is quite a good read, and the movie was closely adapted from it. Yes, there are a few points of departures between both, but majorly the story line is the same.


The Mortal instrument: City of Bones


Hardly do you come across a movie that is nearly as good as the book it was adapted from. This movie did.

I decided I was going to read the book and watch the movie before writing about them, and I absolutely enjoyed every minute I spent doing both.

A lot of credit has to go to Jessica Postigo Paquette for a beautifully written script. You might not appreciate the screenplay if you don’t read the book. While reading the book, there were a few places I felt should have been different, and the movie addressed most of them. It is quite difficult to change a story line as good as City of Bones (the book), but she did it, and did it well.

Acting was quite good. However, a certain Jemima West (who played Isabelle Lightwood) stuck out for me, and I’m looking forward to seeing her again.

All this said, I still felt there were a few places that could have used a little more work. The choice of music was not terrible, but there were a few scenes I thought the choice of song really didn’t do it justice. There were also scenes that were pretty predictable, and I thought could have used a little more work.

The movie is an adpatation of the book, ‘City of Bones’ by Cassandra Clare and is the story of Clary Fray, a girl who when her mother disappears, learns that she descends from a line of warriors who protect our world from demons. She joins forces with others like her and heads into a dangerous alternate New York called Downworld, to save her mother and the world.


Safe Haven:


This is one of the most anticlimactic movies I’ve ever seen. While it had a very good beginning, and built up nicely, the way it ended left much to be desired.

Certain ideas are good in books, but not movies. This movie’s ending is a perfect example. While it made absolute sense in the book (which I happened to enjoy by the way), when I saw it in the movie, it just did not sit right.

I think Josh Duhamel did a pretty decent job, as well as most of the cast. Directing was quite good also, barring the way they ended things.

All that said, I thought it was a great movie to watch, and I think a lot of people would agree with me.

The movie is the story of a woman who while running away from her mysterious past lands in Southport, North Carolina where her bond with a widower forces her to confront the dark secret that haunts her. It is a story of domestic abuse, love and sacrifice.

The movie is an adaptation of the book of the same title by Nicholas Sparks. Lasse Hallström directed it, while Gage Lansky and Dana Stevens were responsible for the screenplay. Major casts include; Julianne HoughJosh Duhamel, Cobie Smulders among others.


The perks of being a Wallflower:


Technically, this movie came out in 2012, however, because I absolutely loved it and didn’t see it until this year; I decided to include it in my list. I have had it on my laptop for close to six months now, which is saying a lot, as I usually delete movies a day or two after watching them.

Like I said earlier, no movie is ever going to be better than the book it was adapted from, however this movie came as close as it gets.

The story line had me captivated from the beginning right till the end.

Writing and directing was superb. Makes me think Stephen Chobsky should write the screenplay and direct more movie adaptations of his books.

Acting was top notch. I was reminded of why I love Emma Watson so much. Ezra Miller who played the role of Patrick was also very good, and I look forward to seeing him more often.

The movie is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Stephen Chobsky. It is a captivating movie that captures the highs and lows of growing up. It also explores sexual abuse, the struggles of the average American teenager to fit in, love, fear, hope and friendship.

It stars Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller.


So there you have it. My list of some of the good, bad and ugly movie adaptations in 2013. I hope you guys enjoyed.

Do you agree with the list? Whether you do or not, please feel free to leave your opinions in the comment box. All comments are welcome and appreciated.

Until next time, Ciao.