Movie Pregame: Do Good Books Make Good Feature Films?

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Turning a book into a movie isn’t a new concept. Filmmakers have remade all sorts of novels from The Odyssey to the Hunger Games. Yet how come, in every case, does the book end up better than the movie? This is a question that’s answered by the journey, not the destination, so put on your reading glasses. These are the books you should read this year to prepare for the coming movie season.

1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower 

Out Today! 

Based on the coming of age novel by Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower explores sexuality, suicide and drugs, all under the scope of high school. The coolest part about this upcoming film is that it will be directed by Chbosky as well! The movie will star Melanie Lynskey of Up in the Air, We Need To Talk About Kevin’s Ezra Miller and Emma Watson (who unless you lived under a rock for the past 9 years plays Hermione in the Harry Potter series). Obviously, this star studded cast is used to book-film adaptations. Lynskey is playing Aunt Helen and spoke to College Magazine about the rework. “I didn’t read the book before reading the script,” Lynskey explains, “But I’ve read it now and I realized that if I were a teen, it would be great to have this book that’s all about finding yourself. And I love that it’s written and directed by the writer. That’s what makes it great!”


2.  Life of Pi 

In Theaters Nov 21, 2012

Yann Martel’s whimsically fantastical novel, Life of Pi, will be coming out on the big screen this fall. The book and movie will cover the adventures of “Pi,” an Indian boy who finds himself stranded on an island with a Bengal tiger. And you thought your roommate was bad? Interestingly, the film was supposed to feature Spiderman’s Tobey Maguire in the role of Yann Martel in the movie, but he was later cut out of the film after shooting in favor of an international actor. Apparently Maguire was too mainstream for director Ang Lee, who has just publicly outed himself as a total hipster.


3.  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

In Theaters Dec 14, 2012

Remember that time The Lord of the Rings was a thing? Well, just like your dad’s oversized prep-school bow ties, this series is coming back in style. The prequel to Tolkein’s trilogy, The Hobbit is the children’s guide to Middle Earth. The returning cast, like Elijah Wood and Sir Ian McKellan among others, will be joined by newcomers Martin Freeman, of Love Actually and Luke Evans who has starred in The Immortals, The Raven as well as my Google images history. Scared this movie will be super long like its predecessors? This one novel will be stretched into three separate movies! I think its all a scheme for producers to steal our gold.


4. Carrie

In Theaters March 15, 2013

Yes, this movie won’t come out until March next year, but I’m so psyched for this psychopathic bad ass of a film. This book/movie remake will appeal to all those who remember being bullied in high school, purposely made prom queen just to get pig's blood dumped on them in front of the whole school. Anyone? Well even Gretchen Weiners didn’t have that one coming to her. If you don’t know how this story turns out, pick up a copy at your local library (I sound like a PSA straight off of PBS) and check it out. Stephen King is a master of horror and, just like his books, each of his movies is an instant classic as well.


5. The Great Gatsby

In Theaters in 2013

Waiting for this movie to come out is almost as frustrating as it was waiting for the book to be over in my 10th grade English class. Fitzgerald’s American classic is finally scheduled for a remake but the producers keep postponing its release date. I hated every moment of this book, but I can’t wait to watch the movie. I mean, all I want to see is Leonardo DiCaprio in a suit make it rain new money all over some flappers. Is that too much to ask, Hollywood?


Here you have a whole school year’s worth of books to read and movies to compare them to. Whether that means you’ll actually pick them up or just let them collect dust (with the rest of your text books) is up to you. But at least face the facts. In college, if you have time to pre-game a party, you have time to pre-read a movie.

Sophomore > Journalism > Boston University

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