Books Into Movies and why are some so terrible?

I finally watched the second installment of The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again movies. First why, oh, why, did they make it into three movies? Duh, because it will make more money that way, but still, why turn a marvelous gem of a book into a sprawling war epic so vast it morphed, bloated, into CGI-generated video game territory and rarely returned to life-sized? This was doubly discouraging because though Peter Jackson masterfully and painstakingly hand-carried The Lord of Rings from page to screen--ah! perhaps the answer is that he did hand-carry, rather than relying on so much CGI--this trilogy falls flat, tripping over itself all the way.  A few glimmers reminded me of the book I love (the naming of Sting, the hopscotching through Esgaroth, the knocking of the thrush) but most lay stomped upon, victim to too loud and too much, kin to the absurd volume of gold under this Lonely Mountain. Even the dragon, Smaug, for whom I had actually watched the movie since he enthralled me as a reader with his wily wickedness, caricatured himself, too much "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down," shame on you, Benedict Cumberbatch, a usual favorite of mine in another excellent page to screen transition as Sherlock Holmes, all-time favorite The Hound of the Baskervilles, and so doubly disappointing.

Now, dragons, if you want real dragons as well as real characters who rise above (and below) the frequent large and small battle scenes, head on over to HBO's Game of Thrones. Perhaps it helps that the author helms the show as well, though I can't say for sure because I haven't read the book(s) yet. Back to the TV dragons, which I adore!, and which live and breathe and fly and love and hate and feast and sulk just as dragons should. I got pulled into this show resisting all the way, fearing the violence, the weekly deaths which breathlessly enthrall the water-cooler crowd, but once I sat down and beheld Khaleesi Daenerys Targaryen and her brood, well, now I wait restlessly for season 5 like everyone else. I rarely do this, watch first, read later, but we will see how it turns out this time.

For me the real answer? Make me care about what I see the way I cared about what I read, and then it will be a great adaptation.

I rate every book I read on Goodreads.


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