So I’ve been thinking about movies lately. What have I been thinking, you ask? Well, mostly, I’ve been thinking that there aren’t really any new ones that I’m dying to see, and that the one that I do want to see is a remake of a movie I’ve seen a bunch of times. And read, a bunch of times.
What movie, you ask? Why, The Three Musketeers, I reply.
I can’t really believe there is yet another version of this movie. According to IMDB.com, there are – seriously – TWENTY-NINE movies and/or televisions shows or series titled “The Three Musketeers”, ranging from the first in 1903 to the latest in 2011. How freaking crazy is that – 29 international versions over a 108-year span. And that’s only the ones listed in IMDB with that exact title; it doesn’t include the sixteen “partial” matches that are either spin-offs or spoofs or cartoon versions.
I confess to not-so-secretly loving the 1993 version with Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris O’Donnell, Oliver Platt and Tim Curry the best, by the way…
I’ve noticed for some time now that there are very few new movies. Everything seems to be a remake or a spin-off or a sequel (or ten-quel) or a retelling. I can’t decide if this is the fault of Hollywood (i.e., because Hollywood is boring or derivative or looking for sure things because movies cost so much to make) or movie-goers (i.e., because they are predictable or stupid/unimaginative or looking for sure things because movies cost so much to see in theaters). Perhaps it’s both. Or neither.
Who knows. What I do know is that there are not a whole lot of good-looking movies out there lately.
Which naturally got me to thinking about whether this was a new phenomenon or not. And with a teensy bit of reflection, I have come to the following realization: It is not. The movies have been full of retellings and remakes and spin-offs for some time now. Some of them are fantastically good. Many (if not most) are fantastically bad – especially the ones made from books.
So I thought I’d share my own top 10 lists to that effect.
Today, we’re featuring books that were made into such bad movies that I’m afraid no one will ever read the books, and that the authors will have to live forever with the ignominy (if admittedly also with the advance monies) of knowing their “baby” was made into a crappy movie. Stay tuned tomorrow when I do the flip side and tell you about books worth reading even though the movies were good.
And please please weigh in with a comment – I love hearing other people’s takes on things I don’t like…
Top 10 Books that Are Definitely Worth Reading Even Though They Were Made Into Bad (or At Least Mediocre) Movies
1. The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
2. The Count of Monte Cristo (2002 version of the movie) – Alexander Dumas
3. Thank You for Smoking – Christopher Buckley
4. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
5. The Time Machine (2002 version of the movie) – H.G. Wells
6. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – John Berendt
7. Atonement – Ian McEwan
8. The Phantom of the Opera (2005 version of the movie) – Gaston Leroux
9. Animal Husbandry – Laura Zigman (“Someone Like You” is the movie)
10. The Orchid Thief – Susan Orleans