I have just been to Enders game, and if you have seen it you will probably know why book to movie adaptions were on my mind.
No this isn’t going to be a rant on how shit movies are compared with books. They are different beasts and hard to compare. All the same this year I have watched a bunch of book adaptions and for the most part I have been caught up by the same thing.
The set pieces have all be great, lots of action, lots of intensity and it feels to me like the big moments translate pretty well. It’s the small moments where it comes unglued.
Case in point, in Enders game the book there are a huge number of smaller moments that helped to establish the relationships between the characters, not least the family. I felt a strong connection to Ender, I wanted him to succeed because I could see how much he was suffering along the way. I could also see how manipulative the people around him were.
This was not at all how I felt in the movie.
What I think is missing is the connective tissue, the smaller moments that make the story surrounding the bigger set pieces and I have felt that way all year, even in After Earth which I hated.
So how do we solve it?
Tonight I suggested the Ender’s game movie could have done with an extra hour. That sounds like a lot but that extra time would have allowed for that connective tissue to develop. The problem is unless you are the last movie of successful series of adaptions, now that Harry Potter has established the bankability of doubling the final story you are out of luck. Film producers seem determined to try cut complex stories down to two hours.
To be honest 2 hours is just not long enough to do most books justice.
It might be bad for those with ADHD, but I can’t be the only one who would like to see more of their favourite books when they make it to the silver screen.
Go on guys, take a risk, buck the 2 hour limit and give us the bits that make the story really work.