February 14th, 2010
How To Ruin A Story–What Happens When An Author Is Taken Out Of The Movie Equation

We went to see Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. I’ve read the first couple of books in the series (and plan to read the rest). Dh has read all five. We love the series. It’s a lot of fun and does a great job at setting up the characters, conflict/s, and story ARC’s. All I can say is Chris Columbus must have either skimmed the first book or skipped it altogether to come up with his story. Basically everything that was pertinent was tossed out the window. Character development? We don’t need that. Emotions? What are those? Story ARC? Is it really important? (Uh, yeah, if you plan to make any more movies in the series.) The relationship between Percy and his mom (which is MAJOR in the books) is all but ignored in the movie. My mom just got killed…oh well, I think I’ll just pick up this sword and instantly be able to use it. How cool is that? Oh right, oh right, mom’s dead. Thanks for reminding me.

One of the major elements in the first book deals with Percy’s missing father. His reveal is a HUGE turning point for Percy and changes how the people around him treat him. Apparently, it wasn’t important enough to make it into the movie. The endearing thing about the books is that Percy has to work for everything he gains. Nothing comes easy. He gets better at his skills, but he makes mistakes. You know a kind of realistic situation. In the Cliff Notes movie version those elements of the story weren’t important. Percy gets handed everything and doesn’t really have to struggle much at all. Must be nice. I’m not sure I would’ve handled losing my mother and instant sword fighting with such aplomb. I realize I’m not a demi-god. Don’t worry, I’m not spoiling anything. The characters ‘tell’ you everything. There is no mystery…no suspense…no loneliness…no sadness…no real surprise after the first moment of discovery…no character development…no story ARC…no plot…etc.

No one wanted to make life hard on Percy. That would’ve made for such horrible drama. We couldn’t have that. All I can say is thank goodness J.K. Rowling held onto creative control of her Harry Potter books, when they made them into movies and Chris Columbus directed. I shudder to think what would’ve happened if she hadn’t.

On a completely different note, my friend, Jeaniene Frost was kind enough to let me read the ARC of her new book, First Drop of Crimson before it came out. I enjoyed it so much that I went out yesterday and bought a giveaway copy. I love how Jeaniene combines romance with urban fantasy. She doesn’t back away from the harshness of the worlds that she creates. She’s also written one of the hottest scenes I’ve read in a long time. If you’d like to take a peek at the shower scene (fans face) for yourself, toss your name into the hat. I’ll pick one winner on Wednesday. Good luck!!!

13 comments to “How To Ruin A Story–What Happens When An Author Is Taken Out Of The Movie Equation”

  1. Ooo, toss my name in the hat! I am really sorry to hear the movie wasn’t well done. I’ll go snarf up the books instead.

  2. Charli, The books are really fun. I had high hopes for the movie. I so wanted it to be good.

  3. Aw – if you’re willing to post to Australia, I’m willing to receive 🙂

  4. Tez, The contest is open to anyone in the world. 😀

  5. Thanks for the review…my oldest son and I were excited to see this (he’s read the books, I haven’t yet). I’ll let him decide after reading this if he still wants to go.

    Haven’t read any of Jeaniene Frost’s yet but she’s on my list, LOL.

  6. Sherri, I think it’s going to depend on how much your son likes the books. If he goes into the movie expecting it to follow the book, then he’ll be disappointed. If he goes into the movie to see an silly adventure film, then he’ll enjoy the flick.

    She’s fabulous. Her Grave series with Bones (a vampire) ROCKS!!!

  7. I’m always looking for new authors and series to read in this genre, sounds good! tWarner419 [at] aol [dot] com

  8. What a shame the movie was so disappointing. :-/

    I’m so excited about FIRST DROP OF CRIMSON and am dying to read it, so thanks for the contest!

  9. Karen, I really think it all boils down to how much you love the books. If you haven’t read them, you’ll probably enjoy the movie for the silliness that it is. If you have, then you’ll probably sit in the film like dh and I did going ‘What happened to this section? What happened to SEVERAL characters? Where did they go? Why is the movie focusing on the quest for pearls?’

  10. Ooooo, I cannot wait to get my hands on ths book. Jeaniene’s books ROCK. Her Huntress series is one of my most faves

  11. Vivi, I love her Huntress series, too. Bones…drool. *g*

  12. Too bad the movie missed so many marks. I was hoping for a fantasy fix. Nice to “see” you again!

  13. Delilah, It’s entertaining enough, but definitely doesn’t follow the books. Nice to see you, too. 🙂