Straight from the books and on the right track

Feb. 2, 2006, midnight | By Alexis Egan | 18 years, 3 months ago

Hollywood begins to adapt novels to the silver-screen

Gone are the "good old days" of our parents' youth when the movies that Hollywood made were actually good, original ideas, or at least did not focus entirely on sex and violence. Although most critics believe that the increasing presence of violence and sex in films is the biggest issue in the movie-making industry, the real problem is the lack of new ideas.

The sex and violence in films cover up the drab, dull plot lines and do little to improve the quality of movies; rather, they gives the industry a bad name. In a last ditch attempt to recreate the golden age of movies from the 50s and 60s, numerous films are being re-adapted. First came the remakes of 60s movies such as "Ocean's Eleven" and "The Italian Job," then came the movies with the actors from the 60s, such as "Spy Game" and "Million Dollar Baby," all of which failed to capture bygone movie magic.

Following these endeavors was an era of disaster sequels; the last two movies in "The Matrix" trilogy are prime examples, which almost ruined the original, a masterpiece of a movie. Even worse were "The Mummy II" and "The Transporter II," unneeded and unwanted extensions of their mediocre originals. In 2003, Hollywood sought to merge three unimaginative story ideas, the sequel of remake of a 60s TV show, creating the atrocious "Charlie's Angles: Full Throttle." After these failed efforts, Hollywood has finally gotten back on the right track and started adapting books to movies.

The movie-making industry has finally shifted from remakes and sequels to the library. Prompted by novel-to-film success stories of "The Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter," a multitude of best-selling novels will soon be debuting on the silver screen, most notably "The Da Vinci Code," "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime" and "Eragon." By adapting these books to film, Hollywood has finally created some hope for the industry.

Strangely, many of these adaptations are of children's books, which allow Hollywood to continue packing the violence into adult movies while increasing profits. Famed children's novels like "Artemis Fowl," "The Thief Lord," "Hoot" and "The Golden Compass" are in production process, catering to a younger, more sophisticated audience: preteen bookworms.

Although this audience may appear to be a small source at the box office, they will have the largest impact on Hollywood profit. By the time these movies are finished, the preteens will have grown into teenagers, who contribute the most to the profits film industries make.

Despite the lack of originality in Hollywood's book craze, this fad is better than the industry's past obsessions. Movies based on books will motivate viewers to read more, even if it comes with the side effect of watching more movies. Even though this phase seems a little redundant and unoriginal, at least it is better than having to watch sequels to 1995's "Jumanji" or Antonio Banderas' 1998 flick "The Mask of Zorro."

Alexis Egan. Alexis is a (very) short junior, who is very pleased to be writing for Chips Online with all her friends. Along with writing, her other hobbies are playing soccer, reading about Mount Everest and listening to any Irish music. Her favorite movie is The Princess … More »

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