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The director's adaptation is a nonsensical, deeply convoluted disaster that wastes an enjoyably oddball cast. It's the only one of Lynch's films the director has publicly disowned. Tom Hanks and Melanie Griffiths were both mis cast in the lead roles after director Brian De Palma's preferred choices turned him down.
The filmmaker himself struggled to spin the production's many plates amid reports of rising on-set troubles that were all witnessed and documented in Julie Salmon's follow-up book, The Devil's Candy. Instead, it was a hollow adaptation, largely because all the magic was lost with the absence of the central character's narration — a huge reason behind the novel's success.
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The Scarlet Letter is ranked as one of the worst book adaptations ever made and for good reason. It may look pretty, but this adaptation was a complete mistake. Everything featured, including Guy Pearce's lead performance, is wooden apart from the copper time travel contraption at the heart of the story. There have been just as many disappointing Stephen King adaptations as there have been successful ones, but Dreamcatcher sits at the bottom of that list. The talent was present Damian Lewis! Morgan Freeman! Timothy Olyphant! The film's late-stage swerve into monster movie territory is nothing short of dreadful.
The Da Vinci Code is a stinker of the highest order. Eragon is the worst kind of fantasy adaptation — one where all of the source materials' sense of fantastical vibrancy disappears during its translation to the big screen. You can see why Murphy, for his feature film debut, would be attracted to a tale of neurotic family dysfunction and sexual awakening as they are themes that crop up in many of his TV shows Glee, American Horror Story, etc.
But this adaptation is a tonal misfire from start to finish, despite the best efforts of an all-star cast that includes Annette Bening, Gwyneth Paltrow, Evan Rachel Wood and Brian Cox. Much of the blame went to the fact that Hollywood, where God is thanked above anyone else at the Oscars, would likely be uncomfortable handling material that was so critical of the Catholic church. It also suffered by trying to condense an overwhelming amount of information into the opening few scenes.
Where to start with this disaster of a film? Producers thought casting two major Hollywood stars was a good idea, but Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana had zero chemistry. Cloud Atlas is by no means a disaster, but it's meandering plot lines, sketchy pacing and often questionable acting Hanks has never been dodgier do David Mitchell's sprawling, inventive novel a disservice.
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Still, it's an enjoyable Wachowskis romp that features Hugh Grant as a cannibal tribesman, so it has that going for it. While the trilogy of Hobbit films were a box-office success, they came under fire from critics for stretching the book's material too thin. Third outing, The Battle of Five Armies, was the worst received of all three. The film adaptation of the profoundly moving and dark tale The Book Thief, which follows a young girl in Nazi Germany, is tonally off from the first scene.
The glossy cinematography and excessively sentimental score jar with its grim subject matter and the performances verge on caricature. It doesn't help that all of the English dialogue is spoken with a German accent.
John Niven's Kill Your Friends is a blistering, debauched exploration into the life of a cocaine-sniffing record label agent. It passes by in the blink of an eye, which can't be said for its adaptation. The film, released in , tries so hard to nail what Niven achieves so fluidly and it shows — the result is nothing short of embarrassing with the clean-cut Nicholas Hoult failing to convince as the sociopathic Steven Stelfox.
But it was completely let down by this US film adaptation. The release, starring Emily Blunt, is cheesy and lacking in nuance — and criminally takes the story away from its original gritty London setting, plonking the characters down in glossy New York for no apparent reason. The adaptation of Me Before You, starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin, was brutally panned by critics for being emotionally manipulative.
Its bad acting and problematic premise didn't help, either. While not the same calibre of flop as Dreamcatcher, The Dark Tower is a fine example of a botched attempt at adapting one of Stephen King's finest works. With Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey in the lead roles as the heroic and villainous characters caught in a fated tussle, it should have soared — but a rush job such as Nikolaj Arcel's film is no way to treat such an expansive piece of work.
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