The Golden Compass (2007)
The Adaptation: About A Boy director Chris Weitz is given the reins to this expensive gamble from Warner Bros, as they attempt to birth a new fantasy franchise using Philip Pullman’s stellar trilogy.
What They Got Most Wrong: Gone are the allegories and religious undertones, instead we get a hodgepodge of action sequences. No wonder it sank like a brick.
Animal Farm (1954)
The Adaptation: A distinctly Disney-looking adaptation of George Orwell’s influential 1945 page-turner, which played out Stalin’s regime in a farmyard.
What They Got Most Wrong: That tacked-on happy ending, which entirely ruins Orwell’s intended message.
The Adaptation: The blind superhero jumps from the Marvel pages onto the big screen courtesy of writer/director Mark Steven Johnson. Since then, he’s made, uh, Ghost Rider and When In Rome . Oh dear…
What They Got Most Wrong: Doing nothing to make Daredevil stand out from the comic book movie crowd.
The Great Gatsby (1974)
The Adaptation: Transferring F. Scott Fitzgerald’s glitzy classic to the big screen, with Mia Farrow in the role of Daisy Buchanan.
What They Got Most Wrong: Worst, though, is Robert Redford as Gatsby – he’s far to amiable to even partially resemble the original character.
The Beach (2000)
The Adaptation: Danny Boyle’s reworking of Alex Garland’s debut novel, with Leonardo DiCaprio as back-packer Richard.
What They Got Most Wrong: The videogame sequence is pure book butchery at its worst.
The Dukes Of Hazzard (2005)
The Adaptation: According to super-critic Roger Ebert, a “lame-brained, outdated wheeze” of a movie, that attempts to bring the ‘70s TV series screeching into modern day. Burt Reynolds, what were you thinking?
What They Got Most Wrong: Giving Jessica Simpson an opportunity to act in a feature film – and then letting her make the tie-in music video.
Memoirs Of A Geisha (2005)
The Adaptation: Chicago director Rob Marshall takes on Arthur Golden’s tome about Nitta Sayuri’s transformation from fishing-village nobody to celebrated geisha.
What They Got Most Wrong: Everything’s glammed up to ridiculous levels, as Marshall shepherds in super-sexy kimonos and some fancy choreography. Geishas probably wish they were like this.
Land Of The Lost (2009)
The Adaptation: Will Ferrell and Anna Friel attempt to update the ‘70s TV series by injecting a little nutty humour into the premise of a family getting trapped in an alternate universe.
What They Got Most Wrong: Making it to begin with.
Pokemon 3 (2000)
The Adaptation: Another round of gibbering Japanese animated 'fun', as Ash and his friends continue their search for the best little pocket monsters. Or something.
What They Got Most Wrong: The animation; it’s absolutely dire. Like, our kids could draw better.
The Cat In The Hat (2003)
The Adaptation: Based on Dr Seuss’ 1957 book, and featuring Mike Myers in cat make-up - and a very big hat.
What They Got Most Wrong: Foregoing Dr Seuss’ witticisms in favour of broad, criminally unfunny slapstick. Yeah, it’s for kids, but there’s a limit.
The Time Travelers Wife (2009)
The Adaptation: Audrey Niffenegger's high concept romcom gets turned into an equally soppy vehicle for Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana.
What They Got Most Wrong: Robert Schwentke attempts to cram Niffenegger’s book into a movie that’s less than two hours long, meaning all the secondary characters are nothing more than cyphers.
The Adaptation: Takes first-shooter video games to a cinematic extreme, as Dwayne Johnson blows up slobbering baddies - with a little help from Karl Urban.
What They Got Most Wrong: Near impossible-to-watch action sequences – how are we expected to follow all that?
Wing Commander (1999)
The Adaptation: Dodgy sci-fi based on the same-named video game series. Freddie Prinze Jr. and Matthew Lillard are gripped in interstellar war.
What They Got Most Wrong: Letting the creator of the game create the movie.
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
The Adaptation: Paul Bettany pulls off a great psycho albino in Ron Howard’s adaptation of Dan Brown’s pulp fiction, but everybody else looks bored or confused. A lot like the audience.
What They Got Most Wrong: Not giving audiences a chance to work out the clues for themselves.
Howard The Duck (1986)
The Adaptation: George Lucas produces this frankly bizarre adaptation, which has the alien quacker landing on Earth and befriending a struggling singer.
What They Got Most Wrong: It attempts to be both a bit of family fun and a raunchy spoof – just wrong.
Superman 4: The Quest For Peace (1987)
The Adaptation: Sadly, the last Superman film to star Christopher Reeve – though at this point, it was more of a relief that he stopped making them.
What They Got Most Wrong: Having Nuclear Man as the villain was probably the biggest clanger - the political undertones were about as subtle as his golden mullet and leggings combo.
The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
The Adaptation: A long and drawn-out adaptation of C.S Lewis’ tome, with floppy-haired Ben Barnes in the titular role.
What They Got Most Wrong: Not thinking about that all-important subtext – the kids essentially go around killing people, while the good guys are all British and the baddies are Mediterranean-looking.
Lost In Space (1998)
The Adaptation: Danger! No, really, danger! Matt LeBlanc is in the house, putting on his best hero smirk as he drags this quaint ‘60s space opera into cinemas.
What They Got Most Wrong: It. Just. Doesn’t. Make. Any. Sense. Or, at least, by the time everything’s getting explained at the end, we’ve already guzzled 15 beers to dull the pain.
Alvin And The Chipmunks (2007)
The Adaptation: Jason Lee had obviously just hit his head when he signed up to this – a live-action reworking of the kiddie cartoon, about three sibling chipmunks.
What They Got Most Wrong: Allowing the little squeakers to ‘sing’. Our ears are still ringing. And then there’s the squeakquel…
Inspector Gadget (1999)
The Adaptation: Go-go gadget gobsmack! Everybody’s favourite bumbling, gizmo-dependent detective takes a trip to the big screen for a stinker of an adventure.
What They Got Most Wrong: Matthew Broderick as Gadget? Really? Whoever signed off this casting deserves a firing.
The Adaptation: Kids' cartoon goes big screen with the help of Buffy and that guy from the first Scream movie.
What They Got Most Wrong: Zoinks! The CGI Scooby is a travesty for starters, while Freddie Prinze Jr. is about as charismatic as a plank of wood.
Resident Evil (2002)
The Adaptation: Paul W.S. Anderson’s adaptation of the popular video game birthed a popular film franchise (that’s still refusing to die), but that doesn’t stop it from being dreadful.
What They Got Most Wrong: It’s loud, dumb and soul-crushingly perfunctory.
The Saint (1997)
The Adaptation: Val Kilmer attempts to capture the same arrogant charm that Roger Moore bolstered in the original TV series – and entirely fails.
What They Got Most Wrong: The special effects are ropey, especially Templar’s string of ridiculous disguises.
The Adaptation: Based on Stephen King’s novel, Lawrence Kasdan’s film follows four telepathic friends who get caught up in an alien invasion.
What They Got Most Wrong: Not even trying to make any sort of sense. A confusing mess.
The Avengers (1998)
The Adaptation: Not Joss Whedon’s upcoming Marvel mash-up, but the Uma Thurman/Ralph Fiennes adaptation of the ‘60s TV series.
What They Got Most Wrong: Uh, Sean Connery’s trying to steal the weather? Yeah, we’re not scared either.
Ghost Rider (2007)
The Adaptation: Marvel’s most hot-headed of anti-heroes gets the Nicolas Cage treatment in this underwhelming adap.
What They Got Most Wrong: Just about everything, though Eva Mendes’ lacklustre love interest is most pointless of all.
The Perfect Catch (2005)
The Adaptation: Drew Barrymore teams up with Jimmy Fallon to completely Americanise Nick Hornby’s novel Fever Pitch .
What They Got Most Wrong: Swapping football for baseball is a horrendous misstep, rendering this unrecognisable from Hornby’s original tome.
Max Payne (2008)
The Adaptation: Another duff from Mark Wahlberg in the same year that he brought us The Happening . Here, he’s the titular pain, seeking revenge for his family’s murder.
What They Got Most Wrong: It’s predictable, boring and slow-moving – three of the things that we hate most in this world.
The Adaptation: The beautiful simplicity of the original TV show – normal guy marries a witch, deals with wacky consequences – gets an unnecessary post-modern spin as Will Ferrell plays an actor in the Bewitched remake who casts a real witch as his wife.
What They Got Most Wrong: Overcooking the pudding – in other words, sometimes simple is best.
The Punisher (1989)
The Adaptation: Dolph Lundgren dyes his hair black and brings the requisite muscle mass (but little else besides) to this adaptation of the Marvel comic, as The Punisher’s origins are given a big screen rejig.
What They Got Most Wrong: Further proving that Lundgren really just can’t act. (But we still love you, Dolph.)
The Scarlet Letter (1995)
The Adaptation: Charmless version of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s scathing social commentary that bears little similarity to the material it’s adapting.
What They Got Most Wrong: Casting Demi Moore, who exposes her bodyparts when really she should be exposing Hester’s inner turmoil.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
The Adaptation: The busty adventurer finally makes her way to the big screen thanks to Brit director Simon West and Angelina Jolie doing a pretty decent English accent.
What They Got Most Wrong: Failing to come up with a) a decent plot and b) decent characters. Thank goodness Jolie’s at least watchable.
Fantastic Four (2005)
The Adaptation: Aiming to be an antidote for Hollywood’s increasingly sombre and serious comic book movies, Tim Story’s throwaway adap seeks out light-hearted, PG thrills, but ends up entirely lacking substance.
What They Got Most Wrong: It's so feather-light it ends up being completely flyaway.
Alone In The Dark (2005)
The Adaptation: Christian Slater is a supernatural detective in what is widely considered one of the worst films ever made. Yes, ever. The film’s tagline, ‘Evil Awakens’, is entirely fitting.
What They Got Most Wrong: More casting woes! Tara Reid as a scientist?! And Slater as a gun-toting detective?! We need to go lie down.
Bonfire Of The Vanities (1990)
The Adaptation: Brian De Palma tackles Tom Wolfe’s expose of 1980s New York life, but isn’t able to capture that scornful social satire. No wonder they called it unfilmable.
What They Got Most Wrong: Tonally, it’s an absolute mess, with De Palma forgoing serious drama in favour of flat comedy. Ouch.
House Of The Dead (2003)
The Adaptation: Based on the Sega light arcade game, and starring Erica Durance of Smallville fame. She mostly steers well clear of it all, merely playing ‘party girl’. Wise move.
What They Got Most Wrong: Hiring Uwe Boll to direct. Or, wait, did he hire himself? Either way: fail.
Bicentennial Man (1999)
The Adaptation: Robin Williams sticks to the family market, desperately seeking out tears and titters as he butchers legendary author Isaac Asimov’s seminal novella.
What They Got Most Wrong: Williams’ involvement dooms the project to over sentimentalism. Total scrap.
Street Fighter (1994)
The Adaptation: Kylie Minogue and Jean Claude Van Damme in the same place?! Oh yes – they united for this campy duff based on the videogames.
What They Got Most Wrong: Let’s see… it’s camp, it’s sloppy, and clearly whoever made it has never played Street Fighter.
Far Cry (2008)
The Adaptation: Monster movie from hack director Uwe Boll. How he convinced such a great cast of German actors to play with him, we’ll never know.
What They Got Most Wrong: Taking a budget of $30m and using it to wipe Uwe Boll’s arse.
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)
The Adaptation: Talk about annihilating a franchise. This second Mortal Kombat flick was based on MK3 and has an evil emperor trying to open a portal to the Earthrealm. It stinks.
What They Got Most Wrong: It’s out with the old and in with the new, as great swathes of the original characters are dumped for this sub-par follow-up.
The Time Machine (2002)
The Adaptation: The thinking caps come off in favour of daft action set-pieces for this new adaptation of H.G. Wells’ influential sci-fi.
What They Got Most Wrong: It’s all down to the cast again, as Samantha Mumba and a mad-eyed Jeremy Irons do nothing to support poor old Guy Pearce.
Super Mario Bros (1993)
The Adaptation: Very loosely based on the videogame, Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo play the Italian brothers – here plumbers who are going out of business thanks to a mafia-like construction company.
What They Got Most Wrong: Every. Single. Thing. The casting. The tone. The story. So bad that even the film’s cast hate it.
Howling IV: The Original Nightmare (1988)
The Adaptation: A more loyal adaptation of Gary Brandner’s pulp werewolf novel than Joe Dante’s first Howling , this new nightmare changes the names and a few of the events for a pointless, futile exercise.
What They Got Most Wrong: Taking everything far too seriously – at least Dante’s film had suitably biting humour.
Yogi Bear (2011)
The Adaptation: The mayor wants to shut down Jellystone Park, or something, in this live-action re-do of the beloved kids cartoon.
What They Got Most Wrong: Following the CGI trend and turning Yogi into a horrible, fake-looking computer creation.
Batman & Robin (1997)
The Adaptation: Joel Schumacher has another go at destroying the Batman mythology with George Clooney now in the batsuit. We’ve never seen so much neon in our lives.
What They Got Most Wrong: Putting nipples on the Batsuit. Oh, you want something real? We’re not sure we have the energy to list everything here.
Double Dragon (1994)
The Adaptation: Live-action adaptation of the video game series that mostly just grabs the name for marketing purposes and then ignores the games entirely.
What They Got Most Wrong: New Angeles? Seriously?
The Adaptation: Basketball sensation Shaquille O’Neal shrugs on a big suit of armour to transform into the DC Comics character.
What They Got Most Wrong: Failing to include anything of entertainment merit – that includes Shaq.
Captain Corellis Mandolin (2001)
The Adaptation: John Madden’s filmic interpretation of Louis De Bernieres’s WW2-set romance.
What They Got Most Wrong: Casting Nic Cage, whose overblown attempt at portraying an Italian is so bad it’s almost farcical.
The Adaptation: Halle Berry flexes her claws and (cat)fights with Sharon Stone in surely the worst comic-book adaptation of our time.
What They Got Most Wrong: If we’re going to pick on anything, it’ll be the atrocious costume, which makes Catwoman look like some sort of bondage sex worker.
The Adaptation: There’s not a puppet in sight in Jonathan Frakes’ ‘modernisation’ of Gerry Anderson’s classic TV caper. Instead, we get a cast of 12-year-olds. And Bill Paxton.
What They Got Most Wrong: Pissing off Anderson. “It’s the biggest load of crap I have ever seen in my entire life,” was his condemnation of the movie.
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