Nothing compares to the breadth and depth of the story in written form. Most of the time I do note what was left out and what was changed when a book is made into a movie but overall I enjoy seeing another creative mind's interpretation.
I enjoyed Stormbreaker, even though I didn't think the actor fit my idea of Alex Rider but I enjoyed the movie for what it was.
The Harry Potter movies had their drawbacks but I saw them and enjoyed them. When they pop-up on TV (like tonight) I find myself watching them.
Overall I have liked the Walden Media movies I have seen. I even liked Hoot though I felt they got the casting of Mullet Fingers very wrong.
Which brings me to our most beloved of all stories that have been movie-ized, The Lord of the Rings. Peter Jackson decided, for sake of dramatic effect, to change some aspects of the story and these changes STILL annoy some members of this household. Aragorn's motivations, Gandalf's confrontation with the Witch King at Pelennor Fields, and Denethor's character spring to mind.
But we all knew that Peter Jackson loved the books. We knew he had read the books and had dreamed of bringing this "unfilmable" story to the screen. The involvement of the fans was nurtured from the very beginning of the project. He knew their interest and support was important to the movies' success.
Jackson infused his project with Tolkien's own words and brought the essence and spirit of the story to life. It was a work of love and it showed in every frame.
I reflected on this as I read this interview with John Hodge, the screenwriter for The Dark is Rising:
Are there other elements from the books that you used. With regards to back story or stuff like that?
I haven't dipped into the other books at all.
So you just focused on the 'Dark Is Rising?'
Just 'Dark Is Rising', yeah.
Studios that are trying to achieve their own fantasy franchise à la Harry or LOTR should take a page out of Peter Jackson's play book.