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Book to Movie

Discussion in 'Pop Culture Board' started by walt, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. walt

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    I was reading just now how Hollywood is looking at doing a remake of "The Neverending Story" one of my favorites from when I was a kid. Some further reading led to discussion of the book by the same name, which many claim the movie absolutely butchered.

    Focus: What book to movie adaptation have you both read and seen and believe Hollywood screwed it all up ?

    Alt Focus: What book to movie adaptation have you both read and seen and believe Hollywood stayed true to the book ?

    I'll start with the alternative focus. "Lonesome Dove" is a phenomonal book, I've read it a couple times so far, and I think the made for TV movie did a pretty good job telling the story, obviously fake water snakes aside.

    I'll chime in with more later.
     
  2. KIMaster

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    Focus-

    It's been talked about before in the forum, but the film Starship Troopers has to be undisputed winner. It was purposefully done as a mockery and parody of the book, and made into a children's cartoon in the process.

    Alt Focus-

    This is an interesting example, because the actual content of the book "I, Cladius" and the BBC production of "I, Cladius" in the 70s is very different, but the film captured the spirit and style of the novels perfectly.

    Similarly, Blade Runner was an excellent adaptation, even if the actual stories were marginally different.
     
  3. walt

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    Shit, did I post something someone else already did ? I looked and didn't see anything... well, if I did, the mods can delete it.
     
  4. KIMaster

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    No, the topic itself is perfectly new, it's just that there was discussion in the "Recent Movies Thread" about how cool a remake of Starship Troopers could be.
     
  5. Kubla Kahn

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    Cool I've had the idea floating around in my head about starting a thread similar to this...


    I'd just like to add some screen adaptations that I thought did a great job and would say are even better than the book. I know the popular answer for this is Fight Club, which I happen to agree with. Not only did it keep with the broken scatterbrained tone of the book it was also able to take some of the themes and expand upon them visually the way no book could. It was a movie that stood out as original as well as being a faithful adaptation.

    After watching There Will Be Blood I decided that I go ahead and check out the Upton Sinclair book Oil! since all you heard growing up in history class is that he could write some great muck raking literature. The movie is ten times better than the book BECAUSE it doesn't stay faithful to the book at all.

    Sinclair was obviously a pro communist supporter and the book is dedicated to trumpeting communism while completely destroying the capitalist systems in America. The book's focus is almost entirely on the son and his man crush with the communist philosophy in human form, Paul (the twin brother in the movie that got about 1 minute of screen time). The book is a broad scathing of just about every aspect of capitalist life while the boy grows up and tries to start socialist learning institution.

    The book had it's own cynical charm but the subject matter is rather dated and doesn't stand up well. The movie's dark character study of the father along with an amazing score made it a much more imposing piece of art than the book. I'd say it's my favorite movie/book adaptation as well as my favorite movie of the past decade.
     
  6. Pussy Galore

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    If I can branch a little bit, I'd like to bring up the television adaptation of Dexter. I thoroughly enjoy the books, and while I feel that Michael C. Hall makes a great Dexter, some of the supporting characters were poorly chosen. My biggest point of contention is Deb. In the books, Deb is a buxom, gung ho cop. In the show, she's portrayed by Jennifer Carpenter as a shrill little creature that's even harder to take seriously than her literary counterpart.

    I truly enjoyed the film adaptation of Into The Wild. Sean Penn stayed very true to Krakauer's story, and Emile Hirsch was wonderful and easy to empathize with as Chris McCandless. Not much more I can say about that.
     
  7. Currer Bell

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    I perfectly understand that some things don't translate well to screen, and if the spirit of the story is kept, then it works. The Harry Potter movies, while some may argue about what was chosen to translate to screen, seem to do as good a job of capturing the spirit of the stories as one could hope. Or maybe my expectations aren't high, who knows.

    I disagree about Blade Runner vs. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - the endings were different enough to change the feel of story, but I don't feel passionately enough about the story to very much care. In and of itself it is still an intriguing movie, even if it doesn't capture the spirit of the book.

    I haven't seen the new Sherlock Holmes movie, but the trailer made me feel like I don't want to watch it. As one of my favorite authors, Gene Weingarten, said, some kid is going to see the movie and then go and read the stories and be all WTF? Although, I would add that they might be WTF in a good way - I know I've found my way to a good book more than once because the inadequate movie adaptation intrigued me. (don't ask me to give an example right now, because my brain is too sauced)
     
  8. Durbanite

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    Well, I've seen The Eagle Has Landed and read the book - the movie was pretty faithful to the book, but I think Michael Caine was a poor choice as Steiner, purely because Steiner was supposed to have been educated in the United States, but Caine is incapable of any accent other than Cockney - he's a brilliant actor, don't get me wrong - but he really cannot do accents well. Thus, I think an American actor would have been a better choice - Clint Eastwood, perhaps?

    However, Robert Duvall as Radl was a brilliant choice.
     
  9. Idiot Wind

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    The Bridge on the River Kwai

    This is my favorite example of a script being an improvement on the source material. The producers demanded an American actor to be added to the all-British cast, thus the character played by William Holden was introduced.

    He was used to connect the two storylines, which are kept separate in the novel until the finale, and it allowed the writers to better elaborate on the themes of the movie. A lot of the key dialogues in the movie are him arguing with Colonel Nicholson or Warden (leader of the commandos). He is also the most sympathetic character in the movie, someone we can identify with.

    The ending of the story was changed for the better. The book's finale may work in the literary medium, but on film it would have been disappointing.
     
  10. Marjorine

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    The Neverending Story is my favorite book of all time, it blows the movie out of the water. And I LOVE the movie. The thing is, the movie is only the first half of the book. (The sequel only vaguely resembles the second half of the book). I am beyond stoked for the new film!

    Focus: The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy was such a fantastic series of books and the film just did not come even close. I don't understand why, it had some great elements (the opening musical number, Alan Rickman & Stephen Fry's voices, Martin Freeman, the art/set direction). It was as though the director didn't understand Douglas Adams' sense of humor. At all. It was also, for the most part, horribly miscast.

    Also, The Time Traveler's Wife (which I'm sure you've ALL seen). A gorgeous, erotic, romantic book for the ages and it's turned into a bland, forgettable drama where the leads have absolutely no chemistry and they cut out all the best bits from the novel. So incredibly disappointing.
     
  11. whathasbeenseen

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    Focus This is going to sound strange but Sphere by Michael Crichton. The book was fascinating, especially the conversation that the character who was played by Dustin Hoffman in the movie had with himself when inside the sphere. It was a moment that made me do some self examination of long held beliefs and I found it profound. Not only was this conversation missing in the movie but the casting left much to be desired. Horribly miscast was Sharon Stone's character perhaps playing on her new found stardom at exposing her axe wound in a much rewound scene in Basic Instinct.
     
  12. stone2k

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    You could do several pages just on Steven King, but I'll limit myself to 2 choices... The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me were both excellent movies as well as great stories in "Different Seasons"
     
  13. scotchcrotch

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    I've always found most of King's work translates best when it's in mini-series form. His stories have so much material that either you're exhausted by a 3 hour movie, or break it off into a mini-series.

    "It" was probably my favorite transition, minus the shitty motion-capture spider at the end.
     
  14. JohnQ

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    Along the same lines of Crichtons books, I have to go with Timeline. While the books was not exactly phenomenal, and certainly not one of his best books, it was at least an enjoyable read. The movie, however, was completely unwatchable. Paul Walker? Really? I can't picture him as any character in any Michael Crichton book.

    Oh, and I'll pretend Congo was just never even made into a movie.
     
  15. Crown Royal

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    The Thing (1982) vs. Who Goes There by John W. Campell
    Though considered to be a horror classic and based on the short story, the 1951 version The Thing From Another World was not very true except for basic plot threads when comparing to the 1938 story. Campbell's story is a bone chilling horror tale, years ahead of its time. The 1982 version is far more faithful, and made even more terrifying by Phil Tippet's mind-bending nightmare effects of the shapeless alien carnivore (known as "The Thing") in the story. I can't even think of a single person my age that slept for a fucking week after seeing that film for the first time. Though a bomb when released, it stands as one of the scariest films ever made.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Guest

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    Autobiography of Malcolm X and the film adaption of his life Malcolm X

    Not sure if you can correctly compare the following to the others discussed in this thread, as my argument can be compared to Public Enemies failing to capture the real story of John Dillinger which was argued on the old board.

    When I watched Malcolm X the film after reading the autobiography I just felt that the amount of life events and emotions that were expressed in the book were captured in the film.
     
  17. Uziel

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    Les Miserables. Fantastic book, fantastic broadway show, horrible movie. I had no real problems with the cast except for Uma Thurman as Fantine but the movie reall didnt capture the spirit of the book at all and it ended about 1/3 of the way into the story.
     
  18. LindseyBluth

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    Atonement. I really loved the book, and the movie was exactly what I was hoping for. Most movie makers give excuses about "Well, the book was so long that it was hard to cut it down to a 2 hour movie." In this case, the movie kept every important part of the book and the images were exactly what I had pictured in my mind. I loved the adaptation.
     
  19. Rob4Broncos

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    Alt. Focus: The Road. I don't necessarily mean this in a complimentary way. It stayed true to the book, sure. But it stayed EXACTLY true to the book. It was as if the book itself was the screenplay.

    I enjoyed the book, but they should have left well enough alone. I think my biggest problem with the movie was that the pacing was exactly as it was in the book: slow, dragging at times, with hints of excitement here and there. That works in the latter medium, but not in the former.

    If you want to see Viggo Mortensen in a Jesus beard, go for it. Otherwise, there's nothing in the movie that your imagination didn't already conjure up when reading the book.
     
  20. Mike Ness

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    One of the worst I have ever scene was Steven Kings "The Running Man other than having the same name and some of the characters having the same name, the movie was an abomination of the book. I actually saw the movie beforeI read the book, so I thought it was entertaining. Then I read the book and wanted to vomit on the movie.

    Friday Night Lights was actually a better movie than the book. The only reason for this is that the book got way to involved in the economics, politics and feel of Odessa Texas. I would be reading it and have to say "wait isn't this about football?" The movie really captured the gritty feel of the book's football scenes as well as the celebrity status given to a sixteen year old athlete.