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Old 01-05-2013, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Orlando, FL
12,228 posts, read 16,795,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fromupthere View Post
Wow! I was thinking really?!? A movie BETTER than a book? when reading the OP's question. Then I read your list and I saw ^^^. I will remember this from now because I HAVE read this book and it was horrible, but the movie was great.
The sequel was even worse. I read them after having seen the movie and they were horrid.

I prefer reading Raisin in the Sun to seeing it acted out. The movie with Puff Daddy was just horrid. He should never take off his shades. His eyes scare me a little.

The film How Stella Got Her Groove Back was better than the book.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Henderson, NV
3,948 posts, read 2,457,215 times
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Interesting question. I recently saw "The Dead" an adaptation of the James Joyce short story of the same name. It was an astoundingly, achingly beautiful play. I then bought the book of short stories, "The Dubliners" from which "The Dead" was lifted and read all of the other short stories but TD. I just can't read the story with such astonishing images from the play in my head. We'll see...

And I'm really not answering the question again when I say that I just can't see Tom Cruise as Lee Childs' Jack Reacher. So I won't see the movie since I love the Jack Reacher of the books.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:47 AM
 
Location: London
1,068 posts, read 1,822,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
Except for one book made into a movie that stands out in my mind, my disappointment is that I picture the people I'm reading about when I read the book and if they cast an actor that I consider really off for that character I pictured, I'm usually disappointed. The casting isn't wrong. I just pictured a completely different type when I was reading.

Unrelated, I thought the book "Six Days of The Condor" was excellent/very exciting. So what does Hollywood do? They make a movie based on the book and call it "Three Days of The Condor." Jeez, that's the way to kill a movie before it even opens in the theater - announce you're shaving 3 days off the story right there in the movie title.
Apparently this is a recurring phenomena that some of the best writers and playwrights have long struggled with in productions of their work. Eugene O'Neil was an infamously harsh critic upon the performances of his plays and invariably deflated with the end results. They never seemed to live up to the expectations of the play that he himself held onto in his mind.

He would become increasingly irritable and difficult with his demands. For 'A Moon For The Misbegotten' he argued furiously with Lawrence Langner, complaining that Jim Tyrone wasn't enough of a gentleman whereas Langer insisted that the actor playing the role (James Dunn) was playing it "as he head written it". What's more Eugene O'Neil insisted that all the directors and actors should be of Irish descent. These rigid demands went further when he asked an actress to put on a substantial amount of weight for the role of Josie Hogan.

I guess once a writer passes over creative control of his work to a director it is up to their discretion how faithful they are to the book, play or even screenplay they are interpreting. Screenplay writing tends to be a thankless task. If it's a bad film they blame the screenplay and if it's a great film the director takes 100% of the credit and there is rarely a mention of the screenplay writer in the review.

Plays are obviously less detached from their creators than films. I can't remember who said this but one playwright once said that plays were far more kindred spirits of poetry and even music than other forms of literature.

Although someone as perfectionist as Eugene O'Neil would have bordered on intolerable for unreasonable demands I can see where he was coming from. Sometimes I get irritable myself at certain productions or television dramas of plays and books. And as someone who was underwhelmed by the Lee Marvin film of 'the Iceman Cometh' (Rocky was too old, and Larry not animated enough and the rest of the characters just weren't as interesting as they read in the book) I can't think what he would have made of that version fine though it was with Lee Marvin putting in a decent performance. I think he would have been pleased with David Suchet's performance in 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' though even if he isn't Irish.

Charles Dickens television adaptations are usually highly praised by critics. However I've never watched one that ever came close to the book. The BBC made a perfectly fine Dickens adaptation of 'Great Expectations' last Christmas (not this one just gone) but it portrayed everything with such an unbearably straight face and plucked so much of the humour out of the plot that it marred my enjoyment of what was otherwise a very slick production.

I can easily become extremely prejudicial to any film adaptation where the main character is such a departure from the written text as to make my enjoyment of the performance or film untenable.

Last edited by Fear&Whiskey; 01-06-2013 at 11:57 AM..
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:35 AM
 
2,946 posts, read 4,853,298 times
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Good examples mentioned in this thread. I nominate 2001: A Space Odyssey. The book was really weak to me (very pop philosophy) but the movie is, if not an improvement on the premise, at least visually arresting. It's usually mediocre books that make the best movies. I think screenwriters and directors take the opportunity to find the potential in poor source material, whereas great books are hard to improve in any other medium.

I am planning to see Life of Pi. I agree much of it is internal so I'm really more curious how the film handles the protagonist's metaphysical musings.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:34 AM
 
Location: WI
3,910 posts, read 9,487,862 times
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most tend to disagree with me, but i felt the LOTR trilogy was better/more entertaining then the book. That could mainly be due to my reading that story back as a young adult (i'm 50), and maybe i should read it again now but i've watched the trilogy several times and felt more caught up with the characters and storyline in the movie. But again i realize i may be in the minority on that part, guess i'll add it to the list to read again lol and then see how it compares.
Normally though i have to agree books are usually better then the movies.

my .02
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:11 AM
 
Location: London
1,068 posts, read 1,822,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger17 View Post
most tend to disagree with me, but i felt the LOTR trilogy was better/more entertaining then the book. That could mainly be due to my reading that story back as a young adult (i'm 50), and maybe i should read it again now but i've watched the trilogy several times and felt more caught up with the characters and storyline in the movie. But again i realize i may be in the minority on that part, guess i'll add it to the list to read again lol and then see how it compares.
Normally though i have to agree books are usually better then the movies.

my .02
I read that book as a 12-13 year old and it had an enormous impact on me. I think it bridged the gap between being a young adult enamoured with fantasy writing and onto far more substantial and rewarding adult works.

It gave me great confidence and was such an enchanting journey of trepidation and intensity that the movie could never match my expectations. I was in my 20's when the trilogy came out so maybe the novel was a little more vivid in my memory though to be honest I have no compunction to ever read that novel again.

Nothing could match the feeling I had as a young adult and there are far too many other books to read. I read the Hobbit about a year earlier however and remember very little about the plot apart from Bilbo and a dragon.

The Lord Of The rings was always that daunting book that looked down as imposingly as the two towers from my older brother's bookshelf and as he told me that I had to read the Hobbit first I always resented it for getting in the way of my ultimate journey from comics, CS Lewis and into adulthood (or at least a very immature teenage manifestation of it).

I'm sure I'll feel the same way as you about 'the Hobbit' as I can honestly remember very little of it.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:13 AM
 
Location: London
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Following on from the above post does anyone believe 'Game Of Thrones' the television series surpasses the books?

The general perception appears to be that it doesn't (though making a very fine attempt) as there is just far too much to cram in however as someone who hasn't read any of the books yet I would value any qualified opinions on how they compare.
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