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Discussion in 'General Book Discussion' started by RobinA, Sep 13, 2012.
You would be correct.
I think the quality of film adaption varies, on a mafia related subject Goodfellas is a brilliant movie adaption of the book Wiseguy but Pileggi did co-write the script with Scorcese and Watchmen was better as a movie rather than the graphic novel even though Moore is reputed to have written the story in such a way as to have made it unfilmable.
A very good example of movies being a lot better than the book.
Watchma was a great movie. Very enjoyable and action packed.
How about other comics like Batman and Superman? I feel that they were brillant comics and also brillant movies. I enjoyed both the old movies and the new movies.
As a long time fan and collector of comic books I am excited to see all of the movie adaptations. I would love to see some of the really great, but more obscure titles get their shot at the big screen. I do have to say that a lot of the movie adaptations have been sort of crappy. The Batman movies were great tho and Watchmen was also really well done. Also, despite starring Keanu Reeves, I thought the Constantine (Hellblazer) movie was pretty good. I am sort of disappointed in general with the quality of most of the Marvel offerings, with the exception of the Avengers and X-men first class.
I keep waiting for Lobo.....
I do like the Marvel comics for children/teens. I do like Iron Man and Captain America as movies. I think they did a great job with those two. I have not yet watched Thor, I have very good reviews about it.
Books to movies adaptations probably get "better" or worse depending on which you took in first. I know that's sort of how it worked with me and LOTR. I loved the movies and then read the books and thought them sort of dry and long and maybe a tad boring.
The novelizations of the Star Wars movies are decent, but that's going the other way. It was a movie first and then they wrote a book to flesh it out.
Movies or Books
I think it depends on who is directing the movie and if the author has any involvement with the film. But in general the books are better then the movies, because the books have more then the movies because of time limits. But also you have different groups of people, book people then movie people. These people who don't read these books might enjoy the movie version of it. There have only been a couple of movies from books that I have actually enjoyed and thought they did a good job.
Perfume (the novel) By Patrick Suskind in 1985 in German translated by John E Woods
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a 2006 German thriller film based on Suskind’s book and directed by Tom Tykwer and written by Andrew Birkin, Bernd Eichinger and Tykwer.
Cast: Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman, Rachel Hurd-Wood, John Hurt, Karoline Herfuth
Although Kubrick asserted that translating the book Perfume to celluloid was unfeasible, director Tom Tykwer has achieved it. IMHO the film is better than the book. The 1985 book has several long info dump sections that interrupt the fictive dream for me. In particular the long seven years Grenouille spends in a self-imposed exile on a mountain in the Central Massif, contained unbelievable survival aspects of his life as well as narrative intrusions that don’t work. The film cuts all that out.
Perfume is a magic realism tale with Grenouille being born with no body odour but with an amazing sense of smell with which he is able to discern people’s activities through house walls, and create new perfumes he knows will send noses screaming for more. The book is able to convey the concept of fragrances through word images but also by using every thesaurus nuance of odour, fragrance, whiff, scent, perfume… But the film cannot do that except with the occasional voice over. Instead the film zooms in on noses, lifted subtly into the air; musical chords wafting ephemerally, suggested ripples in the scenery… and moments of suspension, cleverly done.
Although the main character, played superbly by Ben Whishaw, is exactly as I thought of him in the book, there are written scenes the film loses. For example when the Baldini perfumery collapses on the bridge over the River Seine in Paris, the book marvellously conveys this olfactory image / scent:
“Only one thing remained of Giuseppe Baldini (and his workshop), … a very motley odour – of musk, cinnamon, vinegar, lavender and a thousand other things – that for several weeks floated high above the Seine from Paris to Le Havre.”
The film omits one of Grenouille’s aims in his later (though still young) life: to create the scent of humans so as to imbue it on himself. (He does create the scent of beauty from the serial killing of attractive women as in the book) It amused me no end in the book how “Children smelled insipid, men ruinous, all sour sweat and cheese, women smelled of rancid fat and rotting fish. Totally uninteresting, repulsive … is how humans smelt…” and to recreate this he found the formula needed:
“cat turd, vinegar, salt, sardine, rotten egg, castoreum, ammonia, horn shavings, nutmeg, singed pork rind, civet,. Added to this base was peppermint, lavender, turpentine, lime, eucalyptus, floral oils… “I loved all that but it is completely cut from the film.
Spoiler: The book has a wonderful episode near the end where having been convicted of the killings, Grenouille, in front of the towns people averts his execution by wafting his newly-made perfect perfume. The film shows the diffusion of the scent rippling through the crowd, who’d come to glory in the gory death, but who transforms first to being in an infatuated supplicating awe of Grenouille and then to have a mass orgy! The film, of course, includes that scene although it is quite hilarious to witness the mass copulation by otherwise genteel people.
I’m glad I read the book first. I’m also pleased to say that the film removes what I disliked in the book and Tom Tykwer is to be congratulated on this arty fabulous piece of memorable fantasy.
I gave up on spending money to watch a movie that does not do the book justice.
I refuse to go see Jack Reacher just because how can you have a small man portray a large man? The whole Jack Reacher series is based on a large man. Ludicrous.
How do you know if the movie does the book justice or not unless you watch it?
I can think of a few movies where the books were done justice.
Depends are several different things, does it encapsulate the story well, are the details right or close enough to it that you can accept what changes are made, is it well cast and well acted, is it well directed? It doesn't so much matter to me if things are changed somewhat to fit the big screen as long as it captures the feel of the book.
I would agree with that particularly with comic book crossover movies.
I used to think movies hardly ever did the books justice, but I changed my mind as soon as I began to realize that it's not about bringing every single scene of the book to the screen, but about capturing the essence of the book.
I'd still say that I enjoyed the book more than the movie in many cases, but there are some fantastic adaptations out there.
It's also about how the regular movie audience (not the fans) will tolerate the non-action parts of a movie.
Take the scenes of Tom Bombadil in LOTR, how would that have translated to the big screen. It was really a resting place for the hobbits on their journey...it was also another whole story in itself that would have taken 2 hours to explain.
Right, it pissed me off because I really wanted to see Tom but I do understand that he was an unnecessary character that doesn't really add a lot to the storyline.
I always enjoy the books better than the movies with one exception so far, The Hobbit. I love the book, don't get me wrong but it is flawed and I feel that Jackson, so far, has fixed those flaws without being disrespectful to Tokien's story.
Another kind of movie adaption I've been thinking about is one where the director wants to make a different point from the original writer.
Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers tells the story of a young recruit working his way up a space military in a war with an alien species called the Bugs, it's a first person narrative.
The Paul Verhoeven adaption as well as being a satire on militarism and propaganda also made a point on what happens when more technologically advanced civilisations meet less technologically advanced civilisations.
I enjoyed both the book and the movie.
Verhoeven is a 4-letter word in Heinlein Fan circles. I'm just glad he didn't get his hands on Time Enough For Love or Stranger in A Strange Land.
Heh, yet another director paying scant respect to source material.
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