1. Welcome to BookAndReader!

    We LOVE books and hope you'll join us in sharing your favorites and experiences along with your love of reading with our community. Registering for our site is free and easy, just CLICK HERE!

    Already a member and forgot your password? Click here.

has there been any movie that was......

Discussion in 'Film, Video, Television and Theatre' started by dragonsoldier15, Jan 9, 2003.

  1. froggerz40

    froggerz40 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Has anyone ever seen the televised version of "It", by Stephen King? I thought it was very well done. Only one thing- in the book, the final showdown was a battle with this powerful evil force that transcended time and space, but in the televised version, I almost fell out of my chair laughing! Dan-o
    Incidentally, I thought Tim Curry was perfect, as Pennywise the Clown! D.
     
  2. Dawn

    Dawn kickbox

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2002
    Messages:
    454
    Likes Received:
    0
    The only thing I liked about the movie was Tim Curry. I found it utterly boring and did not have the creepy, hopelessness feel of the book.
     
  3. Mike Feury

    Mike Feury kickbox

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's rare for me to prefer a movie to the book, but there are a few:

    Marathon Man is a fine book, but an outstanding movie I think. Probably Dustin Hoffmann's best performance, Laurence Olivier in fine form, with Roy Scheider and Wiliam Devane also strong support. Very atmospheric and genuinely terrifying.

    Silence of the Lambs I thought was nothing special as a book, but became a great movie. How rare is it for Jodie Foster to be outperformed?

    Lord of the Rings isn't a fair choice probably, since fantasy is not a favorite genre of mine--I don't think I even finished the book. But I'll watch the movie a number of times in the future no doubt.

    Sling Blade--OK, I haven't read or seen the play, but it would have to be truly outstanding to be more captivating than the movie, a tour de force for Billy Bob Thornton.

    Don't Look Now may be the most enigmatic movie I've seen, I certainly found it much more captivating than DuMaurier's book.

    The Hunt for Red October is a fine thriller movie I think. I don't enjoy Tom Clancy's books, this is one case where stripping out much of a book's detail is an advantage I feel.

    Total Recall isn't fair either, since it's based on a good short story. One of the most interesting sci-fi films, and a surprisingly good performance from Arnie to boot.

    Where Eagles Dare and The Guns of Navarone are I think the two Alistair McLean movies which surpassed his usually strong books. The Alpine scenery is stunning in the former, no way describing it can compete with showing it well.

    I'm sure there are more, especially where a mediocre book became a decent movie... but my brain is playing misty for me :) Looking at the list above, the common thread seems to be strong acting and/or strong directing on the foundation of a strong screenplay.

    But in general, I imagine it's very difficult for the combination of hundreds of variable movie talents to outshine one talented author?
     
  4. ineldorado

    ineldorado New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2003
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mike,

    I don't think it's unfair at all to compare a movie with a short story. It's not as if most of us give points for length. Short stories are often better than the adaptations of them. The Conan stories were adapted into a movie, but I don't think that Conan the Barbarian was better than Howard's short stories.

    I haven't read Marathon Man, but I did read Magic. That was a good novel; another case, I believe of Goldman writing both the novel and the screenplay for the novel. The movie, if you haven't seen it, stars Anthony Hopkins, Burgess Meredith and Ann Margaret. It contains an excellent scene were Meredith is timing Hopkins with a watch to see how long Hopkins can leave Fats alone. And between the movie and the novel, it is close running.

    Silence of the Lambs. Yes, and I would also argue (although it's been years since I read it) that Red Dragon was not superior or much superior to the movie adaptation; I mean, Manhunter, not the newer one.

    I haven't seen Don't Look Now. I'll look for it.

    Misery was an excellent novel; one of King's best, if not his very best. But the movie (screenplay also written by Goldman) was also a fine piece of work.
     
  5. Idun

    Idun Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2003
    Messages:
    596
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    Tristram Shandy
    I think that William Wyler's "Ben-Hur" is definitely better than the book. I read it after seeing the film and I must say that I was really disappointed. The book isn't as moving and exciting as Wyler's version, and, as for me, is awfully too sublime at times. I don't like style in which the book was written.To my mind, in most cases simplicity is far more convincing and touching than long, flowery speeches. In the film, the most important and meaningful scenes include no big words...but the sense is therefore even deeper. And, of course, the famous chariots race is, while seen on the screen, incomparable to its written equivalent. Besides, I believe that the idea of not showing Jesus Christ's face in any scene was a brilliant solution - demanded, as I read, by Lewis Wallace himself. So I may say that he took significant part in making this film better than his own book.
     
  6. Morry

    Morry New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    need to think about it....

    Morry:);)
     
  7. Rain Dog

    Rain Dog kickbox

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2003
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Agree about Fight Club. Book was very good - film was outstanding.

    Haven't read The Shining, but didn't think the film was at all scary.

    Blade Runner is much better than Do Androids Dream...

    Die Hard is possibly the greatest action film of all time and based on a fairly average book (Nothing Lasts Forever (I think...) by Roderick Thorpe).

    Betty Blue - both are good.

    Trainspotting too. And Crash.

    The novel of The Thin Red Line is superb but what Terrence Malick did in his adaptation was sheer genius.

    And finally, Last of the Mohicans is my favourite film of all time and the book is unreadable (for all the wrong reasons).
     
  8. oloroso36

    oloroso36 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Right on! If memory serves, the evil entity was seven stories tall - the puny spider they destroy was barely 2 feet!! lmao

    BTW, the movie Witches of Eastwick was FAR better than the novel by John Updike (upon which, admittedly, the movie was loosely based). Put it this way - in the book there is no Jack Nicholson character. :confused: :confused: :confused:

    Dreamcatcher the movie was great right up to the very end - lame, lame, lame Hollywood ending!!! I wanted to throw something at the screen. :mad: :mad: :mad:
     
  9. Idun

    Idun Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2003
    Messages:
    596
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    Tristram Shandy
    Rain Dog wrote:
    I agree that the film is simply fantastic.:D

    On the question of the book being unreadable - I think it shares the common fate of most adventure films and books. Nowadays, they seem so unrealistic! What's more, the old style of writing totally didn't match fast action. Also the language used by the characters. It caused enemies conversations resembled more friendly chats.
    Personally, I was glad to see the director decision to kill Alice instead of Cora. Simply because I liked Cora more. Her younger sister was so dull.
     
  10. Martin

    Martin Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,575
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    The Fry Chronicles
    Films that are better than the books they're based on?

    Hmm...

    I very much liked Stephen King's novella 'Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption' but it fades into nothingness compared to the brilliant film based on it, namely 'The Shawshank Redemption'. Superb performances by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, and simply the most stunning cinematography you've ever seen.

    I haven't read 'Last Exit to Brooklyn' by Hubert Selby Jr yet, but I very recently saw the film based on that novel, 'Requiem for a Dream', directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly and (believe it or not) Marlon Wayans. It is hard for me to believe that the book can be as good as, or even better than, this film, simply because the film was so visually impressive, and just so incredibly mind-blowing. Very difficult for the book to surpass. Can't wait to read it, though.

    Cheers, Martin :D
     
  11. Halo

    Halo New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Messages:
    3,589
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    Kushiel's Dart & V for Vendetta
    With reference to Stephen King films, I do think he is very unlucky with them as most are pretty poor. I agree with Dawn that The Shining was not a patch on the book. The book is the only book I've ever read that really un-nerved me. I've read interviews with King where he states that he hated Kubrick's film, and he even hated Nicholson's performance, saying that he seemed mad from the beginning instead of going more gradually insane. In fact, he disliked the film so much that he actually made his own mini-series of the book. Has anyone seen it? I have to say that, while better than Kubrick's, it still wasn't excellent.

    I feel that one of the reasons King's books are so hard to film is the depth of characterisation there is in the books does not translate to film, unless you want a five-hour film! However, there are King films that are equally as good as the books, eg Misery and The Shawshank Redemption. I also liked Firestarter, mostly due to Drew Barrymore's excellent performance.

    In general though, books are always better than the films in my opinion. :)
     
  12. murphyz

    murphyz New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with those who say the Shining is better in book form.

    I like some aspects of the film, such as Jack looking at his reflection when speaking to the ghosts and the panning in on the photo at the end, but otherwise most of the metaphors in the book just aren't in there.

    Other films better than books include the Godfather and Watership Down.

    I think a lot of the time it depends which one you read/see first.

    Mxx
     
  13. phil_t

    phil_t New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,318
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    Ringworld - Larry Niven
    Who said Shawshank Redemption??

    Give those people a cookie, its my favorite film ever - so damn graceful even a grown man weeps at the end (ahem, of course i deny that that grown man is me :) )
     
  14. Martin

    Martin Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,575
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    The Fry Chronicles
    It's true. This film has brought me closer to crying than any film before, ever!

    Of course, if you ever mention this to anyone, I'll deny my ass off.

    Cheers, Martin :D
     
  15. Halo

    Halo New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Messages:
    3,589
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    Kushiel's Dart & V for Vendetta
    But the novella Shawshank is based on is just as moving! I'd say the film is equally as good as the book, but not better. :)
     
  16. phil_t

    phil_t New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,318
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    Ringworld - Larry Niven
    Well ive never read the novella but im sure its very good :)

    Incidentally how did the Green Mile movie match up to the source book - i quite liked the movie although it certainly wasnt a Shawshank!
     
  17. lies

    lies New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Messages:
    1,567
    Likes Received:
    0
    I saw the movie Primal Fear (Richard Gere and Edward Norton) a couple of years ago, and I remember thinking they did a decent job translating the book (was it called Primal Fear as well? I don't know) to film. Neither the book nor the movie will ever make it to my "favourite list" of course, but they were "decent" nonetheless.

    Just thought I'd share that little bit of info. :)
     
  18. Martin

    Martin Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,575
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    The Fry Chronicles
    Oh my God, Primal Fear is so good. Edward Norton does a fabulous job, and even Richard Gere is somewhat watchable. Oh, and ...
    ... the twist in the end can kick 'The Sixth Sense' any day of the week!!

    Fabulous film, definitely in my top ten.

    Cheers, Martin :D
     
  19. Paimprenelle

    Paimprenelle kickbox

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, I'm a new-comer, and French, so please excuse my mistakes...
    I would say that Michael Winterbottom's adaptation of "Jude" by Thomas Hardy was very good, not better than the novel but brilliant still.
    And I've just thought that "Bridget Jones' Diary" is much better than the novel.I found the movie brilliant and hilarious, and the book not so good...
     
  20. Oberon

    Oberon New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Messages:
    245
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    The Baroque Cycle (Neal Stephenson)
    Interesting Choices

    The Shining
    I remember reading somewhere that Kubrick would phone King at odd hours and ask him cryptic questions about his beliefs. "Do you believe in the supernatural?" and my thought at the time was did he even read the book? I really liked the scene where the wife thumbs through the manuscript and it's page after page of "The red fox jumped over the [whatever]" in various patterns and repetitions across the pages. That was impressively frightening and something "distilled" from the book. But the main theme of the book was that the Overlook Hotel was like a storage battery for the actions that took place in it and that great evils had left their residue there. Kubrick jettisoned the idea! To my mind, the "adaptation" was aborted. It was a movie that shared the title, that's all folks!

    King's novels. save for Misery perhaps, have not gone well to screen but his novella's seem managable and "Shawshank" and "Stand By Me" are the measures of how well it can be done.

    Total Recall
    It had a great Phillip K. Dick moment, which is a bit blurry for my memory--there was so much that I didn't like about the movie that I can't watch it to bring this fully back. ... A character tried to tell Arnold's character that he was having a "bad experience" that he or she was attempting to intervene because his life was in danger. This was wonderful, but the whole idea that Mars's atmospehere could be restored ... the end of the movie made me laugh at the movie and wonder why I'd wasted my time and if Phil was turning or spinning in his grave. OTOH, Bladerunner is arguably better than "Do Androids ... " although I think Harrison Ford's voice-over work was terrible. BR's vision of the future went far beyond the story and that's what made the movie the classic it is.

    Star Wars
    But which came first, the book or the movie. Doesn't count!

    It's not just the medium that makes these comparisons so difficult, but the novel is mainly the work of one person (I realize the editorial process involves at least several more) but making a movie is a major undertaking that involves hundreds of creative people in a diverse number of activities. Near impossible to recreate the author's vision in such a situation so it is really amazing when a movie gets so close as Jackson's LOTR movies have, as well as those that have been mentioned in this thread.

    O
     

Share This Page