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Thread: Better than the book?
July 19th, 2012, 09:09 PM #1
Better than the book?
Like most avid readers I usually say, "The book is so much better than the movie." However, there have been times when I actually liked the movie better than the book. The Postman is one of them and Practical Magic is another. In both cases I saw the movie first and decided to read the book afterwards.
How about the rest of you? Do you think it matters which you're exposed to first?
July 20th, 2012, 08:27 PM #2
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Quitters Inc. is a Stephen King story from the movie Cats Eye that I thought was compelling and had a shocking twist at the end in the movie, but was just "meh" when I read it.
I'll go so far to say that Starship Troopers was a great summer action flick, better than the book for excitement and action. I'm not saying this movie was better than the book in general, but they made the movie that a lot of people wanted and did a good job.
July 21st, 2012, 02:55 AM #3
I'm not really of the idea that adaptations are necessarily worse than the text they're from. See, what happens is people have their own ideas, visions and so forth and in a bizarre way it colours what they see because it's not their interpretation.
I enjoyed the three Narnia films, Coraline, The Black Cauldron, No Country For Old Men, True Grit (the recent one) and other interpretations though I wouldn't say they were better than the book (if I'd read it).
One of the few that was at least on the same level as the book that I know of is Persepolis, and it has to be watched in French.
September 29th, 2012, 11:57 AM #4
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Lord of the Rings.
September 29th, 2012, 03:55 PM #5
I thought the Watchman movie was better than the graphic novel, but only by a little. I never really liked the squid.
September 30th, 2012, 03:51 PM #6
I felt that both the movie and book versions of Watchmen had strengths and weaknesses, but the endings, I felt that the movie version was far better than the alien squid thing in the book.
If you want a great example of a show that actually surpasses the written material, look no further than True Blood. Don't get me wrong, I also own the books and enjoy them, but the show brings so many of the characters to life in a way that you don't get in the books. Also, the show has trimmed out a lot of the unneeded stuff from the books.
September 30th, 2012, 04:35 PM #7
Any adaptation of anything by Edgar Rice Burroughs is better than the book - even if it does have Doug McClure in it.*
Tarkovsky's 1972 Solaris is a vast improvement on the novel.
*The exact opposite applies to any adaptation of A Philip K Dick story.
September 30th, 2012, 04:37 PM #8
I'd say the adaptation of Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis is, if not better, then at least is as good as the book. Loses some of its power and message as it's reduced for a film (300+ page combined graphic novel into a single film), but still pretty darned good.
October 1st, 2012, 12:07 PM #9
October 1st, 2012, 01:20 PM #10
But they lost all the humour! Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is such a funny book. You'd never guess from the film.
But otherwise, yes, I'd forgotten about that one.
October 1st, 2012, 02:15 PM #11
In non-genre films, how about True Grit? I'm reading the book, but I think the film (latest w/ Bridges, Brolin, etc) is that little bit better.
October 1st, 2012, 02:27 PM #12
I think the movie Jaws is much better than the book. The Running Man movie adaptation is supremely superior to the book. It's one of the few instances in which I would say Stephen King (aka Richard Bachman) missed the mark.
October 2nd, 2012, 05:49 AM #13
Loerwyn - agreed. When I knew the True Grit film was being remade I downloaded the book to my phone... and wasn't overly impressed.
October 2nd, 2012, 07:40 AM #14
I would say any version of Dracula is better than the novel. In fact I suspect that any version of anything by Stoker has to be an improvement on his stodgy prose. I'm even prepared to extend this as far as Ken Russell's overblown bollocks of an adaptation of The Lair of the White Worm and I loath Ken Russell's films (though I do like Amanda Donahoe's norks which were the only reason to watch this and The Rainbow). I'm trying to read the book at the moment. It's awful.
Last edited by JunkMonkey; October 2nd, 2012 at 07:42 AM.
October 2nd, 2012, 09:24 AM #15