Movie treatments of books (Merged: Bastardizing Books)

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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Maseiken » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:16 am UTC

Is he? dang...
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby blob » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:40 am UTC

Maseiken wrote:Is he? dang...

Apparently not. Best to ignore me. :D
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Zohar » Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:12 pm UTC

Miyazaki already did an adaptation to film - Howl's Moving Castle. It's a nice book, too, but a bit different from the movie.

As for the Neverending Story, I liked the first one. Granted, I saw it about 10 years before reading the book (which is wonderful), but I like it still. They changed a lot of things but I don't think they made a bad impression. The first sequel sucks and I haven't bothered with the third movie.
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby BadAndi » Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:44 pm UTC

Worst adaptation?

The Dark is Rising.

Seriously.

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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby cheesegrits » Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:27 am UTC

How about books / series you would most like to see made (or re-made) as movies, and who would you like to see in which roles (not necessarily extant actors)?

Personally as a huge Pratchett fan I'd love to see the Discworld series done right, although I haven't seen any of the adaptation listed in the wiki yet. I pretty much have my cast list already done in my head. As the years have gone by, I've gradually subconsciously assigned roles when I'm reading them ... like Vetinari is Alan Rickman, the Voice of Death is Sir John Gielgud (although being dead he might not be available), Wee Mad Arthur is Billy Connolly. Mr Pin and Mr Tulip are Mr Wint and Mr Kidd from Diamonds are Forever. And so on and so forth.

Strangely enough, about the only character I don't seem to have a definitive casting for when reading the books is Vimes. I don't want to turn this into a Pratchett thread, but I would be interested in hearing what other Discworld freaks think.

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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby JayDee » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:14 am UTC

I think that Discworld is far too tied up in words to want to see it as movies. The wordplay and footnotes would be my favourite parts of the books, and they don't go too well on the screen. Although, if it had Alan Rickman in it I'd watch.
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby aion7 » Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:49 am UTC

I'd like to see a good Ender's Game movie. I'd rather see a good Ender's Game game, though.
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:03 am UTC

So.. why's no one mentioned The Princess Bride yet?

The book and the movie, while maintaining the same core, are so completely different in delivery as to be... I guess two viewpoints of the same story. One's the story of a grandfather reading his grandson a book while he's sick. The other's... basically the kid writing about it later as an adult, and how he tried to get his kid to read it before realizing that his grandfather had radically changed the entire thing while reading it to him, so he decides to edit it himself to bring to life his grandfather's version.

Anyway, both are damn good in completely different ways.

aion7 wrote:I liked the Lord of The Rings movies, especially because of this: no Tom Bombadil. It's probably for the best though. Tom's a strange character who clearly doesn't fit into the universe at all, and obviously makes as much sense as, say, Superman hanging out with pirates.


Fix'd.

Also, Sam Vimes... I always see Peter Falk... about thirty-forty years ago.
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Angelene » Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:01 am UTC

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay has been in preproduction forever. It's one of my favourite books so if they ever make it and ruin it I'll be most wrathful. MOST.
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby kkariena » Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:02 am UTC

The Princess Bride was an amazing movie, though I must admit I found the book rather confusing the first few times I read it. Drove me a little nuts.

Neverending Story, saw the movie before I realized it was a book then, of course, I got my hands on the book a few years ago and read it. I liked the first movie, the second one... haven't watched that one in a while so I don't really remember much, I wish I could find the third one I keep hearing about just so I can at least watch it once and get a good laugh. After all, nothing is more fun than killing braincells over a poorly done movie.

Need to get my hands on the book Ella Enchanted to see if the book is as braincell killing as the movie, same goes for the Princess Diaries. Yes, I'll admit it, kids books are faaar more entertaining to me as books and, in general, movies than adult novels.
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Zohar » Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:52 pm UTC

From Hell was a good movie. Completely different from the graphics novel, though. They basically took the story but changed what it was - a study of evil, magic and Victorian times to a suspense thriller. The fact that in the novel you know from roughly page one who the supposed killer is while in the movie you only know who it is in the last few minutes, accentuates this.
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Nyarlathotep » Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:35 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
aion7 wrote:I liked the Lord of The Rings movies, especially because of this: no Tom Bombadil. It's probably for the best though. Tom's a strange character who clearly doesn't fit into the universe at all, and obviously makes as much sense as, say, Superman hanging out with pirates.


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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Maseiken » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:42 am UTC

Nyarlathotep wrote:
SecondTalon wrote:
aion7 wrote:I liked the Lord of The Rings movies, especially because of this: no Tom Bombadil. It's probably for the best though. Tom's a strange character who clearly doesn't fit into the universe at all, and obviously makes as much sense as, say, Superman hanging out with pirates.


QFT.

Um... no, Tom Bombadil fits into the universe very well, imo. When I read the book I was astonished at how well he fitted in. I agree that in the movie he would be terrible.
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby JayDee » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:05 pm UTC

Plus, how awesome would it be if Superman did hang out with pirates?

On topic, can anyone tell me how the James Bond movies compare to the books? I've read a half dozen of Ian Flemings novels, but haven't seen any of movies yet.
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby lachatte » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:44 pm UTC

kkariena wrote:Neverending Story, saw the movie before I realized it was a book then, of course, I got my hands on the book a few years ago and read it. I liked the first movie, the second one... haven't watched that one in a while so I don't really remember much, I wish I could find the third one I keep hearing about just so I can at least watch it once and get a good laugh. After all, nothing is more fun than killing braincells over a poorly done movie.


Don't do it! I watched the third movie maybe a year ago, and I have never hated myself so much for watching a movie (and I've seen some seriously terrible movies in my time).

Malice wrote:In fact, King's had trouble with this several times--The Lawnmower Man comes to mind as quite possibly the least faithful adaptation EVER.


IIRC, King sued the people that made Lawnmower Man to have his name taken off of it. I remember watching the first five minutes on TV once, realizing immediately it was so not the King story and turning it off.

On the subject of Stephen King movies, I really like the older ones (Carrie, Pet Sematary, Cujo), even though they didn't stick terribly close to the books. But some of the newer movies, specifically Needful Things, just annoyed the hell out of me. And IT. IT was bad. The book scared the bejeesus out of me (then again I was 12, if that, when I read it), but the movie (well, mini-series) just fell so incredibly flat. All of the cosmic terror was basically gone and it didn't even scare my kid sister who hated horror movies of any kind. I'm a bit wary of the newest movie, The Mist. It's a very Lovecraftian story (even more so than usual), and I just don't know how well that will translate to screen. On the other had, I recently saw a short movie adaptation of The Call of Cthulhu that was actually really good...
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Yliatas » Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:19 am UTC

The first Harry Potter movie was not a big disappointment to me. However, the rest have been disappointments, especially the fifth movie. The movies seemed rushed and I hate deviations from books. The fifth movie made me cringe and regret giving that cinema my money.

BUT! The Lord of the Rings movies were good. They stuck to the storyline well and most scenes were exactly like how I imagined. I believe the movies LoTR trilogy are the only movies (based off books) that I approve of.

aion7 wrote:I'd like to see a good Ender's Game movie. I'd rather see a good Ender's Game game, though.


I second that. I think Ender's Game would make a better game than a movie...but I have high hopes for a good movie of it.

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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Maseiken » Sun Dec 09, 2007 3:33 am UTC

JayDee wrote:Plus, how awesome would it be if Superman did hang out with pirates?

On topic, can anyone tell me how the James Bond movies compare to the books? I've read a half dozen of Ian Flemings novels, but haven't seen any of movies yet.

Well the books are all Narration from Bonds PoV. far more character driven, a great deal of internal monologue. This changes a lot of things when it can't be translated into film (It can, but it usually isn't, High Fidelity is a good example of how to do it right)

There's a huge amount of stuff that's left out, so yeah, I would say it's definitly worth reading the books (Pretty much always the case)
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Flying Betty » Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:59 am UTC

kkariena wrote:Need to get my hands on the book Ella Enchanted to see if the book is as braincell killing as the movie, same goes for the Princess Diaries. Yes, I'll admit it, kids books are faaar more entertaining to me as books and, in general, movies than adult novels.

It's cute and engaging, as I recall. I can't say anything about the movie, but the book is worth a read (or at least was when I was younger. I think it would probably hold up still.)
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Zohar » Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:52 am UTC

I realized after seeing The Golden Compass that I don't really care if a movie based on a book is close to the original book or not. What I want is a good movie. I don't see these movies as promoting the reading of books (not for me, anyway), simply as movies. A good example (which I've mentioned in this thread) is From Hell, which deviates wildly from the book but I thought it was very well done (at the time, anyway, it's been a while since I saw it).
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Rikor » Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:35 am UTC

Nyarlathotep wrote:
SecondTalon wrote:
aion7 wrote:I liked the Lord of The Rings movies, especially because of this: no Tom Bombadil. It's probably for the best though. Tom's a strange character who clearly doesn't fit into the universe at all, and obviously makes as much sense as, say, Superman hanging out with pirates.


QFT.


Bombadil has always been a question mark in the Middle-earth lore. There are tons of wild theories about him, nobody has ever been able to fully explain "what" he is. Some have theorized that he's a middle-earth incarnation of Illuvatar (God).

Overall I thought that the LotR movies were pretty good despite some of the discrepancies from the books, they really managed to capture the whole epic feel of the series. My only real problem was changes being made where it seemed completely unnecessary. Like the Ghost King character in Return of the King...didn't really add much to the movie for me, I thought they could have cut that whole sequence out and replaced it with Aragorn liberating the coast cities and arriving at Pelennor with an army of men, not ghosts, like he did in the books. Or added in Prince Imrahil (He always seemed like a cool character in the books) or do any number of things that would be more accurate to the books.

I can't stand the Harry Potter movies. To be fair, I don't think there was any way that they could have made the Harry Potter movies that would have been good in my eyes. All the subplots. character development, and humor are what make the books so great, and they just can't cram that all in to the limited time of a movie.

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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Maseiken » Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:09 am UTC

I say Bombadil is an Avatar of nature. Think about, he's immortal, and all-powerful, but chooses not to intervene. The affairs of man (And orc, and elf, you know what I mean) are more or less the same level of irrelevance to him, that of almost complete. But he is still benign to those who will accept it.
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:55 am UTC

The Mist was fairly good. It plays almost exactly like the book, except for the ending. Whereas the story had a very powerful and mysterious (for the time) ending, the movie has a very powerful and definitive ending. I don't know which I liked more. Also, Jane needs to be in more movies.

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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby FoS » Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:31 am UTC

Maseiken wrote:I say Bombadil is an Avatar of nature. Think about, he's immortal, and all-powerful, but chooses not to intervene. The affairs of man (And orc, and elf, you know what I mean) are more or less the same level of irrelevance to him, that of almost complete. But he is still benign to those who will accept it.


Illuvatar did pretty much the same thing. After Arda was created I think his sole interventions were separating Ardar and Eldamar and casting Melkar into the Void and those were only at the request of Manwe.
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby JayDee » Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:05 am UTC

Maseiken wrote:
JayDee wrote:On topic, can anyone tell me how the James Bond movies compare to the books? I've read a half dozen of Ian Flemings novels, but haven't seen any of movies yet.

Well the books are all Narration from Bonds PoV. far more character driven, a great deal of internal monologue. This changes a lot of things when it can't be translated into film (It can, but it usually isn't, High Fidelity is a good example of how to do it right)

There's a huge amount of stuff that's left out, so yeah, I would say it's definitly worth reading the books (Pretty much always the case)

I've only read the books. From reputation I never thought I'd like the Bond movies (I have since matured) and it was only after reading about Casino Royale (that is was closer to the books in ways that seemed cool) that I saw it, and started reading the books.

Misunderstandings this has caused can be fun - Moonraker is thus far my favourite book, I love the realistic-sci-fi aspect of it, and that Bond spends the first third of the book drinking heavily and playing cards. I swear that man drinks more in a night than I can in a week.

EDIT: Over the holidays I read Casino Royale (picked up five Flemming 007s I was missing from an obscure second hand bookshop. Score!) so there is one book I've seen the movie for. The half of the movie that was based on the book was very close, I thought. Except for Felix Leiter being played by Mr. T, which just really throws me.
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby cheesegrits » Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:00 am UTC

JayDee wrote:I think that Discworld is far too tied up in words to want to see it as movies. The wordplay and footnotes would be my favourite parts of the books, and they don't go too well on the screen. Although, if it had Alan Rickman in it I'd watch.


I guess that was one of the reasons I started the thread. I wanted to see what other people thought about how well certain books make the transition to movies. Are some books too ... well ... booky to make into a movie? I agree Discworld would be tough because it is so heavy on the wordplay, pithy descriptions, puns, cultural references, etc. But I think there's enough scope for good director to have a creditable stab at it ... although I think it would need Pratchett working on the screenplay!

Speaking of which ... I was devastated to hear of his diagnosis of early onset Altzheimers since my last post. Not that anyone deserves it, but of all people ... he really didn't deserve it! I'm torn between a selfish desire for him to crank out as many books as he can while he still can, and just wishing the man some peace and quiet with his family to enjoy the time he has left.

Either way we are going to lose an incredible mind way before his time.

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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby JayDee » Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:24 am UTC

Discworld would be the foremost example in my mind of things that shouldn't be made into movies. Sure you could, just take the stories and characters, but you'd be missing out on so much.
cheesegrits wrote:I agree Discworld would be tough because it is so heavy on the wordplay, pithy descriptions, puns, cultural references, etc.
These parts are a large part of the appeal of the Discworld novels, and they aren't really movie things. I can't help but think anyone trying to make a Discworld-book-based-movie is missing the point.

Chances are, though, that what I think is the 'point' is nothing more than opinion, and there are those out there who would love Discworld movies that were all wordplay free.

Speaking of missing the point, I was reading viewer comments on the Constantine movie not long ago. You could divide the comments into two groups: "I haven't read the comics, I liked the movie, and I don't see what everyone is complaining about", and "I liked the comics, and the movie butchered the character". If pretty much everyone who is familiar with the property disliked the film, why use the property rights at all. Argh!
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Vanguard » Wed Jan 09, 2008 2:10 pm UTC

i like pi wrote:I hate what the movie did to the book: Eragon. I can only hope that they do not touch Eldest


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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:53 am UTC

cheesegrits wrote:I guess that was one of the reasons I started the thread. I wanted to see what other people thought about how well certain books make the transition to movies. Are some books too ... well ... booky to make into a movie? I agree Discworld would be tough because it is so heavy on the wordplay, pithy descriptions, puns, cultural references, etc. But I think there's enough scope for good director to have a creditable stab at it ... although I think it would need Pratchett working on the screenplay!


Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Too many asides to encapsulate well in a movie.
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby JayDee » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:02 am UTC

Hitchhikers is an interesting one, thought. Most people are only familiar with it in adaption.

I've said before that I think Discworld could be done really well on Radio, in the fashion of Hitchhikers. Different medium, but still words.
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Malice » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:27 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:
cheesegrits wrote:I guess that was one of the reasons I started the thread. I wanted to see what other people thought about how well certain books make the transition to movies. Are some books too ... well ... booky to make into a movie? I agree Discworld would be tough because it is so heavy on the wordplay, pithy descriptions, puns, cultural references, etc. But I think there's enough scope for good director to have a creditable stab at it ... although I think it would need Pratchett working on the screenplay!


Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Too many asides to encapsulate well in a movie.


Hitchhiker's is difficult but not impossible. Like many difficult adaptations, one way to make it easier would be to focus on recreating the same tone or style, but in a different medium. I actually tried this last year, adapting a chapter out of "The Stranger", attempting to use cinematic language to keep the same kind of deadpan, existentialist tone to it. It helped that my actor couldn't speak French, and therefore couldn't speak it with any sort of emotion. :D

But you have to approach it as a difficult thing, and not do what they did, which was to slap events up on the screen, have somebody with a deep voice read passages from the book, and animate some singing dolphins.
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Jan 10, 2008 2:37 pm UTC

I haven't watched V for Vendetta's movie adaption, but from what I hear, they take an incredibly ambivalent story about fascism versus anarchy filled with an rich, deep set of characters (an unloved dictator desperate for some small sign of affection, a brilliant and self-destructive sociopathic anarchist, so on) and reduce it all to a good-versus-evil fascism-is-bad-mmkay? children's fable with very little at all to say.

If the movie's message can be summed up in the trailer ("TYRANNY = BAD! GOVERNMENTS SHOULD FEAR THEIR PEOPLE! WATCH AS I SLAY EVIL-DOERS WITH MY FLYING JITSU OF JUSTICE!"), then I sure as hell ain't wasting two hours of my life on it.

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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:15 am UTC

Malice wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:
cheesegrits wrote:I guess that was one of the reasons I started the thread. I wanted to see what other people thought about how well certain books make the transition to movies. Are some books too ... well ... booky to make into a movie? I agree Discworld would be tough because it is so heavy on the wordplay, pithy descriptions, puns, cultural references, etc. But I think there's enough scope for good director to have a creditable stab at it ... although I think it would need Pratchett working on the screenplay!


Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Too many asides to encapsulate well in a movie.


Hitchhiker's is difficult but not impossible. Like many difficult adaptations, one way to make it easier would be to focus on recreating the same tone or style, but in a different medium. I actually tried this last year, adapting a chapter out of "The Stranger", attempting to use cinematic language to keep the same kind of deadpan, existentialist tone to it. It helped that my actor couldn't speak French, and therefore couldn't speak it with any sort of emotion. :D

But you have to approach it as a difficult thing, and not do what they did, which was to slap events up on the screen, have somebody with a deep voice read passages from the book, and animate some singing dolphins.


That said, that song with the dolphins was stuck in my head for a long time. Anyway, hitchhiker's would do well, but I think that as a good movie, it wouldn't necessarily sell well.
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Malice » Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:10 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I haven't watched V for Vendetta's movie adaption, but from what I hear, they take an incredibly ambivalent story about fascism versus anarchy filled with an rich, deep set of characters (an unloved dictator desperate for some small sign of affection, a brilliant and self-destructive sociopathic anarchist, so on) and reduce it all to a good-versus-evil fascism-is-bad-mmkay? children's fable with very little at all to say.

If the movie's message can be summed up in the trailer ("TYRANNY = BAD! GOVERNMENTS SHOULD FEAR THEIR PEOPLE! WATCH AS I SLAY EVIL-DOERS WITH MY FLYING JITSU OF JUSTICE!"), then I sure as hell ain't wasting two hours of my life on it.


Let it be noted that, morality aside, V for Vendetta is an extraordinarily beautiful and entertaining film. Its message may have been simplified, but it's still unadulterated AWESOME.
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Nyarlathotep
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Nyarlathotep » Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:43 pm UTC

blob wrote:
Nyarlathotep wrote:The Neverending Story.

That book is seriously underrated. Such a beautiful story - and that's just the translation. I wish I could read it in the original German.

Edit: Hayao Miyazaki could probably pull off a decent film adaptation.


THANK YOU.

... and yes. I think Miyazaki would change it, though, which would make me sad, but I love his art :\ and he'd at least not make Falcor a dog... thing.

*e* Miyazaki is my hero, by the way. one of 'em, anyway. the man is just so creative and he still does stuff, becuase he can't help it. Visiting the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo helped cement that - imagine actually walking into one of his films, in a 3D space. amazing.
'Gehȳrst þū, sǣlida, hwæt þis folc segeð?
hī willað ēow tō gafole gāras syllan,
ǣttrynne ord and ealde swurd,
þā heregeatu þe ēow æt hilde ne dēah.

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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Sarr » Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:32 pm UTC

Maseiken wrote:I say Bombadil is an Avatar of nature. Think about, he's immortal, and all-powerful, but chooses not to intervene. The affairs of man (And orc, and elf, you know what I mean) are more or less the same level of irrelevance to him, that of almost complete. But he is still benign to those who will accept it.


Personally, I believe he's the Witch King, or at least one of the nazgul. Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but stick with me here.
(I'm working off what I remember from the books tho, so.... I may mis-remember something)
a) When Frodo offers him the ring he says he wouldn't be able to keep it away from sauron
b) He's able to command the Barrow Wights which were from a ruined kingdom that (I Believe) was said to be where one of the nazgul is from.
c) At the end Gandalf said he wanted to have a "long talk" with him, but showed up at Hobbiton quickly as if Tom hadn't been there.

Of course I could just be making a wild leap when I should be making a step over to the simpler soloution.
Rakysh wrote:Basically, xkcd is basically for punching into submission the dumb frat guy in your brain.

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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:34 pm UTC

Sarr wrote:
Maseiken wrote:I say Bombadil is an Avatar of nature. Think about, he's immortal, and all-powerful, but chooses not to intervene. The affairs of man (And orc, and elf, you know what I mean) are more or less the same level of irrelevance to him, that of almost complete. But he is still benign to those who will accept it.


Personally, I believe he's the Witch King, or at least one of the nazgul. Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but stick with me here.
(I'm working off what I remember from the books tho, so.... I may mis-remember something)
a) When Frodo offers him the ring he says he wouldn't be able to keep it away from sauron
b) He's able to command the Barrow Wights which were from a ruined kingdom that (I Believe) was said to be where one of the nazgul is from.
c) At the end Gandalf said he wanted to have a "long talk" with him, but showed up at Hobbiton quickly as if Tom hadn't been there.

Of course I could just be making a wild leap when I should be making a step over to the simpler soloution.


And if he was a nazgul, why didn't he take the ring from Frodo?
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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Cabhan » Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:00 pm UTC

I'm a little sad that there's only been a tiny mention of the Golden Compass. Not only did the movie cut out everything interesting from the books, but it was also just a terrible, terrible movie. As a movie, there was no plot or character development, and no reason for anything that happened to have happened. And well, if you're going to remove all the talk about God and such, then you need to remove all mentions to the Authority and how you can't disobey it. Otherwise, it's just awkward and terrible.

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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Sarr » Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:03 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:
Sarr wrote:
Maseiken wrote:I say Bombadil is an Avatar of nature. Think about, he's immortal, and all-powerful, but chooses not to intervene. The affairs of man (And orc, and elf, you know what I mean) are more or less the same level of irrelevance to him, that of almost complete. But he is still benign to those who will accept it.


Personally, I believe he's the Witch King, or at least one of the nazgul. Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but stick with me here.
(I'm working off what I remember from the books tho, so.... I may mis-remember something)
a) When Frodo offers him the ring he says he wouldn't be able to keep it away from sauron
b) He's able to command the Barrow Wights which were from a ruined kingdom that (I Believe) was said to be where one of the nazgul is from.
c) At the end Gandalf said he wanted to have a "long talk" with him, but showed up at Hobbiton quickly as if Tom hadn't been there.

Of course I could just be making a wild leap when I should be making a step over to the simpler soloution.


And if he was a nazgul, why didn't he take the ring from Frodo?

Thats the one thing I'm still working on. Other than that, the theory is sound.
Possibly because he wanted to be free from Sauron, but couldn't openly disobey him?
Rakysh wrote:Basically, xkcd is basically for punching into submission the dumb frat guy in your brain.

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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby Windmill » Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:23 pm UTC

Field of Dreams is a movie that comes to mind that is better than its book. (Shoeless Joe by WP Kinsella)

I really enjoyed the adaptation of Atonement by Ian McEwan. I thought it really captured the book and it was very faithful.

But for the most part, books are just butchered by the movie adaptations.

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Re: Movie treatments of books

Postby VoteBob » Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:20 pm UTC

I think most of the time if you did an exact adaptation from book to screen it would come out horribly. Books and movies are very different medias and have very different affordances. Making a story interesting on screen is a lot different than making a story interesting in a book. For example in a book you can have pages and pages of no action and no dialogue, just thoughts and exposition and it can still be interesting. You can't do that in a movie. It has to be visually intersting and mentally stimulating at the same time. Exposistion has to be short and sweet and things have to happen. But a movie can portray things a book can't. Like with Pirates of the Carribean's Captain Jack. You couldn't write that character because you know him mainly through body language.

As far as specific movies go, I think the best book adaptation I've ever seen was Lord of the Rings. They got all the important plot elements and themes. Yes they left things out and changed a few things, but that's necessary. Both the book and movie told the same story but did it in very different ways. Another thing to point out is that the movie Lord of the Rings can stand alone. It doesn't rely on the books at all. Someone who had never read the books, didn't know anything about them, could watch the movies and understand the entire story. At the same time it did hold as true to the books as it could, even quoting exact lines or inserting chapter names.

Harry Potter, on the other hand, is a good example of how a movie version of a book can really fall short. They're sort of like the Spark Notes for the books. They change things that are unecessary for the telling of the story (like having all the wizards wear muggle style clothes) and leave large pieces out that are important to the exposition. They directors just trust that everyone's already read the books and so don't worry so much about silly things like character development and making sure things are fully explained. Without the books, the movies don't present you with an entire story. You just watch it and think to yourself "Hey, I bet there's a good story in there somewhere." Same thing with Eragon.
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