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Thread: Books into Movies: Opinions, Reviews, Dsappointments and Vctories

  1. #11
    Wild thang Rattus's Avatar
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    Re: Books into Movies: Opinions, Reviews, Dsappointments and Vctories

    I was just reading Stephen King's Best Ten Books of the Year list, which included a Michael Chabon book which reminded me of the other movie I liked better than the book: The Wonder Boys. I saw the movie first (didn't even know it had been adapted from a book) and loved, loved, loved it. In fact, I need to go buy it on Monday. The book, on the other hand, not so much. I found it vaguely pretentious and arch and if I recall correctly, I didn't even finish it.
    Quote Originally Posted by AJane;2742944;
    Another one that's always stood out for me is Stand By Me, the movie version of Stephen King's novella The Body. Rob Reiner really captured the spirit of the story, and stuck very close to the book.
    Stephen King writes in a way that is capable of producing a fantastic movie in the hands of the right film maker, Shawshank Redemption and The Dead Zone as other examples. Unfortunately, most of his books have been put into the hands of directors who easily see the overblown bombast in his work, but not the subtleties that underpin it, making them (some of them, anyway) classics of their time.

    Carrie is rare in that it is a fabulous movie of a fabulous book made by whom I consider to be one of the worst big-money directors of all time.
    Last edited by Rattus; 01-05-2008 at 06:17 PM.
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    Re: Books into Movies: Opinions, Reviews, Dsappointments and Vctories

    I took a "Film as Literature" class in college. It met two days per week. On the first day, we would watch the film and on the second day, we'd discuss it. Then we'd write a paper analyzing the film as if it was a written work. We saw some great films that I never would have seen outside that class.

    ITA with Rattus about Jaws - much better movie than book. Spielberg is a better filmmaker than Benchley is a writer. I also thought the adaptation of Bridges of Madison County was a better movie, sort of for the same reasons: the people making the movie (Streep and Eastwood) were FAR more talented than the author of the book.

    I generally like the book better in all but a few cases. If I've read a book recently and a movie adaptation is made, I won't see the film for a while. When I'm further away from the book, I'm more open-minded about the movie. I saw At Play in the Fields of the Lord a few weeks after having read the book and I'm sure the person I saw it with wanted to kill me. I kept saying "In the book...." over and over. That movie stunk, BTW.

    Amen to your review of the BBC P&P, Lucy - you can't go wrong with Colin Firth. I never warmed to the Kiera Knightly version - she's just TOO young (and not just in years) and doesn't have the oomph needed to play Lizzie. Jennifer Ehle is my favorite Lizzie, by far. Speaking of Austen, I did love the BBC version of Persuasion as well. Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root were perfect in that movie.

    There are some books I love that are adapted into movies that I also love. The LOTR movies come to mind. They're different, but both great. The English Patient is another case. The book and the movie were SO different in focus. The book emphasized the story of the nurse and the sapper, while the movie focused more on Almasy and Katharine. I loved them both.
    Last edited by Critical; 01-07-2008 at 01:10 PM.
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  3. #13
    MRD
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    Re: Books into Movies: Opinions, Reviews, Dsappointments and Vctories

    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus;2742950;
    I was just reading Stephen King's Best Ten Books of the Year list, which included a Michael Chabon book which reminded me of the other movie I liked better than the book: The Wonder Boys. I saw the movie first (didn't even know it had been adapted from a book) and loved, loved, loved it. In fact, I need to go buy it on Monday. The book, on the other hand, not so much. I found it vaguely pretentious and arch and if I recall correctly, I didn't even finish it.

    Stephen King writes in a way that is capable of producing a fantastic movie in the hands of the right film maker, Shawshank Redemption and The Dead Zone as other examples. Unfortunately, most of his books have been put into the hands of directors who easily see the overblown bombast in his work, but not the subtleties that underpin it, making them (some of them, anyway) classics of their time.

    Carrie is rare in that it is a fabulous movie of a fabulous book made by whom I consider to be one of the worst big-money directors of all time.
    Which version of Carrie? I only saw the first one day WAY back when and don't really remember it much other than the blood scene at prom.

    I don't read a LOT of Stephen King, but I have enjoyed Carrie, The Stand and The Green Mile. I would like to read Storm of the Century as I loved the mini-series of it. (It was a series of magazine articles was it not?)

    One of the BIGGEST disappointments to me was Flags of our Fathers. I absolutely loved the book and I know Eastwood makes some great movies, but then again, he's also directed a few losers. And he did not capture the feeling of the book at all. I was so disappointed in that movie after reading the book.

    ETA: I thought the movie of Bridges of Madison county was awful and I didn't much care for the book either. I apparantly was the ONLY person in the world at that time that did not get "Bridges" fever. I'm not a prude at all, but I just couldn't get over how the book and movie almost praised adultery and I just had a hard time with the subject and maybe that colored my vision on both.
    Last edited by MRD; 01-07-2008 at 09:59 AM.
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    Re: Books into Movies: Opinions, Reviews, Dsappointments and Vctories

    Quote Originally Posted by myrosiedog;2744616;
    ETA: I thought the movie of Bridges of Madison county was awful and I didn't much care for the book either. I apparently was the ONLY person in the world at that time that did not get "Bridges" fever. I'm not a prude at all, but I just couldn't get over how the book and movie almost praised adultery and I just had a hard time with the subject and maybe that colored my vision on both.
    Well, I didn't say the movie was great - just that it was better than the book! Seriously though, I did read the book and I'll admit that I got sucked in. When I read his second book I realized what a horrible writer he is. With Bridges, it was the story, not the writing. I think many authors would have had a hit with that story. When he didn't have a good story, his lack of talent was glaringly obvious.

    AJane - I think Irving is probably fed up with people trying to adapt his books to film. I thought he would have closed the door after the wretched Simon Birch was made based on his spectacular book (and one of my top 5 favorites) A Prayer for Owen Meaney. I know he did publicly distance himself from the film, but I wish he would just stop selling the rights to his books. No one has ever been able to do them justice. The World According to Garp is the only one that was half-way good and it still didn't come close to the book.
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    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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    Re: Books into Movies: Opinions, Reviews, Dsappointments and Vctories

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical;2744772;
    AJane - I think Irving is probably fed up with people trying to adapt his books to film. I thought he would have closed the door after the wretched Simon Birch was made based on his spectacular book (and one of my top 5 favorites) A Prayer for Owen Meaney. I know he did publicly distance himself from the film, but I wish he would just stop selling the rights to his books. No one has ever been able to do them justice. The World According to Garp is the only one that was half-way good and it still didn't come close to the book.
    I confess to never having completed reading an Irving book (got part way through Garp - must try again), but I loved the movie of The Ciderhouse Rules. I know many critics disagreed with me (28% according to Rotten Tomatoes), but I was wondering how the fine people at FoRT feel about it.
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    Re: Books into Movies: Opinions, Reviews, Dsappointments and Vctories

    The only book to movie that did not disappoint me in some fashion was Silence of the Lambs. I absolutely loved them both! The casting was the best and really made the characters come to life. Anthony Hopkins will forever be Hannibal Lechter. I do agree with the other poster who said The Firm made an awful movie, and for the most part, the other Grisham's weren't tons better, though A Time to Kill was decent....but hello! Da Vinci Code?! I'm so keeping my fingers crossed they don't butcher Angels and Demons (which was an even better book IMO). A fun one tht doesn't really compare but made a good (very) light movie was Striptease. I think I may be the only one that actually liked the movie , but I think you have to watch it with the mindset like you're actually reading Hiaasen. The humor is definately over the top and different, and I think it's one of those movies that if you haven't read the book (which I loved) it definately loses a lot in translation.
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    Re: Books into Movies: Opinions, Reviews, Dsappointments and Vctories

    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus;2744781;
    I confess to never having completed reading an Irving book (got part way through Garp - must try again), but I loved the movie of The Ciderhouse Rules. I know many critics disagreed with me (28% according to Rotten Tomatoes), but I was wondering how the fine people at FoRT feel about it.
    I didn't love The Ciderhouse Rules - it was an okay movie, but it didn't come close to the intensity of the book. Probably because the filmmakers were afraid of alienating the general public (the book's pro-choice theme is very, very strong).

    Crit, I agree, basically all of the movies made from Irving's work have missed the mark. I think The Door In The Floor ticked me off the most because Ruth is probably my favourite Irving character, and the movie left out her entire adult life (the whole second half of the book).

    I liked the BBC's Persuasion as well. I saw a bit in the paper yesterday about PBS doing the "complete" Jane Austen - they're going to run movie versions of all of her works. I'm not sure when it starts but I'm anxious to see the films I haven't seen yet. I've never seen a film version of Mansfield Park or Northanger Abbey.
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    Wild thang Rattus's Avatar
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    Re: Books into Movies: Opinions, Reviews, Dsappointments and Vctories

    Quote Originally Posted by AJane;2744855;
    I didn't love The Ciderhouse Rules - it was an okay movie, but it didn't come close to the intensity of the book. Probably because the filmmakers were afraid of alienating the general public (the book's pro-choice theme is very, very strong).
    Okay, have to give Irving another shot. I recall attempting Garp when I was a teenager, and though I wasn't a particularly stupid young 'un (my favourite preteen books were Babbitt, Nicholas & Alexandra, The Springing of George Blake and 1984), something about the characters just didn't appeal to me. Well, actually, they annoyed me. But I hated Margaret Atwood in the '70s, and now I love her. I've got to remember that every time I blow off someone I tried reading twenty-some-odd years ago that I just didn't get.
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    Re: Books into Movies: Opinions, Reviews, Dsappointments and Vctories

    The BBC Mansfield Park is (I think) the one with Kate Beckinsale as Fanny. I have to say, I didn't love it. I actually enjoyed the one with Francis O'Connor more, even though it was a bit more feminist than Miss Austen probably would have liked. Maybe it had something to so with Jonny Lee Miller (a perfect Edmund) and James Purefoy

    Northhanger Abbey is my least favorite of Austen's novels. It felt too much like she was trying to imitate Ann Radcliffe, which is probably what a lot of writers at the time tried to do. I'd give the BBC version a try though - might be good.

    ETA: Okay, I just checked imdb and Kate Beckinsale was in the version of Emma that I didn't like. They did Mansfield Park last year, but I've never seen it. I'll give it a shot when it airs.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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    Re: Books into Movies: Opinions, Reviews, Dsappointments and Vctories

    Quote Originally Posted by AJane;2744855;
    I liked the BBC's Persuasion as well. I saw a bit in the paper yesterday about PBS doing the "complete" Jane Austen - they're going to run movie versions of all of her works. I'm not sure when it starts but I'm anxious to see the films I haven't seen yet. I've never seen a film version of Mansfield Park or Northanger Abbey.


    I saw that on my PBS Sunday night, and was trying to figure out where would be the best place to post about it here. Mine is starting it next Sunday -- the usual Masterpiece Theater slot -- and I can't even imagine how long this will take; they showed a shot of the BBC Pride and Prejudice, and that's, like, six hours all by itself. I'd better go buy some new VCR tapes -- i've lost my copy of Sense and Sensibility, which I love, and like you, i've never seen a film version of Northanger Abbey or Mansfield Park, or Persuasion. I don't think I ever saw that one version of Emma either. So I'm rather excited about this.

    Oh, link is here: Masterpiece | The Complete Jane Austen

    Hm, I can't tell if that's the "Sense and Sensibility" with Emma Thompson. Well, I'm excited anyway.
    Last edited by Lucy; 01-07-2008 at 04:26 PM.
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