Favorite/Least Favorite Movie Adaptations of Books You've Read

Discussion in 'Other Movies' started by TrueGeneration, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. TrueGeneration
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    TrueGeneration Well-Known Member

    Besides SK movie adaptations, what are some of your favorite and least favorite movie adaptations of books that you've read?

    It depends for me. If it's a book that I really like, I can be critical. Sometimes, I do admire of different directions or takes of adaptations, but only if it works.

    My least favorite: any The Great Gatsby adaptation. I wasn't much of a fan of Robert Redford's. There was a TV movie that came out with Paul Rudd as Nick Carraway and that was ok. Toby Stephens made a really good Gastby, though. And...I did NOT like Baz Lurhmann's The Great Gatsby. Not that it's a bad movie, necessarily...I guess I was disappointed with it. I thought Carey Mulligan did a really great job as Daisy, though.

    My favorites:
    Harry Potter series
    Lord of the Rings trilogy
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
    The Godfather
    Have to add The Fault in Our Stars, too.

    What are yours? :)
  2. Lily Sawyer
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    Lily Sawyer Inquisitrice | Author | Mother of Jack

    Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen)
    Out of Africa (Isak Dinesen)
    Cabaret (based upon Christopher Isherwood's Goodbye to Berlin)
    The Silence of the Lambs (Thomas Harris)
    The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
    The Shawshank Redemption (SK)
    Rebecca (Daphne du Maurier)
    Sounder (William H. Armstrong)
    Scrooge (based upon Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol)
    The Hunt for Red October (Tom Clancy)

    ...these are favorites among many.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  3. skimom2
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    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    I quite liked Big Fish. THe book was much darker and sort of disjointed, so this was one of those times that I liked the movie better than the book. The Natural was a better movie than book, too.
  4. Neil W
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    Neil W Well-Known Member

    I'll add Cloud Atlas. I bought the book because I enjoyed the film so much. The adaptation made changes, but they were all intelligent changes given the nature of the book.
  5. TrueGeneration
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    TrueGeneration Well-Known Member


    That's cool! How is the book? :) I recently bought it. Heard really terrific things about the movie; but think I'll read the book first!
  6. no bounce no play
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    no bounce no play I am Borg

    A couple favorites are To Kill a Mockingbird and A Flower for Algernon/Charlie.

    I did not care much for the LOTR movie adaptations :(
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  7. TrueGeneration
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    TrueGeneration Well-Known Member

    To Kill Mockingbird is a classic! I have yet to see the movie...:O

    Personally, I thought Peter Jackson did a good job adapting the series...initially I think it's a hard series to put on screen!
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  8. VampireLily
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    VampireLily Vampire Goddess & General P.I.T.A

    aside from King, my all time favorite is The Color Purple. This was no easy feat considering that the book is in diary form that shows the progression of Celie's life from a young uneducated girl to a strong elderly woman.

    Spielberg approached the film with not only a brilliant insight into the novel but with a respect and love of it as well. It's spectacular~
  9. Neil W
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    Neil W Well-Known Member

    Both Mockingbird and Flowers For Algernon are superb books, well adapted to screen.

    Persnally, I thought LOTR was well adapted to the screen - but then, I thought the book was flatulent and the editors gave Tolkien far too much leeway for airy-fairy irrelevance. Every time the story got moving, they stopped for a cup of tea and a singsong round the campfire. Jackson cut all that stuff out. Do you know, the two big set-pieces - the encounter with the Balrog on the bridge at Khazad-dum and the showdown with Gollum in Mount Doom - were less than 2 pages each in a 1,000+ page book. However, sitting round Tom Bombadil's kitchen listening to him recite poetry (which had no plot relevance at all, and was accordingly discarded by Jackson) took 26 pages. Jackson got it righter than Tolkien did, in my view.
  10. Neil W
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    Neil W Well-Known Member

    The book is 6 stories: all very different both in terms of plot and, particularly, stylistically, but each of them linked to the others in a number of ways of which the most obvious is that they are nested inside each other - you read the first half of story 1, that leads you to the start of story 2 and then halfway through that one you go into story 3 etc. The film doesn't nest them, it crosscuts between them (and some of the editing is absolutely dazzling). And the thematic linking is most obviously done by having the same actor play a character with the same moral attributes in each of the stories.

    Warning: it's nearly 3 hours, and it's definitely not to everybody's taste, but I loved it.
  11. TrueGeneration
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    TrueGeneration Well-Known Member

    Thank you for that synopsis! It sounds very intriguing and exciting. Can't wait to start it when I do.
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  12. skimom2
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    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    I agree. Jackson distilled a story by a man in love with his own voice into character driven story. He's the better storyteller, in my estimation.
  13. Neil W
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    Neil W Well-Known Member

    Mind you, Jackson has made up for it since by inflating The Hobbit into something 3 times what its source material justified!
  14. no bounce no play
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    no bounce no play I am Borg

    I also loved Blade Runner and The Adjustment Bureau, both adapted from Philip K Dick stories.

    I read LOTR a million years ago before dozens of authors jumped on the fantasy bandwagon. It was magical. I had also formed pretty strong ideas as to what the characters looked like (with a little help from the Hildebrandt brothers lol). I'm not much of an Elijah Wood fan to begin with and I did not think he looked anything like Frodo. I also thought the special effects during scenes with Frodo and Gandalf (when Wood was made to look smaller) were especially bad. I also didn't like all the posing in the film, it was like scenes were shot with the idea they would become publicity stills, y'know?
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  15. Grandpa
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    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    I'm a fan of LOTR the movies. The books were a bit of a slog for me, probably largely because of Tom. The hobbit village in the movie was just as I imagined, and Aragorn/Strider was spot on.

    Least favorite adaptations: Starship Troopers, which took a conservative-socialist world and made it into sadistic fascism. And Dune (the Lynch one) which took an all-time scifi classic and made it into an maze of incomprehension, bridged by gaps of confusion.

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