Author Topic: Good book to movie Adaptations  (Read 8724 times)

Offline stika

  • Magical Genie
  • *******
  • Posts: 1829
  • Gender: Male
    • That Random Game Blogger
Good book to movie Adaptations
« on: August 07, 2013, 10:37:19 AM »
What are some of your favorite book to movie adaptations? They don't have to be completely faithful to the source material either, just conversions you loved for one reason or another.

For me, I gotta go with Dune



I love the books, but this movie is at BT described it a "beautiful trainwreck", I wholeheartedly recommend it
Please visit my blog :)

Offline Cathenah19

  • Silly Adventurer
  • **
  • Posts: 50
  • Gender: Female
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2013, 11:18:56 AM »
Jurassic Park was the one movie that was adapted from a book I read that I was not disappointed with. Okay, so I read the book after seeing the movie, but even after reading the book, I still enjoyed the movie, and it surprisingly remains a good flick today with believable special effects even after 20 years.

The Harry Potter movies were also pretty good adaptations of the books as well as being pretty good movies in their own right.

Offline stika

  • Magical Genie
  • *******
  • Posts: 1829
  • Gender: Male
    • That Random Game Blogger
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013, 11:43:55 AM »
I actually never cared much for the Harry Potter movies (haven't read the books) I felt they had great buildup, but the reveals often weren't very interesting
Please visit my blog :)

Offline GrahamRocks!

  • Magical Genie
  • *******
  • Posts: 2165
  • Gender: Female
  • Hoooot!
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 08:09:34 PM »
Off the top of my head?

The Narnia films released by Disney and IIRC Paramount were quite faithful. Lion followed VERY faithful, Caspian followed less so, but still close enough, and as for Treader, it actually expanded on the story which I really liked!

LOTR is pretty good too.

Charlotte's Web (the live action one, not the animated one) follows the book REALLY well, even adding minor characters like the Doctor and the Gander. Although I never understood why they switched Fern and Avery's ages around. Fern is supposed to be 8, while avery is 12, but here it's the opposite.

Offline Cathenah19

  • Silly Adventurer
  • **
  • Posts: 50
  • Gender: Female
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2013, 09:03:51 PM »
Second the Narnia films and LOTRs. I liked how they dug into the appendices to get more information to flesh out the characters in LOTR. Those movies were simply epic, whether you read the books or not.

I thought I heard somewhere that there would be no more Narnia movies, which is sad because I would really have liked to seen the other books turned into films, especially The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle.

The Hobbit, while not very strict to the book, is good and it expands the story -- it has to for a 200-page children's book to be turned into three feature-length films.

Offline GrahamRocks!

  • Magical Genie
  • *******
  • Posts: 2165
  • Gender: Female
  • Hoooot!
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2013, 12:47:44 AM »
But... they set up The Silver Chair so well... :(

Offline stika

  • Magical Genie
  • *******
  • Posts: 1829
  • Gender: Male
    • That Random Game Blogger
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 09:33:31 AM »
The hobbit was a bit slow, but then again so was the first half of the movie. The sequels should really pick up though
Please visit my blog :)

Offline GrahamRocks!

  • Magical Genie
  • *******
  • Posts: 2165
  • Gender: Female
  • Hoooot!
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2013, 09:56:23 AM »
On yes, I loved The Hobbit!

Offline waltzdancing

  • Moderator
  • Magical Genie
  • *****
  • Posts: 1757
  • Gender: Female
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2013, 08:34:45 PM »
The Hunger Games

Offline KatieHal

  • Designer, Public Relations Director
  • Administrator
  • Phoenix Groupie
  • *****
  • Posts: 6553
  • Gender: Female
  • Snark Advocate
    • Phoenix Online Studios
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2013, 09:16:45 PM »
LOTR takes the top 3 spots in this category for me. The Hunger Games was also done very well.

I think the first 2 Narnia movies were good, but the 3rd one...yeugh. I haven't really read past the 1st book, though, and not in YEARS.

Harry Potter books were done very well, although I never liked that they cut the Marauder's backstory, which is actually kind of important to the plot.

For all their mockability and ridiculousness, they actually did as good as they could of adapting the Twilight books into movies.

Katie Hallahan
~Designer, PR Director~

"Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix." Christina Baldwin

I have a blog!

Offline stika

  • Magical Genie
  • *******
  • Posts: 1829
  • Gender: Male
    • That Random Game Blogger
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2013, 04:33:56 AM »
LOTR takes the top 3 spots in this category for me. The Hunger Games was also done very well.

I think the first 2 Narnia movies were good, but the 3rd one...yeugh. I haven't really read past the 1st book, though, and not in YEARS.

Harry Potter books were done very well, although I never liked that they cut the Marauder's backstory, which is actually kind of important to the plot.

For all their mockability and ridiculousness, they actually did as good as they could of adapting the Twilight books into movies.

I'm surprised, people usually tell me that the books are actually decent :P
Please visit my blog :)

Offline GrahamRocks!

  • Magical Genie
  • *******
  • Posts: 2165
  • Gender: Female
  • Hoooot!
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2013, 07:12:32 AM »
No. They're not.

I'm reading a sporking of it now, and... it's not pretty.

Offline KatieHal

  • Designer, Public Relations Director
  • Administrator
  • Phoenix Groupie
  • *****
  • Posts: 6553
  • Gender: Female
  • Snark Advocate
    • Phoenix Online Studios
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2013, 08:07:46 AM »
Yeah, they're...problematic, to say the least.

But back to movies!

Katie Hallahan
~Designer, PR Director~

"Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix." Christina Baldwin

I have a blog!

Offline stika

  • Magical Genie
  • *******
  • Posts: 1829
  • Gender: Male
    • That Random Game Blogger
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2013, 07:40:18 AM »
What about Blade Runner? Is it a good adaption?

Of course the hard part is knowing which blade runner version we're discussing, there's a ton of "cuts" and edited versions from what I hear
Please visit my blog :)

Offline kyranthia

  • Devoted Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 166
  • Gender: Female
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2013, 05:04:01 PM »

I thought I heard somewhere that there would be no more Narnia movies, which is sad because I would really have liked to seen the other books turned into films, especially The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle.


Last I read, the stepson of CS Lewis wants to make other movies but really would like some studio, other than Walden, to do them.  But Walden's contract on the franchise needs to expire first and that would not be until 2018.  (Info from this site:  http://www.narniaweb.com/narnia-4/)

I would like to see others in the series but I think by that point, the characters would need to be recast if they were doing The Silver Chair or The Last Battle.  I liked the first Narnia movie.  Prince Caspian was okay and Voyage of the Dawn Treader was disappointing to me.

I thought the Lord of the Rings books were adapted quite well for the movies.  Sure, some things were changed but overall, they worked for me.  I like The Hobbit too.  I am curious to see how the rest of the sequels will be.

Harry Potter was adapted pretty well for the screen.  My only issue was the adaptation of Order of the Phoenix.  I felt that movie left too much out for viewers who did not read the book, especially with the Department of Mysteries scene.   I remember after that movie thinking, 'If I didn't read the book, I would have been lost.'

Okay...I don't know if this counts, but I think Shrek was adapted pretty well for the screen.  Yep, it's a short kids' book where the princess and the donkey don't really even have major roles, but hey.  Usually, when short books are adapted into movies, too much of it is padding to get the movie up to the hour and a half mark.  (Since the thread is for good movie adaptations, I'll refrain on my opinion of Where the Wild Things Are.)

Offline Cathenah19

  • Silly Adventurer
  • **
  • Posts: 50
  • Gender: Female
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2013, 04:17:46 PM »

Harry Potter was adapted pretty well for the screen.  My only issue was the adaptation of Order of the Phoenix.  I felt that movie left too much out for viewers who did not read the book, especially with the Department of Mysteries scene.   I remember after that movie thinking, 'If I didn't read the book, I would have been lost.'[/quote]

I agree about a lot of information being left out of the movie adaptation of Order of the Phoenix, and I felt the same way after seeing Deathly Hallows, too. My brother never read any of the books and he was a little lost during some parts of both films.

Also, the most recent The Great Gatsby movie was not as bad as I expected. It adapted portions of  the book very well, even to lift prose from the book for the dialog and narration. The parts that were added or changed, though, were glaring in the movie, but I cannot think of specifics at this time.

Offline Numbers

  • Powerful Wizard
  • ******
  • Posts: 1269
  • Gender: Male
  • Just call me '93458093463' if you want.
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2013, 01:16:46 PM »
My take on the Harry Potter movies (prepare for large post):

I'm in the camp that dislikes the first two and likes the other ones more. It may be because the first two books are not among my favorites, and I really wouldn't have minded if they had taken a few more liberties with them, but that's not my main problem with them. My main problem was the length; the second movie in particular is just way too long for a rather short book, the same way Order of the Phoenix was too short for a long book. The kid actors at this point were still struggling to get through their scenes, and you could tell, especially in the first one. However, the casting was very good, especially Kenneth Branagh in the second one. Conversely, I didn't like the casting for the Quirrell guy in the first one at all.

Also, the special effects in the first movie were awful. That centaur...wtf, man?! Someone was PAID to animate that thing?! The second movie wasn't much better with the spiders, basilisk and the phoenix in particular alternately looking too puppet-like or too cartoonish, depending on the shot.

Prisoner of Azkaban...I really don't understand why this one is so beloved. It's an improvement, sure, but there are way too many growing pains and plotholes for my taste. Notably, the entire layout of Hogwarts and the location of Hagrid's hut has changed, and will continue to change for almost every movie afterward. Meanwhile, the casting for Lupin just didn't seem right, the shrunken head at the beginning was grating beyond words, the werewolf just looked bizarre (though still better than the Twilight werewolves), Hermione's transformation into the Pink Ranger had gone into overkill territory, and Hermione and Sirius try to get the werewolf to change back into its human form...when it had already been stated that once a werewolf began to transform, there was nothing you could do to help it, and it absolutely WOULD NOT recognize you as a friend, no matter what you did.

Goblet of Fire is probably one of my favorites, despite some of the bizarre casting choices; the two Barty Crouches underwent some serious character assassinations here. Sr. was a complete wuss instead of a firebrand like he was supposed to be, and Jr. ended up being a complete psychopath with zero redeeming qualities instead of the more broken, sympathetic character he was in the book. The other big complaint is the Quidditch World Cup being completely off-screen. Besides that, the Yule Ball was amusing, the dragon was cool, the lake and maze scenes were eerie and ominous, and the climax was appropriately emotional and unnerving. The last shot of the movie is probably the best in the series, with the carriage and the boat leaving Hogwarts for their own schools. Also Ralph Fiennes. Just...Ralph Fiennes. Could you have picked a better Voldemort than him?

This is treading dangerously close to TL;DR territory, so I'm going to come back and give my thoughts on the second half of the series in a little bit with a separate post. I'll also have stuff to say about the Tolkien movies and Narnia movies somewhere down the line as well. And finally, in a discussion about good book-to-movie adaptations, I'm surprised nobody has brought up Jaws yet.
I have no mouth, and I must scream.

Offline KatieHal

  • Designer, Public Relations Director
  • Administrator
  • Phoenix Groupie
  • *****
  • Posts: 6553
  • Gender: Female
  • Snark Advocate
    • Phoenix Online Studios
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2013, 05:06:43 PM »
Numbers, I'm with you. Goblet is my favorite movie, actually , I think it was the most well-done. For the movies overall, I never liked that they cut the Marauders backstory. It's really important and would not have taken that long to include. A bad call, that.

I look forward to your other movie posts.  Also I didn't know Jaws was a book.

Katie Hallahan
~Designer, PR Director~

"Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix." Christina Baldwin

I have a blog!

Offline Numbers

  • Powerful Wizard
  • ******
  • Posts: 1269
  • Gender: Male
  • Just call me '93458093463' if you want.
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2013, 03:49:59 PM »
Yep, Jaws was a book. The Godfather was also a book, and, from what I've heard, not a particularly good one at that.

Just a couple of things about Prisoner of Azkaban that I forgot to mention: Sirius and Wormtail, I thought, were perfectly cast. Unfortunately, the scene set in the Shrieking Shack at the end of the movie displayed the Big Reveal in the most obtuse, confusing manner possible, and I doubt that non-book readers understood it very well.

Onto the second half of the series (warning, another mega-post incoming):

Order of the Phoenix...I thought it was solid enough, but there were plenty of flaws along the way. As I said before, the running time was way too short, meaning that a ton of the book got left out. The reveal of Snape's worst memory was done in an extremely rushed manner, and it just made Harry look like a jerk for directly attacking Snape, instead of having him snoop around and get himself into trouble as in the book. Something about the "newspaper montages" felt wrong, as if to say, "well, we'd like to show you all this stuff that's happening, but we didn't feel the need to shoot a few quick scenes that would've worked just as well." And for what a huge deal Harry's kiss with Cho was, his breaking up with her is only alluded to in a single scene without much dialogue.
As for the good stuff...Umbridge was just as despicable onscreen as she was on the page, and Helena Bonham-Carter and Ralph Fiennes make the most of their very scant screentime. The big character death at the end was true to the book, where it happened suddenly and with little warning. And to cap it all off, we have the Dumbledore vs. Voldemort battle, the biggest one-on-one fight scene in the series up until the last movie. Pretty good stuff.

Half-Blood Prince, I felt, was a step in the right direction in some ways and a step backward in others. On the good side, the comedic moments worked very well, especially considering that the second half of the series is almost completely lacking in humor otherwise. They managed to find a child actor that could actually pull off being a creepy young Tom Riddle, and the teenage Riddle actor was very sinister as well. Slughorn looks like he's at least twice as tall as he is in the book, but as usual, the actor was well-cast for the part. Tom Felton really hit his stride here with the conflicted character he played. And, like the rest of the death scenes, this one stayed true to the book, where the character death was seen first, but it didn't really strike you until Harry returns to the body a few minutes later, and then it hits you like a brick, even though you knew it was coming.
As for the not-so-good stuff, the action scenes here left much to be desired. The Burrow getting attacked is a pretty good example of what not to do in a story with slow pacing: splicing in an action scene for the express purpose of making sure the people in the audience are still awake, especially if there are no consequences afterward. Seriously. The Burrow is just fine in the next movie. There were no repercussions for what happened. The Inferi in the cave provided a pretty good jump-scare, but when you actually see them, you realize that, individually, each Inferi looks like the lovechild of Gollum and a Holocaust victim. It's very odd. Greyback, one of the most vicious bad guys in the books, totally gets the shaft here, and non-book fans will only know him as "that really ugly guy who never says anything." The reveal of the half-blood prince's identity will leave non-book fans going "so what?" since it doesn't make any difference in the context of the movie. Finally, there was a big fight scene in the book at the end, and almost no fighting at all in the film, besides a couple of spells being reflected back at the user, and Bellatrix damaging property via arson like usual. Hagrid's hut is on fire? No worries; like the Burrow, it'll be just fine later.

Deathly Hallows Part 1 was an odd case. Hogwarts doesn't appear at all, and neither does Dumbledore in any capacity; Voldemort's snake gets more screen time than he does; the big three spend almost the entire movie camping; and respected actor Bill Nighy shows up to play a character who is only in two scenes and then gets bumped off off-screen immediately afterwards. The bad stuff was mostly the pacing of the movie. While this one has more action than most of the movies, it still gets bogged down by the overly oppressive atmosphere and the endless wandering that takes up much of the middle act. It doesn't help that while they wander, they wear the Horcrux around their necks and get moodier and moodier, bringing to mind some obvious parallels to the One Ring. I really have no idea what happens to Wormtail in the movie. It's pretty clear that he's dead in the book, but in the movie? I have no idea. Also, it suffers from one of the big complaints about the two Breaking Dawn movies: too little happens in Part 1, while too much happens in Part 2. This is the case here, where only one Horcrux ends up getting destroyed, making this probably the one movie that you can skip without missing out on much.
Fortunately, there are good aspects as well. The Tale of the Three Brothers was done brilliantly, portrayed with some really trippy animation. Yaxley went from being just another random Death Eater in the book to a full-fledged British gangster in the movie, while Scabior underwent the same process, going from a nobody to a stylish pedophile Goth. Truly a terrifying combination. Meanwhile, the snake attack in Godric's Hollow may go down as the scariest scene in all of the Potter films. Bellatrix is truly nasty here, and the big death scene at the end had a lot of people in tears, thinking to themselves: "This is so depressing! And I didn't even like that character!"

Lastly, Deathly Hallows Part 2. Oh man, was this movie awesome. You could just tell by the enormous amount of memes that it spawned literally overnight that this one hit the ball out of the park. Probably the biggest movie of 2011, one of the highest-grossing movies ever made, and an extremely high rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Talk about ending the series with a bang. It still had some problems, sure. The opening act was kind of slow, and the epilogue scene was about as well-received on film as it was on text (not very). A lot of stuff had to happen off-screen, which is really too bad because I would've liked to have seen some of the characters go down fighting, rather than having the heroes come across their bodies later. And Voldemort giggling like a child--and then hugging Draco a couple minutes later--could be some of the most unintentionally amusing moments in the series. (I think the Draco hug was supposed to be awkward, though).
On the other hand...the Battle of Hogwarts. All of it. I don't think I've seen something like that since Return of the King. Masses of Death Eaters shooting spells like archers shooting arrows at the force field surrounding the castle. That weird bridge you would see every so often getting destroyed to take down a huge amount of baddies at once. Revisiting the Chamber of Secrets. Luna addressing Harry by his full name to get his attention. Ron and Hermione's kiss. The statues coming to life. The Fiendfyre absolutely incinerating the Room of Requirement. Voldemort looking like he's just taken a blow to the gut every time a Horcrux is lost. The spiders that we haven't seen since the second movie coming out to play. The biggest Patronus ever, cast by Dumbledore's formerly bitter and hopeless brother. Everything Neville does--everything. Molly being a badass at the end. The crazy fight scene between Harry and Voldemort, which more than makes up for the extremely anticlimactic showdown in the book. The death of Voldemort's snake, followed seconds later by himself. This could be one of the most satisfying death throes of any movie villain I've ever seen. I'm only hoping something similar happens to Shadrack in TSL. And last but not least, Snape's backstory. The scene that made adults all around the world cry like babies. And I think I've said enough on that front.

All in all, I think the movies had a solid run. Some are definitely better than others, but they hold up in the long run. I don't know that I'll ever bother watching the first two again, but I pretty much liked them all from Goblet onward, to some degree or another. And it's telling that I, someone who is very cynical about the film industry in general, actually liked a movie series that ran for eight movies. EIGHT. FREAKING. MOVIES. Most movie series go straight down the crapper after the initial film, and this one kept my interest for all of them. And it's even more incredible that the final film, which is usually the worst in most movie series, ended up being one of the best films that I had seen in years. Kudos, cast and crew. Kudos.

And with that, the longest post ever comes to a close.
I have no mouth, and I must scream.

Offline KatieHal

  • Designer, Public Relations Director
  • Administrator
  • Phoenix Groupie
  • *****
  • Posts: 6553
  • Gender: Female
  • Snark Advocate
    • Phoenix Online Studios
Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2013, 08:44:16 PM »
The HP movies started off fairly simple but they really built up incredibly well. Which is fitting--the characters are so much younger at the start, it fits that their world is simpler (even when it really isn't) since we're seeing it through their eyes. That's why I don't mind so much that the earlier movies were very straightforward--it fits.

And yes, casting was a HUGE strong point. With one glaring exception....Ginny Weasley. Bonnie Wright looked the part, yes, but she completely lacked Ginny's sass, strength, and any chemistry whatsoever with Radcliffe. They never worked very well due to those things, and their kiss in the middle of the battle just fell so flat because of it.

Katie Hallahan
~Designer, PR Director~

"Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix." Christina Baldwin

I have a blog!
 

anything