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Haven => General Area => Topic started by: stika on August 07, 2013, 10:37:19 AM

Title: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: stika 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

(http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/5382/i3jz.jpg)

I love the books, but this movie is at BT described it a "beautiful trainwreck", I wholeheartedly recommend it
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: Cathenah19 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.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: stika 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
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: GrahamRocks! 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.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: Cathenah19 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.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: GrahamRocks! on August 08, 2013, 12:47:44 AM
But... they set up The Silver Chair so well... :(
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: stika 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
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: GrahamRocks! on August 08, 2013, 09:56:23 AM
On yes, I loved The Hobbit!
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: waltzdancing on August 09, 2013, 08:34:45 PM
The Hunger Games
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: KatieHal 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.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: stika 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
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: GrahamRocks! 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.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: KatieHal on August 12, 2013, 08:07:46 AM
Yeah, they're...problematic, to say the least.

But back to movies!
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: stika 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
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: kyranthia 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.)
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: Cathenah19 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.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: Numbers 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.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: KatieHal 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.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: Numbers 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.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: KatieHal 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.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: Numbers on October 09, 2013, 01:03:42 PM
It seems that they knew they couldn't get a strong performance out of Bonnie Wright; they only gave her the bare minimum of things to do, before shoving her off into off-screen land. I love how in the final shot of the final movie, it starts out with Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny in the frame, but then the camera zooms in and conspicuously cuts Ginny out.

And while we're on the subject of weak links in the cast, how awful was that Seamus kid?
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: stika on October 10, 2013, 06:30:55 AM
This reminds me, what about the Shining? I hear the movie is nothing like the book.

To those who read the book, how does it compare?
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: Numbers on October 10, 2013, 07:33:11 PM
From what I have heard, I don't think any of the Stephen King movies are anything like the books they're based on. And a better question would be, has anybody here actually bothered to read any of his stuff?
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: stika on October 11, 2013, 05:52:44 AM
I never did he's not really my style. I may also be doing an unfair comparison here, but Stephen King has directed some movies based on his books, from what I gather they're meant to be as true to the books as a movie can get.


And the few I've seen are not very good, which only served to drive me further away from his literary works
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: Numbers on October 11, 2013, 03:41:10 PM
Well, let's see...the TV Tropes article on Stephen King states:

"Many of his books have been made into films. Few of those have been good films, and most of those that are good are, ironically, not horror films, with the most standout exception being The Shining, even if it is very different from the book. This is often due to the directors of the given movies having no idea how to convey the thoughts of King's characters, which often affect their situations just as much as their actions, into workable scenes."

From what I've seen of the movie adaptations, some of the better ones are Carrie, The Green Mile, Misery, The Shawshank Redemption, and The Shining.

Some of the bad ones, meanwhile, are It, The Langoliers, Children of the Corn, The Running Man, and The Tommyknockers.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: stika on October 11, 2013, 05:42:06 PM
Oh my. The Langoliers is LEGENDARILY bad :P

that ending... THAT ENDING :P


From what I remember, a lot of the Stephen King movies have amazing build up, but a very poor payoff and nowhere is that more apparent than in the Langoliers
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: Numbers on October 11, 2013, 08:10:01 PM
What? You don't think those killer raisins at the end were scary?

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_aqCjiYQXKAU/S9U9FwYhzjI/AAAAAAAABTg/XzENubZmv30/s1600/langoliers.jpg)

Or, for that matter, the ending of It, when the heroes are confronted by...

(http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110810221829/villains/images/9/99/Pennywise's_true_form.jpg)

...whatever the hell this thing is.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: stika on October 12, 2013, 04:09:17 PM
argh! Awful!

I remember there was a Stephen King TV mini-series I saw that suffered from a similar issue but I'll be damned if I can remember its name.

it was something about the devil being in a prison on a small town during a snowstorm?
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: Numbers on October 12, 2013, 05:12:48 PM
I believe "Storm of the Century" is what you're looking for.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0135659/ (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0135659/)
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: Numbers on October 30, 2013, 08:33:51 PM
Sorry about the late double-post, but I have a duty to perform. Namely, talk about the Tolkien book adaptations. I'm mainly going to focus on The Hobbit in this post, since it's more relevant right now, given that the movies are still coming out.

So...was The Hobbit a good movie? Yeah, for the most part. Was it good by comparison to Lord of the Rings? Hell no. It didn't even come close. But given the unusually high standard set by LotR, it was unlikely The Hobbit would have lived up to the hype regardless.

When The Hobbit does something right, it hits it out of the park. The Riddles in the Dark scene will probably go down as one of the most iconic scenes in cinema; it was the one part in the movie that everybody loved, and Andy Serkis once again gave an Oscar-worthy performance (and yet again got snubbed for his troubles). The scene itself was brilliantly shot, the dialogue stayed true to the book and both actors involved really got to show off their skills. It was a bit long, but other than that, it was easily the best part of the movie.

Another thing I liked was the portrayal of the Elves. For whatever reason, Elrond seemed much more likable here than he ever did in LotR (it might have something to do with the fact that Arwen wasn't a part of the story, hence no need for Elrond to hover over her every move). Cate Blanchett appears to be very well-preserved, as Galadriel actually seemed younger here than she did in LotR. She was also very warm, which was nice after seeing her so uncharacteristically off-putting in Fellowship. And of course, she does that cool spinning motion with her dress, which the cameramen showed off every chance they got.

Most of the Dwarves were pretty good. Seems like Thorin was a big hit with the ladies, which is good, because in the book, Thorin was old, greedy, arrogant, and just generally unlikable. I really liked Balin and Dwalin, who are both completely opposite of each other. Dwalin seriously looks like he belongs in a motorcycle gang. As for Fili and Kili, I can see why they made them the good-looking members of the group, for reasons that will become clear by the end of the trilogy. Bofur had a good moment with Bilbo when they were in the small cave, and you can tell that, for all of the pain Bofur's been through, he's still a good guy who hasn't gone off the deep end. Ori was probably supposed to be funny, but he was pretty annoying, in all honesty. I'm not against homosexuality, but an effeminate dwarf just seems wrong for some reason. Bombur was mostly just there for gross-out humor, it looks like, so no points for him. And...I can't really remember any of the rest.

As for the bad guys, I actually kind of liked the Great Goblin, even though I knew I shouldn't. He looked fairly good for an all-CGI character, if not on the same level as Gollum. The main problem with him is that he wasn't threatening. A standoff between this guy and Gandalf is ready to happen, but (1) the fight is over in like two seconds, and (2) the last time we saw Gandalf facing a single opponent across a bridge in an underground cavern, he was facing a freakin' Balrog. And even though Gandalf got better, the Balrog still, in effect, killed him. The Great Goblin? He's not a threat to Gandalf. He's practice. In the end, I guess it's somewhat better than in the book where Gandalf shows up and kills the Goblin before he even leaves his throne.

And...I know I'm probably getting myself into hot water here, but...I liked Azog. I thought he was really cool. I know a lot of people hated that he was being brought back from the dead for the sole purpose of giving this first movie its own Big Bad, but I thought he was great. His design looked very sinister, and he was actually more vicious than either Lurtz from Fellowship of the Ring or Gothmog from Return of the King. It helps that he's preying on Dwarves, characters who are much smaller than he is, enhancing his threat level (for instance, he's a huge threat for Thorin, whereas I don't know how long he would've lasted against Aragorn). However, I will concede that his CGI didn't really look so good, especially during the scenes at night. And almost all of the scenes he's in take place during the night.

And now, for the things I specifically hated about the movie.

The pacing. God, the pacing was awful. It took almost 45 minutes before we got out of Hobbiton. And the scene where Gandalf is talking with Galadriel and Saruman dragged everything to a screeching halt. The movie was just overall very slow and you had to wade through the mud to get to the good stuff later on.

The dwarves prancing and singing while washing Bilbo's dishes was just cheesy, and could've easily been cut. In fact, Ori and Bombur could've been excised from the movie completely, and nothing of value would've been lost.

Radagast. What. The. Actual. Hell. Who in their right mind thought that this doofus would be appealing to kids, let alone adults? The bird feces in his hair, those stupid rabbits pulling his stupid sleigh, the stick insect crawling out of his mouth, the hokey acting...everything about him is either revolting or goofy, and all of it sucks. For me, he ranks right up there with Jar Jar Binks, Mudflap & Skids, and Adam Sandler in every one of his roles ever, in terms of sheer wrongness.

The trolls. Not only did they not look good at all, they were also very goofy and not intimidating. And Bilbo getting sneezed on was just not necessary.

Finally, a bigger problem with the movie itself: the action scenes. A lot of them were just thrown in because there needed to be some action to spice things up, which wouldn't have been a problem if the pacing were better. The dwarves fighting the trolls was just there because there hadn't been any action since the movie started (flashbacks don't count). The Wargs attacking the Dwarves on the plains was, again, just there because the audience needed to stay awake. Also, Radagast leading the Wargs away from the Dwarves--yet somehow continuing to circle around in front of the Dwarves---wins the award for Most Nonsensical Chase Scene of the Year.

The Stone Giants looked cool, but that scene overall was just pointless, especially since we know that none of these Dwarves will die or be injured so early on. The escape from Goblin Town was probably the funnest action scene, but there was still something off about it. Maybe it's because I compare it to the escape from the Mines of Moria in Fellowship. The stuff added in that scene helped add to the tension, and the collapsing stairs scene was very intense. Here, though, the stuff added to the scene was just gimmicky and ran on the Rule of Cool, further emphasized when our protagonists somehow survive falling a mile down a ravine--and then having the body of a very large opponent splat directly on top of them. Are any of them hurt? Nope. They're all fine. Nothing more than a few scratches here and there. The final action scene was pretty over-the-top too, while also being very underwhelming. Not a good note to go out on.

And lastly, the Eagles somehow looked even worse here than they did in the first trilogy.

So, yeah. The Hobbit was okay, just not by comparison to what Peter Jackson has done before. I'd still recommend seeing it, though, if just for the Riddles in the Dark scene.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: stika on October 31, 2013, 08:43:32 AM
wow! Now that's quite the review! Yeah I keep hearing the movie's pacing leaves a lot to be desired and that while it's a good movie it's nowhere near as good as the LOTR trilogy. I never read The Hobbit or even any of Tolkien's books. I tried reading fellowship, but I disliked the book's pacing.

I'm still unsure if I should watch the Hobbit, though it definitely isn't high on my list

P.S. don't worry about double posting

P.P.S: YES! Storm of the century that's the one! Great buildup, poor payoff
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: KatieHal on November 03, 2013, 08:48:03 PM
Quite an in-depth review! And overall, yeah, I very much agree. I didn't think Radagast was as off-putting as you did, but yeah there was a lot of not-so-good cartoony-ness about him. And the pacing needed help, yeah.

Overall, not as good as the trilogy but I consider those to be masterpieces that few if any movies will compare to. So, considering that, it was still good and worth seeing.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: Numbers on November 05, 2013, 01:27:10 PM
I've seen a lot of people on IMDB saying that this Hobbit trilogy is just going to be the Star Wars prequels all over again. For instance, An Unexpected Journey has been compared to The Phantom Menace for having cartoony effects, an extremely annoying comic relief character (Star Wars' Jar Jar to The Hobbit's Radagast, of course) and just generally being slow and boring with only about 15 minutes of cool stuff in the second half of the movie. I don't necessarily think that's an accurate comparison to make (for example, the time gap between the Star Wars trilogies was huge, thus people had to wait much longer to see any of the Star Wars prequels, the hype went through the roof, and the public's aggravation with the finished product was much higher than it would have been if Phantom Menace had been released only five years or so after Return of the Jedi). However, I can kind of see where they're coming from.

I'm hoping that The Desolation of Smaug isn't comparable to Attack of the Clones, though I'm not holding my breath on that whole Legolas/Tauriel love story. Why did Peter Jackson want to do another love story, I wonder? It's not exactly like the Aragorn/Arwen subplot was liked by anybody. In fact, most people I talk to about the LotR trilogy say that the love story subplot was easily the dullest part of the movies, and did nothing but inflate the running time even longer. That, and Liv Tyler is undeservedly billed the third highest for each movie, despite having barely any screen time. Come on...she wasn't even in the main books, IIRC, just the appendices.

Either way, I'm betting that the spiders will be nasty, the Legolas/Tauriel stuff will suck, the added action scenes will be fun but will also make the movie much longer than it should, Beorn will be boring like in the book, Bard the Bowman will freakin' rock regardless of the fact that he looks way too much like Will Turner, the scene between Bilbo and Smaug will be the best part of the movie (notice a running trend of Bilbo interacting with CGI characters here?), and obviously Peter Jackson and co. will have had a heyday blowing up Laketown, which means a hardcore final action sequence. So, like the first movie...a mixed bag.

What I'm most worried about is the third movie. Of course, it'll have the Battle of the Five Armies in it, with a few major character deaths along the way, but what else will be there? Gollum and Smaug aren't in the story anymore by that point, so it's as if Peter Jackson has already played his two trump cards with the first two movies. He better come up with something good to serve as a finale. Maybe a battle between the White Council and the Necromancer/Sauron? He seems like a good final bad guy for the trilogy, given that the only other antagonists at that point are Orcs, who look insignificant compared to Smaug, who, as I said, won't be around for the third movie. This could set up the plot for LotR quite nicely...we'll have to wait and see.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: LadyTerra on November 22, 2013, 09:19:58 PM
I think, if done right, the Battle of Five Armies can take up an entire movie alone.  I'm not sure if Peter Jackson is capable of making military tactics through a whole movie interesting to a general audience.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: Numbers on November 23, 2013, 02:16:41 PM
Regardless of what happens, Peter Jackson will have a lot of fun making it big and epic. The battle was pretty much glossed over in the actual book, but that's not going to stop them from doing what they want to make it look good for the big screen. Remember, the cave troll in Moria was only in half a page in the Fellowship book, and was easily dissuaded after getting stabbed in the foot, but in the movie it took a good five minutes to kill the thing. The scene at Amon Hen was also pretty epic-ified from the book, making Boromir's death truly gut-wrenching, showed off Legolas and Gimli's fighting abilities some more, and gave us Aragorn vs. Lurtz, the second best one-on-one fight scene in the whole series. (The first best is Sam vs. Shelob, in case you're wondering.)

I have little doubt that the Battle of the Five Armies will be cool, but it's not much of a plot. That's what I'm worried about--all action, no plot. I didn't truly understand what a negative impact this could have on a movie until I saw Transformers 3.
Title: Re: Good book to movie Adaptations
Post by: Icerose on November 30, 2013, 01:36:52 PM
i doubt than anyone than me thinks that the books i love are great..but ok heres a small list:

The neverendings story will be and is my favourit book forever i love the way how it was written, and what fantasy and magic lies within the story and this book, i would love to read more books like this but i never found another books that entralled me that much as this book, i could imagine every little piece written ins this book really lively,its just great, i wished more books would be written ins this way than this one.

Stephen Kings Eyes of the dragon

The City of dreaming books.