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Good book to movie Adaptations

Started by stika, August 07, 2013, 10:37:19 AM

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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?
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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?


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?
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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


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.
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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


What? You don't think those killer raisins at the end were scary?

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

...whatever the hell this thing is.
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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?


I believe "Storm of the Century" is what you're looking for.
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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.
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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


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.

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.