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when books are turned into films. Options
kaliedel
Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 3:21:48 PM
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Can anyone think of the most horrible example of a book-to-film adaptation? I tend to forget the mediocre ones and remember the good to great ones; I suppose "Battlefield Earth" would be a contender, though I've never read the novel (it can't possibly be as bad as the film, though.)
vr091073
Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 3:45:18 PM
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Elizabeth: The Golden Age, the 2007 sequel to the 1998 flick 'Elizabeth,' is a movie I thoroughly enjoyed, for four principal reasons - (i) the presence and stunning performance of Cate Blanchett, one of my favourite artists; (ii) wonderful acting throughout generally; (iii) the superb costumes and sets, and (iv) my own interest in and fascination with medieval Europe. Cate was also nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award for this film, which did manage to bag the Oscar for Best Costume Design.

The reviews by professional critics, though, were overwhelmingly negative. The excessive liberties the producers took by tweaking, and in many cases distorting, facts of history to fulfil their dramatic intents rubbed a great many people the wrong way. As one reviewer would have it: 'This isn't historical fabrication, it's mutilation.' I find this simple statement to be telling indeed, and as I much as I liked the movie, I nonetheless felt a modicum of disappointment with the whole shebang. So, whilst not a book-to-film adaptation, for a cinematic product supposed to be referring to the latter years of the reign of Britain's remarkable first female potentate, the undue degree of historical revisionism Shekhar Kapur allowed himself to undertake failed 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age' more than it helped, by a long shot indeed.
prolixitysquared
Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 9:08:42 PM
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kaliedel wrote:
Can anyone think of the most horrible example of a book-to-film adaptation? I tend to forget the mediocre ones and remember the good to great ones; I suppose "Battlefield Earth" would be a contender, though I've never read the novel (it can't possibly be as bad as the film, though.)


That is a really good question, although of course I'm unable to think of any great examples at the moment !
kaliedel
Posted: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 3:16:24 PM
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prolixitysquared wrote:
kaliedel wrote:
Can anyone think of the most horrible example of a book-to-film adaptation? I tend to forget the mediocre ones and remember the good to great ones; I suppose "Battlefield Earth" would be a contender, though I've never read the novel (it can't possibly be as bad as the film, though.)


That is a really good question, although of course I'm unable to think of any great examples at the moment !


Here's a list from the Onion's A.V. Club: http://www.avclub.com/articles/lost-in-translation-20-good-books-made-into-notsog,2079/

And speaking of which, I think I, Robot may be a contender - I don't quite remember Asimov's book being an action-thriller.

Kat
Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 7:17:58 AM
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I recently watched, "The Secret Life of Bees". It was filmed here locally...
well, across the bridge in Southport, North Carolina.
That was one of the reasons I had to see it...that and I absolutely loved the
book. While I don't think they did the book justice...they rarely do, I feel
it was a decent adapation.
prolixitysquared
Posted: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 8:51:14 PM
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Kat wrote:

I recently watched, "The Secret Life of Bees". It was filmed here locally...
well, across the bridge in Southport, North Carolina.
That was one of the reasons I had to see it...that and I absolutely loved the
book. While I don't think they did the book justice...they rarely do, I feel
it was a decent adaptation.


I loved that book as well. Just seeing who they put in the roles was a disappointment. I haven't seen it yet. I will eventually though, I suppose.
fayalso
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 7:47:34 PM

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kaliedel wrote:
Can anyone think of the most horrible example of a book-to-film adaptation? I tend to forget the mediocre ones and remember the good to great ones; I suppose "Battlefield Earth" would be a contender, though I've never read the novel (it can't possibly be as bad as the film, though.)


I never cared for any film adaptations of Frank Herbert's "Dune." There's just too much going on in the characters' minds that can't be included in a visual medium.
Winston Smith
Posted: Monday, June 15, 2009 9:15:40 PM
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I liked Dune, it was colourful (rich dark sombre colours) and of course being a David Lynch film is bizarre. The only problem was that unless you have read the book, the movie is incomprehensible.

Audrey Ann
Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 4:23:32 PM
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My favorite book of all time is To Kill A Mockingbird.
I feel the film did much more justice to the character of Atticus. The film was well done, in my humble opinion. When I first saw it I felt transported back to that time.

"When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness' sake. But don't make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion quicker than adults, and evasion simply muddles 'em." ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 9, spoken by the character Atticus
Luftmarque
Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 4:52:51 PM

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Audrey Ann wrote:
My favorite book of all time is To Kill A Mockingbird. I feel the film did much more justice to the character of Atticus. The film was well done, in my humble opinion. When I first saw it I felt transported back to that time.

I finally got around to reading the book after having seen the movie five or six times. Then when I watched the film again it seemed like a Readers' Digest Condensed Version for sure, but still powerful and moving. Have you looked at the "special features" DVD in the "deluxe" release? They are well worth the time if you love the book/movie, with stories of people who became lawyers based on the courtroom scene, and tidbits about the interactions of the child actors.
Audrey Ann
Posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 7:17:20 PM
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Luftmarque wrote:
Audrey Ann wrote:
My favorite book of all time is To Kill A Mockingbird. I feel the film did much more justice to the character of Atticus. The film was well done, in my humble opinion. When I first saw it I felt transported back to that time.

I finally got around to reading the book after having seen the movie five or six times. Then when I watched the film again it seemed like a Readers' Digest Condensed Version for sure, but still powerful and moving. Have you looked at the "special features" DVD in the "deluxe" release? They are well worth the time if you love the book/movie, with stories of people who became lawyers based on the courtroom scene, and tidbits about the interactions of the child actors.


I have it on DVD, naturally. But not the one you mentioned. Now I want it!

Aren't most films based on books a condensed version?
I remember the first time I got hooked on PBS when I was very young ... it wasn't a film but an exact word for word mini-series (no color when filmed, black and white) produced by the BBC: The Forsythe Saga

I was entranced! It was fabulous - 26 hours. I went to the library to get the book and was shocked that it was indeed word for word, scene for scene. I guess books are either done in a mini series or they have to be very creative in condensing.

I was disappointed in the last Harry Potter film only because I wanted so much to see the 'cleaning' of the house of Black. I'd rather it filmed in two films so as not to lose so much.
HomerJ
Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 3:32:02 PM
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The first one that pops into my head is "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy (Peter Jackson`s films)...in my opinion, the movies...the theatrical releases that is...are in many ways better than the books.
2001:A Space Odissey is another example or Gone with the Wind (I hate to admit it, but I liked the film and the book).
Stephen King had a lot of books that made the crossover and a few even became classics...The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.
There are so many if you think about it.
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