The movies that are better than the books

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The movies that are better than the books

Postby Nekhrun » Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:48 pm

I hate it when people get all pretentious and tell me that the book is so much better than the film version of something just so I'll know that they read a book. There are many reasons why I don't give a shit. But what I would like to know from anyone is if you have ever seen a film that you thought was better than the book. I don't really have anything in mind specifically nor am I thinking of any particular genre.
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Postby Omphalos » Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:58 pm

I go back and forth on The Princess Bride. I also go back and forth on Well's War of the Worlds and the 50's film.

I really do think that Blade Runner was much better than Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep. I'm also one of those wierdos who liked Total Recall better than We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.

I will be finishing my first ever read of P.D. James The Children of Men, but I can already tell you for sure that the movie, Children of Men was much, much, much better.

The film of Battlefield Earth was lots more fun than the book, though I dont think it was better. Much worse in fact.

I think that Starship Troopers was a great movie for a different reason than the book was a great book.

I'm probably gonna get flamed for this by some purist or another, but I think that the LOTR movies were lots better than the book. I just find those damn books so completely boring. The Hobbit is a different matter altogether, though. I love that book, and I think its gonna be hard for anyone to make a movie worthy of it.

The performances in To Kill A Mockingbird were phenominal, and I think it is probably better than the book is, though that book is great too.

There are others. Ill think of some more later.
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Postby GamePlayer » Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:36 pm

I agree that literary pretension is a big problem that rear's it's ugly head whenever a film adaptation of a book is released. It's like this badge of honor people carry when they tell others they've actually read a book. Big deal! :roll:

Having said that, I don't think there's anything wrong with reading the book before the film version is released. In fact, I go out of my way to read the book first before I see the movie, if it's something I believe is deserving. Hearing that a film adaptation is imminent often works as a good incentive for me to get my ass in gear and read it. :) Sometimes I make it and sometimes I don't; the deciding factor is often the worthiness of the material itself. I read V For Vendetta when I heard the film version was still in production. Obviously it was a great book, so I was motivated. On the flip side, I read The Da Vinci Code after I had already seen the movie. As I suspected the book and the film were both poor, but the book was less trashy than the film. Not like it matters much.

Anyway...back on topic

Blade Runner was definitely superior to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. I still appreciate Dick's book (I own it), but Blade Runner made a great idea even better.

Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is far superior to the Stephen King novel.

I know I might get lynched for this one, but I loved Fincher's Fight Club more than the Palahnuik book, though both works are still dynamite, IMO.

Memento was even better as a film than Nolan's short story.
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Postby Mandy » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:26 am

I kinda think it is a big deal for people to read books, and honestly the book usually is better than the movie. They just haven't really figured out how to get a person's thoughts on screen. I'm always glad to hear that someone has bothered to read the book.

I can't think of any movies where the movie was better than the book, but I think Silence of the Lambs was as good as the book.
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Postby Omphalos » Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:01 am

Mandy wrote:I kinda think it is a big deal for people to read books, and honestly the book usually is better than the movie. They just haven't really figured out how to get a person's thoughts on screen. I'm always glad to hear that someone has bothered to read the book.

I can't think of any movies where the movie was better than the book, but I think Silence of the Lambs was as good as the book.


I think its got to do with the imagination of the person. Many of us are here for a love of books, particularly Dune, but books none the less. We have the ability to imagine some pretty cool things when we read. But there are lots and lots and lots of people out there who dont read much, but do see movies. I would hazard to guess that many of them would probably say that the movie is better, because things are imagined for them. Im really not trying to talk down to others here, even though that is exactly what it sounds like Im doing. But there is a pretty big difference in the imagination levels of some people. Id guess that those who self select to be here have grander ones.
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Postby Nekhrun » Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:31 pm

I'm well aware that almost every book will be better than the movie that is based on it. I just hate the kind of person who has to jump in and always tell me that. It just got me thinking about the subject. I haven't seen all of the films that have been mentioned above and look forward to checking a few of them out. (I'm not trying to get out of reading anything :D)

I just don't get why some films are so bad. Especially if they are already based on well-established, popular works. Why bother changing things that people already like/enjoy? The worst offenders are comic book movies, which reduce characters to fancy powers and costumes rather than people with motivations and real problems.

I do like Hellboy. I wouldn't say the movie is better, but I don't think it's a very big departure from the comics. The movie wasn't quite as depressing, but the humor was there and I look forward to the next one.
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Postby GamePlayer » Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:46 pm

I think a lot of the bullshit surrounding books is due to the illusion of book reading equating to intelligence. Though film is a great creative medium and home to many of the greatest works of art of our time, it is also a brutally abused money making industry. For every great piece of masterful film art, there are thousands of worthless, vapid productions. And due to the popular culture penetration of film, the devaluation of film feels that much more potent than some other mediums. The same is true for music. Literature suffers from this as well, though to a much lesser degree in the court of public opinion. In comparison to film and music, people still relate intelligence to book reading.

If you read a book outside of an academic situation, you're considered some kind of well informed intellectual. You're aware, well-rounded, or cultured as a person. As such, I find many people pride themselves on the fact that they still read books in our fast-food, instantly gratifying, visual based world. They talk about their book reading accomplishments like it's their fucking badge of honor and IMO, it's all for the wrong reasons.

I'd like to encourage more reading as well, but people have to WANT to read, not because they should or because it's expected of them. Books should be viewed as worth our time, like a good film or a great album. Sadly, the majority of people don't seem to look at books that way, yet they know they should. If the stigma attached to book reading is any indication, people know they should read and feel guilty that they don't do so often enough. When people finally do read, they act as if they've won a trophy :roll:
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Postby GamePlayer » Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:06 pm

Nekhrun wrote:I just don't get why some films are so bad. Especially if they are already based on well-established, popular works. Why bother changing things that people already like/enjoy? The worst offenders are comic book movies, which reduce characters to fancy powers and costumes rather than people with motivations and real problems.


You have to look at it from a different perspective than you normally do and understand the nature of filmmaking as a business. Film has become such a huge industry that it must somehow sustain itself. Studios can only make money if they continue to make product. Regardless of the potential film concepts that exist, films must be made to fill every week of the year.

Imagine you're a film executive for a major studio and it's your job to see that the company produces 50 films a year. You must make that many films in order pay everyone in your company and earn a profit. It doesn't matter if there are 50 good film concepts every year. You have to make 50 films that will sell regardless of the scripts available.

Now because this state of filmmaking has persisted for years, most of the potential material for highly profitable film has been exhausted. The reason remakes are being made is not because "Hollwyood has run out of ideas." Remakes are popular because only certain ideas can be made into blockbuster films, which are the high-return productions that make the profits studioes want. Most of those types of films have already been made and their concepts have been devoured. More film is being produced annually to sustain the industry than the number of potentially worthwhile film concepts. The only way to ensure profitability in the eyes of many studios is to stick with what was profitable in the past. Modernize a previously successful idea and sell it again.
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Postby Phaedrus » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:27 pm

Fight Club the movie comes very close to being as good as Fight Club the book. And the ending, although totally different, is just as cool.

Reading is connected to intelligence because first, there was a time, not too long ago, when only a few people were even able to read. Another thing is that books used to have complex thoughts, deep themes, and heavy ideas running through them. Or they were textbooks, or essays, or poetry, or somesuchthing. So it required intelligence to be able to read and understand books.

Now, we've got people like Kevin J. Anderson, J.K. Rowling, and Dan Brown reading books, so intelligence isn't really required. It's just fluff, no thought required.
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Postby Mandy » Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:37 pm

I never read Fight Club the book.. but I loved the movie. One of my favorites.

OH I just remembered The Lord of the Rings. I know there are Tolkien fanatics who loved the books, but I thought they were a bit tedious. The movies were better, in my opinion.
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Postby Liege-Killer » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:08 pm

Omphalos wrote:I'm probably gonna get flamed for this by some purist or another, but I think that the LOTR movies were lots better than the book. I just find those damn books so completely boring.


I think those movies were an absolute work of genius. But then, so were the books. But I can understand your point. The books have a somewhat "scholarly" feel to them, while the movies have an immediacy and vividness that really brings the books to life.

I can't really say one is better than the other; they are both great in their own ways.
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Postby tanzeelat » Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:13 am

Marnie - Alfred Hitchcock's film is much better than Winston Graham's book.

The Commitments - Alan Parker's film is much better than Roddy Doyle's book.

I'd also agree that Blade Runner is better than Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
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Postby Freakzilla » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:00 am

I thought The Exorcist movie was better than the book.
They were destroyed because they lied pretentiously. Have no fear that my wrath
will fall upon you because of your innocent mistakes.

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Postby SandChigger » Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:06 am

You read it, too, huh? :)
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Postby Tleilax Master B » Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:14 am

Freakzilla wrote:I thought The Exorcist movie was better than the book.


I totally agree
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