Reel Lit: See the movies or read the books?

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Thread: Reel Lit: See the movies or read the books?

  1. #1
    Java Girl Barb's Avatar Retired Staff
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    Default Reel Lit: See the movies or read the books?

    Gacked fromt the current issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine.

    Basically, a discussion thread for films made from beloved books or series.

    First up: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Based on my kids' reactions, the movie is well worth the price of admission. It's also closer to Roald Dahl's 1964 classic than the trippy 1971 version with Gene Wilder.

    I'd have to say that Jaws was an excellent film, although it bore little semblance to Benchley's novel. It's one of the reasons that Spielberg is considered the best living director. Speaking of which, what about War of the Worlds. If you ignore star Tom Cruise's recent erratic behavior, critics and audiences still seem to like the film itself, which remains fairly true to H.G. Wells' 1898 alien-invasion novel.

    I'm looking forward to seeing Must Love Dogs with John Cusack and Diane Lane. Lloyd Dobler holding a puppy--need I say more?

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    MondoTR's Avatar
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    Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is both a great book and movie. Absolutely hilarious.

    Harry Potter I've only seen the movies of. I'm thinking of maybe reading the books.

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory I've only seen the old movie. Not sure if I want to see the new one.

    October Sky
    was a great movie and a greater book (cause it was written by the guy it happened to).

    Queen of the Damned
    I liked the book of but I never got around to seeing the movie.

    I'll add more once I remember them.

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    Avatar by Ayumeg Roses Ablaze's Avatar
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    There are very few stories that I've read/ seen both versions of.

    Harry Potter Of the movies I've seen, the books pwn the movies.
    The Neverending Story I know that the movie is old, but that's no excuse to cut out half the story and dumb it down so much.

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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    I didn't think it was dumbed down. The reason it only covered a small part of the book was because to do the full thing, it would have been about seven hours long.

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    Avatar by Ayumeg Roses Ablaze's Avatar
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    Simplified, then.

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    Java Girl Barb's Avatar Retired Staff
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    I loved October Sky, too. Anyone else read Homer Hickam's other books, "The Coalwood Way" or "Rocket Boys"?

    From what has been described, it sounds like "The Neverending Story" maybe should have been a trilogy, like LotR. Disney butchered Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles when they made the 1985 animated film "The Black Cauldron." They took scenes from at least two of the books in the series and melded them together. It was a dark film for kids (heck, the books were darker) but overall I wish that they'd just animated "The High King" and be done with it.

    But sometimes subplots in books have to be jettisoned. Look at "Jaws," for example. Hooper and Ellen had an affair but that was never discussed in the movie. The dinner party scene was altered significantly. The problem is, with books you can take hours or even days to get to know the characters and setting. With a movie, you have approximately 90 to 120 minutes to do the same thing.

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    Lying GrnMarvl14's Avatar
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    Comparing books to their film version...

    Well, for most films where there's a novelization of the script, the novelization is better. Usually because there's a bunch of stuff left out of the movie.

    I, Robot. Honestly, I still haven't seen the movie version. But from what I garnered, it was NOTHING like the book. Which annoyed me to high hell. Of course, it's hard to make a movie based on a book of short stories (poor Asimov. Poor, poor Asimov). But it's like most of Will Smith's movies. They're good on their own, but if you compare them to the source material, they're horrible. Men in Black was just...pathetic once I read MIB: Far Cry.

    LotR. Books were better. By far. Movies were good, but they just didn't have the same...quality.

    Beyond those, the Harry Potter books, and a few of the "classics", I've always either read the original book or seen the movie. Not both. And with the classic novels, it's hard to find a good movie version. Usually the ones that come close are the parodies. Which is always sad.

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    Java Girl Barb's Avatar Retired Staff
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    The only thing "I, Robot" the movie had in common with Asimov's books were the three laws. Otherwise, it was a decent, if not spectacular, sci-fi flick. And I have to disagree with you on LotR. The films were gorgeously photographed, wonderfully acted, and I would put them at the same level as the books. Compare Jackson's version to Ralph Bakshi's 1970s animated version.

    So, the general consensus on HP is that the books are better than the movies?

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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb
    From what has been described, it sounds like "The Neverending Story" maybe should have been a trilogy, like LotR.
    They actually *did*. But the problem is they got all new people to make the other two and consequently they wound up sucking.

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    Avatar by Ayumeg Roses Ablaze's Avatar
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    I've never seen them, but it sounds like they didn't follow the storyline at all.

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    Java Girl Barb's Avatar Retired Staff
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    Really? I don't remember the sequels at all. My mistake, then.

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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    The second one kinda did. It had the thing with Xaede and everything, but...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb
    The only thing "I, Robot" the movie had in common with Asimov's books were the three laws. Otherwise, it was a decent, if not spectacular, sci-fi flick. And I have to disagree with you on LotR. The films were gorgeously photographed, wonderfully acted, and I would put them at the same level as the books. Compare Jackson's version to Ralph Bakshi's 1970s animated version.

    So, the general consensus on HP is that the books are better than the movies?
    If we're comparing movies based on books to previous movies based on those same books, then we've got a whole different discussion. I like Jackson's LotR movies. They ARE good. I just don't think they're AS good as the books. Now, that's not by much, but it's a noticeable amount. At least in my opinion. But of course, the movie industry has yet to match up with what I imagine in my head. I'm just...so far ahead of the curve.

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    Java Girl Barb's Avatar Retired Staff
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    I think everyone's imagination is ahead of the curve, or at least ahead of the Hollywood curve. They lost a lot of Tolkien's poetry in making the films, which was unfortunate.

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    Meteorologist The Big Al's Avatar
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    "I Robot" was an essay Asimov wrote about robots centered around the three laws. The movie was what would happen if you removed those laws.

    "War of the Worlds" was a horrible retelling (Actually it wasn't even a retelling). It was about Cruise and that girl screeching. It was a classic title slapped on a bad movie.

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

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