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Best and Worst Adaptation(s) of Book(s) To Cinema and Television

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
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14,334
I think Starship Troopers turned a pretty weak book into an entertaining, if silly, film.

I used to think that Francis Ford Coppola's version of Dracula was very bad: it felt both over the top and weirdly stilted at points. But these days I think that that's its charm, and it does feel like a Victorian melodrama. Although what Keanu Reeves was doing in it, I don't know.
Starship Troopers, A classic book. I dislike the Verhoeven film

I have a bit of soft spot for Coppola's Dracula.
 

psikeyhackr

Physics is Phutile, Fiziks is Fundamental
Joined
Jul 17, 2013
Messages
1,265
Starship Troopers, A classic book. I dislike the Verhoeven film
It was an interesting book for its time though I think some people with a certain mindset take it too seriously. The movie was about what I would expect Hollywood to make of it.

Stranger in a Strange Land showed that Heinlein was more complicated than most Starship Troopers' fans seem to think.

I don't really pay attention to vampire movies.

psik
 

SPoots

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Sep 11, 2017
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165
Edge of Tomorrow is a great adaptation, one of those ones that is much better than the original source material.

Dune is a pretty bad adaptation. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy movie was pretty bad too, which is a shame as the tv show is a classic adaptation.
 

SPoots

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Sep 11, 2017
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165
Stranger in a Strange Land showed that Heinlein was more complicated than most Starship Troopers' fans seem to think
Didn't he also wrote Doorway to Summer? A time travel story with some interesting ideas, but wow the main character's relationship with his love interest is rather off putting.
 

paranoid marvin

Run VT Erroll!
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Mar 9, 2007
Messages
2,146
LOTR - very dificult to make a movie adaptation that stays true to the novels yet remains a commercial success. Probably about as good as it could have been, although omitting The Scourging of the Shire' and Sharkey's proper ending is a shame - but again understandable from a commercial viewpoint. The landscapes were stunning, the citadels such as Minas Tirith were awesome and Gollum was done really well.

As for the Hobbit; they got it right in making it more fun and lighter than LOTR, but Jackson far too much unecessary stuff to pad it into 3 movies. So much off his own stuff that I'm surprised that the Tolkein estate allowed it to pass. Taken to the editing room, there's a great 2 movies of 2 hours duration, but definitely not 3 movies of 3 hrs.

As for Dredd; I really enjoyed the later movie, but didn't think it was a great adaptation of the comic strip. We saw little of Mega City One, and there was little of the weird world of 2000ad in the movie. In fact take away a couple of things and it could have been a great futuristic cop action movie with no ties to the Judge Dredd licence. Whilst therre are a couple of things just plain wrong with the Stallone movie, we get a much better depiction of the Dredd universe , and threre's no doubting the licence it's based on.

As for King, many of his movie adaptations try to stay rigidly close to the source material and end up being pointless exercises. The Shining doesn't and ends up being a suspenseful horror, far more so than the novel it's based on. Which is not to say that the novel is poor, it 's more of a suspenseful ghost story whereas Kubrick made a horror movie. Cell is one of the worst adaptations; really liked the short-ish novel , but the film is horrible.

Cuckoo's Nest is a brilliant adaptation of a fantastic novel, both novel and movie are well worth spending time with.

I would say though that 1984 is the best; John Hurt IS Winston Smith, and the bleakness and outdated technology are handled very well. Can't have been an easy task adapting such a great novel, but it was handled exceptionally well -particularly 101.

Also notable adaptations include the BBC 'Ghost Story For Christmas' series, based on the work of M R James -in particular Michael Hordern's 'Oh Whistle'. And a little more obscure is the b&w movie 'Night of the Demon', an adaption of 'Casting of the Runes', which is a fantastically chilling horror story.
 

dannymcg

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Joined
Sep 9, 2016
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3,282
Location
Cumbria UK
Having read all the Barsoom books I was looking forward to 'John Carter', the adaptation of A Princess of Mars when it came out a few years ago.

Me and grandson went to see it and I really did fall asleep!
So woodenly acted and such an uninspired script that I phased out and nodded off while watching it.

He says I was snoring like Homer Simpson :D
 

Connavar

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Joined
Apr 1, 2007
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8,411
I don't have an answer on that one.:unsure: But in my case the book is a favorite.:)
The book is a favourite military SF that took some intrersting ideas, did something real with them despite it being a juvie book. The film is so stupid, a disgrace to even use the word satire with dumb Hollywood film like that. People overrate a silly movie because they dont like the book it seems sometimes. Written a by navy man, it isnt anti-miliary, clear anti-war like some other quality,serious Military SF novels.
 

Shorewalker

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Oct 25, 2017
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Buried beneath too many words
I'm a huge Stephen King fan and find that so many of his adaptations are quite appalling. For every Shawshank Redemption, there's a Cujo.

Probably the very worst, though is The Tommyknockers, a film that escaped rather than being released.
 

Cathbad

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Dec 9, 2015
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Everywhere.
Yeah... I read Tommyknockers only after I saw the movie.

Kept thinking I'd picked up the wrong book!
 

Vladd67

Stake Holder
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Jun 10, 2007
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3,061
I thought it was just a mini series, or was that the movie cut up?
 
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