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CastlevaniaNut18

Books What movies/shows do you prefer over their book counterparts?

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The general consensus has always been that the books are better than their screen versions. I almost always agree. But I thought it would be interesting for those of us who love to read discuss where we feel the opposite. 

 

Two notable exceptions for me are The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. 

 

I remember being in high school when LotR was out and taking the world by storm. I had a friend who loved to read, probably even more than myself and even she agreed that the books were a slog at times and you'd be better off just watching the movies. After making a halfhearted attempt the the first book, I took her advice. Maybe one day I'll give the books another go, but I haven't gotten there yet. Hell, even though I enjoyed the movies, I haven't seen them in years. My husband has never seen them and we keep saying we're going to sit down and watch the Extended Editions(which I do own on blu ray), but we haven't done it yet because they're so damn long.

 

As for GoT, I did read the first three books in the series, but Martin is too long on descriptions and his books are a chore to read at times. I gave up on A Feast for Crows. And the man takes too long to write a book, so I've just stuck with the show. It's not perfect by any means, but it's overall provided me with some damn good entertainment. 

 

 

So what say you, fellow book lovers? Do you agree with me or not and do you have other books that have been outdone by the big or small screen?

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The ones that come to my mind are films that differ quite a bit from the books. Blade Runner and Jurassic Park are classic films that I think each outdo their source material. I haven't read the book, but I hear it's the same with Arrival.

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I still need to read Jurassic Park. I almost bought it a while back, but something else caught my eye instead. 

 

I do enjoy films that are significantly different from the book. I love The Haunting of Hill House and I think the Netflix adaptation was fantastic in its own right. I think they went the right direction with it.

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2 minutes ago, CastlevaniaNut18 said:

I still need to read Jurassic Park. I almost bought it a while back, but something else caught my eye instead. 

 

I do enjoy films that are significantly different from the book. I love The Haunting of Hill House and I think the Netflix adaptation was fantastic in its own right. I think they went the right direction with it.

 

The thing about JP is that the movie cut and rearranged things in all the right places to stay faithful to the source material, but also streamline it to near perfection.

 

I know some fans who disagree with me, but having watched the movie first I found the book to feel extremely bumpy when it came to pacing compared to the movie.

 

I would say LotR is similar, and agree the movies are better.

 

While generally Stephen King's movie adaptations, even the good ones, trail behind the source material both Shawshanke Redemption and The Green Mile are substantially better than their novellas. Shawshanke in particular going from a lower mid-tier King short story to one of the best movies of all time imho

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I'd agree with Jurassic Park. The book spends a long time on the "science" of the park...a looooong time...before it really gets to anything interesting. There were a few action sequences in the book that I wish had been in the movie, but they ended up recycled into the sequels so it's not a big deal and JP is paced better the way Spielberg did it. 

 

And not like it's a classic or anything, but the film version of "Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey" blows the book out of the water :p 

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I would disagree hard on LoTR.  I think the movies are great - but the books are on a different level.  They are long books... it is an epic.  But you can't hold their length against them.

 

My addition to the list would be Princess Bride.

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2 minutes ago, Chairslinger said:

 

 

While generally Stephen King's movie adaptations, even the good ones, trail behind the source material both Shawshanke Redemption and The Green Mile are substantially better than their novellas. Shawshanke in particular going from a lower mid-tier King short story to one of the best movies of all time imho

It's actually hard to imagine the novella surpassing the movie for Shawshank. I've never read much Stephen King(until lately, now I'm starting to get into his books, at least his earlier works), but Shawshank is really one of the greatest films of all time. 

 

And normally I read the book before watching the movie, but I've yet to read IT, though I really liked the movie and am anticipating the sequel. Gonna try to read the book before it comes out, though.

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I would also disagree re: Lord of the Rings, but I'm an admitted fanboy. :p

 

<--- Exhibit A. 

 

They are intentionally written to sound somewhat archaic and they're certainly long, but you gain so much more appreciation for the entire universe Tolkien created when you read the books vs. the movies, since so much information was left out for the movies. 

 

I fully agree with Game of Thrones. I enjoyed the first couple but they got progressively worse and worse IMO, and I don't think I even finished the fifth book and I don't care to even try again. 

 

As far as others go, two that jump to mind are "Cloud Atlas" and "This Is Where I Leave You". The books were great (in the case of Cloud Atlas) to good (TIWILY) but the movies flow a lot better and pulled me in more than the books. 

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@Nokra, yeah, I'm not just a huge LotR fan. Actually, I've never really been a big fantasy fan, except for my crazed fandom of Harry Potter. And I enjoyed those movies a fair but, but they don't hold a candle to the books. 

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19 minutes ago, SimpleG said:

The Mist, The Shining,No Country For Old Men,Cape Fear.

 

Dude!!! How can you say The Shining!?!?! Granted you're entitled to your own opinion, but compared to the book I think the movie sucks. You don't get any real sense of who Jack is or the fact that he desperately wants to be a good man, husband, and father. None of that struggle is in there. Heck I thought the Steven Weber mini-series was a better interpretation of the book. 

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16 minutes ago, CastlevaniaNut18 said:

The Shining, I've not experienced either. I want to, though, and I plan to read the book first. I'm really getting into Stephen King and his earlier works. 

 

It's great, and the sequel is awesome as well. 

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9 minutes ago, CastlevaniaNut18 said:

The Shining, I've not experienced either. I want to, though, and I plan to read the book first. I'm really getting into Stephen King and his earlier works. 

 

I think I am in the minority that doesn't think Kubrick's Shining is better than the novel. They are very different, and the remake of it King did in the 90's that tracks much more to the original is easily worse than either imho, but I find them to be about equal in quality. The movie is very good with scares and suspense, but like most written works understanding the characters and motivations is better in the novel.

 

The same could probably be said for The Dead Zone and Cujo, though those films aren't held in as high a regard as The Shining.

 

And for my money, I would still put IT firmly above the new movie. I like the movie, but I consider the book to be one of King's best, and possibly my favorite standalone King book. He is at his best when he is using the blood and guts for a deeper story, and IT remains one of the best kids growing up stories I have ever read. It's hard not to relate to at least one of the 7 Losers in the story.

 

 

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36 minutes ago, EternallDarkness said:

You don't get any real sense of who Jack is or the fact that he desperately wants to be a good man, husband, and father.

This is a big reason why I prefer it. Kubrick stripped all that away,Jack is deep is in wacky town before they even get to the Overlook and he never looks back. By removing Jacks arc,making Wendy a squealing idiot and Danny feels like the eyes of the audience, it feels like were seeing the last act of a tragedy and all you can do is stand back and watch. 

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8 minutes ago, SimpleG said:

@EternallDarkness

I would even go as far saying that Kubricks version isnt even a retelling of Kings story. Its so drastically different.

 

 

I would agree with that. And if I hadn't known and loved the source material I probably would have liked it as a horror flick, but since I do know and love the source material it feels like an insult. 

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The JAWS novel had the mob threatening the mayor, an animal abusing psycho Quint(he cut the fins off of sharks and dropped them back in the sea) and Hooper had a strange affair with Brody's wife. The shark was barely the focus from what I remember. The movie was better.

 

The Running Man was a cool story but it could be pretty boring. The character was on the run through the ordinary real world instead of through a linear underground with fun over-the-top gladiators. The movie was better. 

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I'm not trying to call anyone out here - but there should be a ground rule in this thread that you can't say a movie is better unless you have actually read the book.

 

I have to disagree with No country for old men as well.  Again - the movie is great but the book is awesome.  They are each their own thing and I'm glad they both exist.  If you have only seen the movie I would highly suggest reading the book.  

 

I agree with @SFLUFAN that the Godfather is the number 1 example of movies being better.  I read Puzo novel as a teen and it was not great.  I tried reading his last book Omerta and I couldn't even finish it.  

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17 hours ago, Nokra said:

I would also disagree re: Lord of the Rings, but I'm an admitted fanboy. :p

 

<--- Exhibit A. 

 

They are intentionally written to sound somewhat archaic and they're certainly long, but you gain so much more appreciation for the entire universe Tolkien created when you read the books vs. the movies, since so much information was left out for the movies. 

 

The notion that Tolkien wrote in an intentionally archaic fashion is probably the biggest fanboy retcon I've ever seen. For as good as he was at world building and crafting a compelling narrative, he was objectively bad at writing prose. And the latter isn't a function of the former; even The Hobbit, which was written before he conceived of the series, isn't particularly well written. LOTR isn't a chore to get through because it's long and dense with lore, it's difficult to get through because he can't pace the reader through it.

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14 hours ago, SFLUFAN said:

The Godfather is Exhibit A for this.  While the film is sublime, the novel is profoundly mediocre.

This. The film adaptation stripped away much of its potboiler melodramatics. 

 

 

For me it's The Shining and I'm a massive King fan with Pet Sematary being one of my favorite books of all time. I love the utter coldness and 'final act' sense of Kubrick's film, it's almost mentally abusive as a film. The King novel obviously provides a better character arc and well, fuller characters, but I've always felt that all that is deeply implied by Kubrick's film to begin with. 

 

Wendy is not a bumbling idiot as many opinions in general seem to imply, she's a tragically submissive victim of probably years of systematic abuse, be it mental or physical. I've never understood why Shelley Duvall wasn't applauded for her portrayal of a not-that-bright-to-begin with blue collar wife who's been abused into a submissive, high-strung wreck. 

 

While I love King's novel, I prefer the film's complete grimness. The family unit already broke down completely here, the unseen prologue is implied everywhere. Wendy and Danny's behavior and reactions towards Jack, Jack's last-ditch effort to stop being an all around hideous loser by accepting such a ridiculously terrible job for a family to have to endure and so on.

 

I just personally never felt like the film was 'missing' nearly as much as people think. I know King himself fucking hated it and that's fair but I prefer Kubrick's version. It's not perfect, but I do.

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2 hours ago, Chris- said:

 

 

 The notion that Tolkien wrote in an intentionally archaic fashion is probably the biggest fanboy retcon I've ever seen. For as good as he was at world building and crafting a compelling narrative, he was objectively bad at writing prose. And the latter isn't a function of the former; even The Hobbit, which was written before he conceived of the series, isn't particularly well written. LOTR isn't a chore to get through because it's long and dense with lore, it's difficult to get through because he can't pace the reader through it.

I would agree that Tolkien was not intentionally writing in an archaic fashion.  Everything else you wrote is your opinion - that you are welcome to.  However those writings have had praise heaped on them for a long time by many people... long before there were movies.  I would feel safe saying that people will be reading and loving his books long after the movies have gone out of style.

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By the way, I urge anyone who may enjoy the upcoming Pet Sematary remake's plot to read the book. The original film never got to the heart of the story and this will do it again no doubt. There is shit in that book that no film could get away with touching on and/or showing and I highly recommend it. 

 

First film was the Disney ride version and the remake appears to be the same, just more stylized, and leaving out the really heavy-hitting parts.

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4 hours ago, number305 said:

I'm not trying to call anyone out here - but there should be a ground rule in this thread that you can't say a movie is better unless you have actually read the book.

 

I think people need to have read some of it, but I don't need to go through the thousands of pages of LotR and GoT to know I don't care for them and I enjoy the screen medium better. Sorry, but nope. I made the thread. Plus, I assume that most people posing here in here have read, or at least read part of these books. Duh.

 

41 minutes ago, Bloodporne said:

By the way, I urge anyone who may enjoy the upcoming Pet Sematary remake's plot to read the book. The original film never got to the heart of the story and this will do it again no doubt. There is shit in that book that no film could get away with touching on and/or showing and I highly recommend it. 

 

First film was the Disney ride version and the remake appears to be the same, just more stylized, and leaving out the really heavy-hitting parts.

It was actually the trailer for the remake that made me want to read the book. Only my third Stephen King book and the first one I've read in probably 15 years, but it was great. However, I probably shouldn't have been reading the gravedigging scene during a lunch break. That was bad. 

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