Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Athena

Film Adaptations

Recommended Posts

As someone who loves books and likes movies and tv quite a bit, it's fascinating to see what happens when they translate to screen. Some of the most profitable movies in the last few years are based on books especially from the YA sphere.

What are your most favourite films based off books? What are your least favourite? What are you anticipating or not anticipating?

Share this post


Link to post

I hated last year's Ender's Game adaptation so much that I spent half of it imagining myself walking out, which I didn't actually do. I'm not someone who walks out, ever. I still kind of wish I had.

I reread that series over and over again in middle school / early high school, and then I reread them all again the winter before that movie. The books have some incredibly moving scenes, and complicated (for a middle-schooler) political machinations, and a sense of the characters growing up, and....

The movie had some okay but not that interesting CGI, great actors being given nothing to do, things being rearranged in ways that make the fundamental plot points make no sense, arbitrarily changed it so that the aliens had only one planet instead of being this big threat sweeping across the galaxy conquering everything, Ender being a foot taller than Bonzo which makes that whole relationship feel utterly unthreatening, made the big reveal completely emotionless, and so many more terrible things.... Yeah, I hated it.

Actually, after writing that, I just went and decreased my letterboxd rating of the movie even more.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

The Golden Compass will always and forever be the adaptation that disappointed me the most. I love the His Dark Materials book trilogy. I was excited when I first heard that they were going to be made into films. I followed news about the hiring, the writing, and the filming for years. The trailer was gorgeous and exciting, and I fully expected the movie to be great. It was not. It looked nice, but it had none of the magic or message of the books; the writer was forced to tone down almost all of the religious criticism, and some important world-building stuff wasn't properly explained. I was so bitterly disappointed.

It was because of that movie that I didn't allow myself to get my hopes up about The Hunger Games. Luckily, I think the first two turned out great.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

The Golden Compass will always and forever be the adaptation that disappointed me the most. I love the His Dark Materials book trilogy. I was excited when I first heard that they were going to be made into films. I followed news about the hiring, the writing, and the filming for years. The trailer was gorgeous and exciting, and I fully expected the movie to be great. It was not. It looked nice, but it had none of the magic or message of the books; the writer was forced to tone down almost all of the religious criticism, and some important world-building stuff wasn't properly explained. I was so bitterly disappointed.

Like you, I looked forward to it. I think they did well with casting, but failed in everything else. I had a feeling it would not be good after I heard how delayed the project was and the religious stuff. Then again, I always knew they could never do a decent adaptation of the trilogy. The Golden Compass is the least complex of the books. Still, it was disappointing to watch in theatres because I had the feeling most of us in the cinema knew around the polar bear scene how truly lackluster the film was.

Share this post


Link to post

It's even sadder if you read the rejected first draft of Weitz's screenplay. It was better. Here's a good article about the whole fiasco, too.

Like many fans, we'd always assumed that Stoppard's draft must have been a work of genius, and that his replacement by Weitz surely doomed the project. Much to our surprise, upon reading the screenplays, we're wrong. Had Stoppard's screenplay been filmed, the movie would have been ponderous, a bit dull, and far too long. Weitz's original script was actually great and makes us sad about the movie that could have been.

Share this post


Link to post

Weitz did an interview the fan site Bridge to the Stars when he first got onto the project. A lot of us were understandably skeptical about how they would adapt the film, but I remember feeling impressed with the way he engaged the fans of the book. He came off very well during the whole process. I guess I was always a realist about film adaptation as I thought it was idealistic if he could get everything he (and a lot of us) wanted.

I tend to err on low to modest expectations of any adaptation I hear about. I usually don't bother if the buzz around the film is bad and skip it altogether if I liked the book. Sometimes, an adaptation is entertaining if not faithful which I can be OK with, but I don't want to waste my time on a boring or lame film.

Share this post


Link to post

Hmmm...the problem is that the spazz dorkoid fanboy types who nitpick everything until it's just an oozing puddle have pretty much taken over and for whatever reason, willful ignorance and stupidity, stubbornness, or handwaving away they can't understand or accept what the word 'adapted/adaptation. They demand with froth flying from their mouths and stamping their feet and pounding their fists on the ground that not a single letter of the book/comic be changed when the movie is made.

So fucking what if they changed or left out characters or scenes? That doesn't mean the book or comic or whatever has been HTE RUINED FOREVERSSSSSSZZZ!!!!! The goddamn thing is still sitting there on the shelf or your Kindle or whatever with all of the exact same words in the  exact same order the last time you read the goddamn thing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
TheGongOfDoom I take your point about adaptions, but a lot of the time I find that things have gone downhill. It was better in the original text. If you can't bring things to the same level, or even improve them, I have to ask why bother doing it in the first place?
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

TheGongOfDoom, ain't that the truth! I think it simply has become a trendy thing to do these days.It is almost like some people feel as if this makes them the cool kids.

Joe, I agree but some times--most times--people are not willing to give change a shot and also don't realize that what works well on paper will not work just as well on the screen. 

Share this post


Link to post

Enigma X I agree with you too. Also, as a writer myself, I understand the appeal of trying something new, changing something to fit the new vision. But at the same time, I just don't enjoy Jackson's LOTR or Game of Thrones, though I love the books. I feel that something has been lost in the making.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

There will always be something lost in teh translation from page to screen as those are 2 vastly different mediums.

I think for me, the first thing about an adaptation I ask myself after watching a movie is, did the movie worked on it's own? and most of the time the answer is no. The 2 adaptations where the answers were Yes were LotR and I am number four. Although as I only read part of the latter, I can't really say much about the second important question which is - Was the general spirit/feel of the book kept/translated?

Sadly, that is very rarely teh case. Wonderful example to this is the HP series. The movies are not bad per se, however there were such huge and unforgivable diversions from the books that after watching the last one I was actually angry. I can understand cutting scenes or adding somehting that works on screen. However completly rewriting characters such as was done with Ron and Hermione is not something I can forgive. Plus, if you haven't read the books you were completly lost watching most of the movies.

Edited by carlyhope

Share this post


Link to post

Joe, I guess it all comes down to opinion because I read Martin's GoT and am up to date with it and liked it. I still think in many areas the series is way better and hope that a number of things are changed as the series goes on and evolves. 


And, just because it was mentioned, I am also a writer.

Share this post


Link to post

As someone who loves books and likes movies and tv quite a bit, it's fascinating to see what happens when they translate to screen. Some of the most profitable movies in the last few years are based on books especially from the YA sphere.

What are your most favourite films based off books? What are your least favourite? What are you anticipating or not anticipating?

 

Ooooo, excellentic.  As a voracious reader I find that I approach most adaptations with trepidation.

In the YA arena, I recently saw Divergent and thought that the adaptation was mostly successful; friends who had not read the books were able to follow the plot well enough.  On the other hand, The Mortal Instruments was a complete disaster and unless you read the books you were probably lost (heck, I read the entire trilogy and found parts of the adaptation confusing).

I echo the sentiments of those who listed The Golden Compass and Ender’s Game as huge disappointments; the adaptations stripped the books of their thought-provoking and most engaging plotlines.

I know my nephew was extremely disappointed in the Percy Jackson movies which is sad because I thought it was nice to have a male protagonist in the YA market.  As an aside, I think that the Artemis Fowl books could make for an interesting movie franchise.  

I am curious to see The Maze Runner and the Wicked Lovely adaptations.

I am a huge Jim Butcher fan and I adore his Harry Dresden books, however I was extremely disappointed in the very short lived Dresden Files television show.   In my opinion Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes remains one of the best adaptations I have watched.

Do comic books count?  I really like how Marvel is utilizing both classic comics and the newer re-launched titles in some of their movie adaptations.

Edited by OakGoblinFly

Share this post


Link to post

TheGongOfDoom I take your point about adaptions, but a lot of the time I find that things have gone downhill. It was better in the original text. If you can't bring things to the same level, or even improve them, I have to ask why bother doing it in the first place?

TheGongOfDoom I take your point about adaptions, but a lot of the time I find that things have gone downhill. It was better in the original text. If you can't bring things to the same level, or even improve them, I have to ask why bother doing it in the first place?

Money. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of money. No more complicated then that.

 

Enigma X I agree with you too. Also, as a writer myself, I understand the appeal of trying something new, changing something to fit the new vision. But at the same time, I just don't enjoy Jackson's LOTR or Game of Thrones, though I love the books. I feel that something has been lost in the making.

Read the dialogue in LOTR's again, it is laughable. Every other paragraph someone is crying "ALAS!!!!" or "LO!!!" IT's horrible on the page and would have gotten the movie laughed out of theaters. There would have been mass walkouts at Comic Con for Christ sake.

The big thing the fanboys whine and blub about is that Tom Bombadil isn't in the movie. He shouldn't even be in the goddamn book. OOOH LOOK A STINKING DRUGGIE HIPPIE AND HIS FREAK OUT CHICK/WIFE!!!! How quaint. It completely and utterly derails the storyline and kills whatever momentum the book had.

Share this post


Link to post

Interestingly, The Golden Compass film did include everything from the book, minus the very ending -- he toned down the religious stuff per the studio's request, but Weitz hit every plot point and I'm pretty sure he used a lot of the lines from the book, as well. It wasn't bad because it was an unfaithful adaptation; it was bad because it was just... flat, I guess. I don't mind if scenes or even characters are cut from book to movie (again, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire are good examples of stories that were streamlined), but I want the movie to match the tone and spirit of the book, and The Golden Compass didn't at all. It also didn't manage to get across some of the backbone world-building stuff, such as what daemons are and why it's taboo to touch someone else's, or why it was so frightening and wrong for a child to lack a daemon.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

 

Read the dialogue in LOTR again, it is laughable.

It's certainly an aquired taste. Same with Tom Bombadil. But I'm thinking more about Faramir. He resisted temptation in the books, let Frodo leave without dragging him all the way to Osgiliath. Of course, Jackson couldn't go straight from Helm's Deep to Cirith Ungol. Tolkien never interwove the two plots, we had half a book's worth of buildup to Shelob.

So I suppose what I'm asking is, why he saw the need to interweave them so much?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I suppose one can say that the LOTR movies felt the need to keep simultaneous events in different locations happening onscreen at about the same time, whereas the books can hop back and forth between "parts." That seems defensible to me, but it does make for a different order of telling the story.

My first thought on knowing the books were to be filmed, and knowing how much did have to be covered, was that Tom Bombadil and the scouring of the Shire would lift right out. And I don't mind Faramir not being convinced at first; JRT did like to establish some characters as All Good, impervious to temptation, and I'm not wedded to that idea. But I know opinions differ on that.

Share this post


Link to post

It's surprising how many classic movies were based on books. Not just Gone With the Wind and The Godfather (both of which improved on the books), but lots of detective movies (The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man), action movies (First Blood, Die Hard), and lots more where the movie has mostly outshined the book by this point. My favorites are where the book and the movie are both good, like The Princess Bride, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and (possibly the best book/movie combination) To Kill a Mockingbird.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I suppose one can say that the LOTR movies felt the need to keep simultaneous events in different locations happening onscreen at about the same time, whereas the books can hop back and forth between "parts." That seems defensible to me, but it does make for a different order of telling the story.

 

It's not just reordering the story, it's making things up out of thin air. I adored the LotR films, but it's not without its flaws and this is one of them, IMO. Not the worst, though. That would probably be (do we have to spoiler these? probably not, but I'll be safe.)

Aragorn looking into the palantir by accident after he fumbles it. In the book he purposefully uses it. Much more kingly. Also, getting back to Faramir, I missed the development of his and Eowyn's relationship. That should have been left in. They also cut my favorite line from the end where Frodo talks about saving the Shire, but not for himself. That got to a major theme of the book, and would have fit nicely.

Anyway, I agree that I don't object to books being streamlined or changed in adaptation as long as it keeps the spirit of the book and doesn't alter the characters too much. Sometimes, though, the changes are so extreme that I wonder why they even bother "adapting" the book. Just write your own damn story.

One of my favorite adaptations was The Wonder Boys. Loved both the book and the movie.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

When I think of Keira Knightley's Pride & Prejudice as a rom-com that happens to have some similar characters and plot lines, I am okay.  When I think about it as an adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel, my eye starts twitching and I get a little stabby.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post

It's surprising how many classic movies were based on books.

 

I agree; I watch a lot of TCM, and it feels like about 80 percent of the time the opening credits included "Based on the novel/short story by ..."

 

I like the Thin Man movies more than the book, thanks to Woody Van Dyke's instruction to Hackett and Goodrich to lose some of the mystery and add more of the marriage.  (And when the marriage gets brought to life by Bill Powell and Myrna Loy, well, even the greatest book is going to pale by comparison in my eyes.) 

 

In general, classic films based on dark tales tend to annoy me if I'm familiar with the source material, because the films were almost always softened up and often outright given completely different endings in order to have a happy one.

Edited by Bastet
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

When I think of Keira Knightley's Pride & Prejudice as a rom-com that happens to have some similar characters and plot lines, I am okay.  When I think about it as an adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel, my eye starts twitching and I get a little stabby.

I can tolerate Keira Knightley's Pride & Prejudice and there are enough things that I like about it that it doesn't make me stabby (though I haven't watched it all the way through from beginning to end). The Austen adaptation that makes me stabby is Mansfield Park. So, so stabby. I haven't seen the other ones, and thankfully I didn't spend money on it as I borrowed it from the library. Mansfield Park is difficult to film because it's such an interior book. There is so much telling and not much showing. But making Fanny into an author? No. Just...no. And that's just one of the many issues I had with that film, though the biggest.

 

On the flip side, I enjoyed Jane Eyre with Michael Fassbender as Rochester. I found I didn't mind the weirdness with the story telling and timeline (and leaving important stuff out like St. John is her freaking cousin) because I think it hit the right emotional notes. For me, the movie is akin to flipping to favorite scenes in the book rather than a page by page reread. And Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax is delightful.

 

 

Do comic books count?  I really like how Marvel is utilizing both classic comics and the newer re-launched titles in some of their movie adaptations.

I have enjoyed the MCU so much, but I'm not a comic book reader. What I appreciate about Marvel is that the films can stand alone, but all the background that comic book fans explain enriches the movies for me. It's a great synergy that I'm fascinated to see how long it can last.

Share this post


Link to post
I have enjoyed the MCU so much, but I'm not a comic book reader. What I appreciate about Marvel is that the films can stand alone, but all the background that comic book fans explain enriches the movies for me. It's a great synergy that I'm fascinated to see how long it can last.

 

 

The problems they face (which, admittedly, are only problems to a relative few) is that deviating from the source material can upset people. Altering or removing certain character traits or relationships that have been important to readers of the comic books.

 

And because comic books and the characters have such long, convoluted histories, it's simply not possible to address all of it, like it would be when adapting a book. They can show Natasha's relationship with Hawkeye, but not with Daredevil and not with Hercules. They can show Cap and Sharon, but not Diamondback. They can show pick a few different comic book stories to draw from for their plot, or come up with something new. But there will always be complaints about what they don't choose to include.

 

On the whole, Marvel had done a damned fine job of it. Although I will confess to a certain amount of fanboy unhappiness concerning some of the choices made for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

 

Can we talk about movie adaptations we want to see? Because The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is high on my list. Apparently there's a TV series in development, but I imagine it'll never see light of day. Just like so many books I've loved that have had movie and TV rights bought. I mean, where the hell is the Good Omens movie?

Share this post


Link to post

Kavalier and Clay is tops of my list too! Adore that book and have been waiting for that adaptation. I hadn't heard the rumor of a TV series, but had heard about a possible film years ago. The Yiddish Policemen's Union is another Chabon that's been rumored for a film adaptation and I'd love to see that as well.

Danny Franks, can you say what some of your issues were with Captain America: The Winter Soldier? (Properly spoiler-tagged of course.) I haven't read the comic books, but loved the movie so just curious.

Share this post


Link to post

The Fault in Our Stars is getting mostly positive reviews, so I'm happy. That would have been so easy to screw up, and it doesn't look like they did.

 

I am frightened to think about how much the Giver was botched- so I'll wait until the reviews come in before I decide whether or not to see it. I can deal with movies taking liberties- Silving Livings Playbook differed a lot from the book- but until I see reviews that do not point towards the movie being turned into a Hunger Games rip-off, I'm going to cautious.

Edited by methodwriter85
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Having just seen Maleficent, I understand how they were able to cast Brenton Thwaites as a 16-year-old in The Giver even though he's really 25.  He looks very young.  Although, yeah, I know, the character should be 12.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

 

I can tolerate Keira Knightley's Pride & Prejudice and there are enough things that I like about it that it doesn't make me stabby (though I haven't watched it all the way through from beginning to end).

I really like that version of Pride and Prejudice. Although I haven't read the novel so I am not bothered by its lack of faithfulness to the book. And I can understand why Joe Wright didn't decide to do a more faithful version when there already was a popular and supposedly faithful mini series. 

Share this post


Link to post

On the flip side, I enjoyed Jane Eyre with Michael Fassbender as Rochester. I found I didn't mind the weirdness with the story telling and timeline (and leaving important stuff out like St. John is her freaking cousin) because I think it hit the right emotional notes. For me, the movie is akin to flipping to favorite scenes in the book rather than a page by page reread. And Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax is delightful.

 

 This is my favorite version of Jane Eyre. In spite of being kind of condensed, it hit all the right notes, as you said. Also, the cinematography is breathtakingly beautiful

 

I have enjoyed the MCU so much, but I'm not a comic book reader. What I appreciate about Marvel is that the films can stand alone, but all the background that comic book fans explain enriches the movies for me. It's a great synergy that I'm fascinated to see how long it can last.

 

Marvel Studios has done very well in translating these characters to the big screen. Much better than Fox has handled The X-Men and Fantastic Four. I'm a huge X-Men nerd, and while I appreciate Singer's films, they will always be wanting when it comes to nailing the characters. Some are nearly perfect; Professor X, Wolverine, Magneto, Nightcrawler. Some are horrible; Storm, Rogue, Iceman. Those characters have nothing in common with their comic-counterparts aside from their mutant abilites. They might as well have made Storm into a man and gave him those powers. It would be equally as off putting to me.

 

I really loved Neil Jordan's adaptation of Interview with the Vampire. It was truly like watching the book come to life. I even liked Tom Cruise as Lestat, and he mostly irritates the crap out of me. I also think it's one of Brad Pitt's better performances, and definitely Kirsten Dunst's best. I ain't even mad at Antonio Banderas as Armand, though it does make me scratch my head, as that character is supposed to be a teenager.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

If I was a fan of Into The Woods and had watched it many times, I would be pissed at the changes they made. Some sanitzing is okay, but it looks like they went beyond.

 

You know, Mama Mia was PG-13 and it had lots of sexual innenudoes and it was a smash success. I can't believe they think they need to make this PG. You know how many kids I saw in the audience for the Hunger Games?

 

It reminds me of how I felt when they decided to remake Fame into a PG high school musical rip-off. They could've at least gone for a PG-13 like Les Miserables and Rent did.

 

This kind of crap makes me glad that there's no way Spring Awakening is going to get touched by movie executives, because as the Perks of Being A Wallflower found out, abortion equals Rated R and you can't do Spring Awakening without

Wendla's abortion and death.

 

As for the Fault in Our Stars, I loved that adaption. Of course, they looked too healthy and I thought the car scene could've been more brutal, but overall it successfully captured the mood and feel of the book. It's already grossed 120 million worldwide on a 12-million dollar production budget. And the changes they did make, I pretty much liked- I loved that they had Augustus arrive in a limo with that big smile on his face as he waved from the sunroof. That was SO Gus.

Edited by methodwriter85

Share this post


Link to post

Kavalier and Clay is tops of my list too! Adore that book and have been waiting for that adaptation. I hadn't heard the rumor of a TV series, but had heard about a possible film years ago. The Yiddish Policemen's Union is another Chabon that's been rumored for a film adaptation and I'd love to see that as well.

Danny Franks, can you say what some of your issues were with Captain America: The Winter Soldier? (Properly spoiler-tagged of course.) I haven't read the comic books, but loved the movie so just curious.

 

I meant to answer this a while ago, but never did. So, really I had two issues with the movie, which I did like a great deal. The first was, I waited two years to see the Winter Soldier on screen, and I felt like I got shortchanged. There wasn't enough of him. He's one of my favourite Marvel characters, and easily one of the most successful 'new' characters they've introduced in a long, long time. What there was of him was badass, and great, but not enough.

 

And second, I resent them including Black Widow in the movie, thus getting the hopes of fans up about them including some of the Black Widow/Winter Soldier backstory. And they didn't. That storyline has been of great significance for both characters, and is easily the most relevant thing Natasha has done in comics in decades, yet it was almost totally ignored. So it's hard not to feel cheated, after having those expectations raised.

 

Like I said, those are the issues to be faced when adapting a work that people have an emotional investment in.

 

Marvel Studios has done very well in translating these characters to the big screen. Much better than Fox has handled The X-Men and Fantastic Four. I'm a huge X-Men nerd, and while I appreciate Singer's films, they will always be wanting when it comes to nailing the characters. Some are nearly perfect; Professor X, Wolverine, Magneto, Nightcrawler. Some are horrible; Storm, Rogue, Iceman. Those characters have nothing in common with their comic-counterparts aside from their mutant abilites. They might as well have made Storm into a man and gave him those powers. It would be equally as off putting to me.

 

 

It's funny, now you point this out, but you're right. I wonder why they were so faithful to the source material with some characters, yet completely dismissive with others. Nightcrawler, in particular, was absolutely nailed on, and actually far cooler than I ever found him in the comic books. I don't know if the timing works (it probably doesn't), but Rogue, Iceman and the other kids seemed to be more like the X-Men: Evolution iterations than anything that's appeared in comic books.

 

It's just a shame that First Class came along and rendered the entire universe a laughable pastiche, really.

Share this post


Link to post

Getting caught up on this part of the forums. I love a good adaptation if it is not married to the original work but can still feel like it is the same. LotR is my go-to example of this--it was nowhere near the same in terms of complete storyline of the book, but I was utterly delighted after I heard the prologue of FotR, specifically, "History became legend, legend became myth..." This was LotR to me.

A few movies are actually better films than the books they are based on are books. For me, Hunt for Red October is so much better as a movie than a book, as much I like Clancy's original. A not-so-good book that turned out to be a much better film is Everything Is Illuminated, which excised the plotlines that drag the book down and features excellent performances by the lead singer of Gogol Bordello and a really excellent character actor whose name I can't remember. Elijah Wood is good here as well, but he is more the straight man for the rest of the cast, including the dog.

Share this post


Link to post

I accept that changes will be made when the transition from book to screen happens but sometimes essentials get changed that just ruin it.  I have only sat through 7 minutes of Austenland because it just bugged too much the way they've completely rewritten who the lead character was as a person.   In the book, she hides her well worn copy of Pride and Prejudice because Austen was her guilty pleasure, and she ends up going to Austenland because a relative who figured out her secret left her the money specifically for the trip.  She alternates between being bemused, enjoying, and sometimes feeling stifled by the faux Austen world. 

 

In the movie, she decorates her apartment in tribute to Austen and has a huge cutout of Darcy that she even kisses at one point.  She spends her life savings to go to Austenland. She fucking walks through the airport in costume.  The woman of the book and of the movie are completely different leaving me weary about what else they may have changed.  Can anyone else whose seen it tell me if it's worth watching beyond that first worrisome 7 minutes?  I kinda felt like the movie was mocking Austen fans while the book was kinder about Austen fandom while playing with the idea of how love of a fantasy can keep you from finding love in reality.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

 

Can anyone else whose seen it tell me if it's worth watching beyond that first worrisome 7 minutes?  I kinda felt like the movie was mocking Austen fans while the book was kinder about Austen fandom while playing with the idea of how love of a fantasy can keep you from finding love in reality.

 

This is why I've started avoiding reading books before I see the movie. I have seen the movie and I enjoy it. Basically, she becomes very disillusioned with the faux world pretty quickly because she could only afford the dirt cheap option and the hostess of the locale is extremely dismissive of her because of that, choosing to fawn over the wealthier ladies. I think it plays with the concept of 'what is fantasy and what is reality' pretty well given that she's 'courted' by a guy who sort of toys with it as well but the 'Darcy' of the set takes notice of her also. 

 

When she gets fed up and enlists the help of one of the ladies to take control of her own fantasy (they raid the closet of one of the other rich ladies) so she can wear the real fantasy clothes of the period and she just decides she's going to write her own Austen fantasy but it still gets muddied up... she thinks the Darcy is her pre-written result and the stablehand that was courting her before was the real deal.

 

And when she goes home she takes all of the various Austen paraphernalia down despite still loving it but just wants to move on to living in the world she's in... 

She does end up with the "Darcy" type but he's a history professor who was doing his aunt a favor by working at her place for a brief period. They bond, though, over their shared love of the past, the decorum, the manners as he's been burned by a previous love, too. And the 'stablehand' was an actor who was slated for her fantasy ending all along. So she wound up getting confused thinking that Darcy was only playing a part when he really liked her and the stablehand who played against his role, acting like the whole setting was ridiculous, was the real fake.

I felt that it did acknowledge that getting too deep in the fantasy wasn't the right move but finding a person who does share the interest but lives in the here and now is more the way to go.

Share this post


Link to post

 

Marvel Studios has done very well in translating these characters to the big screen. Much better than Fox has handled The X-Men and Fantastic Four. I'm a huge X-Men nerd, and while I appreciate Singer's films, they will always be wanting when it comes to nailing the characters. Some are nearly perfect; Professor X, Wolverine, Magneto, Nightcrawler. Some are horrible; Storm, Rogue, Iceman. Those characters have nothing in common with their comic-counterparts aside from their mutant abilites. They might as well have made Storm into a man and gave him those powers. It would be equally as off putting to me.

 

It's funny that in the Modern Masters series of interviews with comic creators,  John Byrne, the artist on the classic "Dark Phoenix Saga" and "Days of Future Past" said while most of the casting in the X-Men movies was off the mark (he thought Hugh Jackman was "too pretty" compared to comic book Wolverine, which is true) he thought the only one who came closest to his version of Storm was Halle Berry! It's telling because he said he left the book because he and writer Chris Claremont had different ideas of who the characters were. I can definitely see it now because while Byrne pictured Storm as a Halle Berry-type, it's clear from the way he wrote her that Claremont thought of Storm as like an Angela Bassett!

Share this post


Link to post

I love, love, love Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca and I think Hitchcock's 1940 version is fantastic.  They did have to change a few things to suit the 1940 movie audience but overall, it's spectacular.

 

On the other hand, James Cain's written Mildred Pierce is not nearly as classic and well done as the Curtiz/Crawford film version.  Maybe it translates to film better or maybe the film's ending puts the book's ending to shame (which is so very weak, in my opinion).  Regardless, I think the film is one of the better 40s noirs.

 

I love Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility.  So beautifully shot and I think Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet so perfectly capture Elinor and Marianne and their closeness.  I also think Alan Rickman is tops as Colonel Brandon, whom I actually love more than Hugh Grant's Edward Ferrars.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

 This is my favorite version of Jane Eyre. In spite of being kind of condensed, it hit all the right notes, as you said. Also, the cinematography is breathtakingly beautiful

 

 

Marvel Studios has done very well in translating these characters to the big screen. Much better than Fox has handled The X-Men and Fantastic Four. I'm a huge X-Men nerd, and while I appreciate Singer's films, they will always be wanting when it comes to nailing the characters. Some are nearly perfect; Professor X, Wolverine, Magneto, Nightcrawler. Some are horrible; Storm, Rogue, Iceman. Those characters have nothing in common with their comic-counterparts aside from their mutant abilites. They might as well have made Storm into a man and gave him those powers. It would be equally as off putting to me.

I will always have a sort of soft spot for the X-men movies. Even though some of them were really bad, it really was the proof of concept that showed that comic book super hero movies (especially ones with characters that weren't household names like batman and superman) could make good movies and make a ton of money. The success of that movie basically changed the movie business.

 

Plus you are totally right some of the casting was amazing.I say this having not seen Days of Future Past yet, but I would hate for Fox to lose the rights to the X-men because then I would assume a reboot would have to recast Magneto, the professor and wolverine. 

Share this post


Link to post

I love Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility.  So beautifully shot and I think Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet so perfectly capture Elinor and Marianne and their closeness.  I also think Alan Rickman is tops as Colonel Brandon, whom I actually love more than Hugh Grant's Edward Ferrars.

 

Rickman as Col Brandon makes me swoon.  What is the line, something like "Give me employment or I shall surely run mad"?  I love the acting and the dialog, even that which isn't in the book.  My only beef with the movie is that everyone is too dang old for the characters they are portraying!

 

It's not just reordering the story, it's making things up out of thin air. I adored the LotR films, but it's not without its flaws and this is one of them, IMO. Not the worst, though. That would probably be (do we have to spoiler these? probably not, but I'll be safe.)

Aragorn looking into the palantir by accident after he fumbles it. In the book he purposefully uses it. Much more kingly. Also, getting back to Faramir, I missed the development of his and Eowyn's relationship. That should have been left in.[snip].

Little Voice, I love you.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

 

 

Much more kingly. Also, getting back to Faramir, I missed the development of his and Eowyn's relationship. That should have been left in.

.

 

That was always my favorite part of Return of the King book. It's a very romantic chapter too. I didn't think Tolkien could write a love story like that. I get because the way the book was structured it was impossible to do it justice in the movies, but still disappointing.

 

My problem with Peter Jackson's version(even though I do like the movies) is that he's not very subtle in certain parts. Like Theoden being under some kind of spell is so obvious in the movie that you can't believe Eowyn or anybody would have not realized it.

Edited by VCRTracking
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Some people have mentioned The Giver.  I like all of the series and the book was so original when it came out.  One thing is I really like Jeff Bridges.  I just think he has integrity and is a decent guy.  My hopes are high.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks, @Dandesun.  I will give Austenland another chance and try my best to appreciate it on it's own without comparing it to the book.

Share this post


Link to post

I read the book and saw the movie, and I generally liked Austenland the movie. Although my one big bitch is that they way over-used Jennifer Coolidge. She is great in small doses but really annoying when used too much. (Not that she dominates the film, but she was in there more than necessary.)

Share this post


Link to post

I am probably the only person that ever saw the movie, but my most hated film adaptation is The Chocolate War.  The entire plot and message of the novel hinges on the ending, which carries the message that sometimes, try as you might, the "bad guys" win and it's best not to "disturb the universe" (a TS Elliot quote that runs throughout the novel).  However, when making it into a movie adaptation, there must have been some pressure to turn it into a Hollywood ending, because they changed all the important elements at the film's climax and absolutely ruin the story.  It's actually worse to me than the film adaptation of The Scarlett Letter.  

Share this post


Link to post

Some people have mentioned The Giver.  I like all of the series and the book was so original when it came out.  One thing is I really like Jeff Bridges.  I just think he has integrity and is a decent guy.  My hopes are high.

I'm worried about how it will turn out. I just can't get over the hover craft thing.

Share this post


Link to post

I just watched a great pocast/video from Adam Savage of Mythbusters where they spent 30 fascinating minutes talking about adaptations, both film and tv. Adam's favorite adaptation surprised me--it was the Colin Firth Pride & Prejudice, although they also talked a lot about Elmore Leonard, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Phillip K Dick, as well as many others.

Edited by Sharpie66
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Adam's favorite adaptation surprised me--it was the Colin Firth Pride & Prejudice

 

Was there another Pride and Prejudice?  I thought that was the only one.

 

::giggle::

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I'm worried about how it will turn out. I just can't get over the hover craft thing.

 

Apparently your worries were founded, because the Giver is getting savaged by reviews. Even Divergent had better reviews. Man, I am so disappointed we waited 20 years for this crap. Ugh.

Edited by methodwriter85

Share this post


Link to post

In a way, I'm glad I haven't read YA fiction since SE Hinton's heyday because it isn't the cherished book series of my adolescence that are being ineptly mined for potential movie franchises these days.

 

Being a comic fan leaves me more vulnerable on a different front, though I think Marvel is doing a superb job of adapting the core essence of their characters into enjoyable movies, even if all the particulars don't match up to the source material. I also found Constantine to be a good movie in its own right even if it bore little more than a surface resemblance to the source material. (I actually liked Tilda Swinton's Gabriel much better than the comics version - she was the best part of that movie to me.)

Share this post


Link to post

Without giving anything away, I just saw The Giver today...and it's not so much Hunger Games as Pleasantville meets SciFi meets 1984. The beginning made me a bit stabby, but all the high points of the book are hit fairly well, IMO. That said, I'm not surprised at the reviews it's already recieved....the acting does fall flat at places, especially Katie Holmes.

And to answer another question folks probably had, no Taylor Swift doesn't sing a note for this film. ;)

Edited by Anna Yolei

Share this post


Link to post

I don't think that's a plus, as not singing means she instead spends all of her screen time "acting." (I saw Valentine's Day, and when you manage to make George Lopez and Eric Dane look like master thespians in comparison maybe an acting career just shouldn't be a goal...)

Share this post


Link to post

The Giver has been one of my favorite books since I first read it eighteen years ago, and the movie did not disappoint me. (Moving more discussion to The Giver topic). 

 

I tried SO HARD not to read the book version of This is Where I Leave You once my lady hero, Tina Fey, was cast, but I couldn't hold out. I read it. So I have high hopes for that one too, but I feel pretty certain I won't be disappointed.

Edited by purplemouth

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size