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Author Topic: The movie was better than the book. wut?  (Read 487 times)
Dincrest
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« on: February 17, 2015, 07:58:33 PM »

When it comes to movies based on books, we always say or hear, "the book was better!" But are there any cases where you thought the movie was better than the book?

In this conversation, I always mention The Whale Rider, because the book and movie serve as good companion pieces to each other. The movie is told from the perspective of the girl whereas the book is told from the perspective of her uncle. So scenes that were in the movie couldn't be in the book and vice versa, since those were times when the girl and the uncle were in different places.

And recently, I'd have to say I preferred the film version of Divergent over the books (I read all three; enjoyed the first two, hated the third.) A big reason for that is that some of the event scripting makes more logical sense in the movie than the book. For example,
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when Four takes Tris into his Fear Simulation and they're in his fear of heights, she says, "This is not real. Let's just jump." In the book, she's encouraged to jump and break the simulation. But in the movie, Four stops her and says, "No" because a divergent would jump, break the fourth wall, and that would give her away to the enemy. So he trained her to think like a Dauntless and overcome the fear simulations in the more narrowminded Dauntless way.
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2015, 08:32:10 PM »

I think that the film version of The Wizard of Oz makes it a much cooler experience than the book, which is fun and interesting satire but not as good as the movie.  "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and the rest of the music was created for the film, and it's hard to beat the brilliant visual choice of going from gray Kansas to Technicolor Oz.

The Godfather is almost equally good as a book and a movie (Mario Puzo wrote the novel and co-wrote the screenplay), but the performances of Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, John Cazale, and Robert De Niro (in Part II) are so awesome that they are a key part of The Godfather to me.  I saw the movie first, but when I read the book I couldn't imagine the characters outside their roles. 

With all due respect to Neil Gaiman, I think the film version of Stardust was slightly better.  A few of the characters original to the movie were really awesome (mostly thinking of Captain Shakespeare and the expanded roles of Dunstan and Una) and the movie succeeds on its own as a fantasy adventure / romance.  Gaiman wrote a forward on the special edition I own expressing his appreciation for the film, saying that the two stories share a setting but exist happily in parallel universes, heh. 
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Yoda
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2015, 08:36:39 PM »

Hunger Games.

There are minor changes that people grippe about but in general I find the movies to be better than the books solely because Jennifer Lawrence and Woody H. are awesome. The violence seems toned down but the last movie still had some shocking scenes in it.

On a similar note there's a twiiter account that's "writing" a young adult dystopian novel. Super funny.

https://twitter.com/DystopianYA
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Dice
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2015, 03:00:40 AM »

With all due respect to Neil Gaiman, I think the film version of Stardust was slightly better.  A few of the characters original to the movie were really awesome (mostly thinking of Captain Shakespeare and the expanded roles of Dunstan and Una) and the movie succeeds on its own as a fantasy adventure / romance.  Gaiman wrote a forward on the special edition I own expressing his appreciation for the film, saying that the two stories share a setting but exist happily in parallel universes, heh. 

IIRC the ending is much more "romantic" too
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Tristan dies, as humans do, and Yvaine lives on as the immortal ruler.  I kinda prefer the movie opting that they stay together as 'celestials' in the sky while their kids take the crown
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I think you're spot on here though and a good choice.

I'll say 50 Shades of Grey, having seen it recently and from what I've heard.  But it's not like I was fond of the movie, nor read the book....

I'm actually gonna say Lord of the Rings.  I respect the LOADS more history and lore n the books but dear god they're lengthy and often distracting and turgid.  I kinda appreciated the films doing what they did and providing a (funny enough) concise and lovely visual.

Um.  'Clueless' I think works here too; but I think it's more the film was just a bit more fun and managed more relevance to the modern age in a very creative way.

Hunger Games.

There are minor changes that people grippe about but in general I find the movies to be better than the books solely because Jennifer Lawrence and Woody H. are awesome. The violence seems toned down but the last movie still had some shocking scenes in it.

On a similar note there's a twiiter account that's "writing" a young adult dystopian novel. Super funny.

https://twitter.com/DystopianYA
I've loved this twitter.  I think it's great a lot of YA material is getting adapted, a shame so much of it feels the same though. 

I really hated Mockingjay.  Did she make like a quarter of her lines in the book her shouting "PEETA!!!!!" too?
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 09:51:03 AM »

The Hunger Games is a solid choice, but only the first one in my opinion. I liked Catching Fire as a book more and the new Mockinjay film was disappointing. Just a 2 hour tease for part 2. They never should have split them.

As for my pick, most of the Harry Potter stories were better as books, but the one I thought was a better movie than book was The Order of the Phoenix. That book was bloated and boring for half. The movie is fast paced, exciting, and cuts all the fat.
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 10:52:02 AM »

Not by much but the LotR movies were better due to them trimming a whole lot of fat out of the books.
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2015, 12:42:30 PM »

I've been re-listening to the LotR BBC radio series recently, and it's also great.  Definitely longer than the movies, but still probably not as long as the books.
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2015, 04:34:54 PM »

As for my pick, most of the Harry Potter stories were better as books, but the one I thought was a better movie than book was The Order of the Phoenix. That book was bloated and boring for half. The movie is fast paced, exciting, and cuts all the fat.

I agree with this 100%. I also thought the Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows (parts 1 and 2) were better than their respective books as well. It seems like after Goblet of Fire J.K. Rowling's editor just said "Screw it, write whatever you want. It'll sell regardless."

I thought that Catching Fire was better than its book too. I mean, the second book is essentially the first book again, but there was a lot of fluff in the book that I was glad to see cut out in the movie. I didn't care for Mockingjay, and so I felt pretty apathetic about the movie too.

I've heard people say that the Princess Bride movie is better than the book. I'm planning to read the book in the next few weeks, so I'll know for sure then.
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2015, 06:17:26 PM »

I actually love the book of Princess Bride more than the movie... and I really like that movie.
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2015, 05:06:26 AM »

I'm just gonna go ahead and throw this out for humor's sake.

(In reference to the topic title) ...said no one, ever.


In reality though I honestly much prefer to watch a movie of a story than read it. I have a very active imagination for a 29 year old, so I don't really care to nurture it further. I already fantasize way too heavily about myself in the games I play and the shows I watch ( I always love thinking about how if I had been around in an episode of the flash to save the flash himself or any number of cartoons and animes for a similar circumstance). Furthermore, watching something like Harry Potter or Divergent (great movie, really surprised actually) allows for less interruptions, first because it's shorter to watch a 2 hour movie over reading a 200+ page book and second because some interruptions are now actually engrossed in the film as well. Sure I'm now forced to live the story through someone else's vision, but hey, some people have good vision.
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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2015, 04:08:12 PM »

To be perfectly frank, as I am much more a movie buff than game geek, Jumanji is by all counts one of the few movies that can be called better than the source material. Cheating technically, since it is a children's book. But compared to Zathura, it's a freaking masterwork, due plenty to Robin Williams' work and the challenging directing style.
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glassjawsh
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2015, 11:30:50 PM »

To be perfectly frank, as I am much more a movie buff than game geek, Jumanji is by all counts one of the few movies that can be called better than the source material. Cheating technically, since it is a children's book. But compared to Zathura, it's a freaking masterwork, due plenty to Robin Williams' work and the challenging directing style.

I'm not trying to pick on you but:

Everything other than Robin Williams was awful in Jumanji.  Bonnie Hunt has never been entertaining or interesting for a single second in her life and David Allen Greer is the black guy that movie execs used to wheel out in the 1990's so that they could show everyone how diverse their projects were.  He was basically Wayne Brady only not as funny (and Wayne Brady isn't that funny).

I'll take the Van Allsburg book 10 times out ten (and that rule applies to all CVA books as a whole).

You're right about Zathura though. John Favreau hasn't done much since Swingers and Made (which is a shame because both of those films are great).

edit: I forgot he directed Elf

double edit: HE DIDN'T ACTUALLY DIRECT SWINGERS??!!  WHAT>!>!
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 11:36:53 PM by glassjawsh » Logged


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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2015, 11:56:27 PM »

edit: I forgot he directed Elf

double edit: HE DIDN'T ACTUALLY DIRECT SWINGERS??!!  WHAT>!>!
Uh, Jon Favreau's a really good director who has done plenty the past several years.  He directed the first two Iron Man films and Chef (from last year).  I heard his interview on Marc Maron's podcast last year and that got me interested in Chef.  Sure, it's basically him calling his entire rolodex of celebrities for cameos, but I really enjoyed it. 
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glassjawsh
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« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2015, 12:52:58 AM »

edit: I forgot he directed Elf

double edit: HE DIDN'T ACTUALLY DIRECT SWINGERS??!!  WHAT>!>!
Uh, Jon Favreau's a really good director who has done plenty the past several years.  He directed the first two Iron Man films and Chef (from last year).  I heard his interview on Marc Maron's podcast last year and that got me interested in Chef.  Sure, it's basically him calling his entire rolodex of celebrities for cameos, but I really enjoyed it. 

The scene notes from Marvel films probably all look something like this:

1. Origin Story
2. Do super hero shit
3. Defeat evil
4. Profit

I need to see Chef though.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2015, 07:10:02 AM »

David Allen Greer is the black guy that movie execs used to wheel out in the 1990's so that they could show everyone how diverse their projects were.  He was basically Wayne Brady only not as funny (and Wayne Brady isn't that funny).


Have you seen the movie Amazon Women on the Moon? 
Code:
David Alan Grier is the poster boy for "blacks without soul" in that movie.
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