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Old 10-25-2020, 07:27 PM   #1
MikeandRaph87
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What Books Are Better Than The Film Adaptation?

Hardly any film is original and the most common source is a book. What books are better than the films they inspire and why?
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:10 PM   #2
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All of them, duh.

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Old 10-25-2020, 09:40 PM   #3
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MOST of them.

It's not 100%, actually. I've had this conversation before with others multiple times. But at the moment, I can't remember any of my examples.

I'll post back when it occurs to me.
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:55 PM   #4
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Because movies usually have to trim or streamline the content of the book in order to make a tolerable runtime, much of the context and nuance is likely to get lost. And that's not even taking in changes made because the producers insist on them, such as reduction of sexual or violent aspects, pointless additions of romance subplots, making the distinction between hero and villain less blurry, making the message as uncontroversial as possible, dumbing down the plot, etc, etc. Then of course, the director could just take some really bad creative liberties. And finally, due to the relatively more complex production of a movie, problems unique to the medium could be an issue.

There are plenty of examples but I'm going to focus in on First Blood. In the book, Rambo is way more stubborn about leaving town, isn't brutalised, actually kills an officer when escaping (not in self defense but in panic), kills many people during the hunt for him and is eventually killed. He's still sympathetic because the trauma prevents him from moving on from the war but it's still justified to hunt him down. The movie just makes it so that he only kills one guy in self defense when they already started hunting him down and the police clearly treat him inhumanely before that. Also, he doesn't die because the test audience didn't like it. A lot of the problems I mentioned are here, which is why it might be a good example of what usually goes wrong.
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Old 11-06-2020, 02:43 PM   #5
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Most, because when you read a book or listen to an audiobook, you see it all in your heads.
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Old 11-06-2020, 06:38 PM   #6
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Asking the opposite question is more useful. The movies that are better than the books is a more interesting conversation.

Forrest Gump is the first one that comes to mind for me.

And I had to quit reading the Martian because it was kinda boring after already having seen the movie (although my understanding is that it is a really good book, the movie just nails it as being a good adaptation of it).

I haven't read Jaws, but from what I've read the movie is better.
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Old 11-06-2020, 07:38 PM   #7
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Forrest Gump is the first one that comes to mind for me.
That's a good point. I haven't read the book but from what I've read about it, it sounds pretty terrible.
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Old 11-06-2020, 09:12 PM   #8
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I haven't read Jaws, but from what I've read the movie is better.
The book is very good actually, but the movie is a masterpiece and the book is not.
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Old 11-10-2020, 08:46 AM   #9
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When it comes to television series and movies based on children's books, one thing that keeps the original feeling it is to make the writer read some lines from the book.
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Old 11-10-2020, 10:33 AM   #10
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Fight Club is close. But I'd say the movie actually squeaks out the book content, mostly for the portrayals if not the total sum of content.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is an example of an absolutely poorly written novel becoming something great on film. The book itself is paced and written like a 5th grader wrote it - disconnects in character actions, mistimed chapters and often things just suddenly happen. It's amazing they pulled such an amazing franchise out of it.

Jurassic Park might be a solid example of a book that was better than the movie. There's a bit more science flung about in it, and the book was so airtight in it's setting and events that they mined the first book across all three Jurassic Park flicks. The first book is a solid read. I've had the Lost World here for years, but I never got around to reading that one yet.....

I've been meaning to read The Road too, but that has been sitting here for a long time. The movie was good enough to make me curious about the novel, but it was so drab and depressing that I've never gone back to the movie and I can't bring myself to crack the book open.
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Old 11-10-2020, 01:46 PM   #11
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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is an example of an absolutely poorly written novel becoming something great on film.
The book has great ideas and not so good ones. Some are quite confusing, like the whole Mercer the prophet stuff. I don't know about how it is written as I've only read it through a translation but the pacing is surely an issue. Philip Dick has written better stories.

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I've had the Lost World here for years, but I never got around to reading that one yet.....
The book is boring. I remember reading it an year or two ago and I was always like "when the REAL action starts?" I reached the end of the book and I had the impression that absolutely nothing interesting had ever happened in the whole book, I was disappointed. I'm not a fan of the movie but it is definitely better than the novel.
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Old 11-10-2020, 01:52 PM   #12
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One book I really like that had one television film adaptation decades ago that was not exactly like the book is Animal Farm. It may have a limited audience with the symbolism, but it can updated and adapted successfully for think piece critics and moviegoers alike.
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Old 11-10-2020, 02:01 PM   #13
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I haven't picked up a "real" book to read since I was in College and that was over 15 years ago now. For some reason hand me a hardback book with no pictures and I immediately lose interest.
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Old 11-10-2020, 02:27 PM   #14
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I so rarely read anymore, sad to say, and even fewer that had a film adaption.

One I read years ago that did later get a film, and that I though the book was better, was "The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud." I really enjoyed the book, and the film itself isn't bad, but it's just better and deeper when you have the detail of a novel and are able to see the characters how you imagine them to be.

I was happy to hear it was getting a movie, but then they went and cast Zac Efron, of frigging Disney Channel "High School Musical" fame only a few years before it, and that kind of ruined it. >.<

Having read this book that deals with loss after losing someone kind of make the choice of a Disney Channel actor for the film cheapen it a bit.

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Old 11-10-2020, 02:47 PM   #15
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I've read a few books based on movies I liked.

Green Mile is probably the most 1 to 1 adaptation I can remember. There are some things that are removed for time and the difference in story telling between a movie and a series of short novels.

Forrest Gump, as said above is SOOOO much better than the book. Forrest isn't nearly as likeable in the book as he is in the movie.

Alias Madame Doubtfire is probably the most painful book I've ever read based on a movie I love. It's so different, and not at all in a good way. It's been years since I read it, but I remember being terribly disappointed.

I need to re-read Planet of the Apes, but that book is miles from any of the adaptations.
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Old 11-10-2020, 02:50 PM   #16
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12 books a year is not asking for much, I don't see how people can go a year without reading 1 book a year.
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Old 11-10-2020, 03:59 PM   #17
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12 books a year is my goal. Two books left!
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Old 11-10-2020, 07:54 PM   #18
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12 books a year is not asking for much, I don't see how people can go a year without reading 1 book a year.
I've probably gone 12-15 years without reading a "real" book. Probably the last time was when I was in english/literature course in college back in like 2005 or something. I've never read a book for my own leisure.

Of course comics don't count, so I've never read a novel or chapter book. I just don't see the point. I'd much rather watch something than read something. Every time I look at a book I feel sleepy and want to go to bed.
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