Monday, 2 March 2009

Monday Movie Meme

Feature Presentation...


This week Molly and Andy at the Bumbles Blog are asking about adaptations and whether the movie is ever really BETTER than the book, comic book, musical, play, folk story, or true life story. Here's my list of adaptations that I found better than the originals:

Stardust (2007) - I thought it was better than the Neil Gaiman novel, although to be fair I saw the movie first (and, although I have it lying around somewhere, I've never gotten around to reading the Neil Gaiman/Charles Vess graphic novel that preceded both of them)

Mystery Men (1999) - I found this a lot more entertaining, albeit less quirky, than the team of misfit heroes featured in Bob Burden's Flaming Carrot comic. The only case listed here where I read the source material before seeing the film.

Goldfinger (1964) - Preferred it to Ian Fleming's novel (and to most other Bond films for that matter).

Wanted (2008) - Quite different to the Mark Millar/J.G. Jones graphic novel (all the superhero/supervillain stuff has been removed), but I enjoyed it a lot more (though I'm sure lots of readers disagree with me).

Also, I think Stand By Me (1986) and The Shawshank Redemption (1994), while not surpassing the original Stephen King short stories ("The Body" and "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption", both from his "Different Seasons" collection) are the equal of them.

For an alternate take, from someone who's obviously read a lot more books than me, samulli covered similar ground recently with a list of thirteen adaptations that don't suck.


Dennis the Vizsla said...

I quite liked "Stardust", although not as much as I liked the book.

Tilli said...

I absolutely agree about 'Wanted', I honestly preferred the movie by miles...are we going to be attacked by hundreds of angry comic fans? I got your back yo =D.

The Bumbles said...

I haven't read the King short stories but loved both movies. I think it would probably be easier to do justice to a short story versus a novel when adapting to feature length film.

I am surprised no one has yet mentioned The Godfather. Maybe everyone is like me and hasn't read the book and only seen the movie - but I have heard that it is an example of the movie being better or as good as the original book.

And you should totally rent To Kill A Mockingbird. Would be time well spent - or read for that matter.

The Gal Herself said...

Enjoyed your list, and samulli's, too (thanks for the link). I really haven't read that much Stephen King, and it sounds like maybe I should. Of course, my TBR (to be read) pile is already almost as tall as I am!

Janet said...

I just picked up Stardust Saturday...wanted to see how it compared to the movie LOL!

An Eerie Tapestry said...

Thanks for the comments.

Dennis - As I mentioned, my preference for the movie might be because I saw it first, so my brain tended to treat the book as an inaccurate novelisation. Also, I didn't actually read it, but listened to it as an audiobook, so that could have affected things too.

Tilli - Thanks. Fortunately my demographic doesn't seem to include angry comic fans, so looks like we're safe for the moment.

The Bumbles - Agree about your short story theory, but there are exceptions (Blog In The Rough reminded me of Lawnmower Man, where the only element of the story successfully transferred to the screen seemed to be the title; plus there are some good movies based on his novels - The Shining, Carrie, Misery). As for The Godfather, I've not read it either. Finally, in a weird case of synchronicity, they're showing To Kill A Mockingbird on TV this weekend so I'll be sure to watch it.

The Gal Herself - Both the Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me are ridiculously faithful to the novellas from what I remember, so you might get major deja vu from reading them. Still, Stephen King's well worth reading (I really need to catch up on his stuff myself however my TBR pile is currently of a similar stature to yours).

Janet - Be interesting to find out which you prefer.

Randilin said...

Alright so am the first to disagree but I've gotta saw it. Wanted! Wanted with the Loom of Destiny? I've got to disagree that it was better then the comic. The movie was fun, it was a good stand alone, but it had nothing on the comic books.

An Eerie Tapestry said...

Thanks for commenting, Randilin. Guess we'll have to agree to differ (and I suspect you're far from alone in preferring the comic book). Personally, I found the comic a bit too self-indulgent and trying-too-hard-to-be-hip with Millar's numerous variations on the DC supervillain line-up. Then again, I liked the loom of destiny, so what do I know.