Other Bad Book Adaptations

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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:34 pm

but they take rather large liberties with the texts so I've heard.- Malick

I assume you mean the films, in which case yes they do.
In feel unsurprisingly the first Dr No is probably closest.
On Her Majesties Secret Service is closer than most too.

I liked the books but they are in some ways quite a dry read.

For example information on the bad guys is presented to the reader much as it is to Bond in the story, you get the secret service reports.
Its does give an authenticity to it but its not exactly always a riveting a way to introduce the bad guy or threat.

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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by bungobaggins on Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:30 am

halfwise wrote:What a pathetic trailer.  With that cast and director it's a travesty they could make such a bad movie.  But Truffault was never one to make action films.

There was a lot more action in the book, especially with the mechanical hound (which was one of the more memorable moments for me).

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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Radaghast on Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:07 pm

Not really an adaptation, but I found Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland to be dull, unwatchable crap, with Johnny Depp at his most annoying (not least because he reminds me of Elijah Wood's Frodo Mad).

And there's going to be a sequel Shocked
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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:51 pm

I thought it was great.  Very Happy  I really enjoyed it. 3D was Amazing. specially the Cheshire Cat. The only bit I thought was stupid was his dance at the end. But it was visually stunning, costumes gorgeous and Helly Belly Bonham Carter as the Queen fabulous.
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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by halfwise on Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:14 am

malickfan wrote:Has anyone actually read Fleming's Bond books? I've been tempted for a while, but they take rather large liberties with the texts so I've heard.

(My fave film in On Her Majesties Secret Service if that helps)

Wait, you actually liked that one?

Then you'll like the books. That particular film suffered from George Lazenby, but everything about it was fairly close to the book, which can be annoying. Do you really want every inch of what Bond is wearing to be described to you? One establishing shot in the movies and you're off to the races.

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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Radaghast on Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:27 am

Mrs Figg wrote:I thought it was great.  Very Happy  I really enjoyed it. 3D was Amazing. specially the Cheshire Cat. The only bit I thought was stupid was his dance at the end. But it was visually stunning, costumes gorgeous and Helly Belly Bonham Carter as the Queen fabulous.
I knew it was too much to hope that no one else would like it either...  Neutral 
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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:41 pm

Radaghast wrote:
Mrs Figg wrote:I thought it was great.  Very Happy  I really enjoyed it. 3D was Amazing. specially the Cheshire Cat. The only bit I thought was stupid was his dance at the end. But it was visually stunning, costumes gorgeous and Helly Belly Bonham Carter as the Queen fabulous.
I knew it was too much to hope that no one else would like it either...  Neutral 

well to be fair it was visually nice, even if most of the acting, apart from HBCarter was wooden.
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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Radaghast on Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:59 pm

I saw part of Dune. Looks incomprehensible, and many have said it's an awful adaptation of the book. Has anyone read the book and/or seen the movie?

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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:13 pm

Read both book and seen the film- I love the books and the film is a half decent adaptation- its sort of half a good film adaptation, but then as the first book doesnt have a proper resolution for film they tack on the ending from about 3 books down the line.

However taken as a film, whilst disjointed in places- its a treat for the eyes- the sets and costumes are nothing short of incredible, the performances are generally excellent and they have a decent stab of finding ways to bring in the trickier philosophical elements- not always successfully, but they at least try.

I wouldn't class it as a terrible adaptation, or a bad film as some have however.

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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Radaghast on Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:04 pm

I thought the effects were good, but the performances struck me as stilted.

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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:09 pm

Weirdly it got lambasted at the time for its effects.

As to the performances, Id describe them more as theatrical- but there are some great performances in there- I always like Kyle Maclachlan, always have, and Patrick Stewart doesn't know how to do a bad performance.
I also like the actress who plays the Bene Gesserit leader.

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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Radaghast on Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:19 pm

Some of the performances seemed almost purposefully bad or hammy such as those by Paul Smith and Kenneth McMillan. And then there's the truly bizarre voiced-over performance of 9-year-old Alicia Witt—she wasn't bad, but the voiceovers were weird.

Also, the story seemed befuddling to me despite the constant clumsy expositional voiceovers.

The movie has a higher viewer rating than I'd have expected, though. Maybe it takes a reading of the book to get a better grasp of it (though it shouldn't rely on the books to be comprehensible).

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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:38 pm

The voice overs were a product of the film being a bit butchered in editing- exactly how butchered has become one of those great myths. Ive even read there is a nine hour cut somewhere.
Whatever the truth might be Lynch was so disaffected with the process he never went back to another big studio and the reason there is no directors cut edition is that he refuses to have anything to do with the film.

Like Blade Runner it seems chopping the work up and patching up the story with a voice over was in vogue for the major studios.  Mad 

I think the basic story elements can probably be understood without book knowledge but a lot of the reasoning behind why things happen is lost and a lot of why people act the way they do between the characters too is lost.
I had read the books before I saw the film so its hard for me to judge just how disjointed it seems to a person who doesn't know the book.

Oddly too the look of the film, the locations and settings for me perfectly capture the feel and spirit of the books settings- despite the fact they are not really at all accurate depictions, the tv miniseries Children of Dune is far more representative of what the book actually describes, yet somehow in that weird Lynch way he gets something of the book onto screen somehow without seemingly actually using the book to do it.  scratch

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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by David H on Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:53 pm

I loved the books (well, the first 3 anyway) when I first read them. When the movie came out I was a little disappointed, but thought it was OK considering the challenges. The first book in particular would have been hard to adapt to a theatrical movie, as it jumps back and forth, and the slow reveal of certain secrets. If you've got the time, I'd recommend reading at least the first book. It's a classic.

The Sci-Fi mini-series of Dune that came out a dozen years ago had less grand production values, but I thought it was a much more faithful adaptation of the story. I liked it a lot! As we've often said here of LotR, a mini-series is much better format for adapting a series of sprawling epic novels than trying to force them into little boxes of feature films.
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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:18 pm

Have you seen Children of Dune David? If not worth a look out for- I think its the same people who did the Dune miniseries- but they got a much better budget.


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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by David H on Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:31 pm

Interesting! I missed that!
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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:31 pm

Something else for a postal delivery then.  Very Happy 

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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by David H on Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:41 pm

Very Happy 
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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:50 pm

Couldn't find Children of Dune on youtube but for those with a good enough connection (sorry David!) the Dune miniseries is there (Its easier to take seriously mind you if youre used to watching classic Who from whom they seem to have borrowed some costumes and sets, but its a decent adaptation if you dont mind ropey effects)-


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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Radaghast on Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:53 am

I caught about half of The Lovely Bones today. Again, I've not read the book but many reviews claim it's a bad adaptation of the book. Given my opinion of Jackson's Middle-earth movies, I can readily agree with that, but I'm still curious enough to want to read the book, and then watch the whole movie.

On its own, from what I've seen of the film, it seemed to have an odd, discordant feel to it with a bizarre message.

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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by azriel on Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:51 am

I liked the idea coming from that film,
Spoiler:
you see the girls death thru her eyes, & she leads you up to her killer
 I regretted that in all these years I havnt read as much due to not enough time, & Im still not finding enough time years later !  Rolling Eyes  The one book I did read, (cos I had a thing for Robert Redford) was "The Sting", speaking of the opposite here, the book & film were actually very close together, plot wise,scenes, action, only a couple of character names were changed.

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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by malickfan on Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:00 pm

I always find this subject a bit weird, can a film be a bad book adapaptation if it differs enormously in plot, but remains faithful to the themes and succeeds in its own right?

I read The Children of Men a few months ago, beyond the basic plot and a few character names it bares virtually no resemblance to the story told in the film, but still felt thematically on the same level. So in some ways it was a terrible adaptation, but worked very well as a film...so would this be a bad adaptation?




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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:27 pm

I think its down to the quality of the adaptation, if it works in its own right, if it adds anything new and interesting. I wouldnt say Children of Men is a bad adaptation as it was a really fascinating film in its own right no matter how close it was to the original book. I would say that GOT is a good example of this, it can go wildly off piste sometimes but it still lives and breathes Martins GOT world.
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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Eldorion on Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:31 pm

I've tried to avoid the phrases "good adaptation" and "bad adaptation" for a long time because I'm not always comfortable putting value judgements on it. I try to go with "faithful adaptation" and "unfaithful adaptation". And of course, these measures are very different whether a film is good or bad. Or to put it another way: faithfulness to the source material has no bearing on the other qualities of a film, including those by which original films are judged.

As to the question of whether an adaptation can be faithful to themes but not plot, I have mixed feelings. A friend of mine from another forum brought that idea up with me years ago, and his example was The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Not to say that he thought the movie actually was faithful by any standard, but that he thought it would be possible for an adaptation to change a multitude of plot details but still earn the label of faithful by preserving Adams' sense of humor, his outlook on life in the context of his fictional galaxy, and the sort of intellectual playfulness that pervades the books (and radio show, I assume, though I haven't listened to that). I always thought this was a really interesting idea, though I don't think it's necessarily applicable to LOTR (nor did my friend think so).
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Re: Other Bad Book Adaptations

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:01 pm

That would hold up better if most of the film didnt suck though.

There is also precedent with Hitchhikers as every version, radio, album, tv, book, film are different from each other and written by the author, so there is no definitive version of the story.

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