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Curt McGirt

Better Movies Than Novels

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Stephen King fucking owns this topic.

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I think you could make a good case for Never Let Me Go.  Very good book; outstanding movie that does all the things the book doesn't do (pace itself better, detail what is going on in the world, link up all the scattered memories into something more cohesive).  

Still haven't cracked the plastic on my PKD Library of America set -- mostly I just think it's kind of funny to have a 4-inch stretch on one of my bookshelves that says, "Dick, Dick, Dick" -- but I wonder if Blade Runner wouldn't qualify, too. Someone who's actually read Electric Sheep, feel free to correct me.  And if you wanted to be persnickety about the title, I'd have to wonder if the actual book entitled The Blade Runner (which apparently is far more similar in content to the Jude Law/Forrest Whitaker Repo Man) isn't also not as good.

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1 minute ago, Contentious C said:

I think you could make a good case for Never Let Me Go.  Very good book; outstanding movie that does all the things the book doesn't do (pace itself better, detail what is going on in the world, link up all the scattered memories into something more cohesive).  

Still haven't cracked the plastic on my PKD Library of America set -- mostly I just think it's kind of funny to have a 4-inch stretch on one of my bookshelves that says, "Dick, Dick, Dick" -- but I wonder if Blade Runner wouldn't qualify, too. Someone who's actually read Electric Sheep, feel free to correct me.  And if you wanted to be persnickety about the title, I'd have to wonder if the actual book entitled The Blade Runner (which apparently is far more similar in content to the Jude Law/Forrest Whitaker Repo Man) isn't also not as good.

I dunno, I didn't think Blade Runner was any worse than any of a million SF thrillers. It bore such little relation to the source material it might as well have just been an original script.  PKD was a fabulous idea man, as far as a cinematic writer, I doubt he ever gave it a thought, he was far too busy cranking out fiction at an insane level while amped up on speed. There was a brief period where PKD's name carried a certain degree of marketability (or at least Hollyweird thought so). 

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I thought the movie version of Fight Club was better than the novel. The ending was way better than the novel's ending.

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37 minutes ago, OSJ said:

Stephen King fucking owns this topic.

Stand By Me (The Body), Carrie, The Mist, and The Shawshank Redemption all say that you are correct.

I think that The Shining is a great movie when I think about it in a vacuum, but it really is a horrible adaptation.  Kubrick totally missed the boat on everything from Danny's powers to the true nature of the evil in The Overlook Hotel.

 

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This is probably blasphemy but the film adaptation of Let The Right One In is much better than the book.

And sorry, Clive Barker, but Night Breed > Cabal and Candyman > The Forbidden.

Anyone who says Logan's Run probably hasn't read Logan's Run.

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I'll add Silver Bullet as being better than Cycle Of The Werewolf.

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On the comics side: Any Mark Millar adaptation.  AoU and Civil Ward were both better than the stories whose titles they stole.

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1 hour ago, cwoy2j said:

I thought the movie version of Fight Club was better than the novel. The ending was way better than the novel's ending.

100% the first thing I thought of. In my early 20s I thought Chuck P's writing was the shit, but as I got older, I basically realized that he peaked incredibly early and the rest is just not that good.

Even re-reading Fight Club wasn't that good again and I'm not sure how much of that was due to the Fight Club 2 comic. In any event, that movie still holds up incredibly well. It's fucking great. Way better than the book, better paced, funnier, and still relevant. And like you said, the ending to the movie is much better than the book's ending.

I almost want to give a nod to Gone Girl. It's one thing to read about some of the fucked up stuff in the book, but it's a whole other thing to actually see it play out on screen.

Half Blood Prince and Order of the Phoenix are two others, but that's mainly due to the movies handling all of the bloat in those two books really well and Dolores Umbridge coming off as one of the best movie villains ever on screen as opposed to how she comes off in the book. I fucking hate her so much. Easily a top five movie villain and reading the book version of her just never gave me those same feelings of, "I hate this person and I want every kid in the school to Avada Kedavra the shit out of her."

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BTW, Imelda Staunton is fucking fantastic.

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Rosemary's Baby is a great book.

The film is pretty much exactly like the book. But with Mia Farrow. Advantage - film.

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Hot take: Watchman.

Not really. But the movie is unfairly maligned. And the climax of the movie might be better than the comic.

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2 minutes ago, West Newbury Bad Boy said:

Hot take: Watchman.

Not really. But the movie is unfairly maligned. And the climax of the movie might be better than the comic.

Hallelujah

watchment+owlship.JPG

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Without looking it up, was the movie poorly reviewed? I only watched it once and I remember pretty vividly how and why. I was on vacation, had a migraine and was sick, and wound up watching it on a laptop. Given the circumstances, I thought it was good, but I also felt like complete shit. It's entirely possible the movie sucks and I wasn't in the right frame of mind at all.

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Critics at the time thought it'd be too much for mainstream audiences to comprehend because it was overly faithful to the comic.  It doesn't bring much to the table that the comic doesn't have, so it was pretty dull if you already knew the story.

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It was okay. But it's a classic example of the source material being a formative experience for a lot of people and them getting married to it. 

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Looking through my goodreads and I think it's hard to say that any of them were definitively better movies than books. I haven't seen it in years but I think I preferred Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut over the source novella Dream Story by Arthur Schnitzler. I didn't even know it was based on a book until I realised that the plot became familiar as I was reading it.

I think the 2006 film of Casino Royale is better than the book.

Not exactly a direct adaptation but is it generally considered that Apocalypse Now is better than Heart of Darkness?

A couple of kinda cheats...

Not a movie -  I preferred the recent Netflix version of The Haunting of Hill House (haven't seen any other adaptations) over the book. I'm not a big horror reader and prefer my scares to be visual.

Not a novel - I really like Into The Wild (the book and the film), but I think the latter edges it purely because it's able to visually portray both the location and the ensuing horror.

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2 hours ago, driver said:

I'll add Silver Bullet as being better than Cycle Of The Werewolf.

I love Silver Bullet to a ridiculous extent but Bernie Wrightson? Hell no, Cycle wins.

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High Fidelity, innit? John Cusack > Nick Hornby.

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Before I get to work: Full Metal Jacket > The Shorttimers. But The Shorttimers trilogy IS crazier.

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The Godfather is a genuinely mediocre novel that also spends way, way too much time on a kind of weird and gross Johnny Fontaine/Hollywood sex ring side story that Coppola had the wisdom to jettison into the sun, resulting in a far more focused narrative.

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