Book or Movie?

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AuthorTopic: Book or Movie?
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
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Arghhhhhhhhh's older brother, no doubt.

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"Making poorly-sourced claims is not the same as determining something."
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Guardian
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Profile Homepage #26
By Thuryl:
quote:
The movie isn't always better than the book; sometimes, it's the reverse. Who even remembers that Jurassic Park was originally a book? (2001: A Space Odyssey is another example, but it was written specifically with the intent of making it into a movie, so it doesn't really count.)
Speaking of which, was Michael Crichton involved in writing the screenplay for Lost World? I know he was for Jurassic Park as well as the third one if I remember correctly.

Actually, Jurassic Park is my favourite example for book versus movie discussions. The book was too cerebral for long stretches for a movie, and it had too much violence and coarse language to be a 14A movie. The movie had too much mindless action and flat characters for a book. The author was involved with the movie transition, and he used the best things for each medium.

Although I bemoan the absence of rocket launchers in the movie.

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Tom Bombadil for the win!
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #27
It encouraged Crichton to continue. Ick.

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Thralni - "a lot of people are ... too weird to be trusted"
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #28
quote:
Originally written by Taliesin:

Eragon was written by a 15-year-old kid. You have to give him a little grace, at least.
No, I don't. He wrote very well for a 15-year-old, but he still didn't actually write well. Maybe he'll grow up or has grown up to be a decent author, but he wasn't then.

—Alorael, who doesn't think the book would have gotten anywhere if it weren't written by a very young would-be author. Celebrity is ugly.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #29
quote:
Originally written by Alarmaceuticals:

—Alorael, who doesn't think the book would have gotten anywhere if it weren't written by a very young would-be author.
...and if his parents hadn't decided to publish it for him.

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TM: "I want BoA to grow. Evolve where the food ladder has rungs to be reached."

Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Councilor
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Profile Homepage #30
Originally by Taliesin:

quote:
In that case, you probably wouldn't have the patience to read the sequel, Eldest. Now that is a great book. Much more originality (well, originality period), more than one plot (three or four subplots), character development of more than just Eragon, etc.
Ick. Dikiyoba found it to be far worse. Okay, sure, the brother and villagers subplot was fairly interesting. But it just serves to highlight the book's problem--anything involving Eragon was either really, really boring (and the elves had to be the worst offenders) or horribly contrived.

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Episode 4: Spiderweb Reloaded
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Infiltrator
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Whatever ;)

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"We were meant to live for so much more. Have we lost ourselves?" - Switchfoot
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Posts: 432 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2007 07:00
Canned
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Profile #32
People have different opinions. I'm sure many people liked the book(s).

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I can transform into almost anything, but not sanity -Iffy
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Not in your shed -We are still under developement, but help would be nice. By the way, most of the conversation goes in the Moderator forum, in case your confused.
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lol teh stupd text spek is lik ubar dum lol
Posts: 1799 | Registered: Sunday, February 4 2007 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 414
Profile Homepage #33
quote:
Originally written by Ephesos:

quote:
Originally written by 0.113 Victorians of Civilization:

I've only read 2001, not seen the movie. I've read the sequels, too.
Good lord the movie is boring... it's pretty, certainly, but it's so boring. Like ten minutes of dialog in a 2.5 hour movie. BAD.

But the books are good, you say?

If your definition of a good movie is that it has dialogue, go see a freaking play.

[ Sunday, October 14, 2007 07:28: Message edited by: monolith94 ]

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An Agent, An Agent Of Doom
Posts: 22 | Registered: Tuesday, December 18 2001 08:00
Law Bringer
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Profile Homepage #34
quote:
Originally written by monolith94:

quote:
Originally written by Ephesos:

Good lord the movie is boring... it's pretty, certainly, but it's so boring. Like ten minutes of dialog in a 2.5 hour movie. BAD.
If your definition of a good movie is that it has dialogue, go see a freaking play.

Wow, somebody's cranky today. :P

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TM: "I want BoA to grow. Evolve where the food ladder has rungs to be reached."

Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Apprentice
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Profile #35
Another adaptation that tuned out to be a great movie was The Green Mile. I haven't read the book though, so can't really comment on it.
Posts: 23 | Registered: Friday, January 10 2003 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #36
Jurassic Park (the movie) drove me nuts because it was bleating that humans aren't smart enough to tamper with nature, but to make its case it had to present a particular bunch of humans who weren't smart enough to tie their shoes. Yet they could clone dinosaurs; right. According to a review I read once, the book was a good deal more intelligent than that.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #37
Iffy, if you're using Eragon as your baseline for comparison, the results are going to be pretty skewed.

I posit that generally, a book, provided it pre-existed the film and lead an independent existence from it, is superior to the film version of the book. There are some exceptions; The Godfather comes to mind.

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Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

Jurassic Park (the movie) drove me nuts because it was bleating that humans aren't smart enough to tamper with nature
It all comes down to the Geneforge Shaping debate, doesn't it? :rolleyes:

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"We were meant to live for so much more. Have we lost ourselves?" - Switchfoot
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My poetry
Posts: 432 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2007 07:00
By Committee
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Profile #39
I thought it all came down to humans not being wise enough to tamper with nature, as opposed to smart enough. That, and that the human impulse toward greed and hubris will always lead to nemesis. That however has been a big part of most popular entertainment ever since Oedipus Tyrannus.

[ Sunday, October 14, 2007 16:17: Message edited by: Drew ]

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In today’s America, there are more World of Warcraft players than farmers.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
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You're right of course. I was just trapping it in the Spiderweb. :P

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"We were meant to live for so much more. Have we lost ourselves?" - Switchfoot
----
My poetry
Posts: 432 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2007 07:00
Canned
Member # 8014
Profile #41
quote:
Iffy, if you're using Eragon as your baseline for comparison, the results are going to be pretty skewed.

What? Stop it. Stop confusing me. I have already said that it was just an opinion. You guys have been giving opinions on other things, but no one goes around trying to confuse them.

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I can transform into almost anything, but not sanity -Iffy
Muffins n' Hell|Muffins n' Hell: The Muffins Are Back Again
I have an addiction to Spiderweb games.
I like this image
Not in your shed -We are still under developement, but help would be nice. By the way, most of the conversation goes in the Moderator forum, in case your confused.
Iffy= Infernal Flamming Muffin. The y is added to make a word.
lol teh stupd text spek is lik ubar dum lol
Posts: 1799 | Registered: Sunday, February 4 2007 08:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #42
He does raise a good question: can making a film out of a crappy book elevate the material, or is it doomed to failure? Obviously, Eragon serves as strong evidence of the latter.

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In today’s America, there are more World of Warcraft players than farmers.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #43
Interesting question. My first reaction is that making a good film out of a crappy book is as hard as making a good film out of nothing at all. But it must depend on how the book is bad. If it's got some good ideas that transfer well to the screen, but is somehow very badly executed as a book, that could be good; if it's a competent book but has bad cinematic elements, that would hurt.

But one might ask how likely the first scenario really is. Isn't it actually quite a bit harder to come up with an effective plot, a cool setting, interesting characters, and a lot of arresting scenes, than to craft those good elements into a good novel? Isn't anyone who can come up with those ingredients pretty much guaranteed to have the skill to whip them together?

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
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Originally by Student of Trinity:

quote:
But one might ask how likely the first scenario really is. Isn't it actually quite a bit harder to come up with an effective plot, a cool setting, interesting characters, and a lot of arresting scenes, than to craft those good elements into a good novel? Isn't anyone who can come up with those ingredients pretty much guaranteed to have the skill to whip them together?
Not necessarily. The plot, setting, characters, and scenes could all be there but obscured by bad writing, by cramming in objectionable morality, or if it's translated poorly from a different language. Maybe it has a good plot, setting, and scenes but the characters suck. Or maybe it was good except for a terrible ending. A crappy book could be crappy only because of a single, huge flaw. And if the movie removes that flaw without introducing any of its own, it could be a good movie. It all really depends.

Alas, Dikiyoba has no examples to give.

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Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #45
Well, in principle. And maybe even in practice. But I still wonder if it's really possible for any work of art to be almost great.

There seems to me to be a sort of great divide in artistic merit. If a work doesn't reach threshold, even its best elements suffer from their lousy context, and don't really work. Past a certain point, though, even features that would otherwise be flaws become interesting and effective quirks.

So I postulate a quality gap, within which no art is possible. Or at least, it must be very difficult to remain poised within this range. As a rule you're automatically either better than that level, or worse.

So I seem to be denything the possibility of the 'flawed masterpiece'. Maybe it's just sour grapes: if it's flawed, I want to say it was never a masterpiece anyway. Hmmm.

Anyway, I propose that taking a book from below the quality gap and turning it into a movie that rises above it isn't really making the book into a movie, but just making a movie that draws some inspiration from the book. You can draw some inspiration from anything at all if you like.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #46
quote:
Originally written by Dikiyoba:

Alas, Dikiyoba has no examples to give.
I would contribute examples, but the Dikiyoba would have to punch me.

Edit - For the sake of argument, assume I had to edit because I actually provided examples, and then later on (like, immediately) was forcefully reminded just how close I was getting to that proverbial edge, and removed said hypothetical examples. 'Nuf.

[ Monday, October 15, 2007 10:49: Message edited by: Jumpin' Salmon ]

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Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Thralni - "a lot of people are ... too weird to be trusted"
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #47
Some live on the edge, some just visit.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #48
"Don't hassle me about the crumbs, man, because I am on the edge of the edge."

I've been trying to come up with examples of a bad book made into a good movie. I suppose too many people think Dune the book is great (and David Lynch's film too lousy) for that one to work... I really liked the film, though, and would call it a 'flawed masterpiece." I would call the new Battlestar Galactica better than the original, but that's a TV-to-TV comparison. There have also been a number of bad video games made into movies as well (thanks to Uwe Boll) that may or may not have been better than the source material.

Blade Runner? The Running Man? Minority Report? These were all based on short stories, which may be a bit unfair.

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In today’s America, there are more World of Warcraft players than farmers.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Guardian
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Profile #49
So long as we're on the topic of books, Nalyd would like to nominate Dan Simmons as a great author. Especially his Hyperion novels.

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