Your worst film adaptation ...

User avatar
alexwein
Posts: 1063
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:30 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Ashland, Oregon, USA
Contact:

Fri May 09, 2008 4:49 pm Post

PJS wrote:Could have dropped (what seemed like) maybe three hours of Orcs and had plenty of time to include, for instance, Tom Bombadil.


Yes! One of my favorite parts of the book. Of course they couldn't include everything, but still, this was a big part of the story.
Inspiration is for amateurs...the rest of us just show up.
-Chuck Close
http://alexandriapallas.com

me
melmoth2
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:35 pm

Fri May 09, 2008 5:08 pm Post

Alien was based on the short story Black Destroyer and sections from The Voyage of the Space Beagle by A.E. Van Vogt. Though the studio denied the connection they settled out of court with van Vogt.

me
melmoth2
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:35 pm

Fri May 09, 2008 5:17 pm Post

Why, oh why, has no-one ever done a decent adaption of anything by H.P. Lovecraft? All the films, with the exception of the semi-amateur black and white silent version of The Call of Cthulhu have been utterly dire schlock horror (e.g. From Beyond and Re-animator). There's scope for some real weird creepy cinema in Lovecraft and Guillermo Del Toro seems to be a bit of a fan (judging by Hell Boy) but everyone just goes for exploding heads and buckets of gore.

kl
klcorridon
Posts: 311
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:38 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Eugene, OR

Fri May 09, 2008 5:33 pm Post

Enemy Mine.
I may be an Idiot, but I'm no Fool...
For Maura, 4/7/59-11/21/09... My Muse, my Heroine, my Editor, my Patron. All that I have achieved as a writer is because of her.

User avatar
Jaysen
Posts: 6227
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:00 am
Platform: Mac + Windows
Location: East-Be-Jesus-Nowhere SC, USA

Fri May 09, 2008 6:13 pm Post

alexwein wrote:Jaysen, I haven't browsed through other responses, but I have to agree with you here.

Could I get you to explain this concept to my daughter (the "agree with you" part)? It would go a long way right now.

In general I have tried to distance the idea of "book" and "movie" from each other. As AmberV said, they are completely different media and not really comparable. But that does not mean that you should do what they did to LOTR and shift the focus from the "personal responsibility" aspect (Frodo's journey) to the "evil demon" vs. "innocent children" theme that Tolkien never intended. In the originals every one was a unique adult were as in the movie the hobits were treated as children who were manipulated by the adults. They basically destroyed the core message of the book for the sake of sales.

I guess I would have preferred if they simply called it "Movie where big uglies chase little cuties! loosely based on {i]Lord of the Rings[/i]"
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

ImageImage

User avatar
vic-k
Posts: 7135
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:23 am
Platform: Mac + Windows
Location: Protesting in the nude, outside ex Red Lion TESCO Store

Fri May 09, 2008 6:17 pm Post

Apropos my earlier post, concerning 'Alien". To describe all subsequent sequels as, "Crocs of shite!", was patently rubbish, and not worthy of serious discourse (even for me). The point I should have made was, that: having seen all of the follow ons, unlike the original, which had a profound effect on me, none of them had any emotional impact on me whatsoever. Now that may say more about me than it does about the movies.

Take care
Vic
As a professional, you, are your one and only asset. Without integrity you are worthless, but with it, you are priceless.

User avatar
Jaysen
Posts: 6227
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:00 am
Platform: Mac + Windows
Location: East-Be-Jesus-Nowhere SC, USA

Fri May 09, 2008 6:26 pm Post

vic-k wrote:Apropos my earlier post, concerning 'Alien". To describe all subsequent sequels as, "Crocs of shite!", was patently rubbish, and not worthy of serious discourse (even for me). The point I should have made was, that: having seen all of the follow ons, unlike the original, which had a profound effect on me, none of them had any emotional impact on me whatsoever. Now that may say more about me than it does about the movies.

Take care
Vic

Or that the movies are "crocs of shite".

Not a fan of the entire genre so it is easy for me to support you in that opinion.
Jaysen

I have a wife and 2 kids that I can only attribute to a wiggle, a giggle, and the realization that she was out of my league so I might as well be happy with her as a friend. 26 years marriage later, I can't imagine life without her. -Me 10/7/09

ImageImage

User avatar
Jacqi Corgan
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:09 am
Location: Akron, Ohio, USA

Fri May 09, 2008 7:45 pm Post

The original release of "Dune." People who saw it without reading the novel beforehand were lost. The director's cut was much better; it made sense even to those who were new to Arrakis.
A scrivener using Scrivener. (Credit to xiamenese! :) )

me
melmoth2
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:35 pm

Fri May 09, 2008 8:33 pm Post

The TV series of Dune and Children of Dune were really cool, my 13 year old daughter was completely sold on the series and went on to read the first three books - they remain her complete faves. The only slightly disorientating bit was the fact that a couple of the actors changed so that Stilgar turned into Steven Berkoff and Jessica into Alice Krige. Ian McNeice as Harkonnen was superb.

Re LOTR - I spent about two weeks moaning about Tom Bombadil, Ents and the fact that the Orcs looked like the Sex Pistols but then it dawned on me that the films could have been so much, so much worse and that I was just carping about details. If I take two steps back I find it hard to fault any of Peter Jackson's trilogy. They weren't perfect but then again they were 80% there IMHO. If you want to see where it could have gone, watch the cartoon Return of the King on Youtube, the TV/DVD only sequel to Ralph Bakshi's bizarre animated version, especially the Orc Song - 'Where there's a whip, there's a way'. http://youtube.com/watch?v=YdXQJS3Yv0Y

User avatar
Jacqi Corgan
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:09 am
Location: Akron, Ohio, USA

Fri May 09, 2008 8:56 pm Post

melmoth2 wrote:The TV series of Dune and Children of Dune were really cool.

I agree with you! Those versions worked.

I also agree about the animated version of LOTR, which I saw a very long time ago and hope never to see again! The Orc song was just mind-blowingly weird.
A scrivener using Scrivener. (Credit to xiamenese! :) )

Ve
Vermonter17032
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:24 pm
Location: Vermont, USA
Contact:

Fri May 09, 2008 10:16 pm Post

Alien and its sequel Aliens each inhabits a different genre. Alien is a pure horror story -- as someone else said, a great haunted house tale. Aliens is an adrenaline pumping action film. Both were great fun. While I think Alien was the better film, I have no desire to see it again; whereas I have watched Aliens many times, and have always enjoyed it.

Steve

User avatar
xiamenese
Posts: 4324
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:32 am
Platform: Mac
Location: London or Exeter, UK.

Sat May 10, 2008 2:24 am Post

To go back to my earlier postings on The Russia House and LotR, as I say, I have no particular desire to watch the LotR films again. Although I have all three on DVD, on those occasions when I'm alone at home and want something happening in the flat, I think of putting one on, but then think "Nah ... can't be bothered." But at the same time, though there are things that annoy me ... as I said, the change in the character of Faramir, Frodo hanging off the cliff, or the collapsing bridge in Moria, and perhaps most of all the clear suggestion in the conversation between Gandalf and Saruman that "pipe-weed" is some sort of drug — which is so unbelievably non-Tolkien I can hardly believe they came up with that! — I see many of the changes as being ones which are down to film vs book, time constraints and changing themes to pander to a modern audience ... or perhaps it might be fairer to say to the studio's perceptions of what a modern audience wants.
I find that somewhat easier to accept than the stultifying inertia of The Russia House, in the film of a book which doesn't call for any hi-tech monsters or James Bond type kit, no aliens, no really complex sets bigatures etc. ... And it's not as if the makers tried to bend the book to bring those things in. They just seem to have turned out a script that made totally unnecessary changes and which put the actors themselves to sleep as they were speaking it.
I mentioned the Hollywood Pride and Prejudice which I loathe. I loathe that because it is (a) not at all the vision of the book that I have, and (b) it gives a totally distorted view of life of the gentry in late 18th century England — Donald Sutherland, the worst character, as a wild-man-of-the-woods Mr Bennet ... the Bennets living in a muddy, ramshackle farmhouse and farmyard — yet, I can still accept that it can be seen as a good film in its own right. My daughter loves it, but she doesn't like the book ...
I suppose I feel the same about LotR. It's not my vision of LotR by a long way and it has it's irritating points, but it was fun to watch, at least a couple of times. Gandalf and Sam were very good ... I thought Gollum was great ...
The Russia House has no such mitigating features which is why I rate it as the worst adaptation I know of. But I have to admit that I am not a huge film buff and haven't seen many of the films that others have mentioned. I will never watch films like Alien or its sequels ... I have more than enough horrors in my own mind to last me a life time without subjecting myself to the horrific output of others' imaginations.
Just to switch track and go OT for a moment — as the one who started the thread, perhaps you will indulge me — my favourite films are probably Un homme et une femme, Dial M for Murder and Rear Window.

Mark
The Scrivenato sometimes known as Mr X.
iMac 27" (late 2015) 10.15.4, 24GB RAM, 512GB SSID
MBP17" (late 2011) 10.13.6, 16GB RAM, 2TB SSID
2017 iPad, iPadOS 13.3, 128GB, Apple Pencil
Scrivener, Scapple, Nisus Writer Pro, Bookends …

da
dafu
Posts: 564
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:33 am
Platform: Mac
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Sat May 10, 2008 4:14 am Post

I can think of too many horrible adaptations because, of course, film is so different from the printed word—it’s immensely difficult to translate the feeling arising from reading the cadences of an accomplished, perceptive writer to film. And time, you see, time is a big one. How many hours did it take you to read War & Peace? Would you sit still in a movie theater or on your couch before the TV for the same amount of time? I don’t think so. The mediums have different requirements; I don’t think you adapt as much as translate.

On the subject of War & Peace, I think the BBC version with Anthony Hopkins as Pierre (how long ago was that?) was simply wonderful.

On the subject of the Lord of the Rings, my, how much verbiage has been spent on this one? I think it was a phenomenal effort. Watch the “how we did it” shorts on the DVD’s to get a feeling for how immense the effort was and how careful they were. My friends who are passionate about the books all are aghast at the movies’ gaps but I keep thinking they won’t see so close a translation for a long time. It wouldn’t surprise me if thirty years elapse before someone else gives it a try. I, too, rue the loss of Tom Bombadil but I think my criticism of the movies' lacks lies in two things: the overwhelming emphasis on violent, kinetic action, thrilling as it may be, and most importantly the almost complete omission of the hobbit’s return to the shire where their hard-won experience and maturity are proved to the benefit of their dear homes and community.

Dave

User avatar
alexwein
Posts: 1063
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:30 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Ashland, Oregon, USA
Contact:

Mon May 12, 2008 12:53 pm Post

Jaysen wrote:Could I get you to explain this concept to my daughter (the "agree with you" part)? It would go a long way right now.

In general I have tried to distance the idea of "book" and "movie" from each other. As AmberV said, they are completely different media and not really comparable. But that does not mean that you should do what they did to LOTR and shift the focus from the "personal responsibility" aspect (Frodo's journey) to the "evil demon" vs. "innocent children" theme that Tolkien never intended. In the originals every one was a unique adult were as in the movie the hobits were treated as children who were manipulated by the adults. They basically destroyed the core message of the book for the sake of sales.

I guess I would have preferred if they simply called it "Movie where big uglies chase little cuties! loosely based on {i]Lord of the Rings[/i]"


Ha! I doubt she'd listen to me either. I'm too much into adulthood! Yes, they are different mediums, but they made a movie and called it LOTR and all the characters had the same names as the characters in the book! And they used Tolkien's plot, his name, etc., etc. So, sorry, in my book (not the movie), I think it's just fine to compare the two and find the film wanting.

Yes, it was a great effort and achievement, but I have every right to evaluate these films based on how well I believe they fared in adapting the book, which is what they tried to do. And folks who don't want to do that, well, don't. I stick to my opinions and see no reason to change them. But also, just on the basis of the movies themselves, I found them to be wanting. Someone who had never read the books should have been able to make sense of these movies. The few people I know who did NOT read the books got totally lost, especially with the second movie which was badly hacked. They definitely should have done MORE to consolidate the storyline and characters, and in trying to do too much, they really lost the threads of both.

So I agree with you again (hear that, daughter of Jaysen!?). Call it something else and change the names and make your own darn movie. :)

Alexandria
Last edited by alexwein on Tue May 13, 2008 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Inspiration is for amateurs...the rest of us just show up.
-Chuck Close
http://alexandriapallas.com

User avatar
alexwein
Posts: 1063
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:30 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: Ashland, Oregon, USA
Contact:

Mon May 12, 2008 12:56 pm Post

My worst film adaptation is actually from a book I never read and never plan to. But it WAS an adaptation and while I can't evaluate it on how well it adapted to the book, I can say it is probably the very worst movie I've ever seen and one of the worst ever made. The name of this film:

Battlefield: Earth

Horrid.

Alexandria
Inspiration is for amateurs...the rest of us just show up.
-Chuck Close
http://alexandriapallas.com