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  1. #1
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    Default Mash up of reading/movie thread: the movie ruined the book!

    We just watched 127 Hours the other night. While I haven't read Aron Ralston's book, I am pretty sure the movie ruined it. The musical score was AWFUL 80's cop show dreck, and the film maker's style did not match the story at all. While not turn it off terrible, it was definitely not a movie I would recommend.

    But more to the point, several of you have mentioned Into the Wild as a good book and movie.

    We thought the movie was awful. Sean Penn used every film school trick he could find--split screens, dissolves, weird camera angles. And I love Pearl Jam, but the soundtrack was also grating. Did there have to be a song about everything that happened to him?

    I know you may disagree on these two, but what other terrible movies were made out of books you loved?
    Last edited by TheHorseProblem; Mar. 20, 2011 at 06:04 PM. Reason: sp
    2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

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  2. #2
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    You still need to read the book of 127 hours...IT was really good.

    The Shopaholic movie was not like the book.
    OTTB - Hurricane Denton - Kane AKA Bubble boy
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  3. #3
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    movies that ruined the book:
    black oleander
    the time traveler's wife
    my sister's keeper
    the notebook (hated the book too)
    confessions of a shopaholic
    watership down but in a OK way.



    I am sure there are more, these were just off the top of my head.
    Last edited by MunchingonHay; Mar. 20, 2011 at 06:06 PM. Reason: spelling



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MunchingonHay View Post
    my sister's keeper
    .
    OMG OMG OMG. Umm, hello, that is not how the book ended?!?!?!? Why did Jody Picault even let them do such a terrible, terrible thing!?!?! AHhhhhh! I am still angry about that, what, two years later? Oh my goodness, ruined my whole night after the ending. And the rest of the movie was pretty crummy too, I generally adore Abigail whom-ever, but that was not a good role for her.

    The rest of your list I also agree with. It just doesn't make me as angry.



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    OMG OMG OMG. Umm, hello, that is not how the book ended?!?!?!? Why did Jody Picault even let them do such a terrible, terrible thing!?!?! AHhhhhh! I am still angry about that, what, two years later? Oh my goodness, ruined my whole night after the ending. And the rest of the movie was pretty crummy too, I generally adore Abigail whom-ever, but that was not a good role for her.

    The rest of your list I also agree with. It just doesn't make me as angry.

    Sadly in most cases once the movie rights are sold, the author of the book loses all control. Then of course are a lot of people who put their spin on the story...There are only a few authors who can demand complete control over the movie, I think JK Rowlings got pretty close.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
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  6. #6
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    I am planning a re-read of Water For Elephants in case that Vampire ruins dude Jacob Jankowski for me. Just sayin', not for nothin' etc etc etc



  7. #7
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    Haven't seen it (Opening Apr-15-11) but I have a feeling the Atlas Shrugged movie will ruin the book. Happens when you wait 57 years after the book comes out.

    http://www.atlasshruggedpart1.com/



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alagirl View Post
    Sadly in most cases once the movie rights are sold, the author of the book loses all control. Then of course are a lot of people who put their spin on the story...There are only a few authors who can demand complete control over the movie, I think JK Rowlings got pretty close.
    Yes, considering they were condensing down 700 page novels with intricate story lines into 2.5hr movies, I think they did really well. People who spaz about tiny details or scenes being left out of the Harry Potter movies kinda make me twitch....they'd be seven hour movies if everything was included! I love both the Harry Potter books AND the movies, and respect them as separate creatures.

    The spin in My Sister's Keeper (trying not to ruin it if anyone somehow hasn't seen it yet and is dying to) was COMPLETELY different than the book, though, and ruined the entire story. It also kinda didn't make sense, much less dramatic too.



  9. #9
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    The Bourne Series
    Jurrasic Park and Lost World
    Timeline
    Basically anything Micheal Crichton wrote...
    The Horse Whisperer


    LOTR is really good regarding the story and the characters, some parts were edited out of the theatre version but you can see them on the extended editions!



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliodoro View Post
    The Bourne Series
    Jurrasic Park and Lost World
    Timeline
    Basically anything Micheal Crichton wrote...
    The Horse Whisperer


    LOTR is really good regarding the story and the characters, some parts were edited out of the theatre version but you can see them on the extended editions!

    Gawd, you mean the movie was worse than the book?!
    I consider it to be just about the worst book I ever read!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.
    GNU Terry Prachett



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHorseProblem View Post
    But more to the point, several of you have mentioned Into the Wild as a good book and movie.

    We thought the movie was awful. Sean Penn used every film school trick he could find--split screens, dissolves, weird camera angles. And I love Pearl Jam, but the soundtrack was also grating. Did there have to be a song about everything that happened to him?
    Good to know. If Sean Penn directed it, I won't waste my time...not a fan of his in any capacity. Just watched "Falcon and the Snowman" on cable, yesterday. Read the book years ago, so can't really remember how true-to the movie was...but, after having to watch Penn's ugly mug and listen to his grating voice definitely convinced me the book was far superior.
    Is it me or do 99.9% of cowboys just look better with their hats on?
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  12. #12
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    I can't stand Ludlum's writing style so I loved the bourne movies more then the books even though they didn't follow the books at all. I also liked Jurrasic Park better then the book because all the technical crap was boring.

    One of my favorite youth books was Jumper by Stephen Gould. The movie had nothing in common and was horrific. So bad Gould even wrote a book based on the movie to try and fix it.



  13. #13
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    As an aside, I once had a huge crush on a guy until I found out that Bridges of Madison County was his favorite book. He loaned it to me because I had never read it and was curious what all the fuss was about. He had underlined parts of it. It was SO BAD I completely lost interest in him.

    However, that is one example of a movie that was way better than the book. The movie was at least watchable.
    2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

    A helmet saved my life.



  14. #14
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    Default One of my favorite movies is 'A room with a View'

    However, I HATED the book. Read it in a hotel, and threw it across the room.
    I did read Jurassic Park, long before there was a movie. I liked the book, nd thought the movie was terrific. Sort of spoiled it when all the people survived, so they could make a sequel. LOTR was terrific.
    Another killer of threads



  15. #15
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    Eragon by Christopher Paolini. Amazing books. I knew I would never watch the movie after seeing the preview, but I watched 5 mminutes of it once. In those 5 minutes, I counted 49 mistakes, 17 of them very, very major.
    .



  16. #16
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    I agree about "My Sisters Keeper" and "Into the Wild". Those movies stunk when the books were decent.

    I'm wondering how badly the American versions of "Girl with the Dragon Tatoo" series are going to be butchered.



  17. #17
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    I can't say that I've ever seen a movie ruin the book. Sure there have been bad movies made from books, but that has little to no effect on the book for me. If that movie is bad, well, it's bad, but the book lives in a separate book world.

    For instance, I loved The Bourne Series. I liked the movies...for what they were...action packed movies. I thought Memoirs of a Geisha was an amazing book. The movie was entertaining, but not nearly as good. Same with Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood.

    While I didn't like parts of 127 hours and agree the music was awful and the rough cutting was distracting, it's mostly a movie with one very tight location, one character and not a whole lot going on. Think Castaway, but without the luxury of your main character being able to go anywhere at all. The fact that 1) the movie got made and 2) it was interesting at all is an accomplishment in its own right...IMHO.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
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  18. #18
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    Adaptations are a tricky thing. I can say this having worked on many, many screenplay adaptations of both fiction and non-fiction books (some of which have been mentioned here). While books can take place inside characters, movies happen between characters.

    A much-loved book might not have near enough plot for a movie. Your average Nick Sparks novel is uneventful and simplistic. The screenwriter has to invent incidents and plot points to keep the story going.

    Long/epic novels have the opposite problem. Science fiction is difficult because it's never easy to explain a different world within the confines of a screenplay.

    Someone mentioned that the book author 'sadly' has no control over the film project. Most novelists are not filmmakers and simply do not understand the process well enough to make a positive contribution. (I'm being very kind when I say that, although there are some writers out there who do get it and are an asset to the project.)

    There are a number of movies that are far better than the material on which they are based. Some examples: Ordinary People, the Graduate (huh? there's a book?), the Godfather. Some movies are based on books you've never heard of, for very good reason. And then in some cases, the movie and the original source material are both top quality. To Kill a Mockingbird, anyone?



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    There are a number of movies that are far better than the material on which they are based. Some examples: Ordinary People, the Graduate (huh? there's a book?), the Godfather. Some movies are based on books you've never heard of, for very good reason. And then in some cases, the movie and the original source material are both top quality. To Kill a Mockingbird, anyone?
    The Princess Bride comes to mind. The book is m'eh. The movie is excellent, IMO. Though after looking, the author, William Goldman, is a successful screenwriter.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RugBug View Post
    The Princess Bride comes to mind. The book is m'eh. The movie is excellent, IMO. Though after looking, the author, William Goldman, is a successful screenwriter.
    I almost used that one as an example but the book has lots of fans, and I didn't want to get into a discussion about it.

    I hated that book. Way too much ego in there. How many times did he brag about writing Butch Cassidy?

    But there you go -- a good screenwriter doesn't necessarily make a good prose writer.



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