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Post by lfc91 on Tue 16 Jun 2015, 2:41 pm

A comment made on another thread got me thinking: How often are films (or TV shows) made that surpass the book they are based on in terms of quality? Genuinely struggling to think of any off the top of my head. Now admittidley, many of the books i have read haven't made it onto the screen (as far as i know). However, focusing solely on 3 book series I loved when growing up and those which many on here will have read, the films (which vary in quality) never came close to matching the books in my eyes. The 3 I was thinking about are:

Harry Potter
The Hunger Games
Ender's Game

In the case of The Hunger Games and Harry Potter especially, the majority of the films in the series, if judged purely in terms of film quality, are very good/excellant. However when judged against the book, I find that they don't come close.

I guess the overall question is: Do any of your favourite books have a big screen (or Small) version that you feel surpassed the book for quality?

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Post by Adam D on Tue 16 Jun 2015, 3:19 pm

I watched Enders Game recently and thought it was excellent. Was thinking about getting the books for my holiday.

Not much help to the topic mind!

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Post by Guest on Tue 16 Jun 2015, 3:41 pm

Sounds churlish given the subject matter but found "Schindler's Ark" (renamed "Schindler's List") a somewhat difficult and thought the film adaptation was brilliant.

Likewise, "The Passion of the Christ", as I found the Bible hard going too!

There's "Shawshank Redemption" which runs the book pretty close but perhaps falls just short.

I've recently read David Morrell's "Rambo" and the film is better than the book but maybe that's because I've lived with the film for so long that it's an almost impossible feat.

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Post by lfc91 on Tue 16 Jun 2015, 3:48 pm

Adam D wrote:I watched Enders Game recently and thought it was excellent. Was thinking about getting the books for my holiday.

Not much help to the topic mind!

Enders Game is a fantastic read. The second and third books in the series (speaker for the dead and xenocide) are also worth reading. Focusing more on the characters later life whilst clearing up many things from the first book.

Dave, in certain cases it may be just a case of what comes first. I haven't read The Lord of the rings books for instance, but they would have to go a long LONG way to top what the films have done in my eyes. I'm sure someone out there could easily clear that one up for me though?

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Post by Guest on Tue 16 Jun 2015, 3:54 pm

lfc91 wrote:
Adam D wrote:I watched Enders Game recently and thought it was excellent. Was thinking about getting the books for my holiday.

Not much help to the topic mind!

Enders Game is a fantastic read. The second and third books in the series (speaker for the dead and xenocide) are also worth reading. Focusing more on the characters later life whilst clearing up many things from the first book.

Dave, in certain cases it may be just a case of what comes first. I haven't read The Lord of the rings books for instance, but they would have to go a long LONG way to top what the films have done in my eyes. I'm sure someone out there could easily clear that one up for me though?
Undoubtedly...as a result of watching LOTR I tried the books. Couldn't get past the prologue...found it tedious drivel

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Tue 16 Jun 2015, 4:05 pm

The books are FAR better. Make a lot more sense and there's a lot more story.

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Post by lfc91 on Tue 16 Jun 2015, 4:08 pm

I tried to read them (admittedly i was 11/12 at the time) and lost interest after a chapter. Keep meaning to revist them though, because the whole genre/concept is one I am very interested in. Think I was just off put by the fact that it was written in olde english (if im remembering correctly) and as a pre-teen it wasn't really my cup of tea.

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Post by The Womble on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 10:59 am

Jurassic Park, the book is far better than the film. Now, I love the film it is one of my favourites but the book is even better. It is a lot lot different to the film as well, it has a lot of elements of The Lost World in it.
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Post by Guest on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 11:19 am

Michael Crighton also wrote "Rising Sun" which was turned into a film with Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes. Allegedly, the producers of the film needed financial backing and a Japanese company stepped in but insisted on major script changes which I don't believe Crighton was happy with.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 11:30 am

I'm going to go for a couple of draws.

To Kill A Mockingbird. Outstanding book, easily my favourite ever, and the film is up there as well. On any given day, that would be my favourite ever film. Both of them are brilliant pieces of work in their own right.

Silence Of The Lambs. Awesome film and one I constantly go back to and it's arguably as good as the book. The book is very, very good but the film matches it stride for stride.

Totally different from the rest of the 'series'. The books of Red Dragon (Manhunter is the better film version), Hannibal and Hannibal Rising are all way superior to the film versions. It is really only Silence Of The Lambs that holds it's own with the book.


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Post by The Womble on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 11:37 am

DAVE667 wrote:Michael Crighton also wrote "Rising Sun" which was turned into a film with Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes. Allegedly, the producers of the film needed financial backing and a Japanese company stepped in but insisted on major script changes which I don't believe Crighton was happy with.

Rising Sun is an excellent book, not seen the film so can't comment. Really enjoyed the book though. Congo is another of his I like, the book is better than the film with this one too. I've read Sphere and seen the film but don't really rate either.
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Post by Mind the windows Tino. on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 11:40 am

The Womble wrote:Congo is another of his I like, the book is better than the film .

Yep, Congo is a cracking read but a steaming pile of sh*te as a film.

Mind the windows Tino.
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Post by Guest on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 11:41 am

The Womble wrote:
DAVE667 wrote:Michael Crighton also wrote "Rising Sun" which was turned into a film with Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes. Allegedly, the producers of the film needed financial backing and a Japanese company stepped in but insisted on major script changes which I don't believe Crighton was happy with.

Rising Sun is an excellent book, not seen the film so can't comment. Really enjoyed the book though. Congo is another of his I like, the book is better than the film with this one too. I've read Sphere and seen the film but don't really rate either.
Read the book then watch the film and see if you can spot the subtle difference

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Post by The Womble on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 11:44 am

LA Confidential is one that is pretty much a draw. Both the book and the film (although quite different) are excellent. All the cast stand out in the film, especially Guy Pearce.

James Ellroy is a fantastic author.
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Post by The Womble on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 12:06 pm

Mind the windows Tino. wrote:
The Womble wrote:Congo is another of his I like, the book is better than the film .

Yep, Congo is a cracking read but a steaming pile of sh*te as a film.

Ernie Hudson's 2nd best role after Winston Zeddemore?
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Post by lfc91 on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 12:23 pm

At the minute it looks to be that the books will, the majority of the time, be considered better than the film (with the exception of several notable draws for Tino).

Could be several reason I can think of that can explain this. Certain books i have read (such as the 3 series mentioned above) can be that far fetched in nature that no amount of CGI can really capture what you can imagine yourself. Also, it will always be very difficult to condense 700/800 pages into a 3 hour film and not leave out/miss many important factors.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 12:27 pm

Cormac McCarthy should be in this discussion.

The Road: Book is excellent and deeply moving stuff. Film is a very good but possibly not to the same level. Has all the bleakness and hardship of the book but the uplifting moments felt a smidge more contrived in the film whereas the book handles it with more subtlety.

No Country For Old Men: Not sure about this. The film is outstanding (Bardem in particular), as is the book. Could be another draw on the cards.

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Post by lfc91 on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 12:57 pm

http://www.hollywood.com/movies/film-adaptations-better-than-book-gallery-60220137/#/ms-21977/10

Food for thought?

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Post by superflyweight on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 1:02 pm

Mind the windows Tino. wrote:Cormac McCarthy should be in this discussion.

The Road:  Book is excellent and deeply moving stuff.  Film is a very good but possibly not to the same level.  Has all the bleakness and hardship of the book but the uplifting moments felt a smidge more contrived in the film whereas the book handles it with more subtlety.

No Country For Old Men: Not sure about this.  The film is outstanding (Bardem in particular), as is the book.  Could be another draw on the cards.

Subtle to the point of barely existing at all. I can only really think of two moments (the bit where he gives his son a drink from the can of coke and the bit when they find the shelter) that offer any sort of respite from the sheer unrelenting horror of the situation. Although I loved them both, I'm not sure I could put myself through the heartbreak of revisiting either the book or the film.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 1:09 pm

superflyweight wrote:
Mind the windows Tino. wrote:Cormac McCarthy should be in this discussion.

The Road:  Book is excellent and deeply moving stuff.  Film is a very good but possibly not to the same level.  Has all the bleakness and hardship of the book but the uplifting moments felt a smidge more contrived in the film whereas the book handles it with more subtlety.

No Country For Old Men: Not sure about this.  The film is outstanding (Bardem in particular), as is the book.  Could be another draw on the cards.

Subtle to the point of barely existing at all.  I can only really think of two moments (the bit where he gives his son a drink from the can of coke and the bit when they find the shelter) that offer any sort of respite from the sheer unrelenting horror of the situation.  Although I loved them both, I'm not sure I could put myself through the heartbreak of revisiting either the book or the film.    

Those are the two parts I was thinking of!

The bit in the shelter is incredibly moving in the film, but even more so in the book. I vividly remember thinking I was just about at my limit in the book when they find the shelter. Then it has most beautiful change of pace and serenity takes over. I think McCarthy knew exactly what he was doing putting that in the middle as the rest of the book carries on beating you into the dust. Not sure I would have made the end without the 'shelter' scene.

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Post by superflyweight on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 1:44 pm

I would have stayed in that shelter.

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Post by Guest on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 2:31 pm

"The Road" is a great film. Not normally my thing but I was gripped from beginning to end. Keep meaning to read the book but always find something else to read instead.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 3:38 pm

DAVE667 wrote:"The Road" is a great film. Not normally my thing but I was gripped from beginning to end. Keep meaning to read the book but always find something else to read instead.

It's well worth it Serial, it really is.

McCarthy's prose doesn't sit well with everyone, but I don't mind it and the book is terrific in a bleak, the world is over sort of fashion.

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Post by Nakatomi Plaza on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 6:25 pm

I prefer the film version of Donnie Brasco to Joseph Pistone's book. Admittedly the film used loads of creative licence to make Donnie's relationship to Lefty to appear much closer than reality.

Also think American Psycho is an overrated book, and the film is more enjoyable.

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Post by Rowley on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 6:50 pm

Goodfellas is far superior to the book Wise Guy

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Post by Galted on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 8:05 pm

Nakatomi Plaza wrote:I prefer the film version of Donnie Brasco to Joseph Pistone's book. Admittedly the film used loads of creative licence to make Donnie's relationship to Lefty to appear much closer than reality.

Also think American Psycho is an overrated book, and the film is more enjoyable.
Disagree about American Psycho.  The book is a difficult read to start with but is worth pursuing, sick, funny and scathing in equal measure.  The film is just a censored version that completely bottles it at the end, "imagined it all" my arse.

Another draw between book and film is Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now - both tear-jerkingly disappointing.
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Post by lfc91 on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 8:51 pm

Never read wise guy rowley, but hard to imagine it being better than Goodfellas, which is my favourite gangster film by far.(sorry to all the Godfather fanatics out there..).

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Post by Rowley on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 10:24 pm

Wise Guy is a good enough book, but the film is a country mile in front. I have only read the book a couple of times and not for a long while. Cannot say the same with the film, which I still watch with regularity and love every time.

Galted may find Scorsese a bit hit and miss, but Goodfellas must surely fall into the former category.

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Post by Galted on Wed 17 Jun 2015, 10:46 pm

Rowley wrote:

Galted may find Scorsese a bit hit and miss, but Goodfellas must surely fall into the former category.

Very much so.  Great performances and can watch it again and again.
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Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 20 Jul 2015, 11:02 am

Id like to see CJ Sansoms Sharlake series put on screen. Possibly not movies...but definitely for TV. Great stories.

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Post by Steffan on Sun 26 Jul 2015, 2:27 pm

Galted wrote:Disagree about American Psycho.  The book is a difficult read to start with but is worth pursuing, sick, funny and scathing in equal measure.  The film is just a censored version that completely bottles it at the end, "imagined it all" my arse.

Another draw between book and film is Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now - both tear-jerkingly disappointing
I have never read American Psycho but its on my list for this year. Some people have complained the book is too long

I love the film Apocalypse Now but I felt the way the book Heart of Darkness captures the horror and sadness of African slavery during European imperialism is just amazing and the suspense building up to when Marlow meets Kurtz is awesome. Both great though

I read Angels and Demons once (thought I'd give Dan Brown a try to fit the trend laughing ) and struggled to finish it yet I really enjoyed the film

Recently read Wall Street but the book is just basically the screen play with added bits so the film far surpasses it

Next book is up is Fight Club. I have seen the film once years ago although heard the book is much better and totally different

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