Tuesday, February 28, 2006

As good as the books?

Retro Bitches
Originally published on December 2, 2005

I had such fun writing this one, books and movies. The only thing missing is a movie based from a book with a sex scene featuring the main characters licking Nutella off of each others’ bodies. Yummy. *wink*

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released at the theatres not yet a month ago. In a few days I’ll be seeing Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Memoirs of A Geisha too (I LURVE this book, truly mesmerizing). The Da Vinci Code will soon be gracing the big screen as well, while The Devil Wears Prada is currently in production. Jeez, talk about being in need of a new story. Oh, alright, stop twisting my arm! Let’s talk about books adapted into movies then.

Enjoyed the book, enjoyed the movie:

About A Boy by Nick Hornby
Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith
Frida by Hayden Herrera
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
Little Women by Loiusa May Alcott
Secret Garden by Frances Burnett
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Troy, based on Homer’s Iliad (I honestly think this is such a POOR adaptation; just the sight of Orly Bloom as Paris... *shudder* But I did enjoy the movie. OH COME ON, did you not see Brad Pitt?!? Unless you’re blind, you have to admit this movie is a feast for all us bitches—er, I mean, women who appreciate the grandeur of male beauty. *g* Totally loved Eric Bana’s character, more so than the well-endowed Achilles.)

Enjoyed the book, gawd awful movie:

Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis DeBernieres (Penelope Cruz’s voice is so fucking irritating, you’d wish someone would whack her in the head with the stupid mandolin. And, oh, yeah, it’s boring.)
Harry Potter movies by J.K. Rowling (Ohhh, you don’t want me to get started with this one; too many things to bitch about, too little space. *sigh*)
In the Cut by Susanna Moore (Definitely not up to the cut. How could the director who brought us The Piano make such a stinking fest???)
Killing Me Softly by Nicci French (The movie is lousy, passionless and capricious. The acting is dreary, the script insipid. Yeah, this movie would surely kill you softly.)
Possession by A.S. Byatt (Such a shame! Byatt deserved more than this crap. Paltrow, an overrated fake British actress—oh please, loose the accent!—and that Eckhart dude, there was no chemistry AT ALL. Everything appeared annoying. The only good scene was when Ash met his daughter at the finale; you’ll cheer as the agony of watching the film finally has come to an end.)
Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice (Awful, awful, AWFUL!!!!)
Time Machine by H.G. Wells (Seriously, nothing even remotely savable in this appalling film.)

Enjoyed the movie, better than the book:

A Little Princess by Frances Burnett
Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy
Forrest Gump by Winston Groom
Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
Memento by Jonathan Nolan
Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally
Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (Disclaimer: Not a Matt Damon fan.)

Enjoyed the movie, never read the book:

A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar (I luuurve Russell Crowe, and he was fantastic, FANTASTIC in this movie, people!—can you hear me, you fuckwits at The Academy?!! I still cannot believe he didn’t win an Oscar for this one. Bastards.)
Apollo 13 by Jim Lovell
Big Fish by Daniel Wallace
Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum (Disclaimer: Still NOT a Matt Damon fan.)
Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum (Disclaimer: I do NOT find Matt Damon sexy, hot, nor anything that can be associated with being attractive or fuckable.)
Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Cruel Intentions, based on Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Out of Sight by Elmore Leonard
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
The Pianist by Wladyslow Szpilman
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? by Peter Hedges

Whew. I think I deserve a medal for this article LOL. Okay, what about you? What’s your list of books that are better than the movies made from them? Or movies that are better than the books they were adapted from?

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32 comment(s):

Anonymous Tart said...

You crack me up! LOL. I think one of the worst film adaptations was The Firm based on the John Grisham novel. The main character, Mitch, is described as over 6 foot, athletic with curly hair. Who did they cast as Mitch? Why the midget Tom Cruise! LOL.

12/04/2005 06:36:00 AM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Really? LOL. Well, haven't seen the movie nor read the book. Not a Grisham fan, and definitely not a Tom Weirdo Cruise fan, either. :P

12/04/2005 01:17:00 PM  

Anonymous Vixen said...

lol, Harlot you're hilarious. Tart too. Never read The Firm but saw the move. I'm not a Tom Cruise fan. Okay I was in Top Gun but not after that. And please, talk about a fucktard!
Anyway, I remember this post and recall our discussion of Possession which I didn't like as movie and never read the book.
This is my problem if I don't like movie I won't bother with book.
Ones that pop up for me:
Bridget Jones was great as movie and book.
Harry Potter, love the books, movies are fine.
Circle of Friends, good movie just horrible fake Irish accent by Chris O'Donnell.
In Her Shoes, was much better book than movie. I just felt you didn't see the changes in the characters that you did in the book. It didn't feel complete although the casting was excellent.
Sure there are more but that's all I got for now.

2/28/2006 10:30:00 PM  

Blogger Isabel said...

Queen of the Damned as movie was just horrible. Horrible! Hubby loves that movie and I told him read the book and he'll think differently.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman was good book and really good movie.

3/01/2006 12:56:00 AM  

Blogger jaxieknight said...

I'm going way back so, hang on...

Anyone remember the movie, Tim with Mel Gibson (oh yeah, a very young Mel)??
The book was written by Colleen McCullough.
I'm still not sure which one is better (of course, if Mel's in it, I think I'd choose the movie).
However, I absolutely love her Thorn Birds' book (wore out my first copy, on my second one). T.V. movie was good, but the book was definately better.

3/01/2006 02:45:00 AM  

Blogger jaxieknight said...

I'm going way back, so hang on...

Anyone remember the movie, Tim with Mel Gibson (oh yeah, a very young Mel)??
The book was written by Colleen McCullough.
I'm still not sure which one is better (of course, if Mel's in it, I think I'd choose the movie). Laurie Piper was good in the movie as well (I've seen the movie several times, still have problems seeing these two people as a couple).
However, I absolutely love her Thorn Birds' book (wore out my first copy, on my second one). T.V. movie was good, but the book was definately better.

3/01/2006 02:49:00 AM  

Blogger jaxieknight said...

Whoops... sorry for 1 too many comments (see above). Hate when it when I want to make changes and my fingers & brain won't keep up with everything else (darn you m.s.!) btw... if anyone visits my blog, I know, I know, I'm still trying to finish my last book (again, darn you m.s.!)

3/01/2006 02:55:00 AM  

Blogger Currin Girl said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/01/2006 01:55:00 PM  

Blogger Currin Girl said...

Sorry for the delete, what I was trying to say was:

I loved Circle of Friends and The Little Princess both as books, better than the movies. I mean the movies were good, but to me the books were better. Guess I stand alone on that one.

My nomination for great book/terrible movie: The book A Prayer For Owen Meany, and then whatever they decided to rename it as a film. "Simon Pearce" I think. I guess it was so bad, they were embarassed to admit they ruined a great John Irving story.

I heard Robert Redford optioned Time and Again by Jack Finney. I'm very, very scared about this, as this book is on my greatest hits. Although I'm curious about the casting for that one.

3/01/2006 01:58:00 PM  

Anonymous Serendipity said...

Stop Bashing midget Tom Harlot. I used to like him you know...before I got old and knew better...so enough already.

He did ok in THE FIRM..but I was only 21 when I saw it. Love the book though.

Harlot, must definitely try Grisham. I was anti-anything by romance/romantic book when I read him and he managed to make me like him! There you go!

It's not another OUTLANDER you know. :P

3/01/2006 03:07:00 PM  

Blogger Pete Bogs said...

The Shining - better book or movie?

3/01/2006 05:48:00 PM  

Blogger ews said...

My only real issue is with you ranking the LOR movies better than the movies. Please. Those movies, while not bad, were certainly not of the caliber of Tolkein. That man is a genious...Any takers on Lord of The Flies? Book vs. Movie?

3/01/2006 07:19:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Hullo E.S.

I agree with you that Tolkien is a genius, no question about that. The man created probably the most complex and most detailed mythological system. He reinvented our world by giving it a new history.

But the thing is, when i read his books, somehow, i found them boring. :S I think it's just me, just not my thing.. Or maybe i should give them another try? Anyway, no matter what, i do believe Tolkien's a gift to the literary world. I just like the movies better than his books. :P

3/01/2006 07:43:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watching the movies before reading the books sometimes spoils all the fun for me. Exception to this rule are:
The Phantom of the Opera
The Count of Monte Cristo
Bridget Jones Diary

Readers get their own mental image of the characters of their favorite books, so when casting the actors theres a huge possibilty for deception.

In the issue of books being made into movies, the only rule is to be flexible; if the movie and characters capture the essence of the books then it's fine by me, but if it's close to perfection even better.


3/01/2006 08:50:00 PM  

Blogger Marlene D. Malone said...

OK first of all I LOVE Harry Potter, the books AND the movies!!!!

Second, Tom Cruise is a fuck stick. My hubby loves War of the Worlds and I nearly beat the crap out of him for that. Top Gun was Tom's only semi-decent performance.

another HEY!!!!! warranted for the Queen of the Damned comments. Yea I know the book was way better but dammit Fuck Stick Tom Cruise ruined Lestat! Stuart Townsend was a natural for Lestat.

LOVED Forrest Gump.

Troy sucked, period.

Godfather movies are totally the shizznik. I love Al Pacino. Mario Puzo's book was really done well as a movie.

Exodus was a great translation into film from literature.

Now Toni Morrison's Beloved made a hell of a movie. Jon Demme did fabulous work transitioning Oprah into ex-slave Sethe.

The Color Purple is another great translation from book into film. Good casting, great acting and an all-around good story.

I can't watch Schindler's List. I can't even read the book because it sends me deep into depression. I experienced the same depression trying to watch Munich in the theater. I left with 40 minutes of film left and I was soooo depressed for a week my hubby couldn't shake me out of it. That doesn't happen often but wow...

I HATE Peter Jackson's work! LOR in my opinion sucks. I like Tolken's work but GOD PJ just draws shit out way too long! Look how he fucked up King Kong.

By the Way Age of Innocence is the next dvd I am begging hubby for after Goblet of Fire. I LOVE that book and the movie was just breath taking.

And I LOVED Narnia!

3/01/2006 10:09:00 PM  

Blogger Marlene D. Malone said...

Oh wait Tom Cruise did do well in A Few Good Men and the Count of Monte Cristo

3/01/2006 10:10:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok my wife just showed me her posts.

First of all I do not read books so I call her the book expert. I worked as a projectionist in a movie house for six years so I love movies, period.

Tom is not that bad. True he's a fruit but he can act no matter what my wife says. I liked War of the Worlds and I like the firm.

Please forgive Marlene for saying LOR sucked it does not! I will take away her new books I bought her last week from BAM as punishment.

And by the way I think Narnia sucked.

Thank you for your time.

Chris Malone
husband of Marlene

3/01/2006 10:16:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Marlene and Chris,

I have to say I don't think that Tom is a bad actor. Sure, he's a crazy fuck, but he's done well in a lot of movies. Born on the fourth of July, A few good men, Interview with the vampire, top gun (yes, I love that movie lol) but he's done just as bad in others like all the mission imposibles and war of the worlds. He was in what Count of Montecristo? I thought that was james caviesel (sp?).

I quite liked both Narnia (loved loved loved it) and LOTR (Great movies).

I think In her shoes and Bridget jones diary were very good adaptations of the books. Of course the books are so much better, but the movies didn't disappoint.

The color purple is just as intense in the book as it is in the movie. The characters were portrayed very well. Very powerful movie.

Gone with the wind is an amazing movie (IMO) but the book is so much better. Truly one of the best novels ever written.

Incredibly I haven't seen any of the Pride and Prejudice movie adaptations (I know,I know! no tomatoe throwing!!!)but wil rent the last versiont this weekend and get back to you guys.

Welcome Chris :D We love Marlene here. Please forgive her and don't lock her books away lol I cannot think of a worse punishment!

3/01/2006 10:30:00 PM  

Blogger Aggie said...

Latest movie version of Pride & Prejudice is visually stunning, though the short movie length version doesn't do the entire book justice, but good acting all the same.
Thoroughly enjoyed the longer TV version a few years back.
Another visually stunning movie was Girl with a Pearl Earring but it ruined Tracy Chevalier's (fictional) Historical story (probably so as not to offend descendants of the real painter Johannes Vermeer)
Bridget Jones Diary - books and movies great (can you tell I like Colin Firth and his way sexy voice)
Tolkien is brilliant, but he was from a different era of writing...very slow and descriptive and detailed. These days its all swift, sharp dialogue and we all get annoyed if the pace slows up. We are the microwave generation and want it *zap* now.
Peter Jackson's next project is The Lovely Bones - hope he can do better with this.
I hate Tom Cruise (control freak)& several of his movies were made here in NZ and I wanted to leave the country while he was here. Yuk!

3/02/2006 05:50:00 AM  

Blogger Marlene D. Malone said...

Forgive my husband. While he is a fan of literature, he is dyslexic which is why I am the one who reads like crazy. Not to take away from him, though. He is a good man (even if he does like Tom Cruise).

What I meant was that I liked Monte Cristo because I forgot to put that movie down on my original list.

I'll tell you he is quite a sharp cookie when it comes to movies. Ask him anything about any movie, director, special effects person, etc and he knows.

Speaking of Anne Rice I am reading her book about Jesus right now. I could see this one being made into a movie.

3/02/2006 07:15:00 AM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

Aggie, The lovely bones? really, I didn't know. I loved that book. Though honestly never thought about it as a movie. It will VERY hard to pull it off. We'll see.

Marlene, love to go to the movies lol but surely have no knowledge of anything besides wether I liked it or not. Kudos to hubby :D

I haven't read Anne Rice in years. I think my last of her books was Memnoch or Ramses the damned? In any case, the rest of her vampire books lacked all the spark, and intensenes (is that a word? lol) from the first ones, so I stopped buying her. Plus she can be quite depressing at times!

Is the Jesus one good? That theme always interests me, so let me know when you're done :)

3/02/2006 08:10:00 AM  

Blogger Bawdy Babe said...

this is fun topic:

tom cruise is a major dickhead but good actor. Loved Jerry McGuire.

The Shining was a far better book than movie. However, The Green Mile the movie was as good as book.

The Godfather novel was the cheesyiest piece of crap I've ever read.

Harlot honey, you need to read Grisham, he is a wonderfully entertaining author.

To the Marlone family, omg you guys are funny!

3/02/2006 11:21:00 AM  

Blogger Malicious Strumpet said...

Okay, first of all - Peter Jackson rocks. Yes, King Kong sucked. But NO ONE else in movies today would have had the vision necessary to make the LOTR films as brilliant as they were. Of course they are different from the books (which are completely brilliant in a totally different way), but they are beautiful and do justice to much of what Tolkien was trying to convey in his novels.

Harlot, I know why you didn't like the LOTR novels and aggie has it right when she says they are a from a different era of writing. But give them a try now that you have obsessed about the movies, you may find you are better able to stick with the dense prose style that Tolkien uses because you will have the visuals of the movies in your mind. I struggled through reading them before the movies, but whipped through them afterwards.

The Princess Bride is another movie as good as the book. If you haven't read the book, you SOOOO need to! :)

3/02/2006 12:52:00 PM  

Blogger Currin Girl said...

The Princess Bride references reminded me of another story, where the book and movie were equally good - The Neverending Story

3/02/2006 01:48:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Marlene, before i started reading romance novels, Anne Rice was my fave author. Yeah.. LOL. Anyway, although Tom Cruise wasn't the ideal Lestat, i actually liked "Interview with the Vampire." MUCH better than "Queen of the Damned"! Ugh. Hate hate hate that movie! Stuart Townsend acted like a poor copycat of The Crow--the horror! And to think it's my fave Anne Rice book. Such a crappy adaptation, the shame.

How can you hate LOTR??!? I don't care about some ape lol, LOTR movies however are simply AMAZING. :D

OMG, i LOVE "The Age of Innocence." Archer and Olensca(sp?), they're in love, but he's married. You can see it in his eyes, every time, how much he wants her, how much he aches for her.. oh my.. the sexual tension between them just sizzles. Great movie.

Didn't like Narnia. I thought it was a stupid movie. Sorry. *ducks* LOL

3/02/2006 02:30:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Not a fan of Tom but i loved "Jerry Maguire."

I like Tracy Chevalier's books. But haven't seen the movie version of GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING. Is it good?

Bawdy and Serendipity,
Let's see.. Will try Grisham someday. :P

Loved "The Princess Bride"! Will see "Pride and Prejudice" tomorrow, YAY!

3/02/2006 02:35:00 PM  

Blogger Vicious Trollop said...

I loved the movie version of The age of innocence, have not read the book, is it good?

I HATED The never ending story! used to watch over and over as a child, no idea why, b/c the movie was long and boring, and the characters talked really weird. lol didn't even know there was a book about it.

Yeah, Harlot you should dock, cause Narnia is great. Totally loved this movie.

3/02/2006 02:41:00 PM  

Blogger Harlot said...

Trollop, you're just jealous i'm gonna see PRIDE AND PREJUDICE tomorrow on the theatres. :P

Narnia was one of those movies last year i REALLY waited for. I was so excited to see it, even dragged BF to it--to my embarassment, and his enjoyment! Well, i tried to fake that i loved it just so he won't tease me; of course he saw through it and kept smirking, bastard. Anyway, LOL, i thought Narnia was boring and was trying too hard to be something it's not. :S

Wonder if people who love CS Lewis's books would still say it's a good movie if it's not based from it..

3/02/2006 05:00:00 PM  

Blogger Aggie said...

Girl with Pearl Earring completely loses the plot because they cut off the ending without explanation - frustrating if you have read the book first. But it is one of the most beautiful movies I've seen - fictional story about a painter who really existed and colours, etc, scenery is stunning. Worth seeing for that reason alone, but don't expect a great ending! (Think this was to protect real artists reputation from being smeared by those who would believe story to be true rather than fictional)
I quite enjoyed Jerry Maguire (story) myself but still can't stand T.C.
I wouldn't even take him for his money! Ha!

3/02/2006 10:37:00 PM  

Blogger Marlene D. Malone said...

Hi Bitches,

Hubby wants to thank you girls for showing him hospitality. And not to worry, before he threatened to take away my new books I reminded him that I am paying his mechanic for fixing his car LOL

I think honestly the Narnia/LOTR debate stems from the fact if you really liked one you were not going to care for the other. Hubby personally found Narnia to be similar to LOTR in plot (huh?) and thoguht Narnia was dragging in parts. That is exactly my opinion on LOTR. Now don't get me wrong PJ did a heck of a job but he in my opinion is WAY too descriptive.

I would love to get some opinions on Toni Morrison's work. I've seen/read Beloved, finished Jazz, and am halfway through Paradise. I think Jon Demme was a perfect choice to make the movie Beloved because his style seems to compliment Toni Morrison's writing style (who in my opinion compares to Faulkner).

3/03/2006 07:45:00 AM  

Blogger Malicious Strumpet said...

I actually loved both LOTR and Narnia...so perhaps I'm the exception that proves the rule! :)

I could see how someone would think they were similar in plot - they are both fantasy stories and all fantasy has basic elements in common (fight of good against evil, some sort of quest, etc.). Plus CS Lewis and Tolkien were friends, and were part of a group called The Inklings which got together to criticize and compliment each other's work, so they must have influenced each other.

I can see how the LOTR movies are too detailed or long for some people...but stay away from the books if that is the case, because there's got to be at least 6 or 7 hrs more of material Jackson could have used in his films. :)

3/03/2006 10:22:00 AM  

Anonymous luci said...

The Pianist was AWESOME. I loved it. I remember I had a hell of a shock at Harvey Keitel's full frontal - wasn't especting it...

2/20/2007 04:23:00 PM