Saturday, 27 October 2007

10 Movies that are better than the books

In the last couple of weeks, I have both read the book Atonement and seen the movie. As to be expected, the book was far, far better. I mean, that's the way it usually is, books are generally like drinking a smoothie as opposed to cordial made from a packet. Tane and I were talking the other night, though, about books which are worse than the movies, movies that are the smoothie to the powdered cordial of the book. This is my list:

1. Brokeback Mountain. The movie was fabulous, and captured the relationship between the two men far better than the book. The book didn't have me thinking "I can't quit you!" (A random aside - is it just me that looks twice at the guys in the Speights ads now?)

2. Once Were Warriors. Alan Duff cannot write. The movie was good, but I would rather poke nails through my eyelids than read anything else written by that man.

3. Zodiac. I loved the movie, but found that in the book the author was too busy telling the story of himself being fantastic to hold my interest.

4. The English Patient. The movie was beautiful. The book was good, but also quite pretentious, at times so over-written I wanted to vomit in my own mouth, and much clumsier in its execution than the movie. Apparently, the book is 'post-colonialism', which explains why it is the way it is. I don't care. Putting an 'ism' on the end of a phrase doesn't necessarily make the book in question a great book. Sometimes I wonder if people are scared to criticise pretentious writing as they fear looking stupid, like they didn't "get" it, when all we need is the little child to yell "but the Emperor is wearing no clothes!"

5. Children of Men. They were both flawed, but the way P.D. James painted the world inhabited by the characters was not as strong as that shown in the movie. I also preferred the adapted plot in the movie.

6. The Constant Gardener. The book was good, but the movie had a heart and soul to it that the book lacked. I empathised with the characters in the movie far more than in the book, and got much more emotionally involved.

7. The Three Musketeers. At least I could finish the movie. The book still sits on our bedside table with a book mark permanently living about half way through.

8. Forest Gump. The book really disappointed me on account of being wayyyy too random.

9. The Joy Luck Club. While the book is lovely, the movie is more coherent and, as a result, better.

10. Clueless / Emma. This was a left field adaption, but I just got more pleasure from Clueless than I did from Emma. Maybe it was because Emma didn't carry a phone that looked like a brick. Heh.

Some other people have come up with a few more that I can't comment on as haven't read the books, but thought I'd post anyway. Namely Sense and Sensibility, Whale Rider, The Pianist, and Bladerunner/Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Disagree? Got more to add?


Anonymous said...

Just saw Atonement and LOVED it. James McAvoy is the hottest man on the planet. Except Grisham. Ok, the SECOND hottest man on the planet. Also exciting was the fact that Keira Knightley's acting didn't make me want to dig my eyes out with a rusty teaspoon, for a change. I'm going to read the book, and I'm excited that you think it's better than the film. :)

Anonymous said...

The Notebook is one of my favorite films. I haven't read the book but heard it wasn't very good so I probably won't ever pick up a copy.

p.s. I'd like to ask you guys some questions on travel in southeast asia. can you email me at chat soon!

Maria said...

Bah! Blogger just stole my comment :( Okay, here goes again.

I agree with all the ones I've read/seen on your list, and have the following to add.

Bridget Jones 1 and 2: The movies are just so much more charming than the books. The books are somewhat over the top and there's no Colin Firth to enjoy.

Ella Enchanted: Both gorgeous, but the movie a tad more so.

The Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood: I adored the movie but the book is only okay. And the sequels are horribly boring.

Lord of the Rings: To quote you, at least I could get through the movies ;-)

Anonymous said...

I thought Cecil B. DeMille's movie 'The 10 Commandments' was far better than the book as well. Charlton Heston really brought life to the otherwise flat character of Moses..