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(Rolling Stone)   The best--and worst--movies based on books. Basically, no one should try to adapt The Great Gatsby   (rollingstone.com) divider line 135
    More: Obvious, The Great Gatsby, Trainspotting, humans, Peter Travers, Chuck Palahniuk, Melanie Griffith, fight club, silver screen  
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6046 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 09 May 2013 at 2:39 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-08 08:02:20 PM
This list fails without the absolute worst film adaptation of a novel: Buck Henry and Mike Nichols incoherent film version of Joseph Heller's awesome Catch-22.
 
2013-05-08 08:14:59 PM
Millennium, after the book of the same name by John Varley.  The book wasn't bad, but the movie was HORRIBLE.
 
2013-05-08 08:37:09 PM
Starship Troopers.

Wells in his prime might have pulled off Gatsby.-
 
2013-05-08 08:48:31 PM
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It would've been terrible if you hadn't read the book. It was just a complete and utter turd if you did.

And soon to be added to the list: World War Z
 
2013-05-08 08:53:43 PM

mikemoto: This list fails without the absolute worst film adaptation of a novel: Buck Henry and Mike Nichols incoherent film version of Joseph Heller's awesome Catch-22.


They tried, but that book is pretty much unadaptable.
 
2013-05-08 08:54:28 PM
Of course no one gets Gatsby right, and the further removed from time that the era described becomes, the more wrong it will get. It has become about displaying ostentation without regard to the critical eye to which it was written.
 
2013-05-08 09:09:27 PM
Dune
Any movie that comes with an explanatory pamphlet handed out with the popcorn has huge problems.
 
2013-05-08 09:24:23 PM
Battlefield Earth and Atlas Shrugged weren't bad adaptations. The books themselves sucked hard, so the movies were faithful adaptations.
 
2013-05-08 09:30:12 PM
No Jaws?
 
2013-05-08 09:37:58 PM

2wolves: Starship Troopers.

Wells in his prime might have pulled off Gatsby.-


Loved that movie! Book was meh.

/runs to bunker
 
2013-05-08 09:47:50 PM

EvilEgg: Battlefield Earth and Atlas Shrugged weren't bad adaptations. The books themselves sucked hard, so the movies were faithful adaptations.


I've seen Battlefield Earth AND read the book, and trust me when I say that the movie was better.

But this is like saying that it's better to be burned to death with five gallons of gasoline instead of four gallons.
 
2013-05-08 09:50:59 PM

gremlin1: Dune
Any movie that comes with an explanatory pamphlet handed out with the popcorn has huge problems.


Huh. I saw Dune before I read it, and I'm too young to have seen in onscreen. What's the problem?

/likes the producer's cut the best
 
2013-05-08 09:54:26 PM

PainInTheASP: Millennium, after the book of the same name by John Varley.  The book wasn't bad, but the movie was HORRIBLE.


The movie had a great premise, but they farked up the execution.  I didn't realize it was based on a book

On my list are the "The Neverending Story" films.  I never thought they lived up to the book, and I'd like someone like Peter Jackson to take a crack at them.

Also, "The Shining" miniseries from like 2000 was horrendous compared to "The Shining" from Kurbrick - all the more ironic because Stephen King wrote the miniseries because he didn't like the Kubrick movie.
 
2013-05-08 09:57:29 PM

Lsherm: Also, "The Shining" miniseries from like 2000 was horrendous compared to "The Shining" from Kurbrick - all the more ironic because Stephen King wrote the miniseries because he didn't like the Kubrick movie.


That's because one was a classic thriller by one of the greatest filmmakers to ever live and the other had the brother from Wings and CGI topiary animals.
 
2013-05-08 09:58:17 PM

Lsherm: Also, "The Shining" miniseries from like 2000 was horrendous compared to "The Shining" from Kurbrick - all the more ironic because Stephen King wrote the miniseries because he didn't like the Kubrick movie.


speaking of King, can't belive that shawshank was not included.  One of the best movies based on his books.  Awesome book as well.

Too bad Apt Pupil did not turn out as well, but that was to be expected.  That would be a hard one.
 
2013-05-08 10:21:26 PM

HeadLever: Lsherm: Also, "The Shining" miniseries from like 2000 was horrendous compared to "The Shining" from Kurbrick - all the more ironic because Stephen King wrote the miniseries because he didn't like the Kubrick movie.

speaking of King, can't belive that shawshank was not included.  One of the best movies based on his books.  Awesome book as well.

Too bad Apt Pupil did not turn out as well, but that was to be expected.  That would be a hard one.


King movies are almost always hit or miss.  The only consistently good ones are written and directed by Frank Darabont (Green Mile, Shawshank, The Mist).

The big problem with King is that some of his better novels (Tommyknockers, The Stand, Salem's Lot, It) are so long people feel the need to turn them into mini-series, which means they automatically suck. The budget is never there for the special effects required, and the directing and writing talent is usually second rate.
 
2013-05-08 10:32:45 PM

Peki: gremlin1: Dune
Any movie that comes with an explanatory pamphlet handed out with the popcorn has huge problems.

Huh. I saw Dune before I read it, and I'm too young to have seen in onscreen. What's the problem?

/likes the producer's cut the best


The movie, or the scifi miniseries?
 
2013-05-08 10:36:52 PM
Gatsby was actually made to be a movie. A movie in the 1920s, though. It's about the 1920s era, and a reflection of a period of excess. As a 'classic book', it's completely overrated other than perhaps having some historical significance to talk about that period. Also Nick seems to share some creepy longing for cousin Daisy.
 
2013-05-08 10:37:54 PM

Lsherm: King movies are almost always hit or miss.  The only consistently good ones are written and directed by Frank Darabont (Green Mile, Shawshank, The Mist).


True.  The shorts and novelleas always seem to make better movies when you are dealing with King.  Just hope the Dark Tower universe doesn't suffer the same fate when they get around to making that.
 
2013-05-08 10:38:03 PM

vygramul: Peki: gremlin1: Dune
Any movie that comes with an explanatory pamphlet handed out with the popcorn has huge problems.

Huh. I saw Dune before I read it, and I'm too young to have seen in onscreen. What's the problem?

/likes the producer's cut the best

The movie, or the scifi miniseries?


Movie. SciFi miniseries was pretty true to the books as well, but omg the camp! I felt like I was in the 1960s.

/that's okay if that's the point, but not what I was expecting. I lean more Luis Royo and Geiger than Boris Vallejo, if you catch my drift. If not, look 'em up, and you might get some cool desktop wallpaper out of it.
 
2013-05-08 10:39:41 PM
No Alan Moore made the list?

I guess it's hard to quantify. V was better than the comic but still crap.
Watchmen was not as good as the comic but the ending was better and they tightened up a lot of the weakest points of the plot.
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen... well... that one's easy, I guess. Bad bad bad.
 
2013-05-08 10:47:31 PM

bdub77: Gatsby was actually made to be a movie. A movie in the 1920s, though. It's about the 1920s era, and a reflection of a period of excess. As a 'classic book', it's completely overrated other than perhaps having some historical significance to talk about that period. Also Nick seems to share some creepy longing for cousin Daisy.


I'd believe that.  When it was originally published it was only like 150 pages or so.  Pretty damn short for a novel at the time even with the small print to capitalize savings on paper costs.
 
2013-05-08 10:47:35 PM

Peki: vygramul: Peki: gremlin1: Dune
Any movie that comes with an explanatory pamphlet handed out with the popcorn has huge problems.

Huh. I saw Dune before I read it, and I'm too young to have seen in onscreen. What's the problem?

/likes the producer's cut the best

The movie, or the scifi miniseries?

Movie. SciFi miniseries was pretty true to the books as well, but omg the camp! I felt like I was in the 1960s.

/that's okay if that's the point, but not what I was expecting. I lean more Luis Royo and Geiger than Boris Vallejo, if you catch my drift. If not, look 'em up, and you might get some cool desktop wallpaper out of it.


The movie itself added those weirding modules and turned the weirding way into some kind of sonic weapons tech. That was pretty silly. Irritatingly so. The acting itself wasn't great, but I've seen worse.
 
2013-05-08 10:50:18 PM

whither_apophis: 2wolves: Starship Troopers.

Wells in his prime might have pulled off Gatsby.-

Loved that movie! Book was meh.

/runs to bunker


Everybody drops, everybody fights.

You sound Navy.
 
2013-05-08 10:58:22 PM
List of "worst" fails without "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

I was surprised Douglas Adams' corpse didn't reanimate, arise from the grave and deliver 42 cockpunches to everyone involved in making that bucket of roasted monkey shiat.
 
2013-05-08 11:04:09 PM

Mugato: No Jaws?


You shut your whore mouth!
 
2013-05-08 11:09:12 PM

Mr. Coffee Nerves: List of "worst" fails without "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

I was surprised Douglas Adams' corpse didn't reanimate, arise from the grave and deliver 42 cockpunches to everyone involved in making that bucket of roasted monkey shiat.


The book wasn't much better.
 
433 [TotalFark]
2013-05-08 11:17:11 PM
I like the 1972? version.
 
2013-05-08 11:30:32 PM

gremlin1: Dune
Any movie that comes with an explanatory pamphlet handed out with the popcorn has huge problems.


Truth
 
2013-05-08 11:38:41 PM

vygramul: Peki: vygramul: Peki: gremlin1: Dune
Any movie that comes with an explanatory pamphlet handed out with the popcorn has huge problems.

Huh. I saw Dune before I read it, and I'm too young to have seen in onscreen. What's the problem?

/likes the producer's cut the best

The movie, or the scifi miniseries?

Movie. SciFi miniseries was pretty true to the books as well, but omg the camp! I felt like I was in the 1960s.

/that's okay if that's the point, but not what I was expecting. I lean more Luis Royo and Geiger than Boris Vallejo, if you catch my drift. If not, look 'em up, and you might get some cool desktop wallpaper out of it.

The movie itself added those weirding modules and turned the weirding way into some kind of sonic weapons tech. That was pretty silly. Irritatingly so. The acting itself wasn't great, but I've seen worse.


They explained that given the limitations of the SF tech that the fighting looked like bad knocked off Hong Kong wire work. You can't do Dune without the weirding way so they had to come up with something.

Yes I bought the limited edition metal box copy of Dune. Loves me some Dune!
 
2013-05-08 11:44:28 PM

The Stealth Hippopotamus: vygramul: Peki: vygramul: Peki: gremlin1: Dune
Any movie that comes with an explanatory pamphlet handed out with the popcorn has huge problems.

Huh. I saw Dune before I read it, and I'm too young to have seen in onscreen. What's the problem?

/likes the producer's cut the best

The movie, or the scifi miniseries?

Movie. SciFi miniseries was pretty true to the books as well, but omg the camp! I felt like I was in the 1960s.

/that's okay if that's the point, but not what I was expecting. I lean more Luis Royo and Geiger than Boris Vallejo, if you catch my drift. If not, look 'em up, and you might get some cool desktop wallpaper out of it.

The movie itself added those weirding modules and turned the weirding way into some kind of sonic weapons tech. That was pretty silly. Irritatingly so. The acting itself wasn't great, but I've seen worse.

They explained that given the limitations of the SF tech that the fighting looked like bad knocked off Hong Kong wire work. You can't do Dune without the weirding way so they had to come up with something.

Yes I bought the limited edition metal box copy of Dune. Loves me some Dune!


I understand their excuse, but the weirding fighting style could have just been done with Chuck Norris or something. I own the movie, so it's not all bad, but the scifi movie was way better, even not considering the weirding way.
 
2013-05-09 01:05:06 AM

Lsherm: HeadLever: Lsherm: Also, "The Shining" miniseries from like 2000 was horrendous compared to "The Shining" from Kurbrick - all the more ironic because Stephen King wrote the miniseries because he didn't like the Kubrick movie.

speaking of King, can't belive that shawshank was not included.  One of the best movies based on his books.  Awesome book as well.

Too bad Apt Pupil did not turn out as well, but that was to be expected.  That would be a hard one.

King movies are almost always hit or miss.  The only consistently good ones are written and directed by Frank Darabont (Green Mile, Shawshank, The Mist).

The big problem with King is that some of his better novels (Tommyknockers, The Stand, Salem's Lot, It) are so long people feel the need to turn them into mini-series, which means they automatically suck. The budget is never there for the special effects required, and the directing and writing talent is usually second rate.


Don't know about the other ones you mention, but King wrote The Stand series.
 
2013-05-09 02:10:48 AM

unlikely: No Alan Moore made the list?

I guess it's hard to quantify. V was better than the comic but still crap.
Watchmen was not as good as the comic but the ending was better and they tightened up a lot of the weakest points of the plot.
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen... well... that one's easy, I guess. Bad bad bad.




The worse part of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was that it was written by James Robinson, a comic book guy.
 
2013-05-09 02:37:33 AM

mikemoto: Catch-22.

Mr. Coffee Nerves: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.


Neither of those movie were awful, but they weren't worthy of the books.

2wolves: Starship Troopers


Now, on the other hand, that movie was a real stinker.
 
2013-05-09 02:47:26 AM

unlikely: No Alan Moore made the list?

I guess it's hard to quantify. V was better than the comic but still crap.
Watchmen was not as good as the comic but the ending was better and they tightened up a lot of the weakest points of the plot.
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen... well... that one's easy, I guess. Bad bad bad.


Hey there. How'd you like a punch to the jaw?
 
2013-05-09 02:48:46 AM

Krieghund: 2wolves: Starship Troopers

Now, on the other hand, that movie was a real stinker.


I can think of a couple of redeeming qualities for that one.
 
2013-05-09 02:56:37 AM
Two great adaptations are The African Queen and To Kill a Mockingbird.
There are way too many bad adaptations to start a list.
 
2013-05-09 03:09:46 AM

mikemoto: This list fails without the absolute worst film adaptation of a novel: Buck Henry and Mike Nichols incoherent film version of Joseph Heller's awesome Catch-22.


That is far from the worst adaptation.

Sure, it's got issues. Good luck seeing it without having read the book, for starters. I don't know if that book can successfully be adapted, but that attempt failed. To a point. You've still got some fine performances and scenes in the thing. Hell, I like it better than  MASH.
 
2013-05-09 03:13:34 AM
Good: To Kill a Mockingbird

Bad: Timeline
 
2013-05-09 03:14:49 AM

JayCab: Krieghund: 2wolves: Starship Troopers

Now, on the other hand, that movie was a real stinker.

I can think of a couple of redeeming qualities for that one.


See that's where you post a pic of Dina Meyer's boobs. BUT YOU FAILED.
 
2013-05-09 03:23:03 AM

2wolves: Starship Troopers.

Wells in his prime might have pulled off Gatsby.-


If they had gone by the book for Starship Troopers it would have been a two hour movie about the virtues of spanking.

OK, not really.  It would have been better off as a mini series however.
 
2013-05-09 03:28:18 AM

hb0mb: Lsherm: HeadLever: Lsherm: Also, "The Shining" miniseries from like 2000 was horrendous compared to "The Shining" from Kurbrick - all the more ironic because Stephen King wrote the miniseries because he didn't like the Kubrick movie.

speaking of King, can't belive that shawshank was not included.  One of the best movies based on his books.  Awesome book as well.


Too bad Apt Pupil did not turn out as well, but that was to be expected.  That would be a hard one.


King movies are almost always hit or miss.  The only consistently good ones are written and directed by Frank Darabont (Green Mile, Shawshank, The Mist).


The big problem with King is that some of his better novels (Tommyknockers, The Stand, Salem's Lot, It) are so long people feel the need to turn them into mini-series, which means they automatically suck. The budget is never there for the special effects required, and the directing and writing talent is usually second rate.


Don't know about the other ones you mention, but King wrote The Stand series.


I love the aesthetic of the Lynch version.  I don't really have any complaints about it, but the Sci-Fi mini-series was closer to the book.  And, in the non-TV version, we get to see this : Chani topless (NSFW)

 
2013-05-09 03:32:22 AM
The Black Dahliais the worst book adaptation of the last ten years. It gets everything except the setting spectacularly, woefully wrong.
 
2013-05-09 03:41:05 AM

bingo the psych-o: 2wolves: Starship Troopers.

Wells in his prime might have pulled off Gatsby.-

If they had gone by the book for Starship Troopers it would have been a two hour movie about the virtues of spanking.

OK, not really.  It would have been better off as a mini series however.


You can't really do the philosophy of that book justice unless you did it as a miniseries.
 
2013-05-09 03:48:03 AM
Timeline was one of the worst movies period, not just book-to-movie. Silence of the Lambs was excellent. I would even say the much more shiatty Hannibal was better than its respective book. The book sequel just got...weird, especially at the end.
 
2013-05-09 03:50:35 AM

Mugato: No Jaws?



The movie version of Jaws is waaay better than the book. The movie of Shawshank Redemption is better than the original novella, too. Best adaptation ever if you ask me. I think Shawshank was helped by the fact that the original material was fairly brief by King standards and there was a great deal of room for character development.
 
2013-05-09 03:59:11 AM

Mr. Coffee Nerves: List of "worst" fails without "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

I was surprised Douglas Adams' corpse didn't reanimate, arise from the grave and deliver 42 cockpunches to everyone involved in making that bucket of roasted monkey shiat.


I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure Adams actually had quite a bit to do with the movie and how it turned out. I read, and loved, the books and enjoy the movie a lot. Never heard the radio broadcast or seen the bbc series, but from what I gather every version of Hitchhiker's is different than the last.
 
2013-05-09 04:03:53 AM

Dibikad: I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure Adams actually had quite a bit to do with the movie and how it turned out.


Robbie Stamp, one of the film's executive producers, according to Wikipedia:"The script we shot was very much based on the last draft that Douglas wrote....All the substantive new ideas in the movie...are brand new Douglas ideas written especially for the movie by him....Douglas was always up for reinventing HHGG in each of its different incarnations and he knew that working harder on some character development and some of the key relationships was an integral part of turning HHGG into a movie."
 
2013-05-09 04:14:56 AM

433: I like the 1972? version.


Too much Robert Redford and Mia Farrow staring longingly at each other.
 
2013-05-09 05:11:22 AM
1.   The SciFi version of Dune was amazing.
2.  So was The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon
3.  Does Shakespeare count?  He wrote plays that were meant to be performed, but they are often adapted, for better or worse
4.  A Scanner Darkly is the best Dick adaptation ever.  Hollywood needs more rotoscoping.
 
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