Movies that are actually BETTER than their source material.

Korenith

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The Prestige and Jaws are my immediate thoughts on this one. The Prestige is a weakly written mess with a stupid modern day framing device which adds nothing but a seriously shoddy ending twist and the film is far superior. Jaws isn't actually a bad book truth be told but fairly unremarkable. The film however was amazing.

I don't agree with the several people saying The Shining was better than the book though. The film has some good moments and yes it's all very clever from a technical film making point of view but as a story with characters it's very shallow and my least favourite of Kubrick's work (that I've seen so far). Contrast that with King's book where characters are the be all and end of his novels and the film seems like its innards have been scooped out.
 

The Last Nomad

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Lord of the fucking Rings.

While the books contain great ideas and fantastic descriptions and probably the greatest fantasy world ever imagined, they never should have been books. It took too long to explain every little detail in the books. I remember reading a chapter in the Return of the King called the siege of Gondor where almost every page was an indept description of some character or event and then suddenly it would cut back to a big epic battle that you forgot was going on.
Tolkien was ahead of his time, he should have made an internet book where every name was a link to that characters history and such. like wikipedia or whatever.

the movies however, left out all that backstory and could give great descriptions of characters by showing them instead of distracting the viewer with backup info. The movies left out everything that wasn't completely necessary, and instead never really went away from what was going on at the time.

(very drunk right now, hope you understand what i am trying to convey)
 

Fox12

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Korenith said:
I don't agree with the several people saying The Shining was better than the book though. The film has some good moments and yes it's all very clever from a technical film making point of view but as a story with characters it's very shallow and my least favourite of Kubrick's work (that I've seen so far). Contrast that with King's book where characters are the be all and end of his novels and the film seems like its innards have been scooped out.
Pretty much this. The shining was a neat film, and it could be creepy, but there was no soul to it. It just felt so sterile. The only character that seemed to develop was the father, and his whole arc was going from sane asshole to insane asshole. It was better than Clockwork Orange though. Missed the whole point of the story, and had one of the worst endings in film history.

However, we're talking about films being better than books here, so the obvious answer for me is Les Mis. Cut out all the unnecessary crap from a 1500+ page book and you end up with a masterpiece of film. It also kept all the elements that made the book great, not dumbed down at all.
 

SecondPrize

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Mar 12, 2012
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Another vote for Jaws here. The book doesn't have Robert Shaw's Indianapolis speech and Richard Dreyfuss' help in cuckolding Roy Scheider doesn't seem to serve much of a purpose.
The class tension is alright though.
 

Queen Michael

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Jun 9, 2009
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I watched the anime movie Metropolis today.



I have to admit that it actually is much, much better than the very good manga it's based on. And I say that as Scandinavia's biggest Osamu tezuka fan.

Just look at this kind of imagery!





I've never seen a more gorsgous movie. and I've watched Spirited Away.
 

Spiritmaster

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Dec 4, 2012
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M. Night's 'The Last Airbender'
I mean obviously. *rolls eyes*

In all seriousness, gonna throw my vote in with The Prestige as well. Great movie.
 

Semudara

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The Lord of the Rings, totally!

The films do leave out some pretty great stuff from the books, and some of the changes (particularly to Saruman) lack the nuance of the original material and are even nonsensical at times, but the movies are really well done overall and SO much more approachable than Tolkien's incredibly overloaded tome. I respect what he wrought, but it's like he tried to cram as much of his world-building into the novel as possible and it weighs down the story and makes it nearly unreadable.

The movies are the reason I mustered the willpower to read the book(s) in the first place. They're a lot more concise, a lot of fun, and capture the essence of Tolkien's epic fantasy admirably.
 

The Wykydtron

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Sep 23, 2010
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soren7550 said:
The Wykydtron said:
I have to say the Kickass film was better than the comic, the film included Nic Cage being basically Batman without a moral compass for one. The comics were more grim too, the film ends with the main character getting the girl because lol Hollywood, whereas in the comic she tells him explosively rejects him and taunts him by getting a massive fuck off black guy as a boyfriend instead, just as an example.
I have to disagree with you there. It was better how the comic did several things. The fact that Big Daddy wasn't a cop out for revenge, but rather just some dork who didn't want his daughter to become a vapid slut was nice and fresh, as was Kick Ass not getting the girl. Also, Red Mist's betrayal didn't make a whole lot of sense in the film.
I didn't mind Kickass not getting the girl because it was hilarious and it wasn't the most important factor of the film anyway but it turns out i've forgotten most of the comic apart from the basic story and major changes. You know how you always lose things when you start redecorating? Apparently half my bookshelf went missing and I never noticed, I swear I would never have added Kickass into the boxes of stuff to be put in storage in the loft... some of my manga's gone missing too what the fuck is this? BRB accusing my mother of espionage.

I liked the movie version of Kickass so much because it was one of the few films I genuinely enjoyed watching. I'm not one for films at all, I find that 2 hours is almost always not enough time to flesh out a story and/or its characters fully without cutting corners and all your typical sort of releases don't appeal to me. The few films that are interesting I will likely say they would have been better as a TV series for more time, most recently The Purge. Pretty solid idea, poor execution and so many lost avenues of interest.
 

TheDoctor455

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Apr 1, 2009
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Pluvia said:
Catching Fire (The Hunger Games).

Badly written book, fantastic film.

Hopefully the 3rd one (which is just a terrible book) will get similar treatment and will be amazing.

shootthebandit said:
Harry potter by a long shot. I couldnt really get into the books and the overall story isnt great and a bit of an x-men rip-off (school for gifted kids, one half want to save humans the others want to wipe them out). However the atmosphere created by the movies is superb, the acting is really good, the locations (a lot of them in scotland and northern england) are beautiful and the special effects are spectacular. They are just 6 movies with brilliant cinematography and good acting with an average story line
There's 8 movies, and they're just plot hole after plot hole. The books on the other hand manage to avoid this.

The acting, from the adults (and the trio come the 3rd film I guess), is fantastic, but cinematography and acting doesn't make up for all the plot holes, events that just straight up don't make any sense, and bad directing in a lot of scenes.
On the other hand... we have those annoying S.P.E.W. chapters... I get what Rowling was going for... but they were still really annoying, and disrupted the pacing.

Anyway...

In some areas... the Game of Thrones HBO series has done a better job at making EVERY character sympathetic, no matter how minor or dickish they were in the books. With the obvious exception of Joffrey, of course.

Prime example: in the books Tywin Lannister was... a more restrained version of Joffrey... an asshole with little to no redeeming value... but in the HBO series, he's actually likeable, even relatable. He's still he a jerkass, but you can at least understand his motives, and he had enough Pet The Dog moments with Arya to kind of balance out his dickishness.
 

Mikeyfell

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The Godfather for starters.

You're all probably going to hate me but Fight Club and A Clockwork Orange were both better than their respective books.

Harry Potter The Deathly Hollows part 1 and 2 (Or at least part 1)
 

Arnoxthe1

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Dec 25, 2010
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Pluvia said:
For example, they escape from the wedding and teleport into a random cafe in the middle of Muggle London. Moments afterwards some builders go into the same cafe, and it turns out they're Death Eaters (cue strange scene that has moments of comedy intertwined - bad directing). The trio have absolutely no idea how they were tracked down, the chances of that happening were astronomical, so they decide to constantly stay on the move, pitching up a tent in the middle of nowhere for a few days and then teleporting somewhere else, just in case they get tracked down again.

AAAAAND it's never explained how they were tracked so quickly in the movies. Literally the entire point of them moving from place to place was because of that cafe scene, and at no point do they ever explain how they were found.

Massive plot holes like that is why it's books > movie, simply because the films make almost no sense.
You're both right and wrong. They did explain the whole "Taboo" deal in the movie but they never mentioned the Cafe even at that point. The audience needed to connect the dots and find out for themselves that Voldemort was spoken by Hermione in the Cafe. So while it was explained, it was explained poorly.
 

Timmibal

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Nov 8, 2010
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Twilight. All of them.

Not because the movies were inherently 'good', but because the source was SO BAD.

A polished, deodorized turd is better than a steaming dripping one after all.
 

Thaluikhain

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Arnoxthe1 said:
You're both right and wrong. They did explain the whole "Taboo" deal in the movie but they never mentioned the Cafe even at that point. The audience needed to connect the dots and find out for themselves that Voldemort was spoken by Hermione in the Cafe. So while it was explained, it was explained poorly.
When was it explained?

Later on, when they get captured, it's not because one of them said the name, it's because the place they teleported to at random just happened to be full of their enemies,
 

DalekJaas

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Lord of the Rings, firstly to understand a lot of the dialogue you need a background in Tolkien's works, like the Silmarillion. Since every so often they mention Beren and Luthien, or Morgoth, or some of the ancient elves, and 13 year old me (at the time) had no idea what any of it meant.

Every character breaking into song every second page is ridiculous, and that absolute BS when Frodo throws the ring into Mt Doom and the book is only half way done totally put me off. Saruman invading the shire? Completely unnecessary.

To me LOTR movies are absolute master pieces, all 10/10, the Hobbit isn't as good but they are still enjoyable and flesh out middle earth more so I'm willing to let them slide (especially if we get BFME3 out of it).

So yes, I am very much a pro-Jackson Middle Earth man, and I've read most of Tolkien's Middle Earth books.

EDIT: I'm not gonna quote anyone but, the Harry Potter movies better than the books?? 7 billion people in the world and I honestly thought no one could ever have that opinion, there are opinions, and then there is that opinion... HERESY!
 

Arnoxthe1

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thaluikhain said:
Arnoxthe1 said:
You're both right and wrong. They did explain the whole "Taboo" deal in the movie but they never mentioned the Cafe even at that point. The audience needed to connect the dots and find out for themselves that Voldemort was spoken by Hermione in the Cafe. So while it was explained, it was explained poorly.
When was it explained?

Later on, when they get captured, it's not because one of them said the name, it's because the place they teleported to at random just happened to be full of their enemies,
Wait, you mean the time when they got caught and sent to the Malfoy Manor?

And the cafe deal where Herminoe says it is really easy to miss. Go back and watch it again but this time, listen carefully.
 

Warachia

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shootthebandit said:
Harry potter by a long shot. I couldnt really get into the books and the overall story isnt great and a bit of an x-men rip-off (school for gifted kids, one half want to save humans the others want to wipe them out).
Hold on a minute, I think you need to re-watch the movies, at the least look up a plot summary of the books, because I don't think you could have gotten that more wrong.

I thought the Fight Club movie was better than the book, at least in the movie Tyler didn't seem to have clairvoyant like knowledge of what was going to happen.
 

ungothicdove

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No love (hate?) for The Last of the Mohicans? My parents had me read the book and it took me about three months to get through it. And I was a kid who really enjoyed reading. I found it to be very boring and not engaging at all. The movie on the other hand is up there in my top ten. Superb film in my estimation.

Also, I'm genuinely surprised by how many people are saying LOTR. The books can definitely drag in some places, but the only movie that I find to be on par with the books is Fellowship. I enjoyed Two Towers until the last half hour and I really did not like his decision with Faramir. I realize it adds tension to the movie but I like that he wholly rejects to be corrupted by The Ring. Plus, I think that Frodo being killed by Shelob would have been a great cliffhanger to end the movie on. I have more negative feelings than positive feelings for Return of the King. Alas, it was my first taste of the bitter disappointment when something you so look forward to and love doesn't meet your expectations. I've learned to handle this better now, and try to manage my expectations. Live and learn as they say.
 

Scars Unseen

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TheDoctor455 said:
In some areas... the Game of Thrones HBO series has done a better job at making EVERY character sympathetic, no matter how minor or dickish they were in the books. With the obvious exception of Joffrey, of course.

Prime example: in the books Tywin Lannister was... a more restrained version of Joffrey... an asshole with little to no redeeming value... but in the HBO series, he's actually likeable, even relatable. He's still he a jerkass, but you can at least understand his motives, and he had enough Pet The Dog moments with Arya to kind of balance out his dickishness.
I really disagree on this one. Tywin didn't really need a "nice" side to him, because the defining trait that makes him stand out from everyone else in the family(other than eventually Jamie) is "competence." Which, speaking of, the show pretty much drains from every last one of the Starks. About the only one of the Stark children that doesn't come out worse in the show than in the book is Sansa, and that's only because there really was no way to make her less competent than she already was without turning her into Hodor.