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Thread: Books and movies based on them - Книги и их экранизации

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    Books and movies based on them - Книги и их экранизации

    Our movie thread is so HUGE that I decided to start a new one, dedicated specifically to movies/series which were based on novels, plays, comic books, etc.

    The main difference is that we can discuss and compare both books and movies here, and also give recomendations on movies-related books.



    I'll start with Hichkok's "Psycho" which I watched a few days ago.

    I was very disappointed by it. I really tried to like it but probably I expected too much, because it's such a renowned film. I definitely did not expect some scenes to be so comical, almost like they came from "Scary Movie" (especially the scene in the end, when Normann bursts in clad in dress and making ridiculous faces).

    The famous scene in the shower was shot in a way that completely confused me. I HAD KNOWN that the girl died in this episode, but all this silly knife-waving and abrupt cuts gave an impression that she got only a couple of superficious cuts, and for half a minute I thought that she was not murdered after all. Maybe this scene shocked people in 1960, but now it's just.. chaotic.

    What is worse is that the only character who acts with a semblance of common sense is (ironically) Normann Bates. The others make unmotivated choices and unrealistic plans.

    It's also sad that Marion turned out to be (in my opinion) so unsympathetic. I did not feel for her, and anyway she seemed to be just a prop, someone for Bates to kill. from this point a view the first part of the movie is a waste of time.

    The things I enoyed most were Anthony Perkins' superb acting, the scene with Normann and Marion eating together and talking, and, surprisingly, the scene at the end with the psychologist explaining Normann's "problem". I know that this scene is considered unnecessary and badly made, but the man was so animated and it gave me a little insight into what the 60's audience might have thought and how they probably persieved what had happened on screen.


    But I want to be fair to this classic picture, so I keep researching.
    I'm reading Bloch's novel right now (and so far I like it better ), and a very interesting and thorough book by Joseph W. Smith III "The Psycho File. A Comprehensive Guide to Hitchcock’s Classic Shocker".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psycho_(film))
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psycho_(novel))
    Amazon.com: The Psycho File: A Comprehensive Guide to Hitchcock's Classic Shocker
    Last edited by gRomoZeka; December 18th, 2010 at 03:08 PM.

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    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Спасибо, солнышко! А то у меня сейчас нет времени те темы расчистить.

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    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka View Post
    Our movie thread is so HUGE that I decided to start a new one, dedicated specifically to movies/series which were based on novels, plays, comic books, etc.

    The main difference is that we can discuss and compare both books and movies here, and also give recomendations on movies-related books.
    What a great idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka View Post
    I'll start with Hichkok's Hitchcock's "Psycho" which I watched a few days ago.

    But I want to be fair to this classic picture, so I'll keep researching.
    I'm reading Bloch's novel right now (and so far I like it better ), and a very interesting and thorough book by Joseph W. Smith III "The Psycho File. A Comprehensive Guide to Hitchcock’s Classic Shocker".
    While I've seen a number of Hitchcock films, I never watched Psycho, Marnie or The Birds! I had no idea that Psycho was taken from a book!
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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    Завсегдатай sperk's Avatar
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    One thing you should never do is see the movie and then read the book. I saw the movie Вий based on the story by Gogol. Now I'm reading the story and instead of using my imagination my mind is filled with images from the movie (which wasn't very good).
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

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    rockzmom, I'm sorry that for spoilers then. (thanks for corrections!)
    I watched "Birds", but I was mostly interested in crazy birds attacking humans, and missed half of the plot.
    The best Hitchcock movie I've seen was "The Rope". It has a very chilling premise and characters are much more realistic than in other Hitchcock's thrillers. BTW, it's also based on a book, which is based on the real murder case.
    Quote Originally Posted by sperk View Post
    One thing you should never do is see the movie and then read the book.
    Well, sometimes there's no other way around it - it's that or not to read a book at all. (

  6. #6
    Hanna
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    Great thread!
    I'll hardly dare to show my face in Russia; I have only read very few of the Russian classics, and for some I've seen the film rather than read the book (never quite the same thing, assuming the book was really good...)

    I tried reading Taras Bulba many years ago, but did not appreciate it for some reason (just got bored I think). But I heard the film from.... 2008? was very good.

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    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka View Post
    rockzmom, I'm sorry that for spoilers then. (thanks for corrections!)
    I watched "Birds", but I was mostly interested in crazy birds attacking humans, and missed half of the plot.
    The best Hitchcock movie I've seen was "The Rope". It has a very chilling premise and characters are much more realistic than in other Hitchcock's thrillers. BTW, it's also based on a book, which is based on the real murder case.
    (
    Oh, not to worry on my account... I hadn't watch them because I really was not interested in them! My favorite is North by Northwest. I also liked Rear Window which... I just searched and found is based on Cornell Woolrich's 1942 short story "It Had to Be Murder"
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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    Older daughter is reading To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee for her English class. This book won a Pulitzer Prize and seems to be on more best lists than I can recall and yet somehow, I've never read it. She had watched the movie, I think last year, and rewatched it this week. She noticed some changes from the book and some things that were exactly the same. She really wanted to see what Boo looked like in the film and he was not as scary as she wanted him to be (but I think that was part of the point... that he was not that evil looking). The film won three Oscar awards.

    For those not familiar with it, it is about the U.S. in the South and racial injustice and is told through the eyes of a ten year old girl. It is powerful and eyeopening. It makes you think and question your own beliefs and behaviors in a way that is not preachy.

    book on wiki
    film on wiki
    complete book online in English
    complete film on YouTube
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    One thing you should never do is see the movie and then read the book.
    Sometimes one can be quite surprised by reading the book which inspired the filmmakers to film it. Here we go with the “Minority Report” by Philip Dick. I’d watched the movie long time before read the story. Having started to read the story I did expected that I knew everything that Dick wrote even before my eyes caught it.

    Yeah! Сhief Anderton got the red ball.
    Yeah! Сhief Anderton discovered that there can be a “minority report”.
    Yeah! Сhief Anderton came to see if he had one.
    What?!Сhief Anderton did have a minority report?! Did the Philip Dick write a story which is less complicated than the movie?
    Oh? Please, No! Chief Anderton did fired a gun and the man dead!!!

    So, this is an example when the story can be turned upside down.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

  10. #10
    Hanna
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    I watched the third Narnia Disney film "Voyage of the Dawn Treader".
    It is significantly different from the book - I can't believe they agreed so much deviation.
    Although they'd done the special effects very well and have good actors I didn't like it at all.

    The BBC series from the 1980s followed the books quite closely.

    CS Lewis is not some hack whose work they can mess around with. I got really irritated. The first two Disney films were more true to the books. I'd recommend anyone who is interested in Narnia to read the books instead of watching the films. The films even skipped two critical books in the series, no1 and no 3.





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    I saw in the neighboring theme people talked about "Собачье сердце"
    I think this book/movie must be here.
    It's a very rare case when the book is excellent and the movie even better.

    Also the similar case is the "12 стульев". I've read the book after watching the film and do not regret.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsod View Post
    I saw in the neighboring theme people talked about "Собачье сердце"
    I think this book/movie must be here.
    It's a very rare case when the book is excellent and the movie even better.
    I totally agree. The movie is at least as good as a book, and acting is unbelievable. It's a must see for everyone.

    Hey, Hanna, thanks for reminding me about CS Lewis! I don't know when his books have been published in Russian for the first time, but he was absolutely unknown when I was a kid. Actually I've never heard about him until the movie came along. Are his books too childish? Will an adult like them? I tried to watch the first movie but got bored after 1/3. I think I might like books better, and I definitely want to know why everyone likes them so much.

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    Завсегдатай Basil77's Avatar
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    Absolutely agree about "Собачье сердце". One of my favorite episodes:



    The balalaika looks exactly like the one I used to play at school!
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77 View Post
    One of my favorite episodes:
    Great episode! I especially like the moment, when we hear Philipp Philippych's chair crashing. ))

    *********

    I' decided to post some titles from time to time, to keep the discussion going.
    I'll start with 2010 films which are based on books - in backward chronological order.
    If you've seen these movies or have read the books, you are welcome to tell us if they are worth watching/reading.


    1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) - kindly reviewed by Hanna
    based on "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" (1952) by C. S. Lewis - UK


    I wish I could see it when I was 10. I'd love it, I'm sure! (I loved "The Neverending story", after all).


    2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
    based on "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" (2007) by J. K. Rowling - UK


    Hmmm... I'll wait for DVDrip. ) I find Harry Potter films incredibly boring (with the exception of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" which was very good). I actually fell asleep three times when I tried to watch "the Chamber of Secrets"! But as a big Snape's fan I'm definitely going to suffer through it. ))


    3. *Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010) - animated
    based on "Guardians of Ga'Hoole" by Kathryn Lasky (the first three volumes - The Capture, The Journey, and The Rescue) (2003-2004) - USA


    A 9 y/o son of my friend watched it with his mouth hanging open (even if he enjoyed listing all the things the heroes did wrong after the film). So I'd say it's good. There are a few creepy moments that can scare younger children. Also there's a funny but rather disgusting episode with a young owl vomitting out her first casting (we had to give lecture on owl's digestion after that). The animation is superb. I've heard people called it "Avatar" among animation films. It's worth watching at least because of wonderful scenes of flying under the rain.


    4. Let Me In (2010)
    based on "*Let the Right One In / Lat den ratte komma in)" by John Ajvide Lindqvist (2004) - Sweden
    (we discussed an excellent Swedish film based on this book in another thread)


    I'm definitely going to watch it, because I enjoyed the original movie. This verion, according to some reviews, is more bloody and less ambigous in certain details (remember famous "I'm not a girl"?). And the girl-vampire is more beautiful. Of course.


    5. The Town (2010)
    adapted from "Prince of Thieves" (2004) by Chuck Hogan, reprinted in 2010 as "The Town" - USA


    What can I say? I like the poster. The scary nun reminds me of a creepy Twin Peaks-ish character from a noir comic book created by Ben Templesmith, an artist with a unique style. Maybe I'll watch it when I'm in a gloomy mood.


    6. Never Let Me Go (2010)
    based on Never Let Me Go (2005) by Japanese-born British author Kazuo Ishiguro - UK


    I've read Ishiguro's "The Remains of the Day" (a Man Booker Prize winner). It was good, and there was a wonderful adaptation in 1993 with Anthony Hopkins. I enjoyed both book and the movie, so I'm going ot watch this one too. Seems like a love story with a twist (marked as Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller). Sounds interesting. What do you think?

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    7. The Experiment (2010), a remake of German "Das Experiment" (2001),
    based on "Black Box" (1999) by Mario Giordano.




    I have not read the book, so I'll compare two films and original events.

    First, both films and a book are based loosely on real facts, namely on infamous Stanford prison experiment conducted in 1971, and partially on the results of Milgram experiment on social psychology.

    The main idea of the original film as I see it was that deep down most people are conformists. They are a part of a herd, they tend to assume roles that are assigned to them, which was effectively proved in the experiments, mentioned above.

    Most people rely on society, authority figures, religion or public opinion to make hard moral choices and to correct their behaviour. But what happens if an unthinkable thing is declared to be normal? If you are asked to do it? And if those who are supposed to know better tell you that it's a good thing to do? What if you are still not fully convinced, but you can see that people around you, good normal people do it? And they are encouraged instead of being punished? What's right and what's wrong, then?

    These are everyday questions, and we make these kind of decisions daily, even if consequences of our decisions are not so dire as in that film.


    Das Experiment (2001)


    The Experiment (2010)

    American remake's message differs. It's mostly dumbed down to "People are aggressive animals", and survival of the fittest. To bring the idea home we are shown videos of fighting people and various animal predators hunting their prey.

    The whole idea of Milgram and Stanford experiments is turned upside down. They were designed to explore behaviour of moral, mentally stable, boring people who are facing a moral dilemma. The more horrifying were the results. In "The Experiment" we have a set of jumpy and emotionally unbalanced folks, who should not have been chosen for this experiment in the first place. Both main characters (played by Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker) looked like they were going to go postal any minute.

    In German film chief "warden" is rather collected and very serious about his job. Some of the concentration camps officials must have been like him - bland, responsible, maybe even quitely proud of their job. Whitaker plays a twitching, mentally unstable and desperate guy, and in case we missed that a few characters kindly tell him "OMG, You are a psycho"(really? thanks for explaining obvious things again and again).

    Remake decided to ignore completely people "behind the glass" and their motivations. We don't know why they arranged such an experiment or why they let things go out of control. It seems that their purpose was simply to enjoy the show. In the original film, which rather closely follows real events, organisators are serious scientists, who got affected by their own experiment and almost lost their objectivity.


    Das Experiment (2001)

    Despite of everything said above I won't go as far as to call "The Experiment" (2010) a bad film. It's good, better than many others. I'll probably give it 7 out of 10. But watch "Das Experiment" (2001) instead, if you can, it's even better, and explore human nature more deeply.

    ***

    Additional link: The Stanford Prison Experiment: A Simulation Study of the Psychology of Imprisonment (Official site on the experiment by Dr.Zimbardo with detailed explanations and pictures)
    Last edited by gRomoZeka; December 25th, 2010 at 08:25 PM.

  16. #16
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka View Post
    6. Never Let Me Go (2010)
    based on Never Let Me Go (2005) by Japanese-born British author Kazuo Ishiguro. - UK

    I've read Ishiguro's "The Remains of the Day" (a Man Booker Prize winner). It was good, and there was a wonderful adaptation in 1993 with Anthony Hopkins. I enjoyed both book and the movie, so I'm going ot watch this one too. Seems like a love story with a twist (marked as Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller). Sounds interesting. What do you think?
    I am sure that you would enjoy "Never Let Me Go". It's well written, in great language and very thought provoking.
    I haven't seen the film yet! It would probably make a good film though.. It's quite a visual type of book.

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    Thanks, Hanna, I'll try to find it. You've read the novel, does it mean that Ishiguro's books are very popular in Britain?

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    There's a book and two movies that were based on it I'd like to write a review about - Dune by Frank Herbert.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dune_(novel)


    I read it only about six times or so, and was fascinated at the world Herbert managed to create, about people who wanted to tame their desert planet into a living world, about intrigues inside other intrigues, about plans inside other plans and conspiracies inside other conspiracies - these are the things that really made this book famous. Then David Lynch made a movie:
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087182/


    I watched it in 1989, I think, and imagine my disappointment about the whole thing when I watched it. There was nothing left of the book. Really nothing. Just some third-rate story. I was crushed. Even the main concept of the book about a boy who tried act as a god for his people had turned upside down somehow and now it was about some really godlike figure who got into trouble by mistake.
    I know it's really hard to make a movie out of this book (where the main intrigue is taking place inside people's minds and characters' thoughts are very important), but really, could Lynch at least try to make something out of it. He's not a bad producer, after all.

    Well, then there was 2 computer games, one based on the book, but the second one (Dune 2 - The battle for Arrakis), though had little in common with the book but the world and major houses names, was still revolutionary and the founder of a new genre in computer games - real time strategy.

    Finally, in 2000, 16 years after David Lynch, there was another attempt (which turned out much better than the first one):

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0142032/

    Of course, even though I have to admit that most of the actors were unknown to me and many played rather poorly, still it was a movie I liked. I was shot very close to the original book (thus making it over 4 hours long) but it was worth the time. Everything there was as authentic as possible and if you will ever be in doubt - pick this one.


    Send me a PM if you need me.

  19. #19
    Hanna
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    Well, since you asked about CS Lewis I can't resist responding!

    C.S Lewis is an author and person whom I really admire. He was a professor at Oxford (Literature and also.... maths) A real renaissance man. He was a good friend of JRR Tolkiens and he rallied Brits to keep their spirits up during the the war. He's not only famous for the Narnia books, but wrote some very good books, all of which I'd highly recommend.. For example:

    Screwtape Letters (a very entertaining book about a young demon (from hell...) who is assigned by the Devil to try to morally corrupt an Englishman. The book consists of his his correspondence with his uncle, a more senior demon who is advising the younger one on the tricks of the trade...)

    Mere Christianity: A book about Christianity for people who are not willing to simply swallow the Sunday school stories with no questions asked... Or for an agnostic who is willing to read a pro-Christianity book. It's a traditional Christian apologetic book.

    He's written many more, including some science fiction. He has a very pleasant way of using the English language. Very British, very readable.

    As for the Narnia books: They are some of the most magical books ever written. Comparing them with Harry Potter should be banned... They are in a completely different league.

    The reasons they are so famous are:
    1) Great plots, epic saga
    2) Great language and style of writing
    3) The simple yet very clever Christian allegories that are present in each of the book.

    It is possible to read and appreciate the books for reasons 1 and 2 and never even notice 3. That's exactly what I did when I was a kid, maybe 9-10 years old. I didn't even spot the relevance of "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" animation being broadcast on TV every Christmas. Later, I could see the parallels with the Bible - and it had a really strong impact on me.

    The books are about Christianity and the Bible, but in a very non-preachy sort of way. Each book illustrates concepts or ideas from the Bible and turns it into an exciting adventure.

    Apart from the Disney filmatization, BBC also filmed some of the books in the 1980s. There was a British animated version of the most popular books, as I mentioned. It was shown on TV during the Christmas break all my childhood. BBC has also made audio dramatisations of the books. I liked the Disney version of "The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe".

    The order in which to read the books is:

    The Magicians Nephew
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    The Horse and His Boy
    Prince Caspian
    The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
    The Silver Chair
    The Last Battle


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    Завсегдатай Basil77's Avatar
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    Since it's New Year's eve I've remembered "Чародеи" movie (it's shown at Russian TV every New Year, like "Irony of fate"). I have no idea why this movie is so popular. I would not recommend it at all. But the book it's based on ("Понедельник начинается в субботу" , "Monday starts at Saturday") is one of my favorites and without doubts a MUST-read! I think it's the best book by Strugatsky brothers. The humor is so brilliant that I'm laughing my a$s off every time I read it although I know it almost by heart.

    P.S. Although the movie itself is bad, there are some pretty good songs:

    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

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