AIBU to think that they're usually not as good

(70 Posts)
ZekeSnapSnap Sat 02-Nov-13 22:03:40

Just finished watching World War Z. I love the book, think it's really great but the film? Nope, not great at all, so disappointed. Now I'm hoping for a TV series instead, maybe that would be closer to the book I love.

Don't get me wrong, the zombies were freaky as hell, snapping and biting and screeching-yup scarier then the book, and faster too I think.

But the, a disappointment to me.

Which spurned the question with the three friends that I watched it with- are there any movies (or TV shows) made from books which are better then the book? Or at least as accurate?

I had to say no to the majority for myself, with the exception of 'The Shining' and Pride and Prejudice which I thought was as good as the book. I just wondered what everyone else thought, AIBU for thinking 90% of books to film/tv are crappier then the book?

Can anyone recommend any books to film which are better or the same, or does anyone want to join me in disappointing ones?

Goes to read World War Z again

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sat 02-Nov-13 22:06:34

Harry potter was a huge disappointment.

Books have no restrictions, while film do.

grumpydwarf Sat 02-Nov-13 22:11:31

Good night mr Tom! The book and the film are equally good!

AgentZigzag Sat 02-Nov-13 22:13:41

I'd love to see Brad Pitt the film, and have just listened to the audio book (which I don't think was abridged) and the two don't look anything like each other.

But as it's got Bradley zombies in it I'm hoping I won't be bothered.

What was it like as a stand alone film, ignoring the book?

With books though there's always the space to get in all the reasons why they're doing whatever they're doing, and you can hear the thoughts of the characters. Even LOTR wasn't able to get everything in in 9 hours

crazykat Sat 02-Nov-13 22:15:50

I think it sometimes depends on whether you read the book first and love it or see the film first.

I loved the book of the davinci code but the film was a bit disappointing. But I remember some reviews saying if you've read the book don't watch the film, if you've seen the film don't read the book as you won't like the second version IYSWIM.

AlexaChelsea Sat 02-Nov-13 22:16:46

I I often think people compare films adapted from books with the book too often, and it detracts from the film.

World war Z was actually a pretty good film. The book is great, but the film is based from it, it's not a visual representation of the book.

Some films are, and they are often not as good. But I think they are separate mediums and shouldn't be compared so readily.

Iamsparklyknickers Sat 02-Nov-13 22:22:23

I thought Children of Men worked well as the book and the film. I am Legend is one that definitely did not.

I think you're never going capture any book or story in a film without losing something or changing the 'feel'. Stephen King is probably a good example, out of all of his books only a few have translated really well into films, the others seem to die in the midsts of the straight to DVD bin because they just can't capture the story in quite the right way.

BatPenguin Sat 02-Nov-13 22:26:39

I liked world war z, however it is nothing like the book. Unfortunately we went in expecting it to be somewhat like the book - should have gone in with a more open mind.
PS I love you was piss poor compared to the book too.

AgentZigzag Sat 02-Nov-13 22:29:01

Obviously WWZ had to find a new take on the whole zombie thing, and I thought the book had it.

I liked the idea that they'd just rock up on beaches after being thrown overboard or whatever, and the fact that the military saw them as a difficult enemy to beat because they didn't interact or have any plans (even though that'd be easier surely? they're only driven by one thing, brains (or lack of them grin)).

I think I got this zombie survival test off here, I'll never let DH live it down that I got a significantly higher score than him grin he was far too gung ho <draws cricket bat>

missmarplestmarymead Sat 02-Nov-13 22:29:58

Not a film but Inspector Morse tv adaptation is so, so much better than the books which seem to me to be turgid and quite badly written.

TotallyAddictedToLurking Sat 02-Nov-13 22:33:42

I agree with BatPenguin about PS I Love You. It was truly piss poor compared to the book.

The only book to film that I can say I enjoyed was trainspotting. Loved both.

ZekeSnapSnap Sat 02-Nov-13 22:39:14

I have to agree on Harry Potty, Forty, especially 3 and 4.

Thanks for the recommendation Grumpy, I'll have to read and watch that one-or the other way around.

Agent, Brad was one of the good points. When he's whumped, he's pretty fine smile It works ok as a film, personally even without the book it felt a bit rushed. I know they only can get so much in but I would have loved to see more scenes of different cities across the world and had either a longer film or one split into two.

I did hear from a friend they're making more, a trilogy or something so hoping for more of the book in there.

Cat, I haven't seen the De Vinchi code but i agree, reading the book first does make the film seem naff. I might watch first them read. I have Game of Thrones and the Hunger Games on my Kindle, I'll hold off until I've watched I think.

snozzlemaid Sat 02-Nov-13 22:40:17

The Green Mile. Both film and book equally brilliant.

TreaterAnita Sat 02-Nov-13 22:41:05

Captain Corelli's Mandolin practically made me want to slit my wrists. Louis De Bernieres is an exceptional writer IMHO and I find it depressing that someone made such a shit film from his book (though not his very best in fairness, the South America books are fantastic and the huge Birds Without Wings made me cry like a baby).

Genuinely I really can't think of a book which has been better adapted as a film. I think the written word is more powerful and allows for the reader's imagination. The best films come from original screenplays.

I was left strangely cold by WWZ the movie - I didn't even know that there was a book blush.

I tend to avoid book adaptations, whether film or TV: they usually leave me a bit flat, mainly because I imagine the characters/setting a certain way in my head and then find it 'wrong' when the movie set are (of course) different.

I am quite happy to watch book adaptations and then read the book, just not the other way around.

GoT the books were amazing - really carried me away. Watched Season 1 after I read the books - meh.

The HungerGames - loved the books. The movie - not bad, passed the time, but had nowhere near the emotional impact.

TreaterAnita Sat 02-Nov-13 22:45:11

Oh, I need to retract that last statement because I agree that Trainspotting the film was bloody genius. Only one I can think of though.

Generally I agree that films of books are disappointing, but agree with snozzlemaid, the film of the green mile stands out as an excellent interpretation of the book.

ZekeSnapSnap Sat 02-Nov-13 22:47:05

Alexa, I think I expected too much of it. The other three friends hadn't read the book and one loved the film while the other two though it was nothing special. Because I love so much I was so excited but it was another 'Autumn' all over again sad

IamSparky, I have to agree on I am Legend (there's a theme with my reading choices here), that was butchered. Children of Men I saw the film of and loved it, may have to check out the book. I do think you're right, I think the readers imagination also makes things more interesting and film just can't do that to everyone's taste.

BadPenguin, I will be avoiding that one, thanks for the heads up.

Agent, the WWZ film zombies were more terrifying, they were proper freaky and that's one thing that will chill me more when I read the book again with that in mind. Lol, smart zombies are pretty damn freaky too, I'e seen that in a few books and it never ends well. I'm going to do the surival test in a bit but i didn't get far with the Walking Dead one!

MissMarple, Really? That's pretty cool, it's not often the other way around. It makes sense if the books are a bit rubbish.

Totallyaddicted, ok definitely avoiding then, 2 bad reviews within an hour-not good.

Mike, I like the film, I haven't read the book...yet goes to amazon kindle

stargirl1701 Sat 02-Nov-13 22:47:37

Lord of the Rings is better as a film. Tolkien needed a better editor. All those bloody songs.

Thurlow Sat 02-Nov-13 22:48:27

GoT is amazing both as a book and a series, but that's a rarity.

I thought the BBC's North and South was better than the book.

WWZ would have been an amazing TV series angry

Thurlow Sat 02-Nov-13 22:49:05

Oh, and DP still can't decide whether The Walking Dead series or comics are the best.

ZekeSnapSnap Sat 02-Nov-13 22:50:18

snozzlemaid I haven't read or watched that one! goes back to kindle

TreaterAnita Yikes that is a bad bad reaction, may well avoid that one.

PacificDogwood, I think watching first is the best way. The book is fantastic, it's here. It's written in the future, an investigative journalist is travelling around documenting the war and so many of the stories overlap and give you different perspectives. (

Thanks for the link, Zeke.

I am currently actively avoiding CloudAtlas the movie as I don't want CA the book somehow lessened grin[pathetic]

And I disagree about LotR shock - genius books, vaguely entertaining films, but nowhere near the same impact.

webwiz Sat 02-Nov-13 22:53:58

DS(16) spoke to Max Brooks at a book signing and he hates the film.

littlemissnormal Sat 02-Nov-13 22:54:43

I normally much much prefer books but ones that I have found equal are Sleepers, The Godfather and The Beach.

Can't bring myself to watch either Time Travellers Wife or One Day!

ZekeSnapSnap Sat 02-Nov-13 22:54:55

Pacific I loved GOT and Hunger Games, I'm glad I didn't read the books first.

PorkPieandPickle I'm going to have to get that one, if it's there.

stargirl1701 I haven't read them but I have been told there's lots of singing in them and the hobbit too I think? Which they said detracted.

Thurlow, I know how awesome would it have been? 1 episode for each of the stories, more for a few of them. It would have been great. But I loved a film called 'Autumn' too, also zombies as well and it was made into a poor, poor film. Being a series, it would have been fantastic.

I have to go with the series myself, but I'm only on the fourth comic. The comics are darker though...

BatPenguin Sat 02-Nov-13 22:57:53

Oh dear, I just did the zombie survival test and got 63% and that was with me lying to make me sound better oh shit.

Thurlow- I love walking dead. DH read the comics and says it's pretty true to the tv show. However he does keep saying 'when is Rick going to have his hands cut off???' Hope they don't keep that bit in!

missmarplestmarymead Sat 02-Nov-13 22:58:26

It's only my opinion but I am so glad that people like Kenny Mc Bain were able to see the potential and that actors like John Thaw could bring it to life as Morse is one of my comfort viewings!

Nonetheless, I do like the way that the connection with the author is kept alive with Colin Dexter popping up for a couple of seconds in each episode.

YouTheCat Sat 02-Nov-13 22:58:39


LOTR. I do love Tolkein but I really think that Peter Jackson has done the books justice.

Sense and Sensibility (even though the casting was a bit off).

Green Mile.

Shawshank Redemption.

Beowulf and Grendel.

American Psycho.

Interview with a Vampire.


Kickass - much better than the comic.


Carrie (original version).

ZekeSnapSnap Sat 02-Nov-13 22:59:09

Pacific, It's a LotR review deathmatch! Cloud Atlas? Googles my friend for the most part here. I tred so hard to avoid the 'Dexter' books when watching the series but they're very different, and pretty wicked.

Poor Max, webwiz, I wonder if that's why filming took so long? That's the problem, once you sign 'your baby' away, they can creatively change it.

littlemissnormal, personally I'd avoid the time travellers wife, great book but the film was nothing but meh. I've never seen the Godfather, may have to put that on the list.

Thurlow Sat 02-Nov-13 23:00:12

Noo, bat, that's a spoiler DP has kept from me! (You're forgiven as I don't think they'll keep it in)

I could see them doing WWZ as a mock-documentary, pretending to be filmed 10 years after rather than oral histories, it would have been amazing.

Thurlow Sat 02-Nov-13 23:01:05

Youthecat, YYY on Stardust - the book was OK but the film is just wonderful.

Cloudatlas - David Mitchell is a genius grin

I love Shawshank Redemption, but, again, did not even know there was a book...

Agree that the beach was a pretty good attempt at a book adaptation.

Ive just started reading the green mile (99p on kindle a few days ago) and hope its as good as the film.

YouTheCat Sat 02-Nov-13 23:05:18

Pacific, it's a Stephen King.

Probably 99p on kindle grin

Thurlow Sat 02-Nov-13 23:05:21

The Beach was a good attempt, but IMO the book was much better. Possibly because Leo was hugely miscast.

gordyslovesheep Sat 02-Nov-13 23:05:55

I liked WWZ but ONLY because I knew it would be nothing like the book (I've just read it again for the fifth time grin ) as a zombie film it's not bad - but ends oddly (who knew Cardif was the place to be in the zombie apocalypse so quiet!)

I agree a TV series or a trio of films would have been better

I can't think of many films BETTER than books but I did like the film version of The Colour Purple

ZekeSnapSnap Sat 02-Nov-13 23:07:22

BatPenguin I got 79.9%, not too bad but no 100% ><

missmarplestmarymead, sometimes the actors do give you a better feel for the character's don't they? I've read a few books that I've thought would make great films because the character-emotion has been lacking but everything else has been spot-on.

YouTheCat, I've read some of those and definitely agree but others are going on my reading list. I had no idea Stardust and American Psyco were books blush

Stephen King?? <faints>
He is a very good writer although I cannot stand the creepy stuff.

I did not like The Great Gatsby the book much (not at school and not when I reread it recently) - will I like the movie??

ZekeSnapSnap Sat 02-Nov-13 23:10:10

gordyslovesheep, I was reassured it would be as good, or rather should be. Admittedly, the person telling me has only ready the first few chapters of the book but they neglected to mention that until after. sad

I was hoping for more UK zombies with the underground hide-outs and the queen fighting form Windsor Castle. smile

littlemissnormal Sat 02-Nov-13 23:10:59

Shawshank Redemption is a short story I think?
American Psycho is a great book, very disturbing.

gordyslovesheep Sat 02-Nov-13 23:12:09

ohh yes The Queen!

I hated that Japan was just missed out - and India to a lesser extent

McRoo Sat 02-Nov-13 23:13:22

I preferred the first Bridget Jones film to the book. As I recall the book has a ridiculous ending.

Thought the second book was much much better than the second film though.

YouTheCat Sat 02-Nov-13 23:13:33

The Great Gatsby is apparently a huge disappointment.

But I'm not a fan of Baz.

BatPenguin Sat 02-Nov-13 23:14:01

Oh shit Thurlow sorry! blush if it helps I really don't think it will happen.

zeke, impressive. I will have to PM you in the event of an apocalypse.

And if Cardiff is the place to be as in world war z this is good news as I am 20 mins away, smashing

Oh, I detest Bridget Jones in all media grin

Thanks, Cat, so I've heard too. I was hoping as I did not like the book, maybe by reverse logic I would therefore enjoy the film?! wink
May still watch it, just for the frocks <shallow>

ZekeSnapSnap Sat 02-Nov-13 23:16:43

littlemissnormal I like dark and disturbing, time to download.

Gordy, they did miss out some bits, there was a lot of darkness that was pretty creepy in the book that was missed in the film. The film had it's own freakiness with the zombies themselves, especially in the WHO.

McRoo I love the films, haven't read the books though. I think any people mentioned the last one being a bit rubbish so I may miss that one out.

YouTheCat, the film or book? Or both?

HepsibarCrinkletoes Sat 02-Nov-13 23:17:03

The Beach could have been better than the book if Leo hadn't got the job. I still absolutely loved both though.

Trainspotting - awesome in both forms.

ZekeSnapSnap Sat 02-Nov-13 23:18:37

BatPenguin, I think where I work gave me points in the quiz though looking at WWZ film I somehow doubt it I'd have them. I've read many zombie novels yet I'm torn between barricading and holing up and finding a cruise ship and getting on board.

gordyslovesheep Sat 02-Nov-13 23:19:12

some of my fave bits as well - like the downed pilot. also why did there have to be a cure? there isn't in the book - it comes down to weather, human endurance and war not Brad Pit in a lab with some Typhoid !

ZekeSnapSnap Sat 02-Nov-13 23:20:05

HepsibarCrinkletoes, did you read the book first? I know my friend read Twilight before seeing and was so so disappointed in RP because she said he was nothing like the Edward in the book.

ZekeSnapSnap Sat 02-Nov-13 23:21:51

Gordy, I'm hoping for a sequel where natural immunity makes that obsolete! The survival, hope and sheer determination and dark sorrow is what makes apocalyptic fic and media so compelling- the film had a bit of it but nowhere near as much as the book.

Charlesroi Sat 02-Nov-13 23:22:22

The Life of Pi was very well done.

crazyspaniel Sat 02-Nov-13 23:27:31

Girl with a Pearl Earring - film much better than the book.

HepsibarCrinkletoes Sat 02-Nov-13 23:30:03

Zeke - yes I did and I absolutely loved it, and was really looked forward to the film. The film was brilliant, but Leo should not have been cast IMO; I think Ewan McGregor would have been excellent.

ThePinkOcelot Sat 02-Nov-13 23:44:51

Another one who thinks the film PS I love you was piss poor. So far removed from the book.

I know not a film, but I think True Blood the series got absolutely pathetic after the first couple.

PinkFairyArmadillo Sat 02-Nov-13 23:47:09

A lot of comic purists probably won't agree with me but I thought Watchmen was a superb adaptation. I do like the comic graphic novel but the ending is just so unbelievably ridiculous that it doesn't feel very satisfying. I thought the film ending was a bit neater and more in line with the rest of the story. There were some bits left out which I would have liked to have seen but it's inevitable there must be cuts somewhere. Excellent casting as well, they definitely went for the 'right' actors rather than big names.

The Mist is another good one, I think the film's ending better. Even SK himself says he wishes he'd thought of it grin

Other than 1408, The Green Mile and Shawshank unfortunately most SK adaptations are dire.

LOTR, GOT and Hunger Games all as good as, if not better than, the books IMO. HP was a huge disappointment as I read the books first and nothing was how I imagined it to be in my head. Watched PS I Love You recently and it was shocking, yet I loved the book. I'm generally disappointed in films when I've read the book first though.

I have a love/hate relationship with SK stuff; some of its brilliant but some is complete drudge! Just really enjoyed the first season of Under The Dome but didn't really like the book.

Pinkpinot Sun 03-Nov-13 00:07:18

A time to kill

The perfect storm

YouTheCat Sun 03-Nov-13 00:14:24

Totally agree about Watchmen - love that film.

Also Wanted.

NannyR Sun 03-Nov-13 08:57:27

I watched WWZ last night and thought it was ok but not a patch on the book.
However I remember reading when it came out, that they completely re filmed the ending as the original didn't go down well with audience; does anyone know what the original ending was? Was it more true to the book where there isn't cure?

Morgause Sun 03-Nov-13 08:59:17

The film Dr Zhivago is better than the book. It finishes at the point the book gets really tedious. Likewise with Wuthering Heights.

MadeOfStarDust Sun 03-Nov-13 09:03:22

Stephen King's The Stand - tv adaptation was as good, if not better than the book....

Stardust, Inkheart were both much better as films...

Also the Harry Potter books left me a bit cold - I gave up after too many he said, she said bits... the films were ok.....

HP books are not the best written literature ever, but the plot did suck me in and the bigger themes (loss of parent, resilience in the face of adversity, friendship etc). The movies were just wrong. Except for Hagrid grin

Watchmen was good - haven't read the books/comics.

I did not understand the 'cure' in WWZ - why did he not become ill and die from the cure?? confused
Everything that's been said here makes me want to read the book now smile

GiveItYourBestFucker Sun 03-Nov-13 09:20:34

The TV adaptation of Iain Banks The Crow Road was better than the book, I thought. Complicity was also very good but I love Jonny Lee Miller so this might make me biased.

dawntigga Sun 03-Nov-13 09:22:51

Really? Watchmen? I thought it stuck ridiculously close to the graphic novel and was poorer for it. I love the book and the film that was very nearly exactly the same, should have worked, it didn't. It did change my mind on adaptations though and I don't think of them as the same work now iyswim.


Amen to that, Tigga

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