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Worst book to movie adaptations

Old 12-20-05, 11:38 PM
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Worst book to movie adaptations

I noticed that among all the remakes, there seems to be a decent number of book to movie adaptations. Granted, many of these books I haven't read, so I can't make a call on how accurate they are.

So basically, what's the WORST book to movie adaptation you've ever seen?

My vote goes for Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World.
Book to movie comparison-read only if you want to know why vote for this:
Spoiler:
In the book, the main character and the driving force behind the story is Levine. He wasn't even IN the movie. The whole reason they go to the island was to find him. In the movie, they go to the island for John Hammond, because John Hammond's nephew or whatever took over the company. (Hammond died in the first book anyways, so there was none of this in the second one.)

Furthermore, the bad guys in the book were Dodson and his buddies, King and Basselton. Dodson was the guy who hired Dennis Nedry to steal the embryos in the first one. In this one, they're on the island to steal eggs. In the movie, the nephew guy is the bad guy, and somewhere in the middle of the film, this platoon of big game hunters land on the island and start trapping fully grown dinosaurs.

And lastly, the end of the book happened with the good guys escaping the island on a boat they found. In the end of the Lost World, they capture the Tyrannosaur, bring it to mainland San Fran or wherever, and it runs around eating dogs and humans, and then they recapture it and bring it back to the island. Ugh.

Some minor differences - Eddie Carr was Doc Thorne's assistant, the guy who built the field equipment. In the movie they got rid of Doc Thorne (my favorite character) and just made Eddie Carr the head guy. The photographer dude wasn't even in the book. And the girl in the movie is actually a mesh of two kids that stowed away in the book.

Yeah, so that's the worst adaptation I've ever seen. My second vote is for Dean Koontz's Phantoms.

Anyways, what're your worst? Or best even? And how do the new movies compare to their respective originals?
Old 12-21-05, 12:53 AM
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My choice is A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY, which was dumbed down and oversimplified into SIMON BIRCH. I don't expect a literal translation from the John Irving novel to the silver screen, but I did expect an intelligent distillation and interpretation of the novel in the same way George Roy Hill did with his excellent THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP.
Old 12-21-05, 01:48 AM
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Sphere, Congo.
Old 12-21-05, 01:55 AM
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Prince of Tides
Old 12-21-05, 02:11 AM
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I'll have to agree with "Lost World". Too much was changed.

Congo was.....it was what it was. A nice book that made silly via motion picture.

"Sphere" I heard was quite faithful to the book but i never bothered to watch it.



My vote for best probably would have to go to "Frankenstein".

I read the book and it was the most boring piece i have ever read. It was painfully dry and overly descriptive. Plus i feel there should be a limit to the number of uses of the words "sublime" and "melancholy" in any work.

The movie (old one), while changing alot at least made the story more interesting.
Old 12-21-05, 02:14 AM
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Bonfire of the Vanities.
Old 12-21-05, 02:24 AM
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Can't forget Watchers...
Old 12-21-05, 02:32 AM
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The Shining was disapointing
Old 12-21-05, 02:53 AM
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This list begins and ends with Anne Rice's "Exit to Eden."
Old 12-21-05, 03:07 AM
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Be Cool.
Old 12-21-05, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by DieselsDen
My choice is A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY, which was dumbed down and oversimplified into SIMON BIRCH. I don't expect a literal translation from the John Irving novel to the silver screen, but I did expect an intelligent distillation and interpretation of the novel in the same way George Roy Hill did with his excellent THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP.
Totally agree with you on Simon Birch...lame movie, and I actually came in to state that Garp was an awful movie. John Lithgow just ruined it for me. Love the book, but hate hate hated the movie adaptaion.


Originally Posted by Fok
The Shining was disapointing
Almost blasphemy. This is the my all time winner for the movie is better than the book. Kubrick added a style to it. Gave the Overlook a creepiness that just isn't portrayed in the book. I am not a huge King fan, but the book just seemed to get away from the craziness to much....never the case in the movie.
Old 12-21-05, 07:55 AM
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My vote goes to two Stephen King Novels, 'Salems Lot, great book god awfull film, and Dreamcatcher, I quite enjoyed the book but the film is one of the worst I have ever seen.
Old 12-21-05, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by slavetotherave
My vote goes for Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World.
Book to movie comparison-read only if you want to know why vote for this:
Not a very good pick to start a thread. The movie was made in tandem while Crichton was writing the novel. It was not an adaptation. Spielberg wrote and made the movie he wanted and then when Crichton finished the novel in mid production, he mined it for any cool scenes he could add. Most notably the trailer over the cliff scene. So that

The Shining is by far the worst adaptation ever. Unless you count the Lawnmower Man (also Stephen King) in which everything was lost but the title.
Old 12-21-05, 08:31 AM
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"Less Than Zero". Hollywood sanitized the hell out of this, changed character motivations and turned it into a typical cautionary tale.
Old 12-21-05, 08:58 AM
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The Keep

Last edited by movielib; 12-21-05 at 09:01 AM.
Old 12-21-05, 09:00 AM
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Even Cowgirls get the Blues.
Old 12-21-05, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by LiquidSky
"Less Than Zero". Hollywood sanitized the hell out of this, changed character motivations and turned it into a typical cautionary tale.
Agreed. This book is in desperate need of readaptation. Too bad Downy Jr is too old to play a role again, though. He was fantastic. Jami Gertz was atrocious, however.
Old 12-21-05, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by movielib
The Keep
My initial thoughts exactly.
Old 12-21-05, 10:39 AM
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I'd have to vote for Along Came a Spider.

Spoiler:
In the books the Alex Cross character is in his late-30s, I believe. The studios actually adapted the second book in the series, Kiss the Girls, first and cast the much older Morgan Freeman in the role. While this changed the dynamic of that story, it wasn't really THAT big of a deal. But when they decided to adapt Along Came a Spider they had to throw out all the sex stuff that was the driving point of the relationship between Cross and the Monica Potter character. The ending had much less impact because of it.

Even worse, the movie made everything implausible and preposterous. Motives are never explained, vital characters (that have long term storylines in the series) are killed off for no good reason, and scenes are added that defy any technological reality. Any feeling of suspense is drained and replaced with scenes designed to make Cross look clever but in reality are next to impossible or require incredible luck. Character development is thrown out the window to make room for the "surprise ending".
Old 12-21-05, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Drop
Agreed. This book is in desperate need of readaptation. Too bad Downy Jr is too old to play a role again, though. He was fantastic. Jami Gertz was atrocious, however.
Agreed. Downy Jr. was the only good thing about this film. McCarthy and Gertz were horrible as usual.
Old 12-21-05, 10:53 AM
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I agree with Less than Zero. One of my favorite books, one of the the worst films i've seen.
Old 12-21-05, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by DRG
I'd have to vote for Along Came a Spider.
Always forget about this one. They have completely ruined a possible franchise with those two films.
Old 12-21-05, 11:20 AM
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Moonraker. Nothing is kept except for the title. And they made a bad movie of it to boot.

Damnation Alley.

Spoiler:
The hero has been changed from a Hell's Angel killing his way across the country to an Army Colonel fighting giant spiders.


Jungle Book. Disney only kept the title. At least the movie wasn't terrible. Although I read that Jungle Book 2 was.

Last edited by Nick Danger; 12-21-05 at 11:24 AM.
Old 12-21-05, 11:26 AM
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Needful Things and Dreamcatcher.

Both amoung my favourite King books, both horrible movie adaptations.
Old 12-21-05, 11:27 AM
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Anne Rice's "The Queen Of The Damned". Outside of character's names, everything was changed. The movie still turned out to be decent. Just nowhere near as good as the book.

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