Have you seen a movie that was better than the book?

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Chocobodude3

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#1  Edited By Chocobodude3

For me its the Hunger Games series: They improved a lot of the writing because it is not restricted to the POV of Katniss (which means less love triangle,more President Snow, What is going on outside Katniss's life, and more interesting characters than that dweeb Gale.) and the filmakers nailed the ending better to the series than the author of said books.

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Wraithtek

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Not exactly, but there a number of movies that I've seen and enjoyed before reading the book (or not reading the book at all), that most fans of the books seem to loathe. Hitchhiker's Guide and Watchmen, being the foremost examples. While I haven't read Watchmen yet (it... seems like something that might be hard to get into, if you weren't into comics at that time), I have since read a fair chunk of the Hitchhiker's Guide series.

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ShaggE

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Y'know, I have, but I'll be damned if I can remember what it was right now. I think I even reviewed it in the movie rating thread. I want to say it was Horns, but my memory tells me the book was better, even though I thought the movie did a surprisingly excellent job.

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Hunkulese

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I think Big Fish was a better movie than book.

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BoccKob

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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

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Rebel_Scum

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Not necessarily better but on par. Like LotR, Fight Club, Trainspotting are very good books and movies. I know there's more I've read and watched but can't really remember.

I remember reading The Firm just to watch the movie afterwards and compare book to movie directly, they really butchered the ending which in the book was so much more exciting and gripping than the movie. It was an ok movie but the book was better.

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Brackstone

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I think Jurassic Park is better than the book. There are certain aspects of the book that are still excellent, but overall the film is a great improvement on an already fantastic book. Particularly, the changes to Hammond's character really elevate the rest of the film.

I'd also say Children of Men is good as a book, but an absolute masterpiece as a film.

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LocoRocker

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The Godfather was in my opinion much better movie than the book by Mario Puzo

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Hunter5024

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#9  Edited By Hunter5024

I prefer The Lord of The Rings movies to the books. The actors were able to infuse a lot of personality into characters who weren't particularly interesting in the novels, and I think the cuts they made tightened up the story. I don't need Tom Bombadil in my life. Although the first movie could've handled Boromir a lot better, especially the theatrical version.

Also The Princess Bride movie is better than the book. The framing device isn't as invasive or annoying, and the acting really brought the characters to life.

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hatking

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Oh yeah. Jurassic Park comes to mind immediately. I like the book, but I think considering the differences between the two, the movie sort of works better. The stuff trimmed out for the movie were the parts of the book that I thought were meandering. Also, like every Stanley Kubrick movie. He was a fucking cinematic genius though, and those were barely the same stories in some cases.

There are more than a fair share of book adaptations that stray so significantly from their source material, and Kubrick's work fits here, that they are basically a totally new thing. The comparison sort of becomes this weird pissing contest about which medium people think is more respectable or about how "that hack didn't understand the themes!"

Adaptation is actually a much more complicated art, as evident by how few good movie video games there are, than people are willing to admit. 1:1 is a very boring method of transitioning something to another medium, typically. The steps taken to make something its own, while attempting to appease a core audience, keep producers happy, and not completely ostracize the original creative, are probably pretty tough.

Personally, I like when a book I enjoyed becomes something new on screen. Or, if it is telling the same story, they manage it in a method that could only be accomplished with the strengths of that specific medium.

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Spoonman671

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#11  Edited By Spoonman671

Has nobody mentioned The Shining?

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Yummylee

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#12  Edited By Yummylee

Goodfellas perhaps, since it's basically a straight adaptation of Wise Guy to the point where if you see the movie you've basically read the book. And I think it made for a more entertaining movie than it did a book.

Donnie Brasco maaaybeeee. This is actually the opposite in that the movie takes a lot of liberties from the book it's based on. Which in turn perhaps made for a better story, but of course the book is a (theoretically) more accurate depiction of Joe Pistone himself. Donnie Brasco is a much better movie to watch anywhoo than it is a book to read.

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butano

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Not exactly, but there a number of movies that I've seen and enjoyed before reading the book (or not reading the book at all), that most fans of the books seem to loathe. Hitchhiker's Guide and Watchmen, being the foremost examples. While I haven't read Watchmen yet (it... seems like something that might be hard to get into, if you weren't into comics at that time), I have since read a fair chunk of the Hitchhiker's Guide series.

With Watchmen I thought the movie was extremely faithful to the book, with the exception of the ending which, honestly, made a helluva lot more sense in the movie than in the book. The only thing that the movie didn't have was the Tales of the Black Freighter comic story, but that was added as a bonus feature on the DVD release if I recall correctly.

Haven't actually read it, but I've heard Forrest Gump was a way better movie than book.

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rorie

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I'm confident that Ready Player One will be better than the book. The Martian might be up there. Waking the Dead's close. Hmm, I'm sure there are others, too; I'd have to cogitate a bit, though.

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CreepingDeath0

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The Road. I absolutely love the film. The book is the most poorly written piece of crap I've ever placed in front of my eyeballs.

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mercutio123

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Jaws and Jurassic Park for me. Both those films condensed their respective books down to their core and are bloody fantastic for it. Jaws in particular.

Also The Lord of the Rings. Amazing work they did with those films. And amazing how they did the exact opposite with the Hobbit movies.

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YesIndeed

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#17  Edited By YesIndeed

@butano:I thought the movie ending made no sense.

There's a scene in the movie where Manhattan reacts very poorly to the idea that he gave a few people cancer. His reaction is broadcast on television. Now everyone's supposed to believe he'd blow up an entire city?

Book was definitely better than the movie, even without considering some of the dreadful performances.

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BaneFireLord

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The Bourne Identity and The Wizard of Oz. I also enjoyed the Lord of the Rings movies far more than the books, which I respect more than I actually like.

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AdequatelyPrepared

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The Shining. The way in which the book decides to end (spoilers: The Overlook literally blows up) is such a far cry from the initial dread and tension, which the film follows through on almost perfectly.

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fisk0

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#20  Edited By fisk0  Moderator

Kinda leaning towards Starship Troopers. The book had some really interesting stuff that the movie never touched on. And power armor - but as a whole, I still enjoyed the movie a lot more.

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alistercat

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I've been listening to the Harry Potter audio books, and realised that I much prefer the 'Harry Potter universe' that exists in my head from the books, movies and merchandise than just what was written in the books. The scene in the 4th book where Cedric Diggory dies is powerful, but contains pretty sparse descriptions. In the film the weight of the scene was intensified for me by the shift in audio from eerie silence to the crowd roaring when they teleport back. Both characters covered in mud and dirt. The way Daniel Radcliffe clings to the body and refuses to let go. It adds so much to how I feel about the story being told. I say all this as somebody who doesn't really like movies.

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Getz

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Fight Club is a better movie than a book. David Fincher is just an awesome badass while Chuck Palahniuk's writing gets old quickly, at least for me.

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N7

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Blade Runner. I'm sure I would have loved both had I read the book first then watched the movie, but that's not what happened and the movie absolutely blows the book right up out that water.

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davidh219

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Adaptation is my biggest one. The books it's based on is...fine and everything, but Kaufman turned it into one of the best meta narratives of all time.

The Lord of the Rings. The books are bloated, lack character, and have excessive description of setting. Modern epic fantasy has evolved way beyond that and it's painful to read at this point.

Watchmen...maybe? The comic had a lot of great stuff that wasn't in the movie, and I think Dave Gibbons' art is far more interesting to look at than real people. The only thing it changed was the ending, and it's a much better ending holy shit.

Misery. I dislike King's writing as a rule and Misery was one of the worst for me. It adapted amazingly though. King practically writes like a script writer anyway.

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mrcraggle

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The people that are mentioning Watchmen are fucking crazy. That movie is garbage and the ending makes less sense.

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deactivated-629ec706f0783

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Scott Pilgrim. I absolutely love that movie so much, it is a perfect amount of nerd humor, good action scenes, and fun.

I tried reading the first of the comics, i don't think I made it halfway. Now I'm not a huge comic person anyway, but I felt there was no charm at all in the book versions.

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jadegl

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I have two that come to mind -

The Prestige - liked the book, loved the movie. There were some added elements to the book that I felt were kind of needless, and the movie smartly kept the story focused like a laser on Angier and Borden.

Dolores Claiborne - I mean, the book was great. I read it in a day. But the movie is just a perfect adaptation. When I think of that story, the movie is always at the forefront. Kathy Bates is Dolores Claiborne, and that's why the movie wins.

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GERALTITUDE

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#28  Edited By GERALTITUDE

I love Androids but Blade Runner eats it alive.

I mean, they're very different, but still.

Runners up would be the Bourne movies, Jurassic Park and Starship Troopers.

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petethepanda

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#29  Edited By petethepanda

Catching Fire. Didn't love the book, but man, the movie rocked. (Strangely, I only thought that applied to the middle movie of the "trilogy." Didn't like the first movie as much as the book, and I equally disliked the third book and the 3rd&4th movies.)

+1 for Scott Pilgrim as well. (I'd kill to see Wright do an adaptation of Seconds.)

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Turambar

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Here's an alternate question: Has anyone here read a novelization of an existing movie that they enjoyed more?

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Peleus

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Read Jurassic Park: The Lost World after seeing the second Jurassic Park movie. I enjoyed it more than the movie.

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Tom_omb

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#32  Edited By Tom_omb

I've never read the children's book, but I imagine the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movie is way better then the book since everything that makes that great are the characters invented for the movie and the Phil Lord/Chris Miller brand of humor. Not to disparage the book, but from what I have seen its charms seem to be the illustrations and the novelty of food weather.

This is a tough question to answer, I can't think of a lot of books I read before seeing the movie. It's hard to separate the book from the movie if I read it afterwards.

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Spoonman671

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RichardQuarisa

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@adequatelyprepared: It's always been crazy to me that Stephen King hates the movie so much. Sure the movie ditches the alcoholism angle that made the book special, but in every other respect the movie is far superior. That movie scares the shit out of me while when I read the book last year I was laughing at most of the "scary" parts.

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ViciousBearMauling

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The Shining and Fight Club for sure.

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notnert427

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The Green Mile was better than the books, even though I enjoyed the books a great deal.

Also, if The Shawshank Redemption counts, that definitely bears mentioning.

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Devil240Z

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Every one. Movies are dope. Books are lame.

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BisonHero

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Minority Report is a much better movie than the good-but-not-very-thrilling time travel short story by Philip K. Dick that it is based on.

Adaptation is my biggest one. The books it's based on is...fine and everything, but Kaufman turned it into one of the best meta narratives of all time.

The Lord of the Rings. The books are bloated, lack character, and have excessive description of setting. Modern epic fantasy has evolved way beyond that and it's painful to read at this point.

Watchmen...maybe? The comic had a lot of great stuff that wasn't in the movie, and I think Dave Gibbons' art is far more interesting to look at than real people. The only thing it changed was the ending, and it's a much better ending holy shit.

Misery. I dislike King's writing as a rule and Misery was one of the worst for me. It adapted amazingly though. King practically writes like a script writer anyway.

I agree with this assessment of Lord of the Rings.

I think the movie version of Watchmen definitely has a simpler ending, with the same goal of "monumental disaster that freaks out Americans and Soviets alike", but doesn't require nearly the same elaborate amount of setup that the comic version had.

My issue with the movie version of Watchmen is the direction. In the comic, the violence isn't really fun violence; the Comedian is an old guy and gets the shit kicked out of him in his apartment then thrown out a window; in the movie, it's a Cool Guy Action Scene (TM) where the Comedian puts up a bit of a fight and has all kinds of fight choreography, and it doesn't get the same brutal sense of this retired guy past his prime (who was a real shitty asshole in his prime) getting a thorough beating that maybe he does or doesn't deserve. In the comic, the handful of times Silk Specter II and Night Owl II randomly go back to their old ways and beat up a bunch of thugs, they're kinda winded but shocked at how effective they still are at it, and I think they generally beat them up nonlethally (Rorschach is more the "murder everybody" type), but in the movie in like the initial alleyway scene Silk Spectre like grabs a dude's knife and jams it in his own neck, and Night Owl like snaps a dude's neck. And it's all slow-mo Cool Guy Action Scene (TM). I guess overall, I think the movie makes certain characters way more bloodthirsty than they ever were in the comics, and the whole movie largely revels in the violence when the comic book really doesn't have a lot of panels that are like "here's a cool shot of Night Owl uppercutting a guy!" Also the movie cuts out a lot of the backstory of Silk Spectre I and II and Night Owl I and II, to the point that I think it's a lot harder to relate to Silk Spectre II in the movie. It would be one thing if the movie were trying to be its own adaptation, but it's not; it's like a scene for scene, line for line remake of the comic in a lot of ways, except where it gets a lot of the tone and character attitudes completely wrong, or doesn't give enough personal history on some of the characters for them to be relatable at all.

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LawGamer

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The Godfather. The movie did a better job of zeroing in on the Corleone Family. The book had a couple of weird tangents like a whole part in Vegas with Johnny Fontane that was so disconnected from the rest of the novel it felt like it should have been two books.

Jurassic Park, maybe. That one's tough because the book and movie are such totally different beasts. The book invested a lot into making the science behind the park plausible, which was cool but would have been boring to do in the movie.

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TheHT

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@turambar said:

Here's an alternate question: Has anyone here read a novelization of an existing movie that they enjoyed more?

Pitch Black

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LiamEyers

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I found Naked Lunch too hard to continue reading (I didn't even get to the reputedly gross bits, just couldn't cope with the stream of consciousness prose and deliberate lack of structure). Pulling an entertaining movie out of the book whilst keeping enough of the beats that it's recognisable to the people who've read it is quite an achievement.

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druv

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Yes, Kamikaze Girls (Shimotsuma Monogatari). A friend likes the book better for going a bit deeper into the culture, but the movie is directed in a wonderfully surreal way that still maintains the core strength of the girls' relationship.

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Sarnecki

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#43  Edited By Sarnecki

Jaws, jurassic park and the shining. Easily.

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paulmako

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Game of Thrones is so much more enjoyable on film.

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Svenzon

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The Godfather is pretty much the ur-example. I've tried reading the novel and it's not very good.

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Dragon_Puncher

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Kinda bending the question a bit, but the Ghost in the Shell movies and especially Stand Alone Complex, are much better than any of the manga's.

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Humanity

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Passion of the Christ was way more interesting than the book.

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Jimbo

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Fellowship of the Ring for sure (though Tolkien still deserves huge credit for the story in any format ofc). Two Towers maybe. Return of the King movie fumbled pretty badly imo and kinda missed the point.

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Zevvion

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Yes, all of them. Because fuck books. Seriously. If you put some lube in there you can go to town. Can you do that with film? Nope. Film is classy, books are sluts. This is the unopposed truth.

More seriously, I don't read books. It takes too much time and I generally enjoy movies better.

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deactivated-61665c8292280

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No Country for Old Men.