Movies to Read, Books to Watch
Conventional wisdom tells us that "the movie is never as good as the book." While that's certainly true of anything that Isaac Asimov has written and/or anything Will Smith has acted in, there are still plenty of movies that are not only just as good as the book they are based on, but also sometimes even better.
Such As . . .
Fight Club--Chuck Palahniuk's book is fast-paced, insane, and totally awesome. The movie, while rearranging some of the book's structure, employs the use of voiceover to keep the feel of the book alive.
A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick, is made in an animated form over live-action film, allowing the director to fully explore Dick's drug-addled world to its fullest extent. This is a very faithful adaptation of the book, with large sections of dialogue taken straight from the source.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas--speaking of drugs, Terry Gilliam's version of Hunter Thompson's book also takes several scenes word-for-word from the book, without slowing down the frenetic pace of Thompson's writing. The movie is further helped along by a superb cast.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory--although the new version of the movie (called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) is closer to the original book in terms of word-for-word adaptation, the Willy Wonka version was actually written by Roald Dahl, which allowed him to stick to the spirit of things.
Noir X Two
The Maltese Falcon--Dashiell Hammett's short novel is so noir that the filmmakers had an easy time following along, scene by scene, when they turned the mystery novel into a classic movie that still stands as an excellent film.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a large undertaking, and of course a lot of the original material had to be chopped in order to keep the films from being too long. But even still, Peter Jackson made three movies that adhere well to the books, keeping the story well-paced and beautiful.
Which movies, adapted from books, did you enjoy? Stieg Larsson? How about the Princess Bride or Wonder Boys?
Josh Pearce belongs to the nightshade family. While he is botanically a fruit, he is considered a vegetable for culinary purposes (as well as by the United States Supreme Court, see Nix v. Hedden).