I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

“People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning. ”
~Steven Spielberg

This 300 word thing is going to kill me here, so bear with me.

Maybe it’s because I wrote my first report on Steven Spielberg when I was in fourth grade and got a camcorder when I was in sixth grade, or maybe it’s just because I really love movies, but to me everything I see can be a movie. There are plenty of sources of inspiration to make a film. Not to rely in to many Spielberg references, but his first film Amblin is quite simply a silent film(music accompaniment) about two young kids hitchhiking through California to the beach in the 60’s. There’s more to it, but it’s a rather simple premise, yet it’s a wonderful film.

So as far as choosing to make an adaptation of a novel, it needs to be done, because it’s that moving to you, not for the hell of it or money (dun dun dun).

I read all of Ludlum’s books in middle school. Loved them. Saw the Bourne movies loved them, despite the fact that they butchered the beautiful story Ludlum created. I’ll skip the first film because it actually follows the book a bit more. Paul Greengrass directed the 2nd and 3rd films. Killed the books. Kept a few names and that is it. He had a vision for the films and it works wonderfully and I’m fine with that.

Sexiest Man Alive
I’m a fan of Ian Fleming. His books have been made into films (Connery FTW!). Some good some bad, none of them really faithful to the books. Some of them (Brosnan era) made new shit up for the character, because they ran out of books. Still great films (mostly), because they had a ‘vision’. There really was something to them.

Sir Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter
Read all of Thomas Harris’s Hannibal books. Hannibal series: amazing books and films. What they cut for the film works (Anthony Hopkins = amazing).

This is going over the word limit so feel free to ignore this ending. An example of a film currently out that’s an adaptation and is amazing is Kick-Ass. I also advise you all to watch Amblin.

~Note Trailers contain Mature content~


Posted on May 6, 2011, in Old Nic At The Movies Posts. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Your criteria reminds me a lot of what Andy said in his blog. I agree that if a director has a vision for their adaptation of a book…then it would be okay to stray from the story a bit. However…the idea does make me a bit nervous. There are so many books that I have grown attached to and it worries me that a director may stray too far from the original ideas that I fell in love with. I have already been let down a few times when going to see adaptations of books that I loved….more than just a few times actually. So I have really just decided to separate the stories in books that I have read to their adaptation on film. I mean it is not like I am going to completely forget the original story while watching it…but this way makes watching the film far more enjoyable because I am not constantly let down. I also wonder whether the popularity of the book has anything to do with how far a director can stray from the story and still have a finished product that is well received? I seem to drag Harry Potter into each of these comments…so here I go again…but I did NOT like the last film at all. The characterization of Dumbledore was all wrong and they added in scenes that were never in the book…many of my friends felt the same way…yet the movie was still quite popular. I don’t really know where I am going with all of this but over all…you make a good point!

  2. I agree with Miatta…like I said in another comment, straying too far from the original idea can prove to be costly for any director because by labeling the movie an adaptation of a particular book, viewers would expect to see that book in the movie. Calling a movie an adaptation and then doing something completely different is almost like taking advantage of the book’s popularity and status to sell your own idea. Then there is the potential of disappointing all of the book’s fans and having a lot of people hate you. For me its a lot safer to use a different title and say ‘Inspired by the book….’

  3. Nic I agree with you. That’s similar to what I said in my blog, that just because a movie doesn’t precisely portray a novel doesn’t mean it isn’t a good movie/adaptation. Afterall the term is ADAPTATION, meaning change or alteration, so I suppose the mark of a good director is a good visionary. Everyone takes different things away from novels so when you and I read the same novel we may have different visions. The same goes for a director.

  4. Sooooo…. I would love to leave a perfectly cogent, film-oriented, discussion-based comment like the ones above, but I just gotta say I hated the latter two Bourne movies. I’ve actually written far too extensively about why, but to briefly put it into the language of adaptation which we’re trying to use: Paul Greengrass had a vision of the film and that was okay. His vision just sucked. That is all. I’m a pretty big fan of, you know, actually being able as a viewer to follow the action on screen. The Bourne Identity was a great movie because the shots were wide, the camera was steady, the plot was compelling (if different from the spectacularly muddled books, love them too but they’re ridiculous), the actors were competent and the photography was generally very bright and clear. All these were very good things. Then Paul Greengrass takes over and suddenly it’s all dark, blurry night shots and crowds and a wiggly, jiggly, hummingbird-on-speed approach to the camera. I don’t mind the flashback sequences, but did they HAVE to be so spectacularly hard to understand what was happening? I understand they’re the fragmented memories of a man with severe amnesia, but there’s gotta be a more viewer-friendly method of showing off then that!
    Anyway. /end rant.

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