Fave Film Origins – WIF @ the Movies

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Adapted From

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Lots of iconic stuff is adapted from other iconic stuff – Jaws the movie from “Jaws” the novel, the Pirates Of The Caribbean skeleton monsters from Keith Richards, and the works of Terry Gilliam from full-blown dementia.

But not these. These iconic works are adapted from … well, weird crap. Crap you’d never think to adapt to film, unless you were on an obscene amount of cocaine, which is the only explanation we have for these:

10. The Producers (2005)

Moviegoers could be forgiven for being a little confused about 2005’s The Producers, an adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name. Or was it an adaptation of the 1968 Mel Brooks film? Both? Who knows?

The 2005 film is a rare successful example of a recursive adaptation – that is, an adaptation to medium A from medium B, which was originally adapted from medium A. The 1968 film was adapted into the Broadway musical, which was then adapted back to film in 2005. The, um, producers of the 2005 film never even looked at Brooks’ original – it was wholly an adaptation of the musical, which had been running since 2001.

It was a great adaptation but, if it gets adapted back into a stage play based solely on it, we think that the fabric of reality might start to get a little wobbly.

9. An Inconvenient Truth

After his defeat in the 2000 Presidential election, Al Gore returned to a topic that had fascinated him for years – global warming. He finished compiling a slide showon the subject that he had started years earlier and took it on the road, giving his presentation to hundreds of audiences over several years.

In 2005 the presentation was seen by Laurie David, a television producer and part-time environmental activist, who somehow got the ball rolling on convincing Gore to turn it into a movie. Now, Gore was very passionate about his subject, but was not exactly known as a dynamic speaker. Yet instead of getting, say, The Rock to narrate, he chose to do it himself.

The 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth is largely just a filmed version of Gore’s presentation, making it the only film we can think of to be adapted from a lecture. We won’t argue with the potential importance of its message, but we will argue that its success was probably singular, and that “Adapted Lectures” do not need to become a regular thing.

8. Adaptation

Ask any screenwriter to adapt a narrative-free rumination on orchid poaching and life, like Susan Orlean’s “The Orchid Thief”, and you’ll likely end up with pages and pages of unusable garbage, and a screenwriter hanging by his neck in the closet. Unless the writer is Charlie Kaufman, in which case you’ll end up with an epic mindscrew containing Nicolas Cage’s two best performances, filmed from one of the greatest screenplays ever written.

Kaufman turned the unadaptable novel, itself based on Orlean’s original New Yorker article, into a meditation on the nature of adaptation itself – not only in the literary but the evolutionary sense – with himself as the star, a screenwriter struggling to adapt a screenplay which, of course, will eventually be made into the movie you’re watching.

It’s an approach only Kaufman could have pulled off, and whoever’s bright idea it was to make “The Orchid Thief” into a movie should thank their lucky stars that Kaufman was their writer.

7. He’s Just Not That Into You

This 2009 Affleck-and-Aniston wankfest is a pretty standard ensemble rom-com on the surface. It’s one of a handful (a very small handful, mind) of ill-advised self-help book adaptations- this one a 2004 Oprah Book Of The Month that was inspired by, O Holy Grail of creative inspirations, a line of dialogue from “Sex And The City.”

The book is essentially a long series of really obvious telltale signs that the person you’re pursuing is – wait for it – not into you. How to pad this out into a feature film instead of, say, a damn commercial? Why, by turning several of its points into a series of (supposedly) comic vignettes in the style of a bland, vacuous rom-com with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Aniston!

Needless to say, the movie did not do very well critically or commercially. Moviegoers were just not that into it, and even though that joke ss ridiculously obvious, but it was right there. We’re not even sorry.

6. The Box

For his next trick, following the epic argument starter Southland Tales, Richard Kelly turned to an adaptation of a classic … okay, an underrated … fine, a really obscure story, whose most well-known version is as a 15-minute segment from the 80’s Twilight Zone revival called “Button, Button,” which itself was adapted from a very short (8 pages!) story by Richard Matheson.

The story is too thin to fill out 15 minutes of TV, let alone a feature film, and the film itself got very mixed reviews, to say the absolute least. You wonder why labyrinthine-plot-meister Kelly would turn to it at all rather than, you know, just coming up with another of his wackaloon original stories. Sadly, it’s starting to look less and less like Kelly is ever going to make another movie as unbelievably awesome as Donnie Darko.

5. The Shop Around The Corner/You’ve Got Mail

Quintessential chick flick You’ve Got Mail is essentially an updated version of the 1940 romantic comedy The Shop Around The Corner, repackaged as a vehicle for Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, and co-starring AOL instead of the US Postal Service.

The earlier film was adapted, for some reason, from an obscure Hungarian play called “Parfumerie” that was never even translated into English, let alone performed for English speaking audiences. Many of the plot tropes have become standard issue for rom-coms, so the next time you’re watching one, and find yourself wondering why in the heck all of these movies have virtually the same plot, you can thank Hungarian playwright Miklós László. Or go back in punch his lights out; that works too.

4. The Fast And The Furious

Vin Diesel’s surprise hit from 2001 was loosely based on a Vibe Magazine article about illegal street racing, titled “Racer X.” The 1998 article chronicled the underground drag racing scene, which had been spreading throughout Southern California in the early 1990’s. While we suppose a movie about the scene makes sense, we’re surprised there was apparently no other source material to adapt. For that matter, we’re surprised an adaptation was even necessary.

Just one in a long, long series of one film based on Vibe friggin’ Magazine, The Fast And The Furious spawned a ridiculous series of five films (soon to be six) that are still going strong, almost like an engine of some kind.

3. I Know What You Did Last Summer

This 1997 film is known mainly for ripping off the vibe of the previous year’s Scream – perhaps because it was written by the same guy – and also for Jennifer Love Hewitt’s breasts. Like Scream, it’s a kind of combination slasher flick / whodunit with a twist ending, and it’s also pretty damn gory.

Unlike Scream, or practically any other slasher movie, it’s adapted from a novel. And not just any novel; the kind you used to order from Scholastic catalogs when you were a kid. Yes, this movie was originally a Young Adult novel – from freakin’ 1973.

Of course, the novel did not feature any gory murders (one character was shot, but survived), and being a YA novel, its focus is largely on the romantic relationship between the female protagonist and her hunky boyfriend (giggle!) Which begs the question: why didn’t the filmmakers just come up with an original story for their slasher flick? Why adapt any novel, let alone this one?

2. Braveheart

The 1995 historical film Braveheart is fondly remembered as one of the last films in which Mel Gibson was undisputedly awesome. It is NOT typically remembered for being based on a 15th century epic poem entitled – we kid you not –  “The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace” by a poet known as Blind Harry. Not only did we not make that up, we can’t even pronounce it.

As one of the only historical records of Wallace, the poem’s accounts of his deeds were leaned on heavily for the film’s story, even though almost as little is known about Blind Harry as about Wallace.

1. Live Free Or Die Hard

The Die Hard films have a history of adapting weird crap, but none this weird: the 2007 installment takes its premise from a 1997 (timely!) article in Wired magazine by John Carlin. The article describes “war games,” of the sort meant to anticipate and respond to an information attack, the type that wouldn’t be possible for several years.

Originally set to be adapted to film in 1999, as its own entity, the project stalled until it was absorbed (like so many other things) by the Die Hard franchise. The PG-13 rated film notoriously failed to please fans, or anyone else really, with its bloodless violence, neutered dialogue and absurd explosions. Fortunately, the 2013 installment A Good Day To Die Hard is rated R and – get ready for this – is not an adaptation of anything, but an original story for the first time in franchise history.


Fave Film Origins –

WIF @ the Movies

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 92

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 92

…“And what happened to Lois Lane?”

“You mean Sweet Polly Purebred,” Roy’s corrective cartoon analogy…

Dancing Lois & Superman by edsfox – deviantart.com

For Roy, sleep come mercifully quick, dreams not so sweet. —

“Mr. Crippen,” the day custodian had been dispatched to look for the New Mayflower Mission Director, “wake up, they are looking for you.”Image result for the seventh day

He looks at the blood splattered wearable tech on his wrist, “Okay its 06:30, even God rested on the seventh day.”

“It isn’t that you aren’t supposed to sleep sir, it’s that no one knew where you were, after what happened and all…”

Francine  I mean Miss Bouchette and I were taking a blow, she has left, I am here and New Mayflower is safely on its way to Mars, right my friend?”

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Iconic still from the 1902 Georges Méliès silent film Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon)

“Last I heard it absolutely dusted the moon on the way by and Commander Stanley reports that spirits are high… except he was curious about what all the fire and explosions were.”

“Just a big-bang sendoff compliments of our friends from Korea and Talibanistan.” This guy still doesn’t know what Roy was talking about, as Sunday bleeds into Monday.

“Oh, by the way, Braden King checked in at 0:600 and he would like you call him when you have time.”

“Time—so precious so fleeting and he seems to work through every second of it.”

Call him Double Duty King… and Roy is advised to answer any call, any time.

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Roy brings himself into the flow of the daylight reality, tips his imaginary hat to the custodian and completes the circuit that sends his image and voice out to King Ranch, the finest 2500 acres this side of Venus.

Braden is waiting on his end of the 5×5 screen, “Is the Roy Crippen Action Hero?” He has seen the raw security video of the brouhaha early this morning. “And what happened to Lois Lane?”

“You mean Sweet Polly Purebred,” Roy’s corrective cartoon analogy; Superman’s girlfriend downgraded to Underdog’s poochie pal.

“OOOooo easy buddy, I just happened to see you protecting her from that copter-full of bad guys.”

“You mean there is a digital record of that stuff?”die-hard-001

“Don’t you dare act like nothing happened Crippen! That was the greatest footage ever, needs a title, like DIE HARD MARS.”

“Oh swell, we have real heroes waiting for us to pick them up and I am a candidate for the Medal of Honor, come on?”

“Leave your modesty behind in your office Roy, ‘cause right now you are the hottest thing going, every device on Earth has your image #1 on iTunes 10G,” in an instantaneous society, word travels at the speed-of-light. “Every network morning news show has been bugging me to get you to appear on their show and you can blame Sweet Polly for the pub. Missy Bouchette’s been on the air here in the Tri-county for two hours, giving her up-close-&-personal tale of intrigue, danger, and heroism.”

Roy does not respond; Braden cannot keep still….


THE RETURN TRIP

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Episode 92


page 114

 

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Contents TRT

Book to Movie

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Book to Movie

“THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR”  may well be made in a movie someday and it will be better than the book. The producers will have to change the title (too long, way too long). Let’s speculate movie titles:

  • TALLAHASSEE  TAKEDOWN
  • SLAVE TO SURGEON
  • THE UPSTAIRS MAID
  • THE MAYOR OF QUINCY
  • ALPHA AND OMEGA

I would like to be part of the production, but will probably only get a mention in the credits.

Let’s see how other author offerings fared:

Top 10 Movies Better Than The Book

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As a general rule, movie adaptations of books are at worst horrible, and at best somewhere hovering above mediocre. It’s difficult to shoehorn a book’s numerous plot points, and beloved characters, into 90-120 minutes of running time. Heck, just look at the complaints about the inconsequential details left out of the various Harry Potter books.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. These are the top ten movies that are even better than the book.

10. LA Confidential

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No one writes Los Angeles quite like James Ellroy, who knows the tone required for high quality noir about as well as anyone since Raymond Chandler. But if you try diving into an Ellroy book without ever having read one before, you may be a bit thrown by his very unique voice and storytelling style. His LA Confidential tells the intertwining stories of three very different cops, after a brutal murder that may or may not have been drug-related, and it quickly gets a lot more complex than that. When the movie version was released, it saw instant critical success and, over the years, has gained traction as one of the finest films of the 1990s. It’s flawlessly acted, exceptionally paced and plotted, and ends with a thrilling climax at an abandoned motel between the good guys and the bad guys.

9. Stand By Me

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Normally when you think of Stephen King adaptations, you cringe and try to forget ever seeing stuff like The Langoliers or The Stand. Typically, King books that get turned into movies are cheesy made-for-TV schlock but, in the case of Stand By Me, based on the novella The Body, a terrific young cast was assembled to create one of the greatest coming-of-age movies ever filmed. The simple fact that they managed to assemble a group of child actors who weren’t just adequate, but really good – and yes, we’re including Corey Feldman here – is an incredible feat. The novella was well written, but nowhere near as memorable as the film.

8. Die Hard

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First things first: yes, Die Hard was actually based on a book. In fact, the now-iconic protagonist (named John Leland in the books) was not originally portrayed on screen by Bruce Willis, but instead by Frank Sinatra in 1968′s The Detective. Die Hard is based on the novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, which in turn was written simply because Thorp had a dream about a guy being chased through a building by men with guns. Yes, that’s the entire inspiration for the book. The movie, on the other hand, is an incredible action film, and helped give birth to the modern action hero. It remains one of the greatest action films of all time.

7. Silence of the Lambs

silence-of-the-lambs-bookThe-Silence-of-the-Lambs-poster

Thomas Harris’s novel The Silence of the Lambs was a wildly popular book that continued his series featuring Hannibal Lecter, and introduced Clarice Starling. It was later adapted into a movie (obviously) that helped turn Anthony Hopkins, who had struggled to gain any footing in Hollywood, into a legitimate box office star and won Best Picture. One of the key differences between the book and the movie are that the book spends a lot more time pondering the sexual relationship and chemistry between Starling and her boss, Jack Crawford. Like, a lot of time. Hardly a conversation takes place between Lecter and Starling in which he doesn’t bring up the bubbling sexual tension between the young girl and her boss.

That’s fine for a book when you’ve got hundreds of pages to fill, but was thankfully mostly removed in the movie, because someone realized it would get a little creepy if Hopkins kept reciting entire passages of dialogue relating to Starling’s sex life. The book is great, but the tightened pace and terrific performances gives the movie a slight edge.

6. The Shining

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Hey, look, another Stephen King book that was adapted into a movie! And hint: it won’t be the last one on this list. Who said King’s books can’t make good movies? Someone remind Hollywood of that so that we can finally get a Dark Tower adaptation.


 


Anyway, The Shining has become an all-time classic horror film. Directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson, it tells the story of a man’s slow descent into madness in an isolated and snowed-in hotel. It’s hard to imagine Jack Nicholson playing crazy, we know, but just go with it. Believe it or not, the movie and book are wildly different, and we believe Kubrick’s many changes only enhanced the story. The most stark change is probably the ending, of course, as the book has Jack temporarily regain his sanity in order to try to save his son, before being blown up by the hotel’s boiler. Meanwhile, the movie concludes with Jack chasing his kid through a hedge maze, never gaining respite from his madness, and ultimately freezing to death with a really freaking creepy look on his face.

5. Jaws

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Let’s get this out of the way first: Jaws managed to both create the summer event movie and launch the career of Steven Spielberg, while giving Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider, and Richard Dreyfuss arguably their most iconic roles in their very distinguished acting careers. It was based on a novel by Peter Benchley, which was also a great success but featured some very different elements than the book. For example, the shark doesn’t die via awesome one-liner and explosion like he does in the movie, but instead just sort of peters out after getting some harpoons stuck in him. Oh, and Hooper (the Dreyfuss character) nails Chief Brody’s wife in the book, which is completely unnecessary and was rightfully deleted for the film. Hooper, probably due to karma, bites the dust in the book, which we’re glad was changed for the movie as well, because Richard Dreyfuss was just so adorable back then, wasn’t he?

4. The Shawshank Redemption

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Originally titled Rita Heyworth and the Shawshank Redemption, this story was one of four novellas contained within the Stephen King book Different Seasons, along with The Body and Apt Pupil. The novella was well-written, and the movie followed basically the same plot but, as with Stand By Me, it was enhanced tremendously by being fully realized by an impeccable cast. The movie was not a particularly rousing success upon its release (in fact, it kind of bombed), but has gained incredible success and acclaim over the years. It was a Best Picture nominee, and it could be argued should have won, thanks largely to the tremendous central performances by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Actually, forget that “arguably” thing. Any movie featuring Morgan Freeman’s narration should win every award ever.

3. The Lord of the Rings

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If you want to go down to the comments and curse us out for including Lord of the Rings right now, go ahead. We’ll wait for you to get it out of your system.

…there, feel better now? Look, we love Lord of the Rings. There’s a reason it was collectively named the greatest book of the 20th century. And while The Two Towers is superior on the page than on the screen, it could be argued that Fellowship suffers from so many tangents (including the whole ordeal with Tom Bombadil, for instance), and Return of the King’s book form was more or less an afterthought, while the movie is one of the most epic pieces of cinema ever filmed. Return of the King, the book, was relatively short and uneventful, apart from the whole Mount Doom thing. And the people who complain about the extended ending sequence of the movie would probably go crazy over the scouring of the Shire which, while one of the most beloved sequences of the books, goes on for far too long and seems anticlimactic, after everything that’s come before it.

2. The Princess Bride

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Hey, so you know that book that Peter Falk reads to a young, adorable Fred Savage in The Princess Bride? Yeah, that was actually a real book. It was written by William Goldman, who would later go on to adapt the book into the movie of the same name. Goldman is a legendary Hollywood writer, so it should come as little surprise that he was able to so brilliantly translate his novel to the big screen. The Princess Bride is one of those rare films that managed to transcend the romantic comedy, thanks in large part to its quirky dialogue, fantastical elements, and legitimately rousing adventure. It should come as no surprise that sword fights work better on screen than on the page, after all.

1. Forrest Gump

Forrest-Gump-BookForrest-Gump-movie

Forrest Gump is a strange story about a simple man who finds himself in many bizarre situations throughout modern American history. But, while the movie maintained some of the odd quirkiness and unbelievable adventures of our titular hero, the book included many, many more, and they just got weirder and weirder as the plot progressed. The movie won Best Picture over another film on this list, Shawshank Redemption and, while it could be argued it wasn’t the actual best film of the year, it was certainly a milestone picture that deserved every bit of critical acclaim that it received upon its release.

And come on, Tom Hanks and Gary Sinise absolutely knocked this one out of the park in their respective roles. Of course, while we’re getting on the book about being too weird, it might have actually been cool to watch Forrest dealing with cannibals, or traveling to a far-off planet.

Read more: http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-movies-better-than-the-book.php#ixzz2HTNBwr2M