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Listomatic: Booklisting [Updated]

First things first - a new day, a new theme over at Les Nessman. I'm not that happy with today's story, but there it is. And always be sure to read the comments. Some of our readers' stories are really spectacular.

I missed Monday is List Day at ASV yesterday due to the holiday, so I'll move it on over here to Tuesday. Which works out well, seeing as that a Tuesday morning after a three day weekend is a hellish time to come up with original content.

So I'm going to finally do the book list thing I promised. Except I'm swamped at work, so I'm only offering blank lists for you to fill in. I'll make my lists later on, though I included a few to start you off. I'll add more as soon as the monkey lets go of my chain.

We'll start with these:

Good Books that were made into good movies

  • The Green Mile
  • Simon Birch (which was made from A Prayer for Owen Meany)
  • Charlotte's Web (so, it's a cartoon. I still cried)
  • Freaky Friday (the original movie. BEETLOAF!)
  • Jumanji (I didn't like the movie at first, but it grew on me)
  • Holes

Movies that are better than the books they were adapted from

  • Jaws (the book read like a tawdry romance novel)
  • The Godfather (Holy hell did that book suck)

Books that are better than the movies made from them

  • The Shining (just about any Kind flick, really, but this one in particular, especially because they left out the topiary scene).
  • The Natural (I love this movie, but the book had so much more depth to it)
  • The Firm (Wow. One of the worst movies I have ever seen)
  • Striptease (I really liked this book. The movie? Dreck. Horrific.)
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Timeline (they destroyed this book)
  • The General's Daughter
  • Jurassic Park
  • Because of Winn Dixie

[I'll keep updating, time permitting]


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There was a made-for-TV version of the Shining that had the topiary scene in it. The guy from Wings was in it and he didn't ham it up like Jack did in his version. "Here's Johnnie!" Oh pu-lease.

A few initial thoughts:

Good Books that were made into good movies

*Lord of the Rings (even with some of Peter Jackson's screwing with key plot points)
*Black Hawk Down
*Disclosure (Crichton's books usually adapt well)
*The Harry Potter books fared well on screen
*Big Trouble (seriously, go see it. The book was hilarious).

Movies that are better than the books they were adapted from

*Apocalypse Now (from Heart of Darkness, which I just finished re-reading, and which is no fun to read)
*I never read the Shawshank Redemption, but I understand it's a pretty sparse short story compared to the film

Books that are better than the movies made from them

*Bonfire of the Vanities (I've only seen bits of the movie, but the casting alone changed too many of the key plot elements)
*Besides the Firm, Grisham's other big early books, like A Time To Kill and The Pelican Brief

Good Books that were made into good movies:
The Hunt For Red October

Movies that are better than the books they were adapted from:
The Ten Commandments

Books that are better than the movies made from them:
Payback (by Stark/Westlake)

Good Books--Good Movies

A River Runs Through it
A Room with a View

Good Books--So So Movies

The World According to Garp
I am David (North to Freedom)

Every movie based on a Philip K. Dick story/book is substantially worse than the source material. The same is true is for virtually everything adapted from the graphic novels of Alan Moore. I expect the pattern will hold for the upcoming screen versions of Watchmen and V for Vendetta. Some things probably should just never be made into movies.

One exception is LA Confidential which I also thought essentially unfilmable, but was made into a suprsingly good movie. Not as good as the book mind you, but a damn fine movie nontheless.

Good Books - Good Movies :
Das Boot
LA Confidential
Alice in Wonderland
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Movies better then Books :
Jackie Brown (adapted from Rum Puch)

Books better then Movies :
The Right Stuff
Johnny Mnemonic

Have to agree on Shawshank Redemption as being better than the book.

Stand By Me was as good, if not better than the book version, The Body.

Haven't seen Apt Pupil, so I don't know if it's 3 out of 3 good movies out of that one book.

(Crichton's books usually adapt well)

Crank, you obviously didn't see Timeline. The movie was almost incomprehesible even for people who read the book.

Well, I didn't read the Timeline book, either.

One I haven't read or seen but that most people seem to agree was butchered as a film is Dune.

The Wizard of Oz was better as a movie.

Presumed Innocent was a good book and a good movie.

Movies that are better than the books they were adapted from: Being There, by Jerzy Kosinski.
Read the book once when I was 18, thought it was patronizing and full of itself (strangely, just like its author). The movie was a perfect example of a director making something more and better out of a book than was there to begin with.

Using this wonderful resource, here is my list.

Good Books Good Movies:
-Jurrasic Park (only the first one)
-Two Nasa Movies - Apollo 13 (Lost Moon) and October Sky (Rocket Boys).
-Agree about Lord of the Rings, especially FOTR.
-The Joy Luck Club
-Gone With The Wind
-Silence of the Lambs
-The Outsiders
-A River Runs Through It
-Searching For Bobby Fischer

Movies Better than Books:
-Forest Gump. Michele, I know you don't care for that one, so I think you'd REALLY hate the book. I know I did.
-Cannery Row. But that's just me.
-Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Book Better Than Movie:
-Because of Winn Dixie
-Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (The first movie, and I SURE the Johnyy Depp Movie, too)
-Cat in the Hat
-Frankenstien (all versions except Young Frankenstein, which doesn't count)
-Of Mice and Men (since I dissed Steinbeck over Cannery Row)

I'm just fervently hoping that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ends up on the first list. It was my favorite book when I was little, and I still love it. Heck, I read it to my daughter when she was still in the womb.

I rented the old BBC version Friday night to help indoctrinatepique the interest of the kids. Man, it was horrible. I'll be nice and not comment on "Lucy's" appearance, but I will say that the final battle looked like a slight skirmish between musical theatre troupes, replete with proto-Cool World-style cartoon demons and the cinematography you'd expect from a 1988-era camcorder. Also, the actor playing Edmund looked like he could kick "Peter's" ass, which shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the clear sibling hierarchy in the book.

In short, it would have been great if I had been really, really, stoned. Since that wouldn't be cool with the kids, I eagerly await a properly executed big budget.

Book better than movie - Dune! I love the book, but the movie was just awful.

Good book, bad movie
Crichton's Congo - horrid, horrid movie...

Most perplexing adaptation
Stephen King's The Lawnmower Man - They used the title, then wrote an entirely different story, and still tried to tack SK's name onto it (he eventually had his name removed).

Hubris -

There is an animated miniseries of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, which I fondly remember from my childhood (though, to this day, I am still a little creeped out by the animated Mr. Tumnus)

No One of Consequence,

Agreed! I remember loving that version through my young eyes, but I haven't seen it forever.

Yes, I've seen the animated version. It was....ok. My sister said it was on last week and hasn't held up well.

Ah, to again have the taste I had when I was a four-year-old, when just about everything seemed awesome. Thanks for the heads up Michele, I'll avoid rewatching it so as not to taint my extremely fuzzy and inaccurate, but pleasant, memory of it.

Even the animated Lord of the Rings was fun if you were young enough when you saw it.

I had such high hopes for Timeline the movie. The book was really, really fun. The movie was really, really not.

I loved that book so much, which makes the crapload of a movie all the more disappointing.

The book of The Princess Bride is incredibly long-winded and depressing. I don't recommend even bothering.

And I totally agree on Timeline. It's one of my favorites, and... yeah. It's a shame they never made a movie out of it. [cough]

Not suprisingly hollywood always has to put thier own twists and glitz onto whatever they touch. I rarely knowingly watch a movie that Ive read the book for. BBC and British do a lot better job staying closer to the real feel of the book not having the budget or concern with the "pretty" people. There was a great adaptation of the Len Dieghton Hook,line and Sinker trilogy done years ago with I think Ian Holmes that was very true to the books. Reminded me alot of the Alex Guiness, George Smiley of The leCarre novels.

Another Good adaptation was the The Secret Agent from the Conrad novel that had Robin Williams in it.

The Sum of All Fears is a much better book than a movie.

Great site by the way!