A Conversation for Talking Point: Is The Movie Ever Better Than The Book?

harry potter & dune

Post 1

Montana Redhead (now with letters)

Well, in a month or so, the first Harry Potter movie comes out. I've seen the previews, and either I am going to love this movie, or hate it. Sorry, my vision of Harry was a little different, and Dumbeldore was thinner, and Mcgonagall was not nearly so old as Dame Maggie, although I love that woman's acting. And Hermione's hair is all wrong, and the Weasley's aren't nearly tall enough, gangly enough, or redheaded enough. Although Rubeus Hagrid looks well done...and Alan Rickman as Snape is almost as good as my mental image of Gary Oldman...

Okay, enough kvetching about harry potter. If they make a quidditch match look real enough for me, I will by into it hook, line, and sinker. I must say though, that the LOTR adaption looks better.

Now, for a movie that is extremely controversial...DUNE. Okay, so they cut out a lot of stuff. But visually, that is exactly what I was expecting...very gothic and postmodern all at the same time. And the little girl who played Alia was just scary beyond all reason. The casting in that movie was absolutely BRILLIANT. Ferrar, Jurgen Prochnow...and Patrick Stuart! Given the format of the 2 hour movie, David Lynch did a superb job. Even though he left out a lot, I must admit that I think Dune is probably the best page to screen adaption I have ever seen.


harry potter & dune

Post 2

Dinsdale Piranha

Hermione seems much prettier than she's described in the books. The Dursleys look good, although the boy doesn't look fat enough.


Dune??!!??

Post 3

The Jabberwock

OK, Dune is a brilliant film, a fantastic adaptation of the novel and so on and so forth. It also makes no sense whatsoever unless you've read the book first. All the important scenes that explain what on earth is going on don't exist. For people who've read the book, this is excellent; there's no point wasting valuable time explaining totaly obvious things about the social order that we all know. But for everyone else...

I don't think you can classify a film as better than the book if it can only be appreciated by fans of the book.


Dune??!!??

Post 4

Lizzle

Dune... don't have a very high opinion of the original movie...

How about the recently made TV miniseries, "Frank Herbert's Dune"?? What do you guys think of that? I was really thrilled with it... the acting was great, and it felt right somehow, to me- even though the effects were pretty bad (like the wind would be blowing eastward in the actors' hair, but in the painted background it was blowing westward... etc) and now they're making a sequel covering Dune Messiah & Children of Dune..

Harry Potter! I can't wait! Despite the characters not entirely looking how I imagined them, it just looks great!!! smiley - smiley Of course the actress who plays Hermione is prettier than Hermione was meant to be; couldn't have an unattractive person as a main protagonist!!! (sorry...cynical, I know)


Dune??!!??

Post 5

cafram - in the states.

Everyone's got their own idea of what characters in a book look like; one person may envisage a short plump man, while others could be picturing a fat balding t**t. The movie is /never/ going to be a as good as the book, simply because when you read a book you make the characters suit your ideals, whereas in a movie the director has gone "this is how it's going to be"...and from then on the character is the person portrayed on the screen, and not the hero in your mind.


Dune??!!??

Post 6

spinymurex

Movies are movies and books are books and I don't usually have a problem judging each on it's own merits - but I DID have a problem with David Lynch's version of Dune 'cos Kyle MacLachlan was SO far from my picture of Paul Atreides. So point taken...


Dune??!!??

Post 7

Montana Redhead (now with letters)

I said it was controversial, didn't I?!??!

Really, I think the mark of a good adaption of a book should be based on the number of fans that liked the movie. The diehard fans, after all, are the ones who know the work. Of course Dune left out all that explanitory stuff...the movie would have been six hours long. Witness the mini series on SciFi. Which I thought was atrocious, really. I kept wanting to know why the Bene Gesserits looked like they had popped out of the American Antebellum south, just having had tea on the lawn with Scarlett. And I thought the kid who played Paul would have been better cast in American Pie. So southern California. But frankly, I just think that everyone either loves or hates a film version of a book based on how closely it matches their own, extremely personal mental picture of the book.


Dune??!!??

Post 8

Mola mola

I love Dune but am not a great fan of Herbbert's writing. I thought the overall story was wonderful and the concept was great but he could really have done with an editor and an axe. A lot of passages in the book were slow and uneccesary and sometimes I felt he was trying to be a bit too clever.

I enjoyed Dune the film, very much, even though it doesn't make a lot of sense to those who have not read the book. As a previous poster said, it looked wonderful, just as I had imagined and most of the casting was excellent.

I watched the miniseries expecting to hate it but I enjoyed it in a different way. Once I decided that the painted backgrounds weren't supposed to look real and it was being presented more as a play I really got into it.

I loved the fact that they included more of the explanatory stuff about the relationships between the warring houses and the Emperor. And the inclusion fo Irulan this time was excellent. They also got Baron Harkonnen dead on in that he was much more intelligent and even more evil than presented in Lynch's version.

I agree with the previous poster about the Bene Jeserit. I thought Leto's character was well written but poorly portrayed by "Mr Wooden".Paul was far too all-american. He was right for the boy-Paul but wrong for Mua'dib

I thought that the mini-series was a good effeort overall but if you took the best from that and the best from Lynch's version you would really have an excellent screen version of a fascinating story.


Dune??!!??

Post 9

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

Arrrrrggggghhhh! 'Weirding Modules' and stillsuits without face coverings. Whisper, whisper, whisper.
The best marriages of books and movies were 'The Thin Man' and 'The Maltese Falcon'. You can actually hold the book in your hand while watching the movie and read along without flinching.
I sincerely hope the 'Harry Potter' movie is better than the books.
They remind me of the 'Bobbsey Twins' series.
Poor JK. Got caught up in a successful series.
But on the other hand, when Angus Young was asked why they made the same album 10 times in a row, he replied,"Thirteen times, now, innit?
If people will buy it again and again, then we'll give them as many opportunities as we can."
A paraphrase, but live with it.
Dune was the first truly adult book I ever read. Took me three tries to get through it. And two successive pairs of spectacles.
Went to see the movie on the same night I saw 'Buckaroo Banzai'.
Got out of 'Banzai', went to Dune. Barely made it out of Dune without heaving. Paid to see 'Buckaroo Banzai' again, just to cleanse myself.
Haven't seen the miniseries.


Dune??!!??

Post 10

Researcher 188007

Dune: four hours of excruciating pretentious tedium interrupted by 5 minutes of unintentional hilarity caused by Sting wearing winged pants.

Catch-22: the book's miles better. Read it now.
The Shining: Kubrick turned King's usual turgid nonsense into a genuinely disturbing work.


Dune??!!??

Post 11

Montana Redhead (now with letters)

Thank you for your late suggestion....I read the book 20 years ago.

And as for The Shining, no one can beat Jack Nicholson for overacting.


Dune??!!??

Post 12

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

So? Nu? Vats up mit you?

Have now seen "Harry Potter" and bought a cheap copy of the "Doon" miniseries.
While I had serious problems with the dorky special effects, I thought the whole thing was handled in a more useful manner.

My eleven year old daughter actually sat down and watched the whole thing and talked the wife into it. Wow.

As for "Harry Potter"... sometimes I wish George Lucas had never been allowed near a typewriter or a camera...


Dune??!!??

Post 13

Researcher 188007

Oy. vos fir a kibbitzer


Dune??!!??

Post 14

Researcher 188007

OK so I shouldn't have written in Yiddish, but, oy, it was about Catch-22, only the most Yiddish book ever (in terms of sense of humour, just in case). And

"Oh. What an interfering busybody."

was duplicitous, since it was me who blundered into this convo anyway.


Dune??!!??

Post 15

Montana Redhead (now with letters)

I tend to equate Catch-22 with bad Roy Schieder films....


Dune??!!??

Post 16

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

Herm? What is a bad Roy Scheider film? He's like Dolph Lundgren. You expect much, you get disappointed. You expect consistency, you get it.

The chain of silliness between Heller's book and the movie is very similar to the silliness between Kesey's book and the movie. And I'm not talking about that piece of stuff with Paul Newman, either.

Das es meshuggah!

They had a probolem mit der Yiddishkeit?

Ach! Remember! Ven der "Mershant von Venice" vas wrotten, vas nicht
Jehudim in Angland!

smiley - tongueout


Dune??!!??

Post 17

Montana Redhead (now with letters)

yeah, I've heard that one before.

Don't you find it interesting that Yiddish is so close to German?

Let's not get into One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Great movie, great book. Between them, not much but a title!


Dune??!!??

Post 18

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

You should check out Ladino, the Moorish Jew's version of Spanish and Arabic!


Dune??!!??

Post 19

Montana Redhead (now with letters)

no thanks. I have to learn Occitan. That's bad enough.


Dune??!!??

Post 20

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

So sorry, explain please. Occitan?
Is dis der joke?


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