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  1. #1
    Lesser Hivemind Node postinternetsyndrome's Avatar
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    Adept Adaptations

    The film is worse than the book. The game is worse than the film. The book of the game is unmentionable in polite company. The film of the game is execrable. Etc. We already know all this, so I thought why not dedicate a thread to adaptations from one format to another we thought was actually a success of some sort.

    Well known examples include Riddick, The Witcher and the Metro games. Personally, I'm always happy to point to the Myst books who, while not great literary classics in any way, actually do a great job of expanding and explaning that world a bit.

    Fittingly, it seems that boardgame adaptations of games are often better received than film or book variants. I guess that shouldn't be a surprise, but it's still interesting.

    What are your favourite adaptations?

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    • The Batman: Arkham games and I have very fond memories of Batman on the NES and Gameboy.
    • Mortal Kombat movie (Not that awful sequel).
    • I enjoyed the PoP film; silly swashbuckling fun, Gemma Arterton is ludicrously gorgeous in it and Ben Kingsley hams his way through the villain role like all swashbuckling movie villains should.
    • Spider-Man 2 game; many a hour just webbing around the city
    • Blade Runner game - an astonishing piece of work and its amazing how many people have forgotten about it.

  3. #3
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    The Name of the Rose, the film. It's an obvious Hollywood-isation, but it's a pretty good one - some great casting, atmosphere and a sharp enough script some of the intelligence and wit of the book gets through as well as the style.
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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus DaftPunk's Avatar
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    Can we talk about games as well,i'm just reading Metro 2033 and i'm intersted to see how much did they followed the book in game ?
    ... I take the lives of a few to protect the lives of many. I commit acts of war to preserve the greater peace. I take no joy in killing, but make no mistake; I'll do what needs to be done. Because it's my job. It's my duty. My name is Sam Fisher, and I am a Splinter Cell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaftPunk View Post
    Can we talk about games as well,i'm just reading Metro 2033 and i'm intersted to see how much did they followed the book in game ?
    The OP says from one format to another, and specifically mentions the Metro games, so I'm guessing yes? ;)

    I haven't read any of the books (yet) but as far as I remember the games don't follow them that closely. I think the first one was supposed to be kinda similar, but ends very differently, and then the second game has very little to do with the books beyond being set in the same universe? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, obviously.
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  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Game Of Thrones TV Series actually really good adaptations of the Book and sometimes dare I say it better then the source material.

    Harry Potter The Prisoner Of Azkaban I think is better then the book from my personal viewpoint, it wasn't my favourite book but it is my favourite movie.

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    Fittingly, it seems that boardgame adaptations of games are often better received than film or book variants.
    Licensed boardgames are still shit most of the time.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xercies View Post
    Game Of Thrones TV Series actually really good adaptations of the Book and sometimes dare I say it better then the source material.
    Oh god yes! But the books are terribly written and full of so much pointless crap, a good edit is what they needed. Same applies to The Fellowship of the Ring film, good editing there.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    Oh my, aren't we controversial.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfenswan View Post
    Oh my, aren't we controversial.
    Not so much controversial as just over-excited, I think. G.R.R.M. is a very talented guy - there's simply no way you could argue in all seriousness that GoT was terribly written - but although I like the man's work I'd happily say there's better genre authors around and I'd readily agree with anyone saying the series is very much in need of more structure and some trimming away the fat.

    Haven't seen a single episode of the TV series, though, so I can't comment. Just saying, I could easily see it being "better" in many respects, from what I've read about it.
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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    Not so much controversial as just over-excited, I think. G.R.R.M. is a very talented guy - there's simply no way you could argue in all seriousness that GoT was terribly written - but although I like the man's work I'd happily say there's better genre authors around and I'd readily agree with anyone saying the series is very much in need of more structure and some trimming away the fat.

    Haven't seen a single episode of the TV series, though, so I can't comment. Just saying, I could easily see it being "better" in many respects, from what I've read about it.

    I would say he was a terrible author though. I'll happily apply that tag to Tolkien and anyone else who writes 800 page books with 5 solid pages of descriptions of songs or flags or something equally irritating. Nothing to do with being controversial. The books also lack any focus or coherent plot above some kind of fantasy soap opera.

    He probably would make a pretty good D&D DM or fair enough on the "World Building" part. But I find his prose turgid and annoying.

    I can never unread those fucking sex scenes either.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    It's pretty much the age old book to screen issue.

    The Lord of the Ring books and Ring of Ice and Fire aim to create a world while telling a story, the series/movie want (need) to tell a story foremost.


    Zephro:
    You forgot to mention the food.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfenswan View Post
    You forgot to mention the food.
    I had happily forgotten.... damn it!]

    But yeah the world building really helps films, TV and comics feel more fully realised. But so much of that crap should be left out of the actual prose, then maybe release a Song of Ice and Fire atlas, encyclopaedia etc. to go with it. Tolkien was better at that as he had more sense to put those mammoth appendices in The Return of the King.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    I had happily forgotten.... damn it!]

    But yeah the world building really helps films, TV and comics feel more fully realised. But so much of that crap should be left out of the actual prose, then maybe release a Song of Ice and Fire atlas, encyclopaedia etc. to go with it. Tolkien was better at that as he had more sense to put those mammoth appendices in The Return of the King.
    While I fully agree with this, I don't trust most authors enough to realize said appendix needs to be standalone.

    Far too many writers seem to believe readers need to keep a journal handy to record every single interaction (rather than periodically putting a quick reminder of "This is the random peasant who talked about stabbing a dragon with his winky"). Having separate reading material will just make things MUCH more painful.

    That being said, I would love it if more writers would embrace the ebook medium. Specifically, the idea of a dictionary/companion file. Imagine if you could highlight a character's name and get a quick summary of what they did in the last book?

    This is already starting to happen with movies, as apparently Google Play has a nice feature where, when you pause, it circles every actor, links to their IMDB, tells you what song is playing, etc. Wouldn't be too hard to expand on that.
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  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Wolfenswan's Avatar
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    Well, Tolkien also published/wrote a whole "bible" and a 12-volume "history of middle-earth".

    Song of Ice and Fire Atlas and Encyclopaedia exist too.

    This whole thing just boilds down to different tastes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    I would say he was a terrible author though. I'll happily apply that tag to Tolkien and anyone else who writes 800 page books with 5 solid pages of descriptions of songs or flags or something equally irritating. Nothing to do with being controversial. The books also lack any focus or coherent plot above some kind of fantasy soap opera.

    He probably would make a pretty good D&D DM or fair enough on the "World Building" part. But I find his prose turgid and annoying.

    I can never unread those fucking sex scenes either.
    "I don't like lengthy descriptions and it disturbs me when an author is willing to write sex scenes where one or more of the protagonists is underage" is not a serious argument. He needs an editor, yes, but he's not Brian bloody Jacques. His treatment of female characters (of any age) is problematic, but he's not Piers Anthony, or even close. GoT is ripe for criticism, but if you seriously think it's "terrible" writing in any sense, you're basically this as far as I'm concerned. :P
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  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    I actually think the woman characters that are main POV characters are actually great since he is really really good at character building and he understands how characters work and how drama with those characters work...but yeah the other women characters are not that great they seem to fall in the trap of making to many of them prostitutes or just there for sexual purposes and it gets a bit uncomfortable after awhile.

    I actually think G.R.R.M version of world building doesn't get to much it feels like it flows well, where with Tolkein it did feel stodgy and long. And I would say as the series has gone on he has been guilty in terms of putting to much into it, which means he just more needs an editor then a better writer.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    "I don't like lengthy descriptions and it disturbs me when an author is willing to write sex scenes where one or more of the protagonists is underage" is not a serious argument. He needs an editor, yes, but he's not Brian bloody Jacques. His treatment of female characters (of any age) is problematic, but he's not Piers Anthony, or even close. GoT is ripe for criticism, but if you seriously think it's "terrible" writing in any sense, you're basically this as far as I'm concerned. :P
    Very mature

    While I wouldn't go as far as Zephro, I do put Martin up there with Frank Miller in terms of "Amazing ideas, but should not be allowed to write his own books"

    To me, what matters is the focus. Is the book about the characters and what is happening to them, or is it what I would expect to read as a bit of fluff in my Monster Manual?

    As an example of an author I really DO like, take Brandon Sanderson. Some of his early books (Elantris...) are basically novels about naught but worldbuilding. It is very obvious that the "world changing plot" is second to an author-wank about the magic system. Whereas, starting with the Mistborn books, he got a lot better at balancing the two. Steelheart is VERY much about studying and understanding the world's magic system, but everything is in the context of advancing the plot. The protagonist may spend a page or two describing the mechanics of the magic system at a fine-grain level, but that is put into the context of finding a way to stop a "bad guy".

    Martin seems to get off on talking about food in great detail and on showing that he thought through the entire super inbred mega-family that makes up a feudal world. And that often feels like it is happening at the expense of the plot.

    The (half-joking) example I like to give is Tolkein: He might spend two pages describing the flowers and rock formations on a hill, ten pages describing all the battles that once occurred there and the spirits that live there, and then a paragraph telling us Aragorn got stabbed in the face by an Orc.

    And sex scenes, when not handled well, can VERY easily ruin a book. Google "John Ringo No" for a pretty hilarious example. Or take Harry Turtledove. Yeah, the guy is REALLY anti-mormon and there are a lot of other unfortunate bits in his books, but what most people remember are the painfully awkward sex scenes that almost invariably make people wonder if he jerks his gherkin to ikea manuals. And even worse is when it is a RAPE scene and it makes us REALLY wonder what is going on in that guy's head.

    The thing is, there are a LOT of books out there. And even better, Martin basically spearheaded a revival of an entire genre. So why focus on his books when there are MUCH better ones in the same vein?
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  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    "I don't like lengthy descriptions and it disturbs me when an author is willing to write sex scenes where one or more of the protagonists is underage" is not a serious argument. He needs an editor, yes, but he's not Brian bloody Jacques. His treatment of female characters (of any age) is problematic, but he's not Piers Anthony, or even close. GoT is ripe for criticism, but if you seriously think it's "terrible" writing in any sense, you're basically this as far as I'm concerned. :P

    Eh it's terrible bait but nevermind.

    a) It was pretty clear I meant lengthy descriptions of things that are utterly pointless to the plot, for similar reasons I also dislike Dickens and Hugo. But straw manning me isn't a serious argument either.
    b) ALL of the sex scenes are cringe worthy, I particularly remember the line "wet as a swamp" having me in stitches of laughter, something to do with Cercei so not underage. But again good assumptive work!

    I'm pretty sure that it ought to be clear that terrible is a subjective term and that I'm not insisting that everyone else think it to be objectively terrible. I personally still think it's terrible though, though I shouldn't really have to make that explicit.

    Wolfenswan is correct that we all have different tastes. Though I would say Martin's writing does often fly in the face of 20th Century wisdom with regards to overly lengthy exposition, as it really is something I associate with the 19th more.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Well. Diverting for a while from the G.R. Tolkien and J.R.R. Martin discussion I must say that I found Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth. One of the best adaptations of Lovecraft's work into another medium. It goes a bit downhill during the last part but it's incredibly atmospheric and the Hotel scene played exactly like in the book.

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