5 Films That Are Better Than Their Source Material (According To Us)

It is often held as a truism that the book is always better than the movie; not to mention, the game, the comic or the webisodes...

However, there are those few examples of movies that actually improve on their source material. Hit the jump to check out our top five:

1) 30 Days Of Night

We're going to go out on a limb here: we don't like Ben Templesmith's artwork in the 30 Days of Night comic. Comics can be beautifully drawn, but they also need to tell a story. Templesmith's elaborate, painted panels make the action hard to follow.

Hard Candy director David Slade's film not only has some excellent direction, but also manages to streamline the story by cutting out the elaborate network of vampire hunters who serve little purpose in the original comic, and also adds some extra pathos to the central characters.

2) The Lord Of The Rings

Okay, so Tolkien was a genius; the man actually created an Elvish language for the books, for Zod's sake! Still, good at pacing? Not so much.

LoTR is a cracking epic story, but come on: Tom Bombadill? The little aside where, rather than describing an epic battle with mammoths going on in front of him, Sam takes a moment to remember always wanting to see an elephant, by the end of which, the battle is over?!

Jackson wisely cut all this fluff out and matched the epic story with some swashbuckling narrative. Then, of course, he ruined it all by cutting out the final coda in The Shire. The whole saga was building to that point when the Hobbits return from their quest and use what they learn to save their home; but Jackson cut it out for length... then added half an hour of a bloody ship sailing off into the sunset. We will never forgive him.

3) Iron Man

The original Iron Man comics were Stan Lee's dig at the hippie movement. He thought: "what if our superhero was a billionaire weapons manufacturer?". The resulting comics were often cracking romps styled like a superhero James Bond. Problem is, Tony Stark is still a right royal ass. He's smug, lazy, arrogant, oversexed and way too wealthy for his own good. Hence the trend of comics writers to bring him down a peg by bankrupting him or giving him an alcohol problem. We think Stark was always a better villain, as he became in the Civil War event.

Favreu and RDJ, on the other hand, took a different tack. They made Stark a witless, spoilt manchild, who gets a sudden awakening to his own ridiculousness and decides to make amends. Somehow, they faithfully recreated Tony Stark, but made him likeable.

4) The Crow

We're going to light this one and stand well back.

Not to belittle O'Barr's incredible work - still, to our mind, one of the best comics ever written - but it's not a lot of fun, is it? The bleak story is O'Barr working out his grief over his fiancĂ©e's tragic death; very worthy, but hard going.

The film, on the other hand, whilst a little shoddy, manages to keep all the pathos, but adds a little vein of optimism and humour amongst the pain; just a little milk in the black coffee. The villains have a little more characterisation and Brandon Lee shows he could have become a charismatic leading man, had the worst not happened.

5) A Clockwork Orange

Like The Crow, Burgess' novel is a work of art, but it's not exactly a lark. Even the book's humour is dripping with intellectual fervour.

Kubrick, however, took all that worked in the novel, streamlined it, added a healthy dose of black humour and filtered it all through his own twisted viewpoint on the proceedings. The vivid, bizarre world in which Kubrick's film takes place is such a perfect setting for Burgess' story that the movie completely eclipses the prose that spawned it. Kubrick's best and deservedly better known than the novel.

No comments:

Post a Comment