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How do you feel when an adapted film's story deviates from the original material?

If it's a story I love, I'm outraged. Apparently there are some endings that really leave a lot to be desired - my wife was mortally wounded by the ending to "Batteries Not Included", which apparently cut out the most heartwarming part of the book's plot.

On the other hand, if the vision of the director is sufficiently grand and accurate, I can forgive omissions or even changes. I hated the missing "Scouring of the Shire" in the LOTR trilogy, and the absence of Bombadil, and the incorrect placement and circumstances of Saruman's death - but all in all, I understand why these changes were made, and since I still have a nerdgasm watching these amazing films, they are forgivable.

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Jul. 7th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
One reason TFotR is my favorite LotR film is that they changed so little, and always with good reason. Those who griped about Glorfindel's replacement were nigh unpleasable. Tom Bombadil is fun but tangential, seemingly an afterthought.

I'm quite glad for the deviation in Blade Runner and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, tho it helps that they chose different titles. Much as I love most Harry Potter books, I minded very few changes; indeed, the Chris Columbus entries were faithful to the point of excessive predictability.

A Series of Unfortunate Events was okay by me because I didn't like the first book and was not drawn to more. Too fast? Perhaps, but that beats too slow. Too comical? Too interesting a villain? Whatever makes it watchable.

Offhand I can't even think of adaptations I've seen that bug me -- possibly because I avoid the less promising ones. Unless remakes count; then my biggest beef is with Planet of the Apes.

Basically, the worst adaptations miss the point of the original and don't have a good point in its place. I'll make an exception for Man of La Mancha, if only because that's a common misconception about Cervantes; but The Day the Earth Stood Still should have remained as it was. And while I don't blame studios for thinking a faithful (heh) Underdog wouldn't fly (heh) today, they would've done better to leave the license (heh) alone.


The Old Wolf

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