I love both books and movies. I spend most of my free time reading and watching them. I've found that some movies are better than books and vice versa :)
The most recent ones that have been adapted that I've read and watched have been I Am Legend and No Country for Old Men. Both have probably been covered but hey, I'll chuck in my thoughts anyway...
There aren't any spoilers for this one, I won't go into too much detail about the actual plot :)
Firstly NCFOM, by Cormac McCarthy. I adore the Coen Brothers. A few of my favourite films have been written and directed by them, but this one was obv not their original script. When I first read about the movie coming out, I was intrigued and went looking for the book. I read a little of it but when it came down to it I saw the movie first. It blew me away. It was utterly stunning and the story was so simple yet powerful. The acting was beyond brilliant, Brolin, Bardem, McDonald, Jones (or is it Lee Jones? I've never known if its his middle name or double barrelled? :p) were all superb. The lack of score only enhanced the quality to me, that I could be moved, scared, excited without the aid of music, all thanks to the acting and the cinematography and the pacing. I usually hate the Bafta's but I sat with baited breath to see if the movie won the awards, which it did, in several categories :D
The book I read in a phase when I wasn't reading much, so it took me a while to get through. Part of that might have been because I'd seen the film and knew the story and what would become of all the characters.
I really liked the way they handled the narration from book to movie, that was probably the best part that translated over :D However there is a lot more of Sheriff Bell's stories and commentary in the book, which might have worked in the movie, but it might have also disrupted the flow a bit, so I see why they left it out. A few of the events occur in a different order, but it in no way affected how good it was. I laughed a few times at things in the book that I laughed at in the cinema. When Anton is at a petrol station and he is talking to the old man who runs it, asking him ridiculous questions and generally making the poor man VERY uncomfortable, I giggled to myself. However reading over it again, I wasn't sure f it was intended to be funny by McCarthy or whether that was something that The Coen's wanted or that just kinda happened on set. I think I found the book at little confusing at times. Partly because I"m just stupid n can't deal without quotation marks and secondly because it switched between characters and locations without really clear indication at points n I had to go back a few lines to reassure myself :p The film had a couple of unanswered elements at the end, but it was in a good way, as it left open plenty of things to discuss with my friends as we left the cinema(I think I saw it 4 times in the pics!) All in all, a very good book and a great film, so no moans about dodgey adaptations here...
I am Legend however....Thats a different matter altogether! There will be SPOILERS here, so just mind how ye go if you want to read it..
Not a lot of books have made me cry, IAL, did. For anyone who has read it, towards the end it gets incredibly desperate and its very emotional. Its happy yet sad. There is a realisation, that somehow the bad can be good in a way.
In the Will Smith as Robert Neville adaptation, they changed an AWFUL lot. Here is the list. These things aren't all vital to the story, but nonetheless, are quite big.
Robert Neville is like AYRIAN! Light hair, blue eyes, all that jazz! Race isn't a big thing to me and I like Will Smith, but I don't know, something just annoyed me about that cus Matheson describes him quite a lot.
The film is set in New York. Thats not a real problem to me, I don't think it would matter too much where the film was set, as long as it was a town or city.
Neville does not have a dog all the way through the book. The story of the dog is tragic in both, but I found the book to be much more disturbing, which I liked.
The film is set in the present day. Once again, this doesn't really matter to the story.
The vampires come about in a different way. The book has it as a disease, the film it starts as a cure for cancer, which then mutates. Another thing is that Neville is not a scientist in the book. I found this way more relatable as most things in science go way over my head. Film Neville knows what he's doing so sometimes I felt like his struggle was pointless. I was like, just hurry up and cure it already!
And the major thing that pissed me off about the film. The sodding VAMPIRES! They were shit! Plain and simple! Apart from awful CGI (why the hell didn't they just get actors?!), they were very animalistic and not at all like the infected in the book. Ben Cortman is damn creepy and I LOVED that! "Neville, come out!" Dear god, when you first read that being said, its chilling because despite the fact they only come out at night and are after his blood, they are people he knows! The vampires in the film were scary to a point, but I still hated them in all their floppy animatedness...
The book was just way better. Neville's depression and drinking and memories of his family are much darker than anything in the film. Neville recalls his own wife dying and then coming back to life! I just about crapped myself when she showed up at the door! Will Smith talks along to Shrek for feck sake! I do that! And ye don't see nobody putting me in a film! xD The only thing that maybe sticks around is them both killing the vampires...and them having the same name...:| The end of the film in way is similar, but as usual Hollywood took a dark book about disease, survival, depression and an overhaul of society and turned it into an action movie with a semi happy ending...Bleh..
Well I hope you enjoyed my reviews/rants! I'll maybe do more in the future when I have the energy :p